By TARA MAY  |  Moonshine Ink

All books are important, but winter books in particular serve a special purpose, namely giving you a good excuse to stay indoors. The weather does its part; the rest is up to the books. And what better way to ring in the holidays than with a bundle full of wintry books to gift to friends and family? The spectrum is wide this year, ranging everywhere from a couple of dragons and some tacos to the story of the first woman diver at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. So, get comfy with your favorite blanket and a cup of tea (or glass of wine!) while we share a few of our favorite winter picks. Since we already mentioned the dragons and their beloved tacos, let’s start there.

In Dragons Love Tacos 2, the sequel to Adam Rubin’s wildly popular children’s book Dragons Love Tacos, the giggles never cease as time-traveling dragons attempt to solve the dilemma of extinct tacos. The little dragons on your holiday list will love this one.


Moving on from dragons to turtles, if you haven’t read John Green’s newest novel, Turtles all the Way Down, you’re going to want to come pick it up. Aza, a not-so-typical teenager, investigates a missing billionaire in this story of love, tragedy, mystery, and friendship.In another long-awaited return, Philip Pullman surprised us this year with a companion to His Dark Materials. The Book of Dust, the first installment in a new trilogy, precedes the original series that began with The Golden Compass and offers the same adventures of myth, conspiracy, and demons. This one is sure to be a hit with all ages.

Wrapping up our sojourn into the kids’ and teens’ section, this year marks the fiftieth anniversary of The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. First published by 18-year-old Hinton in the 1960s, this coming-of-age drama offers the perfect opportunity to exercise your inner rebel. Come pick up a signed anniversary edition.

All right, so we can’t have a winter pick list without at least one girl behaving badly, which brings us to See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt, a chilling tale of fiction entwined with true crime inspired by the real-life murder trial of Lizzie Borden in 18th century Massachusetts.

Sticking with our theme of leading ladies, we’ve got a couple more tales of intriguing women. First off is The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, by Cherise Wolas, a story about a writer whose life takes an unexpected turn, sending her down a road of motherhood, marriage, and betrayal.

Remember the girl who became the first woman diver? Well, we’re finally back to her, and if you like historical fiction, you’re going to want to give this one a read. Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach introduces Anna Kerrigan, a woman working in a man’s world whose life is complicated further by her search for her missing father, an endeavor that leads her deep into Brooklyn’s criminal underbelly.

Enough of the real-life stuff, you say, how about some science fiction and fantasy? Your wish is my command. Andy Weir, that lovable science guy we all fell in love with in The Martian, is back with a new tale of complicated math problems in space, this time with a smuggler in the mix. Artemis is the story of a girl growing up in the only city on the moon, trying (and failing) not to blow things up.

We can’t possibly ring in the season properly without Hiddensee, the fantastical tale inspired by The Nutcracker. Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked, weaves yet another bewitching original story, this time of the Nutcracker and Drosselmeier, the toymaker who carves him.

One of the nice things about books is that they sometimes offer a rare glimpse into the lives of the authors who write them. Amy Tan’s new memoir, Where the Past Begins, is one of those gems. If you’re a fan of Tan’s work, you’ll definitely want to get your hands on this very personal and intimate story.

In Logical Family, Armistead Maupin, celebrated author of the Tales of the City series of novels, offers an unveiling of a man seeking his people outside of his biological family — his “logical family.”

And finally, since we’re on the subject of books that reveal, we’d like to end with Rupi Kaur’s newest book of poetry, The Sun and Her Flowers. This second collection is full of intimate details that lend power to her poetry as it navigates themes of femininity, self-love, and immigration.

~ You can find these books and tons more at Word After Word Books in downtown Truckee, either in the store or online at our website at As always, gift wrap is complimentary, and we can ship your holiday gifts, too. You can also reach our friendly staff of booksellers at (530) 536-5099.