When They’ve Read It All: Gift Guide No. 1

We are firm believers that for there is a book for every person and every situation. That’s why they make such great gifts! There’s no shortage of fantastic, gift-worthy books this year…. but there’s always that one person on your holiday list. You know the one. The reader who reads everything so quickly that you can’t keep up. What if you get them a book they already have? For Part 1 of this year’s Musing gift guide, we rounded up a stack of brand new, fresh off the press releases, and some of our favorites from earlier this year that may have been missed, all with gift giving in mind. Stay tuned for Part 2!

Recommended by Ann

Now Is Not the Time to Panic: A Novel By Kevin Wilson Cover ImageNow Is Not the Time to Panic: A Novel

Two bored teenagers want to be artists, whatever that means, and create a poster with the enigmatic sentence “The edge is a shantytown filled with gold seekers. We are fugitives, and the law is skinny with hunger for us.” When they post it anonymously all over town, people are whipped into an absolutely frenzy they cannot control. This is Kevin Wilson at his very best.

Now Is Not the Time to Panic is our December First Editions Club pick! Scroll down to read more about the book and the club. A membership makes a great holiday gift!

Recommended by Lindsay

They're Going to Love You: A Novel By Meg Howrey Cover ImageThey’re Going to Love You: A Novel

I adored They’re Going to Love You so much that a part of me is convinced that Meg Howrey wrote it for me, specifically. This is such a gorgeous novel about being an artist in the modern world, the sacrifices we make and the people we hurt. When I hit the last page, I didn’t want to let these characters go—I adored every word.

Recommended by Chelsea

The Resemblance: A Novel By Lauren Nossett Cover ImageThe Resemblance: A Novel

When a UGA fraternity member steps off the curb and is struck by a car, all the eyewitnesses say that the victim looked exactly like the driver. A compelling mystery and an exploration of privilege, Nossett’s debut features one of my favorite protagonists of the year. If you loved Tana French’s The Likeness, do not miss this twisty whodunit.

Recommended by Ashby

Better than Fiction By Alexa Martin Cover ImageBetter than Fiction

Drew inherits her grandmother’s bookstore. Is she a book lover? Not exactly. Throw in an author, Jasper, determined to change her mind about books…and other things…along with a book club of naughty old ladies who want to play matchmaker and some roadblocks and you’ve got a story. You’ve Got Mail, only better! I would cast Tom Hanks as Jasper…

Recommended by Sissy

Wayward: A Novel (Wanderers #2) By Chuck Wendig Cover ImageWayward: A Novel (Wanderers #2)

In the sequel to Wanderers, Wendig takes us on a journey out west – a post-apocalyptic trek that has our favorite characters struggling for survival yet leaning on one another. Dry humor, heart, and depth. A must-read.

Recommended by Sissy

Flight Risk: A Novel (Booking Agents Series #2) By Cherie Priest Cover ImageFlight Risk: A Novel (Booking Agents Series #2)

I do NOT like cozy mysteries. Priest’s thrillers are not cozy but they are HILARIOUS. Leda is an “inconsistent” psychic who stumbles into crime-solving. This book will cure your pandemic blues.

Recommended by Sissy

The Twist of a Knife: A Novel By Anthony Horowitz Cover ImageThe Twist of a Knife: A Novel

The fourth installment in the Hawthorne & Horowitz series is another really fun and fast-paced intellectual thriller. Fans of Masterpiece Mystery! will love this one – Anthony is the main suspect!

Recommended by Chelsea

Red, White & Royal Blue: Collector's Edition: A Novel By Casey McQuiston Cover ImageRed, White & Royal Blue: Collector’s Edition: A Novel

What happens with the potential First Son reluctantly falls in love with the Prince of England? A gorgeous hardcover edition of one of my top romance books! Special illustrated endpapers and a bonus chapter make this collector’s edition a perfect for gift for people who love this story and new readers alike.

Recommended by Chelsea

Kindred, Gift Edition By Octavia Butler Cover ImageKindred, Gift Edition

Dana is sucked back from 1976 California to antebellum Maryland where she saves the life of a boy named Rufus. Dana is left to figure out both why she was summoned and how to get back home to her time while dealing with the trauma of slavery. This seminal work has a beautiful edition that would make a perfect gift for readers of N. K. Jemisin, Colson Whitehead, and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Recommended by Sarah

Mouth to Mouth: A Novel By Antoine Wilson Cover ImageMouth to Mouth: A Novel

Put together a psychological mystery, an unreliable narrator, and Great Gatsby-esque vibes, and you get this former First Editions Club pick. I couldn’t put it down!

Recommended by Cheryl

Blackwater Falls: A Thriller (Blackwater Falls Series #1) By Ausma Zehanat Khan Cover ImageBlackwater Falls: A Thriller

This is the first in a series of a female Muslim detective in Colorado. She puts up with all kinds of professional road blocks, plus her parents wanting to fix her up with a nice Muslim gentleman and settle down. She is smart, intuitive and manages to prove she is as well qualified as any man on the force. There is a hint of a love interest. I can’t wait to read the next book.

Recommended by Rachel

Alone with You in the Ether: A Love Story By Olivie Blake Cover ImageAlone with You in the Ether: A Love Story

A doctoral student obsessed with compulsive calculations and a bipolar counterfeit artist meet in an Art museum and agree to have six conversation, and six only. What follows is a codependent and destructive relationship all about new beginnings. This is not your neurotypical love story. Their back and forth obsessions with each other forced me to devour every page.

Available for pre-order now! Will be released on Nov. 29, 2022.

Recommended by Ashby

Number One Is Walking: My Life in the Movies and Other Diversions By Steve Martin, Harry Bliss (Illustrator) Cover ImageNumber One Is Walking: My Life in the Movies and Other Diversions

By Steve MartinHarry Bliss (Illustrator)

New Yorker cartoonist Harry Bliss + comedic actor Steve Martin = THIS BOOK. They first collaborated on A Wealth of Pigeons. This illustrated memoir tells stories in uniquely funny ways. He hasn’t written about his career before – movies he has been in, actors he has worked with – this book is a perfect diversion, and proves, yet again, that Steve Martin can do anything.

Recommended by Katie

Pierogi: Over 50 Recipes to Create Perfect Polish Dumplings By Zuza Zak Cover ImagePierogi: Over 50 Recipes to Create Perfect Polish Dumplings

By Zuza Zak

There is nothing more perfect than this little Polish dumpling. It is my favorite food and I will continue to try and perfect my ability to create this delicious treat at home. Zuza Zak’s cookbook Pierogi is the perfect addition to your cookbook shelf, and hopefully you can work on sharing the joy of Polish cooking with your family and friends.

Recommended by Madeline

The Lay of the Land: A Self-Taught Photographer's Journey to Find Faith, Love, and Happiness By Joe Greer Cover ImageThe Lay of the Land: A Self-Taught Photographer’s Journey to Find Faith, Love, and Happiness

By Joe Greer

A stunning and soul stirring collection of photography and the author’s story leading to genuine salvation through the hardest of times. A book that speaks life to everyone in the darkest times.

Recommended by Madeline

Half Baked Harvest Every Day: Recipes for Balanced, Flexible, Feel-Good Meals: A Cookbook By Tieghan Gerard Cover ImageHalf Baked Harvest Every Day: Recipes for Balanced, Flexible, Feel-Good Meals: A Cookbook

Approachable recipes with accessible ingredients meets time sensitive cooks in this delectable collection of recipes! Gerard is a master of comfort food cuisine that speaks to the soul. Perfect for lovers of Ina Garten!

Recommended by Ann

No Filter: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful By Paulina Porizkova Cover ImageNo Filter: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful

No Filter is a book about a rare life, profound love, profound grief, anxiety, self-assurance, empowerment, aging, loss and joy. It is nuanced, complex, insightful, helpful and constantly surprising. Do you think you know what kind of book a super model writes? Think again. Paulina Porizkova is in the business of defying expectations.

Recommended by Cat

The Kissing Bug By Daisy Hernández Cover ImageThe Kissing Bug

Part history of Chagas disease AKA the Kissing Bug Disease, part family history and memoir, this is the perfect gift for anyone who knows loves when the personal, medical, and political intersect- or a fan of the podcast This Podcast Will Kill You. Newly released in paperback!

Recommended by Sydney

Novelist as a Vocation By Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (Translated by), Ted Goossen (Translated by) Cover ImageNovelist as a Vocation

By Haruki MurakamiPhilip Gabriel (Translated by), Ted Goossen (Translated by)

Any Murakami fans are surefire to love his newest release. Chock-full of personal anecdotes and insightful life advice, this essay collection is less of a “how to write,” guide and more of a “this is how I’m making a living as writer,” memoir.

Recommended by Jenness

The Lost Words By Robert MacFarlane, Jackie Morris (Illustrator) Cover ImageThe Lost Words

By Robert MacFarlaneJackie Morris (Illustrator)

Sweet, descriptive poems accompanied by gorgeous images of animals and nature fill this enchanting oversized book. Lush watercolor scenes beautifully illustrate the interconnectivity of flora and fauna, words and pictures.

Recommended by Cheryl

Spine Poems: An Eclectic Collection of Found Verse for Book Lovers By Annette Dauphin Simon Cover ImageSpine Poems: An Eclectic Collection of Found Verse for Book Lovers

Uses book spines to make found verse. It includes related side quotes as well. Colorful and clever.

Recommended by Hannah

The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth By Beth Allison Barr Cover ImageThe Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth

This book has the potential power to kill evangelical patriarchy if we allow it to. A searing indictment of the ways in which the church bends scripture to subordinate women, this is a brilliant and cogent exploration into why Christian patriarchy is bad for everyone involved. I can’t overstate how much better our world would be if everyone read and internalized these concepts.

Recommended by Ashby

THE ILLUSTRATED AL: The Songs of THE ILLUSTRATED AL: The Songs of “Weird Al” Yankovic

With a new biopic Weird starring Daniel Radcliffe, it’s time to celebrate Weird Al. I grew up listening to “Like a Surgeon”, “Eat It”, “Amish Paradise”, and “Yoda”. He said he spent four decades in music so he could have his own graphic novel. Well, here it is. Over 20 of his songs interpreted by his favorite cartoonists. It certainly makes for Headline News (I couldn’t resist the song pun).

Available for pre-order now! Will be released on Dec. 13, 2022.

First Editions Club: December Selection

Now Is Not the Time to Panic: A Novel By Kevin Wilson Cover ImageNow Is Not the Time to Panic: A Novel

By Kevin Wilson

Dear friends,

One of our booksellers made a brilliant observation recently. When a customer says, “I love Kevin Wilson’s books. What do you have that’s like a Kevin Wilson book?” The answer is nothing. The answer is, assuming you’ve already read all of Kevin Wilson’s previous books, you’ll just have to wait until he writes another one.

Because the thing about Kevin Wilson’s books, whether it’s the one about children who are forced into their parents’ weird performance art, or the one about children who catch on fire when they’re angry, no one else writes anything even vaguely like them.

Take, for example, Wilson’s new novel Now Is Not the Time to Panic, about a couple of misfit teenagers who are stuck at home and bored in the dead of summer. They want to be artists, even though they’re not exactly sure what making art even means. Together they create a poster that says, “The edge is a shantytown filled with gold seekers. We are fugitives, and the law is skinny with hunger for us,” then proceed to tack it up anonymously all over town. That’s when all hell breaks loose.

The question of what art means, who owns an idea and who is responsible for the fallout, are just some of the things this book got me thinking about.

I want to tell you that this is Kevin’s best book, and it probably is. It’s hard to say because they’re all so good. When you’re ready to read something else like it, you’ll just have to wait until he writes something else (which, by the way, won’t be anything like it).


Ann Patchett

More about our First Editions Club: Every member receives a first edition of the selected book of the month, signed by the author. Books are carefully chosen by our staff of readers, and our picks have gone on to earn major recognition including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Plus, there’s no membership fee or premium charge for these books. Build a treasured library of signed first editions and always have something great to read! Makes a FABULOUS gift, too.