Maggie
Stiefvater

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Stiefvater’s Holiday Book Gift Guide

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There are lots of books out there; how to choose which to give this holiday season? Easy: LISTEN TO ME. Or at least you can listen to me if you’re looking for something Stiefvatery.  

Here are ten books to give to people who also like my books.

1. For the lover of the Raven Cycle. I get asked a lot what folks should read that feels like the Raven Cycle, and honestly, how the hell should I know? That series is weird, man. What does it feel like? Like you suspect a dark, enigmatic presence is watching you eat an egg sandwich that might be your last. Instead of chasing that nebulous feeling, how about digging into some of the physical magic from the series? Give the Raven Cycle lover in your life a tarot deck. You could give them the deck I drew, or you could give them one of my favorites, the Wild Unknown.

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2. If you don’t think they want to get into magic, perhaps they want to get into other Gansey-related pursuits, like obscure fact discovery and wandering the world instead of facing their actual psychological problems. In that case, they’ll need to read the bulky but fascinating The Lost Art of Finding Our Way, a book that breaks down the different way cultures have learned to navigate through the wilderness.

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3. For the lover of the Scorpio Races. For all that the Scorpio Races features flesh-eating horses, it really is a gentle and nostalgic book about noshing on baked goods in places that feel like they might have been featured on a BBC program twenty years ago. This makes the old classic I Capture the Castle an excellent gift for the TSR fan, and they just released a new edition of it that is delightfully restrained in its packaging.  

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4. If it’s the bizarre horses-that-are-not-horses in the Scorpio Races that really appealed, however, you could also gift them the exceptionally beautiful UK edition of The Secret Horses of Briar Hill, a brief illustrated historical novel featuring magical “horses” and “dead children.” I don’t know why I put the “children” in quotes. They are super actually dead children.

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5. For the lover of the Shiver Trilogy. Casual readers of this novel’s jacket might presume this book is about werewolves. In actuality, this is a book about laying around, kissing people, and admiring German poetry while being cold. As such, give fans of the Shiver trilogy a copy of Rilke. My favorite translations are Stephen Mitchell’s.                                        

Again and again, however we know the landscape of love
and the little churchyard there, with its sorrowing names,
and the frighteningly silent abyss into which the others
fall: again and again the two of us walk out together
under the ancient trees, lie down again and again
among the flowers, face to face with the sky.

6. For the lover of Sinner. Sinner, a standalone spin off from the Shiver trilogy featuring bombastic Cole St. Clair and mercurial Isabel Culpeper, is totally different from the trilogy. A book, I told people on tour, that I hoped one hated or loved, nothing in between. It’s a novel about broken people falling back into holes that sometimes have werewolves or reality TV or fear of commitment in the bottom of them. For those who enjoyed being unapologetically bitten by their fiction about broken people, I recommend Kathleen Glasgow’s Girl in Pieces, a story about broken people falling back into holes that sometimes have addiction or cutting or coffee shops in the bottom of them.

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7. For the lover of the Books of Faerie, Lament and Ballad, those novels of homicidal faeries and unending Celtic music references, I recommend a somewhat obscure retelling of Tam Lin — Fire and Hemlock, by my favorite Diana Wynne Jones. A weird, soft-focus, slow-motion romance featuring that old trope Wait-A-Second-My-Mentor-Is-Younger-And-Hotter-Than-I-First-Thought + cello-playing.

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8. For lovers of the Curiosities & the Anatomy of Curiosity, my flash and short story collections featuring stories that are also available online for free, I recommend Brian Coldrick’s Behind You. They’re also speedy little stories in one page (my full Goodreads review is here) available online for free

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9. For lovers of All the Crooked Saints, a novel/ tall tale/ parable/ word caper about learning to grapple your inner darkness, I recommend Less, a novel I delighted in earlier this year. Although Less has no magic in it, it feels like it belongs in the same room as ATCS — both of them are novels that believe strongly in happiness and should hopefully make you laugh out loud, if you still have any soul left as we near the end of 2017. 

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10. For people who like my blog. Weirdly enough, there are a fair number of people who read my blog and Twitter but have never read any of my books. A great place to start for them would be, like, with my books. But if they are unwilling to break that seal after all this time, you could give them When Breath Becomes Air, a brief little nonfiction book about a man who suddenly discovers he has a lot less time on the planet than he thought. 

My GR recommendation of it is very short, so I’ll copy it here in its entirety:

A gasping, desperate, powerful little book, bigger on the inside than outside.

It’s a little bit about dying, but more about being alive.

A perfect gift to give someone you’d like to see crying uncontrollably on Christmas, but also a lovely gift to give someone who wants to learn how to live. 

Maggie Stiefvater
Hi, I'm Maggie Stiefvater

Professional novelist by day and artist by night. I live an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with my charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, and neurotic dogs. I’m the author of the Books of Faerie (LAMENT and BALLAD); the bestselling SHIVER trilogy (SHIVER, LINGER, FOREVER), and THE SCORPIO RACES.

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