First Coast Connect Book Club: Books Both New And Timeless For The Holidays

Nov 25, 2013

Books that garner incredible buzz and even bigger sales can be timeless, making them relevant to a new generation of readers.

Blogger and creator of the First Coast Connect Book Club, Stacey Goldring, shared some "it" books for this holiday season that would make perfect gifts for all types of readers.

Atlas Shrugged (1957)

Ayn Rand's fourth novel, Atlas Shrugged published in 1957, peaked at No. 3 on The New York Times Bestseller List, and remained on that list for 22 consecutive weeks.

In 1991, The Library of Congress reported it was the second most influential book ever written, situated between The Bible and M. Scott Peck's The Road Less Traveled.

"It wasn't so popular with critics," Goldring said. "But it was definitely popular with the public."

Freedom (2010)

Freedom is a 2010 novel by Jonathan Franzen which follows the lives of the Berglunds, a middle-class American family, beginning in the '80s and ending at the start of the Obama administration. The story chronicles the complex relationships that purvey the Berglunds' suburban lifestyle.

Although the book received mixed reviews, Oprah Winfrey selected Freedom for her 2010 book club selection, calling it, "a masterpiece."

The Casual Vacancy (2012)

The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults, set in south western England, far from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, both in setting and in content.

The book focuses on social and political issues, like drugs, rape and prostitution, and was the 15th best-selling book of 2012 within a week of its release.

"People were very frustrated that this was an adult novel," Goldring said. "But this is a fabulous book."

The Catcher in the Rye (1951)

The Catcher in the Rye is a novel with which many young readers experience their first plunge into adult literature.

The oft-cited 1951 novel by J.D. Salinger has become predominantly popular among youths due to its iconic themes of teenage rebellion, identity crises, apprehension and alienation.

In the 1960's, The Catcher in the Rye became the most censored book in libraries and high schools across the U.S. for its use of vulgar and suggestive dialogue. To date, the novel has sold more than 65 million copies.

Also on Goldring's list of books for November:

  • Grace Metalious — Peyton Place (1956)
  • Judy Blume Forever (1975)
  • Robert James Waller — Bridges of Madison County (1992)
  • Mitch Albom — Tuesdays with Morrie (1997)
  • Antoine de Saint-Exupéry — The Little Prince (1942)

And, "Hands down, every Harry Potter book."

You can follow Melissa Ross on Twitter @MelissainJax.