Gift Ideas for Avid Readers

Ready or not, the gift-giving season is upon us! Whether you celebrate Sinterklaas, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or any other opportunity to give presents during the dark days of the winter solstice, we’ve got ideas aplenty. As in previous years, the ABC Staff has looked through their sections and hand-picked various choice literary jewels for your gift-giving pleasure.

We will present these titles in a series of blog posts and recommendation lists throughout the coming month. We hope you will find some inspiration in them, but please remember that these titles only represent a tiny fraction of the books on offer in our stores. Be sure to stop by to see what else there is in the area of your interest!

Today is the day that all you avid readers of fiction get your chance to look through our suggestions.  Not to suggest that non-fiction readers are any less avid, but generally speaking, Fiction, Romance, Poetry and Memoirs & Essays readers log those page numbers the most (together with the Geeks and the Sleuths, of course).  🙂  Happy reading! If you want more tips, meet our Fiction buyers: Renate, Reinoud, and Simone.

You can find our gift ideas from previous years here (scroll down a bit to 2013 and beyond), and be sure to have a look at our ABC Favorites, too.


Ebook available for Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, Stone Mattress, The Bone Clocks, Us, and Barracuda.

“The new Murakami in a strange and beautiful edition.” – ABC Amsterdam’s Fiction buyer Renate on Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

“The new Margaret Atwood. New stories. Vintage Atwood.” – Renate on Stone Mattress.

“The highly-anticipated new novel by Ben Lerner, whose previous novel, Leaving the Atocha Station, was one of my favorite reads of 2012.” – Renate on 10:04.

“The new novel by Denis Johnson, coming out this month. I can’t tell you anthing about it yet, but it’s by the author of the wonderful Tree of Smoke and beautiful Train Dreams.” – Renate on The Laughing Monsters.

“His breakthrough novel was The Slap, but Barracuda is a whole different ballgame. If you know someone who likes a gutsy and bold style of writing, and a gut-wrenching storyline, this could be the perfect gift!” – ABC The Hague Fiction buyer Simone on Barracuda.


Ebook available for Outlander and The One Plus One.

“Originally published 1992, this is the first part of a time-travel series that has cultivated a VERY passionate fan base (and rightly so!). This year, a TV series has finally aired (by HBO NL here in The Netherlands) and it’s getting nothing but rave reviews. If you love your big, bold, historical-but-with-an-element-of-fantasy sagas, with a cast of hundreds (sound familiar?), go for Outlander!” – ABC The Hague’s Romance ex-buyer Sophie on Outlander.

“And you thought the Crossfire Trilogy would actually stop at 3? Happily for you, Gideon and Eva’s story has spilled over into a fourth book as they face their demons.” – Sophie on Captivated by You.

“For those of you who want a more realistic, contemporary romantic story: read anything by Jojo Moyes.  She had a breakthrough year last year, with the incredible word-of-mouth success of Me Before You (an ABC Favorite!), but her most recent book is just as wonderful.  She creates characters that are true to ordinary life, who face difficult decisions with difficult consequences – but who still find love and acceptance anyway.  And isn’t that what we all want, after all is said and done?” – Sophie on The One Plus One.

“With the snowy Colorado Rockies as the backdrop of this love story you can’t go wrong. All Marshall Stone wants for Christmas is stunning ski instructor Annie Bennett, for now and for always, but does she really believe it?!” – ABC Amsterdam’s Romance buyer Pleun on Christmas in Cowboy Country.

“After her father’s death, bestselling author Grace Madison returns to Briar Creek, Vermont. Lots of memories return and most of them involve Luke Hastings. Will they find love around the Christmas Tree?” – Pleun on Mistletoe in Main Street.

“A historical holiday anthology from your favorite authors will have you reading by the fire while the snow falls on the roof!  In Amsterdam we will have a special holiday shelf so you can find just what you are looking for.” – Pleun on Christmas Brides.


Ebook available for The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas.

“A groundbreaking edition of Dylan Thomas’s collected poetry published to coincide with the centenary of the poet’s birth.” – ABC Amsterdam’s Poetry buyer Renate on The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas.

“Gathered here is half a century of magnificent work by the former poet laureate of the United States and Pulitzer Prize winner whose haunting and exemplary style has influenced an entire generation of American poets.” – Renate on Mark Strand: Collected Poems.

“A new collection of poems by one of America’s most interesting younger poets. Dark, honest and vulnerable.” – Renate on Rome.

Memoirs / Essays

Ebook available for The Empathy Exams, My Salinger Year, Not That Kind of Girl, More Fool Me, and The Republic of Imagination.

“Beautiful, strange essays by Jamison, who could very well be the new Susan Sontag, or Joan Didion. By confronting pain – real and imagined, her own and others’ – Jamison uncovers a personal and cultural urgency to feel.  Winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize.” – ABC Amsterdam’s Memoirs/Essays buyer Renate on The Empathy Exams.

“Whether you’re a fan of Salinger’s work or not, this is a charming, well-written memoir about the publishing world in New York in the ’90s. But also, it’s very much a tale of growing up, and finding your own story amongst a sea of other ones.” – Renate on My Salinger Year.

“From the talented Lena Dunham, the creator and writer of the wonderful HBO series ‘Girls’ comes a collection of essays that promise to be just as frank, hiliarious and bright. Not to be missed.” – Renate on Not That Kind of Girl.