Recommended reads from The Bookworm |

Recommended reads from The Bookworm

Karin Barker with her holiday book picks.
Courtesy photo

With nearly 12 years under her belt as a “professional reader,” Karin Barker of The Bookworm is always ready to share her latest favorite books. This holiday season, whether you are shopping for your loved ones or you’re sneaking a treat for yourself, Barker has put together her top holiday reads and the gifts she thinks pair best with them.

Her first pick is “The Last Chairlift” by John Irving. “This legendary author does it again — a tome filled with eccentric characters, political and moral/social issues and non-traditional families,” she said. “I found this heartbreaking and tender and the ties to Aspen and Hotel Jerome made it all the more enjoyable. This is a book to sink into and enjoy the ride.”

Next up is Kate Atkinson’s new book, “Shrines of Gaiety.” “With Dicken’s flair, Atkinson brings Jazz-age London to life,” Barker said. “Lots of colorful characters and filled with intrigue and wit, this is a quick-paced absorbing novel from an outstanding author. Many plots and storylines with a cinematic feel; I found this easy to get lost in. Plenty of sparkle and grime and a few surprises.”

If you’re looking for something with a little bit of quirk to it, Barker recommends “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” by Gabrielle Zevin. “At the heart of this delightful, unusual story is the friendship of Sam and Sadie,” she said. “It is a story about brilliant young game designers hitting it big and the ups and downs of their lives. Their friend Marx is the perfect balance between these two creative geniuses; the perfect friend, confidant, partner. Even though the gaming part of this story initially turned me off I loved the parallel worlds and appreciated the artistry and creativity. Zevin’s smart writing pulls off this story that can be enjoyed by many; a bit more complex and sophisticated that her previous works. I also loved the references to ‘Macbeth,’ Emily Dickinson and ‘The Iliad.’ Super enjoyable!”

Lastly, Barker recommends “Demon Copperhead” by Barbara Kingsolver. “Rich in atmosphere and culture this is a modern Dickens tale,” Barker said. “It’s impossible not to fall for our hero and impossible to put down his story. Heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measure. A grand narrative!”

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If you enjoy Barker’s recommendations or know a friend who would benefit from them, she manages our literary concierge program, Trust Me You’ll Love It. Members receive a book, hand-selected by Karin, every month, shipped anywhere in the U.S. Learn more and sign up for this program today online at

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