Books We're Grateful For

There have been a number of books that have come into my life at the exact right moment over the years. Some of them have given me perspective I needed, or held my hand through uncomfortable transitions. I think many book lovers can relate to the relief of finding a book that reflects or illuminates exactly what one needs to see, and when that happens I for one am so grateful. 

Given the impending holiday, I asked Third Place booksellers what books they feel especially grateful for this season. 


Little Weirds by Jenny Slate
I owe Jenny Slate my gratitude, because watching Marcel the Shell alone in a theater propelled me into rereading her essay collection, Little Weirds, which re-centered me in the middle of a messy, emotional year. THANK YOU, JENNY! – Sarah C






How to Read Now by Elaine Castillo
I am grateful for this book because it has ultimately made me a better reader and bookseller. It's the kind of book I will continue to go back to every year and those are the kind of books I am most grateful for. – Rosa







Piranesi by Susanna Clark
I would have loved this book under any circumstance, it so perfectly encapsulates my interests that I feel like she wrote it for me specifically. But I happened to read this book in March of 2020, and in the chaos, and boredom, this was the perfect life raft. It grapples with isolation in a very visceral way, but the way it embraces wonder makes every moment reading this book a genuine relief. – Allie





Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar
This book is so beautiful, affirming, and validating. I would reread this and I hardly ever reread books! -- Lily 







Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman
Four Thousand Weeks changed how I think about work, family, social media, road rage, love, death. It's changed how I think about my life. And ultimately, how I live it. I'm a calmer, more content person. I know people are tired of me talking about it, but I'm grateful for Oliver Burkman and his beautiful book. – Erin





Holes by Louis Sachar
I'm grateful for Holes - a book aimed for elementary school aged kids that I never read while in elementary school! I finally did this year while in my mid twenties and I'm so glad I did. The enchanting storytelling, the folklore, the heart, the suspense -- it really held up. I'm grateful I finally took the chance on it and had such a lovely reading experience! – Emily




Inciting Joy by Ross Gay 
I'm grateful for 'Inciting Joy' because it made me reconsider my approach to care, to love, and to connection with my community. The reading experience is like a massive refresh for the soul, I felt like my doom-scrolling cobwebs and anxiety dust bunnies got swept up and tossed firmly out the door. I love knowing that I can return to any of these essays when I need them because the whole collection is like the gift of a great friend. – Emmy




Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
This book taught me how to write. It changed the way I looked at short fiction entirely. There's a flow to the stories in this book. It's more than just a collection. It breathes in careful rhythm between biting humor and subverted expectations, bitter truths and clever lies, but always leads to a full circle gut punch. There's no fluff. Every word needs to be there. In the early 2000s, this novel not only impacted the way I viewed the written word, it changed my entire definition of what it means to tell a story.  – Brandon




Appetites by Caroline Knapp
This book shaped my worldview as a woman. It altered my relationship with my body and food and alcohol and my mother. I read it in college back in 2009 and I often think about it. I should re-read it soon; I'm sure eleven years later her words will impact me, freshly, for the next decade. – Danielle





Soul Culture by Remica Bingham-Risher 
In Soul Culture, Bingham-RIsher bridges past and present, personal and collective, through a series of interviews with prominent African American poets. It is an ode to the Black poetry community and the growth that we can provide each other—I only wish there was more space in the margins for my annotations. – Madison





Ordesa by Manuel Vilas 
Grief, memory, family, patriotism. Vilas evaluates every last thing that gives a life weight - perhaps frees a life of its weight - with a melancholy tale ballasted by tremendous warmth and empathy. – Wes






Called Out of Darkness by Anne Rice
This book gave me permission to cherish the god that I lost. It taught me that transformation is a right, one that does not require you to forget who you were. It reminded me of the transcendent power of buildings, art, and idols. – Dean





Home is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo
I wish this book was there for me when I was Nima’s age. Powerful themes, beautiful use of language, and an overwhelming sense of warmth made me cry happy tears by the novel’s end. One of the most uplifting books I’ve read this year.