the act of giving a book

the act of giving a book
the act of giving a book

You never know who is going to discover what you will later love. I vividly remember from whose hands I received Normal people, by Sally Rooney; who recommended me Of other people’s livesby Emmanuel Carrère, and Stoner, by John Williams; or who encouraged me to read Tea Roomsby Luisa Carnés.

When asking in the editorial office about the books that my colleagues regularly give away, there has been a division of opinion. On the one hand, some were very clear about the answer. Helena or the summer seaby Julián Ayesta; Truceby Mario Benedetti; The book of hugsby Eduardo Galeano; Not everyoneby Marta Jiménez Serrano, or The summer my mother had green eyesby Tatiana Ţîbuleac, were immediate responses.

Others resisted naming one, because they adapt the title to the person. Even so, they consider that the Manual for cleaning women by Lucía Berlin or The oblivion that we will be by Héctor Abad Faciolince could guarantee success.

Indeed, giving a book is an intimate act. However, personally, when I fall in love with a text, I don’t stop until every reader I know has it in their hands, whether or not it fits their personal tastes. I do it because I have known books like that, in unexpected and disconcerting gifts. My usual suspects are usually the ones I mentioned in the first paragraph, titles that were stolen from me and I have shared a lot. Very much. I only change gift books when I can’t remember who has what and I want to make sure I don’t repeat myself. By the way, my friends, get ready to start receiving packages of The difficult lightby Tomás González.

We asked this very question to several of our experts to celebrate the upcoming Book Day. Many mentioned titles or authors that we have already talked about in The Conversation: the Quixote, Annie Ernaux, Nuccio Ordine, Marco Aurelio or Pérez-Reverte. Others represent new and very appealing airs.

In recent months, we have also been attentive to editorial news. We talk about the latest Nobel Prize in Literature, Jon Fosse; of The divorced, by Ursula Parrott, which has just been published in Spanish; of The area of ​​interest, by Martin Amis, which is nothing like the Oscar-winning film but deserves to be read; of Prayers answered, the unfinished finale of Truman Capote; from the successful literary corpus of Maggie O’Farrell; and the literature of Spanish post-war writers, regarding the reissue of We, the Riveros, by Dolores Medio. We even have a compilation of “classics” that can be given to teenagers.

There are those who say that art can save our lives. I subscribe to the belief. In that sense, literature is probably the artistic form that we can most easily access, with the advantage that it is also the one that takes us the furthest. It is possible to be present in body in the living room but absent in soul at a boarding school in New Hampshire solving an old murder (I have some questions for youby Rebecca Makkai, is one of the books that has distanced me the most from reality lately).

That, on the one hand, is magic. And on the other hand, it turns out that it is also sexy. So very happy Book Day 2024. Give as a gift!

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