Other Press staff choose which books they’re giving as gifts this holiday season.

Yvonne Cardenas, Managing Editor

What book are you giving?
The Fall: A Father’s Memoir in 424 Steps by Diogo Mainardi

To whom, and why?
This year I’ll be giving my friend Celia a copy of The Fall. Mainardi’s book is not only about the relationship of a parent to a child, but also about being human and being alive. The way that he ties together his love for his son with his love for what is beautiful and worthwhile in the world reminds me of Celia.

Stephanie Derstine, Intern

What book are you giving?
All Days Are Night by Peter Stamm

To whom, and why? 
To my brother, who revels in reading psychologically twisted tales. The rawness of Stamm’s work and the devastation he subtly captures in merely a sentence is hair-raising.

Marjorie DeWitt, Editor

What book(s) are you giving?
The Art of Hearing Heartbeats and How to Live

To whom, and why?
My nana is a sucker for beautiful love stories in which love knows no bounds nor impediments, so naturally Heartbeats was a good choice (and it’s a book she excitedly points out to me when we’re at Costco). And How to Live is just a good choice for anyone, particularly those in early adulthood who are looking to find themselves and their place in the world. As a bonus, they get to learn more about Montaigne too!

Charlotte Kelly, Associate Publicist

What book are you giving?
A True Novel by Minae Mizumura

To whom, and why?
For Christmas, I gave my best friend Minae Mizumura’s novel.  She’s going to be traveling and wanted something she could get completely sucked into, and I thought the beauty of Mizumura’s writing and the physical beauty of the book itself made it a perfect present.

Keenan McCracken, Associate Editor

What book(s) are you giving?
We’re Flying and The Fall

To whom, and why?
Probably going to be gifting Peter Stamm’s We’re Flying, a collection of short stories from the veteran Swiss-German writer who, despite being championed by Zadie Smith and Tim Parks, has somehow slipped under everyone’s radar. The stories are measured, minimalistic portraits of people trying to learn how to move beyond their own alienation and dejection in order to form meaningful connections with others. Merry Christmas!

I’ve also been relentlessly pushing Diogo Mainardi’s The Fall on people since it September, so I’ll probably continue to do that for the Holidays. I’m not usually drawn to books that deal with issues of familial, unconditional love, but this was one of the more moving books I’ve read in recent years. I think it’s for anyone who feels emotions and is technically human.

Christie Michel, Marketing Assistant

What book are you giving?
The Glass Room by Simon Mawer

To whom, and why?
I’ve already gifted this to my sister. She’s an architect and I thought she’d like to read some fiction, for once. It’s on her 2015 To Read list!

Lauren Shekari, Rights Director

What book are you giving?
A True Novel by Minae Mizumura

To whom, and why?
For my best friend, who loves Wuthering Heights and coached me through all my various romantic dramas, this is the perfect gift. Now that we are both happily married, we try to limit our romantic tragedies to books, and this is a great one!

Iisha Stevens, Production Manager

What book are you giving?
The Fall: A Father’s Memoir in 424 Steps by Diogo Mainardi

To whom, and why?
To my mother-in-law, now a retired NYC school teacher, who worked with Special needs children for over 30 years. I’m sure she will find it’s a beautiful, heart-felt read.

Jeff Waxman, Retail Marketing Manager

What book are you giving?
The Artificial Silk Girl by Irmgard Keun

To whom, and why?
When I was in high school, a friend of my mother’s gave me a copy ofA Confederacy of Dunces with the memorably insulting admission that I reminded her of Ignatius Reilly. Several years later, when I became a bookseller, she started bringing her daughter to see me at my shop for recommendations and I’ve been gifting this girl, now a precocious 17-year-old, some of my favorite books for almost ten years. Samira should get a copy just in time for Christmas and she’s going to love the bleak and bitter story of a young woman’s rise and ignominious fall in prewar Berlin. “Oh, Fortuna, you capricious sprite!”