Book the ideal holiday gift

Call it the Twelve Books of Christmas – or maybe a Dozen Doozies for the Holidays. In any case, it’s a list you may be unable to resist. We asked our good friends at the Mercantile Library for their top book gift suggestions for the holidays, focusing on local authors. Here’s what they left under the tree:


Jessica Strawser: “Forget You Know Me” – In her latest suspense novel, Strawser delivers an expertly written thriller as well as an exploration of an old friendship. The story is set right here in Cincinnati. (St. Martin’s Press)

Rock Neelly: “River of Tears” – Two girls, one black, one white, are kidnapped in Cincinnati, and two female detectives scramble to find them. Neelly’s suspense-filled story weaves together issues of race, policing and buried history, forcing readers to consider their own assumptions and suspicions. (Praus Press)

John Young: “When The Coin Is in The Air” – An impressive debut novel tells a poignant story about breaking away from family and abuse. (Golden Antelope Press)


Bob Batchelor: “The Bourbon King: The Life and Crimes of George Remus” AND Karen Abbott: “The Ghosts of Eden Park” – Two books explore the life of infamous Cincinnati bootlegger George Remus. (Diversion Books, Random House),

Constance J. Moore and Nancy M. Broermann: “Maria Longworth Storer: From Music and Art to Popes and Presidents” – In addition to being one of Cincinnati’s most prominent socialites and activists, Storer founded Rookwood Pottery, the first female-run manufacturing company in the United States. (University of Chicago Press)

Annette Januzzi Wick: “I’ll Have Some of Yours: What my mother taught me about cookies, music, the outside, and her life inside a care home” – This sharp, poignant memoir delves into what it means to move beyond caregiver toward a deeper connection. (Three Arch Press)


Jasmine Warga: “Other Words for Home” – When war breaks out in Syria, 12-year-old Jude and her mother move to Cincinnati to stay safe with family. In eloquent verse, with hope and humor, Warga tells a story of displacement, adjustment and resilience. (Harper Collins)

Amy Webb: “When Charley Met Emma” – Webb is an artist and writer, creator of the blog This Little Miggy Stayed Home. The Cincinnati mother of three also is an advocate for the special needs community, and her charming picture book helps children (and parents) think about disability, kindness and how to behave when they meet someone who is different from them. (Beaming Books)

Brian Wray: “Max’s Box” – This gentle story from Wray, a Cincinnati native, helps children learn to manage, but not suppress, their emotions. (Schiffer Publishing)


Matt Hart: “Everything Breaking/For Good” – In one of his two recent releases, Hart considers whether the creative life is enough to make everything all right. (Yes Yes Books)

Riparian: “Poetry, Short Prose, and Photographs Inspired by the Ohio River” – Edited by Sherry Cook Stanforth and Richard Hague, this collection is perfect for the naturalist in your life. (Dos Madres Press)

Pauletta Hansel and Richard Hague at the Mercantile Library

Pauletta Hansel: “Coal Town Photograph” – Cincinnati’s first poet laureate has a new book of poems sifting through memories of her Appalachian home. (Dos Madres Press)

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