All Lit Up Press Picks for the Holidays: Book*hug Press

Today’s Press Picks come from staffers of radically optimistic, award-winning indie publisher Book*hug Press. Their four fantastic book picks for gift-giving this holiday season include something for everyone: a nostalgic coming-of-age, a winter-perfect novel to curl up with on the couch, and two giftable poetry collections.


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Big Shadow by Marta Balcewicz

Selected by Hannah van den Bosch:

“Marta Balcewicz so perfectly captures the fog of post-high school uncertainty and change; teen cults, watchful mothers and alluring professors come together in this beautifully strange narrative, which I easily rated 5/5 stars. Big Shadow is the perfect novel for anyone who wants to feel like a lounge lizard and be literary at the same time. It’s filled with heartwarming nostalgia and even warmer weather. Best read when you’re feeling chilly and need a little bit of heat! I can’t recommend this coming-of-age masterpiece enough.”

Find Big Shadow here on All Lit Up or use the Shop Local button to purchase from your local indie bookstore.

The Loneliness in Lydia Erneman’s Life by Rune Christiansen

translated by Kari Dickson

Selected by Reid Millar:

“Are you tired of living in the city? Has the day to day got you down? Looking for something more grounded? Wanting a change of pace? Well have I got the book for you. The Lonliness in Lydia Erneman’s Life by Rune Christiansen is a portrait of one woman’s rich inner world set against the backdrop of the Norwegian countryside. Think of the snow outside your window. Now imagine fields of it as far as the eye can see. Curl up on your Ikea couch wearing your favourite sweater with a nice pot of coffee and travel to a world that is familiar, but miles away from your home. Escape into the profundity of mundane quiet moments as Lydia navigates human relationships and her job as a rural veterinarian. Sharp prose that remind us to be grateful for the moments we share with others and to seep in the moments when we are alone. Make this your next winter read now!”

Find The Loneliness in Lydia Erneman’s Life here on All Lit Up or use the Shop Local button to purchase from your local indie bookstore.

Queers Like Me by Michael V. Smith

Selected by Britt Landry:

“Queers Like Me is a wonderfully funny and honest poetry book by Michael V. Smith which somehow makes you feel as though you are on a one-on-one video call with the author as they recount moments of their life to you; it’s as if you are catching up with a good friend’s life after not seeing them in far too long. This, alongside the poet’s ability to write in a seamlessly intelligent and engrossing way, makes the work feel personal, relatable, and important. Beyond the stunning innards of this book, the outside is an eye-catcher – with its neon greens, bright whites, and hot pinks. You couldn’t possibly ignore it when passing it on the subway without adding it to your TBR out of intrigue. The book is a conversation starter in every way, and there’s no doubt about how it might help you gauge who the allies are at the holiday dinner table when you pull it out of your bag for a cozy post-dessert read.“

Find Queers Like Me here on All Lit Up or use the Shop Local button to purchase from your local indie bookstore.

Lent by Kate Cayley

Selected by Charlene Chow:

Lent by Kate Cayley asks questions about love and beauty within domestic and artistic life in gorgeous language through carefully placed words. It touched me deeply.”

Find Lent here on All Lit Up or use the Shop Local button to purchase from your local indie bookstore.

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For more Press Picks for the Holidays, click here.