Great Non Fiction Books For Gift Giving

David Lebowitz


L’APPART by David Lebovitz is sure to wow the foodie on your list. It’s witty and entertaining, as well as having recipes from David’s own pantry.

Craig Pittman

Oh, Florida

OH, FLORIDA! is just perfect for that person who is skeptical about Florida escapades. They’re true!

Walter Isaacson

Leonardo Da Vinci



LEONARDO DA VINCI is on fire!! Everyone wants to read this winner.

Prince Charles





PRINCE CHARLES is a full-bodied biography that can be taken seriously. Do put this on your list for the Royal lovers. Will he ever get to the top?

The Last Castle

The photo on the front of THE LAST CASTLE is of the Biltmore in Asheville, N.C.. Great gift for those who love Asheville, have or have not visited the Biltmore, and everyone in between. I’ll be visiting Biltmore as it’s all decked out in its holiday dress on Christmas Eve. Will have review of the book after the holidays.

Bobby Flay


This book is filled with not just healthy and great recipes, but, good advise from Bobby Flay who has discovered the secret to keeping fit after fifty.

David Grann

Killer of the Flower Moon

This one reads like a thriller; a novel. But, it’s the true story of the Osage murders and the beginning of the FBI. Winning lots of awards.



Last but certainly not least I give you Roxanne Gay’s very personal memoir. HUNGER is a tell-all. A must-read for anyone who struggles with who they are.

It’s not too late to pick one of these fabulous books up from Copperfish Books. Come on down. We’re open until six Monday through Saturday until Christmas. And we are even open on Sunday from 11-4 until Christmas! Come on down and see us. We have lots of recommends.


The Best Fiction Books Of This Season For Gift Giving

Jennifer Egan

Manhattan Beach

Right at the top of my list is MANHATTAN BEACH by Jennifer Egan. Whether you are looking for a gift for a guy or a girl, this literary tour de force is perfect!

Jesmyn Ward

Sing, Unburied, Sing

This amazing new novel by Jesmyn Ward has just won the  National Book Award  for fiction 2017! Doesn’t get better than that.

Mark Helprin

Paris In The Present Tense


PARIS IN THE PRESENT TENSE is sure to wow all of your reader friends. It’s bound to be a good fit for a man or a woman.

Ken Follett

Column of Fire

A COLUMN OF FIRE is a great choice for history readers. Although it’s a novel, it’s stuffed with so much truthful information.  Everyone on your list will be thrilled to find this in their pile.

Lisa See

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

THE TEA GIRL OF HUMMINGBIRD LANE is one of my favorite books of the season. It’s a gift you will be thanked for over and over again.

Veronica Henry

How To Find Love in a Bookshop

You can’t go wrong with this novel. We all love an Independent Bookshop. This one is very special and it’s in England. And it’s Christmas time.


Anita Hughes


CHRISTMAS IN PARIS is a romance. It’s just for  us girls.  It’s the light novel that we need right now. Sweet and beautiful. This is the one book I bought for myself last year to read over the holiday weekend. I loved it.

Anita Hughes

Christmas In London

I just purchased a copy of CHRISTMAS IN LONDON for myself. Since I fell in love with CHRISTMAS IN PARIS, I figured this is a must-read for me. So, I will read this one during Christmas week.

I have many more books to show you for gift-giving. More posts to come soon. Non fiction. Cooking. Kids…

All of these amazing books are available for purchase at Copperfish Books. In the store the hardcover’s are 20% off. You can also purchase through the store’s website with free shipping.






The Ice House by Laura Lee Smith

Laura Lee Smith

The Ice House

Love the cover! Screams Florida.  Laura Lee Smith wowed us with her first novel HEART OF PALM. I fell head over heels for that one. Have been eagerly awaiting this new novel. It was worth the wait.

author of HEART OF PALM

Laura Lee Smith

THE ICE HOUSE is also set in Florida in and around the Jacksonville area. We also get to cross the pond to Scotland and that’s a big deal.

Johnny MacKinnon and his wife Pauline own an old ice-making factory in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s perched right on the edge of the seedier side of town. Across the street is a house with disreputable characters who may or may not be involved in the drug trade…

Lately, Johnny’s been struggling with his business. OSHA has slammed a claim of negligence against him because they discovered an ammonia leak that he knew nothing about.  And, the place needs a lot of work. He’s dealing with  toxic inner feelings concerning his 30-year-old son Corran who is a heroin addict. The family has spent wads of money providing rehab for Corran, over and over again, to no avail. Plus, while he was visiting them over the holidays a costly piece of jewelry went missing.. Corran is currently living in a stone cottage in Scotland raising his baby daughter alone.  His mother insists he’s clean now. Pauline and Johnny spend most of their days tip-toeing around the addiction.   Now, Johnny has been diagnosed with a cyst on his brain that just could be malignant. He’s scheduled for surgery soon. And so he decides to visit his son Corran and his ex-wife Sharon, seeking closure. In Scotland.

Everyone has some sort of stress going on in their lives. Sharon  is working a full-time job while caring partly for Corran’s baby daughter. She’s also the caregiver for husband number two who is in the beginning days of dementia. Good God, how much more can she take?

Johnny decides at the last minute to take a young man along to Scotland with him, the  neighbor’s son who is a real character and just the comic relief we need here.  Chemal will be Johnny’s driver. What a trip he is.  A delight.

In Scotland, Johnny comes to grips with his feelings about Corran.  Faces them.  But Corran is a hard nut to crack and  does not make it easy.  Johnny knows it could be his last chance to be part of his only son’s life, not to mention the baby’s.  This part of the novel is quite stunning and even harrowing. Some of the scenes will take your breath away.

HEART OF PALM, Smith’s first novel is a real favorite of mine.  The big rambling house is a character itself. But the family saga is what will grab your attention and  you will easily become a Laura Lee Smith fan.


I received a review copy of THE ICE HOUSE from Grove Press Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  We all loved it!

We will be hosting a special event with Laura Lee Smith on  Wednesday, March 7 at six o’clock in the evening at Copperfish Books.

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

Please call ahead to reserve your spot.  941-205-2560. You are not going to want to miss this one. In fact, bring your friends.



Strangers In Budapest by Jessica Keener

Jessica Keener

Strangers In Budapest

One glance at this lovely cover and I was pulled right in. STRANGERS IN BUDAPEST by Jessica Keener is not for the faint of heart. I love reading about old European cities. There’s usually a great story waiting to be told. Here, there are many stories.

Will and his wife Annie sell their house in Boston and move to Budapest with their newly adopted infant, Leo. Wow, that’s a lot. They want to live like the locals. Will intends to make a start-up business in communications. Budapest is just coming out of the communist-era and everyone believes there is going to be a big boom.

But Annie isn’t settling in as she had once thought she would. The summer is insanely hot and humid and they have no air conditioning in their central apartment on the Buda side of Budapest. Budapest is divided into two parts: Buda is hilly and Pest is flat. A bridge spans the two at the Danube River. Locally known as Duna. Annie has not made any friends yet even though there is a fairly large expat community nearby.  And the business Will has  been trying to jump -start is not going so well. They have almost blown through their savings.

One day, they get a call from their old neighbors back in the states asking them for a favor. Would they please check on an old man who is staying in their apartment across the river in Budapest. They are concerned about his health since hearing of the oppressive heat in the city. And he has diabetes.

Edward Weiss is a Jewish American WW11 veteran who helped free Hungarian Jews from a Nazi prison camp.  He has come to Hungary to find the person who he believes murdered his daughter.

Annie helped out at a homeless shelter in America and can not resist trying to help Edward. But, things turn weird, then even weirder. And she begins fearing for her own and her family’s lives. Suddenly, the people she thinks she knows, appear to change. And  this story becomes deadly.

There are enough twists and turns in this story to keep you up late at night.  Keener knows the city and manages to show its seedy side as well as its beauty and history.  In fact, this complex city is filled with problems from its pollution and mostly rude and opinionated locals, to its corrupt city officials.  I have officially crossed it from my to-go-to list.


Jessica Keener

Jessica Keeneris the author of the bestselling novel NIGHT SWIM. She lived in Budapest in the 1990’s; she now lives with her husband in the Boston area, where she is a writing consultant for Grub Street.

If you’re looking for a unique tale in a unique place, this is your book. I thank Algonquin Books for the gorgeous finished hardcover in exchange for an honest review.  I enjoyed it and I think readers of suspense will be talking about this one for a long time.

Winner And Review: The City Baker’s Guide To Country Living by Louise Miller

Louise Miller

The City Baker’s Guide To Country Living

Just look at this great cover!  Makes me think of the holidays in the country.  This city girl moves to the country novel is just what you need to help you unwind over the next month and beyond as the holiday season officially kicks in right this very minute.

When 32-year-old Olivia Rawlings accidentally sets fire to the dining room of the ritzy club where she works in Boston, we know the end of  THAT career is in sight. The first sentence of this novel is: “The night I lit the Emerson Club on fire had been perfect for making meringue.”   And then the baked Alaska became a  missile….

Fleeing from the city, Olivia finds solace in a tiny town in Vermont where her best friend helps her find a new job as a pastry chef for an inn.  Of course as a graduate of Culinary Institute of America, she is way over qualified for the position but, is grateful for the work.  The owner is an eccentric woman who is prickly at best and we wonder how this relationship will survive.

Of course there is a love interest. And we find out about Olivia’s past. And how it affects her choices right down to her wild hair and sometimes coarse language.

Who will win the apple pie contest at the local fair this year? Is it going to be the same winner that it’s been forever, or, will it be Olivia? The recipe for the winning pie if at the back of the book.

Food is key in this novel. And Louise Miller knows food. She’s a pastry chef herself who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. This is her first novel and it’s a real winner. Her second novel , THE LATE BLOOMERS’ CLUB, is forthcoming from Pamela Dorman Books/Viking.  I can’t wait.

Linny Assink, you are my winner today!I will need your mailing address so the nice people at Penguin Books can send your copy of THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING to you.

Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to enter my contest.  And, thanks for Penguin for providing my giveaway copy. Perfect holiday read.

Give Away! The City Baker’s Guide To Country Living by Louise Miller

Louise Miller

The City Baker’s Guide To Country Living

Just look at this terrific cover.  This fun and witty novel is comforting and easy on the mind.

Take one amazing but overwhelmed pastry chef who makes a whopping boo boo at an exclusive Boston dinner club, and toss her kicking into the country where she goes to heal…

This cozy novel is just perfect to help get you through the  holidays.  I will post my review soon. But, for now, our good friends at Penguin Publishing, are supplying one copy for my giveaway. How cool is that!

Please leave a comment below and tell me why you want to win this book. Only U.S. mailing addresses, please. And, no P.O. boxes. I will choose one winner on Monday, November 27. Then I’ll post my review.

Good luck all!

Paris In The Present Tense by Mark Helprin

Mark Helprin

Paris In The Present Tense

I’m always interested in book covers like this. After all, it’s Paris. I had not read Helprin before. Didn’t know what to think. Picked the book up on a whim. Sure glad I did.

Written on a page before the first chapter, this paragraph does much to set the tone for the story. But keep in mind that the novel is NOT a Holocaust novel.

Jules Lacour was born in 1940, while his parents were hiding in an attic in Reims. His mother prayed that he would not cry, he seldom did, and in the four years that followed neither he nor they spoke above a whisper. That was the beginning of a long story.

Jules Lacour is 74 years old. He’s led a good life. But lost his wife who was the love of his life a few years ago.  His daughter and her husband live nearby. Jules has a two-year-old  grandson, Luc, who is suffering from a terminal illness. So, in affect, now his life has become complicated and he is looking back and wondering why he didn’t do more with his music career. You see, he’s been teaching at the Paris Sorbonne his entire career. But it’s become a bit of a disappointment as now he does not have the riches needed for treatment for his beloved grandson, and he is feeling somewhat of a failure.

Mark Helprin’s previous books include A Soldier of the Great War, Refiner’s Fire and Winter’s Tale.

Helprin writes like a dream. I so enjoyed the reading.  He knows Paris and has done it justice.  The City of Light has never been more alive. I found myself wishing to be like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz; wanting to click my heels and arrive in Paris.

After a lifetime of discipline, Jules is fabulously fit. From a distance watching him row on the Siene one might think he is a much younger man, maybe even fifty. He prides himself on this. You see, since he was a small child he knew he wanted to be able to defend himself at all costs. His fitness comes into play in a big way in this novel. And so does his sense of humanity.  And, so, when this fine novel takes a big turn, you will be shocked.

With  complex characters that literally leap off the pages with their authenticity,  this novel is staggering in its intensity and its gorgeous prose. It’s such a pleasure to read. Raises the bar for novelists everywhere.

Although I say this is not a Holocaust novel, it does involve The Holocaust.  Of course,  since Jules is a child of The Holocaust, he’s got a lot going on in his head about the past. Of course he does. But what Helprin has done is bring the current prejudice against Jews in Europe to the forefront.  Jews are once again being persecuted as we have seen recently with attacks on journalism in Paris and surrounding areas.  Jewish people are afraid to dress in the custom of their faith and the children are afraid at school. It is absolutely harrowing to see this happening in this day and age.

Jules is determined to save his grandson. So what is he going to do? You are going to love this story. You will not see this coming. It’s brilliant.

I loved this book! It’s one I will reread at some time. For now, I’m taking it to my lectures this season and showing it off.

You can purchase PARIS IN THE PRESENT TENSE by Mark Helprin at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda. From their webite with free shipping to your home, or, in store for 20% off. We’d love to see you!