December Staff Book Recommendations


The Plano West Blueprints Newspaper Staff’s book picks for the month of December.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (Hadia’s Book Pic) 

“…yet love can move people to act in unexpected ways and move them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with startling heroism.”

“A Thousand Splendid Suns” follows the unlikely bond between two women, Mariam and Laila, during the time of the Taliban’s rule over Afghanistan. Battling political and military conflict, the pair learn how to survive in a wounded country and discover the power of an indestructible friendship.

“I loved Hosseini’s writing style—it draws you into the characters so that you feel like you’re in their shoes. You feel their emotions, anger, happiness, and sadness, all at once, and it keeps you turning pages!” – Hadia.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi (Alyssas Book Pic) 

“But Kazu still goes on believing that, no matter what difficulties people face, they will always have the strength to overcome them. It just takes heart. And if the chair can change someone’s heart, it clearly has its purpose.”   

“Before the Coffee Gets Cold” by Toshikazu Kawaguchi is a collection of short stories focused on a café in Tokyo that allows its customers to travel back in time, as long as they return before their coffee gets cold.

“This book is one of my all-time favorites, and I find myself recommending it to people all the time. Not only is this a book about time travel, but it really delves into the mind of humans and how they handle the loss (both physically and mentally) of a loved one. It’s divided into short stories, making it an effortless but impactful read.” – Alyssa.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer (Katie’s Book Pic) 

“Time is a slippery thing: lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever.”

“Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.”

“All the Light We Cannot See” is a historical fiction installment surrounding two families during the tragic events of World War II. When Marie-Laure, a blind teenage girl, meets German teenager Werner Pfennig, two worlds collide, and recovery after the devastation of war begins. 

“I loved this book because it portrays war in a brutal yet beautiful way. It makes you feel so hopeless in the grand scheme of history, but it also shows how tragedy touches every single soul. It’s heartbreaking but heartwarming at the same time.” – Katie.

November 9 by Colleen Hoover (Blaire’s Book Pic) 

“If you don’t show up today, I’ll be there next year. And the next. Every November 9, I’ll wait for you, hoping one day you’ll be able to find enough forgiveness to love me again. But if that doesn’t happen and you never show, I’ll still be grateful to you until the day that I die. You saved me the day we met.”

“November 9” by Colleen Hoover follows an aspiring writer and his unlikely muse who meet under untimely circumstances in Los Angeles. The pair, living through individual tribulations, decide to reunite each year, on November 9, and grow an unexpected connection.

“I liked this book because it incorporates both the elements of cliche love and the challenges relationships face internally and externally. This book was written for the hopeless romantic, and the twists make it nearly impossible to put down.” – Blaire.

The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams (Izzy’s Book Pic)

“Words are like stories … They change as they are passed from mouth to mouth; their meanings stretch or truncate to fit what needs to be said.”

“The Dictionary of Lost Words” by Pip Williams is a historical fiction piece centering around the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary during the women’s suffrage era. Esme, our young protagonist, discovers discarded and misplaced words hidden inside her father’s dictionary factory and explores how their definitions can explain the world around her.

“I loved this book because it perfectly represents women empowerment and rewrites a narrative where everyone can be something- no matter your gender. The story of the creation of the dictionary is so unique and different from anything I’ve read before.” – Izzy

Bear Town by Fredrik Backman (Ansley’s Book Pic)

“She was fifteen and had access to the Internet; she already knew that the world is a cruel place if you’re a girl. Her parents couldn’t imagine that this could happen, but Maya simply hadn’t expected it to happen to her.” 

Translated from Swedish, “Bear Town” tells the story of a small town slowly succumbing to the barren wilderness surrounding them. With nothing holding the community together but hockey, the junior team’s approaching semi-final match sparks a violent event ripping what’s left of the solidarity apart.

“This book is much more than a sports fiction piece. It uncovers the systematic stereotypes placed on different individuals in society and shares such an important message on going against the grain no matter the voices pushing back. I recommend it to everyone.” – Ansley.