SEA­SON’S READINGS

Not sure what to pick up for that hard-to-buy per­son on your Christ­mas list? Books never dis­ap­point, and we’ve got some tome tips for those in need of …

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FAITH/ SELF- HELP

Sci­ence fic­tion leg­end Ur­sula K. Le Guin, 88, tack­les ev­ery­thing from ag­ing to the un­known in the es­say col­lec­tion No Time to Spare: Think­ing About What Mat­ters, while re­li­gious scholar Reza As­lan ex­plores the Almighty in God: A Hu­man His­tory. Speak­ing of God, Pope Fran­cis pon­ders love and un­der­stand­ing in Hap­pi­ness in This Life: A Pas­sion­ate Med­i­ta­tion on Earthly Ex­is­tence, while philoso­pher Fabrice Mi­dal takes a more di­rect ap­proach with The French Art of Not Giv­ing a Sh*t: Cut the Crap and Live Your Life.

A THRILL

Lee Child re­turns with a new Jack Reacher novel, The Mid­night Line; De­tec­tive Harry Bosch tack­les a pair of mur­der mys­ter­ies in Michael Con­nelly’s Two Kinds of Truth; U.S. Pres­i­dent Jack Ryan con­tends with Chi­nese diplo­macy and spies in Tom Clancy Power and Em­pire, by Marc Cameron; and A.J. Finn’s nail-bit­ing The Woman in the Win­dow re­calls Hitch­cock’s clas­sic Rear Win­dow and is be­ing adapted for the big screen be­fore it even hits book­shelves.

A BLAST FROM THE PAST

Wal­ter Isaac­son, the jour­nal­ist whose golden bi­o­graph­i­cal touch helped hu­man­ize seis­mic minds such as Al­bert Ein­stein and Steve Jobs in best­selling books, goes back to the fu­ture with the orig­i­nal Re­nais­sance man in Leonardo Da Vinci. Mean­while, lovers of his­tory-in­fused tales can sink their teeth into Ram­ses the Damned: The Pas­sion of Cleopa­tra, by best­selling scribes Anne Rice and Christo­pher Rice, fea­tur­ing un­dead an­cient Egyp­tians in early 20th cen­tury Eng­land; and Past Per­fect, Danielle Steele’s novel of two fam­i­lies – one mod­ern and one from a cen­tury ear­lier – who tran­scend time and the af­ter­life to share a home.

A FU­TUR­IS­TIC FROLIC

From Andy Weir, au­thor of The Mar­tian – later adapted into an Os­carnom­i­nated film star­ring Matt Da­mon – comes Artemis, about a petty crim­i­nal prep­ping for the ul­ti­mate heist while liv­ing in the first city on the moon.

CELEBRITY AD­VICE

For­get In­sta-celebs and pop stars du jour and try a cou­ple who’ve lasted 50 years in Hol­ly­wood – Suzanne Somers, 71, and Cana­dian hubby Alan Hamel, 81 – in Two’s Com­pany: A Fifty-Year Ro­mance with Lessons Learned in Love, Life & Business.

A GOOD LAUGH

Laugh­ter is the best medicine and a great gift, so com­edy lovers will get a kick out of the sto­ries be­hind famed in­sti­tu­tions from Sec­ond City to Satur­day Night Live, and the le­gendary tal­ents who launched their ca­reers there, in Im­prov Na­tion: How We Made a Great Amer­i­can Art by Sam Was­son.

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