6 Books You Can Discuss At Thanksgiving, By Wine Glass

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Alice Burton

Staff Writer

Chicagoan and aspiring cryptozoologist Alice Burton has a B.A. in Comparative Literature and is an Archives Assistant with the Frances Willard Historical Society. When not booking or historying, she is singing soprano wherever people will have her. She will watch any documentary on Neanderthals or giant extinct animals, and has a Stockholm Syndrome-like love for Chicago and its winters. Blog: Reading Rambo Twitter: @itsalicetime


It’s Thanksgiving. Everyone’s sitting around the table. A hush descends. Rather than be held in the death-grip of panic, you have got this awkward silence covered. Because you have this handy list of books to talk about, rated by level of wine consumption.

Glass 1
life changing magic of tidying up
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Almost everyone has an opinion on this book. This will start a lively discussion about what things people have gotten rid of, which will end in an argument that strains the bounds of civility when your uncle expresses disapproval of Kondo’s belief in animism.

Glass 2

Anything by Malcolm Gladwell. Those books were written with this scenario in mind.

Glass 3
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. Even your Aunt Sarah has heard of the musical Hamilton by now. Start talking about the prize-winning bio it’s based on and you have got a good ten minutes of conversation as your mom argues over whether it’s “music” and your cousin says he doesn’t do books about dead people unless they’re zombies, which instead of going badly leads to an awesome Zombie Hamilton discussion.

notorious rbgGlass 4

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik. You decide to chance it because despite her liberal fame, Ginsburg is old and cool, which is a type of person people normally like, and maybe the book can be discussed without your uncle referencing Donald Trump. This plan does not succeed.

Glass 5
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. You have lost your ability to make rational decisions.

Glass 6
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest. This is not a book. It’s a movie you saw when you were eight. You are trying very hard to remember the author’s name.

Good luck to you all.