My sister got me a book for Christmas. I love getting books as gifts because one of the hardest things about reading a lot is trying to find enough good books to read. So much of what is out there, even the popular stuff, is so terrible, that it feels like a big risk to pick up some random book from an author you’ve never read. The genre doesn’t matter—I’ll read anything, fiction or nonfiction, classic or contemporary, history or fantasy, biography or science fiction, even a romance or two if they find their way onto my shelf—but I’m a harsh critic, as an author and editor myself, so I tend to stick with authors I know and trust. When someone else buys for me, at least I am likely to get something I wouldn’t have tried on my own. And my sister is a voracious reader, so I know I will be getting something worthwhile, especially when she tells me it was her favorite book of the year. I picked it up with great anticipation, settling into my bed at night, and couldn’t make it through the first chapter.