Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.
It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Today's prompt from That Artsy Reader Girl is "Thanksgiving Freebie."
I thought it would be interesting to look for books that take place during Thanksgiving. I couldn't recall any that I had read before, but I knew there must be some? I used GoodReads lists, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble to help come up with this list but found that I've only read one of them, Start Without Me, #1 on my list. The others I chose because I think that I would enjoy them, and I've highlighted in red the parts of the summaries that pique my interest.
Here we go!
1. Start Without Me/Joshua Max Feldman
The author of the critically acclaimed The Book of Jonah explores questions of love and choice, disappointment and hope in the lives of two strangers who meet by chance in this mesmerizing tale that unfolds over one Thanksgiving Day.
Adam is a former musician and recovering alcoholic who is home for Thanksgiving for the first time in many years. Surrounded by his parents and siblings, nieces and nephews—all who have seen him at his worst—he can’t shake the feeling that no matter how hard he tries, he’ll always be the one who can’t get it right.
Marissa is a flight attendant whose marriage is strained by simmering tensions over race, class, and ambition. Heading to her in-laws for their picture-perfect holiday family dinner, her anxiety is intensified by the knowledge she is pregnant from an impulsive one-night-stand.
In an airport restaurant on Thanksgiving morning, Adam and Marissa meet. Over the course of this day fraught with emotion and expectation, these two strangers will form an unlikely bond as they reckon with their family ties, their pasts, and the choices that will determine their way forward.
Joshua Max Feldman focuses his knowing eye on one of the last bastions of classical American idealism, the Thanksgiving family gathering, as he explores our struggles to know—and to be—our best selves. Hilarious and heartrending, Start Without Me is a thoughtful and entertaining page-turner that will leave its indelible mark on your heart.
2. An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving/Louisa May Alcott
The author of "Little Women" gives us a heartwarming, homey tale of the Basset family, who were "poor in money, but rich in love." It's Thanksgiving Day, and the kitchen is full of the bustle of food preparations. Unexpectedly, a neighbor comes by to tell Mrs. Basset that her mother is ill, so Mr. Basset drives her away in the sleigh. Though the parents don't expect the children to prepare the Thanksgiving feast on their own, Tilly, the oldest, determines to give it a try. Things don't go smoothly in the kitchen, and many dishes are smelling a little odd as they cook, when two sleighs arrive, chock full of relatives! Grandma, it turns out, is fine, and she and aunts and uncles have come to feast at the Bassets. Though Tilly is embarrassed at the parts of the meal that didn't turn out too well, most is edible and much appreciated, and the home is filled with nourishing love and gratitude. Kay Childs, Amazon reviewer
3. The Catsgiving Feast/Kathi Daley
This story takes place on Madrona Island, an island near Washington state, a week before Thanksgiving. Caitlin Hart, who owns the bookstore/coffee shop Coffee Cat Books with her best friend, Tara O’Brian, is preparing for her wedding ceremony, which is supposed to take place in four days. While stressing about a black eye, obnoxious family members, and the need to find a new wedding venue since St. Patrick’s church is closed due to repairs needed after a small electrical fire, Cait learns that Sally Enderling, the owner of the bakery making the wedding cake, was found dead, face down in the walk-in refrigerator. She had been hit on the back of her head with a rolling pin (or similar object). Cody’s mother is the prime suspect in her murder, due to the fact that she had been seen and heard yelling at Sally right before closing the day before. Cait works with her friends and family, and the magical cat, Cosmo, to uncover the murderer. Kay Monk, Amazon reviewer
4. A Match Made in Dog Town/Sandy Rideout
Bridget Linsmore is a scruffy rebel with a soft spot for four-legged friends. Known as the matchmaker to the mutts, she rehabilitates rescues to help them find their forever home. But to secure her own perfect house, she must make her next rescue dog pageant a success despite a new mayor whose vision for the city doesn’t include the quaint tradition.
As her best friend attempts a modern makeover on Bridget and the pageant itself, a series of neighbor complaints throws a wrench in the rescuer’s plans. She suspects the wealthy developer next door but the attraction growing on both sides of the fence is hard to deny. When the complaints turn to deadly sabotage, Bridget has one chance to save her pageant, her home, and her precious pooches before tragedy strikes.
A Match Made in Dog Town is part of the “Dog Town” series of romantic comedies. If you like laugh-out-loud tales, delightful characters, and small-town capers, then you'll love Sandy Rideout's light-hearted novels.
5. Strangers at the Feast/Jennifer Vanderbes
On Thanksgiving Day 2007, as the country teeters on the brink of a recession, three generations of the Olson family gather. Eleanor and Gavin worry about their daughter, a single academic, and her newly adopted Indian child, and about their son, who has been caught in the imploding real-estate bubble. While the Olsons navigate the tensions and secrets that mark their relationships, seventeen-year-old Kijo Jackson and his best friend Spider set out from the nearby housing projects on a mysterious job. A series of tragic events bring these two worlds ever closer, exposing the dangerously thin line between suburban privilege and urban poverty, and culminating in a crime that will change everyone’s life.
6. Junie B. Jones #28 Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff)/Barbara Park
In the 28th Junie B. Jones book, Room One is getting ready for their very own Thanksgiving feast! There's even a contest to see which room can write the best thankful list. The winners will get a pumpkin pie! Only it turns out being thankful is harder than it looks. Because Junie B. is not actually thankful for Tattletale May. Or squash. Or scratchy pilgrim costumes. And pumpkin pie makes her vomit, anyway. Will Room One win the disgusting pie? Can May and Junie B. find common ground? Or will this Thanksgiving feast turn into a Turkey Day Disaster?
7. Thanksgiving at Canine Corral/Irene Onorato
Tanzy Meadows works hard to keep the Canine Corral, her no-kill shelter for dogs, financially afloat. She provides the animals’ needs, often neglecting her own, and strives to find forever homes for them. But her problems mount when the city council threatens to put her out of business, and a close friend develops a life-threatening condition. Tanzy is smitten by Jake Strickland, a handsome but mysterious new arrival in town. Graphic designer and computer guru by trade, Jake revamps her shelter’s web page, helps bring in much-needed funds, and provides innovative ways to find her dogs loving homes. But will Jake be the one person she can share her hopes, dreams, and future with? Or is he hiding something? Underneath his charming demeanor lurks a mystery Tanzy can’t understand. Will this side of him turn out to be a blessing, or will his reticence tear them apart?
8. The Cat Who Talked Turkey/Lilian Jackson Braun
When a body is found on Jim Qwilleran’s property, he and his cats Koko and Yum Yum will have to determine who committed the fowl deed in this mystery in the bestselling Cat Who series...
The good people of Moose County are in a fever of excitement. It’s almost time for the gala groundbreaking for the Pickax bookstore—and the town of Brrr is preparing for its bicentennial celebration. All the festivities, however, are spoiled by the discovery of a man’s body on James Qwilleran’s property. Could it be the work of the killer who used the same MO in northern Michigan? To solve the case, Qwill and his feline pals, Koko and Yum Yum, will have to prick up their ears to find the thankless killer...
***I've read many other books in the "Cat Who" series, but I don't recall this one. I love these old fashioned, traditional, atmospheric mysteries.***
9. Turkey Day Murder/Leslie Meier
Tinker's Cove has a long history of Thanksgiving festivities, from visits with TomTom Turkey to the annual Warriors high school football game and Lucy Stone's impressive pumpkin pie. But this year, someone has added murder to the menu, and Lucy intends to discover who left Metinnicut Indian activist Curt Nolan deader than the proverbial Thanksgiving turkey--with an ancient war club next to his head.
The list of suspects isn't exactly a brief one. Nolan had a habit of disagreeing with just about everybody he met. Between fixing dinner for twelve and keeping her four kids from tearing each other limb from limb, Lucy has a pretty full plate already. So what's a little investigation? But if she's not careful, she just may find herself served up as a last-minute course, stone-cold dead with all the trimmings. . .
10. The Thanksgiving Visitor/Truman Capote
Illustrated in full color. Another masterpiece by the great American writer Truman Capote is brought to an audience of all ages. Buddy and his closest friend, his eccentric, elderly cousin, Miss Sook - the memorable characters from Capote's A Christmas Memory--love preparing their old country house for Thanksgiving. But there's trouble in the air. Odd Henderson, a scrawny, freckled, red-headed bully makes Buddy the target of his relentless torment. But Miss Sook only counsels patience and understanding, "He can't help acting ugly; he doesn't know any different," she says. Filled with emotions that are universal to both young readers and adults, this poignant story brings to life what we all should cherish and be thankful for--the gifts of friendship and love. Enchanting illustrations by Beth Peck make The Thanksgiving Visitor a perfect companion for the holiday bookshelf.