Debbie Blue's Christmas picks

I’ve been engrossed in The Story of the Lost Child, the fourth in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels (Europa Editions). The series follows the friendship of Elena (the narrator) and Lila (her fiery and fearless friend) from girlhood to old age.

Family, by Thompson

The story of Family begins with the unlikely reunion of a married couple who once made remarkable music together but then didn’t speak to each other for years.

Love Ran Red, by Chris Tomlin

Tomlin’s latest collection of worship songs brandishes a full-band sound, yet many should adapt well to more intimate settings.

Solemn Meant Walks, by Solemn Meant Walks

Layered, dense, and driving, this Chicago-based outfit recalls British new wave bands Lush, the Cocteau Twins, and Joy Division. Though her vocals sit low in the mix, singer and songwriter Ami Gloria shows ample confidence. Light also pierces the dark textures, as on “Highway”: “Open your big bark eyes / Upon that big dark highway / I’ll be walking along.”