10 great books for giving this season

10 great books for giving this season

Because it’s that time of year: 10 books that just might make the perfect gifts for the people you’re shopping for this season.

Series: Books for Gifting
Holidays on Ice

Holidays on Ice

Author:
For your snarky brother or brother-in-law (or is that just my family?): a collection of all David Sedaris's holiday-themed essays (for the whole year, not just Christmas), in one collection. Seasonal favorites include "Santaland Diaries," in which he shares his experiences as a Macy's Santa, and "The Cow and the Turkey," in which the farm animals all choose Secret Santa names amongst themselves. Sedaris is not (repeat: IS NOT) for everyone, but if he's your cup of tea, you'll laugh until you cry. More info →
Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White

Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White

Author:
Newly published October 4, just in time for Christmas. In this fully illustrated biography, two-time Caldecott Honor winner Melissa Sweet combines personal letters, photos, and family keepsakes with original artwork to tell the story of White's life, from his 1899 birth to his death in 1985. The publisher recommends it for grades 2 to 5, but I'm betting readers and writers of all ages will enjoy this beautiful tribute. More info →
The Emotionary: A Dictionary of Words That Don’t Exist for Feelings That Do

The Emotionary: A Dictionary of Words That Don’t Exist for Feelings That Do

Author:
For your word nerd mom or sister, or any deep feeler in your life: a new book recommendation from bookstore owner Holland Saltsman. (You may have heard about this on What Should I Read Next.) This is a fun, fully illustrated, and highly entertaining dictionary of words that don't exist for feelings that do. Like "feignderstand," which means "to pretend one finally understood another person after asking them to repeat themselves 3+ times." A worthy coffee table book. More info →
Other-Wordly: words both strange and lovely from around the world

Other-Wordly: words both strange and lovely from around the world

Author:
Another one for the word-lover in your life: a collection of fascinating words from around the world that perfectly capture a meaning not so perfectly captured by an English word, like the Japanese "sunduko": "buying books and not reading them." (GUILTY.) A fun browsing book for the coffee table. More info →
Press Here

Press Here

Author:
For 2 - 5 year olds: a truly delightful interactive children's book they'll want to read again, and again, and again. (Really.) Bonus: you'd be hard-pressed to find a more cheerful-looking title for a child's bookshelf. For those who already own this 2011 instant classic, try Let's Play!, Tullet's 2016 release. More info →
Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South

Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South

Author:
For the aspiring chef, or PBS junkie: a seriously impressive, 550-page cookbook from the star of the award-winning PBS series A Chef's Life. This hefty coffee-table size cookbook holds over 200 recipes, plus the stories behind the land, ingredients, and recipes. This is a work of art. More info →
In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs

In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs

Author:
For creative types: this lavishly illustrated compendium from Design Sponge founder Grace Bonney will have them drooling (and I totally mean that in a good way). The book profiles 100 women of diverse ages, races, and industries, photographing them in their workspaces, and sharing stories from their lives and businesses. The best kind of inspiration, in a display-worthy volume. More info →
Upstream: Selected Essays

Upstream: Selected Essays

Author:
For anyone who think might be at all inclined to enjoy essays and poetry, Mary Oliver is always a safe bet. Her latest collection, just out in October, is a book of essays devoted to the natural world, the world of literature, and the need to keep moving. A welcome addition to any book-lovers' collection. More info →
Fields of Battle: Pearl Harbor, the Rose Bowl, and the Boys Who Went to War

Fields of Battle: Pearl Harbor, the Rose Bowl, and the Boys Who Went to War

Author:
For your hard-to-shop-for Dad or father-in-law who only wants to read about history and football: a nonfiction book about a largely forgotten slice of football—and American—history. Serious football fans know the 1942 Rose Bowl was played in North Carolina, out of fear for a reprise of Japanese attacks on the West Coast following Pearl Harbor. In this nonfiction account, Curtis digs into the lives of the boys who played in the game, and then went on to fight in WWII. In the vein of Unbroken. This new release hasn't gotten a huge publicity blitz this fall, which means the chances are excellent you can give a title your loved one hasn't read yet. More info →
Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas (Being a Jane Austen Mystery)

Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas (Being a Jane Austen Mystery)

For the Jane Austen fan (but NOT Austen purist!): Nancy Drew meets Jane Austen in this murder mystery set on Christmas Eve, 1814. When a holiday guest dies in a tragic accident, Jane is suspicious, and is soon chasing down cleverly-hidden clues to discover the murderer's identity before they can strike again. Give this book with the expectation it will be read by the fire. More info →

books for gifting

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18 comments

  1. Susan says:

    I want to gift a foodie book to my book club as we decided we wanted to try that for a meeting next year. Does anyone have any suggestions for a book that is both a good read and reasonably approachable recipes?

    • Mandy says:

      Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist is a WONDERFUL memoir. It encourages us to host and outlines why gathering around the table is so important. It has a recipe for each chapter that are totally doable. Another great memoir was Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton. I can’t remember if there were recipes in it, but it was a FANTASTIC read about a chef’s journey (despite the questionable title).

        • Michelle says:

          Anything Ruth Reichl. Also, Molly Wizenberg (sp? aka Orangette) has a lovely memoir. Neither are brand new, but sometimes that is nice since it means library and paperback availability.

      • Donna says:

        I loved Blood, Bones, & Butter as well.

        I would also highly recommend Food and the City by Ina Yalof! It’s a behind-the-scenes look at New York City’s vibrant food scene told from the perspective of professional chefs, line cooks, restaurateurs,wait staff, and food vendors who call the city home. It’s packed with fascinating tidbits and I loved hearing people’s stories about how they came to New York, how they got into the food industry, the trials they faced and how they overcame them. A true learning experience and I now have a long list of places to check out on my next trip to New York!

  2. Allison Dredge says:

    I read your blog 1st thing as soon as you post something new and often go back to read previous posts. As a book-lover since I could read and a librarian for many years, I can’t thank you enough for all your great book suggestions! And your blog is absolutely beautiful – one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen. Thank you for brightening up my day!!

  3. Tori says:

    I’m considering two of the books on the list for my 11 year old daughter, Other-Wordy and The Emotionary. Are you aware of any words in these books that would be inappropriate for her age? I’d appreciate any help. Thank you!

  4. Ashley says:

    Thank you, thank you for recommending Fields of Battle! I never would’ve found that on my own, but it is the perfect gift for my 90-year-old grandpa, who is a reader, a veteran and loves football. Seriously, spot on!

  5. Kerry Seiwert says:

    I looked at your card catalog, and notice that you have nothing under “Food Memoirs”. What?!! Read Tender at the Bone, or anything else by Ruth Reichl. Kitchen Confidential is “funny”, according to my husband. While Julia Child’s My Life in France isn’t technically a “food memoir”, it is a memoir of one of the most famous “foodies” of all time. A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg was really good. The Sharper the Knife, the Harder You Cry by Kathleen Flynn was really good.

    I think you are woefully short in this rich category, and you must be hungry!!

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