Gifts for book lovers.

As a book lover myself, I think book lovers are relatively easy to buy for. (Unless I’m trying to buy them a book: that fills me with fear and trembling! So much pressure.)

My big problem when I’m trying to buy a gift for a book nerd like myself is to choose just one thing from a dizzying array of options. This list isn’t going to help you—or me—with decision overwhelm.

But golly, it’s just so fun to look.

10 perfect gifts for the book lover in your life:

Puffin in Bloom stacked

The Puffin in Bloom collection (from $12)

This newly issued collection, designed and illustrated by Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co., comprises four titles: Anne of Green Gables, Heidi, Little Women, and A Little Princess. Collect one or collect them all. (According to the shelves of my local Anthropologie, these editions mingle well with other classics.)

Penguin drop caps collection

The Penguin Drop Caps collection (from $12)

These vibrant new(ish) editions of old classics make a bold impact on the shelf, whether you shelve them individually or collect the whole set. (Note the ROYGBIV arrangement.)

Oakley Anne of Green Gables

Sourcebooks Anne of Green Gables collection (from $8)

I know I’m not the only one who would love to find this new Anne of Green Gables collection, illustrated by Canadian artist Jacqui Oakley, under my tree this year.

I’m also smitten with the Sourcebooks new editions of less well known L. M. Montgomery works—many of which have been out of print for years—such as Jane of Lantern Hill, The Blue Castle, Magic for Marigold, and A Tangled Web.

book clutch

A book clutch.

Kate Spade had some great ones last year (like this Gatsby clutch), which are now out of stock (sniff) but available (for less) on places like ebay. Or you can DIY your own.

I like big books tote

I like big books and I cannot lie tote bag from Etsy shop Ex Libris Journals ($15)

A library bag to beat all library bags for the book nerd in your life.

Library letters

Library letters from Anthropologie ($20)

Think of this as a coat of arms for book lovers. (Keep your eyes out for these at your local craft fairs, for a little less than Anthro prices.)

An Ideal Bookshelf print

An Ideal Bookshelf print ($34)

Choose from their pre-made prints (Southern Lit, Jane Austen, Barefoot Contessa, Shakespeare, and many, many more) preselected (barefoot contessa, southern lit, Paris) OR choose a gift card for your recipient to create their own custom print. ($155).

(The book would also make a great gift. It’s such fun browsing for book lovers.)

Superhero reader girl print

Superhero reader girl print from Etsy Shop Irena Sophia ($20)

For those who say reading is their superpower. A perfect addition to their library corner.

book nerd necklace

book nerd charm necklace on Etsy ($14.95)

Say it loud, say it proud.

little free library

Little Free Library (from $175)

I am seriously considering begging for one of these for Christmas. (Read more about the Little Free Library movement here.)

What would you add to the list?

Need to know: BabyLit sale on Zulily today.


Babylit about

I know many of you are familiar with BabyLit: I’ve featured their charming and whimsical board books here on the blog and in the Paper Gains kid lit guide. And I know you’d want to know that there’s a big limited-time BabyLit sale at Zulily right now.

Their books and products are made for children, of course, but it’s the bookish parents who really swoon over these baby-friendly takes on the classics.

Here’s a peek at what’s on sale:

BabyLit Darcy collage

‘Darcy’ Heart Tote ($11.99, down from $20)
Mr. Darcy Doll ($8.99, down from $15)
Mr. Darcy Tote. I love the dog! ($11.99, down from $20)

BabyLit Jane Austen collage

• Jane Austen Board Books (set of two: $12.49, down from $20)
Pride & Prejudice Tote ($11.99, down from $20)

BabyLit Pride and Prejudice play set
• Pride & Prejudice Board Book Play Set ($12.49, down from $20)

BabyLit board books collage

Jane Eyre & Wuthering Heights Board Books ($12.49, down from $20)
Romeo & Juliet and Anna Karenina Board Book Set ($12.49, down from $20)

The sale last for two more days, but don’t wait—the good sales sell out quickly. I’m stocking up on Christmas and baby gifts today while the good stuff is still in stock.

Happy shopping!

A very bookish Christmas countdown.

A very bookish Christmas countdown | Modern Mrs Darcy

In years past I’ve tried various Christmas countdowns—Advent calendars and Jesse trees and the like—that just haven’t clicked for our family.  The daily activity seemed like one more thing to get done instead of a meaningful way to prepare for Christmas.

But a few years ago we created an instant tradition: a literary Advent calendar.

We do books around here. Our whole family loves to do read. Stories are already built into our family’s rhythm. So each year, we wrap a gigantic pile of Christmas and winter-themed books (most of which we already own) and stack them by the fireplace. Beginning December 1, we’ll unwrap one every night, until Christmas Day.

It’s our family’s bookish way of counting down to Christmas.

A very bookish Christmas countdown | Modern Mrs Darcy

In years past we rotated which child got to choose a book from the pile each night. This year I’ve labeled them 1 through 25, and we’ll take turns opening the books instead. I’m front-loading the month with Silas’s favorite board books and the long chapter books the older kids (9 and 11) will want to be reading all December.

(Hint: if you’re still building your collection, wrap some library books.)

Here are some of the books I wrapped this year.

Family favorites: 

• Richard Scarry’s the Night Before the Night Before Christmas! by Richard Scarry
• The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
• Christmas Around the World: A Pop-Up Book
• Frog and Toad All Year by Arnold Lobel (for the story “Christmas Eve”)
• Joy to the World: Tomie de Paola’s Christmas Stories

A very bookish Christmas countdown | Modern Mrs Darcy

Picture books:

• The Twelve Days of Christmas by Jan Brett
• Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
• How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss
• The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie dePaola (more Epiphany than Christmas, but oh well)

Chapter books for the older kids:

A very bookish Christmas countdown | Modern Mrs Darcy

Board books for the youngest kids: 

• The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
• My First Christmas Board Book
• Who Is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate
• Biscuit’s Pet & Play Christmas by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

A very bookish Christmas countdown | Modern Mrs Darcy

We’re always on the lookout for new titles: I’d love to hear your favorite Christmas book recommendations.

What are your favorite Christmas books? (Or: how do YOU count down to Christmas?)

Gorgeous books for giving (and receiving)

Gorgeous books for giving (and receiving) | Modern Mrs Darcy

Welcome to twitterature, where we share short and sweet reviews of what we’ve been reading lately on the 15th of every month.

This month, by pure coincidence, I’ve been reading some seriously gorgeous books. If you’re making your Christmas list, take note. These books are pretty enough to earn a permanent place on your bookshelf. They would also make terrific additions to your Christmas gift list or holiday wish list.

Here’s what I read this month (aside from FINALLY finishing Outlander—but I’ll save those thoughts for another day!)

Heidi Puffin in bloom


by Johanna Spyri

I never read Heidi as a kid, but since Sarah’s reading it for English Lit this fall, I bumped it up the reading list. You know, just in case she needs my help with her homework. This Puffin in Bloom edition is so pretty that any excuse will do. (Not my favorite classic, but I’m glad to finally know what the fuss is all about.)

One Pot

One Pot: 120+ easy meals from your skillet, slow cooker, stockpot, and more

by the editors of Martha Stewart Living

This lovely cookbook aims to help home cooks get delicious, easy, healthy meals on the table on a daily basis. (It’s also a good fit for those like me who love to cook but hate to clean up.) Recipes I can’t wait to try include whole poached chicken with asian flavors, provençal vegetable tian, mexican-style lasagna, giant almond crumble cookie, and the myriad fresh takes on the roasts, braises and stews that are perfect for this time of year. Lots of pretty pictures.

The Blue Castle

The Blue Castle

by L. M. Montgomery

This was one of my favorite Montgomery novels as a kid, but I haven’t read it in twenty years. This new edition, illustrated by Canadian artist Jacqui Oakley, was just released last spring, and provided the perfect opportunity to revisit an old favorite. Highly recommended for Green Gables fans.

God Made Light

God Made Light

by Matthew Paul Turner

This inspirational children’s book is meaningful and fun to read. I can’t describe it any better than Lisa Jo Baker, who said it’s “like Dr. Seuss meets Genesis.” Gift alert: Dayspring has a small product line to go with the book, including encouragement notes for kids, a nightlight, and a floor puzzle.

Texts from Jane Eyre

Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters

by Mallory Ortberg

I can’t tell you how many MMD readers have told me about this brand-new book, just out this month. First, the bad news: most of you are gonna hate it.

The good news: if you’re in the target audience, this is a great addition to your coffee table. You’ll love this book if you have a serious—and thorough—love of classic literature, don’t mind a few f-bombs, and pride yourself on your snarky sense of humor. Ortberg lampoons Jane Eyre and Rebecca, Edgar Allen Poe and The Yellow Wallpaper, Medea and King Lear. A great Christmas gift or coffee table addition for the right reader.

make it ahead

Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

by Ina Garten

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the next Ina Garten cookbook and this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s classic Ina, this time tackling the #1 food problem people write to her about: “Can I make it ahead?” Packed full with recipes I can’t wait to make, like pork tenderloin with apple chutney, stuffed zucchini, spanish tapas peppers, and coffee granita.

onward is best

Onward is Best: A Christmas Journey

by Sarah Jean Linquist

In this classic journey tale, Dolly travels through a series of strange lands on a Christmas journey. The story is wild and whimsical, brave and heartwarming, but this gorgeous coffee table-style book is notable for its truly exquisite 3-d illustrations. The author’s personal mantra was “ain’t life grand” and it comes through on every page. A book to enjoy with the whole family.

Jane of Lantern Hill

Jane of Lantern Hill

by L. M. Montgomery

I’ve heard many L. M. Montgomery fans praise this as her best novel, but because it’s been out of print for years, I’ve never read it—until now. I’m so glad I did, and next I’ll be strategically placing it on my kids’ night tables. If that doesn’t work, we’ll read it together.

Collectors and Christmas shoppers, take note: Jane is one of the four titles recently re-released by SourceBooks in their new L.M. Montgomery collection, along with The Blue Castle (above), Magic for Marigold, and A Tangled Web, Pat of Silver Bush, and Mistress Pat.