Christmas Gift Lists

Tis the season for sharing; the season for carols, candy canes, candles, and cozy nights by the fire. It’s also the time of year for gift lists:

  • “The Person Who Has Everything”
  • “The Tech Lover”
  • “Your Little Sister/Brother”
  • “That Girl You Just Started Dating Since Thanksgiving”
  • “Your Dad”

What do they all have in common? They love books! No, really, they do. And if they don’t, it’s time to do your best Ghost of Christmas Present impression and change their mind.

Here are seven suggestions that might just work that Christmas magic for you. Make sure you stop into your local bookstore this weekend and pick up a title for them… and one for you, too!

For the Person Who Knows Everything Already

odyssey emily wilsonWould you believe that it took until 2017 for a woman to finally gain a publication of her translation of The Odyssey? Even better, as review after review has pointed out, this is a fierce and wonderful new version of the epic. Wilson is not only a Classical scholar of the utmost skill, but she also channels the passion and poetry of the original, breathing new life into a story so many of us think of as antique. This is The Odyssey for the new millennium if ever there was one!




For the Chef, the Cookbook Collector, or the Kitchen-Table Browser

I am in love with this cookbook (okay, I’m in love with all things Phaidon!). I think cookbooks for the average American cook – like me – need to be easy-to-follow, have lots of options, and look beautiful on my shelf. Gabrielle Langholtz’ massive volume checks all those boxes. The recipes are short (yay!), but tasty. Arranged by state, you can plan entire gustatory vacations. This would be a great gift for a partner along with your promise to cook your way around the country one weekend at a time all year long!




For the Person with a Short Attention Span, or the Hollywood Devotee

uncommon type tom hanksEveryone loves Tom Hanks; this is just a fact. And now, since you know your gift recipient already loves Tom Hanks, how excited will they be to get a copy of his new collection of short stories! Hanks famously loves typewriters and has dabbled in literature, but this collection is worthy contribution to his body of work. Even better, the stories are short, so it appeals to avid readers and those rare “non-readers” alike. This is that book that is a WIN for those people on your list who stump you every year!




For Your Best Girlfriend (you know, the one who has been watching Hallmark Christmas Movies since October!)

mothersThis critically-acclaimed, debut novel was admittedly written by one of my own best girlfriends from my childhood. But don’t take my word for it on how moving and incredible this narrative is, trust Shonda Rhimes who put it on her list this Fall! This is the beautiful, at-times heartbreaking tale of one amazing young woman going through some of the most powerful, difficult moments of her life and trying to figure herself out along the way. For mothers, daughters, and the girls you’ve been through it all with.



For the Niece or Nephew Who was “Only This Tall” the Last Time You Saw Them

hate you giveEveryone has been talking about Turtles All The Way Down by John Green (and they should be – it’s excellent), but those in the know are reading The Hate U Give. Angie Thomas’ YA release this year is a must-read for teens and adults alike. Intense, moving, inspiring… It reminds us all as we start a New Year that the world is complicated, but we can make it a better place by being better people in it.




For the Person Who Wants a “Beach Read” in December

bonfire krysten RitterRitter’s debut is too much fun. It’s smartly written and fast-paced. This is the kind of book that feels like you saw the episode on TV once, but you can’t really remember what happened, so you’re happy it’s on again because you just remember really liking it. The characters are fresh and the dialogue is crisp and authentic. At the end, you’ll be like me: waiting breathlessly for the next episode!





And Finally, for You!

artemis any weirAndy Weir’s smash follow-up to The Martian (yeah, Matt Damon) is at the top of my list this year. It’s the book I’ve almost bought myself at least a half-dozen times in the last month, but my tbr list is always just too long. Weir is a specialist in characters who need cunning and strategy to get by, and this new release is to heist novels what The Martian was to Walden. Great characters, legit science fiction, and excellent writing will keep your nose in the book all Christmas-week long!