If you didn’t already know, I love to read and I love books. That got me thinking that books are great gifts for readers in your life or people that would like to read more. Often people gift books to people that they themselves like or are popular. But in case you’re stumped, I’ve made a little list of books of different genres that could make for great gifts! I want to note that this is a very short list and not comprehensive at all – its’s just meant to give you an idea of books to gift!
Working from left to right, top to bottom, I’ll give you a little run down of each book I chose. Side note – you can click on any of the pictures in the collage above to shop!
1. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe from the The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis . I’m reading this with my 6th graders now. It’s such a classic for any age – young readers to adults trying to recapture that magical world. If you don’t know what the book is about, it takes place during WWII in England. 4 children are sent by their parents to live with an old professor to escape the air raids in London. This old, huge house, has a magical wardrobe that takes them to another world – Narnia – where they are prophesied to rule and end the reign of the evil Witch (an evil witch who makes it always winter, but never Christmas by the way!)
2. Becoming by Michelle Obama. I actually received this for Christmas last year and it was one of the best books I read in 2019, if not the best. Michelle Obama’s bestseller is a memoir and she writes about her upbringing, home life, school life, all the way to going to Princeton, becoming a lawyer, meeting Barack, their marriage, and life at the White House. It is insightful and hilarious. I laughed and cried. A definite must read! Read my review here.
3. All the Right Circles by John Russell. This is 1 of 2 novels on my list that I have not read yet, but it sounds good! As you can see I’ve got it under my tree already and just waiting for me to read it. Here’s part of the synopsis: “Jack Callahan is an outsider in his adopted hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina. A successful lawyer, he’s spent years trying to move in all the right circles. But with his literary mother in a sanitarium, his society marriage on the rocks, and his biggest client—Raleigh’s family-owned newspaper the Criterion —facing a hostile takeover, he’s beginning to wonder if it’s really worth it.”
4. Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. I’m a huge Potter fan and if the person you’re gifting doesn’t already own the book or if you’re helping a younger person start their Potter collection then you’ve got to start with book 1 of course. The copy I’ve included in here is the illustrated version because what’s better than a book at Christmas but a beautifully illustrated one? And if you have no idea what Harry Potter is, which is mind boggling to me, it follows the story of a young wizard and his journey to defeating the most evil wizard of all time. I always think of Harry Potter during the holidays. You can see my post on the illustrated book here.
5. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. If you’re a fan of Hosseini’s first novel, The Kite Runner, then you’ll love A Thousand Splendid Suns. I always tells my students who cry at The Kite Runner that they’ll ugly cry with A Thousand Splendid Suns. It’s been years since I’ve read the novel and it still holds a place in my heart. It’s about unexpected friendships and sacrifice. It’s about what you would do for the people you love.
6. The View from Apartment Four by Skip Rozin. This is the other book on my list that I haven’t gotten to read yet, but it’s on my to-be-read list. Here’s a synopsis: “New York in the 1960s featured the Upper West Side as a diverse community, with free July Fourth fireworks, elite performances at Lincoln Center, and reasonably priced apartments and restaurants, albeit tainted by crime that inspired one Saul Bellow character to compare the neighborhood with Sodom and Gomorrah.
Jump forward to the new millennium. While gentrification rendered those same streets safe, it also made housing too expensive for the working class and replaced dozens of pizza and barbecue favorites with fancy eateries and more sources of high-priced ice cream than anyone needs.
This is the story of that change, viewed from a one-bedroom apartment, second floor front. And while the accompanying narrative is by the tenant, the author, it connects with all those others drawn to New York to prove themselves in that most competitive of environments—in the arts, fashion, business, and sports. Over time, they saw their situations change, and their priorities, putting their city lives in jeopardy.”
7. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. I am a sucker for memoirs by people I admire as seen with Becoming. Mindy Kaling’s first novel is so funny and relatable. I loved it so much that I always recommend it to people. I remember reading it on a flight and trying not to crack up because I didn’t want people to think I was insane. You can read my review here.
8. The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Louise Wallwork. I read this last winter and loved it. I love magical stories and this beautiful, enchanting story is a mix of The Nutcracker and the Pied Piper. Clara, a young pianist, is preparing for the concert of a lifetime. She received a mysterious nutcracker on Christmas Eve and is whisked away to a magical world. It’s a perfect story for the holidays! You can read my review here.
9. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Another classic! I first read Little Women when I was in high school and loved it. I have very strong feelings about the characters, but don’t want to spoil the book for you if you’ve never read it. I loved the book in high school and was obsessed with the Winona Ryder movie. The new movie is coming out soon so this would be a great gift for a fan of the book or a new reader who wants to read it before the movie. The book is a Civil War-era story and takes place in Massachusetts. It tells the story of the four March Sisters growing up together and their neighbor, Laurie. Whenever I think of Little Women – besides thinking of Christmas – I think of the Friends episode where Joey decides to read the book and says “How little are these women?”
So that’s my round-up for you! I hope you’ll consider gifting someone a book this holiday season! My links all go to Barnes & Noble and they are having a 10% off sale until Sunday with the code HOLLY.
*Some of these books were sent to me complimentary, but all opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.*