20 Book Gifts For Your Brother This Holiday Season
When it comes time for choosing the perfect holiday present, you can’t go wrong with great book gifts for your brother. Brothers are the best. They pull enough pranks on you so that you’re prepared for anything, they desensitize you to roommate antics (I’ve found an opened bag of Doritos in the shower, so at this point nothing a roommate does could shock me), and they don’t steal your clothes (well, actually, my brother and I have fought over a Harry Potter t-shirt before. Scratch that one). So obviously, your brother deserves the best holiday presents EVER, as a reward for being your best friend. Because when it comes down to it, despite sibling spats, you know he’s always there for you. After all, you have waaaay too much dirt on him for him to betray you at this point.
If you're choosing a book gift, there are plenty of options — whether your brother is into science or science fiction. Plus when he’s done reading it you can steal it and read it, too. And nothing says “you’re the best, bro,” like giving him a book that you’ve been wanting for a while. Just kidding! But seriously, I love talking about books with my brothers, and some of our best times have been spent bonding over literature. So whether your brother is 13 or 30, this holiday season, give him the best gift ever: BOOKS ON BOOKS ON BOOKS.
1. Armada by Ernest Cline
Ready Player One author Ernest Cline crafts another adventure story with his newest novel, Armada: protagonist Zack Lightman plays a video game in which he saves the earth from alien invaders, but events suddenly make him question exactly how real it might be. If your brother's a fan of Ready Player One — or Ender's Game — this book is a fun pick for him.
2. The Martian by Andy Weir
Astronaut Mark Watney is stranded on Mars in this sci-fi bestseller. My youngest brother, who's usually more into scientific podcasts than books, stayed up all night reading this one. If you've got a genius brother as well (especially one who likes space), you can't go wrong with this one.
3. Welcome To Night Vale: A Novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
Speaking of podcasts, if your brother likes the popular faux radio show "Welcome to Night Vale," he might enjoy the novel. It's based on the creepy and quirky podcast (but you don't have to have listened to the podcast to enjoy the book), so if your brother enjoys conspiracy theories, Stephen King, and anything absurdist, he's sure to be a fan.
4. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Cassie Sullivan tries to survive on Earth post-alien invasion. If your brother enjoys books like The Hunger Games and Divergent, he'll be a fan. Plus, the series is being made into a movie, so you can go see it together!
5. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney
My brother loves Diary of a Wimpy Kid (and I love stealing it off his bookshelf). The story about awkward middle schooler Greg Heffley, told in diary — I mean journal — format, is hilarious and great for all ages. This newest installment follows Greg as his town goes electronics-free.
6. Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling, Illustrated by Jim Kay
If your brother refuses to read anything except Harry Potter (as one of my brothers does), this beautiful illustrated edition of the first book in the series will make the perfect gift.
7. Career Of Evil by Robert Galbraith
Another option if your brother is completely Harry Potter-obsessed is to gift him the latest J.K. Rowling mystery. Career of Evil follows detective Cormoran Strike as he tracks down who sent his coworker Robin a package containing a severed woman's leg. Creepy, fast-paced, and flawlessly written (it's by J.K. Rowling, after all), this thriller is a great gift for brothers who like their books on the scary side.
8. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
If your brother considers himself a film buff, check out another thriller, Night Film: Journalist Scott McGrath investigates the death of horror filmmaker Stanislas Cordova's daughter, Ashley. The book contains interactive elements, and includes screenshots of websites and newspaper clippings, which make it an interestingly immersive experience to read.
9. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
If screenshots of websites and newspaper clippings sound like something your brother would like to read, here's another book he'd like: Illuminae takes place in 2575, following protagonists Kady and Ezra as they try to survive the battle between two megacorporations. The story is told through interviews, emails, medical reports, and other "hacked" documents, so the reader can piece together exactly what happened.
10. Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
So, your brother considers himself a funny kid. And was voted class clown four straight years in a row. He'd probably enjoy this hilarious book by comedian Jim Gaffigan, all about food and our relationship with it. You may want to give it to him along with a gift card to his favorite restaurant, because it might cause excessive snacking.
11. Magnus Chase And The Gods Of Asgard, Book 1: The Sword Of Summer by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson author Rick Riordan is back with a new series, following protagonist Magnus Chase, who happens to be the son of a Norse god. I feel like everyone's younger brother loooved Percy Jackson, so I don't think you can go wrong with this one.
12. The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch by Daniel Kraus
After a 17-year-old gangster from 1986 is murdered, he is resurrected to walk the Earth again — from being a sideshow act to fighting in the trenches in World War I to struggling through life in Depression-era New York City. The book is crazily ambitious, and at almost 700 pages, it will also keep your brother from bothering you for awhile.
13. Thor, Volume 1: The Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Russell Dauterman and Jorge Molina
Marvel's Thor reboot starring Jane Foster, a woman who picks up Thor's hammer, is all-together smashing sales records and is a total must-give if your brother is even a mild comic book fan.
14. Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe by Lisa Randall
Professor Lisa Randall is one of the world's most respected and influential theoretical physicists, but she can talk to us lay people like nobody's business, even infusing today's pop culture. And her book Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs is straight-up mind-blowing. When you give this to your brother, he's going to be excitedly spouting out his new-found facts at the dinner table in no time.
15. The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic by Jessica Hopper
Is your brother a music lover? Great. This is the book he absolutely needs. Jessica Hopper wrote the quintessential piece that blew up R. Kelly's past of sexual abuse, and she has been making waves in the music industry for years before and after then. This collection of music criticism is incredibly thoughtful, even LOL funny, and totally necessary to anyone who always seems to have their headphones on.
16. Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley
Your younger brother is going to be obsessed with Circus Mirandus, and you're going to want to steal it off his bookshelf. The story is set around a young boy who sets off to find a mythical circus that his grandparents told him stories about, and it has that "life is magical" quality that imbued movies like Big Fish and, dare I say, Roald Dahl classics.
17. Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell
If you're brother is a history buff, you can do know wrong with Sarah Vowell's tromp into the Revolutionary War, following along George Washington's pal, the "swashbuckling teenage French aristocrat" the Marquis de Lafayette. This isn't your ordinary history nonfiction text, and I mean that in the greatest way possible.
18. On the Move: A Life by Oliver Sachs
Before writing The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Oliver Sacks' restless energy took him (and his motorcycle) riding full speed through his life in California as a drug-addicted neurologist, discovering his chronic illness in New York, and his move to work with patients and become an iconic writer. The book is passionate, funny, and a totally wild ride.
19. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Fiona Staples
Romeo and Juliet set amid an intergalactic war? Sign your brother up immediately. No one can stop talking about this exceptional graphic novel series, and you wouldn't want your family to fall behind, would you?
20. One More Thing by B.J. Novak
Your brother can read B.J. Novak's collection of stories while you read Mindy Kaling's Why Not Me? and then you can swap before discussing what you think is really going on between these two BFFs.