11 Book Gifts For Your Parents This Holiday Season
If your parents are as avid book-lovers as you are then you’ve totally lucked out of the whole: “what should I get my parents for the holidays this year?” struggle that so many of my friends with non-reading parents seem to suffer through, holiday after holiday. Book gifts for parents, in my opinion, are always the best — thoughtful, conveniently cost-effective, and easily tailored to their unique interests. You really can’t go wrong.
I grew up in a home filled with books. My mother started reading to me early; basically before I was even born. After I was, we read together even more; first by her reading to me, and then me reading to her after I’d learned to do so by watching as she pointed to each word while reading it aloud. Even after I’d learned to read unassisted, we still read together often. Now that I’m all grown up (well, sorta) and I still call my mother to discuss what we’re reading — and she’s definitely my go-to lady when it comes to great book recommendations. My parents turned me into a book-lover.
Here are 11 books to give your parents this holiday season — titles that will definitely guarantee you the coveted slot of favorite child well into the new year.
1. Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe by Lisa Randall
For the science-loving mom and dad, or really any parent who just loves to think about how the solar system works, theoretical physicist Lisa Randall’s latest book, Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe is a great gift. Covering everything from dark matter to the existence and death of the dinosaurs, this book explains interconnecting phenomena of the universe in a really beautiful, accessible way.
2. Our Spoons Came from Woolworths by Barbara Comyns
The newly-married Sophia has no idea what she’s doing — she doesn’t cook or clean, the significance of morning sickness eludes her (since she thinks she can avoid pregnancy with mind control), and as a part-time model she’s barely making enough money to help her husband pay the rent. Wonderfully, Our Spoons Came from Woolworths tells the story of a young wife quickly turned young mother, who somehow manages to transform all of her flaws into the things that save her.
3. Today Is Not Your Day by Marian Thurm
Chronicling the hilarity and heartbreaks, the irony and frustrations of domesticity — whatever that might mean for parents today — Marian Thurm’s Today Is Not Your Day is a collection of short stories about relationships between disgruntled spouses, frustrated mothers and daughters, well-intentioned fiancés who fail despite their best efforts, and whole lot more.
4. Bar Tartine by Nicolaus Balla, Cortney Burns, Jan Newberry, and Chad Robertson
Upgrade Mom or Dad’s ancient copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking with the latest cooking masterpiece from Tartine Bakery — Bar Tartine . Named after the restaurant itself in San Francisco, Bar Tartine’s recipes are inspired by tastes from Central Europe, Japan, and Scandinavia, and honor the craft of cooking. Plus, your ‘rents will be thrilled with how much more often you’ll be coming over for dinner.
5. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie
Salman Rushdie at his finest, his latest novel Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights greets readers 1,000 years into the future of the world where conditions are remarkably similar and eerily different from the world we live in today. Incorporating elements of folklore and philosophy, mythology and contemporary fiction, Rushdie’s latest novel is a gift any bookish parent would be thrilled to receive.
6. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Written from a father to his teenage son as an attempt to answer all the difficult questions that face young people — and especially young people of color — growing up in our world today, Ta-Nehisi Coates Between the World and Me will have even the most stoic of dads getting a little choked up.
7. The Martian by Andy Weir
If your parent’s loved Matt Damon in the newly released film adaptation of Andy Weir’s novel The Martian , definitely snag them a copy of the book itself. Astronaut Mark Watney is determined to survive after being stranded on Mars, and his crew back on Earth is determined to do anything to rescue him.
8. Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill by Sonia Purnell
Biographies are a great go-to gift for bookish parents — especially biographies of people who your parents were probably fascinated by when they were your age. Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill tells the story of the woman who stood alongside Winston Churchill and was as instrumental in shaping the world we live in today as he was.
9. Prince of Darkness: The Untold Story of Jeremiah G. Hamilton, Wall Street’s First Black Millionaire by Shane White
Another great title for the history buff parent, Prince of Darkness: The Untold Story of Jeremiah G. Hamilton, Wall Street’s First Black Millionaire is the well-researched and totally compelling biography of Jeremiah G. Hamilton, who was reportedly the richest African American man in the United States circa 1877. Breaking social norms and defying rules left and right, Hamilton was a forced to be reckoned with in his day.
10. Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World by Linda Hirshman
Help your mom celebrate how far women’s equality has come since she was a girl, by gifting her the two-for-one biography Sisters in Law: Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the Friendship That Changed Everything , which honors the social, cultural, and political strides taken by the United States’ first two female Supreme Court justices.
11. H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Overcome with grief over the loss of her father, Helen Macdonald, already an experienced falconer, decided to attempt to train one of the most difficult and rebellious hawks alive — the goshawk. Thus, Macdonald became the proud adopted momma of a goshawk named Mabel, a creature that ultimately helped her cope and changed her life. H is for Hawk chronicles Helen and Mabel’s story.