As a book-lover, one of the only things I love more than
getting books this time of year is giving books — and with everything kicking into full gear, now is definitely the time to start thinking about the perfect
book to give your best friend this holiday season. (OK, let’s be honest:
nothing beats getting books. But giving books is a close second; especially
when you know those books are going to your partner-in-reading.)
If you and your BFF are known for taking more shelfies
than selfies together, then you already know that there are tons of books at
the top of her holiday wish list. And as her best friend, you’re also probably totally
familiar with her TBR pile (and if not, be sure to sneak a peek ASAP.) But if you’ve
done your research and you still find yourself stumped — there really are so
many great books to choose from, after all — I’ve put together a list of some
of the most BFF-worthy titles of 2016.
This holiday season, show your bookish BFF how much you
really love her, by giving her the gift of reading. Here are 17 books to give
your best friend this holiday season.
1. You'll Grow Out
of It by Jessi Klein
Jessi Klein’s You’ll
Grow Out of It is a hilarious and heartwarmingly relatable memoir about
this “tomboy” and “late-bloomer” turned-comedian’s tumultuous journey from
girlhood to womanhood, during which she felt impossibly out-of-place in a world
filled with confusing gender norms and absurd feminine rites of passage. It’s no wonder the writer
became a comedian.
2. I'll Tell You in
Person by Chloe Caldwell
This memoir-through-essays is the perfect gift for any
emerging adult trying to figure out how they ended up floundering through
adulthood in the first place — and it serves as a great reminder that we all
make similar mistakes as we’re learning to become ourselves. Author Chloe
Caldwell’s voice is quirky and straight-forward as she shares tales of failing
at all the things adults fail at, at one point or another.
3. Problems by
Debut novelist Jade Sharma writes in a voice that is
equal parts irreverent and hilarious, depressive and hopeful, and Problems was by far one of the most
interesting and uncommon books I read this year. Perfect for a BFF who likes
her lit a bit off-beat, Problems
tells the story of one woman’s fight through addiction on her own terms, and
everything that falls apart on her path to recovery.
4. You Can't Touch
My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson
Stand-up comedian and podcaster Phoebe Robinson’s contagious
sense of humor doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take what she says seriously. Written
with heartfelt and opinionated humor, her debut essay collection, You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I
Still Have to Explain, explores race and gender through references
from American pop culture, and you can tell Robinson's voice is entirely her own.
Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat by Chrissy Teigen
I picked up this cookbook the moment I glanced at the “Breakfast
All Day” section, and I’ve been in love with it ever since. Perfect for both
seasoned foodies and those who are less familiar with their own kitchens as
well (like, shoes in the oven unfamiliar) Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat will have you practicing
your breakout Food Network segment in no time.
6. The Guineveres
by Sarah Domet
Sarah Domet’s debut novel, The Guineveres, tells a beautiful and poignant coming-of-age story of
four unlikely girlfriends who are brought together by a shared circumstance — abandoned
by their parents to be raised in a convent, and each named Guinevere, they grow up completely
isolated from the outside world until a group of severely wounded World War II
soldiers arrive at the convent as well, changing the girls’ lives — and their
relationships with one another — forever.
7. Swing Time by
A novel of female friendship, family, and identity, Zadie
Smith’s Swing Time tells the story of
two African European girls who spend their childhoods dreaming of being dancers
and breaking the racial stereotypes of the dance industry. Taking readers from
London to West Africa and back, at its core this is a novel about
relationships: relationships with friends, relationships with place, relationships
with art and music, and relationships with ourselves.
8. TREYF: My Life
as an Unorthodox Outlaw by Elissa Altman
Elissa Altman spent her childhood learning religious
rules that she immediately broke, and spent her young adulthood hiding her
sexuality from the three most influential people in her young life — her
father, her mother, and her grandmother. TREYF
is a thoughtful and relatable memoir that asks universal coming-of-age questions
about where we come from, how our lives are shaped by the people around us,
what things we choose to keep from our pasts, and what things are better left
9. All the Birds in
the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
For the bestie who loves fantasy (and honestly, even
those who don’t would probably be into this novel) Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky introduces readers
to two best friends, Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead, who mysteriously disappeared
from one another’s lives at the end of their teens, and never expected to reunite. But
reunite they have, in San Francisco, where a little bit of magic and a
healthy dose of sci-fi might be all they have to call upon when tasked with saving the world.
10. The Girl with
the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
Because you and your bestie have spent hours laughing
together thanks to the one-and-only Amy Schumer, you know she’ll love this
book. In her memoir, The Girl with the
Lower Back Tattoo, the Emmy Award-winning comedian shares stories of
teenage angst and family drama, relationships, sex, and more, with her
signature courage, honesty, and over-the-top hilarity that will leave you
feeling like just about everything in life can become laugh-out-loud funny if
you just look at it from the right perspective.
11. Knives &
Ink: Chefs and the Stories Behind Their Tattoos (with Recipes) by Isaac
Fitzgerald and Wendy MacNaughton
This book is just too cool — part essay collection, part
cookbook, part graphic memoir, Isaac Fitzgerald and Wendy MacNaughton’s Knives & Ink: Chefs and the Stories
Behind Their Tattoos is exactly what the title says it is: a collection of
stories about chefs and their (sometimes surprising) tattoos, with recipes
included. The perfect gift for an offbeat, tattoo-loving foodie BFF.
12. Today Will Be
Different by Maria Semple
If you and your book-loving bestie loved Maria Semple’s novel, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, then her
latest title, Today Will Be Different,
should definitely make the gift list this year. Eleanor Flood's life is kind of a mess, and despite her best intentions she'll have to reach her her wits’ end before she’s final able to start fresh, and begin moving her life in
the direction she’d always intended. Today
Will Be Different is laugh-out-loud funny.
13. People Who Knew
Me by Kim Hooper
Pregnant with her lover’s baby and planning to leave her
husband, Emily Morris’s entire life is transformed on September 11, 2001, when
she uses the distraction of the national disaster to take on a new identity and leave New York City — and
her past mistakes — behind. But over a decade later she’s forced to rethink
these decisions again, and determine if she can reimagine her life, and more importantly the life of her 13-year-old daughter, once more.
Kim Hooper’s debut novel, People Who Knew
Me, is complicated and big-hearted, and will keep you turning pages.
Spirit: The Unconventional Raising of a Champion by Missy Franklin
Conversational and sincere, six-time Olympic medalist
Missy Franklin’s memoir, Relentless
Spirit: The Unconventional Raising of a Champion, tells the story of the
athlete’s journey from discovering her love of swimming to competing in the
2012 London Olympics. Her story is shared with that of her parents, who never
set out to raise a champion swimmer, but who simply wanted their daughter to
grow up with a strong spirit and a happy heart.
15. Nine Women, One
Dress by Jane L. Rosen
Jane L. Rosen’s novel Nine
Women, One Dress is a charming series of interconnected narratives that
center around just one dress — the little black dress of the season, and the
must-have ensemble that makes its way through the different lives of several characters and changes them in ways they never would have expected. Think of
this as a Sisterhood of the Traveling
Pants-style read for adults.
16. Modern Lovers
by Emma Straub
New York Times-bestselling author Emma Straub enchants
readers again with her latest novel, Modern
Lovers, a story of best friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth,
Andrew, and Zoe, who have slowly grown into their adult selves while still
trying to retain the identity of their younger years. But as their own
children reach the age Elizabeth, Andrew, and Zoe were when they last rocked
together, the unresolved issues of the friends’ past begin to rise to the
surface, in a story that is both sweet and funny.
17. Leave Me by
We’ve all taken on too much at one point or another, and
desperately needed to check out. That’s where Gayle Forman’s latest novel, Leave Me, meets Maribeth Klein, a woman
so consumed with caring for her husband and children she doesn’t even realize
she’s suffered a heart attack — and still her family is in no hurry to give her
a break. Instead, she breaks away herself, embarking upon the vacation of a
lifetime — one that will provide her not only with a much-needed break, but
with some much-needed perspective on her life.
18. Glop: Nontoxic, Expensive Ideas That Will Make You Look Ridiculous and Feel Pretentious by Gabrielle Moss
Bustle editor and writer extraordinare (full discolsure, folks) Gabrielle Moss has written a hilarious parody of the celebrity website GOOP, taking on the vanity, elitism, and silliness of the lifestyle website designed for a very particular (and elusive-to-the-everywoman) lifestyle. Filled with silly and sublime recipes, detoxes, activities, cleanses, beauty tips, juice cleanses, vacation destinations, and more, plus Moss's tips on parenthood, relationships, work and finances, entertaining, spirituality, beauty, fashion, kids, and more, Glop: Nontoxic, Expensive Ideas That Will Make You Look Ridiculous and Feel Pretentious will have you and your bestie cracking up.
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