Every holiday season, you spend weeks picking out the perfect presents for your friends and loved ones, painstakingly selecting thoughtful gifts that truly express how much you love and care about them. It's exhausting and stressful and it's finally over, which means you can trade all the wrapping paper and ribbon in for the books you should get yourself now that the holidays are over.
You just spent the last two months cooking festive desserts for work parties and preparing your family's holiday feasts; elbowing your way through crowds at the stores and fighting for the last toy on the shelf; using all your time and energy on those around you instead of yourself. While the holidays are meant to be a sweet and sentimental time of year, it doesn't take long for them to become draining and exhausting, which is why it's so important to take time for yourself at the beginning of every new year.
Whether you prefer a day spent meditating, doing yoga, and practicing deep breathing exercises or an entire weekend away where you do nothing but pamper yourself, practicing self care, especially post-holidays, is essential to your physical and mental health. This January, you deserve to take some time off for yourself, to rest and recuperate and give your mind and body what it needs. For book nerds, that means giving yourself the very best gift of all: good stories and time to yourself to read them.
So congratulations, you've survived another year of shopping malls, gift wrapping, and awkward family dinners. Now its time to sit back, relax, and reward yourself with one of these 11 books you should get yourself now that the holidays are finally over.
1'Small Admissions' by Amy Poppel
Not even Santa could have brought you Amy Poppel's December 27-released novel for Christmas this year, but now that Small Admissions has hit shelves everywhere, you can treat yourself to its hilarity and charm. After Kate's almost-fiance dumps her, she gives up her grad school plans for a life of sitting on the couch watching Sex and the City. That is, until she finds a job in the admissions department of a prestigious Manhattan day school and is thrown into a strange and competitive world she has never known. Filled with honesty, authenticity, and true laugh-out-loud moments, Small Admissions is a beautiful post-holiday gift to give yourself.
2'Heartless' by Marissa Meyer
After spending two months doing nothing but work, work, work, it's time you gave yourself a nice break with a fun and easy read. Enter Heartless, Marissa Meyer's captivating retelling of the story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland's Queen of Hearts. Full of magic, wonder, drama, and heartache, this is one guilty pleasure read you shouldn't feel guilty about giving yourself.
3'Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between)' by Lauren Graham
Because your love for Gilmore Girls knows no bounds, its about time you got your hands on Lauren Graham's hilarious collection of personal essays, Talking as Fast as I Can. Filled with stories from her childhood to her days starting out as an actress to her tenure on Gilmore Girls and Parenthood to returning to her icon role just last year, this funny, personal, and genuine work will make you feel like you've been BFFs for years — and this time, not just in your head.
4'Truly Madly Guilty' by Liane Moriarty
If you're looking for a read that will pull you in and keep you firmly planted on the couch and distracted from post-holiday responsibilities, look no further that Liane Moriarty's Truly Madly Guilty. A character-driven page-turner about a barbecue gone disastrously wrong, Moriarty's latest novel covers what the author knows best: family, love, and lies.
5'The Princess Diarist' by Carrie Fisher
If you're still reeling over the loss of icon Carrie Fisher, the best thing you can do for yourself is to celebrate her memory by immersing yourself in her work. An intimate look inside her youthful years on the set of Star Wars through old diary pages, Fisher's most recent book, The Princess Diarist, is an honest, brave, and revealing read, not to mention a stark reminder of exactly why you loved the legendary actress, writer, and activist so damn much in the first place.
6'The Couple Next Door' by Shari Lapena
Post-holidays, its totally appropriate to shut yourself off from the rest of the world, at least for a little while. The best way to do that? With the help of a thriller as gripping as Shari Lapena's The Couple Next Door. A tense and suspenseful story about a missing baby and a couple who maybe isn't as perfect as they seem, this domestic thriller will make it easy to ignore everyone and everything until you've devoured every last page.
7'Eligible' by Curtis Sittenfeld
Everyone loves a good romance, especially during the darkest months of the year. Cheer your post-holiday blues up with a Jane Austen-inspired story from Prep author Curtis Sittenfeld. In Eligible, Pride and Prejudice gets a 21st-century update that includes Crossfit and Paleo diets, reality TV dating shows, and an American-style Bennet family unlike one you've ever seen. Funny and heartfelt, this is the perfect after Christmas gift for your Jane Austen-loving self.
8'Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untolf Story of the Black Women Mathmaticians Who Helped Win the Space Race' by Margot Lee Shetterly
Since you're going to want to see the Taraji P. Henson-starring film this winter, make sure you read the Hidden Figures book by Margot Lee Shetterly first (you know the original is always better.) The true story of the previously uncredited and unheard of black female mathematicians whose calculations helped NASA launch their space program, Hidden Figures is an inspirational tale that proves women can change the world, and just the kind of story you deserve to give yourself.
9'Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing' by Jennifer Weiner
If you're a writer, or just an avid reader, give yourself the post-holiday gift of creative nourishment in the form of Jennifer Weiner's latest nonfiction collection, Hungry Heart. Covering everything from sex and body image to family and death to writing and beyond, Weiner's reflective essays, much like her fiction, are smart, poignant, and touching.
10'What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours' by Helen Oyeyemi
A wonderful book to keep in your purse or by your desk for whenever you have a few minutes to read a story or two, gift yourself Helen Oyeyemi's stunning prose this year. In What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, the author of the crirically acclaimed Boy, Snow, Bird and Mr. Fox turns her attention to short stories that defy genre and span time and space. Beautiful tales about love and secrets and truth, of of which center around the idea of a key, this collection is one you'll want to savor slowly, and probably more than once.
11'Sleeping Giants' by Sylvian Neuvel
A dazzling debut and the first in a new and thrilling sci-fi series, Sleeping Giants is the book that should have been on your wish list this year. Told through a series of interviews, journal entries, and articles, Sylvain Neuvel's story perfectly blends together the best elements of thrillers, science fiction, and literary fiction to create an exceptionally original novel that will leave you impatiently waiting for the rest of the series.