The Books To Gift Every Reader On Your Holiday Shopping List, Based On Their Hogwarts House
It's the holidays, and shopping for all the readers on your list can be a real pain. It can be almost impossible to know who has read what, who owns what, and what genre everyone is into right now. But I have a suggestion that might help you choose something they'll love: Buy it according to their Hogwarts House. After all, nothing says "This is me! This is who I really am!" than someone's strongly-held Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, or Ravenclaw affiliations, and the characteristic therein most certainly apply to reading habits.
Below are five books, many of which are sure to be included on lots of readers' wish lists this year, that are perfectly suited to each of the four Hogwarts Houses. From YA page-turners to award-winning literary fiction, there are a plethora of genres, age-ranges and subjects to choose from on the list of 20 books below. Oh, and it's goes without saying that if you're buying for anyone who self-identifies as a Slytherpuff or Gryffinclaw, you can feel free to choose books from each House... or eschew them all together and just go with your gut. I can't say the Sorting Hat would approve of the latter, but your secret's safe with me.
For Gryffindors: 'Song Of A Captive Bird' by Jasmin Darznik
Darznik's fictionalized take on the life of trailblazing poet Forugh Farrokhzhad, who defied Iranian society to find her voice and her destiny, has everything a Gryffindor could ever want in a story: A woman who perseveres in her the face of opposition, and plenty of upheaval, passion, and danger.
For Gryffindors: 'Good And Mad' by Rebecca Traister
Bold Gryffindors were born to turn their anger into activism. So Rebecca Traister's book about the revolutionary power of women's anger will fascinate and inspire them.
For Gryffindors: 'One Day In December' by Josie Silver
Honestly, only a Gryffindor would be so swept away by the idea of love at first sight that they would search for months for a man they saw only once at a bus stop. Josie Silver's book follows Laurie, a woman who does just that, only to discover that her dream man, Jack, is dating her best friend.
For Gryffindors: 'Children Of Blood & Bone' by Tomi Adeyemi
Zélie Adebola takes on the entire monarchy to return magic to her world and get revenge for her mother's murder — and doesn't sound like the kind of YA fantasy novel that any Gryffindor would devour in a matter of hours?
For Gryffindors: ''Okay Fine Whatever' by Courtenay Hameister
Gryffindors will be enthralled by Hameister's attempt to overcome her anxiety by embracing experiences that terrify her. This one will be especially appealing to what I like to call "Neville Gryffindors" for whom bravery is harder to come by on a day-to-day basis.
For Ravenclaws: ''Circe' by Madeline Miller
Miller's retelling of the fast-paced, romantic, and terrifying Circe myth will appeal to Ravenclaw classicists who enjoy the Greek mythology, complex heroines, exciting magic, and wild adventure.
For Ravenclaws: 'Educated' by Tara Westover
Educated may hit especially close to home for Ravenclaws, who value learning above most things. Westover's heart-wrenching journey from growing up the daughter of survivalists to leaving her family in pursuit of a traditional education will have 'Claws thinking more about the true importance and life-changing magic of knowledge.
For Ravenclaws: 'The Library Book' by Susan Orlean
An entire book about the history of libraries? Yeah, you're right, this one was tailor-made for Ravenclaws. Susan Orlean uses the devastating 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Public Library to weave together the importance of libraries in the U.S. Informative, mysterious, and even a little eerie, this one will have book-lovers enraptured.
For Ravenclaws: 'American Panda' by Gloria Chao
Something tells me that Ravenclaws will most be able to relate to American Panda protagonist Mei's struggle to live up to her parents high expectations. This tale of family honor, forbidden love, and self-reflection will inspire Ravenclaws to break some rules and follow their own path.
For Ravenclaws: 'The Kiss Quotient' by Helen Hoang
Now, I'm not saying that all Ravenclaws prefer intellectual pursuits to romantic ones. But for those that do, Helen Hoang's The Kiss Quotient is perfect. It follows 30-year-old mathematician Stella, who hires male escort Michael Pham, to give her lessons on love and romance.
For Slytherins: 'The Boneless Mercies' by April Genevieve Tucholke
If any House member was going to join a team of badass murderous mercenaries, it would be a Slytherin. But Tucholke's book also dives into questions of what life means beyond duty, the true price of fame and fortune, and what it truly means to be heroic. In other words, it's perfect for Slytherins.
For Slytherins: 'My Year Of Rest And Relaxation' by Ottessa Moshfegh
Slytherins won't be able to look away from this claustrophobic tale about one woman's experiment in drug-fueled hibernation. Questions of elitism, ambition, wealth, the limits of "self-care," and expectations of a modern world all come into play in Moshfegh's outstanding novel.
For Slytherins: 'You Think It, I'll Say It' by Curtis Sittenfeld
Curtis Sitteneld's short stories are populated by characters you'll love to hate. They're as selfish as they are loyal, as unsure as they are ambitious, as confident as they are jealous. Slytherin readers will love the no-holds-barred look at best and worst of humanity, and all the many ways people relate to one another.
For Slytherins: 'From The Corner Of The Oval' by Beck Dorey-Stein
Slytherins will definitely get swept away by the high-stakes, high-stress, high-profile world of American politics, as described in Beck Dorey-Stein's unflinching and entertaining memoir about her time as a White House stenographer in the Obama administration.
For Slytherins: 'Give Me Your Hand' by Megan Abbott
This chilling thriller follows two women — once inseparable friends, now fierce competitors — working together at a research lab that studies intense PMS symptoms. Slytherins will be swept away by Megan Abbott's explorations of the consequences of intense ambition, dark secrets, and female rivalry.
For Hufflepuffs: 'The Friend' by Sigrid Nunez
Sigrid Nunez's emotional novel follows a woman who unexpectedly loses her lifelong friend and mentor. After his death, she is tasked with taking care of the dog he left behind. Any tender-hearted 'Puff will adore this book's explorations of love, friendship, grief, and healing.
For Hufflepuffs: 'The Proposal' by Jasmine Guillory
Is there any Hogwarts House that would hate a public proposal more than a Hufflepuff? Jasmine Guillory's romance follows Nikole Patterson in the the aftermath of one such disastrous proposal at Dodger Stadium, and the connection she makes with Carlos Ibarra, the man who whisks her away.
For Hufflepuffs: 'What If This Were Enough?' by Heather Havrilesky
Heather Havrilesky's essay collection explores the cultural forces and expectations of modern American life — from social media to romance — and asks readers to instead connect with who they already are and what they already have. Hufflepuffs will relate to the book's message of quiet contentment.
For Hufflepuffs: 'All You Can Ever Know' by Nicole Chung
More than any other House, Hufflepuffs struggle to figure out how they define themselves and where they belong, in my opinion. So, many will relate to Nicole Chung's moving memoir about growing up the adopted daughter of white parents in small-town Oregon.
For Hufflepuffs: 'What If It's Us' by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
This adorable love story follows Arthur and Ben during one whirlwind summer in New York City. Can fate really bring these two together for good? Every Hufflepuff will want to read with a pack of tissues next to them.