The Books To Gift Everyone On Your Shopping List This Holiday Season
Every holiday season, I say I'm going to buy everyone a book, and every year, I wind up getting them something else. Don't be like me! I've got the one book you should buy for everyone on your holiday list below, and I can't wait for you to share these great reads with your friends and loved ones.
The reason why I never get to see my BUY ALL THE BOOKS plan through during the holidays is because, well, most of my family don't read a lot. Beyond my mom and a few of my siblings, finding a reader among the bunch is tough. And as much as I want to give books for days, I also know that it's kind of crappy to give someone a gift that you know they won't use.
Hopefully, your gift list contains more than a few readers who would love to see one of the books below among their holiday haul. After all, a book is the gift that keeps on giving. I've picked out books for every family member, friend, and acquaintance, and then some. Keep scrolling to find out what books I think your loved ones will enjoy, broken down by what kind of person they are:
For Your Mom, Buy 'Educated' by Tara Westover
In this poignant memoir, Tara Westover recounts her journey from an off-the-grid, survivalist childhood to a Cambridge University PhD. Get it for your mom, and be prepared for her to text you with updates about the story.
For Your Dad, Buy 'War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence' by Ronan Farrow
From Pulitzer Prize winner Ronan Farrow comes this sharp critique of modern-day America, which will be your dad's favorite read of the year.
For Your Brother, Buy 'Washington Black' by Esi Edugyan
If your brother enjoys high-stakes adventure novels, grab him a copy of Esi Edugyan's Washington Black. The story follows 11-year-old Washington, an enslaved person living in Barbados, who finds himself on the run with an abolitionist after he is blamed for the death of a white man.
For Your Sister, Buy 'Sister BFFs' by Philippa Rice
This hilarious graphic novel from Soppy creator Philippa Rice will have you and your sister doubled over laughing, so be sure to buy a copy for yourself as well.
For Your Best Friend, Buy 'The Pisces' by Melissa Broder
If your best friend just couldn't shut up about The Shape of Water, buy her this quirky romance novel, about a woman who falls in love with a merman.
For the Cool Aunt, Buy 'The Mars Room' by Rachel Kushner
This highly anticipated novel is perfect for your aunt. Man Booker Prize finalist The Mars Room centers on Romy Hall, a woman serving two consecutive life sentences at a California correctional facility.
For the Fun Uncle, Buy 'Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story' by Chris Nashawaty
Your fun uncle will love this microhistory of Caddyshack, in which Entertainment Weekly's Chris Nashawaty goes behind the scenes of one of comedy's most treasured films.
For Your Grandma, Buy 'The Perfect Mother' by Aimee Molloy
In this mystery novel your grandma is sure to love, a group of young mothers make arrangements to spend their July 4 childfree and together. But when one woman's six-week-old son goes missing, friendships and loyalties will be pushed to their breaking point in the search to recover the child.
For Your Grandpa, Buy 'Past Tense' by Lee Child
In this new Jack Reacher novel, Lee Child's rough-around-the-edges hero spends a day in his father's hometown, only to find himself caught up in a haunting mystery when he's told that no one named Reacher ever lived in the hamlet. Your grandpa will love Lee Child's suspense writing and Jack Reacher's no-nonsense dealings with his enemies.
For Your Significant Other, Buy 'The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: An Oral History' by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman
#RelationshipGoals setters Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman describe their romance, which began with a chance meeting in 2000, in this bestselling memoir. Read it with your partner once the holidays are through.
For Your Favorite Teenager, Buy 'Children of Blood and Bone' by Tomi Adeyemi
The first book in a new YA series, Children of Blood and Bone centers on Zélie, a motherless girl who finds her purpose upon learning that she has inherited a long and imperiled legacy of magic.
For the Kid, Buy 'Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble' by Anna Meriano and Mirelle Ortega
As Dia de los Muertos draws near, Leonora Logroño makes a huge discovery: her family of bakers is actually a family of brujas. Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble is the first installment of a new, magical series for middle-grades readers.
For the Baby, Buy 'Love' by Matt de la Peña and Loren Long
This poetic picture book describes all the infinite ways humans can manage to love one another. It'll make a great addition to your youngest loved one's personal library.
For the World-Traveler, Buy 'A Stranger's Pose' by Emmanuel Iduma
Nigerian author Emmanuel Iduma offers up vignettes from his journeys across Africa in this collection of travel writing and photography. If your globetrotting friend hasn't been out of the country in a while, A Stranger's Pose might inspire her to hop the next plane for Addis Ababa.
For the Potterhead, Buy 'Harry Potter: The Illustrated Collection' by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay
Any Potterhead would love to see this boxed set of the first three Harry Potter books in oversized editions, which feature lush illustrations from Jim Kay.
For the Village Witch, Buy 'Circe' by Madeline Miller
Your witchy friend will love this book, which imagines further details of the life of Circe, the infamous witch from The Odyssey, who turned Odysseus' men into pigs when they trespassed upon her island exile.
For the History Buff, buy 'Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"' by Zora Neale Hurston
Based on Zora Neale Hurston's interviews with Cudjo Lewis, Barracoon tells the heart-wrenching story of the last known man to survive the Middle Passage.
For the English Major, Buy 'Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce' by Colm Tóibín
Your favorite English major will be delighted to receive this book, which examines the lives and histories of three Irish authors' — Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, and James Joyce — not-so-famous fathers.
For the 'Friends' Superfan, Buy 'I'll Be There for You: The One About Friends' by Kelsey Miller
An oral history of Friends, I'll Be There for You has behind-the-scenes secrets that never made it to the 1990s sitcom's commentary track. Pick it up for the person who couldn't be more of a fan.
For the Self-Help Guru, Buy 'Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You' by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jonny Sun
A collection of morning and nighttime tweets from Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, Gmorning, Gnight! is the perfect book to buy for your favorite self-helper.
For the Home Cook, Buy 'Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks' by Ina Garten
This new cookbook from Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten shares her favorite tips and tricks that home cooks can use to create restaurant-quality meals at home.
For the Hopeless Romantic, Buy 'When Katie Met Cassidy' by Camille Perri
This contemporary romance novel, centers on Katie, a recently dumped lawyer who strikes up a friendship with co-worker Cassidy in the aftermath of her breakup, only to soon find herself falling in love with the other woman.
For the Activist, Buy 'Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger' by Rebecca Traister
To help your activist friend keep up their stamina in fighting the good fight, give them Rebecca Traister's Good and Mad, which documents the power that women's ire has to change the world.
For Your Favorite Teacher, Buy 'The Dinner List' by Rebecca Serle
This fanciful book about a woman who gets to live out her dream dinner party — attended by no less than the late, great Audrey Hepburn — makes a great gift for the teacher who needs a feel-good break.
For the Sci-Fi Fan, Buy 'Trail of Lightning' by Rebecca Roanhorse
The first entry in Rebecca Roanhorse's Sixth World series, Trail of Lightning centers on Dinétah monster hunter Maggie, who must investigate the disappearance of a young girl in an altered American landscape, to which entities from Navajo legend have returned.
For the Afrofuturist, Buy 'How Long 'til Black Future Month?: Stories' by N.K. Jemisin
The Fifth Season author N.K. Jemisin releases this book of short stories late in 2018. Even if the Afrofuturist on your list hasn't read any of Jemisin's novels, they're sure to love this fiction collection.
For the True-Crime Fan, Buy 'I'll Be Gone in the Dark' by Michelle McNamara
The late Michelle McNamara's book, I'll Be Gone in the Dark documents the search for the Golden State Killer, who went uncaught until just after this title's publication.
For the Writer, Buy 'Madeleine L'Engle Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life' by Madeleine L'Engle
A Wrinkle in Time author Madeleine L'Engle's thoughts on the writing process have been compiled in this unique book, which is perfect for writers of any age or genre.
For the New Mom, Buy 'Laura & Emma' by Kate Greathead
In the early 1980s, thirtysomething Laura has a one-night stand that results in a pregnancy. Lying to her family and her daughter about the nature of the girl's conception, Laura raises Emma in a preppy, socialite world, surrounded by a cast of quirky friends and relatives.
For the Audiophile, Buy 'Raw: My Journey into the Wu-Tang' by Lamont "U-God" Hawkins
For the major music fan on your list, there's hardly a better book than Wu-Tang Clan member U-God's memoir, Raw, which chronicles the hip-hop group's rise to stardom in the early 1990s.
For the Horror Fan, Buy 'Melmoth' by Sarah Perry
From the author of The Essex Serpent comes this horror novel about a translator's brush with a dangerous and mysterious folkloric figure. The horror fan on your list will love this unexpected gift: a book that was often overlooked in favor of releases from Stephen King and other horror heavyweights.