The Penguin Hotline Is Here To Give You Personalized Book Recommendations For The Holidays
Although the holiday season is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, picking out gifts for your friends and family can turn your happy "Ho ho ho!" into a panicky "Oh no!" in an instant. Not this year, though, because no matter how picky or hard to shop for your loved ones may be, The Penguin Hotline is here to give you personalized book recommendations for everyone on your holiday shopping list.
Launched in 2014, The Penguin Hotline is a book recommending tool that lets shoppers submit a request for reading suggestions online, and get personalized feedback from real live human readers about which titles they should chose for themselves and their loved ones, based on their inquiries. It's like the Butterball Turkey Hotline on Thanksgiving, only instead of advice about undercooked turkey and burnt stuffing from cooking experts, customers can get book recommendations from some of the best-read people on the planet: publishing professionals.
Starting on Tuesday, Nov. 28, hundreds of Penguin employees from all facets of the publishing process will be available to help curious shoppers find just the right books for everyone on their holiday list. All it takes is a simple online form that asks customers questions about their or their loved ones' reading preferences, hobbies, interests, and passions, and in no time, the perfect suggestions arrive in their inbox. Whether you're searching for a gift for your history-loving dad, or hoping to get your vegan sister a cookbook she will actually use, the Penguins can point you in the right direction. As publishing professionals who live and breath books, there are no better experts to turn to with such difficult questions like, "What new novel book should I get my mystery-loving, romance-hating Irish grandmother?" Trust me when I say, they can find the right one.
A publisher-agnostic effort, the Penguins aren't just recommending their own books to shoppers in need. Rather, they make thoughtful suggestions across various publishing houses, genres, authors, reading levels, and more. Whatever you need, or whatever your Secret Santa wants, the Penguins can help you find.
Excited to see what the Penguins suggests for you and your loved ones? Get started making your book shopping list by checking out the 8 personalized book recommendations for Bustle readers, created especially for us by the Penguin Hotline.
'The Animal Under the Fur' by E.J. Mellow
“The Animal Under the Fur by E.J. Mellow made an animal out of me. Sizzling romance, suspense and irresistible wit, Mellow introduces you to two edgy characters who will demand your attention. I can’t wait to gift this book to everyone I know for the holidays.”
— Natasha, Social Media Coordinator
'The Folded Clock' by Heidi Julavits
“The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits would be a great gift for the writer in your life. It takes the idea of journaling and turns it on its head - this book is full of strange and beautiful reflections on family, love, and art.”
— Amy, Marketing Manager
'Literally Me' by Julie Houts
“This year I’m giving Literally Me by Julie Houts, to (literally!) all of my sisters and girlfriends. It’s hilarious, timely, and hits the nail on the head when it comes to satirizing what it means to be a woman in today’s world. Plus, the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous.”
— Molly, Marketing Coordinator
'Exit West' by Mohsin Hamid
“I’ll be recommending Exit West by Mohsin Hamid to nearly everyone on my list. It’s a timely and imaginative take on the refugee crisis, and reading it made me feel reflective and engaged at the same time. I wish it were required reading for everyone!”
— Casey Blue, Publishing Manager
'The Leavers' by Lisa Ko
“The Leavers by Lisa Ko is a well-written, empathetic story that uncovers horrible truths about the US immigration system through the eyes of a young boy and his missing mother. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read!”
— Kathryn, Marketing Coordinator
'Little Fires Everywhere' by Celeste Ng
“I could not put down Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. A complete page-turner about family — and all of the complicated things that come with that label. Plus, I always love a book with an artist character!”
— Lauren, Editorial Assistant
'War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony' by Nelson A. Denis
“War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony by Nelson A. Denis is a phenomenal book detailing the relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico. This book spoke to me in more ways than imaginable, especially in the last half of the year. I will definitely be recommending this book to everyone during the holidays if they want a good read and a better understanding of this complex relationship.”
— Daniela, PRH Intern
'The Wanted' by Robert Crais
“I’m excited to recommend The Wanted by Robert Crais for the holidays. Crais is one of my all-time favorite authors and there's no better place to start his long running Elvis Cole series than with The Wanted: smart, smooth and fast-paced!”
— John, Senior Marketing Manager