Best Books To Gift For the Holidays

The holidays are quickly approaching, and I’m sure there are a lot of people like me who tend to leave gift shopping until the last minute. If money is tight and you have limited time, books are a wonderful way to show your loved ones you appreciate them. Obviously not everyone is a book person or reading fanatic, but I can say with near certainty that there is a book for everyone.

In a few days I’ll be sharing a list of book-related gifts for the real book fanatics in your life, but today I wanted to share a general list of books that will appeal to both intense readers and those who rarely pick up a book. Without further ado, here are the most giftable books of the year:

For political junkies and activists: American War by Omar El Akkad or The Red Word by Sarah Henstra. While these books are wildly different, they both centre around politics and divisiveness. One does it in the form of portraying a near-future America that has been divided by a civil war, the other by taking the reader back in time to a college campus in the 1990s.

Both novels have won awards and been celebrated for their unflinching depictions of the problems in society. Read my review of American War here and of The Red Word here.

For nature lovers: The Honey Farm by Harriet Alida Lye. In her stunning debut novel, Harriet Alida Lye takes us on a journey to a remote honey farm in Northern Ontario. Her main character, a young aspiring writer, works on the farm in exchange for room and board, and over the course of a summer begins to realize that something sinister is going on around her. Read my review here.

For science and business lovers: Bad Blood by John Carreyrou. Journalist John Carreyrou uncovers the secrets behind one of Silicon Valley’s most promising biotech startup companies, and the lengths it’s CEO went to to protect herself and her business partners. A nonfiction story that reads like a thriller, Bad Blood is an inside look at the bad side of business. Read my review here.

For the romantics: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones or The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle. Praised by Oprah Winfrey herself, An American Marriage tells the story of a newlywed couple torn apart by the American criminal justice system. It’s heart-wrenching, devastating and absolutely beautiful. Read my review here.

The Dinner List tells the story of a young woman who shows up to her birthday dinner only to find Audrey Hepburn, her deceased father, her college philosophy professor, her best friend, and her ex-boyfriend waiting for her. It’s funny, heart-warming and nostalgic. Read my review here.

For anyone who needs a bit of motivation: Educated by Tara Westover. In the standout memoir of the year, Tara Westover describes her childhood in the mountains of Idaho where she was raised by Mormon survivalist parents who wouldn’t allow her to attend school. Despite her start in life, Westover managed to earn a Ph.D. from Cambridge and forged a life for herself completely different from the one her family had envisioned for her. Read my review here.

For true crime addicts: I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara. Michelle McNamara never got to see the payoff from her deep investigation into the identity of the elusive Golden State Killer. Published after McNamara tragically passed away, I’ll Be Gone In The Dark is a comprehensive look at a serial killer who terrorized California for years. Only weeks after this book was released the killer was finally caught. Read my review here.

For the outdoors-man: The Line That Held Us by David Joy. In this Appalachian noir thriller, a man becomes intricately involved in a revenge plot when he helps his best friend cover up an accidental crime. This novel is about familial love, revenge, poverty and human judgment. Read my review here.

For the comedians: My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh or Transcription by Kate Atkinson. In My Year of Rest and Relaxation literary star Ottessa Moshfegh introduces us to a 24-year-old New York City woman who hates the world so much that she decides to sleep for a year. It a hilarious, vulgar novel about apathy, mental illness, and human nature. Read my review here.

Transcription is about an 18-year-old woman in London who is recruited into the MI-5 during the Second World War. What unfolds next is a series of bizarre, funny, and exciting events that shape the lives of everyone involves for years afterwards. Read my review here.

For thrill-seekers: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn. I kind of thought we were done with the Gone Girl spinoffs. How many novels can be written about unreliable female narrators? Then I picked up The Woman In The Window, which tells the story of an agoraphobic woman who witnesses something she shouldn’t, and suddenly I remembered why this genre is so successful. Read my review here.

For anyone who likes the paranormal: Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink. This quirky, spooky, and emotional adaptation of Joseph Fink’s hit podcast will offer readers the best kind of escape: one that drags them into an all-consuming mystery. Alice Isn’t Dead follows Keisha, whose wife went missing months before, as she drives a truck across the country in search of her wife. What she discovers is a massive conspiracy that will totally change her life. Read my review here.