The Best Books to Give as Gifts


I'm one of those people who reads all the time and then always wants to pass books along to friends and family and even total strangers. I fall in love with plots and ideas and characters and concepts and just want everyone to experience them it makes sense that I think books are the BEST gifts. 

I've rounded up a bunch of my favorites and given you some ideas of the people in your life who might love them. I know it isn't even Thanksgiving yet...but it's never too early to start getting gifts ready for loved ones! Happy giving and happy reading!

For the one who is artsy and loves to craft and create: 

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

This book IS PURE GOLD. Let me shout that from the rooftops and get your attention so you'll buy it IMMEDIATELY. It is so good. Her podcast is equally amazing. I shared so many more of my gushing thoughts about this book HERE.

For the one who loves interior decorating and home design:


Kinfolk Home by Nathan Williams

I am a big fan of Kinfolk-- it feels like a breath of fresh air in a world that is cluttered and chaotic. It's simple and streamlined and stunning, and this would make for the perfect coffee table book!

For the one who doesn't actually like to read, but will doodle on everything:


1 Page at at a Time by Adam J. Kurtz

This is such a fun book-- perfect for doodlers and dreamers and anybody who wants to stretch their creative muscles in simple, easy, whimsical ways every day.

For the one who loves fashion and femininity:

How to be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas

This book was one I had seen in countless Instagrams from cool, trendy people I follow...and that's 100% of the reason why I picked it up. I loved my trip to Paris back in 2010, and was curious about what this book would really be about. I loved it. It's a fun, light-hearted read jam-packed with quotable wisdom and punchy little takeaway nuggets. It truly made me want to embrace the Parisian lifestyle...this book is a perfect Sunday afternoon coffeeshop read (which explains all the Instagrams...)

For the one who you know is a prayer warrior:


A Prayer Journal by Flannery O'Connor 

This collection of writings from O'Connor's journals is honest, raw, unedited and wonderful, "the record of a brilliant young woman's coming-of-age, a cry from the heart for love, grace, and art." A short and stunning read.


For the one who only reads fiction:

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

THIS BOOK. Couldn't put it down. It was sort of post-apocalyptic, but then not, so riveting, so fascinating, so well-written...I loved this one. The library did me so well this month! Imagining a world like this, when twenty-first century civilization like we know it comes to a total end, was so intriguing to me. This book wasn't depressing like The Road or similar end of the world books are, but instead made me really grateful for the life and world we have, and also really struck by the human experience and what we all would do if everything changed. Grab this one! Do it. It's so good.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This book was one I read for #collaboreads, so I'll just direct you to that post to read my thoughts in detail...this book was incredible and beautiful and I just can't write all my thoughts in this small space here!

For the one who prefers magazines:

Fast Company

If you're into tech or start-ups or social media or pop culture at all, this magazine is for you! I think guys would especially like it, although I've devoured it every month and learned great info and random facts as a result.


This magazine is BEAUTIFUL and empowering and just stunning all around. They don't do Photoshop at all and I love that. Their magazine is broken down into different personas, and I love the way they present their stories in such a gorgeous way. Each of these magazines feels like a true work of art that I want to read again and again.

For the one who needs an extra boost of confidence and grace:

Rising Strong by Brene Brown

I'm basically the biggest fan of Brene Brown that there is. (Probably not true at all because everyone I know who has read her loves her...but anyway.) I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one, and it did not disappoint. After reading Daring Greatly, I loved how this book took her thoughts to a deeper and richer place and added more richness and research to the conversations around shame and vulnerability and courage and owning our stories. The cover says "If we are brave enough, often enough, we will fall. This is a book about what it takes to get back up." We all fall and we all we fail and really, we just all need to read this book and rise stronger together. I can't recommend it enough. I would buy it for everyone and their dogs if I could.

For the one who either is an introvert or needs to better understand an introvert:

Quiet by Susan Cain

EVERYONE. READ THIS BOOK. NOW. I've never wanted to give a book to everyone I know so badly (okay, except maybe the Bible). It's gold. As a hardcore introvert, this book resonated with me on every page and made so much of how I feel and see things and respond to things make so much sense. It was hugely helpful, absolutely brilliant, deeply insightful, fascinating, wise, and just so very good. "The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking" -- YES. Introverts and extroverts alike-- read this and I promise you will understand people and yourself more clearly and it will change your life. Also-- Susan's TED talk is incredible too, if you're more into that sort of thing than you are into reading a whole book. Whatever you do, just soak up her goodness ASAP.

For the one who loves the classics:

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This book was my all-time favorite book as a kid, and when I found this gorgeous copy at my favorite Richmond used bookstore, I bought it without hesitation. I remembered much more of it than I was expecting to, but I was surprised when I came to the end and none of the sisters had gotten married and all of them were still alive...until I realized this old version was only just part one of what eventually became two parts joined together as one novel in more recent editions. So, I found my other copy on my bookshelf and finished part two, which concluded much more like I remembered! This book is such a classic and it's just so good. If you haven't ever read it, you need to.

For the one who loves TED talks:

The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer

A while back, I stumbled upon a TED talk called "The Art of Stillness" and fell in love with the way Pico Iyer talked about going nowhere. I love travel and adventure and exploring new places, but I also deeply love my solitude and times of stillness and quiet, so what he said affirmed my belief that the calm is so crucial in our lives. This book was just 65 pages and meant to be digested in one sitting. It's full of tranquil and stunning photography and a slightly more detailed look at the art of stillness than he presented in his talk, but both are wonderful and worth your short amount of time!

For the one who loves food:


Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist

This book is a "collection of essays about family, friendships, and the meals that bring us together" next to exquisite recipes, and I can't say enough good things about it. Obviously I love Shauna Niequist, but it's more than that. This book welcomes you into a kitchen buzzing with activity and full of the most incredible tastes and smells, welcomes you around the table where love overflows and real life happens.

What would you add to this list? Any books you're giving as gifts this year?