Everyone Gets a Book!

December 1, 2018

Give a Book as a Holiday Gift!

gift stack of books

As you plan your holiday gift giving, you might be looking for book recommendations. Check out some suggestions below!

All of these are recent releases (most this year, some last year). All titles are Amazon affiliate links. Many of these books have been reviewed on the blog and can be found by checking the A-Z Index.

For Dad or Grandpa

Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin (baseball memoir, Boston Red Sox fan)

Grant; Washington: A Life; or Alexander Hamilton (all) by Ron Chernow (narrative nonfiction biographies)

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (social justice)

News of the World by Paulette Jiles (histfic, western)

Beartown by Fredrik Backman (sports, hockey, intense issues, community, family)

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman (poignant, reflective, meaning of life, novella)

For Mom or Grandma

(also see recommendations in the Girlfriend’s category below)

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (family dynamics, *my favorite read of the year*)

Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb (WW1 histfic, epistolary format, *a favorite of the year*)

Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis by Patti Callahan (histfic, biographical, romance)

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter (WW11, histfic, themes of survival, family, and faith, *a favorite of the year*)

From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon (WW11, histfic, survival, romance, *a favorite of the year*)

Force of Nature by Jane Harper (detective, mystery, Australia, #2 in a series but can be read as a stand alone)

My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie (histfic, biographical, *a favorite of the year*)

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (fable)

As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner (histfic, Spanish Flu)

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (histfic, 1920s India)

The Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (contemporary fiction, Japan)

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom (magical realism, music, a favorite author)

For a Bookworm

I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Ann Bogel (essays on the reading life)

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry ( beach read, romance, chick lit)

For Middle Grade Children

Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo (found family)

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (homelessness, imaginary friend)

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate (tolerance)

The War That Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won (both) by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (histfic)

Refugee by Alan Gratz (mature Middle Grade histfic, refugees, adults will enjoy too)

Wild Robot (series) by Peter Brown (younger Middle Grade science fiction)

Edited to add: The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (as highly recommended by Aimee in coments!)

See this post for more ideas

For Young Adult (or adult)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (racial injustice, black lives matter)

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (histfic, WW11)

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar (histfic, magical realism, mythology, folk tales, coming of age)

House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg (narrative nonfiction, biography, targeted for MG but I recommend for YA 14+ and adults)

See more Middle Grade and Young Adult suggestions in this post.

For a Girl Friend

(also see suggestions in the Mom or Grandma category above)

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (contemporary fiction, against the odds, *trigger: child abandonment)

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain (science fiction, time travel, *trigger: high risk birth, adoption)

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor (histfic, brave and independent women)

Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Leaning to Say by Kelly Corrigan (humor, memoir,*trigger: cancer)

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (contemporary fiction, African American)

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (histfic, WW11, romance)

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar (histfic, magical realism, mythology, folk tales, coming of age)

I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos (beach read, chick lit, #3 in a series but can be read as a stand alone)

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (histfic, Alaska, family dynamics *trigger: domestic violence)

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry ( beach read, romance, chick lit)

The Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda (adoption)

House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg (narrative nonfiction, biography, targeted for mature middle grade but recommended for 14+ and easily enjoyed by adults)


The Ministry of Ordinary Places: Waking Up to God’s Goodness Around You by Shannan Martin (reflection, hospitality, Christian issues, family, social justice, memoir)

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist (Christian living, spiritual growth, women’s issues, for fans of Bread and Wine and Savor)

I hope you have found some useful suggestions. These are some of the books that I can personally and wholeheartedly recommend. Please share in comments if you found a gift on this list or have a recommendation or question.

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gift stack of books

Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

Looking Ahead:

I think I’ll review an ARC (advanced reader copy) of a book I’m reading this week. It’s interesting and different, and I think it’s one that you might consider for your Winter TBR (releasing in January).

The Dreamers

My Fall TBR

I’ll be updating my Fall TBR list as I complete each read, so check this link often! I have only one more book to read and review, and my library hold of the book is due to come in any day. So I’ll be finished with my Fall TBR soon!

Sharing is Caring

Thank you for reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along, promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

 Let’s Discuss

Are books on your holiday shopping list?

Do you have any favorite books that you like to give as gifts?

***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.


  1. Hey Carol– You know I love this list(s)!! Copied down a couple I hadn’t gotten off your blog yet. Glad you included the Shannan Martin. I’m rereading in in January. And just did my yearly all day Christmas shop-a-thon with my sis yesterday (We start with breakfast and plan our route– end up about 10:00 with a late tortillas soup supper at Islands and check off our lists!) -And- we bought books. I got one or two for each of the 8 grand-kids. I know the older girls will start reading them Christmas day. OK, thanks for the new book tips and Merry Christmas!!

    • After I published I realized I hadn’t included my last category 😨😱 glad you saw the edited version 😂😂😂
      As a child, I LOVED having a new book to read on Christmas Day!
      Did you finish all your shopping? So fun to share it with someone! I detest the mall….last year I stopped in for 30 minutes to pick up something and my car was broken into 😩 I took that as my sign to never go again 😂😂
      I do the majority of shopping on line….and then stalk the front door to intercept my ups packages…. Merry Christmas Rhonda! 🎄 🎁

  2. The Ministry of Ordinary Places was the book I most gifted this year. I’m so glad you included it! It’s a great one 🙂

    I’d also add the Mysterious Benedict Society series to your middle grade category. They are such fun, clever mystery books.

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