It’s that time of year again. The holidays. The time of year filled with family and friends, turkey and pie, tickets home and car rides, Black Friday deals and glasses of cheer. And for many of us, it’s trying to find a present for those hard-to-gift people in our lives. You know—the ones you’ve already given a coffee-shop giftcard to and a scented candle the year before that. We hope this list helps you cross a few more off your shopping list.
For your coworker throwing a holiday party
LINCOLN IN THE BARDO, George Saunders’s incredible first novel, is the winner of the Man Booker Prize—a very smart choice. TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD will show that you have some humor and fits in with the party theme.
For your neighbor who brings in the mail when you are away
UNCOMMON TYPE, a charming new story collection from one of America’s greatest actors, because who doesn’t love Tom Hanks? The same goes for Agatha Christie.
For your cousin who brings the antipasto each year, with extra olives just for you
INGREDIENTI is a charming book perfect for a foodie, written by Marcella Hazan, the inimitable woman who popularized Italian cuisine in America, and her husband Victor. SUPER TUSCAN is a beautiful book that introduces the flavors of Tuscany into everyday dishes.
For the White Elephant
Ah, this is a tough one. I recommend WHAT IF? or STEPHEN COLBERT’S MIDNIGHT CONFESSIONS. Either of these books will no doubt become the coveted gift in the White Elephant.
For your college-aged niece
It’s tough to keep that cool reputation you’ve carefully cultivated all these years. NOVEMBER CRIMINALS has been compared to CATCHER IN THE RYE and is now a major motion picture. THE HANDMAID’S TALE is one of Margaret Atwood’s finest works, and the Hulu series has garnered much acclaim.
For your boss
Choosing a gift for your boss can be challenging, especially when you’ve already exhausted the wine, candle, coffee route. Try LEONARDO DA VINCI or PRINCIPLES. Whether your boss is the general manager or the president, these books offer inspiration for life and work.
For your sister’s new boyfriend who you’ll be meeting for the first time
Does anyone not like Bob Dylan, the winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature? Ray Bradbury’s SOMETHING WICKED COMES THIS WAY is a classic in a stunning new package.
For the brother-in-law of your sister-in-law
You refer to each other as the outlaws. You’ll both be laughing with these humorous picks: WAITING FOR THE PUNCH or IT’S ALL RELATIVE.
For your dog sitter
BLUE DOG LOVE is filled with the whimsical art of George Rodrigue, a wonderful coffee-table book. THE CATS OF COPENHAGEN, though seemingly ironic, will work if your dog sitter is also a cat sitter, too.
For your child’s teacher
Astronaut Scott Kelly is hugely inspirational and a great example of the ability to achieve whatever you set your mind to. THE SUN AND HER FLOWERS is a beautiful collection of poetry from the author of MILK AND HONEY.
For your brother’s ex-girlfriend who is coming to dinner
The holidays may offer up some awkward situations, but these books won’t. THE RULES OF MAGIC is the prequel to PRACTICAL MAGIC from beloved author Alice Hoffman. LITERALLY ME is collection of illustrations and essays from “Instagram’s favorite illustrator.” (Vogue)
For your tween nephew
You have a close with relationship with your nephew, but he’s past the Legos. WONDER is a #1 New York Times bestseller soon to be a major motion picture. THE HOUSE OF THE SCORPION is a modern classic, a dystopian novel that has won several awards, including the National Book Award.