Share Holiday Gift Ideas and Book Recommendations from Off the Shelf

Holiday Gift Ideas and Book Recommendations from Off the Shelf

We are passionate readers who love nothing more than discovering fantastic books and sharing them with friends. We recommend books that move us to laughter and tears—and everything in between. Trust us when we say, "You've got to read this!"

Need help shopping for that special someone on your list? We’ve got you covered. Here are the books we recommended on our Facebook Live Holiday Gift Guide.

Check out the hashtag #BooksILikeToGive on social media for more holiday book recommendations.


Leonardo da Vinci
by Walter Isaacson

Perfect for any lover of history, science, and art history, Walter Isaacson’s new gorgeously illustrated biography brings to life history’s most creative genius, Leonardo Da Vinci.

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Leonardo da Vinci
Walter Isaacson

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By Off the Shelf Staff | December 2, 2017

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By Off the Shelf Staff | November 27, 2017

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It Takes a Village
by Hillary Rodham Clinton, illustrated by Marla Frazee

This beautiful picture book by Hillary Rodham Clinton and illustrated by two-time Caldecott Honor recipient Marla Frazee asks young readers what they can do to make the world a better place. IT TAKES A VILLAGE is a Washington Post Best Children’s Book of 2017.

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It Takes a Village
Hillary Rodham Clinton, illustrated by Marla Frazee

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MENTIONED IN:

Holiday Gift Ideas and Book Recommendations from Off the Shelf

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 2, 2017

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The Rules of Magic
by Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman’s prequel to her bestseller, PRACTICAL MAGIC, is a pure delight for any fiction reader. It’s an uplifting story that celebrates the power of love.

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The Rules of Magic
Alice Hoffman

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MENTIONED IN:

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By Off the Shelf Staff | November 1, 2019

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By Taylor Noel | October 17, 2018

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Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
by Samin Nosrat, illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton

SALT, FAT, ACID, HEAT shows home cooks how to master these four simple elements to understand the hows and whys of good cooking. This beautifully illustrated cookbook will make anyone a more confident cook.

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Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
Samin Nosrat, illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton

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MENTIONED IN:

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By Off the Shelf Staff | December 2, 2017

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Ingredienti
by Marcella Hazan and Victor Hazan

INGREDIENTI is a simple and elegant manual on how to shop for the best ingredients and prepare the most delicious meals by the late Marcella Hazan, who popularized Italian cuisine in America, and her husband. A perfect stocking-stuffer for every home cook.

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Ingredienti
Marcella Hazan and Victor Hazan

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MENTIONED IN:

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By Aimee Boyer | December 11, 2017

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By Off the Shelf Staff | December 2, 2017

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Life
by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

This gorgeous picture book explores the beauty and tenacity of life through the eyes of animals. An inspiring gift for readers of all ages.

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Life
Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

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MENTIONED IN:

Holiday Gift Ideas and Book Recommendations from Off the Shelf

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 2, 2017

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
by Benjamin Alire Saenz

This is the moving story of two teenaged boys who think they have nothing in common and discover that they share a life-changing friendship.

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison and Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common, but as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime.

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Real Friends
by Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale and New York Times bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham join forces in this graphic memoir about how hard it is to find your real friends―and why it's worth the journey.

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Real Friends
Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

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MENTIONED IN:

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By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 6, 2017

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By Off the Shelf Staff | December 2, 2017

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A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman

We promise that you will fall in love with Ove, everyone’s favorite curmudgeon.

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A Man Called Ove
Fredrik Backman

“If you like to laugh AND feel moved AND have your heart applaud wildly for fictional characters, you will certainly fall for the grumpy but lovable Ove (it’s pronounced “Oo-vuh,” if you were wondering).”

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Beartown
by Fredrik Backman

BEARTOWN is a poignant, winning novel about a forgotten town on its last legs, a broken community fractured by scandal, and the amateur hockey team that might just change everything.

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Beartown
Fredrik Backman

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Birds Art Life
by Kyo Maclear

An intimate and exuberant meditation on creativity, life, and the value of connection.

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Birds Art Life
Kyo Maclear

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MENTIONED IN:

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In the Midst of Winter
by Isabel Allende

IN THE MIDST OF WINTER is Isabel Allende’s sweeping novel about three very different people who are brought together in a mesmerizing story that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil.

Read by Dennis Boutsikaris, Jasmine Cephas Jones and Alma Cuervo

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In the Midst of Winter
Isabel Allende

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MENTIONED IN:

Holiday Gift Ideas and Book Recommendations from Off the Shelf

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 2, 2017

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The Wright Brothers
by David McCullough

Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic behind-the-scenes-story of Wilbur and Orville Wright, the daring brothers who taught the world how to fly.

Read by David McCullough

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The Wright Brothers
David McCullough

Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic behind-the-scenes-story of Wilbur and Orville Wright, the daring brothers who taught the world how to fly.

Read by David McCullough

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Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
by Matthew Sullivan

When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind in this fiendishly clever debut novel from an award-winning short story writer.

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Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
Matthew Sullivan

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Priestdaddy
by Patricia Lockwood

Father Greg Lockwood is unlike any Catholic priest you have ever met. His daughter is an irreverent poet who long ago left the Church’s country. When an unexpected crisis leads her and her husband to move back into her parents’ rectory, their two worlds collide. From Patricia Lockwood—a writer acclaimed for her wildly original voice— PREISTDADDY is a vivid, heartbreakingly funny memoir about balancing identity with family and tradition.

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Priestdaddy
Patricia Lockwood

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The Jersey Brothers
by Sally Mott Freeman

THE JERSEY BROTHERS tells the remarkable saga of three American brothers amid the agony and triumph of WWII. From the home front to Roosevelt’s White House, Pearl Harbor to Midway and Bataan, this heroic portrait of brotherly love will stay with you long after your turn the last page.

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The Jersey Brothers
Sally Mott Freeman

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MENTIONED IN:

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The Lying Game
by Ruth Ware

Four friends from boarding school reunited in the latest page-turning novel from Ruth Ware, the author of IN A DARK, DARK WOOD and THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10.

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The Lying Game
Ruth Ware

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The TB12 Method
by Tom Brady

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady—the five-time Super Bowl champion who is still reaching unimaginable heights of excellence at 40 years old—reveals his revolutionary approach to staying fit in this “athlete’s bible.” Perfect for football fans—and other athletes of all kinds and all ages.

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The TB12 Method
Tom Brady

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MENTIONED IN:

Holiday Gift Ideas and Book Recommendations from Off the Shelf

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 2, 2017

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Girl in Snow
by Danya Kukafka

Fans of EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU will love this compulsively readable novel set in a small Colorado town. When a popular high school girl is found dead, everyone suspects the misfits. But there's much more to the real story.

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Girl in Snow
Danya Kukafka

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MENTIONED IN:

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Wild Things
by Bruce Handy

A delightful book about the pleasures of reading children's books—as a grown up. If you count Ramona, Max, and the Very Hungry Caterpillar as your friends, this one's for you.

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Wild Things
Bruce Handy

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MENTIONED IN:

Holiday Gift Ideas and Book Recommendations from Off the Shelf

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 2, 2017

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The Bright Hour
by Nina Riggs

Nina Riggs was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 37. Her candid and beautiful memoir reminds us that every day is a gift.

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The Bright Hour
Nina Riggs

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MENTIONED IN:

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By Off the Shelf Staff | July 29, 2019

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It's All Relative
by A. J. Jacobs

The ever-witty A.J. Jacobs set out to build the world's most comprehensive family tree. IT'S ALL RELATIVE gives new meaning to "we are family." The perfect gift for you sisters and your cousins and your aunts—and your in-laws, too.

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It's All Relative
A. J. Jacobs

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MENTIONED IN:

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The Last Castle
by Denise Kiernan

The fascinating true story behind the magnificent Gilded Age mansion Biltmore—the largest, grandest residence ever built in the United States.

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The Last Castle
Denise Kiernan

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By Sarah Woodruff | November 20, 2018

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Exit West
by Mohsin Hamid

This acclaimed novel is an imaginative, urgent, timely love story that imagines the forces the drive ordinary people from their homes into the uncertain embrace of new lands.

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Exit West
Mohsin Hamid

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MENTIONED IN:

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By Alice Martin | September 3, 2019

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Everything Is Awful
by Matt Bellassai

EVERYTHING IS AWFUL is a collection of hilariously anguished essays chronicling awful moments from his life so far, the humiliations of being an adult, and other little indignities from Matt Bellassai, the break-out star of BuzzFeed and People's Choice Award-winning comedian.

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Everything Is Awful
Matt Bellassai

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MENTIONED IN:

Holiday Gift Ideas and Book Recommendations from Off the Shelf

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 2, 2017

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Long Way Down
by Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds’s dazzling novel that takes place in 60 potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother. A National Book Award finalist.

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Long Way Down
Jason Reynolds

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MENTIONED IN:

Holiday Gift Ideas and Book Recommendations from Off the Shelf

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 2, 2017

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By Tolani Osan | November 21, 2017

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What Happened
by Hillary Rodham Clinton

For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history.

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What Happened
Hillary Rodham Clinton

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MENTIONED IN:

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By Meagan Harris | September 18, 2018

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