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Tis’ The Season: The Best Books You Received As Gifts

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!"

We confess, it’s quite difficult to shop for a booklover. For this reason, the gift of a book that’s truly cherished is a monumental feat for a gift-giver and a sigh of relief for the receiver. So we were wondering, what’s the best book you’ve ever been gifted? We asked you on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your answers had us feeling nostalgic and a bit misty-eyed (in many cases). This list of inspiring, uplifting, and gorgeous books is proof that books truly do make the best presents. And if you’re looking for the perfect gift to give a booklover this season, the ideas below have been approved by the best readers on the internet.


All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr

Already beloved by millions of readers, this novel follows a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as they both try to survive the devastation of World War II. The breakout hit of 2014, this beautiful novel was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. If you haven’t read it yet, this one should be at the top of your spring reading list.

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All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr

Already beloved by millions of readers, this novel follows a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as they both try to survive the devastation of World War II. The breakout hit of 2014, this beautiful novel was a finalist for the National Book Award and it just won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. If you haven't read it yet, this one should be at the top of your spring reading list.

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MENTIONED IN:

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By Off the Shelf Staff | December 30, 2019

Tis’ The Season: The Best Books You Received As Gifts

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 17, 2019

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The Little House on the Prairie
by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Set during the pioneer days of the late 1800s and early 1900s, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books chronicle her life growing up on the western frontier. LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE is actually the third of eight novels fictionalizing Wilder’s childhood growing up in a pioneer family, and it features the first house the family builds after leaving Wisconsin looking for bigger and better opportunities.

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The Little House on the Prairie
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Set during the pioneer days of the late 1800s and early 1900s, Laura Ingalls Wilder's books chronicle her life growing up on the Western frontier. For the first time in the history of the Little House books, these new editions feature Garth Williams' interior art in vibrant, full color. Come along for the adventure with this collector's set of the first five Little House books. Suggested by @SSinclair

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MENTIONED IN:

Tis’ The Season: The Best Books You Received As Gifts

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 17, 2019

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By Elizabeth Breeden | January 13, 2017

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By Off the Shelf Staff | November 13, 2014

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The Fellowship of the Ring
by J.R.R. Tolkien

An enduring classic and exemplary fable of courage, friendship, temptation, and power, the Lord of the Rings trilogy begins with THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, where an ordinary hobbit, Frodo Baggins, is tasked with destroying a powerful ring before the Dark Lord Sauron possesses it to rule over all of Middle Earth. To complete this task, Frodo and the Fellowship set out for a long, perilous journey to the mountains in Mordor.

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The Fellowship of the Ring
J.R.R. Tolkien

“Fly, you fools!” —Gandalf the Grey

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MENTIONED IN:

Tis’ The Season: The Best Books You Received As Gifts

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Nancy Drew Files Vol. I
by Carolyn Keene

Newly repackaged and ready for a new generation, NACY DREW FILES VOL I contains three classic mysteries. In SECRETS CAN KILL, Nancy goes undercover to investigate the elusive thief stalking the nighttime halls of Bedford High. In DEADLY INTENT, Nancy is ready to rock out at a concert in New York City—but the band’s lead guitarist vanishes minutes before they’re set to go onstage. And in MURDER ON ICE, Nancy and Ned head to a ski resort to rekindle their romance. But instead of love, they find deadly peril.

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Nancy Drew Files Vol. I
Carolyn Keene

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MENTIONED IN:

Tis’ The Season: The Best Books You Received As Gifts

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 17, 2019

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Little Women
by Louisa May Alcott

The wonderful story of the March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—and their wonderful Marmee, and the joys and mishaps they face as young women and as a family. Based on Louisa May Alcott’s childhood, this lively portrait of nineteenth-century family life possesses a lasting vitality that has endeared it to generations of readers. Check out the Greta Gerwig directed adaptation starring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, and Timothée Chalamet, in theaters this Christmas.

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Little Women
Louisa May Alcott

The wonderful story of the March sisters Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy and their wonderful Marmee and their joys and mishaps they face as young women and as a family. Based on Louise May Alcott's childhood, this lively portrait of nineteenth-century family life possesses a lasting vitality that has endeared it to generations of readers.

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MENTIONED IN:

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By Abby Zidle | April 10, 2018

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The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside Munich who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing after she encounters something she can’t resist—books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

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The Book Thief
Markus Zusak

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

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MENTIONED IN:

Tis’ The Season: The Best Books You Received As Gifts

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 17, 2019

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By Tolani Osan | December 12, 2016

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By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | May 7, 2015

Reading the War: 10 Novels Tell the Stories of WWII

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 5, 2014

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The Forty Rules of Love
by Elif Shafak

A lyrical and transcendent novel about the power of love, THE FORTY RULES OF LOVE offers a spiritual reading experience. A reader for a literary agent, Ellen, changes her life after she reads a novel, written by Aziz Zahara, in which Rumi encounters the spiritual mentor who shaped him into a poet, mystic, and advocate for love: Shams of Tabriz. As Ellen reads she finds that she and Rumi have a lot in common, and in this revelation finds solace and liberation in Shams’s words and teachings.

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The Forty Rules of Love
Elif Shafak

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MENTIONED IN:

Tis’ The Season: The Best Books You Received As Gifts

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 17, 2019

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Whiskey in a Teacup
by Reese Witherspoon

From Oscar-winning actress and fellow booklover Reese Witherspoon, WHISKEY IN A TEACUP has pages upon pages steeped in southern charm. Her guide to southern living and entertaining includes recipes, decor tips, and more, from her grandmother Dorothea who always said that “a combination of beauty and strength . . . made southern women ‘whiskey in a teacup.’”

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Whiskey in a Teacup
Reese Witherspoon

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MENTIONED IN:

Tis’ The Season: The Best Books You Received As Gifts

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 17, 2019

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By Off the Shelf Staff | December 17, 2018

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The Train to Crystal City
by Jan Jarboe Russell

Combining big-picture World War II history with a little-known event in America’s past, THE TRAIN TO CRYSTAL CITY reveals the never-before-told story of a secret internment camp in Texas where thousands of families—many US citizens—were incarcerated and exchanged for high-profile POWs in Germany and Japan.  

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The Train to Crystal City
Jan Jarboe Russell

Combining big-picture World War II history with a little-known event in American history, The Train to Crystal City reveals the never-before-told story of a secret internment camp in Texas where thousands of families—many US citizens—were incarcerated and exchanged for high-profile POWs in Germany and Japan.

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MENTIONED IN:

Tis’ The Season: The Best Books You Received As Gifts

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 17, 2019

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By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | April 16, 2015

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