Gifts wrapped for the holidays

17 Bookish Holiday Gift Ideas to Delight Your Loved Ones

November 12 2021
Share 17 Bookish Holiday Gift Ideas to Delight Your Loved Ones

While building snowmen and baking sugar cookies are both worthy contenders for favorite holiday traditions, one favorite holiday activity that always tops that list is gift giving. Nothing compares to the wonderful feeling of finally finding the perfect present for someone—something that they didn’t know they needed but once they have, they can’t imagine their life without. And, of course, books always fall into that category! But before you wrap up these titles with a big bow, consider pairing each book with another extra special something for a truly unforgettable holiday season!

Check out Simon & Schuster’s Holiday Gift Guide for more!

It Ends with Us
by Colleen Hoover

Trending on TikTok, this is a brave and heartbreaking novel about the reappearance of Lily’s first love, who threatens the new romance she has begun to build with the mysterious, relationship-averse neurosurgeon, Ryle Kincaid. If you’re gifting to anybody deeply entrenched in BookTok (we know we definitely are!), be sure to include another viral goodie like the book stamp seen here.

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It Ends with Us
Colleen Hoover

In this “brave and heartbreaking novel that digs its claws into you and doesn’t let go, long after you’ve finished it” (Anna Todd, New York Times bestselling author) from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of All Your Perfects, a workaholic with a too-good-to-be-true romance can’t stop thinking about her first love.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. And when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life seems too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

An honest, evocative, and tender novel, It Ends with Us is “a glorious and touching read, a forever keeper. The kind of book that gets handed down” (USA TODAY).

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In a Holidaze
by Christina Lauren

Desperate for some happiness as her life spirals out of control, Maelyn lets out a simple plea for a snowy white Christmas. Suddenly, she’s thrown into a strange time loop, reliving the same holiday to no end. Beyond the hilarious disasters and love life antics, this novel is simply full of yuletide cheer that will remind you of all the festive winter activities you love. You’ll want to include a gingerbread kit with this book gift because readers will crave some holiday family fun time after reading!

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In a Holidaze
Christina Lauren

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

One Christmas wish, two brothers, and a lifetime of hope are on the line for hapless Maelyn Jones in In a Holidaze, the quintessential holiday romantic novel by Christina Lauren, the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark “downright hilarious” (Helen Hoang, author of The Bride Test) hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays.

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The Other Black Girl
by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Know a thriller fan? Get them one of the most popular thrillers of the year! THE OTHER BLACK GIRL keeps readers on their toes as Nella Rogers discovers that the new and only other Black girl in their book publishing house may not actually be a friend like she originally thought. Keep this book close to you by decorating your room with a poster from the same artist who licensed his work for the cover!

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The Other Black Girl
Zakiya Dalila Harris

“Riveting, fearless, and vividly original. This is an exciting debut.” —Emily St. John Mandel, New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Hotel

Get Out meets The Devil Wears Prada in this electric debut about the tension that unfurls when two young Black women meet against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing.

Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust.

Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.

It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career.

A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary that is perfect for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or overlooked in the workplace, The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.

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I Miss You When I Blink
by Mary Laura Philpott

Have you ever achieved something, expected to feel content, but still felt anxious or lost? Sometimes success isn’t enough to combat feeling stuck because of overflowing calendars, never-ending responsibilities, and the unrealistic pressure to achieve. Everyone can relate to this memoir-in-essays on the struggles of modern adulthood, whether it’s a family member, coworker, or neighbor you’re just getting to know. For your particularly type A friends, we suggest a second gift as well: a planner recommended by productivity experts.

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I Miss You When I Blink
Mary Laura Philpott

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

A charmingly relatable and wise memoir-in-essays by acclaimed writer and bookseller Mary Laura Philpott, the modern day reincarnation ofNora Ephron, Erma Bombeck, Jean Kerr, and Laurie Colwinall rolled into one (The Washington Post), about what happened after she checked off all the boxes on a successful lifes to-do list and realized she might need to reinvent the list—and herself.

Mary Laura Philpott thought she’d cracked the code: Always be right, and you’ll always be happy.

But once she’d completed her life’s to-do list (job, spouse, house, babies—check!), she found that instead of feeling content and successful, she felt anxious. Lost. Stuck in a daily grind of overflowing calendars, grueling small talk, and sprawling traffic. She’d done everything “right” but still felt all wrong. What’s the worse failure, she wondered: smiling and staying the course, or blowing it all up and running away? And are those the only options?

Taking on the conflicting pressures of modern adulthood, Philpott provides a “frank and funny look at what happens when, in the midst of a tidy life, there occur impossible-to-ignore tugs toward creativity, meaning, and the possibility of something more” (Southern Living). She offers up her own stories to show that identity crises don’t happen just once or only at midlife and reassures us that small, recurring personal re-inventions are both normal and necessary. Most of all, in this “warm embrace of a life lived imperfectly” (Esquire), Philpott shows that when you stop feeling satisfied with your life, you don’t have to burn it all down. You can call upon your many selves to figure out who you are, who you’re not, and where you belong. Who among us isn’t trying to do that?

“Be forewarned that you’ll laugh out loud and cry, probably in the same essay. Philpott has a wonderful way of finding humor, even in darker moments. This is a book you’ll want to buy for yourself and every other woman you know” (Real Simple).

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The Stationery Shop
by Marjan Kamali

THE STATIONERY SHOP is a heartbreaking novel set in 1950s Tehran, involving a bookstore oasis, a romance ripped apart by war, and coming of age amid a political revolution. Themes of lost connections and secret letters will make this the perfect book gift to pair with a stationery set!

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The Stationery Shop
Marjan Kamali

A poignant, heartfelt new novel by the award-nominated author of Together Tea—extolled by the Wall Street Journal as a “moving tale of lost love” and by Shelf Awareness as “a powerful, heartbreaking story”—explores loss, reconciliation, and the quirks of fate.

Roya, a dreamy, idealistic teenager living amid the political upheaval of 1953 Tehran, finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri’s neighborhood stationery shop, stocked with books and pens and bottles of jewel-colored ink.

Then Mr. Fakhri, with a keen instinct for a budding romance, introduces Roya to his other favorite customer—handsome Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice and a love for Rumi’s poetry—and she loses her heart at once. Their romance blossoms, and the little stationery shop remains their favorite place in all of Tehran.

A few short months later, on the eve of their marriage, Roya agrees to meet Bahman at the town square when violence erupts—a result of the coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future. In the chaos, Bahman never shows. For weeks, Roya tries desperately to contact him, but her efforts are fruitless. With a sorrowful heart, she moves on—to college in California, to another man, to a life in New England—until, more than sixty years later, an accident of fate leads her back to Bahman and offers her a chance to ask him the questions that have haunted her for more than half a century: Why did you leave? Where did you go? How is it that you were able to forget me?

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Lucky
by Marissa Stapley

Lucky is a tough and talented girl who just pulled off a million-dollar heist with her boyfriend, but before she’s able to start her new life with her new identity, she finds herself alone. She does, however, have her hands on a winning jackpot ticket. For the friend who always jokes about winning the lottery, get them this book and a lottery ticket. Maybe they’ll be lucky too!

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Lucky
Marissa Stapley

A thrilling roller-coaster ride about a heist gone terribly wrong, with a plucky protagonist who will win readers’ hearts.

What if you had the winning ticket that would change your life forever, but you couldn’t cash it in?

Lucky Armstrong is a tough, talented grifter who has just pulled off a million-dollar heist with her boyfriend, Cary. She’s ready to start a brand-new life, with a new identity—when things go sideways. Lucky finds herself alone for the first time, navigating the world without the help of either her father or her boyfriend, the two figures from whom she’s learned the art of the scam.

When she discovers that a lottery ticket she bought on a whim is worth millions, her elation is tempered by one big problem: cashing in the winning ticket means she’ll be arrested for her crimes. She’ll go to prison, with no chance to redeem her fortune.

As Lucky tries to avoid capture and make a future for herself, she must confront her past by reconciling with her father; finding her mother, who abandoned her when she was just a baby; and coming to terms with the man she thought she loved—whose dark past is catching up with her, too.

This is a novel about truth, personal redemption, and the complexity of being good. It introduces a singularly gifted, multilayered character who must learn what it means to be independent and honest...before her luck runs out.

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The Night She Disappeared
by Lisa Jewell

Calling all mystery fans! A couple disappears after partying at a massive country estate. One year later, a note that reads “DIG HERE” is found on the estate’s border. Start looking for clues within the novel and this murder mystery subscription box—an additional gift that is sure to put detective skills to the test!

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The Night She Disappeared
Lisa Jewell

“I love all Lisa’s books, but The Night She Disappeared is her best thriller yet.” —Harlan Coben, New York Times bestselling author of Win

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone and The Family Upstairs comes another riveting work of “gloriously twisted” (Marie Claire) psychological suspense about a web of people whose lives are forever changed in the wake of a young couple’s disappearance.

On a beautiful summer night in a charming English suburb, a young woman and her boyfriend disappear after partying at the massive country estate of a new college friend.

One year later, a writer moves into a cottage on the edge of the woods that border the same estate. Known locally as the Dark Place, the dense forest is the writer’s favorite area for long walks and it’s on one such walk that she stumbles upon a mysterious note that simply reads, “DIG HERE.”

Could this be a clue towards what has happened to the missing young couple? And what exactly is buried in this haunted ground?

With her signature “rich, dark, and intricately twisted” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) prose, Lisa Jewell has crafted a dazzling work of suspense that will keep on the edge of your seat until the final page.

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A Pho Love Story
by Loan Le

Star-crossed lovers born into competing family-owned pho restaurants, Linh and Bao are both struggling with navigating their lives, restaurants, and romantic entanglement. When you’ve got this good read, all you need is some good eats. For your foodie friends, pair this book with a world food subscription box that is sure to show them a wide array of new cuisine.

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A Pho Love Story
Loan Le

When Dimple Met Rishi meets Ugly Delicious in this funny, smart romantic comedy, in which two Vietnamese-American teens fall in love and must navigate their newfound relationship amid their families’ age-old feud about their competing, neighboring restaurants.

If Bao Nguyen had to describe himself, he’d say he was a rock. Steady and strong, but not particularly interesting. His grades are average, his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents’ pho restaurant, and even there, he is his parents’ fifth favorite employee. Not ideal.

If Linh Mai had to describe herself, she’d say she was a firecracker. Stable when unlit, but full of potential for joy and fire. She loves art and dreams pursuing a career in it. The only problem? Her parents rely on her in ways they’re not willing to admit, including working practically full-time at her family’s pho restaurant.

For years, the Mais and the Nguyens have been at odds, having owned competing, neighboring pho restaurants. Bao and Linh, who’ve avoided each other for most of their lives, both suspect that the feud stems from feelings much deeper than friendly competition.

But then a chance encounter brings Linh and Bao in the same vicinity despite their best efforts and sparks fly, leading them both to wonder what took so long for them to connect. But then, of course, they immediately remember.

Can Linh and Bao find love in the midst of feuding families and complicated histories?

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Anxious People
by Fredrik Backman

Fredrik Backman’s latest feel-good book is about a collection of different people who all carry a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be, but they all desperately crave some sort of rescue. For the friend who needs to escape anxiety, pair this book with a spa care package!

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Anxious People
Fredrik Backman

An instant #1 New York Times bestseller, the new novel from the author of A Man Called Ove is a “quirky, big-hearted novel….Wry, wise and often laugh-out-loud funny, it’s a wholly original story that delivers pure pleasure” (People).

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises, these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.

Proving once again that Backman is “a master of writing delightful, insightful, soulful, character-driven narratives” (USA TODAY), Anxious People “captures the messy essence of being human….It’s clever and affecting, as likely to make you laugh out loud as it is to make you cry” (The Washington Post). This “endlessly entertaining mood-booster” (Real Simple) is proof that the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope can save us—even in the most anxious of times.

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Frankie & Bug
by Gayle Forman

It’s the summer of 1987, and ten-year-old Bug is not too excited to be stuck with her neighbor’s nephew Frankie, who she’s never met. However, as the summer unfolds, they find themselves learning some important lessons about each other and the world. When this book inevitably has you craving the ’80s, pair it with this nostalgically retro gift.

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Frankie & Bug
Gayle Forman

In the debut middle grade novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Gayle Forman comes a poignant and powerful coming-of-age story that follows a young girl and her new friend as they learn about family, friendship, allyship, and finding your way in a complicated world.

It’s the summer of 1987, and all ten-year-old Bug wants to do is go to the beach with her older brother and hang out with the locals on the boardwalk. But Danny wants to be with his own friends, and Bug’s mom is too busy, so Bug is stuck with their neighbor Philip’s nephew, Frankie.

Bug’s not too excited about hanging out with a kid she’s never met, but they soon find some common ground. And as the summer unfolds, they find themselves learning some important lessons about each other, and the world.

Like what it means to be your true self and how to be a good ally for others. That family can be the people you’re related to, but also the people you choose to have around you. And that even though life isn’t always fair, we can all do our part to make it more just.

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Cloud Cuckoo Land
by Anthony Doerr

With a book that is dedicated to librarians then, now, and in the years to come, a library tote bag is a necessity to complete the gift. These two gifts paired together only enhance Anthony Doerr’s story of intertwined dreamers and outsiders who find solace in books. Travel through time and space with CLOUD CUCKOO LAND but stay rooted in libraries and your new shirt!

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Cloud Cuckoo Land
Anthony Doerr

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of All the Light We Cannot See, perhaps the most bestselling and beloved literary fiction of our time, comes a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring novel about children on the cusp of adulthood in a broken world, who find resilience, hope, and story.

The heroes of Cloud Cuckoo Land are trying to figure out the world around them: Anna and Omeir, on opposite sides of the formidable city walls during the 1453 siege of Constantinople; teenage idealist Seymour in an attack on a public library in present day Idaho; and Konstance, on an interstellar ship bound for an exoplanet, decades from now. Like Marie-Laure and Werner in All the Light We Cannot See, Anna, Omeir, Seymour, and Konstance are dreamers and outsiders who find resourcefulness and hope in the midst of peril.

An ancient text—the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky—provides solace and mystery to these unforgettable characters. Doerr has created a tapestry of times and places that reflects our vast interconnectedness—with other species, with each other, with those who lived before us and those who will be here after we’re gone.

Dedicated to “the librarians then, now, and in the years to come,” Cloud Cuckoo Land is a hauntingly beautiful and redemptive novel about stewardship—of the book, of the Earth, of the human heart.

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The Book of Magic
by Alice Hoffman

If your friend has already watched Practical Magic five times, this complete book series is an ideal gift. A frantic attempt to save a young man’s life spurs three generations of the Owens women, and one long-lost brother, to use their unusual powers to break the curse as they travel across Europe to the English countryside where their ancestor Maria Owens first practiced the Unnamed Art. Pair the series—now complete with THE BOOK OF MAGIC—with some practical witch guides. Anybody who reads the completed series will want to try their hand at witchcraft!

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The Book of Magic
Alice Hoffman

Master storyteller Alice Hoffman brings us the conclusion of the Practical Magic series in a spellbinding and enchanting final Owens novel brimming with lyric beauty and vivid characters.

The Owens family has been cursed in matters of love for over three-hundred years but all of that is about to change. The novel begins in a library, the best place for a story to be conjured, when beloved aunt Jet Owens hears the deathwatch beetle and knows she has only seven days to live. Jet is not the only one in danger—the curse is already at work.

A frantic attempt to save a young man’s life spurs three generations of the Owens women, and one long-lost brother, to use their unusual gifts to break the curse as they travel from Paris to London to the English countryside where their ancestor Maria Owens first practiced the Unnamed Art. The younger generation discovers secrets that have been hidden from them in matters of both magic and love by Sally, their fiercely protective mother. As Kylie Owens uncovers the truth about who she is and what her own dark powers are, her aunt Franny comes to understand that she is ready to sacrifice everything for her family, and Sally Owens realizes that she is willing to give up everything for love.

The Book of Magic is a breathtaking conclusion that celebrates mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers, and anyone who has ever been in love.

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The Last Garden in England
by Julia Kelly

For those who want to be transported through time, this is one of the most popular historical fiction books of the year. THE LAST GARDEN IN ENGLAND is about five women living across three different times whose lives are all connected by one very special garden. This book will inspire anyone to buy more plants, so get your friend started with a flower planting kit!

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The Last Garden in England
Julia Kelly

From the author of the international bestsellers The Light Over London and The Whispers of War comes “a compelling read, filled with lovable characters and an alluring twist of fates” (Ellen Keith, author of The Dutch Wife) about five women living across three different times whose lives are all connected by one very special garden.

Present day: Emma Lovett, who has dedicated her career to breathing new life into long-neglected gardens, has just been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to restore the gardens of the famed Highbury House estate, designed in 1907 by her hero Venetia Smith. But as Emma dives deeper into the gardens’ past, she begins to uncover secrets that have long lain hidden.

1907: A talented artist with a growing reputation for her work, Venetia Smith has carved out a niche for herself as a garden designer to industrialists, solicitors, and bankers looking to show off their wealth with sumptuous country houses. When she is hired to design the gardens of Highbury House, she is determined to make them a triumph, but the gardens—and the people she meets—promise to change her life forever.

1944: When land girl Beth Pedley arrives at a farm on the outskirts of the village of Highbury, all she wants is to find a place she can call home. Cook Stella Adderton, on the other hand, is desperate to leave Highbury House to pursue her own dreams. And widow Diana Symonds, the mistress of the grand house, is anxiously trying to cling to her pre-war life now that her home has been requisitioned and transformed into a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers. But when war threatens Highbury House’s treasured gardens, these three very different women are drawn together by a secret that will last for decades.

“Gorgeously written and rooted in meticulous period detail, this novel is vibrant as it is stirring. Fans of historical fiction will fall in love with The Last Garden in England” (Roxanne Veletzos, author of The Girl They Left Behind).

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Black Nerd Problems
by William Evans and Omar Holmon

The creators of the popular website Black Nerd Problems bring their witty and unflinching insight to this engaging collection of pop culture essays—discussing everything from Mario Kart to issues of representation. Check out their website for some awesome merchandise to pair it with!

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Black Nerd Problems
William Evans and Omar Holmon

The creators of the popular website Black Nerd Problems bring their witty and unflinching insight to this engaging collection of pop culture essays on everything from Mario Kart and The Wire to issues of representation and police brutality across media.

When William Evans and Omar Holmon founded Black Nerd Problems, they had no idea whether anyone beyond their small circle of friends would be interested in their little corner of the internet. But soon after launching, they were surprised to find out that there was a wide community of people who hungered for fresh perspectives on all things nerdy, from the perspective of owned voices.

In the years since, Evans and Holmon have built a large, dedicated fanbase eager for their brand of cultural critique, whether in the form of a laugh-out-loud, raucous Game of Thrones episode recap or an eloquent essay on dealing with grief through stand-up comedy. Now, they are ready to take the next step with this vibrant and hilarious essay collection, which covers everything from X-Men to Breonna Taylor with insight and intelligence.

A much needed and fresh pop culture critique from the perspective of people of color, Black Nerd Problems is the ultimate celebration for anyone who loves a blend of nerd and social commentary, and unafraid to admit that they love all things nerdy.

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The Unofficial Bridgerton Cookbook
by Lex Taylor

You might not be able to be a lord or lady, but you can definitely dine like one! Inspired by Netflix’s popular series, Bridgerton, these 100 delicious recipes are perfect for fans of the show! Complete the deal with the perfect next series for Bridgerton fans—TO HAVE AND TO HOAX by Martha Waters.

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The Unofficial Bridgerton Cookbook
Lex Taylor

Dine like the lords and ladies and bring the high society meals and treats home with these 100 delicious recipes inspired by Netflix’s most-watched series of all time—Bridgerton.

Blue satin ball gowns, chocolates and high tea, five course meals with family, scandal, and romance. Welcome to the dashing world of Bridgerton. Grosvenor Square is buzzing with ladies and lords dressed to the nines, promenading in the park, and sharing lemonade at the evening’s ball. And while you might not be able to score the jewels and frocks of the Bridgertons and the Featheringtons, you can still eat like them with The Unofficial Bridgerton Cookbook.

From dazzling canapes, savory meat pies, sparkling wine, gooseberry pie, delicious finger sandwiches, and more, you’ll be eating like a Bridgerton in no time. Nevermind what Lady Whistledown says, it’s time to eat! These 100 recipes inspired by the delectable foods from Regency England will have you dining Duke and Duchess style with recipes like:
-Daphne’s Lemonade
-The Duke’s Gooseberry Pie
-Penelope’s Cucumber Sandwiches
-Queen Charlotte’s Cakes
-And many more!

Now you can feast like high society and devour these delectable recipes perfect for any social event.

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MENTIONED IN:

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By Off the Shelf Staff | November 18, 2021

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Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli
by Mark Seal

Film buffs will love it: the story of how The Godfather was made is as dramatic, operatic, and entertaining as the film itself! On top of the usual complications of filmmaking, the creators of The Godfather had to contend with the real-life members of its subject matter: the Mob. Get into the film’s spirit by planning a movie night together with your friend to watch (or rewatch!) the Sopranos movie, The Many Saints of Newark!

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Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli
Mark Seal

The behind-the-scenes story of the making of The Godfather, fifty years after the classic film’s original release.

The story of how The Godfather was made is as dramatic, operatic, and entertaining as the film itself. Over the years, many versions of various aspects of the movie’s fiery creation have been told—sometimes conflicting, but always compelling. Mark Seal sifts through the evidence, has extensive new conversations with director Francis Ford Coppola and several heretofore silent sources, and complements them with colorful interviews with key players including actors Al Pacino, James Caan, Talia Shire, and others for irresistible insights into how the movie whose success some initially doubted roared to glory.

On top of the usual complications of filmmaking, the creators of The Godfather had to contend with the real-life members of its subject matter: the Mob. During production of the movie, location permits were inexplicably revoked, author Mario Puzo got into a public brawl with an irate Frank Sinatra, producer Al Ruddy’s car was found riddled with bullets, men with “connections” vied to be in the cast, and some were given film roles.

As Seal notes, this is the tale of “a classic movie that revolutionized filmmaking, saved Paramount Pictures, minted a new generation of movie stars, made its struggling author Mario Puzo rich and famous, and sparked a war between two of the mightiest powers in America: the sharks of Hollywood and the highest echelons of the Mob.” ​

Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli is the lively and complete story of how a masterpiece was made, perfect for anyone who loves the movies.

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17 Bookish Holiday Gift Ideas to Delight Your Loved Ones

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 12, 2021

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Wake
by Rebecca Hall

Part graphic novel, part memoir, WAKE tells the story of Dr. Rebecca Hall: a historian, a granddaughter of slaves, and a woman haunted by the legacy of slavery. Her journey takes her through old court records, slave ship captain’s logs, crumbling correspondence, and even the forensic evidence from the bones of enslaved women. Other popular books in the genre are sure to pair well for any fans of graphic novels.

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Wake
Rebecca Hall

Part graphic novel, part memoir, Wake is an imaginative tour-de-force that tells the “powerful” (The New York Times Book Review) story of women-led slave revolts and chronicles scholar Rebecca Hall’s efforts to uncover the truth about these women warriors who, until now, have been left out of the historical record.

Women warriors planned and led revolts on slave ships during the Middle Passage. They fought their enslavers throughout the Americas. And then they were erased from history.

Wake tells the “riveting” (Angela Y. Davis) story of Dr. Rebecca Hall, a historian, granddaughter of slaves, and a woman haunted by the legacy of slavery. The accepted history of slave revolts has always told her that enslaved women took a back seat. But Rebecca decides to look deeper, and her journey takes her through old court records, slave ship captain’s logs, crumbling correspondence, and even the forensic evidence from the bones of enslaved women from the “negro burying ground” uncovered in Manhattan. She finds women warriors everywhere.

Using a “remarkable blend of passion and fact, action and reflection” (NPR), Rebecca constructs the likely pasts of Adono and Alele, women rebels who fought for freedom during the Middle Passage, as well as the stories of women who led slave revolts in Colonial New York. We also follow Rebecca’s own story as the legacy of slavery shapes her life, both during her time as a successful attorney and later as a historian seeking the past that haunts her.

Illustrated beautifully in black and white, Wake will take its place alongside classics of the graphic novel genre, like Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and Art Spiegelman’s Maus. This story of a personal and national legacy is a powerful reminder that while the past is gone, we still live in its wake.

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17 Bookish Holiday Gift Ideas to Delight Your Loved Ones

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 12, 2021

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Photo credit: iStock / photoguns

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