The holidays. For some, this time of year is the season they look forward to the most. You know the types, the people who take holiday cheer as a challenge and engage in the spirit of giving like it’s an extreme sport. And then there’s the opposite. The Scrooges of the world sneering their Bah Humbugs at every Santa on the street. But no matter where you fall on the holiday spectrum, or even if you just want to buy yourself something nice, these eight books make great gifts.
For Fantasy Lovers: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Pirates. Secrets. A literal starless sea. After finding a mysterious book, Zachary Rawlins discovers a story from his own childhood written in the pages. Following the clues, he is led deep into an enchanted world. But there are forces at work to undo this magical realm, and Zachary finds that perhaps fighting for this world can lead to an understanding of his purpose beyond the pages. Fans of The Night Circus will delight in returning to another lush world Morgenstern has created. And new fans will find themselves enchanted from the first page. Full of lyrical prose and adeptly capturing the profound sense of wonder, The Starless Sea will make even the most hardened Grinch believe in magic.
For Contemporary Connoisseurs: Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
Navigating this new world isn’t easy for anyone. Meet Queenie Jenkins. As a Jamaican British Londonite, Queenie feels like she just doesn’t fit anywhere. Struggling after a difficult break-up, she finds herself looking for love (in all the wrong places) but discovering something unexpected instead. Hailed as a modern and inclusive spin on Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah, Queenie is perfect for anyone looking to find themselves in this modern world. Whether you have a young woman searching for stability, or you simply want to understand the struggles young women face, this book will open doors and conversations – what better gift can you give than that?
For Historical Dreamers: The Revisioners by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
The friendship between Josephine and Charlotte is not an easy one. It’s 1925 and Josephine is proud of the freedom she fought for and the farm she built. Even though Charlotte sought Josephine’s company out, Charlotte’s interest in the Ku Klux Klan threatens Josephine and her family. One hundred years later, Ava, Josephine’s descendent, faces struggles of her own. She moves in with her grandmother, an aging white woman losing her mind. Ava must find her escape before she becomes another casualty of the past. A generational story that faces the difficulties of the past while exploring how the legacies haunt the present, this book is the gift that will resonate and last the entire year.
For the Nonfiction Realists: The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West
Is it really a holiday gathering if you don’t spark up a political conversation ensuring that half the family won’t be speaking by the end of the night? In her signature voice, West dives deep into misogynistic culture, dissecting the links in pop culture that have systemically led to many of the arguments against feminism today. She is funny and fascinating, and while enraging all the members of your family (in different ways) may not be the ideal holiday goal, enlightenment is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
For the Page-Turning Thrillists: The Kill Club by Wendy Heard
Raised by Carol, a fanatical foster mother with questionable behavior, Jazz is nothing but relieved she is grown and out of that house. Except, her younger brother Joaquin is still there. When Carol takes a turn for the far more abusive, Jazz is desperate to save her brother’s life. One day a blocked call offers her hope… all she has to do to get him out is kill a stranger. For the bookworm in your life that prefers fast-turning pages to ring in the New Year, The Kill Club will keep them thrilled late into the night, complete with a book hangover the next day. It’s basically the best gift ever.
For the Horror Obsessed: The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters
Becca and Heather were inseparable. They both loved all things spooky, from serial killers to mythical monsters. Until Becca becomes convinced the Red Lady, a witch forever enshrined as a venture spirit, is real. Thirty years later, Heather won’t talk about the night Becca died. But when a necklace arrives – one Heather hasn’t seen since that dark and fateful night – she knows the past is coming back to haunt her. Someone knows what really happened that night, and Heather has to pay. The Dead Girls Club is the must-read book for the horror fans in your life.
For Rom-Com Fanatics: Heidi’s Guide To Four Letter Words by Tara Sivec and Andi Arndt
Heidi Larson was a kindergarten teacher. Until she was fired. A box of wine and some old podcast equipment later, Heidi is reading steamy romance novels aloud, cracking herself up in the process. Never did she dream anyone else would listen. They did, and a podcast was born. With each episode, Heidi embraces her podcast persona more and more, surprising even herself. Hello sexy neighbor and watch out Waconia, because Heidi is on the loose. Heidi’s Guide To Four Letter Words is absolutely a must for anyone who binge-watches Love Actually every holiday season and relates on a molecular level to Bridget Jones.
For the Romantics: Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
Morgan and Clara Grant are a mother-daughter duo that are nothing alike. Morgan refuses to let Clara make the same mistakes she did. Mainly getting pregnant and married at a young age, putting all her dreams on hold. But Clara has no intention of being anything like her boring mother. The only person holding the family in balance is Chris, husband, father, peacemaker. When he dies, tragically, suspiciously, Morgan and Clara spiral farther and farther apart, until neither believes they can ever come back together again. Clara turns more and more to the boy she’s forbidden to see and Morgan finds comfort in an unexpected place. Yes, this book will make you cry. But in an endearing, tender, It’s A Wonderful Life kind of way. For the tender-hearted romance lovers in your life, Regretting You is the gift they’ll treasure for years to come.
*Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links. These picks are editorially selected, but if you purchase, She Reads may get something in return. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.