I love books. I believe there is no such things as too many books. I think everyone should own and read more books. I love giving books as gifts as a way to shame people into reading more. If you feel the same way, you probably already know what books to give people. But maybe you need more ideas?
Let me help! (Some of these are affiliate links.)
The Next Right Thing Guided Journal by Emily P. Freeman (link) + fancy pens
The Next Right Thing Guided Journal is for anyone who enjoys journaling, has some indecision, or just likes to reflect. I love Emily’s podcast and this journal works well whether or not you’re familiar with it. Add a package of fancy pens to the gift; everyone loves a good pen.
Where Should We Camp Next? by Stephanie & Jeremy Puglisi (link) + favorite road trip snacks
If you have a friend who loves to explore the great outdoors, this book full of places to camp (trailer, tent, or cabin) across the US is a great idea. I used it to plan our Iowa trip, and it’s coming in handy for our 2022 plans as well. Fill a gift bag with your favorite road trip snacks (I prefer Sprees—NOT the chewy ones, gross—and Doritos, but you can pick whatever you want, I guess), and you’re good to go.
Our Time is Now by Stacey Abrams (link) + a donation to their favorite political cause
Abrams does a wonderful job of presenting the long history of voter suppression in the US in this book. Her work in Georgia is ground shifting. If you have a friend who loves social justice issues, this book will be a hit. Make a donation to a favorite cause in their name as well, and you know they’ll love it.
Wait For It by Jenn McKinlay (link) + sunglasses
Okay, so technically there are many fluffy, kinda predictable, romantic fiction books I could put here. Pick your favorite one (there’s a lot more to choose on my book IG account if you need more ideas!) and throw in some sunglasses. Everyone loves a beach read, even if it’s just enjoyed from the couch in the middle of winter.
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse (link) + a water bottle
Anyone who loves true crime will LOVE this book. I was hooked from the first chapter. It feels a little like a really good serial podcast. Add in a fun water bottle, because they’re going to want to stay hydrated as they binge this interesting and heartbreaking book.
The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done by Kendra Adachi (link) + a hat
Gift The Lazy Genius Way to a friend who loves self-help stuff. I’m less and less a fan of self-help, but Adachi isn’t about telling you what to do. She’s more about helping you do whatever it is you find important. This book is full of smart and simple ideas to incorporate into your life. Or don’t! She’s pretty good about telling you if a tip doesn’t work for you, do it differently. Pick out a cute hat to go with this book; I think the most Lazy Genius thing is not washing your hair and wearing a hat all day. (This is a Mary Graham tip, not Kendra Adachi one. I’m sure she’ll add that to her next edition.)
Beautiful Boards: 50 Amazing Snack Boards for Any Occasion by Maegan Brown (link) + a charcuterie board
Full disclosure: This is what my friend got me for my birthday this year, and I loved it so much I think you probably know someone who will too. This book is beautiful to look at, has so many great ideas, and has recipes to help you get more creative with your food boards. It’s really fun. If you have a friend who loves to entertain, this is their gift. Find a fun board to wrap up with this book, then ask to be invited over for taste tests.
Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish (link) + food scale
I realize 2020 was the year of homemade bread, but I know there are still people who haven’t made their own bread yet and would love this book. Truthfully, I got this for Christmas in 2019, tried the first bread recipe, and haven’t moved on from it. Because it’s that good. I’m sure the rest of the book is good too, I’ve just not gotten there yet. If you’re gifting this book to someone, I’d pair it with a food scale. Making bread with Forkish requires you to weigh ingredients instead of measuring, so the food scale is necessary.
Try Softer by Aundi Kolber (link) + a cozy blanket
As I stated above, I’m not a big fan of self-help books. So many of them hurt instead of help us, and we end up more overwhelmed and frustrated after them. Try Softer by Aundi Kolber is the opposite of that. Grab a copy of her book and a cozy blanket for a friend; they’ll love the way this book teaches them to be kinder and gentler with themselves. Something we could all use more of.
Broken (in the Best Possible Way) by Jenny Lawson (link) + a fun puzzle
I gave this to a friend who isn’t a big reader, and she loved it. I’m not sure who wouldn’t like Jenny Lawson, really. She’s honest and funny, wise and vulnerable. She doesn’t have it all together and doesn’t really want to. She makes her readers laugh and feel a little less odd at the same time. It might be weird to pair this book with a puzzle, but it’s a metaphor, okay?
Staples+5 by Tanorria Askew (link) & pretty measuring spoons and cups
This cookbook doesn’t come out until Nov. 22, but it will be here in time for Christmas! Staples+5 is all about using ingredients you probably have in the pantry and making delicious meals with them. I don’t care what people say about Pinterest, I will never stop buying cookbooks to fill my kitchen. It’s not the same. There’s just something better about holding a cookbook. I’d pair this with a set of pretty measuring cups or spoons BUT if you’re one of the lucky few who can order Tanorria’s homemade hot chocolate and marshmallows before she sells out, do that instead.
Feast by Firelight by Emma Frisch (link) + a s’more kit
Truthfully, this is just a beautiful book so if you have someone who likes to look at pretty books, this is for them! (Also, no shame in that.) It’s a bonus that it’s full of recipes for camping and the grill. Add in a fun s’mores kit with your favorite dark chocolate and you’ll be the hit of the party.
The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan (link) + eye masks
Really, you can’t go wrong with any Kelly Corrigan book, she’s just an incredible writer. I picked The Middle Place because it feels relevant and real for me: raising my own kids while watching my parents age. These stories are beautiful and wise, a gift to the reader. Throw in a set of those fancy gold under-eye masks, because if the person feels a connection to this book, it’s probably also time for some attention to their face.
Let Me Feed You by Rosie Daykin (link)+ a set of kitchen towels
If you have a friend who loves to bake, Let Me Feed You is a perfect gift for them. There are recipes that don’t involve baking, but I’ve especially loved the baking ones. My girls LOVE the Party Scones (so do I), and the almond blueberry cake is a frequent request for special occasions here. I’d say those two recipes alone are worth the purchase, but—good news—the whole book is amazing. I’d wrap this gift up with a set of fun kitchen towels.
Cozy Minimalist Home: More Style, Less Stuff by Myquillyn Smith (link) + a house plant
I’ve recommended this book before, and I still love it, so here we go again: Cozy Minimalist Home is a collection of tips to help you create the home you love without filling it with more and more stuff. I’m a big fan of less stuff, and this book helps you figure out to keep the things you love and get rid of the other stuff. From a practical sense, less stuff to care for and maintain frees up your life and makes more time for stuff you love—which I’m a big fan of. Give this book with a house plant, preferably something low maintenance and easy like a spider plant or a zz plant, so your friend doesn’t spend too much time caring for it.
Nobody Will Tell You This But Me by Bess Kalb (link) + a photo album
This is one of my favorite books of 2021, but I did bawl through the last few chapters, so proceed accordingly. This book about a woman and her grandmother is a beautiful story about memories, big personalities, and loss. Reading it will make the reader want to run to their older relatives, gather up all their memories and pictures, and write down all their stories. I know photo albums are very 1995, but I think they’re still important, and it feels like the perfect pairing for this bittersweet book.
Effin’ Birds by Aaron Reynolds (link) + a bird feeder
This is a good book for someone who enjoys birds and laughing. Do not buy this book for someone who dislikes a bad word and has no sense of humor—this will not work out for you. This would make a fun coffee table books for people who don’t have children who can read, but enjoy sarcasm and swear words. (Preview his IG account if you’re not sure.) I’d gift this with a fun bird feeder (I put a fun acrylic window one on this list) and maybe a bag of bird seed.
Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand (link) + a beach towel
This is another fun fiction book for anyone who loves a good story about friends, secrets, and growing up. Hilderbrand is a master storyteller and the twists in this story kept me entertained and engaged. I’d wrap this book up in a beach towel for a friend who’s taking a trip soon.
Okay, that’s it. This might be my favorite list, don’t tell the others. And, really, this could be a lot more books, but time and attention span are limiting me. If you have a favorite book, skip these ideas, and pair it with something related. It’s such a great way to share something you love with others.
DISCLOSURE: AFFILIATE LINKS USED