Last Minute Gift Guide: Books! Books! Books!

Probably my favorite last minute gift to give is books! Books are such an easy way to give a gift that’s thoughtful and practical. Even if you only know a little bit about the recipient or their interests, you’re sure to find a title that is a perfect fit. Crafts! Tiny Houses! Travel! Fashion! Baking! Sewing! Politics! Poetry! Puppies! Jane Austen! Activism! Feminism! Local History! Cocktails! And on and on and on.

The other reason I think books are such a great last-minute gift, is that they are sold so many places. Stop by your local bookstore, swing through the book section at Target, try Barnes & Noble — even grocery stores and hardware stores have book sections. Or you can order online and often get super-fast shipping (or if it’s going to arrive later than you hoped, just call it a Happy New Year’s gift. Plus, books are available at all price ranges, so you don’t have to bust your budget either.

I’ve got some great book recommendations below to help you out — I’m going to link to Bookshop.org (which sources from local independent bookstores), and Amazon (which I know many of you prefer), but feel free to shop wherever you love buying books. If you’re shopping for books in person, my best advice is to have several options in mind, so if they’re out of one title, you can pick a backup option without getting frustrated.

Gone Dogs: Tales of Dogs We’ve Loved. Edited by Jim Mitchem and Laurie Smithwick. Gone Dogs is a gorgeous anthology containing 52 stories by people from around the world sharing the dogs of their lives.
Available at the Gone Dogs website

The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls. By Mona Elthaway. A bold and uncompromising feminist manifesto that shows women and girls how to defy, disrupt, and destroy the patriarchy by embracing the qualities they’ve been trained to avoid. Mona Elthaway is one of my favorite follows on Twitter.
Bookshop.org
Amazon

Sapiens: A Graphic History: The Birth of Humankind. By Yuval Noah Harari. The first volume of the graphic adaptation of Yuval Noah Harari’s smash #1 New York Times and international bestseller recommended by President Barack Obama and Bill Gates, with gorgeous full-color illustrations and concise, easy to comprehend text for adult and young adult readers alike.
Bookshop.org
Amazon

The Handmade Charlotte Playbook: Crafts, Games and Recipes for Families to do Together Throughout the Year. By Rachel Faucett. A magical treasure chest of fun-filled family activities with over 100 projects to do together throughout the year.
Bookshop.org
Amazon

Living Without Plastic: More Than 100 Easy Swaps for Home, Travel, Dining, Holidays, and Beyond. By Brigette Allen and Christine Wong. Embrace a plastic-free lifestyle with more than 100 simple, stylish swaps for everything from pens and toothbrushes to disposable bottles and the 5 trillion plastic bags we use — and throw out — every year.
Bookshop.org
Amazon

Men Explain Things to Me. By Rebecca Solnit. “Feminist, frequently funny, unflinchingly honest and often scathing in its conclusions.”—Salon
Bookshop.org
Amazon

Nutshell Library: Alligators all around / Chicken Soup With Rice / One was Johnny / Pierre. By Maurice Sendak. Four tiny volumes in a tiny case. I loved these as a child and I still love them as an adult.
[I couldn’t find a listing on Bookshop.org]
Amazon

Language of Flowers (From Stencils and Notepaper to Flowers and Napkin Folding). By Kate Greenaway. Charming reproduction of rare volume by famed 19th-century illustrator includes abundantly illustrated list of over 200 plants and their figurative equivalents.
Bookshop.org
Amazon

A Promised Land. By Barack Obama. A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy.
Bookshop.org
Amazon

Little Farmstead Living: Creating a Country Life Just Past the City Limits. By Julie Thomas. Through stories of transforming a fixer-upper into a charming farmhouse for her loved ones to enjoy, Julie reveals dozens of simple ways that anyone can bring warmth, joy, and meaning to their everyday homes.
Bookshop.org
Amazon

I Like You. By Sandol Stoddard Warburg. I was gifted this book by my freshman year college roommate and I have since gifted this book to dozens of others. It’s small and charming and quite lovely. (Good for Valentine’s Day too.)
Bookshop.org
Amazon

Pooh’s Library: Winnie-The-Pooh, The House At Pooh Corner, When We Were Very Young, Now We Are Six. By A.A. Milne. Since 1926, Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends—Piglet, Owl, Tigger, and the ever doleful Eeyore—have endured as the unforgettable creations of A.A. Milne, who wrote this book for his son, Christopher Robin, and Ernest H. Shepard, who lovingly gave Pooh and his companions shape. 
Bookshop.org
Amazon

Tiny Love Stories: True Tales of Love in 100 Words or Less. By Daniel Jones and Miya Lee. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be swept away — in less time than it takes to read this paragraph. Told in voices that are honest, vulnerable, tender, and wise, here are 175 true stories that are each as moving as a lyric poem and convey a universally recognized feeling.
Bookshop.org
Amazon

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Three books to Pre-Order. These three titles don’t come out for a few months, but won’t it be a fun surprise when the book eventually ships to the recipient? It’s like the pleasure of receiving a book twice. : )

Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual. By Luvvie Ajayi. A hilarious and transformational book about how to tackle fear — that everlasting hater — and audaciously step into lives, careers, and legacies that go beyond even our wildest dreams.
Bookshop.org
Amazon

Jungalow: Decorate Wild. By Justina Blakeney. The ultimate guide to designing wildly creative interiors that are free-spirited, layered, and deeply personal.
Bookshop.org
Amazon

Hannah and the Ramadan Gift. By Qasim Rashid. The debut picture book by author and human rights activist Qasim Rashid that celebrates good deeds during the month of Ramadan.
Bookshop.org
Amazon

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Your turn. What books are you shopping for this year? What books are you gifting? What books do you want for yourself?

P.S. — This is my final 2020 Gift Guide. Find more gift and shopping guides here.

9 thoughts on “Last Minute Gift Guide: Books! Books! Books!”

  1. Oh how I adore “I Like You” – years ago, we gave that book as favors at our wedding. And then a while later, my brother chose part of it for a reading at his wedding, and now I get to read it to my kids. Such a sweet book!

  2. A friend gave me Kathryn Nicolai’s new book, Nothing Much Happens. I have loved it, a book of very very short stories in which “nothing much happens.” Super soothing and calming / totally recommend for anyone anxious, having trouble sleeping, or feeling at wit’s end (all of us??).

  3. Books are certainly my shopping weakness most of the time, and especially now that it’s Covid+holidays. I have gifted a couple copies of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek this season. I just loved reading it and wanted to share that feeling with others. And I cannot seem to stop buying books for myself or my kids! We started The Best Christmas Pageant Ever as our new bedtime read aloud last night. (This is after The Wild Robot proved to be too much for my eldest, which I think is a testament to its value, so add that to your list too!) There’s a new Britannica All New Kids’ Encyclopedia: What We Know & What We Don’t that I wrapped for under the tree with a companion 5-Minute Really True Stories for Bedtime: 30 Amazing Stories so each kid would have something to unwrap. There are more under the tree as well, but these are sticking in my memory at the moment.

  4. I bet you give the best gifts. My husband got Nick Offerman’s book ‘Good Clean Fun’ for Christmas. He’s an aspiring woodworker, and he’s loving it.

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