Beyond being easy to wrap and requiring no batteries, there are many reasons why we think gift books belong on every holiday shopping list. Life-lessons, genuine laughs, big ideas, useful advice, and stories that pull on your heartstrings — these books are the gifts that keep on giving.
Gift Books for Everyone on Your List
Big-hearted ideas come in small packages.
A Wealth of Pigeons: A Cartoon Collection
By Harry Bliss and Steve Martin
Nailing a hilarious one-liner is pretty much the gold standard for any comedian, and nowhere does this art form matter more than in the caption of a cartoon. The economy of language, the ability to capture the absurd, creating a burst of laughter, coupled with an illustration that supports the entire effort — this is the genius of A Wealth of Pigeons. More than just a book of cartoons, we also get to see sketches and jokes in progress, and the stories behind them. If Steve Martin’s wackiness and Harry Bliss’s beloved illustrations don’t bring the laughs, nothing will.
HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style
By Elizabeth Holmes
Holmes, a fashion journalist, has been following the sartorial adventures of the British Royal Family in her popular Instagram Stories series, “So Many Thoughts.” Now, we’re treated to a deeper look at four royal women who define their generations: Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana, and the Duchesses Kate and Meghan. With their every move under scrutiny, Holmes decodes what their style choices say about the times, their priorities, and the ways they use fashion to claim a bit of independence for themselves. As much as we love Hollywood’s red carpet fashions, we’ll always look to the British Royal Family for timeless style icons.
By Abby Wambach
As someone who helped lead the U.S. women’s soccer team to Olympic gold medals and a FIFA World Cup championship, Wambach knows what effective leadership looks like. In 2018, Wambach delivered a fiery commencement speech at Barnard College in New York City. Her vision: Women, by working together, are a powerful force destined for success. Her speech was so commanding, it went viral and eventually led to Wolfpack, a manifesto on how women can become leaders. It’s up to women, she declares, to rewrite any rules that hold them back and be a leader whenever the need arises. An inspiring, important message for anyone interested in creating a more equal society.
By Heike Faller, illustrated by Valerio Vidali
Do you remember what a big deal it was to turn 10 years old? How, at 18, you were the living embodiment of carpe diem? Now, perhaps the milestone birthdays are coming less frequently, but life’s lessons are piling high. Hundred, with its beautiful illustrations, has captured the passage of time, stopping at many points along the way to appreciate the joys of life as they happen. Readers of all ages will be able to return to this book, year after year, whether to learn from the wisdom of youth, old age, or any moment in between.
You Can Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time: Rules for Couples
By Patricia Marx and Roz Chast
Finally! Here’s some relationship advice based in reality that you can start using right away. Anyone who is a part of a couple knows that being happy is actually a lot of work. Like any difficult task, it’s made easier if we can laugh through the hard parts. That’s why we love these new and improved rules for couples, such as “It is easier to stay inside and wait for the snow to melt than to fight about who should shovel.” Give this collection to your significant other, share a giggle, sip some hot chocolate, and wait for world peace to arrive.
Folded Wisdom: Notes from Dad on Life, Love, and Growing Up
By Joanna Guest
For 15 years, Guest’s father wrote loving notes to her and her brother, Theo. These weren’t quick scribbles on a Post-it note; her dad is also an artist, and he took great care to write a meaningful note along with a lovely, full-color illustration. Most impressive of all, he wrote two notes every day. What a special gift to give your children! And now, Guest has chosen (from more than 3,500 notes) some of the most touching and joyful notes to share in this gift book so that we can all benefit from the wisdom of one very special dad.
A User’s Guide to Democracy: How America Works
By Nick Capodice, Hannah McCarthy, and Tom Toro
It’s no secret that the U.S. government is complex. Have you ever tried explaining the Electoral College to friends in other countries? It’s nearly impossible. That’s why we’re so thankful for A User’s Guide to Democracy. They’ve simplified all of the questions about how our government works, what each department does, who has what powers, and the origins of many of our laws. Capodice and McCarthy, hosts of Civics 101 on New Hampshire public radio, make ideal guides through our political maze, and Toro’s illustrations ensure that this guide leaves no questions unanswered. Even the most informed political junkie on your shopping list will delight in this fun, informative user’s manual.