The 8 Best Books to Gift This Season
While a new outfit, a piece of jewelry, or the latest gadget might top your holiday shopping list, there are few gifts as thoughtful as a carefully selected book. Whether it’s fiction, a memoir, nonfiction, or self-help, books can offer a moving experience, inspire meaningful dialogue, and push us to dream and grow. Plus, books can spark a new morning or bedtime routine for your recipient — and add a beautiful touch to their bookshelf.
With thousands of books to choose from, we’ve selected a few of our favorite inspiring and uplifting books fit for everyone on your list this year.
1Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close
Friendships are among our biggest relationships, and there’s finally a relatable book about the wonderful, beautiful, and sometimes confusing dynamic we share with our closest pals. Authors Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman share an insightful philosophy around the way we talk about and interact with our friends — and strategies on how to make meaningful friendships last through life’s challenges.
2Set Boundaries, Find Peace
Rooted in research and CBT techniques, this accessible guide, Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself, offers achievable ways to set boundaries with family, friends, and work — great for New Year’s resolutions and beyond. Created by a licensed counselor and well-recognized Instagram therapist, Nedra Glover Tawwab, this read breaks down the concept of boundaries and balance to encourage readers away from burnout tendencies and instead toward a more positive lifestyle.
3Call Us What We Carry
You may recognize Amanda Gorman from her moving performance at the presidential inauguration. In the same vein of reflection, hope, and resilience, her debut book of poetry explores identity, history, and language. Shining a light on the country’s current moment and offering a voice for the future, this lyrical and timeless collection prompts contemplation and conversation.
4The Power of Ritual
Written by the host of the podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, this book, The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities Into Soulful Experiences, reminds us that with intention, our daily activities can become powerful experiences of meaning, creativity, reflection, and community. In the modern age of technology and increased isolation, this book offers tangible ways to find connection — with ourselves, others, nature, and the universe at large.
5Of Women and Salt
Flipping between past and present across multiple generations, Of Women and Salt is a portrait of extraordinary mothers and daughters as they reckon with the past and navigate the present. The poetic story broaches some of today’s biggest issues like immigration, addiction, and family trauma while illustrating the strength and tenacity women display in the face of adversity.
Lin-Manuel Miranda may be known for Hamilton, but before he broke boundaries in the musical world, he inspired the Twitter community with words of encouragement every morning and evening. The best of these daily sayings and pieces of poetry were compiled into an uplifting collection, great for anyone in need of comfort or motivation.
7Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance
Written by widely respected yoga teacher and author Jessamyn Stanley, this book explores how to cultivate the “yoga of everyday life,” diving into how we can take the lessons we learn through poses and postures like strength and flexibility off our mat and into daily life. Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance also helps us better understand yoga’s link to systemic issues like capitalism and racism.
8House in the Cerulean Sea
This charming and hope-filled fantasy read follows the journey of quiet Linus Baker as he is tasked with traveling to an island-side orphanage full of magical creatures and secrets. The gentle, mystical story reminds us of the importance of accepting differences and finding connections in unexpected places and offers a sense of hope for the future.