-written by Hearth Member, Marika McCoola
I’m the sort of person who just assumes everyone wants books as gifts; besides a handmade item, books are my go-to gift. I mean, the smell, the feel, the ability to curl up with a cup of tea and escape the 5 feet of snow outside your Boston window…
If you still need advice by the time you reach the end of this list, tweet to me (@MarikaMcCoola) and the Hearth (@MirandasHearth) and we’ll send you personalized recommendations. Happy reading!
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
For the sci-fi or literary fiction reader, plus Star Trek and Shakespeare enthusiasts (really!).
The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson
For that 20-something artsy person you don’t want to buy booze for.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
For the literary reader who wants to engage in pertinent cultural conversations.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
For the nerd on your list. Plus, it has a glow-in-the-dark cover. My brother yelled at me for giving it to him because he stayed up all night reading it (oh, the love of siblings).
Uprooted by Namoi Novik
That friend who still rereads Tamora Pierce and Robin McKinley really wants this, even if they’ve already read it.
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
A graphic memoir you need to read if you haven’t! For those who like memoirs, literary fiction, Broadway shows, and even those who’ve never read a graphic novel.
Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang (ages 13+)
For the graphic novel or history lover, these two books look at opposing sides of the Boxer rebellion.
An irreverent cookbook for everyone that just happens to be vegan. Not for those who dislike salty language.
Home by Carson Ellis (everyone)
This beautiful picture book is for anyone. Keep a couple on hand for that moment you realize “I need a gift for this random person.”
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
A stunningly beautiful Printz Award-winning novel told by siblings. The descriptions of art are amazing. For the realism reader.
Maggot Moon (Ages 13+) by Sally Gardner
Great for adults who love dystopian books and Margaret Atwood. A slim, perfect novel.
Relish by Lucy Knisely
Foodie graphic memoir with recipes!
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
The best fantasy you’ve never heard of. A refugee story that’s also high fantasy. Get the sequel while you’re at it.
Bomb by Steve Sheinkin
Non-fiction on the development of the atomic bomb during WWII that reads like a thriller. Steve is possibly the most brilliant non-fiction writer today.
Timmy Failure by Stephen Pastis
For the kid who adores Wimpy Kid and Calvin and Hobbes.
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
Cozy mystery that’s set x-mas eve!
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
A quirky mystery with southern flavor.
The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick
For that kid who’s obsessed with Percy Jackson and needs something new. They probably haven’t read this and need to.
Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola, illustrated by Emily Carroll
Shameless self-promotion. A graphic novel for fairy-tale lovers and graphic novel lovers (did they read Amulet, A Tale Dark and Grimm, or Smile? Get this).
Farewell Floppy by Benjamin Chaud
My current favorite picture book featuring a great narrator and an adorable (but useless) rabbit. This is the book I’m currently throwing at people.
The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy by Beatrice Almagna
A beautiful book (seriously- the hot pink printing is awesome) about a little girl searching for the perfect birthday present for her mom. Also the story of a neighborhood.
I Am Here by Patti Kim and Sonia Sanchez
A stunning wordless book for any- and every- one.
Outside Your Window by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Mark Hearld
A book of poetry that explores the natural world. my go-to gift book for a multitude of occasions.
Indestructibles are the best books you’ve never heard of. They’re dish-washable and can’t be torn and weigh almost nothing.