Christmas 2016 Book Gift Guide

Happy December, y’all. Thanksgiving is over, the Christmas tree is up, and it’s officially my favorite time of year.

Like many bookworms, I love getting books for Christmas. I also love giving books to others as gifts. But sometimes it can be hard to know what to get someone, especially if you aren’t a big reader yourself. So like the helpful person I am, I’ve made a list of some recommendations if you are looking to get someone in your life a book (or two or three) for Christmas, or any other holiday you may be celebrating.

I’ve made my recommendations based on type (poetry, fantasy, etc.) Some of these books are new releases, while others are old favorites.

Christmas gift recommendations for…

The Poetry Reader

No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay

Sarah Kay is a spoken-word poet, and No Matter the Wreckage is her first (and so far, only) full-length poetry book. I’ve been a fan of Kay’s videos on YouTube for a while, and I just finally read this book a few months ago. The poems in this collection are full of emotion and many of them are incredibly relatable. Kay has a way of drawing you into the story of each poem, even the short ones. Many of these poems have stuck with me long after closing the book.

A YA High-Fantasy Fan

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

While this book has been marketed as a young adult book, it’s more appropriate for older teens (In my opinion, probably 16 and up), and adults, as there is some pretty explicit sexual content in it, as well as in the sequel, A Court of Mist and Fury. That being said, I really enjoyed this book. It’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, set in a world with faeries. The protagonist, Feyre, is an incredibly strong female character. The second book in this series, A Court of Mist and Fury, is, in my opinion, even better than the first. The third and final book in the series, A Court of Wings and Ruin comes out next year, so now is the perfect time to get started on this series.

The One Who Loves the Paranormal and Magic

The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater

This is the first book in the Raven Cycle series, one of my favorite series of all time. It follows Blue, a non-psychic teen in a family of female psychics, and the four boys she becomes friends with: Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah. Together the five of them search for the dead Welsh king Glendower. This series has magic, friendship, and romance, and it’s one of those series that is so layered it gets even better the more times you reread it. The final book in the series, The Raven King, just came out earlier this year, so after your friend reads The Raven Boys, they will be able to binge the whole series without waiting for any new books to come out (trust me, they’re going to want to).

The Writer

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

This non-fiction, part-memoir, part writing-guide, is a great book to give to someone who wants to be a writer. Anne Lamott talks about her journey as a writer, and offers tips to those who are trying to become writers themselves. She also writes about how writing is its own reward, and how writers can find fulfillment in their work even if they don’t get published, which is an encouraging message for those who may be struggling to get their work noticed.


The Jane Austen Lover

If you have someone in your life that loves Jane Austen and you are willing to splurge on them, then I would highly recommend the complete Jane Austen Heirloom Collection set. My dad got me this for Christmas a couple years ago (I’m pretty sure it was on sale at the time), and they are gorgeous. Each one is hard-bound and beautifully illustrated. They will look beautiful on any book collector’s shelf.

The Romance Reader

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

In my opinion, Attachments might be Rainbow Rowell’s most underrated books. Set at the end of 1999 and the beginning of 2000, this romance is told in large part through a series of e-mails. While this is a feel-good, happily-ever-after romance, it’s not without substance. Get this for your friend who loves romance, or for someone who has enjoyed other books by Rowell but hasn’t given Attachments a try yet.


Okay, I’m going to stop there, because this post could get really long if I let it. I’ll leave you with a list of a few more recs below. Let me know what you think of these books, or any others that you would recommend as gifts, in the comments, or on Twitter.

Happy reading! (And gifting)


Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr – The first in a six-book YA series. Faeries, paranormal, and romance.

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson – Standalone post-apocalypse/dystopian/sci-fi with some romance. For older teens (16+).

Write About an Empty Bird Cage by Elena Ellis – Poetry

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas – High fantasy YA. The first in a series, with the final book due out next year. Magic and romance and also lots of emotional suffering.

Bluets by Maggie Nelson – Prose poetry/non-fiction. Meditations on the color blue. Honestly this book is kinda weird and hard to categorize, but it’s great. Maybe get it for that friends that’s kind of weird and hard to categorize.

Strange Angels by Lilith Saintcrow – First book in a five-book YA paranormal series. Kickass female protagonist that hunts ghosts, zombies, wulfen, and all manner of other dark creatures. Some romance as well.