You already know that books make the best gifts, so of course you want to give a book to everyone you love this holiday season. But choosing the perfect read for each person can be a challenge. There is no one we trust more for a book suggestion than our amazing colleagues, so we asked what they’ll be giving this year. Now we’re passing their recommendations along to you!
The French Chef in America by Alex Prud’homme
Recommended by Lexy B., Editorial
For the food lover in your life, I highly recommend The French Chef in America: Julia Child’s Second Act by Alex Prud’homme. Here we see Julia Child in the 1970s –establishing herself as the TV personality we know and love; having a painful professional breakup with her longtime collaborator Simca Beck, yet somehow managing to remain friends; weighing in on nouvelle cuisine and trying her hand at foods that weren’t just French; and fundamentally becoming the first celebrity chef. Julia never called herself a feminist—in fact she wasn’t a fan of the word—but she was a fantastically successful professional woman in an era when the landscape was dominated by men. Here Alex Prud’homme, Julia’s great nephew and the coauthor of her memoir, My Life in France, brings her to life in vivid color.
The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories by P. D. James
Recommended by Lindsay M., Marketing
I’m giving everyone The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories by P. D. James. Her three bite-sized stories bring the holiday spirit—with a side of murder and are sure to appeal to anyone who likes a cozy mystery. I know my family will race to see who can solve the crime before the murderer is revealed. This book is fun and festive and a perfect present.
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
Recommended by Eliza H., Publishing
I tore through this book in a single sitting one snowy January afternoon years before ever working here, and it remains one of my favorites on our list to this day. Otsuka writes with a poetry that’s so emotionally powerful you’ll forget you’re reading—and become completely lost in the lives of Japanese women known as “picture brides.” It is as intimate as it is sweeping, and at its heart is a lyrical, poignant story of womanhood, immigration, identity, and what it means to be American.
Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe
Recommended by Laura C., Digital Publishing
One of my favorite books to give as a gift is Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe. This unique story unfolds over the course of a father-daughter trip to Lithuania. After his teenage daughter’s psychotic break, Lucas looks to his grandmother’s homeland for answers to help his daughter, Vera, come to terms with her condition and her future. What follows is an emotionally powerful journey through mental illness, young love, history, family secrets, and what it means to be a parent. Satisfyingly rich in the complexities of the characters’ inner and outer worlds, this story travels off the written page into some of the more interesting reading group discussions I’ve had.
Books for Living by Will Schwalbe
Recommended by Jess D., Marketing
Will Schwalbe’s Books for Living is the perfect holiday gift for any bibliophile. It’s essentially a love letter to books, and it has the power to delight both voracious readers or those who may need to fall back in love with reading. I couldn’t get enough of it!
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. by Samantha Irby
Recommended by Dan B., Marketing/Analytics
This year I’m giving my friends and family copies of We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. Whenever I gift this hilarious and sometimes heart-wrenching collection of essays to someone, I always ask them to guess which story had me laughing so hard that I cried on the subway. This book is as much an honest and relatable look into our own dumpster fire moments as it is a warning not to eat week-old McDonald’s before a road trip home for the holidays. (Note: The nugget story is not the one that made me cry laughing, but it is most definitely LOL-worthy.)
The Nix by Nathan Hill
Recommended by Kate R., Publicity
A wildly entertaining, multilayered debut novel that mixes politics of the late ‘60s, the culture of World of Warcraft, 1980s Midwestern suburbia, hilarious indignities of academia, and a mother-son relationship put asunder, this is a great read during a stranger-than-fiction political landscape, and the short digestible chapters make it easy and engaging train reading.
Amatka by Karin Tidbeck
Recommended by Jackie L., Design
The perfect book for the one on your list who would enjoy something bizarre. Karin Tidbeck shines as a world builder in Amatka and creates a unique dystopian and unsettling mysterious setting. Definitely a must read for fans of Ursula Le Guin.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Recommended by Laura C., Marketing
I can’t think of a better gift than a few hours of escape from breaking news alerts, so I’ll be giving Kevin Kwan’s delightful Crazy Rich Asians this year. I was completely swept up in the high-net-worth world of the characters and adored the Pride and Prejudice–like romance at the center of the novel. Plus I want everyone to read the book before the movie comes out next year!
The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
Recommended by Paige S., Marketing
I first read The Accidental Tourist years ago and was immediately hooked on Anne Tyler’s writing. This charming story features an unlikely love connection (how romantic!) facilitated by a spunky little dog (is there anything cuter than a corgi?), and told with such warmth and wit that it’s impossible to put down. The holidays are the perfect excuse to share it!