Hello friends! Vera here, this time with a holiday gift guide for those of you who would like to spoil your loved ones with books this holiday season. Or yourselves.. it’s 2020, we all deserve to spoil ourselves, me thinks. 😊 For those of you who do not celebrate Christmas, this list can also work as a regular recommendation post, as it features many books I’ve not talked about before.
Unfortunately, this post is a bit late – I originally wanted to publish it earlier in November, but due to university being overwhelming, I only just now had the time to finish this. That said, I believe it is important to order books from indie stores if possible, so make sure you don’t leave gift shopping to the last moment. Smaller stores may be overwhelmed as we get closer to Christmas, especially during the pandemic. So, with that in mind, let’s jump into this post!
For Those Who Like Short Reads
A HOLIDAY BY GASLIGHT: This novella is the perfect present for anyone who enjoys historical romances and who is looking for a Christmas romance that takes place in a short amount of time. It’s fun, engaging, and unputdownable. I loved this book.
SILVER IN THE WOOD: For those who want to gift an M/M fantasy novella – or the whole duology, if you really want to spoil your people – look no farther! Silver in the Wood is an immersive, atmospheric fantasy novella that transferred me into a lush forest with magical creatures. The only drawback is that this only exists as an ebook, but if you’re fine with gifting ebooks, go for this!
HUNGRY HEARTS: I’m cheating a bit because Hungry Hearts is a normal length novel, but it works for this category as its a diverse anthology – with food at its center! – that contains thirteen short stories. This is one of the best collections I’ve ever read, and its heartwarming qualities are perfect for the holidays.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: I love Dickens and as A Christmas Carol was the first book I’d read by him, I always feel the need to give it a small shout out every year. I think everyone is familiar with this story but still, its many beautiful editions make for a great Christmas present.
For Those Who Like Longer or More Intricate Stories
JADE CITY: Jade City is one of my all time favorite books, and one I’d wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who enjoys complex, lengthier fantasy novels. Ah, and don’t even get me started on the morally gray, somewhat villainous cast of characters and one of the best main villains / enemies I’ve ever read about.
THE FIFTH SEASON: This is not as long as most high fantasy novels, I think, but how dense and lush the world-building is more than makes up for that. My brain was struggling while reading this, but nonetheless, this is another all time favorite of mine.
PLAIN BAD HEROINES: This chunky horror novel allows us to follow two cast of characters – one in the past, one in the present, where the present day characters are working on a film about the history of the others. Beautiful, sapphic as hell, and haunting – these are the three expressions I’d use for this marvelous novel.
LITTLE DORRIT: I decided to throw in a classical book because that might be what some of you are looking for. Little Dorrit is a masterful novel – another all time favorite! – with a big bunch of characters and a rather complex storyline.
For Those Who Are Looking For Something To Think About
MY COUSIN RACHEL: I love Du Maurier’s Rebecca, but I think I’m even more fond of My Cousin Rachel by her, exactly because it left me so unsure and so full of doubts re: who the villain is here. I adore this book, and I cannot recommend it enough to those who like more ambiguous endings.
NEVER LET ME GO: This one of those books that left me with a lot of food for thought to begin with, but I had even more fun diving deep into this when we covered it in one of my classes. Truly a masterpiece.
CATCH AND KILL: With Catch and Kill, we arrive to the first non-fiction book on this list, and one that I think is a great start if you want to learn more about the sexual assault cases in Hollywood, especially the ones related to Weinstein. The way people in the industry tried to cover up these allegations is disgusting and how systematic that cover up has been is something to think about.
IN THE DREAM HOUSE: Another non-fiction – in this one, Machado talks about abuse in same sex relationships through her own past relationship. The book is heartbreaking, powerful, and so beautifully written. I’m really looking forward to reading Machado’s other works.
My Tried and Trusted Presents*
THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO: I’ve gifted Evelyn Hugo to five people, I think, and recommended it to even more. So far everyone I know who’s read it loved it, so I think this is a pretty safe purchase.
THE REMAINS OF THE DAY: I haven’t bought this for anyone, but I did recommend it a lot, and the people that picked it up loved this. This is a short historical novel that takes place in two timelines: in-between and after the World Wars. It’s a quiet but massively impactful story that I’d wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who enjoys reading fiction.
THE KISS QUOTIENT: This is probably one of the best romance novels I’ve read, and another book I recommended to multiple friends of mine. They all loved it, so I think this is a pretty safe bet for those loved ones who enjoy (steamy) contemporary romance novels.
SLAVE TO SENSATION: Did you thought I wouldn’t recommend the Psy-Changeling series? Ha, you thought wrong. This is one of my all time favorite series and one that I’ve pushed at many-many people.. all of whom enjoyed it a lot. If you are looking for a paranormal-romance, Slave to Sensation, the first book in the series, is a fantastic choice.
*Books I’ve gifted (or recommended) to multiple people, all of whom enjoyed them immensely.
Do you celebrate Christmas? If yes – are you excited for it? Have you ever gifted books to your loved ones? (For any occasions, not just Christmas.) Have you read any of the books mentioned here?