12 Books to Give as Gifts

Blog land gets a bit inundated with gift guides this time of year, so I typically spare you all from my version. Besides, scouring Amazon for whatever I can get for free shipping far from makes me a Christmas shopping expert. Kidding... kind of.

However, one of my favorite things to give and get every year is books, so I thought I'd put together a list of a few that would make great gifts. 

{one} For a baby: Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson. I got this book at Jona's baby shower, and it soon became a much-repeated favorite. It's a sweet story that, unlike a lot of board books, I never got tired of reading. 

{two} For a toddler: Richard Scarry's Best Storybook Ever. This book was a favorite of mine as a child, and now Jona has his very own version. Filled with stories, nursery rhymes, poems, and adorable illustrations, this "Lion Book"gets requested frequently at bedtime.

{three} For kids of all ages: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. This book of poems, some silly, some sweet, has become a classic. Just as Richard Scarry was a road trip companion in my toddler years, Silverstein came along and entertained me for hours as I got a little older. 

{four} For a new or expecting mom: Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman. There are so many parenting books out there, but this one is worth the read. New moms will appreciate the common sense advice about how the French approach parenting. Include French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon and Sophie the Giraffe for the Francophile in your life. 

{five} For the person who has everything: Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin. This is one on my to-read list, but I've heard excellent things about Rubin's advice on how to change your habits and lead a happier life. I just started listening to her podcast, "Happier", and I already want to pick up all of her books. She's good. Also by Rubin: The Happiness Project and Happier at Home.

{six} For the budding entrepreneur: Make it Happen by Lara Casey. This inspirational book is perfect for someone who dreams of starting a business, changing careers, or making a life change, but is fearful of taking the leap. Also, along similar lines, I've heard great things about Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. It's another one on my to-read list.   

{seven} For the home cook: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime. The Pioneer Woman was one of the first food blogs I read, and she's still one of my favorites. She's where I turn when I want delicious, no-frills comfort food. I have her Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl cookbook, which I love, but this dinner-themed one is on my wish list.

{eight} For the college student: Will it Waffle? 53 Irresistible and Unexpected Recipes to Make in a Waffle Iron by Daniel Shumski. I think anyone would enjoy this unique, creative cookbook, but it's perfect for an apartment-dwelling college student who doesn't yet have a lot of cookware. (With that in mind, it may be a good idea to accompany this book with a waffle iron.) 

{nine} For the adventure-lover: The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. I can't adequately sum this book up in just a few lines--there's too much in it. It's a little bit of everything: coming-of-age, adventure, violence, sports, but more than anything it's a touching, uplifting tale of survival and overcoming adversity.

{ten} For the frequent flyer: 
Ireland by Frank Delaney. A storyteller shows up one night at a young girl's house in the Irish countryside, and her life is forever changed by his enthralling tales of her homeland. Beautifully written and full of history and fables, this is the perfect book to get lost in while traveling.

{eleven} For your best friend: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. It wouldn't be a bad idea to wrap up a box of tissues to go with this book, because your friend will definitely need them. Naturally, be sure to read this book yourself first if you haven't so you can talk to her about it. Because the only thing better than a really good book is a friend you can talk to about it. If she's already read this one, get her the sequel, After You (and pick up a copy for yourself while you're at it). 

{twelve} For the historical fiction fan: The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George. To me this is historical fiction at its finest. At 976 pages, this hefty novel looks a bit intimidating, but it is engrossing from start to finish, painting a vivid picture of what life may have been like for Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile. 

What is your favorite book to give as a gift? What is the best book you've received? 

I'm taking Friday off to spend time with family. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! See you Monday. 

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