The Books I'm Gifting for the Holidays 2017
There is a seemingly endless number of fun, helpful holiday gift guides one might peruse on the web; depending on one's interests, lists range from stocking stuffers to luxury, lavish indulgences. I have to admit that I love looking at them; I often find good ideas for others but, unfortunately, I also end up finding things that I would like for myself.
Here are a few of my favorite collections this season: Homemade Gifts for Runners from Etsy; Gifts Under $30 for Runners; The Best Cycling Gifts Under $50; The Best Holiday Gifts for Book Lovers; Stocking Stuffers from Out of Print; and, one of my all-time faves, The Modern Mrs. Darcy Gift Guide for Book Lovers.
What I find myself giving the most is books; I love nothing more than searching, throughout the year, for books that I think truly fit the person to whom I'll be gifting them. I thought I'd share the books that I've purchased to give to family and friends this holiday season; several of them have been warned NOT to read this post.
For The Athletes:
Surprisingly, since I feel like I've already pushed it onto everyone, I do still have some friends who do not yet have a copy of Run Fast Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky; everything that I've made from this cookbook (and I've made an astonishing number of these!) has been easy, delicious and nourishing. I highly recommend this collection to everyone, not just those I consider athletic or focused on nutritious eating.
Even though I've taken up cycling, I am not ready to become a triathlete! I do, however, have some friends and family who enjoy the sport. Matt Dixon is an elite triathlon coach (he coaches Jesse Thomas - my hero!) and, in his new book, Fast-Track Triathlete, he shares valuable advice for both the new and experienced triathlete; I love the strength and training programs that are included, especially since once session with him would cost over $300. If you know a triathlete, they probably know of Jesse Thomas; get a copy autographed by Jesse here, while supplies last.
For Certain Girls:
One particular girlfriend of mine will be receiving a copy of Men & Dogs by Alice Chaygneaud-Dupuy and Marie-Eva Chopin; I wish I had more images to share but, suffice it to say, there are some very attractive specimens from both species inside this book! For those who are of the feline inclination, there is a companion - Men & Cats.
After reading this remarkably transparent memoir by bestselling author Anna Quindlen, I knew I'd be gifting a copy of Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake this season. I'm so thankful to fellow book lovers Catherine and Sarah for recommending it to me; highly recommend for any woman in your life who appreciates real talk.
For those who equally love books and an appropriately placed f-bomb, Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence, a Midwestern librarian, is the most perfect selection. Her wit and charm override the fact that she provides an almost endless number of additions to your to-be-read list; it's a quick read, it will fit in a stocking, and the cover is beautiful!
For the Kitchen Wizards and Travelers:
Because it is delightfully eye-catching and the images are mouth-wateringly gorgeous, my copy of The Artful Baker: Extraordinary Desserts from an Obsessive Home Baker by Cenk Sonmezsoy is a conversation piece; however, I know a certain someone who will actually go to work in her kitchen with this one and I can hardly wait to see her creations (FYI, if you know someone who might enjoy this, you can find it here for 40% off with code HAPPY HOLIDAYS).
A friend recently took her first trip to Cuba and we had a delightful discussion about her food experiences; enter Paladares: Recipes from the Private Restaurants, Home Kitchens, and Streets of Cuba by Anya von Bremzen and Megan Fawn Schlow. Another beautifully photographed book complete not only with recipes that will have you doing the salsa, but also fascinating Cuban history.
For the Fiction Lovers:
One of the books I have recommended the most this year, and have already gifted to several folks, We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter is definitely one of my 2017 favorites. An extremely powerful tale of a Jewish family, throughout the span of World War II (from the German invasion of Poland in 1939 to V-E Day in 1945, and beyond), and the events that would change their lives, their entire trajectory, forever. IT IS A MUST READ; you can check out my review here.
When author Taylor Jenkins Reid published her first novel in 2013 (Forever, Interrupted - soon to be a movie!), I read about it in some publication because it was recommended as a "good summer read;" since then, she's published four more novels and I've read them all. Her stories, and her writing, keep getting better and better and never disappoint. Her latest, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, is, by far, my favorite.
For Everyone Else (because I can't stop talking about these books!):
Another of the books I've recommended most this year, The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel, really stuck with me; a true journalist, Finkel writes this story as though he is exploring it for the first time, along with the reader, and I have never had quite an experience with a narrative nonfiction book as I had with this one. A thought-provoking example of life, disconnected.
While browsing for something new on audio for my daily commute, I stumbled upon Craig & Fred: A Marine, A Stray Dog, and How They Rescued Each Other by Craig Grossi. Y'ALL. I don't know why more people are not talking about this book, so I'll just keep talking about it until you all read it. Craig's story really resonated with me and I can only imagine that some part of it will resonate with many others; there is so much more here than one might glean from the publisher's description and, in addition, you have to meet Fred.
I don't think this one needs much describing; you're either a fan, or not, but Mary Oliver's work always makes for a great gift, in my opinion. Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver was published this fall and it is full of her own personal selections from the span of her career; absolutely breathtaking.
What? You didn't think I would gift myself something? You obviously don't know me very well. For years, I have really wanted a subscription to the Parnassus Books (indie bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee, owned by author Ann Patchett and Karen Hayes) Signed First Editions Club.
Members receive, monthly, a signed first edition that is hand-selected by the staff of Parnassus; they're previous selections have all been ones that interest me, so I decided to go for it this year! The first selection I will receive is Improvement by Joan Silber; I am looking forward to it!
Are you gifting any books this holiday season?