Looking for a Good Book? Books to Give or Read this Holiday Season.

December 14, 2019

Listen, I know that there are book lists for DAYS out there. This is another one, and I'm not pretending otherwise! It is completely biased and based on nothing other than what I have read recently. I love to read, I love to receive recommendations, and I love to share the books that I've enjoyed with others.

Every one of these books is my recommendation to YOU, but there are¬†also ideas of other people in your life who might enjoy them. ūüėČ Comment below or fire me an email with your own best, recent reads!¬†


For your nephew who is uninterested in love or the pull of family, but likes the space-time continuum...

Recursion¬†‚ÄĒ¬†Blake Crouch

Mind-bending and physics-y, but fast-paced & thriller-y, too. A fun read for anyone who doesn't normally read within the "sci-fi" genre. 

For your brother-in-law who loves his wife, but also likes in the space-time continuum...

Dark Matter¬†‚ÄĒ¬†Blake Crouch

Ditto to the above, though the decisions made by the main character in this one are far more motivated by his identity as a husband & father.

For everyone, long-read edition...

Unbroken ‚ÄĒ¬†Laura Hillenbrand

So powerful, this life account is almost unbelievable. A 5-star read that I recommend to everyone. 

For everyone, short-read edition...

The Last Days of Night¬†‚ÄĒ Graham Moore

This book is the most underrated novel I know! Perhaps it's the one-line description ‚ÄĒ "it's about the patent battle over the invention of the lightbulb!" ‚ÄĒ that sounds like a snooze. But, I promise you, this novel is fascinating, fast-paced, and full of pithy quotes from Edison to Bill Gates that will have you hmmm-ing all holiday!

For a complete escape from anything resembling your own life (unless you've been a nymph in Greek mythology)...

Circe ‚ÄĒ¬†Madeline Miller

Circe is unlike any other book I know; it's so outside of the realm of modern culture, but of course the themes (love, family, rejection, wrath) transcend place & time. 


For the husband who rarely reads novels...

The Rosie Project¬†‚ÄĒ¬†Graeme Simsion

Fun & silly, a quick & entertaining read for a non-reader. 

For an extended family conversation starter...

The Four Tendencies¬†‚ÄĒ¬†Gretchen Rubin

Blah blah blah, Shelley, The Four Tendencies, I know. But, you will be trying to pin down your parents & siblings, FOR SURE. 

For the sister who wants to just read in her cozy corner...

Little Women¬†‚ÄĒ¬†Louisa May Alcott

What else is there to say about this classic? It's warm and nostalgic and they complain about November being the worst, which I totally relate to. Read the book, then see the new film! 


For the sibling (for whom you have affection)...

The Dutch House ‚ÄĒ¬†Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett's novels are reliably well written, and this one may be her best. The main character may be a literal home, but it is the beautiful love of the brother-sister relationship that resides center-stage

The Last Romantics ‚ÄĒ¬†Tara Conklin

Siblings, brought together by family tragedy, bound for life by love & survival. I love a good, sibling tale.

For a literary escape to NYC...

The Rules of Civility¬†‚ÄĒ¬†Amor Towles

Immerse yourself in the Big Apple of the 1930s, from high society to the stockyards. 


Save Me The Plums¬†‚ÄĒ¬†Ruth Reichl

Or, get a behind-the-cover peek at the inner workings of Condé Nast with Reichl's memoir of her time as editor-in-chief of the magazine Gourmet.

For a dad who appreciates a good ethical quandary...

The Line¬†That Held Us¬†‚ÄĒ¬†David Joy

A powderkeg of tension, this moody novel will glue you to the page as you consider revenge & redemption. 

For a long road trip...

Born to Run¬†(Audio)‚ÄĒ¬†Bruce Springsteen

No need to be a Springsteen fan to be fascinated by this lifetime account, full of deep self-reflection, industry insight, and beautiful prose.



For the avid chef OR the one whose culinary abilities tap out with toast & eggs...

Salt Fat Acid Heat¬†‚ÄĒ¬†Samin Nosrat

Everything you need to understand about how food works: why and how it becomes delicious, and how you can do it, too. This is the cookbook that other chefs wish they wrote. 


For Everybody, Always* (*also the title of another solid book by Bob Goff)...

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion¬†‚ÄĒ¬†Gregory Boyle

My most-recommended, most-gifted book. Truly, the "power of boundless compassion" has changed my life.


Happy reading!

Share your own recos below or fire me an email at contact@dignify.ca. :)

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