Find a book for anyone for you need to buy for this season.
So you have your semi-close friend from work, your best friend two states away that you’ve known for ten years, and your aunt. They all have different tastes, so where do you start to look for them? Take a look at this list to find something for all of the weird, wacky, and strange people in your life.
No need to stress over holiday shopping—we’ve curated a collection of the best 2012 reads to cover everyone on your list. Hoping to find the perfect present for your foodie relative, your engaged pal, or your coworker who’s obsessed with all things pop culture? You’ll find all that and more in this comprehensive gift guide. The best part: books couldn’t be easier to wrap. Click through to complete your holiday shopping in a snap!
For the Fashion Enthusiast
Grace: A Memoir ($35) by Grace Coddington offers an inside look at her early career as a model, her years as a fashion editor at British Vogue, and her time as creative director of Vogue. Alongside her pen-and-ink illustrations, readers can get a glimpse into her private world.
For the Proper Gal
In Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That: A Modern Guide to Manners ($25), Henry Alford—an NPR and Vanity Fair contributor–interviews experts, researches cultural manners, and travels around the world to offer a contemporary, entertaining look at etiquette.
For the Magic Enthusiast
Know someone who’s interested in magic or any kind of quirky subculture? In Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind ($27), Alex Stone uncovers the odd, entertaining world of magic by stepping into old New York City magic societies, Las Vegas casinos, and more. As he offers insights into the craft and the people who perform it, he concludes with a unique study of the mind too.
For the Savvy Cook
In her debut cookbook, The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making ($25), Alana Chernila shows how to make homemade versions of 101 store-bought staples like lasagna noodles, fresh tomato sauce, potato chips, and even ketchup. Organized by grocery aisle, the book is ideal for budget-conscious beginners—she shares her own struggles to help readers through their own.
For the Bride-to-Be
Abby Larson’s blog-inspired book, Style Me Pretty Weddings: Inspiration and Ideas For an Unforgettable Celebration ($30), is the perfect present for any bride who’s preparing to say “I do.”
For the Fan of War Stories
The Yellow Birds: A Novel ($25) by Kevin Powers is a war-meets-mystery book about two young soldiers. As one struggles to adjust to life at home, he keeps returning to the same question: how did his friend die?
For the Imaginative Little One
Inspired by the Oscar-winning short film, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore ($26) is a whimsical read from New York Timesbestselling author William Joyce. Along with beautiful illustrations by Joyce and Joe Bluhm, the picture book also features the charming tale of a man whose books are blown away by a gust of wind.
For the Goal-Setter
As a follow-up to her No. 1 New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin’s Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life ($25) focuses on finding happiness at home.
For the Edgy Artist
Gary Shove and Patrick Potter’s Banksy: You Are an Acceptable Level of Threat ($35) features photographs of Banksy’s street art, including never-before-seen pictures.
For the Anglophile
Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies ($28) is the sequel to her New York Times bestseller Wolf Hall— a thoughtful, dramatic read about Anne Boleyn.
For the Curious Intellect
New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg tackles the ins and outs of human habits in The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business ($28). By diving into scientific discoveries and the stories of well-known successes like Michael Phelps, Target stores, the NFL, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and Martin Luther King Jr., he illustrates the causes of habits and how we can shift them.
For the Sharp Comedian
In his first collection of essays, Tasteful Nudes: . . . and Other Misguided Attempts at Personal Growth and Validation ($25), comedian Dave Hill talks young love, naked people, and rock ‘n’ roll.
For the Green-Thumbed Foodie
Michelle Obama’s American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America ($30) features beautiful photos of her kitchen garden, recipes from the White House chefs, plus thoughtful dialogue on what we eat and how it affects children.
For the Eclectic Artist
Although it’s considered a graphic novel, Building Stories ($50) by Chris Ware is more than just that. As a package of 14 pieces — including pamphlets, books, scraps, and pages — the collection tells the story of the ordinary lives of Chicago residents.
For the Witty Pop-Culture Follower
Fans of celebrity gossip are sure to love Suri’s Burn Book: Well-Dressed Commentary From Hollywood’s Little Sweetheart ($13), the book inspired by Allie Hagan’s hilarious Tumblr.
For the Thoughtful Adventurer
Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail ($26) made headlines as a selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. In it, she tells the story of the 1,100-mile hike she braved without any prior experience—a journey she took after her mother’s death and the dismantling of her own marriage.
For the Sensitive Child
In R.J. Palacio’s Wonder ($16), a young boy named Auggie struggles to fit in because of his facial deformity. The New York Times bestseller hops from Auggie’s point of view to his classmates’ to his sisters’ and so on to create an insightful story of compassion and acceptance.
For the Mystery Fan
New York Times bestselling author Gillian Flynn tells the story of Nick and Amy Dunne’s marriage gone wrong in Gone Girl: A Novel ($25). The suspenseful read is a fast-paced page-turner with an intriguing element of mystery.
For the Cool Mom
Amy Sohn’s Motherland: A Novel ($25) follows five New York City mothers and fathers to look at modern marriages with an urban, satirical spin.
For the Design Devotee
Based on her popular lifestyle blog, Cupcakes and Cashmere, Emily Schuman’s Cupcakes and Cashmere: A Guide For Defining Your Style, Reinventing Your Space, and Entertaining With Ease ($20) is a how-to handbook organized by season. In it, she offers creative DIY projects, beauty tips, recipes, and more—all alongside beautiful original photographs.
For the Socially Conscious
Katherine Boo wrote the National Book Award Winner Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity ($27) after three years of reporting. The narrative nonfiction piece reveals insights into the lives of Mumbai families, plus the inequality that’s shaped their reality.
For the Fun-Loving Humorist
The author behind Sh*t My Dad Says—Justin Halpern—shares hilarious, heartwarming stories from his life in I Suck at Girls ($17).
For the Royal Watcher
Fans of the royal family will love Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch ($30) by Sally Bedell Smith. The New York Times bestselling author pulls from a variety of interviews and documents to offer insight into the public and private life of Queen Elizabeth II.
For the Literature-Loving Teen
The Fault in Our Stars ($18) by John Green is the story of 16-year-old Hannah, a young girl who’s struggling with stage-IV cancer. When she joins a support group, she falls in love with a fellow survivor, who helps her dream come true.
For the Young Republican
Right meets left in America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom ($26) by Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black, who travel across the country as they discuss their shared opinions, their differences, and how politics remains divided.
For the Hopeless Romantic
In Where We Belong ($28), Something Borrowedauthor Emily Giffin tells the story of Marian Caldwell, a successful TV producer in New York City whose life turns upside-down when an unexpected visitor shows up at her doorstep.
For the Aspiring Blogger
The creative blogger behind Oh Joy! has written Blog, Inc.: Blogging For Passion, Profit, and to Create Community ($17) as a handbook for hopeful bloggers. With tips and tricks on starting, growing, designing, and financing a website, it’s a must have for anyone trying to build an online presence.
For the Bravo-Obsessed
Fans of The Real Housewives series can dig into Andy Cohen’s Most Talkative: Stories From the Front Lines of Pop Culture ($25) for extra scoop and witty behind-the-scenes stories from both his personal and professional life.
For the Shy Intellectual
The bashful person in your life is sure to appreciateQuiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking ($26) by Susan Cain. In it, she studies how we undervalue introverts by outlining research in psychology and neuroscience — findings that show stark contrasts between introverts and extroverts. She also highlights the stories of successful introverts, plus advice on how to move through the world and balance relationships as an introvert.
For the Grown-Up Harry Potter Fan
In the wake of her Harry Potter success, J.K. Rowling tackles all-new material in The Casual Vacancy ($35). Her novel for adults tells the story of an idyllic English town that becomes chaotic when a town council member passes away.
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