10 Books For Every Reader In Your Life
Shopping for book lovers is hard - we tend to be a persnickety bunch and finding the right book can be cause for anxiety for those who wish to gift us the joy of reading. But not all book lovers are equal, and many of love when people take the time to find us the perfect read. The following list of books will hopefully help you choose the perfect (last-minute) book for every type of reader in your life.
The Romance Lover
I admit, I'm not a big romance fan but even I'm intrigued by the popularity of The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, which ranked on Washington Post's top books for romance novels. It's a classic premise: two people who hate each other enter into a tug-of-war of emotions. This one throws in some workplace competition, which makes it more interesting. It's getting rave reviews, some from bloggers whom surprised me, so I may have to branch out of my comfort zone and give this one a try.
For the Feminist
As a self-defined feminist, I found myself reading even more books about women and their roles (purposeful or not) within society and fell in love with Trainwreck by Sady Doyle. Perhaps love isn't the right word - it angered me to no end but it also made me realize that I, too, have joined in the trainwreck culture of watching society build up women only to tear them down again. If you know someone who is a feminist and follows pop culture, this book will score you major bonus points.
For the YA Fan
A friend of mine has been raving about Beast by Brie Spangler for a while now and it's been picking up in popularity. It's about a self-harming teen who finds out one of his favorite people is transgender, which is a topic we should all be reading more about. It's inspired by Beauty and the Beast (or so I've heard), so anyone who loves that story is sure to like this one.
For the Diverse Reader
I'm a big proponent of reading diversely, particularly as our country struggles with its identity and openness to other cultures. It's hard to pin down just one book but I'm going to choose Shelter by Jung Yun. Shelter is about a Korean-American man who has a complicated relationship with his family, particularly his parents. As he struggles to be a good husband and father, a horrific act of violence against his parents rocks his world, forcing him to confront everything from how he was raised, expectations placed upon him, and more.
For the Woman Inspired to Get Political
This election has spurred people. particularly women, around the country to get more involved. Whether it's through donations, marches, or running for office, there's no doubt that a subtle (or perhaps not so subtle) call-to-action has been answered. If you have one of these women in your life and think they would make a great public servant, buy them Every Day Is Election Day by Rebecca Sive. If they're still hovering but are contemplating what to do next, then perhaps Off the Sidelines: Speak Up, be Fearless, and Change Your World by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is a better fit.
For the Historical Fiction Fanatic
I am a big fan of Ken Follett and his latest series, The Century Trilogy, lives up to my expectations for him. The trilogy spans the beginning of World War I and through the end of the Cold War, offering the unique perspectives of families around the world (Wales, Russia, Great Britain, the U.S.) affected by the events. The way that he is able to connect them while weaving their stories into the overall retelling of events is uncanny and will not disappoint.
For the Non-Fiction Reader
Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance is on all of the best-of lists for a reason: it's that good. It's the story of an early 30-something man who grew up white and poor in the Appalachians. In addition to telling his own story of poverty and breaking the cycle by getting out, he offers his take on why policies thus far have not solved the issue and delicately dances around why Trump was so popular within these communities.
For the Vegetarian
Everyone has a vegetarian in their life (I'm the vegetarian in everyone's life), The Humane Economy by Wayne Pacelle is a must-read. Rather than delve too far into the moral implications of eating meat, he focuses on the economics of it: eating meat is expensive. He gives concrete examples of businesses that thrive without harming our furry friends and explores the innovative ways companies are trying to shift away from a meat-based economy. It's fascinating.
For the Thrifty
Know someone who is trying to cut down on their spending habits? The Spender's Guide to Debt Free Living by Anna Newell is just the ticket (and really, people trying to save money shouldn't have to spend money on this, themselves, right?). Newell's no-nonsense guide involves going on a spending fast, or not spending anything that's unnecessary for one year (although the timeline is flexible). I tried doing this spending fast myself and was amazing by how much I was able to pay off in credit card debt in just a few short months, so while I've fallen off of the wagon this holiday season, I'm looking forward to getting back on it.
For the Social Media Junkie
Hands down, every social media junkie needs to read So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson. Not only does it tell the stories of those who have been publicly shamed after an ill-conceived tweet or photo, it serves as a great reminder as to why we should remember the world is always watching.
Now that we've come to the end of this list, I have to confess that I am not a mind-reader, so I claim no responsibility if the reader in your life hates my picks (although I sincerely hope that doesn't happen!). Even so, I hope that this helps mitigate your panic as you run out for your last minute shopping.