2019 Book Gift Guide For Adults

Things We Love

December 10, 2019

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When it comes to buying gifts, there will always be those people that are impossible to shop for. They seem to already have everything or say they don’t need anything. 

Well, if you’ve found yourself in this position with a certain someone — here’s your solution: get them a good book! Everybody reads. All you need to do is think about their interests and go from there. 

As a self-proclaimed book lover, I’ve spent a lot of time choosing some great options for different interests — and have personally read and recommend every book on this list.

I guarantee there is at least one book on this list that that tough-to-buy-for person will like. Or, maybe you’ll find something you’ll want to add to your own Christmas wish list.

Someone who loves movies? Get them a great book that inspired a great movie. (It’s probably better anyway.) Someone who loves to cook? (Or to eat?) Try a fancy (or not so fancy) cookbook. (Or Julia Child’s lovely memoir of her time cooking in France.) A history buff? Musical fanatic? Literary or cultural critic? There are wonderful nonfiction books on just about every topic you can imagine. 

I guarantee there is at least one book on this list that that tough-to-buy-for person will like.

Looking for something a little lighter and fun? We’ve got romance and drama and meet cutes. If you think they’d prefer something not so light and not so fun, we’ve got complex, beautiful, heartbreaking historical novels galore. Looking to encourage someone through some spiritual or psychological reading? We’ve got some great options for spiritual and personal growth. 

And finally, the classics. There are several classics that every person should read at least once in their lives (preferably more than once) and classics always make for a wonderful gift since you can find so many beautiful bindings these days. 

So take a look around, and find the perfect gift for the adults in your life. And probably something you’ll like too. 

Loved the movie? Try the book 

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History by Antonio Mendez and Matt Baglio

Just Mercy: A Story of Redemption and Justice by Bryan Stevenson

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Apollo 13 by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger 

Non-fiction for just about anyone

My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II by George Weigel

Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon by Jeffrey Kluger

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter 

Classics everyone must read at least once

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens 

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

The Complete Plays of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde

Some truly wonderful spiritual (and one psychological) reads

The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis

The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of the Little Flower by St. Therese of Lisieux

33 Days to Merciful Love: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Consecration to Divine Mercy by Fr. Michael Gaitley 

She: Understanding Feminine Psychology by Robert A. Johnson (Check out He and We also.)

The Catholic All Year Compendium: Liturgical Living For Real Life by Kendra Tierney

Theology of Home: Finding the Eternal in the Everyday by Carrie Gress, Noelle Mering, and Megan Schrieber

Historical fiction that will break your heart in the most wonderful ways

A Mercy by Toni Morrison

The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic by Hazel Gaynor

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Want something slightly (or significantly) less heartbreaking? Try some contemporary fiction

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

Like to cook? Love to eat? Try these

Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller 

Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Simone Beck, and Louisette Bertholle

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays by Ree Drummund (Or Ree’s new cookbook, The New Frontier)

How to Instant Pot by Daniel Shumski

Fix It and Freeze It, Heat It and Eat It by Southern Living Magazine 

Eat Like a Gilmore by Kristi Carlson

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