Give the Gift of Books This Holiday Season #BookILikeToGive

by | November 20
holiday gift guide books I like to give #booksiliketogive

Guys, the holiday season is HERE! If you’re like me, then you are easily stressed out by gift-giving. What’s too much or too little? What will they like? What’s in your budget? Will your loved one even use the thing you buy? It can all be a little too much. Which is why my motto is keep it simple and give lit gifts!

If you need some help figuring out what to get for the people in your life, check out my bookish recommendations below! If you want even more recommendations—perhaps for the history buff or voracious young reader in your life—then check out Simon & Schuster’s official Books I Like to Give holiday gift guide!


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Give me a shout on Twitter (@ShefaliLohia) with #BooksILikeToGive if your giftee ends up loving one of these reads, or even if they don’t!

This Will Only Hurt a Little

This Will Only Hurt a Little

by Busy Philipps

For the celeb-obsessed bestie: This Will Only Hurt a Little

This book is for every person who devoured Dawson’s Creek, Freaks and Geeks, Vice Principals, and Cougar Town—or for anyone watching Busy’s brand-new talk show Busy Tonight on E! Or really just any feminist, wise-cracking, pop culture–loving person.

This Will Only Hurt a Little is just as hilarious a memoir as I thought it would be, but Busy is sharper, wittier, and quite a bit more honest than I had expected. She opens up about the struggles in her career, sexism in Hollywood, and regular ol’ life stuff (like motherhood, which seems really hard tbh). This is the perfect gift for your friend who loves one of the realest celebs ever. Pro tip: get a copy for yourself and book club at the same time!


American Like Me

American Like Me

by America Ferrera

For the activist: American Like Me

While American Like Me includes essays from a lot of amazing celebs like Lin-Manuel Miranda, Roxane Gay, Liza Koshy, and Kal Penn—and is definitely a good gift for your celeb-obsessed friend—I think this is an even better book for any person who is engaged by and participates in social activism, and for any person who has ever struggled with their identity. The essays are by some very famous people, yes—but also by people who are also single-, second-, and third-generation, who have complicated family histories, and who, like all of us, have had to confront their American identities in one way or another.

I was lucky enough to go to America Ferrera’s first tour event (America is the mastermind behind the collection, and its editor!), where she talked about the book in conversation with activist Linda Sarsour and actress-activist Uzo Aduba (from Orange Is the New Black). Listening to them read excerpts aloud and discuss the process of writing their essays, I felt reassured that they too had felt what I had felt growing up as a first-generation baby post-9/11, and made me want to work harder as an individual to fight for the rights of all Americans.


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The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter

by Kate Morton

For the historical-fiction fanatic: The Clockmaker’s Daughter

Whether or not you (or your loved one!) has heard of Kate Morton, The Clockmaker’s Daughter is THE gift for the historical-fiction fanatic in your life. Book of the Month Club–approved, and more importantly Get Literary–approved, the latest novel from Kate Morton is the perfect thing to sweep you away during the holidays when you want to avoid the cold (and probably politics too).

The novel follows a group of artists who spend a summer basically painting and partying at Birchwood Manor in the 1860s. But it ends terribly when one of the artists is murdered, and another runs away—forever framed as a killer and a thief. Fast-forward to present day, when a young archivist named Elodie Winslow is drawn to the Birchwood Manor and the mystery of what happened. This is such an enthralling read, I recommend gifting it with a cozy blanket and  a bookish mug!


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The Death of Mrs. Westaway

The Death of Mrs. Westaway

by Ruth Ware

For the thrill-seeker: The Death of Mrs. Westaway

Okay, okay, you must’ve heard of Ruth Ware. She’s the amazing writer of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, and The Lying Game. She is quickly becoming a thriller queen—and her latest, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, might be her best one yet (don’t quote me on that though, I’m not trying to start fights here).

Follow Hal—a down-on-her-luck tarot card reader—who receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. The letter wasn’t meant for her, but what does she decide to do? Choose identity theft, of course! With the cold-reading skills Hal has honed for telling people’s fortunes, she’s convinced she can act the part long enough to claim the money. So off she goes to the deceased’s funeral—where she realizes there is something extremely off-kilter about the family and the whole situation. This one will have the thrill-seeker in your life at the edge of their seat!


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Shefali works on the Corporate Digital Marketing team at Simon & Schuster. Because her whole life is #reading, it’s hard for her to pick a favorite genre—anything with strong voice is amazing. She sometimes has unpopular opinions, loves Jane Austen, and finds snark, sassiness, and Oxford commas to be necessary parts of life. Follow her on Twitter at @ShefaliLohia or Instagram at @shefallsgracefully.