What We’re Gifting This Holiday Season

Everyone knows that books make the best gifts, so it follows that booksellers make the best gift-givers. This year, we've asked a few of our staffers which books (or games or fun bookish merch!) they're gifting this holiday season. Browse through their picks for some festive inspiration. Need help with a personalized recommendation for someone on your list? Give us a call or stop by the store — we'd be happy to help you find (and wrap!) the perfect present.


Nora Goes Off Script

I’m giving Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan to my sister. She’s a single mom, and I started getting her into rom-coms a couple years ago. This is a fun, breezy book about a middle-aged mom who finds love, and it’s full of hope — and some Hollywood charm.

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LePen colorful felt tip pens; literary notepad; bookish stickers

We have some really cute stickers and notebooks in the store, and I’m planning to give some to teens like my daughter and her friends — they’re great for young writers, and they go especially well with a couple of colorful LePens.

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The Box Game

This handmade game is the ultimate Christmas gift — as beautiful as it is fun. Each Box Game is made by Greg Koehler, Valerie’s husband, and they’re all gorgeous and unique. I’m planning on buying at least two.

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The Big Texas Cookbook

The editors of Texas Monthly have compiled recipes that define the state, with particular focus on barbecue and Tex-Mex, including everything from Smoked Oysters to cocktails to vegetarian meals. It’s a great gift for Texas natives… or those who got here as soon as they could. 

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100 Great American Parks

This beautiful book came out earlier this year, and it’s a perfect gift for anyone who wants to get out and see the world. All 63 of America’s National Parks are featured, plus 37 state or city parks and other hidden gems. I’m giving this to my nephew.

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Helene Tursten’s An Elderly Lady Books 

I’ve given these wonderfully funny, dark books to a lot of people. Eighty-eight year-old Maud is such a fun character — I’d love to be her friend, aside from the fact that the bodies keep piling up wherever she goes. The physical product is great, too — these small books are eye-catching and fun to read and hold. Bonus: The second book includes Maud's Christmas Gingerbread cookie recipe!

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Jennifer K

Toshikazu Kawaguchi's Café Funiculi Funicula Series

In Tokyo, a small basement café has been serving coffee for over a hundred years. Urban legend has it that one particular seat in this café allows its occupant to travel back in time — but you must return to the present before your coffee gets cold. Each book in this series features heartwarming, thoughtful stories about human relationships. They are simple and beautiful.

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Two Degrees

This is a wonderful environmental disaster book that’s great for boys and girls in fifth through eighth grade. It’s edge-of-your-seat action across three storylines: A girl running from a forest fire in California; two boys running from polar bears in Manitoba; and a girl experiencing severe flooding in Florida during a terrible hurricane. A thrilling, important read!

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Mince Spies & Mystery Missions

These simple dinner party games are so much fun. You slip a coaster under each person’s drink — that coaster gives them a mystery mission to carry out during the dinner. At the end, everyone has to guess what they think your mystery was. Some are simple, some a little tougher, and they’re always hilarious. Both of these are very cute, but Mince Spies is especially festive for the holiday season!

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Listen To Your Vegetables 

Michelin star- and James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef Sarah Grueneberg grew up in Texas visiting her grandparents on their farm. This inspired a love of vegetables and fresh produce that shines through in this Italian-inspired cookbook. Grueneberg takes 16 chapters to describe 16 different kinds of vegetables, with an emphasis on what's in season — because it will be the least expensive and the best quality. A wonderful book to cook from, and a wonderful gift.

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I have three! 

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver: For my sister-in-law who lives in Appalachia and who, as a medical professional, has seen first hand the effects of the opioid crisis that are described so well in this novel.

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Heritage by Miguel Bonnefoy: For my sister who says she's not a reader but who nonetheless belongs to a book club and wants books that are under 250 pages. This short novel is a multi-generational saga of a French-Chilean family that packs a lot into its 150 pages.

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And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle by Jon Meacham: For my brother-in-law, a college history major, who got side-tracked into sports. He's retiring soon as Athletic Director at a university and wants to get back into reading history, and who better to read than Jon Meacham?

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