I loved rounding up my favorite books to give as presents last year! Here are the best book gifts for everything on your list in 2017. I’ve read all of them and they are great. (One of everything, please!)
For Anyone at a Startup:
Startup: I absolutely loved this book and have recommended it to everyone. The Startup is about a sexual harassment scandal at a high-profile startup, Take Off. The young founder starts to date one of his employees and things go awry when she moves on and starts dating someone else. A journalist at a tech publication gets the scoop and, as she reports on the story, her boss and his wife who works at Take Off get involved. I read The Startup so quickly! Although the subject matter is something that happens far too often, the startup has some hilarious points and it’s fun to spot the real companies that are an inspiration for some of the ones in the book.
For the Recent Grad:
The Big Life: Embrace the Mess, Work Your Side Hustle, Find a Monumental Relationship, and Become the Badass Babe You Were Meant to Be: There isn’t a textbook or college class about navigating your twenties and thirties. But Ann Shoket has written a guide for taking ownership of your personal and professional life and crafting a life you love. As editor-in-chief of Seventeen, Ann helped hundreds of thousands of people traverse their teenage years. Ann realized there wasn’t a similar space for big questions — like how to choose the right career path, negotiate a raise or find a partner whose eyes light up when you talk about your goals — so she decided to do some research and write a book. Shoket hosted Badass Babes dinners — think candid conversations over fancy frozen pizza and rosé — with dozens of women (and a few men) and incorporated their insights and her own into her book, “The Big Life: Embrace the Mess, Work Your Side Hustle, Find a Monumental Relationship, and Become the Badass Babe You Were Meant to Be.”
For the Chef:
Date Night In: Married couple, Ashley and Gabe Rodriguez, realized they missed spending time cooking together so they started a weekly date night in. These recipes are diverse, tasty, and beautifully photographed.
For the Wellness Guru:
Fitness Junkie: This is another book that I recommend to everyone. It’s an absolutely hilarious satire on the wellness scene. Janey Sweet, CEO of a couture wedding dress company, receives an ultimatum from her best friend and business partner, Beau. She can either lose thirty pounds or lose her job. Janey takes a leave of absence from the company and starts going down the wellness rabbit-hole. Of course, there is also a love story thrown in for good measure. I recognized some of the people and places that are “fiction” in the book.
Big Little Lies: Big Little Lies is a mystery about parents and children at a prestigious elementary school. At the beginning of the book we know that police are investigating a murder, but we don’t know who committed it or why. The main characters are Madeline, Celeste, and Jane. Madeline is one of the queen bee moms, Celeste is a gorgeous mom with a very wealthy husband, and Jane is a young single mom. Celeste’s life seems perfect…but it’s not. Their lives become intertwined culminating in a parent at the school’s murder. I was surprised by the ending. I liked The Husband’s Secret better, but this was still a very good read. I want to read another one of
For Your Mom:
The Nightingale: “The Nightengale” takes place during World War Two. Vianne and Isabelle have a close relationship as sisters but they end up living together again when Vianne’s husband, Antoine goes to war. “The Nightengale” chronicles their relationship and life throughout the war and afterward. This is one of the best books I have ever read. I felt such a strong connection with the characters and didn’t want the book to end. I found myself in bed crying multiple times.
For Your Sister:
The Ramblers (c/o): Clio Marsh, Smith Anderson, and Tate Pennington are all college friends navigating their thirties in NYC. Clio Marsh is a bird-watcher dealing with her first serious relationship while learning to understand and deal with her past. Her best friend, Smith Anderson is the daughter of one of New York’s wealthiest families. She has a organization company and organizes the lives of others as her prior engagement has fallen apart…and her younger sister is getting married. Tate Pennington has returns to the city after selling his app and dealing with a divorce. The book has been called a love letter to NYC. I couldn’t put this book down. You’ll feel like you are best friends with all of the characters. It reminded me of a grown up Gossip Girl.
For Your Dad:
The Art of Fielding: This was one of the best novels I’ve read in a long time. My friend highly recommended it so I bought it for my trip to the shore. The book was incredibly well-written, emotional, and engaging. It is about family, finding oneself, and the immense pressure to be successful. I didn’t play sport in college, but I was in a sorority and learned a lot about myself. I gained confidence and a great group of friends so I could relate to the impact of Henry’s college experience.
Before the Fall: Eleven people leave Martha’s Vineyard on a private jet headed back to New York when the plane dives into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs, a painter and the four-year-old boy he rescues from the crash. The boy is the heir to a media empire similar to Fox news. The book switches from past to present as we learn about the people on the plane as well as what unfolds for Scott and the boy as people investigate the crash. It was so good!
And here was last year’s list!