There’s no better (or easier) gift for everyone on your list than a book. Think about it—would you rather get yet another bath product set from a well-meaning relative or a great read that you’ll really enjoy? We’ve compiled a list of the hottest titles of 2016 for everyone from your mom to your Secret Santa, so it couldn’t be easier! Just browse our selections and then pick out your favorites—no need to stress about any of these getting re-gifted.
The Mothers, Brit Bennett
Okay, I promise I’m not just telling you to buy this book for your mom because of the title (although, come on, could anything be more appropriate). Brit Bennett’s debut novel has been getting a ton of buzz in literary circles for its complex characters, poignant plot, and well-crafted prose. Your mother will love this powerful read—and the fact that the storyline revolves around motherhood and female friendship doesn’t hurt, either!
Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen
If your dad is anything like mine, he definitely appreciates The Boss (and you definitely spent plenty of car rides growing up jamming to his music). The performer’s autobiography is an amazing gift for any Springsteen fan, but his account of a difficult childhood and a deep drive to succeed will resonate even if your father doesn’t know all the words to “Born in the USA”.
Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler
Stephanie Danler’s debut novel has gotten a ton of buzz this year, and for good reason—the story is nothing short of electrifying. It follows the adventures of Tess, a twenty-two-year-old who moves to New York City to begin her new life and stumbles upon a job at the best restaurant in New York. While the book includes flowery prose describing Tess’s journey into the world of the gourmet, her story is surprisingly dark, and perfectly captures the feeling of being young and in a new city, with a whole world full of potential at your feet. My advice? Read this one along with your bestie so you can freak out over it together!
Shoe Dog, Phil Knight
Whether your boyfriend is a devoted athlete who rocks his Nike gear to class every day or a business major who’s dying to open the next great startup, he’ll love this memoir from Knight, the founder of the wildly successful Nike. The book details Knight’s journey to founding the company and offers a thrilling account of risks, competition, and triumph. It’s bound to inspire him to chase his post-grad dreams (or at least hit the Nike outlet and get you an awesome Christmas present)!
365 Things to Do With LEGO Bricks, Simon Hugo
Okay, hear me out—LEGOS are cool, guys! And no matter how old boys get, they somehow never get tired of playing with them. After all, what’s not to like about tiny blocks you can use to build amazing towers and other projects? There’s no better gift for your little (or not-so-little) brother than a book with tons of ideas about how to use the huge LEGO collection he probably has lying around somewhere, and it’s a win-win because, after gifting, you can get in on the fun too!
Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Americanah might not be a 2016 release, but if your sis hasn’t read this one, you have to get it on her bookshelf asap! The love story of Ifemelu and Obinze will tug at her heartstrings and make her feel happy, angry, inspired, and despondent all in one chapter—Adichie’s writing is truly that good. She powerfully captures the issues of race and identity that the modern world is facing, crafting a novel that’s not only enjoyable but will truly deepen the reader’s understanding of the world.
100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings, Sarah Cooper
Sarah Cooper’s hilarious satirical book of advice for killing it during the million meetings you are forced to attend each day at work will have your coworkers rolling on the floor laughing (and then hopefully not taking any of the book’s questionable advice). From where to sit in the conference room to how to best use facial expressions to your advantage to the greatest ways to use Venn diagrams during your presentation, this book has got every tip you need to succeed. Make sure you read it as well, so you can call your coworker out when they try to sneakily use one of the tricks during your next team meeting.
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy Schumer
Secret Santa gifts are tricky, particularly if you don’t know the person you’re gifting super well or if you’re doing a blind gift exchange at a party. But there’s no better way to pick a present everyone will enjoy than by choosing the laugh-out-loud funny debut from a widely beloved comedian. Not only is Amy Schumer’s book as hilarious as you’d expect, it’s full of poignant stories and excellent advice, and her writing is simultaneously incredibly blunt and very eloquent.
EVERYONE AND ANYONE
We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Now more than ever, everyone—male and female, old and young—needs to unleash their inner feminist. Adichie’s eloquent and inspiring essay, adapted from her amazing TED Talk of the same name (yes, the one Beyoncé sampled on Flawless—are you sold yet?), is exactly the dose of girl power we need. The book may be short, but the words are powerful, and will inspire the lucky person who receives it to fight for feminism in 2017!
Hopefully this list of ideas has inspired you to head to the bookstore (or at least get on Amazon – can’t resist that two-day shipping, after all) and add one of these great reads to your list of Christmas gifts! We promise that with these books, you won’t even need a gift receipt.