Humanities › Literature Best Books to Give as Christmas Gifts Share Flipboard Email Print Literature Best Sellers Best Selling Authors Best Seller Reviews Book Clubs & Classes Classic Literature Plays & Drama Poetry Quotations Shakespeare Short Stories Children's Books By Erin Collazo Miller Literature Expert B.A., English, Duke University Erin Collazo Miller is a freelance book critic whose work has appeared regularly in the Orlando Sentinel. our editorial process Erin Collazo Miller Updated January 28, 2020 Books make excellent Christmas gifts. Even those who don't usually read will often enjoy beautiful hardcover books about subjects they enjoy. Here are some suggestions organized by what type of person might appreciate the book. 01 of 07 For the Uncle With a Long Plane Trip Home (A Great Thriller!) Crown "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn is a big thriller. It is a smart page-turner about a wife who disappears. Did her husband kill her? The novel is told from the alternating viewpoints of the wife's diary and the husband during the search. It is a book that readers won't want to put down, but it isn't fluffy, Flynn writes well. The movie was a hit, and so is the book. 02 of 07 For Those Who Are Passionate About Poverty and Global Issues Random House "Behind the Beautiful Forevers" is a true story. Katherine Boo spent years in a Mumbai slum observing life and interviewing residents. She wrote "Behind the Beautiful Forevers" in a narrative style that will grip readers and help them wrestle with the complex nature of inequality in India. 03 of 07 For Those Who Love Books on History, Politics, or War Little, Brown "The Yellow Birds" by Kevin Powers is a debut novel from an Iraq War veteran about one soldier's time in that war and struggle returning from it. "The Yellow Birds" has beautiful writing and poignant insight. 04 of 07 For the Literary Hipster Harper "Telegraph Avenue" by Michael Chabon takes place in Oakland and centers on a small record store that is threatened by a big chain. This novel has many plot threads and ambitious writing. Chabon may just be the greatest living American writer today. His sentences are sumptuous. One is 11 pages long and fills an entire chapter as the writer and reader observe the goings-on of every major character. It’s ingenious. He brings all the underground and popular recognition of art and culture naturally into the flow of his stories. There are some explicit sexuality and violence, so read in-depth reviews for a better understanding of what you are buying before you give this gift. 05 of 07 For a New Mom or Grandma Penguin Group "Some Assembly Required" by Anne Lamott is the follow-up to her bestselling "Operating Instructions," which detailed her son's first year. Now her son is a father, and this book is a journal of Lamott's grandson's first year. "Operating Instructions" remains a good read for new parents, and parents or grandparents will appreciate "Some Assembly Required." 06 of 07 For the Religious Intellectual Farrar, Straus and Giroux "When I Was a Child I Read Books" by Marilynne Robinson is a short book, but it is dense. This collection of essays considers American life, political discourse, and religious responsibility. It is healthy food for the brain, but still a pleasure to read. 07 of 07 For a Sister With a Sense of Humor Little, Brown "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" is a novel by Maria Semple, one of the writers of the TV show "Arrested Development." Fans of that show or over the top humor laced with social commentary will enjoy this novel about an eccentric mother whose daughter is trying to track her down after she suddenly disappears the week before Christmas.