Nov 19, 2020

BookClub's Favorite Holiday Gifts

The holidays are fast approaching (they’re basically already here) and we bet you’re as panicked as we are about getting gifts for your family and friends. This is likely even more true for those of you who won’t be celebrating with family and are trying to make sure gifts arrive on time.

We understand the holiday gift-giving stress, so our team put together a list of some of the books and book-related gifts we’re loving this year, as well as some of our favorite independent bookstores for you to shop at. While some of these bookstores are closed for in-person shopping, they are still fulfilling online orders.

Whether you’re shopping for a book lover in your life or buying yourself a little something, we know these gifts will meet your holiday needs!

The Books

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Untamed is Glennon Doyle’s most recent memoir and the most intimate. Doyle opens up about understanding her sexuality, creating a brand new family, and becoming the kind of woman she always hoped her daughter would be. A gorgeous and powerful look at self-evaluation and growth, it’s truly a must-read.

Women Talking by Miriam Toews

Based on a real-life event, Women Talking is a deeply haunting story of eight Mennonite women who recently discovered that a group of men in their community has been drugging and violating the eight of them and at least a hundred other girls in their community for the last two years. Told through the “minutes” of their meeting, Women Talking tells a masterful story about power, free will, and the strength of women.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

One of the most popular books of 2019 and 2020, Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist asks readers to not just understand racism, but to take the next step and contribute to a just and equitable society. How to Be an Antiracist is equal parts memoir and instructional guide, and challenges readers to think outside themselves and focus on making the world better.

The Book Lover’s Cookbook by Janet Jensen and Shaunda Kennedy Wenger

This collection of recipes is inspired by your favorite literary moments. Featuring recipes like Ichabod’s Slapjacks (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow), Mr. Casaubon’s Chicken Noodle Soup (Middlemarch), and Turkish Delight (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe), this book is perfect for your favorite chef or your favorite book lover.

The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford

The Phoenix Project is the story of Bill, an IT manager who has been tasked with overseeing the Phoenix Project, an over budget, behind schedule project that’s critical to the company’s success. The Phoenix Project manages to be a distinct novel and an organizational improvement guide all in one and is a great purchase for any IT lover in your life.

The Boring Book by Shinsuke Yoskitake

You’ve heard it before from your kids, the claim that they’re bored when there’s lots to do around them. This gorgeous picture book from Shinsuke Yoshitake is a great way to get kids to understand boredom differently, proving itself as the perfect Coronavirus companion.

The Book-Themed Gifts

100 Essential Novels Scratch-Off Chart

This poster represents 100 essential novels your favorite book lover should read and gives them a unique way to track what they’re reading. This 18x24 print is perfect for a work-from-home office!

Superhero Bookend

A new bookend is always useful for book lovers, and we loved these superhero ones from ArtoriDesign on Etsy. They have several different types of superhero bookends and floating shelves that will satisfy any book lover’s need!

Personalized Book Embosser

Got a literary fiend who loves to lend their books but is worried about getting them back? Order a personalized book embosser from StampBossArt so they can make sure each of their books has their name in it.

Bee Magnetic Bookmark

Every reader needs another bookmark! This magnetic bee bookmark from SpicyApricots is a great way for your readers to mark their page. Magnetic bookmarks hold the page better than a lot of bookmarks, and this one is big enough that it won’t be easily lost. Plus, who doesn’t love a busy bee?

The Bookstores

This holiday season is difficult for everyone, especially our local and small businesses. The BookClub team put together a short list of some local bookstores you can look at for your book and book-themed gift purchases. As always, we recommend purchasing online through as well.

Greenlight Bookstore (Brooklyn, NY)

Greenlight was started by Jessica Stockton Bagnulo and Rebecca Fitting in 2009 after Jessica’s business plan won the 2008 Brooklyn Business Library’s Power Up! business plan competition. Since then, Greenlight has become the official vendor of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, opened a second location in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, and started an independent stationery store called Yours Truly, Brooklyn.

Charis Books & More (Decatur, GA)

Charis Books & More is a feminist bookstore located just outside of Atlanta, GA. Started by Linda Bryant in 1974, Charis Books & More works with their non-profit, Charis Circle, to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices.

Semicolon (Chicago, IL)

Semicolon is a black woman-owned bookstore and gallery space located in Chicago. Danielle Mullen opened Semicolon in 2019 with a mission to nurture the connection between literature, art, and the pursuit of knowledge. Purchasing from Semicolon also supports Paren(t)hesis, their literacy-focused non-profit providing Chicago kids with better access to books.

Birchbark Books (Minneapolis, MN)

Birchbark Books is Native owned by author Louise Erdrich, and exists to keep real conversations between book lovers alive and to build a community based on books. Their online store doesn’t just sell books, they also sell native art, and Birchbark Books is happy to take special order requests.

Fulton Street Books & Coffee (Tulsa, OK)

Asamoa-Caesar opened Fulton Street Books & Coffee in 2019 with the mission to increase intergenerational literacy and build a better community in Tulsa. Fulton Street prioritizes selling books by People of Color and people from marginalized communities.

Magic City Books (Tulsa, OK)

Owned by the Tulsa Literary Coalition, Magic City Books is a bookstore and cafe located in the Tulsa Arts District. The bookstore is also home to Booksmart Tulsa, which has been presenting author events in the Tulsa area for over a decade. Purchases from Magic City Books benefit the Tulsa Literary Coalition, a 501(c)3 started in 2015 to bring more literary discussions to the Tulsa community.

Deep Vellum Books (Dallas, TX)

Deep Vellum began as an independent book publisher in 2013, with the bookstore opening in 2016. Deep Vellum is also a cultural community center that hosts numerous authors and other events throughout the year.

The Wild Detectives (Dallas, TX)

Designed as a space to mix books and booze, The Wild Detectives opened in 2014 and has become a prominent literary event space with a focus on connecting people to cultural conversations.

BookBar Denver (Denver, CO)

BookBar began as an independent bookstore and wine bar by Nicole Sullivan. They have since grown into a community space where readers and writers can gather regularly to exchange ideas and discuss books over a glass of wine. Though their physical location is currently closed due to COVID-19, BookBar is still fulfilling online orders (and offering free shipping).

The Kings English (Salt Lake City)

For the last forty years, the King's English has been one of Salt Lake's biggest independent booksellers. With shelves and shelves of literature and a wide variety of community and author events scheduled throughout the year for readers of all ages, The King's English is one of our favorite places

Skylight Books (Los Angeles, CA)

Skylight Books opened in 1996 in the shadow of Griffith Park in Los Angeles, CA. Skylight provides books about music, Los Angeles regional culture, and film and theatre. 

This holiday season might be a little different, but we hope this list of books, book-themed items, and bookstores you can order from helps make your shopping experience a little less stressful.