Give More Books This Holiday Season
It’s the season of giving and you want to share the love with your closest friends, your in-laws, your siblings, your second cousin twice removed, and with yourself (you deserve it!). We’ve got book recommendations for EVERYONE this holiday season. Watch the joy on their faces when they unwrap books chosen especially for them!
Click below to find recommendations for the _______ in your life:
Give a book to the HISTORY BUFF in your life.
Warlight by Michale Ondaatje
The author of The English Patient tells a vivid tale of post-WWII London. Nathaniel and his sister Rachel have been seemingly abandoned by their parents and left in the care of a mysterious man known as The Moth. Nathaniel later unravels all the strange happenings in his life and begins to connect the dots of what was really going on.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Cora, a slave on a plantation in Georgia, seeks to escape from the nightmare of life in the south during pre-Civil War America. She begins a terrifying journey on a literal Underground Railroad, and must flee state by state until she finds true freedom.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Owens brings us to North Carolina in 1969, where Kya, known as the “Marsh Girl” has lived by herself for many years, growing self-sufficient on the natural world around her. When a local man is found dead, she is suddenly suspected of murder and she must face a new reality outside of the marsh.
Washington Black by Esi Edguyan
A powerful story of a boy beginning his life as a slave in the sugar plantations in Barbados and journeying halfway around the world with the man who comes to own him. Their complex relationship contains echoes of friendship, love, and betrayal as they both must reinvent themselves.
Give a book to the TECHIE in your life.
Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire Evans
Peek inside the lives of the inspiring women who helped build the tech industry and were on the forefront of every major technology breakthrough. From programmers to web designers to dot-com entrepreneurs, Evans shares the stories of women forgotten by history.
Taming the Sun by Varun Sivaram
Solar energy is becoming more common in the world, but we still lack the innovation needed to take us to the next level and achieve a global clean energy revolution. Sivaram delves into business, finance, and technology to share innovating ideas that have the potential to transform the world.
Who We Are and How We Got Here by David Reich
Recent technological breakthroughs in how we study human genomics and DNA has given scientists new understanding about our ancestors and how they developed into modern humans. This book gives a captivating glimpse into the nature of humankind.
Geek Girl Rising: Inside the Sisterhood Shaking Up Tech by Heather Cabot and Samantha Walravens
Women in Silicon Valley are building companies, making names for themselves, and chasing their dreams. Inspiring and timely, with a new afterword that discusses sexual harassment in the tech industry, this book is sure to inspire women who are currently working in tech.
Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Brennan-Jobs had a complex relationship with her father, Steve Jobs, over the years. She tells about her childhood, her parents, and growing up in California in this poignant memoir.
Betaball by Erik Malinowski
How did Silicon Valley and science build one of the greatest basketball teams in history? This book reveals how the Golden State Warriors were transformed by a venture capitalist and a Hollywood producer using analytics, scientific principles, and business acumen.
Give a book to the ROMANTIC in your life.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Stella Lane predicts customer purchase habits for a living, but her many hours spent on the job has left her little time for dating. The fact that she has Asperger’s doesn’t help matters, so she hires an escort to prepare for the dating world. Together they start checking off the tasks on Stella’s list and soon their partnership starts to make a strange sort of sense.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
In post-WWII England, Claire and her husband have survived the war and are celebrating their second honeymoon. When Claire walks through a standing stone in an ancient circle, she is suddenly transported back to the 1700s, where she discovers a fierce and passionate love with a Scots warrior.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Dimple loves coding, not wearing makeup, and the fact that she gets to go to Stanford in the fall. Rishi believes in arranged marriage and following the advice of his parents. They couldn’t be more wrong for each other, yet they can’t quite help starting to fall in love.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Lara Jean is mortified when her secret letters to her past crushes are mailed to them directly. She must somehow navigate all of their reactions and face the fact that she might find love after all.
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor and Park are high school misfits, who fall in love hard even though they are smart enough to know that love almost always ends badly. They won’t let the fact that their relationship is against the odds stop them from trying.
#Married Life: A Snarky Adult Coloring Book
Does your partner think you load the dishwasher wrong? Need a way to express some frustration (and love) through art? This snarky coloring book will have you and your partner laughing, coloring, and forgetting all about your marital issues.
GIve a book to the FANTASY FANATIC in your life.
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
Post-Civil War era meets zombie apocalypse in this story about a girl who is training to fight the undead soldiers who began rising from American battlefields. Jane is a determined to make it through her combat education and return home to Kentucky, but she is caught in a conspiracy that pits her against powerful enemies.
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
The king of Ikhara chooses eight girls each year to serve in the palace. Lei, a member of the Paper caste, is torn from her home in the country to serve the king just like her mother was, and she must decide if she will accept her fate or fight for something more.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
When a man returns to the home of his childhood, he is drawn to an old farmhouse and pond down the road. He begins remembering the strange and mysterious happenings of his childhood and the remarkable girl that brought them about. A dark and magical fable that will etch itself into your memory.
Year One by Nora Roberts
Sickness brings about the end of the world as we know it, and those that remain must somehow pick up the pieces. People begin developing strange, magical abilities and a young couple must journey out of New York in search of answers about magic, survival, and an unknown fate.
Give a book to the MINNESOOOOOOTAN in your life.
Deep Woods, Wild Waters by Douglas Wood
A memoir like no other, this books paints a picture of the promise and wonder that only time spent in nature can give. Douglas Wood is “Minnesota’s Renaissance Man,” an author, musician, and naturalist that will guide you through Minnesotan landscapes.
The Hungry Coast: Fables from the North Shore of Minnesota by Marlais Brand
From the North Shore of Lake Superior comes a collection of hair-raising fables that depict ghosts, animals, and other legendary themes. A quick read that is perfect for winter nights at the cabin.
How to Talk Minnesotan by Howard Mohr
Updated and revised for the 21st century, this hilarious book will help visitors to Minnesota fit in with the culture. Find out what Minnesotans really mean when they use phrases like “that’s interesting” and “whatever,” and learn the proper etiquette for bringing hot dish to the family potluck.
The Long Shining Waters by Danielle Sosin
A rich narrative with three separate stories that unfold over history around Lake Superior. The universal search for meaning from all of the characters in this book will draw you in just like the long shining waters of Lake Superior.
The Land of Dreams by Vidar Sundstol
This award-winning book is the first in Sundstol’s Minnesota Trilogy and is set in the small towns and deep woods of Northern Minnesota. When a body is discovered brutally murdered on the shore of Lake Superior, FBI agent Bob Lecuyer must dig deep into history to find the killer.
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
A straightforward college assignment turns into much more when student Joe Talbot interviews Carl Iverson, a local resident at a nursing home. Iverson is a convicted murderer and a Vietnam veteran, and Joe’s interest in his background continues to grow as he uncovers the truth about Carl’s history. From Minnesotan author Allen Eskens.
Locally Laid by Lucie Amundsen
A funny, endearing story about a family that decided to challenge the big agriculture business by starting their own chicken farm, and bringing us Locally Laid eggs.
The Annie Year by Stephanie Wilbur Ash
A quirky story set in small-town Midwest, The Annie Year pulls the curtain away from darkly comic happenings around town. Tandy Caide, the local accountant and member of the Order of the Pessimists, begins a love affair that will have ramifications on the direction of her life.
Virgil Wander by Leif Enger
From best-selling Minnesota author Leif Enger comes a new novel about a northern Minnesotan town and the recovery of a local movie-house owner, Virgil Wander. When Virgil’s car flies off the road into Lake Superior, he wakes up with altered memories and language and must rely on the help of the local townspeople to help remember who he is.
Give a book to the COMEDIAN in your life.
You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson
A hilarious collection of essays and observations on everything from politics to race to pop culture from the stand-up comedian and host of the podcast “2 Dope Queens.”
I Might Regret This by Abbi Jacobson
Co-star and co-creator of the hit series Broad City, Abbi Jacobson sets off on a solo road trip across the country to sort out her thoughts on love, comedy, work, and figuring out who she really is.
How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
British author and columnist Caitlin Moran packs a lot into this memoir, including wry observations on women’s lives today, humorous stories from her experiences as a child, teenager, wife, and mother, and reflections on what it means to be a feminist.
My Squirrel Days by Ellie Kemper
Ellie Kemper shares stories from her childhood (including her attempts to commune with squirrels), breaking into show business and starring in The Office and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and her progression from dressing like a mom to actually becoming one.
Calypso by David Sedaris
Sedaris delivers thoughtful and laugh out loud observations on middle age and mortality - a dark and funny collection that will entertain like only Sedaris can.
I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron
Ephron gives a candid look into her life as a woman of a certain age and writes honestly and courageously about getting older, menopause, being an empty-nester, and her attempts to stop the aging process.
I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron
Ephron shares all the wisdom she’s collected over the years and hasn’t (yet) forgotten. This collection includes stories of her falling in love with journalism, breaking up with the men in her life, and her relationship with her e-mail inbox a decade after writing and directing You’ve Got Mail.
One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by BJ Novak
An imaginative story collection from actor and writer BJ Novak that will have you thinking, laughing, and connecting with characters as they face challenges and decisions we can all identify with.
Give a book to the TEACHER in your life.
Educated by Tara Westover
Growing up in the Idaho mountains as part of a survivalist family, Tara Westover did not enter a classroom until she was 17 years old. Her search for knowledge begins to transform her, and her story of her upbringing and her quest for education is unforgettable.
In a Different Key: The Story of Autism by John Donvan and Caren Zucker
Spanning seven decades of research, stories, and controversies, this book shares an in-depth look at the history of autism and the misconceptions surrounding it. This book is both an expansive illustration as well as an intimate portrait of those who have pushed for inclusion and understanding.
See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers by Roxanna Elden
A veteran teacher, Elden offers practical, straightforward, funny, and insightful advice to teachers. She also includes stories and lessons from other educators to provide teachers with honest, tell-it-like-it-is guide to teaching while maintaining your sanity.
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil De Grasse Tyson
A compact, quick guide to some of the world’s biggest questions, including “what is the nature of space and time?” Tyson provides accessible, intriguing answers to our most pressing questions about astrophysics, so that you can understand the universe a little better.
Give a book to the THRILL SEEKER in your life.
The Witch Elm by Tana French
Toby, an average, run-of-the-mill guy, goes out drinking one night and ends up almost beaten to death by robbers. He ends up recovering at his uncle’s house where he used to spend summers as a teenager, and the discovery of a skull buried in the backyard causes Toby to delve into questions about his past and who he has come to be.
Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia
A man and his son trek into the Boundary Waters for a camping trip and do not return. Ten years later, the son appears out of nowhere, uncommunicative and acting violently. Maya, an assistant at the psychiatric ward the son is checked into, will stop at nothing to figure out what happened to him and where his father is.
Sadie by Courtney Summers
Sadie’s world crumbles when her sister Mattie is murdered. The police fumble with the investigation so Sadie decides to take matters into her own hands. As she follows the few clues she has and gets closer to the killer, a local radio host takes interest and begins tracking her journey. What happens if they both get too close to the truth?
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
When a Midwestern city is stunned by a brutal attack by a killer driving a Mercedes, retired cop Bill Hodges can’t get it out of his head. When he receives threats from the killer for another, bigger, more violent attack, Bill sets out to stop him. As Bill gets closer to the killer, he must take a chilling journey into his mind.
Red War by Vince Flynn / Kyle Mills
Kyle Mills delivers another espionage thriller starring Mitch Rapp of the CIA. When the Russian president is diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, he becomes dangerously aggressive and is determined to declare all-out war with the United States. Rapp is sent to Russia on a risky mission to stop the Russian president by any means necessary.
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Mia takes a chance on a stranger in a bar - a decision that will have potentially fatal consequences. Colin was hired to kidnap Mia and deliver her to his employers, but instead, he becomes wildly unpredictable and drives her to a deserted cabin in northern Minnesota. As the days go by, the changes of Mia making it home get slimmer and slimmer.
The Real Michael Swann by Bryan Reardon
Julia is on the phone with her husband Michael when a bomb goes off at Penn Station - the exact place Michael was waiting for a train. As the city reels from the consequences of the terrorist attack, Julia cannot find Michael and the questions begin to pile up. How well does she really know her husband?
Give a book to the MUSICIAN in your life.
My Own Devices by Dessa
Local rapper Dessa shares her stories on how she got her start in music and her life on tour. She explores a range of topics from heartache to science and philosophy, in a debut that NPR says has “incredible gravitas and presence and humanity.”
She Begat This: 20 Years of the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Joan Morgan
Journalist Joan Morgan explores the legacy of Lauryn Hill’s iconic solo album that debuted twenty years ago. Music critics often cite the album as one of the most important and influential album of modern times.
The Song Machine by John Seabrook
Ever wonder how every pop song manages to get stuck in your head, even if you don’t particularly like it? This book dissects the intricate process of writing and creating songs that are guaranteed to hook listeners.
This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin
Drawing from research in psychology and neuroscience, this books seeks to explain why music brings us pleasure and how the brain responds to music. Levitin also explores cultures and stories of the powerful effect that music can have on all of lives.
Creative Quest by Questlove
Acclaimed musician Questlove gives readers inspiring stories and observations on creativity - what it means, how to pursue it, how to mentor others around you to be more creative. He draws on experiences of other creative collaborators in his life as well as other artists to provide a totally unique guide to unlocking creativity.
The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk
Music brings Shay, Logan, and Autumn together in this YA novel. They use music as a creative outlet to handle anything in their lives. Then grief threatens to upend their world and music may not be enough anymore.
Give a book to the NATURE LOVER in your life.
Winter World by Bernd Heinrich
While humans adapt the environment to meet their needs, animals perform an amazing array of techniques to deal with the environment around them. Learn about hibernation, winter food sources, and the chemical changes animals go through to survive harsh winter conditions.
Once in a Blue Moon Lodge by Lorna Landvik
When Nora sets out a camping trip, it’s the beginning of an unexpected journey. Follow Nora along her travels with her grandmother, from the woods of Minnesota all the way to Norway, where she learns about her grandmother’s unexpected past and charts a new beginning of her own.
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
A rich collection of reflections on the ways in which plants and animals teach us about the world. Kimmerer shares her perspectives as an indigenous scientist and argues that we must realize our reciprocal relationships with the living world in order to move forward.
Onigamiising by Linda LeGarde Grover
The land near Lake Superior now known as Duluth long ago was known to the Ojibwe as Onigamiising. Grover shares a collection of 50 short essays that celebrate and reflect on the Ojibwe traditions and their connection with the land.
The Thing With Feathers by Noah Strycker
Birds have truly extraordinary talents and abilities, and Strycker explores many of these in The Thing with Feathers. He reveals why birds do what they do, and ties it to our own human experiences.
The Imperfect Environmentalist by Sara Gilbert
Have you ever been intimidated by the sheer amount of things one can do to improve the environment? Sara Gilbert is here to help cut through the clutter and give you simple, practical ways to have a big impact on the environment.
Give a book to the ARMCHAIR DETECTIVE in your life.
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
A unique mystery that plays out a murder - over and over again - until it can be solved. Think Groundhog Day meets Clue.
Robicheaux by James Lee Burke
Dave Robicheaux works to solve the murder of the man who killed his wife - the only problem is, Dave may be the one at fault.
A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee
A detective duo on the Calcutta police force investigate the dramatic assassination of the heir to the throne in 1920s India.
The One-Eyed Judge by Michael Ponsor
A stunning legal suspense novel from Michael Ponsor, who uses his own experience as a Federal judge to bring authenticity to the story.
Right As Rain by George Pelacanos
Two former police officers, now private detectives, investigate the death of a black police officer and find themselves on a dangerous, unpredictable path.
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Editor Susan Ryland is accustomed to the strange behavior of mystery author Alan Conway. But reading his latest manuscript sends her headfirst into discovering dark and intriguing secrets.
Give a book to the BFF in your life.
Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer
A look at the sociological trends in female friendships and how they are portrayed in pop culture, as well as stories from the author’s own personal experience. The conclusion? Female friendships are making us (and society) stronger than ever.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
The former First Lady chronicles her experiences, from growing up in Chicago, to her work at the White House and beyond. A compelling, inspiring memoir from an iconic woman.
This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki
This graphic novel tells the story of best friends Rosie and Windy, who spend every summer together at the lake. As they reach the beginning of their teenage years, they have to deal with secrets, sorrow and growing up.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihari
Four college classmates - Willem, Malcolm, JB, and Jude - move to New York and each seeks a different ambition. As they grow older, their relationships deepen, and Jude’s trauma-filled past continues to haunt him. A difficult and complex read that is harrowing and horrifying, but also depicts the compassion, support, and love of friendship.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The tale of Offred, a handmaid who is forced to serve a Commander’s family in an age of declining births and a new ruling elite in the Republic of Gilead. A startling dystopian story that you won’t be able to put down.
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Lifestyle blogger and inspirational speaker Rachel Hollis gives practical and personal advice about overcoming the lies that we tell ourselves, including “I Should Be Further Along By Now” and “I’m a Bad Mom.”
The Burning Girl by Claire Messud
Julia and Cassie have been best friends since they were little, but with teenage adolescence on the horizon, Cassie begins a journey that puts not only their friendship in danger, but also her life.
The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle
A captivating novel that plays out what would really happen if Sabrina got to have dinner with 5 people of her choosing (living or dead). At her thirtieth birthday, she shows up to find Audrey Hepburn, three people from her past, and perhaps, the love of her life.
Love Medicine by Lousie Erdrich
The first in a trilogy about life on a Native American reservation in fictional Argus, North Dakota. Two families - the Kashpaws and the Lamartines - experience heartbreak, joy, anger, and much more over the course of several generations.
Give a book to the FOODIE in your life.
Chowgirls Killer Party Food by Heidi Andermack and Amy Brown
Heidi and Amy are the founders of local catering company Chowgirls, and they’ve got all of the appetizer, dessert, and drink recipes to keep your party going. A great gift for those who are constantly entertaining!
My Beer Year by Lucy Burningham
A journalist and craft beer enthusiast, Burningham takes her relationship with beer up a notch and decides to become a certified Cicerone (beer-tasting expert). She chronicles her interactions with brewers, farmers, chefs, and experts along the way.
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
Bourdain’s death earlier this year left hole in the culinary world. In this funny and inspiring memoir, Bourdain shares tales of his days as a chef in New York, revealing what he called “twenty-five years of sex, drugs, bad behavior, and haute cuisine.”
Give A Girl a Knife by Amy Thielen
Thielen shares her food journey with readers, from her hometown in northern Minnesota to working in fine dining restaurants in New York City. She explores her food roots in the Midwest with energy, humor, and passion.
The Homebrewer’s Almanac by Marika Josephson, Aaron Kleidon, & Ryan Tockstein
A source of inspiration for homebrewers seeking to use fresh and foraged ingredients in their beer, the Almanac includes recipes and instructions for harvesting and preserving local plants.
The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman with Beth Dooley
This 2018 James Beard Award Winning cookbook includes recipes featuring locally sourced, clean ingredients that give an introduction to modern day indigenous cooking. From local author and chef Sean Sherman.