The Perfect Christmas Gifts for Book-Lovers and Early Readers
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Since the lockdown, I’ve been reading at an insatiable rate. I can’t get enough of diving into a good story or soaking up some history and finding out why things are the way they are.
This gift-giving season will be another great one for giving people books and stories to sweep them into a new world.
Here are the books that are expected to be the best sellers as well as a few from the everyone-should-read list.
BEST SELLING BOOKS FOR ADULTS
I wrote this one! (shameless plug)
“James offers a relatable, lighthearted take on the early days of fatherhood. And I’m always up for a good dad joke“- Michael Kwan, author and Dad Blogger.
Dadlife: a bunch of tips that may or may not be useful to new dads is the most useful guide you can give to any new father.
- Contains chapters on Potty Training, 10 things I wish I knew before becoming a Father, and 137 Dad Jokes
- Written by an actual Dad sharing what he’s figured out along the way
- The perfect gift for anyone wanting to be a parent
A New York Times Bestseller
A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of 2020
Named a Best Book of 2020 by NPR
“A fascinating scientific, cultural, spiritual and evolutionary history of the way humans breathe—and how we’ve all been doing it wrong for a long, long time.” —Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic and Eat Pray Love
No matter what you eat, how much you exercise, how skinny or young or wise you are, none of it matters if you’re not breathing properly.
Journalist James Nestor travels the world to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. The answers aren’t found in pulmonology labs, as we might expect, but in the muddy digs of ancient burial sites, secret Soviet facilities, New Jersey choir schools, and the smoggy streets of São Paulo. Nestor tracks down men and women exploring the hidden science behind ancient breathing practices like Pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya, and Tummo and teams up with pulmonary tinkerers to scientifically test long-held beliefs about how we breathe.
From the critically acclaimed author of The 25th Hour and When the Nines Roll Over and co-creator of the HBO series Game of Thrones, a captivating novel about war, courage, survival — and a remarkable friendship that ripples across a lifetime.
During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet colonel to use in his daughter’s wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible.
Frank Herbert’s classic masterpiece—a triumph of the imagination and one of the bestselling science fiction novels of all time.
Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for….
When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.
The #1 New York Times Bestseller
“So, I’ve written a book.
Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities (“It’s a piece of cake! Just do 4 hours of interviews, find someone else to write it, put your face on the cover, and voila!”) I have decided to write these stories just as I have always done, in my own hand. The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I’ve recorded and can’t wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or even hearing my voice bounce between the Kiss posters on my wall as a child.”
A New York Times Bestseller
A Washington Post Bestseller
Named a “Best Essay Collection of the Decade” by Literary Hub
As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. InBraiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert).
Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices.
Between life and death there is a library.
When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change.
The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren’t always what she imagined they’d be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger.
Before time runs out, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?
A humorous and rousing set of literal and figurative sojourns as well as a mission statement about comprehending, protecting, and truly experiencing the outdoors, fueled by three journeys undertaken by actor, humorist, and New York Times bestselling author Nick Offerman
Nick Offerman has always felt a particular affection for the Land of the Free—not just for the people and their purported ideals but to the actual land itself: the bedrock, the topsoil, and everything in between that generates the health of your local watershed. In his new book, Nick takes a humorous, inspiring, and elucidating trip to America’s trails, farms, and frontier to examine the people who inhabit the land, what that has meant to them and us, and to the land itself, both historically and currently.
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER • “Merlin Sheldrake’s marvelous tour of these diverse and extraordinary life forms is eye-opening on why humans should consider fungi among the greatest of earth’s marvels. . . . Wondrous.”—Time
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Time • BBC Science Focus • The Daily Mail • Geographical • The Times • The Telegraph • New Statesman • London Evening Standard • Science Friday
When we think of fungi, we likely think of mushrooms. But mushrooms are only fruiting bodies, analogous to apples on a tree. Most fungi live out of sight, yet make up a massively diverse kingdom of organisms that supports and sustains nearly all living systems. Fungi provide a key to understanding the planet on which we live, and the ways we think, feel, and behave.
TOP BOOKS FOR KIDS
Be a smart cookie—and don’t miss the fifth picture book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Food Group series from creators Jory John and Pete Oswald!
This cookie has never felt like a smart cookie no matter how hard she tries, especially in comparison to all the clever cupcakes and brilliant rolls in the bakery. Will a dash of creativity and a sprinkle of confidence be enough to help her learn that perfect scores and having all the answers aren’t the only ingredients for intelligence?
Jory John and Pete Oswald serve up another heaping plate of laughs and lessons with this empowering, witty, and charming addition to their #1 New York Times bestselling series!
Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog.
The girl has a wonderful idea. “She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!” But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly.
Want to impress your buddies at school?
Need to think of something fun to do at Thanksgiving or Christmas?
Want to learn a bunch of random facts about history, science, and the paranormal?
If you answered yes to any or all of those questions then pick up Interesting Stories for Curious Kids: A Fascinating Collection of the Most Interesting, Unbelievable, and Craziest Stories on Earth! This book is the coolest collection of interesting facts about a whole bunch of several different topics.
Do you want to teach your children how to be grateful for the things they already have?
Little Betsy will learn that happiness is made up of simple things in life, both small and big. With the help of the magic stone, she will begin to feel gratitude for her parents, friends, and toys. But what happens when little Betsy forgets to use the magic of her stone? She will realize that the power of gratitude is hidden in her heart.
There is nothing more special than a book that speaks directly to you.
Containing 7 Original stories with illustrations, GIRLS ARE AMAZING: A Collection of Short Stories for Girls about Courage, Strength, and Love, is aimed at girls aged 7-10 years. So, come on into a world of magic, excitement, and adventure.
A flower-spouting princess, gobbling prince, emerald-winged fairy, foolish giants, fearsome ogres, and talking frog and fish are just a few of the captivating characters found in this anthology of beloved stories from 29 places around the world, from the Arctic to Africa to Asia to Australia to Europe to the Americas.
Donna Jo Napoli’s powerful storytelling makes these stories fresh and fun, and Christina Balit’s dazzling illustrations make this book a true treasure―a very special gift and a must-have for family bookshelves.