Books will always be my favorite gift to get people. There’s nothing better than finishing a book and thinking, “OMG. Sarah would LOVE this!” Usually, that just means me loaning it out to them, but Christmas means wrapping it in a bow and calling it Christmas. Here’s the problem: What if none of your friends would like the books you’ve read recently OR what if you don’t read and your friends do. What do you do!?
Solution: A made my list for you to check out twice. I’ve actually read (or listened to) cover to cover these books, and now I’m categorizing them based on YOUR friends personalities. Here we go, guys.
For the Sci-Fi nerd
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
What happens when human life is threatened by a incurable disease WITHOUT the threat of zombies? Station Eleven. A big, bad flu attacks and attacks fast.
The novel switches from day 1 of the infection to the past to what America is like about 15 years after more than 90 percent of the human population is wiped out.
It’s eerie, but encouraging how terrible circumstances can still prove to become a beautiful life.
For the thrill-seeking lady
Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Ever woken up with blood all over you and no clue what you did last night? SAME. The Girl on the Train is a hugely successful book that kind of rode the coattails of Gone Girl. You have a wildly unrelatable character, who does literally the opposite of what you (a individual blessed with common sense) wants for her.
It’s frustrating, but I was strangely on the edge of my non-train seat the whole time. I wanted to guess what happened next—and sometimes that was REALLY hard to do.
For the hopeless romantic
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Everyone loves a good cry, right? No? Then don’t read this one. The girl (young, jobless, pessimistic) meets boy (young, crippled, hopeless) plus huge social issue (not spoiling).
Anyways, what sounds like an obvious heartbreak ready to happy is actually so much more. It turns into a thought-provoking tome about realizing who you are and do you want to be that person? Or, do you want more? Also, being thankful for the secret blessings in your life. Also also something else that is big, I’ll let you (or your friend) get to that. Basically… all the emotions in one book.
For the hopeless romantic (who’s easily distracted)
Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
So, I read Me Before You way before Maybe in Another Life but now I’m seeing how similar they are. Maybe in Another Life focuses on one seemingly small decision our heroine makes in the beginning of the book. Does she go home with her former boyfriend (and probably soulmate) or her best friend with whom she is staying with.
That decision splits the book. Every chapter flips between the two Hannahs: Hannah with the boyfriend and Hannah with… trauma (again, trying not to spoil). Both Hannahs face a lot of emotion turmoil and both are forced to look back at their 29 years and decide what she has been doing wrong this whole time. Honestly, this is an easy read. Not exactly award-winning writing, but a thinker nonetheless.
For the music lover
Sounds Like Me by Sara Bareilles
Who is Sara Bareilles? Right? Like, do you know anything about her? I didn’t. I mean, I know her discography, but I didn’t know where she was from, that she had sisters or what they were like, who her music inspirations were or how she got her start. You find out all this and more in Sounds Like Me. Each short story is broken up with an acapella rendition of some of her biggest songs (IF you’re listening to this on Audible). ALSO, you learn a lot about the musical she wrote. That’s right, she wrote a musical and its about to hit broadway.
Psst. This was one of our favorite things, by the way!
For the comedy lover/superfan
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
I’m pretty sure I listened to this book in one sitting. Named one of our September favorites, it’s definitely an easy recommendation for me to make. Mindy is just so great. If you loved her other book (aka another one of our favorites), Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, you’ll love this one too. (Gosh, Mindy really asks herself the important questions.
While her first book talks a lot about her gig on The Office, this one focuses on The Mindy Project (but both touch on other parts of her life). I really recommend getting this on Audible, but not a bad read!
For the hippie celebrity gossip
Wildflower by Drew Barrymore
Whereas I knew nothing about Sara Bareilles, I felt like I knew Drew. I was excited to read (ahem, listen to) her memoir—which she swears isn’t a memoir, but it totally is).
I knew that she is a child actress turned wild child and flower child convert. What I didn’t know was a whole lot of other stuff. She talks about her dogs, her kids, her parents, etc. all in the most positive ways (and girl has some room to complain). I kind of hated her voice, but I love her stories and her optimism.