Posts tagged bookish gift ideas
Back to School Shopping Must Haves
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I've been back to school shopping for my kids for years, but it just doesn't compare to when it's you cracking open a new notebook, sharpening a new pencil, and even picking out a few new outfits (can't hurt, right?!). I CANNOT HELP MYSELF, I LOVE a new bundle of pens and pencils, untarnished folders, and all the little bookish gifts I've been eyeing and finally splurge on.

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I am a SUCKER for stylish totes and bags as we head into the school year. For me, I've been in classes since January and kept on all through summer, it's finally time I treat myself. I've been eyeing this messenger bag, but for my book loving heart, I might get this one too! For bookish totes, these are my latest obsession.

I have a constant and endless supply of bookmarks, but these still stand as my most favorite.

As I am finishing the Harry Potter series, I just CAN'T HELP MYSELF with these pencils! I will also splurge for THESE ones too and this for a mechanical when I feel the need, it's so cute! For pens, I've read these are so great, especially as I write notes I don't want to forget and fear pencil wear. 

This standard journal is excellent, but I also love this leather bound one. But of course, I need the occasional spiral-bound, and this is the tried and true one I always pick up and have on hand.

How have I been living without these sticky notes my whole life?!

Has anyone picked their big cozy fall reads yet?! I'll have mine in tow as I head to the coffee shops Saturday morning, and Michaela will have hers.

To get us through those long nights, we aren't going to feel guilty about a strong diverse novel and a custom cocktail from Bad People Book Club. Ardent10 for 10% off your order!

To make up for that cocktail, I'll pick up a fresh new mug for the next morning's strong cup of coffee.

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You have got to tell me what you're picking up as back to school shopping goes into full force! What are your favorite things?!

Gifting Books For The Reader Who...

We don't know about you guys, but around here books are our favorite gifts to buy our friends and loved ones for all occasions, but most especially for the holidays. We know it can be tough to figure out what book would make the best gift for someone (adults are hard to shop for!) and so we're here to help with a handy guide of titles to suit any personality in your life! 

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For your dad who has too many way books and can't get enough of American history...

He's probably read a dozen presidential biographies and has gruesome war books displayed prominently on his shelves. There have been some great new books in this wheelhouse lately, and we like:

The Three Lives of James Madison | Noah Feldman- A deep dive into an American history giant, this biography of James Madison is clearly very well researched. It's loaded with documentation and photographs and just an incredible amount of information about this founding father, who he was as a man, as a politician, as a diplomat, as a patriot, and his importance to the United States and to the world.

Grant | Ron Chernow- Let's fast forward in history a few decades! This one has gotten a lot of buzz in the past year for taking a really in depth look at the life of Ulysses S Grant and the political times he navigated through, and all the battles he fought during the Civil War. We've heard it reads beautifully, and it has a ton of accolades to prove it. My dad has this one wrapped up and waiting under the Christmas tree for him!

Moonglow | Michael Chabon- For a fictional approach to some of these same themes of complicated men, changing worlds, and major wars (but in more modern times) pick up Moonglow. This was one of my favorite books this year; it's a beautifully written look at how extraordinary an ordinary life can be. It's memoir-esque and moves through one man's experiences in war, space programs, and family life, all wound up in just wondrously beautiful prose. 

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For your best friend who spoils your kids and loves light contemporary fiction...

Did she swoon while reading Me Before You? Does she consult the bestseller list before choosing a new book? Can she never get enough light hearted romance or contemporary family drama? Check out:

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo | Taylor Jenkins Reid- This has just about everything you could want in a contemporary fiction novel: glamour, politically relevant themes, mystery, love, drama....just everything. The book world fell head over heels for Evelyn Hugo this year, because it's such an uncommonly engaging novel doing some interesting things. 

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper | Phaedra Patrick- A lighthearted little adventure that ultimately is about how well we truly know the ones closest to us, and about the enduring power of love and family. Arthur Pepper is a seriously quirky little book that is a perfect read for someone who enjoys family drama in the warmest way possible. 

Little Fires Everywhere | Celeste Ng- One of the most popular books all year in the contemporary fiction world, this one got rave reviews from most everyone we know. Picture perfect family meets major secrets and complications is the theme here, and watching it all fall apart is the fun of reading this gem. This one is highly character driven and emotionally powerful. 

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For your cousin who is always good for a late night chat and loves a touch of magic...

If she can quote "Practical Magic" to you verbatim, but still has a bit of a dark streak in her reading life, try:

Big Fish | Daniel Wallace- This one is hard to describe, but it hits all the right notes of magical and wistful and also somehow deep. The major theme here is a man struggling to know and connect with his dying father, a man who has been intent on recounting his life in a series of tall tales. The line between truth and fiction is blurred and toyed with, to wonderful effect. 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane | Neil Gaiman- For a book in a slighter darker vein, pick this one up. It's set in the real world....until it's not. A little unsettling, a little bit fable-esque, and a whole lot of gorgeous is packed into this slim volume. Gaiman's works are all just so odd and lovely, and this is no exception.

Reincarnation Blues | Michael PooreMuch more lighthearted in tone than Gaiman, but still dealing in macabre subject matter, Reincarnation Blues hits all the right notes of dark humor and irreverence in the best way. It's completely absorbing and almost reads like short stories, with all of Milo's various lives. The entire novel had me laughing out loud while simultaneously being wise and gory and fascinating and beautiful all in one glorious rush. 

 

For your sister-in-law who has a knack for decorating and keeps up with all the new releases...

If pre-ordering a book that hasn't come out yet is the only way to ensure she hasn't read it, and her killer sense of style carries over into her taste in books, try:

The Immortalists | Chloe Benjamin - This one is poised to be a smash hit early next year. It releases January 9th and is getting great advance reviews, us included. The idea of knowing the date of your death is always an interesting one, and The Immortalists follows the lives of 4 children who find out exactly that. This book is on nearly every list about the best books coming out in 2018, so wrap up a pre-order slip for her, and she can spend the middle of January lost in what-ifs with this novel. 

The Great Alone | Kristin Hannah - The author of the beloved Nightingale has another novel coming out, already with immense anticipation from fans. Set in Alaska in the '70s with a family in crisis that will test the strength of human spirit.

The Room on Rue Amelie | Kristin Harmel - If you liked Lilac Girls, here comes a novel where three people's lives come together in Paris during WW2. A powerful, richly interwoven story of fate, courage, and survival.

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For the young reader who is utterly and completely obsessed with fantasy...

Renegades | Marissa Meyer- Following her incredibly successful Lunar Chronicles, Meyer crafts a futuristic story basically of superheroes...with some major deviations from the cliches. Crazy powers, secret identities, heroes, villains, and the gray areas between fuel this fantasy adventure story. 

The Book of Dust | Phillip Pullman- A newly released prequel to one of the most beloved fantasy series in recent years, if your young reader loved His Dark Materials, this book will feel like returning home. These books strike the perfect balance of magical and relatable, with big themes and small delights populated with fascinating, powerful characters throughout. 

Strange the Dreamer | Laini Taylor- This book was huge this year, and hinges on the concepts of dreams in a strange, fantastical land. It has all the elements of an epic fantasy: legendary warriors, romance, a mysterious city, myths, and a hero's journey, gorgeously crafted.

 

For your book snob co-worker who has a great sense of humor and only reads literary fiction...

If she tends to avoid any genre fiction and her signature humor means she tells the best stories, try:

The Ressurection of Joan Ashby | Cherise Wolas- This one really surprised me at how literary in tone it is, and how powerfully it explores a really deeply rooted issue. Wolas is an exceptionally beautiful writer who refuses to sugar coat her subject, and the whole thing reads like a Ferrante/Tartt love child, which of course, is perfection for the book snob in your life. 

A Gentleman in Moscow | Amor Towles- This is easily Towles' best book to date, and he is a seriously impressive writer. Clever, beautiful, satisfying, and featuring an extremely likable main character (rare in literary fiction!), the story runs it's course smoothly and elegantly. It manages to run the gamut of emotion from hilarious to tense to hopeful all while crafting a beautiful structure and compelling plot. Deftly woven though it are bits of history, wine pairings, traditional manners, literature, architecture, and philosophy. 

My Brilliant Friend | Elena Ferrante- This quartet is unlike anything I've ever read, and it's hard to pinpoint exactly why. They read almost like a memoir, and follow the friendship of two women from childhood through old age. Nuanced, sleek, and powerful, Ferrante's prose is deceptively simple, but there is so much to unpack in these novels. This first book quietly builds in intensity until the final scene....these books will straight up haunt the reader.

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For your mother-in-law who bakes a mean meatloaf and loves some romance with her mystery...

Career of Evil | Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)- From the Cormoran Strike series comes the third, and best installment. JK Rowling's voice comes through loud and clear, and will really hit the spot for adults who miss her writing style. It's realistic and interesting, a well paced mystery, and has just a touch of budding romance. This was un-put-downable for me. 

The Woman in White | Wilkie CollinsOne of the first detective mysteries of its time, The Woman in White is long, but beautiful. Once you get into the plot, you can't stop reading and find yourself flying through. The story is told with different narrators giving their account of "what happened" and their encounter with "the woman in white." Incredibly descriptive and well told, a must read.

Rebecca | Daphne du MaurierA harrowing love story that seemed perfect, until a lingering evil swoops in, set to destroy everything. A classic romance novel, well loved and stands the test of time. 

 

For your philosophy major brother who can't get enough chills and thrills...

If he loves contemplating novel (pun intended) concepts, but still loves a good thrill in his books, try:

Dark Matter | Blake Crouch - A mind-bending, relentlessly surprising thriller from the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy. This is one that's hard to put down, and plays with alternate realities, lost opportunities, existential dread, and much more as it races through it's gripping plot. 

House of Leaves | Mark Z. Danielewski- There's no other way to describe this book: it's a mind fuck, and a scary one at that. It's got a bit of a cult following behind it, and everyone I know who has read it has had a visceral reaction to it. The formatting inside it is just bonkers in a lot of places, as it's full of text at odd angles and codes and puzzles and ciphers and things like that. Ultimately, the story revolves around a family and their ever-changing, very sinister house, but this book is not about the plot.

Found Audio | N. J. Campbell- A crazy but interesting premise of an uncovered secret audio file of an adventure journalist, the book explores the idea that everything in the world, every experience you have is interesting. Well written, cleverly layered, a little dreamy, and with a lot of substance buried in it, it's a great little book. 

 

Are you buying books as gifts this year? Who did you buy for? We'd love to hear what books made the cut for all of you!

 

Books For the Dad Who...

Book are always a good idea and a great gift, but there is never a "one size fits all" book for any group of people, and we didn't want to take that approach with this Father's Day gift guide. Instead, we asked around and gathered up some favorites into a few different categories so you can decide what best fits the dad or loved one you're celebrating this Father's Day!

So here are our picks for the dad who...

Is a History Buff

  1. A Team of Rivals | Doris Kearns Goodwin- One of the most beloved books about Abraham, Lincoln and his administration; everyone I know who has read this has absolutely raved about it.

  2. Devil in the White City | Erik Larson- The true story of a charming but brutal serial killer alongside the drama of building a World's Fair, plus it's littered with famous names.
  3. Ordinary Heroes | Scott Turow- An historical mystery that has a man on a hunt to learn about his father who served in WW2 and left behind mysterious wartime letters.

Dreams of the Open Ocean

  1. Treasure Island | Robert Louis Stevenson- A swashbuckling, rum-fueled adventure to an island in search of buried treasure. A total classic!
  2. Master and Commander | Patrick O'Brien- A high seas adventure pitting Napoleon against the British Navy and Spanish Armada with memorable characters and plenty of historical detail.
  3. Maiden Voyage | Tania Aebi- an adrift 18 year old, Tania's father gave her a choice: college or a boat to sail around the world by herself. Guess which one she chose?

Loves Classics

  1. Crime and Punishment | Fyodor Dostoyevsky- This is one of my dad's favorites, actually, and he said it forever changed how he thought about capital punishment. 
  2. The Three Musketeers | Alexandre Dumas- A super fun adventure thriller rife with violence, romance, plot twists, an excellent female villain, dastardly politicians, camaraderie and general mayhem, all with some good old fashioned sword fighting. 
  3. The Once and Future King | T. H. White- A defining version of the Arthurian Legend, dive in to hang out in Camelot with Merlyn, Arthur, Lancelot, Guenever and the rest in this most timeless, beloved classic.   

Appreciates a Good Mystery

  1. The Dry | Jane Harper- A great pick if your dad wants something light and contemporary with a riveting format and dual mystery of a long dead girl and a recently murdered family.
  2. In Cold Blood | Truman Capote- A classic of true crime, Capote is seriously just an amazing writer as he explores a murder in a small town and the ensuing investigation and execution of the killers.
  3. John Corey Series | Nelson DeMille- A great suspense and crime series!
  4. The Godfather | Mario Puzo- A tried and true classic of thrilling American crime fiction.

Can't Wait for His Next Adventure

  1. A Walk In the Woods | Bill Byson- A humorous and truly interesting account of Bryson's hike of the Appalachian Trail with his high school best friend. 
  2. The Call of the Wild | Jack London- Set in the Yukon in the late 1800's, the story follows the life of a dog who was kidnapped and forced to become a sled dog and his descent into a more primitive version of himself as he gets further and further from civilization.
  3. Indiana Jones series | James Rollins- A globe-trotting, fantasy action thriller that he can watch on the big screen after reading through the series.

Gets into sci-fi and fantasy

  1. The Lord of the Rings | J. R. R. Tolkien- Find some beautiful editions of this classic trilogy, like these that I genuinely drool over.
  2. The Martian | Andy Weir- Relentless effort to survive in space, enough said.
  3. American Gods | Neil Gaiman- Fantasy with a great mythological twist and some fun mystery.

Tell us, what does your dad or loved one like to read?

 

 

 

 

A Clever Bookish Gift Guide

Finding the perfect gift for the readers in your life can be tough, aside from books you know they'll love, it's nice to have a list of useful and lovable things that you know a reader would enjoy. There are so many bookish inspired gift guides out there, but I have to admit, there are too many things that are cute and bookish, but completely impractical. Everything I've listed here is something I would personally use and/or gift to the bookish in my life! Enjoy!

1. Book Darts - Perfect for readers who love to mark pages, specific quotes, and not write in the book!

2. Kindle Covers - Keep your kindle in prime condition with lovely literary inspired covers.

3. Book Letters - I adore these book letters for a unique and bookish decoration to add to my bookshelf!

4. Book of the Month Club - Who doesn't love receiving a package on their doorstep, especially when it contains a brand new hardback book?! With Book of the Month club, you don't have to worry about what to read next, it'll arrive before you know it.

4. Tea and Book Club - A warm cup of tea goes great with a good book, and tea and book club offers a fabulous selection of vintage books (YES!) along with four tea flavors to try. Truly, my love language is wrapped up in this one!

5. Literature Inspired Teas - Even if you just want to the darling tin, I won't judge you. A must for your book loving friends!

6. Best Ever Book Totes - Many people have an arsenal of totes for various reasons, why not have some that inspire your love of literature and look fabulous too! Give a gift based on someone's favorite novel, there's no doubt this will be a favorite!

7. Bookish Pencils - I love having a selection of cute pencils on my desk, and these are undoubtedly a favorite to give to my kids or keep for myself. Think, stocking stuffer!

8. Cute Book Print - It's so inspiring to see more and more talented artists create literature inspired gifts, prints, and other goodies to keep the book loving spark alive! This print is darling!

9. Gilmore Inspired Book Print - Like many Gilmore fans, a lot of us are here for the book references. Done!

10. Literary Themed Art Work - For the younger and older book lovers alike, art work for their bedroom walls, fun bookmarks, and quotes that stay with you for a lifetime, are sure to be a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

11. Kid's Book T-Shirts - I am beyond thrilled I found this site. I am going to be ordering all the shirts for every kid in my life. Over a dozen different t-shirt's featuring beloved titles and illustrations your kids know and love.

12. I Love You to the Bookstore and Back Mug - Adorable bookish mug for all those cups of coffee or tea that will get you to the next book. A definite favorite!