Santa’s Book Shopping List 2017

The request has come in for some shopping suggestions for those of you looking for a literary gift or two for your bookish friends/family members this holiday season. And, of course, I am more than happy to oblige. When it comes to books, I’m always ready to talk shop (and just shop!). I’ve sorted and resorted this list a handful of times this morning, but my peppermint hot chocolate is starting to cool and my snowman sugar cookie is now headless, so it is time to pick a format and stick with it, so rather than sorting mainly by genre, I’m going to give my recommendations by family member, but then because I couldn’t stick with five books per category, I have some bonus genre-based picks at the end.  (Yes, it feels a bit stereotypical and not all moms like the same stuff, but find the heading that fits best with your Secret Santa’s personality and start from there.)


Artemis by Andy Weir

Endurance: A Year in Space by Scott Kelly

Origin by Dan Brown

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

Themis Files (Books 1 and 2) by Sylvain Neuvel


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

Something Like Happy by Eva Woods

The Confusion of Languages by Siobhan Fallon

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

Adult Siblings

Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathon Lethem

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

Sting-Ray Afternoons by Steve Rushin

The Power by Naomi Alderman


She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

This is How It Happened by Paula Stokes

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate


You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Option B by Sheryl Sandburg

Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster

Other Fiction Standouts of 2017

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

Other Non-fiction Standouts of 2017

Daring to Drive by Manal al-Sharif

Evicted by Matthew Desmond

From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty

The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

Word by Word by Kory Stamper

Of course, I’m always happy to give more personalized recommendations. Just give me an idea of the person you’re shopping for in the comments and I’ll get back to you with a couple of selections. (How can I make being a personal book shopper a full-time, paying gig?)

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year, and just an overall “happy” to everyone. Read more and be kind. That is all.


2 thoughts on “Santa’s Book Shopping List 2017

  1. So glad to see Evicted on your short list. I picked it up at an airport book store, desperate for something to read before (yet another) long flight. It’s one of the best I’ve read this year. Learned much about a topic that hits all too many in America.


    • I thought the author did a really good job at looking at both sides of the equation- both the renters and the owners and not vilifying either side. The major takeaway for me was how long a single eviction can stay with a renter, impacting future home options and even job offers. This was definitely eye-opening for me and I’ve purchased it as a gift for several people in the last year.


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