7 December 2021

christmas gift guide

Another year, another Christmas gift guide for anyone who has last minute people on their list that are particularly hard to shop for. Books always make the best gifts!!!!!

I read this earlier this year as a pre-release but it only came out publicly in November. I thought it was so, so good, especially given the current state of the world and pseudo-depression we're all just hanging out in. It's a collection of short stories following the lives of a bunch of co-workers who are let go from a company. There's something for everyone if you need a gift for someone who likes fiction, and I think all ages and genders would appreciate it. You can read my full review here. - MG

I'm sure many people will get their first copy of Dune this Christmas and honestly I would have picked up a copy for Ben if he didn't buy one so quickly himself. I am usually hesitant to buy an entire series before trying the first book, but I know Dune is highly regarded, especially with sci-fi fans. I have a few coworkers who have convinced me to give it a try. - MH

This would be a great 'coffee table book' for anyone who was a fan of Schitt's Creek. Dan and Eugene Levy wrote it themselves which is why I think it's so special. It's a collection of stories, character profiles, and fun facts about the show. I was personally bummed that the live show we had tickets to got cancelled and would love to be gifted this. It seems like such a nice keepsake and something guests would enjoy flipping through at your house. - MG

I bought this the day it came out because Jonathan Franzen is one of my all-time favourite authors, but there's no fiction lover I wouldn't recommend buying this for for Christmas. Crossroads looks at a nuclear family in the 1970s and their relationships to one another. It is my favourite kind of story to read. I was so happy when they announced this book because they also mention that it is the first in a TRILOGY. After hearing Franzen threaten that he has no books left in him, it was very good news to hear he has three coming out. This book is fairly hefty at 600 pages, so would fit very snuggly under the tree. - MH

This is brand new fiction from Pulitzer Prize winning author Elizabeth Strout. I personally haven't read her novel Olive Kitteridge but only because it's been sitting on my list for so long without anyone gifting it to me and I haven't stumbled across it secondhand. The story is about the bond between a divorced couple which sounds right up my alley content wise. I think this would be a great gift for anyone who likes fiction. - MG

All I eat everyday is carbs, but some of the people in my life are big food fans. Like many others, I became extremely attracted to the Bon Appetite staff (with Molly and Brad being standout hotties) and watched a lot of their YouTube videos before bed. With the big shakeup at CondeNast, many of them left - including Molly. She recently published a cookbook which I would recommend to anyone who loves grub! - MH

Usually I feel like we're bombarded by memoirs this time of year but this year particularly I felt like pickings were slim. I think even though I'm not in a hurry to read a Will Smith memoir, it would be universally liked by a number of other people. Will Smith is having a big year and is definitely baiting for an Oscar with his new movie King Richard, so this book is timely. I think it would make a great gift for people who like celebrity memoirs, but I suspect it will also dive into deeper topics based on the profile I read of him in GQ. - MG

One of my favourite parts of the new year is pouring over "best of" book lists. This is where I really build up my to-buy book lists, and some of my all-time favourite reads have come from the New York Times best-of (The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai). I've heard a lot of good things about this piece of fiction from a book podcast I really like. It was also selected for Oprah's Book Club ... which normally I would turn my nose at, but she actually does pick great books (The Corrections, An American Marriage, A Fine Balance). - MH

I loved Huebert's first short story collection Peninsula Sinking SO MUCH and can't wait to get my hands on this new one. Huebert is Canadian (and coincidentally went to school in London, but now lives on the east coast, a tribute to Meg & Meg) so a lot of his stories have familiar landscapes, personalities, etc. He has a real knack for writing a detailed human experience that everyone can relate to. I think this would be a great gift for anyone who enjoys Canadian novelties and/or reading short fiction. - MG

The last recommendation is slightly unconventional for this blog as we are big-time hard copy fans, but I have recently been trying Audible and think it would make a great gift idea. The membership is $15 a month and comes with one monthly credit. You can use the credit for any audiobook you want - brand new, super long, etc. I am on my second audiobook now and have been using the app to listen to books I don't think I have time/interest in physically reading. It can be a bit of a challenge to stay focused, so I try to listen to it only when I am taking long walks. The subscription also comes with a ton of free audiobooks like War and Peace narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal. I asked Ben to get me a gift card to audible but he said no... - MH

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