You don’t need to know someone’s size, allergies, or living situation to send them a book. A book encapsulates a few hours of time spent with a thoughtful author. What a gift!
Every December I share a list of books for writers and authors, plucked from the many books I finished that year. This list reflects a year of eclectic reading. (This is a small subset of the books I’ve enjoyed this year.)
Maybe you can find something for those difficult-to-please folks on your gift list.
(Note: Most of the links in this post are affiliate links to BookShop. You can find all of the titles on Amazon as well without much effort. Bookshop supports indie bookstores, and affiliate fees help support my serious book buying problem.)
Books for writers
How to Write One Song by Jeff Tweedy. You don’t have to know Tweedy’s music to appreciate his take on creativity. This book would be fabulous for anyone who is curious about song-writing.
Humor Seriously by Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas. Humor is hard, but these authors demystify it. They may inspire you to make your work emails entertaining.
Journaling Power by Mari L, McCarthy and Finding Your Joy Spot by Leona deVinne. I recommitted to morning pages this year, partly inspired by these books. Both offer guidance, prompts, and inspiration. Either book would make a lovely gift paired with a journal.
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders. Do you know someone who writes short stories, or who simply loves them? Reading may give you new insight in how to read—and write—the short short story.
Books for authors
Here are a couple newer books about the business of writing books.
Amazon Decoded 2nd Edition by David Gaughran. Every author—traditionally published or not—should understand Amazon. And there’s no better, or funnier, guide than David Gaughran. Read my review of the 2nd edition of Amazon Decoded here.
Wide for the Win by Mark Leslie Lefebre. Indie authors need to understand the range of their options beyond Amazon. This book helps you see the full range of options available to you.
Books for uncertain times
Do you know someone who is reeling from the changes at home or at work in the past year? Give them the gift of inspiration and support with one of these books by change-makers I admire:
Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change by April Rinne. How do we deal with constant change? By developing our flux superpowers—slowing down, identifying our “enough” and more. Read my review of Flux.
Standout Virtual Events by David Meerman Scott. Virtual event are going to be with us for a while. This is a useful guide on how to do them better.
Undisruptable by Aidan McCullen. If the business world is moving too quickly for you, search for inspiration and courage in this book.
You Are What You Risk by Michele Wucker. Risk has been our constant companion for the last year or so. This book gives us a new vocabulary and lens for dealing with it—and with each other. Read my review of You Are What You Risk.
Short business books (the 33 Ways series)
This year also saw the birth of a new series of short, actionable business books, 33 Ways Not to Screw Up…
…Business Emails. Everyone writes emails at work, and we can all do better! This is my contribution to the series. (It’s also available as an audiobook.)
…Consulting. Marge Johnsson offers golden advice for consultants, whether you’re just starting out or taking your practice to the next level.
…Creative Entrepreneurship. Saudia Davis is a force of nature. In this book, she shares her insight and inspiration for creative entrepreneurs of all types (including writers!)
…Your Financial Life. Year end is a great time to get your financial life in order. Use this book by Jay Kemmerer as a guide.
A few other favorites from the year
My reading this year has covered business, science, history, and more. Here are a few of the highlights:
Breath by James Nestor. I’ve changed the way I breathe since reading this. Fascinating!
The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox. A real-world prison break too crazy to be made up.
The Eloquence of the Sardine by Bill François, translated by Antony Shugaar. You’ll look at the ocean with wonder and amazement after reading this lovely collection of the sea’s stories.
The Extended Mind by Annie Murphy Paul. Our intelligence is not contained within our brains!
Fuzz by Mary Roach. An entertaining look at human conflict with the natural world, from the always-entertaining Mary Roach. (This may be my favorite of her books to date.)
The Oasis Within by Tom Morris. A short parable introduces you to the writings of this wise, witty philosopher.
Remember by Lisa Genova. A well-written, entertaining and accessible primer on memory.
Haven’t found the perfect gift yet? Here are a few other thoughts:
- Peruse my BookShop storefront for other books.
- Consider pens, pencils, or journals—writers can never have enough of them.
- Autographed books: Let me know if you’d like me to send a physical copy of any of my writing books (like The Writer’s Process) with an encouraging note attached!
- Writing or book consultation: Book a 30-minute consultation with me for your writing friend (even if that’s yourself!) Find a scheduling link here. And if you want it to be a gift, contact me and we’ll work it out.
In the mean time, enjoy the holiday season and spend some time with a good book!