Thursday, December 20, 2018

Holiday Book Giving Guide (With A Giveaway)

It's crunch time when it comes to shopping for Christmas gifts. Just a few more days! Books are fast and easy to buy and there's a book that's right for every person on your list. Pop a mini book into a stocking or wrap up a coffee table book as a primary gift. Here, my ideas for 10 books to give for the holidays. Be sure to read my last post, 10 Books To Read Over Christmas Break, if you want an absorbing new book to read yourself.

The Flame: Poems by Leonard Cohen

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1. For The Poetry Lover

The Flame is a collection of last poems by musician and author Leonard Cohen. The author selected and ordered the works in the final months of his life. There are lyrics, prose pieces, illustrations and an extensive selection from Cohen's own notebooks. Says the book jacket, "By turns devastatingly sad and winningly strange, these are the works of a poet and lyricist who set out to explore our darkest questions and came back wanting, yearning for more."

The Little Book of Lagom cover

2. For Seekers of Simplicity

It's not hygge but it probably appeals to the same people. According to The Little Book of Lagom: How to Balance Your Life the Swedish Way, Lagom is a Swedish word that means "not too much and not too little, but just the right amount. It's about achieving a happy and healthy balance in all aspects of your life, such as eating and drinking in moderation, being environmentally and socially conscious, setting realistic goals, and living within your means." It sounds a bit overwhelming, but actually The Little Book of Lagom is made up of quick, fun tips for being kind to yourself and simplifying your life. There are tips for saving energy in your home, creating storage out of packing crates, decluttering, growing herbs in jars and choosing mood-balancing foods. There are simple recipes too. The Little Book of Lagom would make a sweet gift for a friend looking to start the new year off on the right foot.

3. For The Zen Minded

Another book that's ideal for getting New Year's goals off the ground, Be Great, Be Grateful: A Gratitude Journal for Positive Living makes it easy to express gratitude each day. The book features space to record your reasons to be grateful and your hopes for the day each day. It also helps you along with creative exercises, playful prompts and uplifting quotes. Says the intro, "this journal will help you to become more aware of, and better understand, your thought patterns, inspiring simple ways to create new behaviors that shape your contentment and appreciation every day."

Easy Vegan Baking (book cover)

4. For The Baker

Baking is my favourite. So much better than cooking. You get to eat sweets when you're done, after all! Easy Vegan Baking: 80 Easy Vegan Recipes - Cookies, Cakes, Pizzas, Breads, and More has recipes for pies, tarts, cream puffs, "cheesecake," muffins and cookies. The book is great inspiration for post-Christmas baking. And, after January - with all its smoothies, salads and other healthy eats - comes February, time to bake up a few treats for your loved ones for Valentine's Day. I'm thinking piped spiral cookies with raspberry jam perhaps, or maybe a crepe layer cake with strawberries. There are also recipes for savoury pizzas and quiches. Every delicious-sounding recipe is free of dairy and eggs.

5. For The Anne Fan

Everyone's favourite redhead, Anne Shirley, is as popular as ever. A new generation has been introduced to the preteen heroine thanks in part to the series Anne With An E. Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel tells L.M. Montgomery's classic story in a whimsical new way, with cute and colourful illustrations and a fun, abbreviated storyline that covers the schoolyard rivalries, baking disasters and puffed sleeves. A great intro to Anne for younger kids, who can later move on to the classic Anne of Green Gables of 1908.

How To Draw A Unicorn: book cover

6. For The Budding Artist

All I can say is cuute! How to Draw a Unicorn and Other Cute Animals with Simple Shapes in 5 Steps shows you how to draw adorable animals - sloths, owls, bears, monkeys and more - using only five easy steps for each. There are spaces to draw right in the book. You can move on to creating your own creatures and colour schemes. This drawing book would make a great gift for a young artist, but, to tell you the truth, I would like to use this book myself. I really think it's fun at any age.

The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids book cover

7. For The Master Chef Junior

This is another super cute book choice for the youngster on your gift list. The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids: 60 Easy Plant-Based Recipes Kids Can Make to Stay Healthy and Save the Earth features a jazzy combo of illustrations and photographs to add kid-friendly appeal to simple, enticing recipes. Kids will want to try Dewdrop Chia Lemonade, 5-Minute Tomato Sauce, The Leprechaun Footprint Avo Toast and Edible Fireworks (popcorn three ways). Author and illustrator Ruby Roth also offers up kitchen safety tips and special ingredients.

Family Celebrations book cover

8. For The Orator

Family Celebrations: Poems, Toasts, and Traditions for Every Occasion will help you find just the right words to express your feelings during those special moments. There are all-occasion toasts, prayers and blessings, birthday wishes, wedding thoughts, graduation reflections and much more. Says the letter to readers, "The selections cultivate gratefulness for family life and bring a freshness and appreciation for one's own faith, while nurturing and enriching the family bond. The carefully chosen words speak to the heart and to the soul." I think Family Celebrations would make a thoughtful stocking stuffer.

The Fortnite Guide to Staying Alive book cover

9. For The Gamer

If you can get your child to leave his game long enough to read, this book might come in handy: The Fortnite Guide to Staying Alive: Tips and Tricks for Every Kind of Player will give him an edge on the competition, with "master player strategies that work for every season," a guide to the fighter's equipment and other resources. Honestly I don't understand Fortnite at all, but this makes a nice, compact little stocking stuffer for the gamer in your life.

Writers: Their Lives and Works, book cover

10. For The Writer

This booked grabbed me right from the cover, with the stunning black and white portrait of Virginia Woolf. Writers: Their Lives and Works is a heavy tome that looks at writers from Dante Alighieri (born 1265) on up to Margaret Atwood and Alice Walker. There are more than 100 brief biographies of writers based throughout the world, including Toni Morrison (American) and Gabriel García Márquez (Colombian). Most entries feature a strong portrait of the featured novelist, playwright or poet. The text traces "the friendships, loves, and rivalries that inspired each individual and influenced their work, revealing insights into the larger-than-life characters, plots, and evocative settings that they created." A beautiful book to pick up whenever you have spare moments, because you can read it in snippets.

Questions for you

Do you like to give and/or get books for Christmas? What book or books from this list would work for the friends and family on your gift list?

Enter To Win A Copy of Easy Vegan Baking (Canada only)

Residents of Canada may enter for a chance to win a copy of Easy Vegan Baking, courtesy of DK Canada. Enter via the rafflecopter below until January 10, 2019.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. the little book of lagom would be a perfect gift for my friend !

  2. The How to Draw a Unicorn and Other Cute Animals with Simple Shapes in 5 Steps book would be perfect for my daughter, all she does is draw!

    1. That's so great! I love when kids love to do art!

  3. The Little Book of Lagom: How to Balance Your Life the Swedish Way would be a good gift for me.

  4. 'How to Draw a Unicorn' sounds interesting.

  5. My daughter would love the cookbook for kids.

  6. The Be Great journal sounds like something my sis would love

  7. I would pick the Easy Vegan baking for a girl friend who is a vegan!


  8. The Little Book of Lagom: How to Balance Your Life the Swedish Way would be a nice read in the new year.

  9. My friend, Leah, would love Family Celebrations.

  10. My sister would love Anne of Green Gables: a graphic novel as she's a fan of the original novel.

  11. The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids: 60 Easy Plant-Based Recipes Kids Can Make to Stay Healthy and Save the Earth would be a perfect gift for my BFF as she has been looking for ways to get her kids more interested in cooking/baking which she loves.

  12. How to Draw a Unicorn and Other Cute Animals with Simple Shapes in 5 Steps would be perfect for my daughter. She loves to draw and is constantly doing it.

  13. The help yourself cookbook for kids would be great to give my daughter, nieces or nephews.

  14. Would love the The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids: 60 Easy Plant-Based Recipes Kids Can Make to Stay Healthy and Save the Earth, My son is really into helping me in the kitchen and we eat a plant based diet as much as possible!! All of these books are beautiful though!

  15. easy vegan baking for sure - my sister is a vegan and would love this

  16. My daughter would love the Easy Vegan Baking she loves to bake.

  17. The How to Draw a Unicorn and Other Cute Animals with Simple Shapes in 5 Steps

  18. I would love the Easy Vegan Baking for my friend!

  19. My sister-in-law would love Writers: their life and work! And now I know what to get her for her birthday.

  20. The Little Book of Lagom would make a great gift for myself and my friends looking to find balance and simplifying day-to-day living.

  21. Writers: Their Lives and Works.