The GBSP Bookshelf: Great Bookish Gifts for December

Books to give (or ask for) this holiday season.

A book is a gift that keeps on giving. We at GBHQ love giving and receiving books during the holidays. Books open up entire worlds and spark your imagination–what other gifts can do that quite as well? Books are a great way to reflect the unique personality of the gifter or giftee, so we’ve compiled a list of some fun holiday reads for everyone on your list this year.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
This book was shortlisted for the 2014 National Book award, and follows a roaming troupe of performers through a post-epidemic world where Shakespeare and the arts survive. Heather DEVOURED this incredibly beautiful novel (read more about her experience here) and is tempted to get the main character’s tattoo, a quote from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” A wonderful, incredibly readable piece of literary fiction with a touch of sci-fi.


Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix
When an Ikea-like furniture store starts experiencing mysterious phenomena, three employees volunteer to spend the night in the store to determine the source of the haunting.  Not only is this a great twist on a horror novel (one reviewer described it as “Evil Dead set in Ikea”), it also comes packaged like a glossy Ikea catalogue, complete with shrink-wrap, product descriptions, and a showroom map. Meatballs (sadly) sold separately.

LetItSnowLet It Snow: Three Holiday Romances
by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle – Let It Snow is a collaborative effort between three popular young adult writers, and tells three separate stories of what happens when a snowstorm buries a small town on Christmas Eve. A perfect holiday-themed book for John Green fans who think they’ve read everything he’s ever written, but who maybe weren’t fans yet in 2008 when this collection was published.

Dothraki Living Language Course
This is a great gift for friends or family who have the need to be conversational in the fictional Game of Thrones language. Buy the book and CD combo, or treat your favorite Song of Ice and Fire addict (we’re wondering, is there a term for Game of Thrones fans, like Trekkie? Some have suggested Thronies…) to a one-year online subscription with accompanying smartphone app.

The Classics (redone):

Moby Dick in Pictures ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
by Matt Kish
For everyone, from Melville fans to non-readers, Matt Kish spent years beautifully illustrating every single one of Moby Dick’s 552 pages. It’s pricy, but an absolutely gorgeous and covetous piece of coffee table art. (See some more of Kish’s illustrations here.)

The Metamorphosis
by Peter Kuper and Franz Kafka
Beautifully, darkly reimagined by the artist of Spy vs. Spy, this graphic novel version of Kafka’s classic tale is a fun, accessible read for everyone. A Great Books Summer favorite!

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