Need some inspiration for your gift list this holiday season? We’ve got some great suggestions for you, so get ready to shop the shelves and check off some people on your list with cool books they’ll love.
For the Mystery Lover
“Vixen Investigations: The Mayoral Affairs” | By Ashley Papa (Post Hill Press)
Do you have a friend who loves a good page-turner? Then meet Paige Turner, an investigative journalist-turned detective. Her specialty is tracking down cheating spouses—but nothing can prepare her for when the wife of the New York City mayor hires Paige to snoop on her husband. When Paige discovers enough dirt to take down the whole administration, let alone a single marriage, she finds herself in uncharted territory. This exciting debut novel is what some say is Nancy Drew meets “Sex and the City.”
For Your BFF
“Thank You for Being a Friend: Life According to the Golden Girls” | Emma Lewis, ill. by Chantel DeSousa (Smith Street Books)
It’s been more than 30 years since “The Golden Girls” charmed their ways into our lives. Few TV characters can stand the test of time as well as Dorothy, Sophia, Rose, and Blanche. This colorfully illustrated book compiles the wisdom of those four brash broads from Miami, including sex and dating advice from Blanche, cheesecake recipes, the Ten Commandments of living with housemates, and a quiz to determine “Which Golden Girl Are You?”
For the Party Animal
“Inside Studio 54: The Real Story of Sex, Drugs. and Rock ‘n’ Roll from Former Studio 54 Owner” | Mark Fleischman (Rare Bird Books)
There is no nightclub as iconic as Studio 54. This book escorts you beyond the velvet rope into a world where free love reigned and champagne, cocaine, and celebrity were the currency—at least until it was raided by the state in 1978 and the owners were put in prison for tax evasion. Your tour guide on this reminiscent romp is Fleischman, the restaurant, hotel, and club owner who reopened Studio 54 in the early ‘80s. The salacious history of Studio 54 will take the reader first to Brazil and then to the Virgin Islands before landing at the world-famous nightclub in midtown Manhattan.
For the Fashionista
“Dresses to Dream About” | Christian Siriano (Rizzoli)
It’s easy to see the end result of a fashion designer’s talent, but what about the work leading up to it? In this book, designer extraordinaire Christian Siriano takes us on a tour of his Manhattan studio, where his dreamy dresses and gorgeous gowns are born. This is a unique glimpse into the multilayered creative process of a fashion designer, from first sketch to final stitch.
For the Redhead (natural or otherwise)
“The Big Redhead Book: Inside the Secret Society of Red Hair” | By Erin La Rosa (St. Martin’s Press)
There’s a reason that natural redheads make up just two percent of the population—they’re that special. La Rosa’s book is a celebration of our fair friends and their veritable superhero powers, which include a superior sense of smell and hair that grays more slowly than other shades. This humorous book is filled with beauty tips, advice for raising a redheaded child, and a list of redhead-inspired tunes. It’s perfect for the redhead in your life—maybe even the salon-enhanced one!
For the Host(ess) with the Most(est)
“Valerie’s Home Cooking” | Valerie Bertinelli (Oxmoor House)
There’s another kind of celebrity chef on Food Network these days—that is, celebrities who play chefs in their own kitchen. Valerie Bertinelli, star of “Hot in Cleveland” and “Valerie’s Home Cooking,” has made herself a true household name, thanks to her winning personality and her tasty (and easy to make!) dishes. This book is packed with more than 100 recipes, many of which have Bertinelli’s own unique twist, that are perfect for sharing with friends and family.
For the Resolution-Maker
“Reset: 6 Essential Resets to a Healthier, Happier You” | Jacqui Phillips (Palm Tree Publications)
Know someone who’s on a mission to recharge her life? This book will help her get a head start on those New Year’s resolutions. This book focuses on six concepts—relationships, fitness, finance, emotions, appearance, and faith—all of which can be “reset” in order to start living life more fully. How does Phillips know? Because she’s reset all six in her own life. Her book is deeply personal, written from an “If I can do it, you can do it” attitude.
Hit the Reset Button on Your Life
Relationships. Fitness. Finances. Faith. Is there something in your life that deserves a push of the reset button? Jaqui Phillips gets it. The celebrity makeup artist-turned-author writes honestly about the unglamorous moments of her life that she struggled to overcome. From getting fit to renewing her faith, Phillips shows how being vulnerable made her stronger.
For Phillips, age is just a number. Despite being in the profession of making others look amazing on the outside, Phillips says it’s more about what’s inside.
“It’s that inner beauty,” says Phillips. “If you can find that and tap into that, that is seeing the greatness in you as opposed to the weakness in you. That’ll start to shine through, and you’ll start to believe it.”
It’s a “Wonder”ful Life
It’s not every day that a debut middle school novel spawns a film adaptation and a national movement, but that’s exactly what happened to R.J. Palacio and her book “Wonder.” Inspired by a real-life incident, “Wonder” tells the story of Auggie Pullman, a child with a facial difference who enters a mainstream school for the first time. The real lessons begin when Auggie and his parents help others to learn how to look past the outside and see a person’s true inner beauty.
Palacio’s book launched the #ChooseKind movement, encouraging people to open up their hearts to others despite their differences. The film adaptation of “Wonder” arrives in theaters in November, starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay. Bring the whole family—and tissues.
By Barbara Bellesi Zito