Best books to gift readers and bookworms this holiday season


Gift-giving presents a conundrum. Is it better to give something useful, such as a 112-bit screwdriver set, or something whimsical, such as a cat-sized iron throne? There is no right answer. That’s why our 2022 Holiday Gift Guide, curated by Post reporters and editors, includes suggestions at both ends of the practicality spectrum. With a wide range of gift ideas in nine categories — we’ve even included some that are functional and fun — this guide will make the process just a little bit easier.









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Whether your loved one is a fan of history, poetry or comics, here are 10 ideas to cater to an array of tastes.

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Chronicle Books: Ridley’s 50 Must-Read Books Bucket List Puzzle

$20 | In a way, this is a gift that keeps giving: After putting together the 1,000-piece puzzle, your beloved bibliophile can spend endless hours debating the relative merits of the 50 selected works.

Buy from Amazon

Drawn & Quarterly: “Revenge of the Librarians,” by Tom Gauld

$21.99 | Gauld’s new book of cartoons confirms his gift for deadpan humor, whether he’s reimagining nursery rhymes as literary fiction or simplifying classics for time-pressed readers. (“100 Minutes of Solitude,” anyone?)

Buy from Amazon

Dey Street: “Pickleball for All,” by Rachel Simon

$13.99 | By next year, pickleball mania may have exhausted itself, but for now, this primer, detailing the sport’s rules, history and head-spinning popularity, will make many, many (many!) people happy.

Buy from Amazon

Weldon Owen: “The Ultimate Reading Challenge: Complete a Goal, Open an Envelope, and Reveal Your Bookish Prize!”

$26.14 | Reading is, of course, a reward in itself. But why not up the ante? This book encourages people to complete various assignments — read in a new location, for example — and win prizes.

Buy from Amazon

Doubleday: “Lessons in Chemistry,” by Bonnie Garmus

$18.76 | The feel-good bestseller follows Elizabeth Zott, a female scientist and single mom in the early ’60s, who becomes a sensation as the host of a cooking show that empowers women well beyond the kitchen.

Buy from Amazon

Anchor: “The Violin Conspiracy: A Novel,” by Brendan Slocumb

$14.99 | In Slocumb’s debut, a classical musician races against the clock as he attempts to locate his stolen violin — a $10 million family heirloom passed down by an enslaved ancestor — in time for a prestigious competition.

Buy from Amazon

Atria: “Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives,” by Mary Laura Philpott

$17.99 | This insightful memoir-in-essays from the author of “I Miss You When I Blink” is a perfect blend of comedy and emotion that will be a balm to anxious parents everywhere.

Buy from Amazon

Random House: “An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us,” by Ed Yong

$27.97 | Science writer Yong has lofty aspirations: to show humans how animals experience the world. The result is a fascinating look at the way dolphins, bees, crocodiles and other beings take in their surroundings.

Buy from Amazon

Doubleday: “River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile,” by Candice Millard

$19.59 | Millard’s best-selling history looks back at the 19th-century quest to find the Nile River’s headwaters, which locked two Englishmen — Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke — into a venomous rivalry.

Buy from Amazon

Milkweed: “The Hurting Kind,” by Ada Limón

$20.97 | Limón became the 24th U.S. poet laureate in September. Her most recent collection, her sixth, highlights her talent for observation, especially of the ways the natural world reflects human relationships.

Buy from Amazon

About this project

Project editing by Nicole Arthur, Camille Kilgore. Illustrations by Sean Dong. Art direction, design by Katty Huertas. Development by Jake Crump. Design editing by Eddie Alvarez. Photo editing by Annaliese Nurnberg. Copy editing by Thomas Heleba. Editors and reporters: Nicole Arthur, Christina Barron, Matt Brooks, Emily Codik, Mike Hume, Yun-Hee Kim, Stephanie Merry, Stephanie Oppenheim, Chris Velazco, Mari-Jane Williams. Editorial aides: Kelsey Ables, Helen Carefoot, Olivia McCormack, Becky Meloan, Anna Luisa Rodriguez, Sophia Solano. Photographers: Carolyn Van Houten (‘The Original’ Cat Backpack, PupFlask Water Bottle, Small Pet Wooden Fruit Assortment), Ericka Wadleigh (Cranberry Orange Caramels), Melati Citrawireja (Chai Kit), Mandy Lamb (HappySeed Boxes), Erick Tosco (Mushroom Self Watering Glass), Vanessa Vlandis (V2 Lightning), Zion Stone (Campo Utility Hammock + Poncho), Amy Chaplin and Anson Smart (“Whole Food Cooking Every Day: Transform the Way You Eat With 250 Vegetarian Recipes Free of Gluten, Dairy, and Refined Sugar”); other photos from retailers and publishers.

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