Looking for the perfect gift for the voracious reader in your life? Enrich the reading list of your book-loving friends and family or get someone started on their reading journey next year with these must-reads. Happy holidays and happy reading!
“Life From Scratch” by Vanessa Lachey
Vanessa Lachey is a dedicated mother, friend, and wife who is known to often share bits of her life with the world. The things she shares include recipes, holiday hacks, birthday rituals, and date night ideas. However, there is much more to Vanessa than the world may think. Her childhood was very different from that of her own children. Her mom left when she was only nine, so when Vanessa had her own kids, she didn’t have any traditions to pass down, forcing her to create her own. In this book, Vanessa shares personal stories from her life along with recipes, parenting tips, and ideas that you can implement into your own life.
“Let’s Do Dinner” by Antoni Porowski
Looking for a delicious, satisfying meal that is both easy to prepare and guilt-free? Antoni has got you covered! In this book, he invites you into his kitchen to do just that. Learn how to keep shopping lists, steps, and dirty pans to a minimum. Prepare meals for every occasion from post-work dinners to entertaining for a crowd. Antoni teaches readers how to maximize flavor without getting complicated and create new classics by adding one unexpected ingredient.
“Christmas in Peachtree Bluff” by Kristy Woodson Harvey
Ansley takes immense pride in being a reliable mother. When her daughter, Caroline, announces her divorce, Caroline’s daughter, Vivi, begins acting out. Ansley offers to take Vivi under her wing for the holiday season. Ansley and her husband, Jack, were planning to take Vivi with them on vacation to escape an incoming hurricane. This doesn’t go as planned, and Vivi’s antics force the trio to remain in Peachtree Bluff. As the hurricane hits, Ansley’s daughters take it upon themselves to rescue the trio and the destroyed town. They set sail on Caroline’s boat and have no idea what they are getting themselves into.
“The London House” by Katherine Reay
Caroline Payne’s world is turned upside down when she gets a call from an old friend and historian who informs her that her British great-aunt betrayed the country and her family to marry her German lover in World War II. Caroline feels that she must get to the bottom of this and rescue her family’s reputation. She goes to their ancestral home in London where she uncovers several revealing diaries written by her great-aunt and grandmother. Was Caroline’s great-aunt really a traitor or was this a misunderstanding? The truth comes out when Caroline reads about one fateful night in 1941.
“The Ladies of the Secret Circus” by Constance Sayers
Lara Barnes’ world comes crashing down when her fiancé disappears on their wedding day. Her desperate search for answers leads her to her grandmother’s journals, and they transport her back into the story of a dark circus and ill-fated love. These journals paint a vivid picture of the Secret Circus, but also reveal a family curse that could be the reason for her fiancé’s disappearance. Spanning 1925 Paris to modern-day America, “The Ladies of the Secret Circus” will take readers on a wild ride.
“First Date Stories” by Jodi Klein
Pretty much every woman over thirty has all different types of first-date stories to tell. Some of those stories may end in triumph, and some just in terrible memories. These tales are told in this book. Readers are reminded that being single can—and should be—something to celebrate. They are also reminded that everyone must embark on a first date to find their perfect match.
“The Singles Table” by Sara Desai
After her devastating breakup, lawyer Zara Patel promises to never open her heart to someone again. Instead, she puts her energy into building her career and helping her friends find love. She can always find a match for someone until she meets Jay Dayal. Jay has no time for love. He dedicates his life to his career and staying focused on being the best in the business. When he meets Zara, he is thrown into the exact type of chaos that he has spent his life trying to avoid. Their forced arrangement brings them together in ways they never expected, and they realize that they might be the perfect match.
“The Ballerinas” by Rachel Kapelke-Dale
Delphine abandoned her soloist spot at the Paris Opera Ballet fourteen years ago to start a new life in St. Petersburg, carrying a secret that could turn her best friends’ lives upside down. Now 36 years old, Delphine has returned to the Opera House to choreograph the ballet that will kick start the next phase of her career. But things changed while she was away, and some things can’t stay a secret forever.
“You’ve Reached Sam” by Dustin Thao
Seventeen-year-old Julie thinks she has her whole life figured out. She plans on moving out of her small town with her boyfriend Sam, attending college in the city, and spending a summer in Japan. But everything changes when Sam dies. Desperate to hear his voice just one more time, Julie calls Sam to hear his voicemail—but he picks up. What would you do if you had a second chance to say goodbye?
“No Beauties or Monsters” by Tara Goedjen
Rylie left a lot of memories at the military base in Twentynine Palms but hasn’t been back since her father died. When her mom’s new work assignment sends them back to Twentynine Palms, Rylie is in a place she never wanted to return to. It seems her old friend Lily is gone—vanished into the desert—and there is gossip around town about a mysterious killer on the loose. It isn’t just the town that’s frightening, though, Rylie is having visions of monstrous creatures that lurk in the night. Everything seems to be tied to the cabin her grandfather left behind. Rylie wants the truth, but she doesn’t know what’s real. The deadliest thing in town could be Rylie herself.
“You’ll Be the Death of Me” by Karen M. McManus
Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be close, but now all they seem to have in common is Carlton High and the beginning of a very bad day. Ivy is humiliated to lose a student council election to the class clown, Mateo is burned out from working two jobs since his family’s business failed and Cal just got stood up… again. When the three unexpectedly run into each other, they decide to ditch—just like old times. They end up following another school ditcher to the site of his own murder. In a split second, their day turns from dull to deadly.
Image: Courtesy of Haylee Elmore
About the author: Haylee Elmore is a full-time student majoring in journalism at Arizona State University. Although she is an Arizona native, she hopes to eventually move somewhere with cooler weather. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.
Featured image: Color Joy Stock