Just like that, the holidays are upon us once again. With the trimming and decking, reflecting and jubilating comes, inevitably, at least one moment of stress as your gift-giving intentions threaten to take over the joy of the season. Have no fear – we at Signature have you covered. Herewith, the twenty-two book gifts we’re keeping wrapped and ready to give at a moment’s notice – whether for an unexpected guest with gift in hand, a Secret Santa scramble, or the brother-in-law you just, frankly, forgot about. With books, you’re not just giving a great read – you’re giving context, insight, and intelligence. As an additional bonus, you’ll likely personally enjoy any of the books on this list left under your bed when the season has passed us by. Happy giving (and happy reading)!
Yuval Noah Harari
Yuval Noah Harari’s probing investigation into the twenty-first century’s most urgent issues poses the tough questions we need to ask ourselves. How we answer and act on those questions may determine if, and how, we endure. Harari’s book makes the perfect gift for those who don’t want life to just happen to them and for those with a keen interest in what’s happening around them.
Jane Sherron De Hart
If you want to help someone better understand the Supreme Court and the influence it has over our day-to-day lives, offer them the gift of insight into one of the most preeminent voices on the Court. Jane Sherron De Hart’s biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg explores the private, public, legal, and philosophical experiences that shaped one of the greatest minds of a generation.
An Astronaut's Photographs from a Year in Space
Seek and you shall find. Scott Kelly did just that as he documented his unprecedented, one-year mission aboard the International Space Station. In vivid, breathtaking, photographic detail, he records the vastness and stillness of space, and the unparalleled and mysterious beauty of the big, blue marble we call Earth. Explorers, science geeks and environmentalists alike will find what they seek in Infinite Wonder, out October 30.
Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves
There is no better gift for the well-read girl (or boy) in your life than this inspiring and thoughtful anthology of essays by Black female writers. Curated by Glory Edim, the founder of the popular book club and online community Well-Read Black Girl, her new book’s divine purpose appears to be exposure and validation for the rich and layered life experiences of women across the African diaspora. This collection publishes October 30.
Christina Dalcher’s stunning debut dystopian novel, Vox, asks the question: What if women were limited to one hundred words per day – and what if gender restrictions didn’t stop there? A cautionary and frightening tale for our time, Vox is for fans of dystopian fiction who want to be inspired while being entertained.
Michael Diamond Adam Horovitz
If you weren’t the cool kid coming of age in the 1980s, here’s your chance to be cool to the cool kid who came of age in the ‘80s. How? By gifting The Beastie Boys Book, a memoir-esque experience written by none other than Ad-Rock and Mike D., with additional contributions by Amy Poehler, Spike Jonze, Colson Whitehead, Wes Anderson, and others, and photographs galore. This glorious tome is out October 30.
The latest novel by one of the most renowned thriller writers of our time, The Reckoning is all you need for those thrill-seeking giftees. Pete Banning – a Clanton, Mississippi, resident loved by all – calmly shoots his pastor and friend one cool October morning and offers nothing by way of explanation. This crowd-pleaser of a thriller will have those on your list furiously turning the pages of this whydunit.
The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who has impacted countless readers with her beautifully crafted verse. Devotions presents some of her best work, from her early poetry to her most recent writing, spanning more than fifty years of her esteemed career. This gift will surprise and touch those on your list with a love of language.
A Visual History of Hip-Hop
Vikki Tobak foreword by Questlove
This book is the perfect gift for music and photography fans alike. Contact High offers an inside look at the hip-hop industry and the legends who built it, taking us through time, from old-school to alternative and from analog to digital. Containing 100-plus photoshoots and interviews, this book is a great conversation-starter, coffee table book, and perhaps best of all, an unexpected gift.
Satirical Fantasies of Love, Lust, and Equal Pay
Caitlin Kunkel, Brooke Preston, Fiona Taylor, and Carrie Wittmer
This hilarious, satirical book is a must-have for the feminists in your life. It’s a breakdown of all things that turn feminists on: men who understand emotional labor, an immortal Ruth Bader Ginsburg, equal pay, and more. From a retelling of Adam and Eve to tales of respectful Tinder dates, New Erotica for Feminists answers the question: What do women really want? This perfectly curated collection lands November 13.
Mastering the Art of Cooking with Weed
Editors of MUNCHIES
This could be the perfect gift for both your hip nephew and your favorite aunt. Bong Appetit contains sophisticated recipes with one common ingredient: weed. It’s not just a cookbook, though; it also hits on marijuana politics, dosage, and pairing strains and flavors, and has tips from MUNCHIES’ vast network of friends and experts.
Inside the Most Important Position in the National Football League
From sports-writing legend John Feinstein, Quarterback – on sale November 13 – is a deep exploration of the most coveted and hallowed position in the NFL. With stories from five top NFL starting quarterbacks, Feinstein maps out what it’s like to play football’s starring role and what that journey looks like from start to finish. This informative book can be gifted to football and history fans alike.
In her forthcoming memoir, Becoming, out November 13, former First Lady Michelle Obama chronicles the experiences that shaped her into one of the most admired and influential figures of our time. If the person you’re gifting tends to dream big – and has a love for life stories beautifully told – offer them this first-person portrait of one of our lifetime’s most remarkable people.
Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks
Ina Garten is the gift that keeps on giving! Cook Like a Pro, the latest in her Barefoot Contessa collection of cookbooks, is as accessible, reliable, and lovely as all the rest. This one has the added benefit of being chock-full of tips and tricks the intrepid home cook will bring to the stovetop regularly. Bonus: Giving this book as a gift may garner you a dinner invite!
An American Journey
Regardless of where your giftee sits on the political spectrum, what they’ll find upon diving in to this 800-plus-page telling of the life of Ronald Reagan is a story for the ages. Bob Spitz’s chronicle of Reagan’s life – from a challenging boyhood through a dreamy rise to stardom and then political triumph – brings to the surface an essential piece of American history. For history buffs, political junkies, and those who just dig a great biography, give the gift of Reagan.
How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness
Rick Hanson, Ph.D., with Forrest Hanson
Rick Hanson’s Resilient is the perfect gift for anyone who lives in fear of the endless and often unpredictable shifts away from environmental, social, political, and cultural norms. Hanson presents readers with a plan for switching off the brain’s inclination toward the negative and switching on thoughts of compassion, self-worth, and inner peace.
The Case for Hope
In this day and age, wherein activism among our youth is as important as ever, DeRay McKesson has stepped thoughtfully and purposefully to the forefront of the conversation. His book serves as a call to action to build the kind of world in which we want to live – and it also serves as a most thoughtful gift for those on your list who are inspired to effect change.
20 Women on Life in the City of Light
Jeanne Damas and Lauren Bastide
Former editor-in-chief of French Elle and all around cool girl Jeanne Damas offers us a peek into the life of a Parisian woman and what it takes to achieve the elusive and desired qualities only French women seem to exude. This book makes the perfect gift for the “it girl” or the aspiring “it girl” in your life.
The mass appeal of Tara Westover’s stunning memoir, Educated, has a bit to do with why it’s been on bestseller lists for dozens of weeks. So too does its uniqueness in story and its eloquence in telling. For anyone on your list who appreciates a true story that will leave them floored, put a bow around Educated.
Though the subject matter within is weighty, Jodi Picoult is as brilliant as ever in her latest novel, A Spark of Light. The setting is a women’s reproductive health clinic on the day a gunman descends upon it. As the day unfolds, so too do the lives of those caught in the crosshairs. Wrap this gift for the voracious readers in your life who appreciate drama as well as depth.
The 150 Most Commonly Misused Words and Their Tangled Histories
Ross Petras and Kathryn Petras
Do you have a colleague or cousin who is endlessly correcting your grammar? We’ve got the perfect gift for them. Ross Petras and Kathryn Petras will leave them feeling validated and righteous as they get lost in this treasure trove of misused words, their etymologies, and more.
A Memoir of Recording and Discording with Wilco, Etc.
Rounding out our gift selections for music fans on your recipient list is Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy’s memoir, Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back). Coming November 13, his is a story of musical influence and creative drive, and will be a sure delight for Wilco and alt-rock music fans alike.