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Good Reads: Best Books to Give as Gifts

Holiday Gift Guide 2020: My Picks for Best Books to Give as Gifts This Year

I read 160 books this year. Always been a bit on the bookish side but even for a bookworm like me this is a record. The global pandemic kept me close to home this year and my nose in a book apparently. As I reflect over the books a here’s a list of the titles that stood out to me. I rarely reread books but these are all titles I wouldn’t mind rereading. And for good measure I’m including a list of titles I hope to find under the tree.  These are my picks for best books to give as gifts this holiday season.


Memoirs are at the top of my list for best books to give as a gifts this year. Consider the following.

  1. “Educated” by Tara Westover (I love an underdog and a story of overcoming)
  2. “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt (how can a tragic sad book be so incredibly beautiful?)
  3. “My Old Man and the Mountain” by Leif Whittaker (they had me at ‘the mountain’ and how can I resist a book written by a local author)
  4. “Thirst 2600 Miles to Home” by Heather “Anish” Anderson (this woman inspired me to get outside and put in more miles)

A good long read makes and excellent Christmas gift.

  • “The Overstory” by Richard Powers (kicked my vocabulary in the glutes, felt like a modern-day fairytale and made me look at trees in a different way, a good way)
  • “The Readers of Broken Wheel” Recommend by Katarina Bivald (warm fuzzy novel about an enthusiastic bookworm who made an impact on a small town)
  • “The Giver of Stars” by JoJo Moyes (even though it has some cheesy romance elements to it I enjoyed the cast of women characters and their friendship in a rural setting)
  • “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho (lyrical story this book carries me away every time I read it)
  • “Hollow Kingdom” by Kira Jane Buxton (I’m almost embarrassed to put this on the list. It’s such a goofy quirky book. Animals talk, there’s zombies, it’s set in the Seattle area.)
  • “The Dutch House” by Ann Patchett (audiobook version narrated by Tom Hanks very pleasant to listen to)
  • “Over the Woodward Wall” (felt like Alice in Wonderland meets Willy Wonka type of story)

Of course my Best Book to Give as Gifts List wouldn’t be complete without incredible non-fiction.

  1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot (made me cry, made me think)
  2. “The Fire Next Time” by James Baldwin (what a powerful thinker, thought provoking book)
  3. “Grit” by Angela Duckworth (written by a woman who knows what it takes to get after goals)
  4. Grandma Gatewood’s Walk” by Ben Montgomery (inspired me to hike more)
Books I’m hoping to find under the tree
  1. “Bliss(ters): How I Walked from Mexico to Canada One Summer” by Gail Francis
  2. “Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest” Trail by Carrot Quinn
  3. “Mile 445” by Claire Henley Miller
  4. Girl in the Woods by Aspen Matis
  5. Old Lady on the Trail: Triple Crown at 76” by Mary E. Davison
  6. Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World” by Mackenzi Lee
  7. “Jitterbug Perfume” by Tom Robbins
  8. “Pilgrim at Tinker” Creek by Annie Dillard
  9.  Courage to Climb: 12 Women Surmount the Impossible by Sherry Shoemaker
  10. “The Girl with the Louding” Voice by Abi Dare
  11. Bring Me a Unicorn: Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1922-1928” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Happy reading everyone!

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Meilee Anderson
Meilee Anderson
A marketing consultant by day, avid reader most nights. To say she’s a voracious reader is an understatement. Meilee completed the 2020 Tacoma Extreme Reading Challenge (50 books in 50 weeks) by March 31. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book Meilee can be found exploring the PNW with her husband, kids, and menagerie.
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