This year, Bookselling This Week surveyed the staff of the American Booksellers Association to find out what books and non-book items they are giving as gifts this holiday season. Here are their answers (names in alphabetical order):
Lauren Anastasio, Member Relations and Registration Coordinator
What I’m Giving: I love gifting Menus: A Book for Your Meals and Memories by Jacques Pépin (Mariner Books). It's kind of a menu journal/guest book with illustrations by Jaques Pépin where you can record what you served at holiday dinners and who attended, and guests can write their own notes. I think it's a beautiful way to remember the holidays that doesn't involve social media
Kate Brennan, Membership and Data Coordinator
What I’m Giving: My younger sister has recently shown an interest in reading and has requested milk and honey by Rupi Kaur (Andrews McMeel Publishing). I also gifted myself a couple of books already, Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath by Heather Clark (Knopf) purchased at Book Club. The other book is The Gnome Stories by Ander Monson (Graywolf Press) from Community Bookstore. The cover was adorable, I couldn't pass on it!
Ray Daniels, Chief Communications Officer
What I’m Giving: I am sad to say I only have one friend who really reads anything aside from news and magazines. I am gifting him An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books). My niece loves Doc McStuffins, so she will get something from that series.
Phil Davies, Director of IndieCommerce
What I’m Giving: I'm sending A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (Penguin Books) to my uncle in Colorado.
Gen de Botton, ABC Children's Group Manager
What I’m Giving: Taking supply issues very much to heart, I completed my holiday shopping by mid-November, and every book I bought, I gifted to myself. It was a holiday miracle when Third Place Books went above and beyond to get me a signed copy of Dave Grohl's The Storyteller (Dey Street Books), and I couldn't walk out of Paper Boat Booksellers the other day without Stuntboy, in the Meantime by Jason Reynolds and illustrated by Raúl the Third (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books). At the close of 2021, there is only one thing left on my wishlist: More bookshelves.
Greg Galloway, Director of ABA Technology
What I’m Giving: I'm gifting the yet-to-be released Screaming for Vengeance by Judas Priest, Chris Mitten (Illustrator), and Dee Cunniff (Colorist) (Z2 Comics) to the guys in my high school band, and Cook, Taste, Learn: How the Evolution of Science Transformed the Art of Cooking by Guy Crosby (Columbia University Press) to a friend who is getting into sous vide cooking.
Sara Lacey Graham, Executive Assistant
What I’m Giving: I think everyone is probably tired of hearing me talk about how much Samantha Irby I read this year, but I recently gifted her latest essay collection, Wow, No Thank You (Vintage), to my closest friends for the holidays! It's as hilarious and grounding and brilliant as all her others, so a great place to start.
Allison Hill, Chief Executive Officer
What I’m Giving: Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (Knopf). So strange and elegant and wonderful. The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown and Company). Connelly writes some of my favorite detective novels and I love the female protagonist in this series. All In: An Autobiography by Billie Jean King (Knopf). Billie Jean King's incredible story in her own voice. You Got Anything Stronger? Stories by Gabrielle Union (Dey Street Books). Gabrielle Union was so great on Glennon Doyle's podcast last month; she inspired me to buy her book for a few people. On the Shortness of Life: Life Is Long if You Know How to Use It by Seneca (Penguin Books). This extraordinary little book on the art of living is one of my favorites. And a gift for myself: The Sunflower Cast a Spell to Save Us from the Void by Jackie Wang (Nightboat Books). Because poetry is necessary, especially this year.
Daron Mueller, eCommerce Customer Support Specialist
What I’m Giving: This year I'm giving Arthur Sze's new collected poems, The Glass Constellation (Copper Canyon Press), to a lover of poetry, and art supplies from local bookstores to my friends.
Melissa Napolitano, Senior Graphic + Web Designer
What I’m Giving: For my middle schooler, I'll be gifting Amazing Earth: The Most Incredible Places From Around The World by Anita Ganeri (DK) since he's fascinated by all the natural wonders of the world. For my kindergartener, he'll be getting The Crayons' Christmas by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (Penguin Workshop), a super fun and interactive pop-up book! And I may have to put in a request for myself, Lucky by Marissa Stapley (Simon & Schuster); it sounds like a thrilling ride that I want to take!
Geetha Nathan, Senior Manager, IndieCommerce
What I’m Giving: What I am giving to family and friends: An Indigenous Peoples' History Of The United States by Roxanne Dubar-Ortiz (Beacon Press), which I bought at Barrington Books in Barrington, Rhode Island; Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman (Simon & Schuster), bought at Village Bookstore in Pleasantville, New York; and a collection of Little Golden Books, bought at Scattered Books in Chappaqua, New York.
Jill Perlstein, Meetings and Planning Officer
What I’m Giving: I gave my niece for Hanukkah: Haven's Secret (The Powers Book 1) by Melissa Benoist, Jessica Benoist, and Mariko Tamaki (Harry N. Abrams). I'm also giving: The Rolling Stones: Unzipped by The Rolling Stones and Anthony DeCurtis (Thames & Hudson) and All About Me!: My Remarkable Life in Show Business by Mel Brooks (Ballantine Books).
Matt Supko, Technology Consultant
What I’m Giving: One book I'm giving is The Valancourt Book Of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories, Volume Five (Valancourt Books). Really, all of these Valancourt books are full of fascinating period material you won't find anywhere else (except moldering in some university library's sub-basement) and the presentation is excellent.
Elisa Thomas, DEIA Member Relations Manager
What I’m Giving: Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon (MCD); In the Heights: Finding Home by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Quiara Alegría Hudes, and Jeremy McCarter (Random House); How The Word is Passed by Clint Smith (Little, Brown and Company); The Low, Low Woods by Carmen Maria Machado, illustrated by Dani (DC Comics); and anything Toni Morrison.
Courtney Wallace, Marketing Manager
What I’m Giving: Mind Your Business: A Workbook to Grow Your Creative Passion Into a Full-Time Gig by Ilana Griffo and Sonja Rasula (Paige Tate Select); Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: The Story of Schitt's Creek by Daniel Levy and Eugene Levy (Black Dog & Leventhal); Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney (Flatiron); Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (Delacorte Press); Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín (Scribner); and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (Penguin Books).