12 Books That Make Perfect Last-Minute Gifts
Magazine / 12 Books That Make Perfect Last-Minute Gifts

12 Books That Make Perfect Last-Minute Gifts

Arts & Culture Happiness
12 Books That Make Perfect Last-Minute Gifts

Ah yes, the familiar pre-holiday gift panic. It’s not that you forgot to buy a present, exactly—more that you always intended to, but didn’t realize that the holidays were approaching faster than a runaway reindeer.

But don’t worry, your friends at the Next Big Idea Club have you covered. Whether you’re shopping for a career-minded go-getter or just a diehard book lover, you still have time to pick up one of these thought-provoking, holiday-friendly reads from your local bookstore.

Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness by Ingrid Fetell Lee

Holiday joy doesn’t come from a store… right? A rare blend of captivating art and groundbreaking science, this recent Next Big Idea Club Selection shows how the design of our homes and offices has a huge impact on our happiness and well-being.

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

On April 28, 1986, a massive fire in the Los Angeles Public Library consumed or damaged over one million books. But what, or who, caused it? This investigation of the decades-old mystery is also a loving examination of what makes libraries so special.

Walt Whitman: Poetry and Prose by Walt Whitman

The existence of Santa Claus remains hotly debated by school children everywhere, but this legendary look-alike poet is very, very real. His beautiful, moving reflections on the natural world and human relationships are the closest thing to magic that has ever been put on paper.

Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

We all want to take some time off this holiday season, but struggle to fully disconnect from work. So here’s the scientific case for truly taking a load off, a book that will inspire you to enjoy your leisure time with the confidence that it’s good for your overall productivity.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

This touch of holiday magic inspires readers to bring out their most vibrant, creative selves. Whether you’re thinking of picking up a new hobby, changing things up at work, or embarking on long-awaited adventure, Gilbert’s words will help you leave fear behind and move confidently into the next chapter.

The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker

This recent Next Big Idea Club Finalist focuses on how to create fun, meaningful get-togethers with family, friends, and beyond. It offers a variety of counterintuitive suggestions that are sure to make your upcoming holiday dinner a resounding success.

The Book of General Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know Is Wrong by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson

But what should we talk about at our holiday dinners and parties? The Book of General Ignorance contains fascinating facts that clear up all kinds of common misunderstandings and misconceptions—cocktail party fodder galore!

The Gift Inside the Box by Adam Grant and Allison Sweet Grant

For the little one in your life, Next Big Idea Club curator Adam Grant teamed up with his wife Allison to write a charming, enlightening children’s book about generosity. It’s a fun, essential read that will give kids a new appreciation for the spirit of the holidays.

Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet by Will Hunt

This book quietly emerged as one of our favorite reads of the year. A globetrotting tour through caves, catacombs, and underground cities, Underground is a jaw-dropping examination of the power of underground spaces, and how profoundly they impact human life and culture.

Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman

If you’re more in the mood for some fiction, look no further than Einstein’s Dreams, a stunningly imaginative collection of vignettes that meditate on the nature of time and human life. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will never look at the world in quite the same way again.

This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World by Yancey Strickler

‘Tis the season of giving, so what could be better than a new book by the cofounder of Kickstarter? Strickler lays out a deeply humane vision for our society, one that looks beyond money and focuses on the values that make life worth living.

Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey by A.J. Jacobs

It may be the season of giving, but it’s also the season of receiving! So check out this funny and fascinating look at the power of gratitude, as author A.J. Jacobs personally thanks one thousand people who made his morning cup of coffee possible.

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