20 Of The Best Books To Give As Gifts This Year

These are the best books to gift this holiday season, according to book lovers on Goodreads.

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The best books to give as gifts are the books everyone is marking to read. Keep scrolling for the books Goodread users are most interested in.
The best books to give as gifts are the books everyone is marking to read. Keep scrolling for the books Goodread users are most interested in.

Reading is an intimate experience that pauses the grind of our daily lives. A good story can take you to a different world, spark new ideas and even teach you a bit about yourself. That’s why books are one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give to your family, friends or even coworkers who love to read.

However, it can be hard to choose the right book for the right person. Should you start with the classics? Sci-fi? Memoir? To help you on your hunt for the best books to gift this holiday season, we’ve compiled a list from the reading experts at Goodreads to get you started. Below, you’ll find Goodreads users’ top-rated books of 2019 across 10 different genres.

Each month, the 90 million members of Goodreads add more than 18 million books to their “Want To Read” shelves. Goodreads determines its most-anticipated lists by tallying how many members mark a book “To Read.”

Take a look below at the best books to give as gifts in 2019:

FICTION

The Testaments” by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood’s much-anticipated sequel to “The Handmail’s Tale,” “The Testaments,” picks up Offred’s story 15 years later. “The Testaments” is a thriller inspired in part, Atwood has said, by the world we’re living in. Read the reviews on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

Ask Again, Yes” by Mary Beth Keane

Mary Beth Keane’s “Ask Again, Yes” is a family drama that poses questions about childhood, adulthood and forgiveness. Goodreads calls it “a profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the bond between their children, a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, the daily intimacies of marriage, and the power of forgiveness.” Read more on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

MYSTERY/THRILLER

The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides

Alicia Berenson is a renowned painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer. Her life seems perfect. Until, that is, Alicia shoots her husband and refuses to talk. “The Silent Patient” follows Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist, as he attempts to unravel the mysteries that Alicia has kept for herself in the years since her life changed. Read more about it on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

The Turn of the Key” by Ruth Ware

When Rowan Caine finds a nannying position in a high-tech smart home in the Scottish Highlands, it seems too good to pass up. “What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder,” reads the Goodreads description. Read more about this spooky tale on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

HISTORICAL FICTION

Daisy Jones & The Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

What happens when a captivating singer and brooding rock star join forces to form an instantly iconic rock powerhouse called Daisy Jones & The Six? And what could go wrong? Dive into the ’60s and ’70s with this tale of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll — or, better yet, listen to the audio version. Read more about it on Goodreads, or grab a copy on Amazon.

City of Girls” by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert of “Eat, Pray, Love” fame is back. “City of Girls,” a tale set in the 1940s, features a strong woman and explores “themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love.” Find a synopsis on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

FANTASY

The Wicked King” by Holly Black

The sequel to the New York Times best-selling novel “The Cruel Prince” has arrived, and Holly Black’s ravenous fanbase cannot get enough of the tale of Jude. “The Wicked King” finds Jude trying to keep her brother safe by binding herself to the wicked king Cardan to make herself “the power behind the throne.” Find more details on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

The Starless Sea” by Erin Morgenstern

Fans of “The Night Circus” will find themselves lost in another timeless love story with Erin Morgenstern’s “The Starless Sea.” This magical tale follows Zachary, a graduate student, as he discovers where he belongs in “a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead.” Read the reviews on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

NONFICTION

Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide” by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

The comic duo behind the popular “My Favorite Murder” podcast is in print with a look at the events that made them who they are today. “Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered” is an irreverent account of struggles with depression, addiction and the unexpected twists that life throws at you. See how the book stacks up to the podcast on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

Who does a therapist go to when they need advice? “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” is a candid and humorous look into Lori Gottlieb’s world as a therapist and patient. It examines “the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change.” Learn more at Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

MEMOIR

In the Dream House” by Carmen Maria Machado

“For years Carmen Maria Machado has struggled to articulate her experiences in an abusive same-sex relationship,” Goodreads says in its description. “In this extraordinarily candid and radically inventive memoir, Machado tackles a dark and difficult subject with wit, inventiveness and an inquiring spirit.” Learn more about this National Book Award Finalist on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

How We Fight For Our Lives” by Saeed Jones

This memoir is about a young, Black, gay man from the South finding his place. Find out more about Jones’ powerful memoir on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

HISTORY

The New Yorker’s Patrick Radden Keefe focuses on the abduction of Jean McConville, a 38-year-old mother of 10, by the IRA in the 1970s, and how her story represents “the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with.” Find reviews on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

Anyone who binge-watched HBO’s “Chernobyl” needs to pick up Adam Higginbotham’s book. Learn more about the book on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

SCIENCE/TECH

The Body: A Guide for Occupants” by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is known for his humorous but easy-to-understand explanations of the world around us. This time, Bryson looks inside ― literally ― with a dive into the human body, how it works, and how we’re able to heal ourselves. See what Bryson fans are saying on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

New York Times tech correspondent Mike Isaac took a deep dive into Uber — which Goodreads calls a “a corporate cautionary tale about the perils of startup culture and a vivid example of how blind worship of startup founders can go wildly wrong.” Read more on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

SCIENCE FICTION

Recursion” by Blake Crouch

This mind-bending novel by Blake Crouch follows a society plagued by False Memory Syndrome, in which victims are driven mad by memories of lives they’ve never lived. New York cop Barry Sutton teams up with neuroscientist Helena Smith to find the truth ― a difficult task as reality around them seems to shift. Find out more on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

Dark Age” by Pierce Brown

“For a decade Darrow led a revolution against the corrupt color-coded Society. Now, outlawed by the very Republic he founded, he wages a rogue war on Mercury in hopes that he can still salvage the dream of Eo. But as he leaves death and destruction in his wake, is he still the hero who broke the chains?” Find out more about Brown’s sequel to “Iron Gold” on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

ROMANCE

The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren

Thanks to a bout of food poisoning, unlucky-in-everything Olive ends up on her newly married sister’s honeymoon trip with Ethan, the best man (and Olive’s sworn nemesis). Just when she’s ready to enjoy her free vacation as far away from Ethan as possible, Olive runs into her future boss. This romantic comedy follows Ethan and Olive as they pretend to be loving newlyweds, and Olive realizes she might not be as unlucky as she thought. Read more on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

Red, White & Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston

“When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius — his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond.” Things change, however, when Alex and Henry’s fake Instagram-worthy friendship turns into something deeper. Read more on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.