For literary gift recommendations, look no further than Jenna Bush Hager, who selects a book for her new book club monthly. Speaking to TODAY.com, Jenna says there are a few go-to kid-friendly holiday books in her household. First up, the classic “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas." She says he son Hal wants to read “Little Blue Truck’s Christmas” "every single night." Her favorite book to read with her daughters is “Little Women," which she says is "more than just a Christmas book, but the Christmas scene is so memorable."
If you're looking for a book to wrap up and give to a loved on, here are a few suggestions direct from Jenna herself.
For the thoughtful reader
Jenna tells TODAY.com that "The Bluest Eye" is one of her "favorite books of all time." In the book, a woman looks back on a pivotal point in her childhood and her friendship with Pecola Breedlove, a girl who dreams of having blue eyes, thinking that is the only way she'll ever receive real love.
For your grandmother (or a grandma at heart)
This Read With Jenna pick from 2022 centers around an elderly woman named Tova, and is good for anyone who might need a wholesome laugh this season, Jenna says. “It’s about an octopus, which I know sounds crazy, but it is lighthearted and lovely,” she tells TODAY.com.
For your bestie
‘These Precious Days’ is a collection of short stories, perfect for readers with a shorter attention span. “One of the essays,” Jenna says, “is about a dear friendship that kept her sane and joyful and happy during the pandemic.”
For the women in your family
Another Read with Jenna 2022 pick, “The Many Daughters of Afong Moy” is a heartwarming and empowering story about multiple generations of women in the same family, starting from their ancestor, Afong Moy. “It’s about generations of love and how our mothers really hold us up and want the best for us,” Jenna says.
For the mystery lover
“This is for anyone who isn’t afraid to get a little scared around the holidays,” Jenna says. “The Cloisters,” which was the November 2022 Read With Jenna pick, can also be given to the art lover in your life, Jenna says, because it takes place in a museum on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Be warned: Jenna says this book will keep you reading “late into the night,” like any good mystery.
For someone who loves the little things in life
This book is full of, as the title denotes, little things that will make you laugh and bring some joy to your life. Jenna says "Little Pieces of Hope" is a gift for people who find the joy in the little things — or want to start.
For those who need a little extra love
Jenna tells TODAY.com that she likes to start her days by reading and annotating a passage from this collection of short poems. She says it's ideal for anyone who could use an emotional boost in the morning, or just likes to incorporate small, joyful moments in their daily routine. Plus, Hoda gifted this book to Jenna as a Christmas present — so you know it’s a good one!