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The 41 best books to gift in 2020

Plus recommendations from bestselling authors Jasmine Guillory and Isaac Fitzgerald.
/ Source: TODAY

The best nights are those spent cozied up on the couch with a good book in hand. For the friends or family members who enjoy a good story, one of the best gifts you can surprise them with is a handpicked book.

Whether your loved one is a fan of a classic drama or romance novel, bestselling author of "How to Be a Pirate," Isaac Fitzgerald, and New York Times bestselling author of "Party of Two," Jasmine Guillory, visited TODAY to show us their favorite page-turners.

Plus, we also put together other literature-themed gifts for the storyteller in your life.

The below list has gifts by category. To quickly jump to the category you're looking for, click on the links below:

Don’t forget to check out Shop TODAY’s 2020 Gift Guide to find the perfect present for everyone on your list!

Book gifts seen on TODAY

1. "Piranesi" by Susanna Clarke

Set in an alternate reality, Fitzgerald suggests this book if your reader wants to explore a new world within a house where nothing is as it seems and adventure awaits within a labyrinth of rooms.

"'Piranesi' by Susanna Clarke is a beautiful puzzle," Fitzgerald said. "The book itself is a mystery that unfolds brilliantly as you read it."

2. "You Should See Me in a Crown" by Leah Johnson

For an escape, Guillory recommends this hilarious rom-com about Liz Lighty, a girl convinced that she is too Black, too poor and too awkward to stand out in her small Midwestern town. After her financial aid for college falls through, her only hope is to run for prom queen and win the prize scholarship.

3. "How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America" by Kiese Laymon

This collection chosen by Fitzgerald depicts what life was like growing up in the South. This revised edition has six new essays and incorporates seven from the original publishing.

4. "The Selected Works of Audre Lorde" by Audre Lorde

Inspire the book lover in your life with another one of Guillory's picks. This book features a collection of essays and poems by Audre Lorde and her experiences as a queer Black woman.

5. "In the Limelight" by Steve Eichner and Gabriel Sanchez

Relive the glitz and glam of '90s nightlife in New York City and step into what Fitzgerald calls "an explosive visual feast." This book features iconic photography taken by Steve Eichner that goes beyond the velvet red ropes and into the most sought-after parties featuring celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio, Dennis Hopper, Tupac and more.

6. "The Art of Ramona Quimby" by Anna Katz

Give the gift of nostalgia as this book goes through the evolution of the beloved character Ramona Quimby. For fans of art, they'll love learning about each illustrator's take on the design of the well-known character.

7. "Punching the Air" by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

Fitzgerald finds this book to be a great read for the child in your life. One alteration in a gentrified neighborhood leads to the upending of 16-year-old Amal Shahid's life as he becomes wrongfully convicted.

8. "Ways to Make Sunshine" by Renée Watson

Resilience and optimism are central themes of this story picked by Guillory. It follows Ryan Hart, a girl who is trying to navigate the typical struggles of school, self-image and family.

Best coffee table book gifts

1. "Ballerina Project" by Dane Shitagi

This beautiful book compiles 18 years of photographs that take the elegant art form out of the studio and into the streets.

2. "West" by Anouk Krantz

Whether you live out West or know someone who idolizes John Wayne, this book would make for a treasured gift. It embodies the "pioneering spirit" of this beautiful landscape.

3. "Homebody" by Joanna Gaines

This book is both beautiful and practical, making it the perfect gift for anyone who just moved into a new house.

4. "Cozy White Cottage" by Liz Marie Galvan

Don't we all want to make our home feel a little bit cozier around this time of year? This book from designer and author Liz Marie Galvan would be a great gift for anyone who embodies the spirit of hygge.

5. "Bill Cunningham: On the Street" by New York Times

The original street style photographer, Bill Cunningham's decades of service as a photographer are beautifully memorialized in this compilation from the New York Times.

Best cookbook gifts

1. "Procrastibaking" by Erin Gardner

We all need a bit of a distraction these days (it's been quite the year). This cookbook will give your loved one the perfect distraction that ends in a sweet treat.

2. "The Pioneer Woman Cooks" by Ree Drummond

Ree Drummond's new cookbook includes recipes any home chef would want to dig into, like lasagna soup and spatchcock chicken.

3. "Nothing Fancy" by Alison Roman

Released last month, "Nothing Fancy" quickly became a New York Times Bestseller thanks to its unfussy yet flavorful recipes for entertaining at home.

4. "Martha Stewart's Cookie Perfection" by Martha Stewart

If you've got a sweet tooth, "Martha Stewart's Cookie Perfection" would be an excellent gift. From potato chip cookies to caramel-stuffed chocolate chip cookies, the recipes in this book are both decadent and delicious.

Best memoir book gifts

1. "The Other Side of the Coin" by Angela Kelly

Royal fans know Angela Kelly as Queen Elizabeth II's dresser and trusted confidant, and this read is an exceptional portrait of over two decades of service to the monarchy.

2. "Do You Mind If I Cancel?" by Gary Janetti

Speaking of royalty, Gary Janetti gathered a new set of fans on social media thanks to his satirical take on the inner thoughts of the youngest royals. In reality, the comedy writer's been making us laugh for years through his work on "Family Guy" and "Will & Grace." This witty set of essays is the perfect gift for anyone with a stellar sense of humor.

4. "The Beautiful Ones" by Prince

Featuring never-before-seen photos and mementos from the life of the iconic artist, this memoir, written by Prince before his death, would make an excellent gift for any music lover.

Best fiction book gifts

1. "Royal Holiday" by Jasmine Guillory

This is one gift you might even want to give early! From the author of "The Proposal" and "The Wedding Party," it's an enchanting read that your giftee won't want to put down.

2. "The Dutch House" by Ann Patchett

This would make a great gift for anyone who loves to curl up on a Sunday afternoon with a good book. It follows siblings Danny and Maeve over five decades as they navigate life together.

3. "Lights All Night Long" by Lydia Fitzpatrick

Another beautiful story of the bond between siblings, "Lights All Night Long" reads like a mystery but leaves its audience with a poignant, powerful message about what we'll sacrifice for our family.

Best inspirational book gifts

1. "Becoming" by Michelle Obama

Inspired by the former first lady's bestselling memoir, this journal prompts readers to "discover the power of their own voice" through guided writing exercises. From identifying their "circle of strength" to reliving a time when they spoke their truth, this book will empower your giftee to share their own gifts with the world.

2. "I Really Needed This Today" by Hoda Kotb

We couldn't not include Hoda Kotb's book on this list! With inspirational quotes and stories for every day of the year, it's the kind of read you'll want to slowly savor.

3. "Girl, Stop Apologizing" by Rachel Hollis

Rachel Hollis is back with a follow up to her super popular "Girl, Wash Your Face." In her newest book, Hollis motivates readers to think about what they really want from life and helps them create a path to achieve it.

4. "Where to Begin" by Cleo Wade

According to author Cleo Wade, "This book is really supposed to be a place where you can find comfort, and at the same time encouragement to get back into the world on those days you feel like you really want to turn away from it." We can't think of anything more inspiring than that!

Best book gifts for kids and teens

1. "Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls" by Dave Pilkey

The seventh book in the "Dog Man" series, this book would make a great gift for any kiddos who've already gotten into the story of this unlikely hero.

2. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling

From the "Fantastic Beasts" franchise to "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" on Broadway, the "Harry Potter" phenomenon shows no sign of slowing down. This would make a magical gift for anyone who hasn't yet heard of Hogwarts.

3. "Let Me Hear A Rhyme" by Tiffany D. Jackson

Recommended by author Jason Reynolds, this book is as heartfelt as it is entertaining. It follows a group of friends in '90s Brooklyn as they attempt to honor their friend's memory and music after his death.

4. "I Would Leave Me If I Could" by Halsey

For the teenager who loves the pop star Halsey, gift them this book of poetry. The singer just released a set of autobiographical poems that delve deep into hard topics like failed relationships, sexuality and mental illness that many teens will find relatable.

Best coloring book gifts

1. Disney Dreams Coloring Book

Perfect for any Disney fan, this adult coloring book brings beloved Disney landscapes to life. Add in a pack of colored pencils and you've got yourself a thoughtful gift.

2. 100 Animals Adult Coloring Book

Inspired by the beauty of nature, this bestseller was released earlier this year and reviewers are enjoying the detailed designs and practical layout of the affordable book.

More gift ideas for book lovers

1. Book Planter

This handmade book planter is the perfect desk accessory for anyone looking to liven up their reading nook. It comes in two sizes, with the small planter available for $21.13.

2. Book Stack Ornament

This is just too dang cute — and it's basically the perfect gift for everyone in your book club.

3. My Weekend Is All Booked Shirt

This bestselling T-shirt comes in five different colors and is available in sizes S-XXL.

4. "The Only Thing You Absolutely Have to Know..." Print

If you know someone with a reading nook that needs a little sprucing up, this print would be great to set the scene.

5. "This Weekend Is Gonna Be Lit-erary" Mug

For the person whose love for reading is only matched by their love of coffee, this mug would make a practical present.

6. "The Book Was Better" T-shirt

I mean, it's just a fact that the book is usually better than the movie or TV show. If you know someone who can relate, you've got yourself a perfect gift.

7. Kindle Paperwhite

An e-reader definitely takes some adjusting to, but it's worth it for anyone who loves to read. They'll be able to load their Kindle with books before a big trip and get to avoid juggling printed copies during the morning commute.

Still looking for the perfect gift? Be sure to check out Shop TODAY’s 2020 Gift Guide to shop for everyone on your list, including:

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This gift guide was originally published on Dec. 12, 2018.