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:
- Book gifts seen on TODAY
- Best coffee table book gifts
- Best cookbook gifts
- Best memoir book gifts
- Best fiction book gifts
- Best inspirational book gifts
- Best coloring book gifts
- More gift ideas for book lovers
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
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
This beautiful book compiles 18 years of photographs that take the elegant art form out of the studio and into the streets.
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.
This book is both beautiful and practical, making it the perfect gift for anyone who just moved into a new house.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
This is just too dang cute — and it's basically the perfect gift for everyone in your book club.
This bestselling T-shirt comes in five different colors and is available in sizes S-XXL.
If you know someone with a reading nook that needs a little sprucing up, this print would be great to set the scene.
For the person whose love for reading is only matched by their love of coffee, this mug would make a practical present.
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.
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:
- 33 white elephant gift ideas that no one will want to give up
- Calling all foodies! Here are 53 gifts every home chef wants this year
- It's not too late! 47 last-minute gifts that'll ship in time for Christmas
- 27 gift ideas for the aspiring home decorator
- 23 gifts we can't wait to give friends, family and more this year
This gift guide was originally published on Dec. 12, 2018.