Screw the Scented Candle, Read My Holiday Book List

So it’s that time of year again when the coupons to Yankee Candle start pouring in and it suddenly seems like a good idea to buy your boss/friend/neighbor a giant glass jug that smells like cinnamon. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. (I’m talking to you, mom.) But in case you’re looking for alternatives, here’s a list of books I’ve read in the past year that I think are gift worthy.

By this, of course, I mean newborns. I’ve got a seven-month-old, so expect Santa to be loading up her bookshelves. Personally, I prefer large format books with bright awesome pictures and/or rhyming patterns. So here goes:
1. Puff, the Magic Dragon– illustrations by Eric Puybaret. I recently discovered Eric Puybaret and I LOVE LOVE LOVE his artwork. Hence my next pick…
2. The Night Before Christmas – also illustrated by Eric Puybaret. Sooooo pretty.
3. Llama Llama Red Pajama– Anna Dewdney. At this point, I can recite this book from memory. And whenever my baby cries, if I say, “Little llama don’t you know, mamma llama loves you so…” she stops fussing. Can’t beat that.
4. Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale– Mo Willems. This is the answer to Llama Llama, which is all about the mamma. Knuffle gives it up to daddy. Mo Willems is also a DEAR BULLY contributor, very cool.

1. Hunger Games– Suzanne Collins. If you know anyone who hasn’t read this yet, buy it. Once the movie comes out in March, it’ll be the next Harry Potter and you can say you introduced them to it.
2. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children– Ransom Riggs. Just to warn you, there’s time travel in this. I didn’t realize that when I started the book, and it sort of felt like aliens landed in Chapter 6. But putting that aside, teens (particularly boys) will love this. And how awesome is the name “Ransom Riggs?”
3. I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President– Josh Lieb. Very funny book from a writer who brings you the Daily Show. Great for boys, but girls will definitely laugh too.

1. Firefly Lane– Kristin Hannah. For the sappy ladies among us. I read this while I was pregnant and probably shed a few more tears than was necessary, but in a good way.
2. Water for Elephants– Sara Gruen. I know I’m late to the party, but this was hands-down my favorite book of the year. I also read it to my baby while she was teeny tiny and couldn’t understand anything, so it holds a special place in my heart.
3. The Help– Kathryn Stockett. I’m recommending both the book and the movie here, because they’re both amazing. Rarely does a movie do a book like this justice, but this one really did.


I’ve got nothing here. My husband doesn’t read for pleasure (I know, and he married an author) and my father reads novels in Spanish, so if anyone wants to recommend something, I’m open to suggestions.

Merry Christmahanakwanzika, everyone! And a happy New Year with bright new beginnings.

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