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Gift Ideas for Those Who Love to Read

Cindy Burnett
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Dinner is Done cookbook

Houstonian Marcia Smart's new cookbook Dinner is Done will make a great gift for the holidays. 

With the holidays approaching, people are turning their attention to gift buying. Books make great gifts for just about anyone, and I have compiled a list grouped by genre or theme to provide guidance to anyone looking for the perfect book for a loved one, close friend, co-worker, or even a gift exchange. A number of my selections were published in 2022 so the odds someone already owns them are lower. 

Bookish Gifts 

  • Sweet Reads Box - This Canadian book subscription box company expanded into the U.S. this year. They pair a great book with sweets and other fun items. 
  • Piper & Ivy – This company sells all sort of cute book tees that I have personally purchased. Their quality is really good.

For the Foodies

  • Dinner is Done by Marcia Smart (she is a Houstonian)
  • A New Take on Cake by Anne Byrn*
  • American Cookie: The Snaps, Drops, Jumbles, Tea Cakes, Bars & Brownies That We Have Loved for Generations by Anne Byrn 

Entertaining Non-Fiction

  • Declassified: A Low-Key Guide to the High-Strung World of Classical Music by Arianna Warsaw-Fan Rauch*
  • Rebel with a Clause: Tales and Tips from a Roving Grammarian by Ellen Jovin*
  • Blood and Ink: An Heiress, A Tabloid War, and the Unsolved Double Murder That Hooked America on True Crime by Joe Pompeo
  • The Movement Made Us: A Father, a Son, and the Legacy of a Freedom Ride by David Dennis, Jr.*
  • Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life by Delia Ephron*
  • Downton Shabby: One American’s Ultimate DIY Adventure Restoring His Family’s English Castle by Hopwood DePree

Fabulous Fiction


  • Take Your Breath Away by Linwood Barclay
  • Only Good People Here by Ashley Flowers and Alex Kiester
  • One of the Girls by Lucy Clarke*
  • The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh*
  • Die Around Sundown by Mark Pryor*

Contemporary fiction:

  • Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan*
  • Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Last Summer on State Street by Toya Wolfe*
  • The Truth about Ben and June by Alex Kiester
  • The Evening Hero by Marie Myung-Ok Lee*

Historical fiction:

  • Marmee by Sarah Miller
  • The Tobacco Wives by Adele Myers*
  • Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez*
  • The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis*
  • The Codebreaker’s Secret by Sara Ackerman
  • Jacqueline in Paris by Ann Mah

For Houstonians/Texans: 

  • Oldest Houston by Lydia Schrandt and Biju Sukumaran
  • Being Texan: Essays, Recipes, and Advice for the Lone Star Way of Life by the editors of Texas Monthly

Note: *I interviewed the authors with the * by their names for my podcast and you can listen here if you want to learn more about their books. The episodes are spoiler free so you can learn more without ruining the book for you.

And before I close – shop local! Houston has some wonderful indie bookstores that are part of the city’s fabric and culture, and they can answer any and all questions about books. If a particular title is not in stock, any of these local bookstores are more than happy to order it for you.

For more book recommendations and bookish thoughts, see Cindy’s monthly Buzz Reads column, her Thoughts from a Page Podcast or follow @ThoughtsFromaPage on Instagram. Find upcoming Conversations from a Page events here.

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