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Bookish Holiday Gift Ideas

Cindy Burnett
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Big Heart Little Stove

Big Heart Little Stove by Erin French is a good gift idea for anyone who loves food. 

With the holidays rapidly approaching, people are turning their attention to gift buying. Books make fabulous presents for almost 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. My selections were published this year so the odds that someone already owns them are lower. 

Bookish gifts for those who love to read:

  • The Common’s 2023 Author Postcard Auction: This one-of-a-kind online auction gives book lovers around the world the opportunity to bid on handwritten, personalized postcards from their favorite writers. There are so many authors participating including Ann Patchett, Anthony Doerr, Anne Tyler, Emily Henry, and many more.
  • Pressed-flower bookmarks: These beautifully crafted bookmarks are my new favorites for gifts for my book-loving friends.

These books will appeal to those who love food:

  • A Gift From the Heart by Johnny Carrabba (great for Houstonians)
  • Big Heart Little Stove by Erin French
  • Bruno’s Cookbook: Recipes from a French Country Kitchen by Martin Walker

This grouping includes an eclectic mix of entertaining non-fiction books: 

  • Being Henry: The Fonz…. and Beyond by Henry Winkler
  • Trail of the Lost: The Relentless Search to Bring Home the Missing Hikers of the Pacific Crest Trail by Andrea Lankford
  • The Hank Show: How a House-Painting, Drug-Running DEA Informant Built the Machine That Rules Our Lives by Mackenzie Funk*
  • Opposable Thumbs: How Siskel & Ebert Changed Movies Forever by Matt Singer*
  • Hitchcock’s Blondes by Laurence Leamer*
  • There Will Be Fire: Margaret Thatcher, the IRA, and Two Minutes That Changed History by Rory Carroll*

Cindy Burnett shares a list of fiction titles that would make great gifts, including The Bitter Past by Bruce Borgos, The Spy Coast by Tess Gerritsen, and Lucky Girl by Irene Muchemi-Ndiritu. 

Here are some fabulous fiction titles that will make great gifts:


  • Murder in the Family by Cara Hunter*
  • The Bitter Past by Bruce Borgos*
  • The Spy Coast by Tess Gerritsen*
  • Better the Blood by Michael Bennett
  • The White Lady by Jacqueline Winspear

Contemporary Fiction:

  • Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
  • The Connellys of County Down by Tracey Lange*
  • Lucky Girl by Irene Muchemi-Ndiritu*
  • Charm City Rocks by Matthew Norman
  • The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise by Colleen Oakley*
  • The Keeper of Stories by Sally Page*

Historical Fiction:

  • The House Is on Fire by Rachel Beanland*
  • The House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson*
  • Homecoming by Kate Morton
  • The Spectacular by Fiona Davis*
  • Silent Came the Monster: A Novel of the 1916 Jersey Shore Shark Attacks by Ann Hill Hearth
  • The Berry Pickers by Amanda Peters*
  • The Madstone by Elizabeth Crook*

*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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