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Mom’s Must Read: 5 Book Picks to Give as Christmas Presents


Mom’s Must Read:
5 Book Picks to Give as Christmas Presents


It’s no secret that books are always on my Christmas wish list. What about yours? If you’re like me, you want to give books as much as you want to receive them. The thought of perusing your local bookstore with a cup of warm cocoa looking for just the right book for Aunt Mildred or your cousin little Robert sounds like the perfect way to spend an afternoon, doesn’t it? 

If you’re like some people, however, and the thought of looking at thousands upon thousands of book titles makes you weepy, I’m here to help. I know it’s tough to choose just the right, especially if you don’t know what’s out, what  to choose, or what the books are about. Following are five books picks to give as Christmas presents. 

1. Today Will Be Different
by Maria Semple


Eleanor knows she’s a mess. But today, she will tackle the little things. She will shower and get dressed. She will have her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby. She won’t swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action-life happens. Today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to fake sick to weasel his way into his mother’s company. It’s also the day Joe has chosen to tell his office-but not Eleanor-that he’s on vacation. Just when it seems like things can’t go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret. 

TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT is a hilarious, heart-filled story about reinvention, sisterhood, and how sometimes it takes facing up to our former selves to truly begin living. 

Here’s a book pick for your sister or your bff. A chick book that is relatable. Maria Semple wrote the bestseller “Where’d You Go Bernadette?” which was a smash hit so I figure the author must know what she’s talking about. And really, sometimes don’t you feel like you’re a mess? I’m all for stories about reinvention and sisterhood so, pour some hot chocolate (it is winter, after all) and read along with your bestie.

Read More: Our Story Begins: The Week Before Christmas


2. The Daily Show: An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart,
the Correspondents, Staff and Guests

by Chris Smith, Jon Stewart

The complete, uncensored history of the award-winning The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, as told by its correspondents, writers, and host. 

For almost seventeen years, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart brilliantly redefined the borders between television comedy, political satire, and opinionated news coverage. It launched the careers of some of today’s most significant comedians, highlighted the hypocrisies of the powerful, and garnered 23 Emmys. Now the show’s behind-the-scenes gags, controversies, and camaraderie will be chronicled by the players themselves, from legendary host Jon Stewart to the star cast members and writers-including Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Steve Carell, Lewis Black, Jessica Williams, John Hodgman, and Larry Wilmore-plus some of The Daily Show‘s most prominent guests and adversaries: John and Cindy McCain, Glenn Beck, Tucker Carlson, and many more.

I bet there’s a smart dude in your life that this book would be perfect for: your kid brother the hipster or Uncle Alan or maybe even your significant other. Who doesn’t love behind the scenes looks? Reading this will be akin to, maybe, being inside Jon Stewart’s head. Really want to know how long it takes them to develop those jokes? Curious as to how many newspapers or news sites they follow? I bet you’ll find out.

Read More: Live, Love, Blend: Are YOU a Christmas Casualty?


3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:
The Original Screenplay by JK Rowling

When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved and internationally bestselling Harry Potter books. Featuring a cast of remarkable characters, this is epic, adventure-packed storytelling at its very best.

So…this book is for everyone, right? Your niece, your own child, or maybe even yourself. Who doesn’t want more Harry Potter? And there’s a movie too, so you never have to be too far away from JK Rowling’s amazing worlds.

Read More: Mom’s Must Read: 5 Holiday Books For Everyone



4. Ada Twist, Scientist:
by Andrea Beaty, David Roberts

Scientist Ada has a boundless imagination and has always been hopelessly curious. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. What would you do with a problem like this? Not afraid of failure, Ada embarks on a fact-finding mission and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery. But, this time, her experiments lead to even more stink and get her into trouble!

Speaking of books for kids, let’s look at Ada Twist, Scientist. Pick the book up because the title rhymes but put it in someone’s stocking because the characters are diverse. And diverse characters are for everyone. Beaty is a well known author; some of my favorites are Madame Chapeau and Rosie Revere Engineer.

Read More: Our Story Begins: Read Aloud To Your Kids


5. Cooking for Jeffrey: 
A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten

Ina’s most personal cookbook yet, Cooking for Jeffrey is filled with the recipes Jeffrey and their friends request most often as well as charming stories from Ina and Jeffrey’s many years together. There are traditional dishes that she’s updated, such as Brisket with Onions and Leeks, and Tsimmes, a vegetable stew with carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and prunes, and new favorites, like Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken and Roasted Salmon Tacos. You’ll also find wonderful new salads, including Maple-Roasted Carrot Salad and Kale Salad with Pancetta and Pecorino. Desserts range from simple Apple Pie Bars to showstoppers like Vanilla Rum Panna Cotta with Salted Caramel. For the first time, Ina has included a chapter devoted to bread and cheese, with recipes and tips for creating the perfect cheese course. With options like Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschettas and Challah with Saffron, there’s something everyone will enjoy.

From satisfying lunches to elegant dinners, Ina has tested these recipes over and over again, so you too can serve them with confidence to the people you love. 

There’s always at least one cookbook on my shopping list each year. They make excellent gifts! Gone are the days when you give a cookbook to someone because they need to learn how to cook. Now cookbooks are read and devoured like good fiction; they’re good reading. Surely there’s a gourmand (aka foodie) in your life who would appreciate a good roasted salmon tacos recipe? Maybe they’ll invite you over to sample their new discoveries?

One can only hope.

Read More: The Doctor Is In: 5 Foods With Hidden Sugar


So here you go. A list of 5 books that are funny, thoughtful, hopeful, and yummy. Hopefully you’ll find a book or two to gift someone special this holiday season. And while you’re at it, pick up a book for yourself, too. Oh, and ask for extra whipped cream in your hot cocoa. Why not?

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