Hello guys, gals, and nonbinary pals! I come to you today from the celebration of That Bookshelf Bitch’s third anniversary. Can you believe? Let’s all give my girl Shealea some props and kudos for being such a mainstay in the world of book blogging!
As part of her celebration, she’s currently hosting #Project14Lists, a book blogging event from December 18 to 31 with the goal of posting at least one bookish lists per day – and she’s invited a ton of fellow book bloggers to join her.
Yours truly is part of this team of intrepid bloggers, but because I am a coward with a shit ton of deadlines, I committed to five lists by the end of 2019 – to be posted on the 21st (that’s today!), 22nd, 28th, 29th, and 31st of December!
In the spirit of the season, today’s list will be all about the bookish gifts you can get for your family and friends. All of these books are from my 2018 reading list, so you can bet your bottom dollar they’re 100% Kate-approved! Strap in kids, get your Amazon wish lists ready, and take note of what you can get for the various loved ones in your life! (Or, alternately, you could decide which books from this list you really, really want and start dropping hints!)
Is your giftee obsessed with action flicks?
Jade City by Fonda Lee is one hell of a rollercoaster ride packed with gangsters, fancy cars, jade jewelry, and Asian-inspired myths and legends, and is all about love, family, honor, and urban warfare. In a world where jade grants people amazing, superhuman abilities, the stakes are high when two clans are pitted against each other in a raging battle for control of the city of Janloon. For a giftee who’s into movies with car chases, explosions, and gunfights galore, you can’t go wrong with this well-crafted masterpiece!
Might your giftee be a hopeless romantic?
Get them a copy of Mango Summer by Agay Llanera (which I reviewed here!). It’s full of lush imagery about the Filipino countryside, small town magic, and features one of the most well-written slow burn romances I’ve ever read. This novel is all about a famous mango farm whose owners, according to legend, must keep having children in order for the trees to be bear fruit. Singleton Fiona, the farm’s owner, feels the pressure – but will she bow to it, or find happiness at her own pace?
For a younger sister or cousin who’d like a good dose of girl power:
Seafire by Natalie C. Parker and Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo (which I reviewed here!) feature some strong, independent women who take no shit. In Seafire, the Mors Navis is a pirate ship completely crewed by women that have suffered at the hands of the warlord Aric Athair and his army of Bullets; while in Wonder Woman: Warbringer, legendary Amazon Princess Diana teams up with Alia Keralis, one of the last living descendants of Helen of Troy, to end a thousand-year-old curse. With female characters who are both cinnamon rolls and badass AF, you can be sure that these two books are perfect gifts for the budding feminist in your life!
Know a high fantasy fan looking for something new?
Why not recommend Helen Scheurer’s Heart of Mist and Reign of Mist to them? When I participated in Shealea’s Reign of Mist book tour, I found myself utterly captivated by Helen’s imagination, storytelling ability, and three-dimensional characters. If your giftee is into European-inspired fantasy but is tired of the same old boring white as hell books about elves and dwarves, pick them up a copy of Heart of Mist or Reign of Mist (or both!) for Christmas and watch them get sucked into this world of magic, heartbreak, love, and war (while cackling maniacally in the background).
For a badass single mom:
Chasing Waves by Bianca Mori and Dare to Love by C.P. Santi feature strong, independent single moms who learn to love again, not to mention some dreamboat love interests who have what it takes to date someone with kids. Whether the single mom in question is your own or a friend of yours, they’ll surely appreciate these two books that drive home the lesson that everyone is deserving of romance, whether or not you have kids!
(P.S. – I got these books for my mom!)
For your younger sister or brother:
I recently ended my first ever blog tour (AHHHHH!) which was for Everlasting Nora, Filipino author Marie Cruz’s debut novel (check out my review and my author interview!). Although meant for middle grade readers, the novel tackles a very serious, systemic problem in the country: poverty. It tells the story of Nora and her mother, who are among the thousands of informal settlers that call the Manila North Cemetery their home. Gift it to a younger sister or brother to get them started on a path to reading, or simply to widen their awareness of their privilege and the suffering of others.
For your coworker who doesn’t have that much time to read:
Or maybe you’re that workaholic that doesn’t have much time to read? In which case, pick up A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, an anthology composed of retellings of Asian myths and legends. Read one of the short stories while on the train or bus to work. Read another over your afternoon cup of coffee. Read one on the way home. Tah-dah! You’ve read an entire book!
Have you got a Shealea in your life (a.k.a. the book blogger currently binging on Asian fantasy)?
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao and Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan (read my reviews here and here) are two of my favorite recently published Asian-inspired fantasy novels, and if you’ve got a book blogger, a booktuber, a bookstagrammer, or just generally a person that enjoys reading in your life who you think would a) appreciate more diverse reads in their life, or b) really needs to hop on the diversity train asap, why not start them out with these two gems?
And there you have it! My list of ideal bookish Christmas gifts featuring my 2018 reads!
Let me hear from you by sounding off in the comments!
☕ What books are you getting your loved ones this holiday season?
☕ Will you be getting any of the books I’ve recommended?
☕ Any other bookish Christmas gifts you’d like to recommend?
See you next time for my second post in #Project14Lists!