THE GIFT OF BOOKS: MY 2016 RECOMMENDATIONS 🎄

In keeping with a tradition that I started last year, here are some of my favorite books I've read and would totally consider giving as gifts to people I love... you know, if those people shared my love of reading. 😬
  1. •
    Adam Silvera— More Happy Than Not
    Mark my words: Adam Silvera's name will one day roll off the tongue in the same breath as Judy Blume, S.E. Hinton, Lois Lowry, Sarah Dessen, Stephen Chbosky, Gayle Forman, Laurie Halse Anderson, etc when discussing the great writers in YA.
  2. •
    Carol Burnett— In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox
    If you're like me and kind of obsessed with Carol Burnett and the show that bore her name for eleven years, then this is a must read. And even if you're not, I still recommend it for its recollections of one of the greatest shows to ever grace American television.
  3. •
    Chrissy Teigen— Cravings
    Not only did it inspire two of my li.sts here, I've used it so much that I've actually managed to memorize some of the recipes.
  4. •
    Claudia Gray— Bloodline (Star Wars)
    A nice bridge that helps cover some of the time between the end of Return of the Jedi and the beginning of The Force Awakens.
  5. •
    David Arnold— Kids of Appetite
    If I could climb to the tallest of buildings and shout my praises for all to hear, I would because this one is just. that. GOOD.
  6. •
    Gloria Steinem— My Life on the Road
    I admit I'm a bit bias because I already held a great deal of admiration for Ms. Steinem but even so, it was fascinating to read how she went from the backseat of her family's car to talking circles in India to becoming the feminist icon we know her as today.
  7. •
    Jessica Julius and Maggie Malone— The Art of Moana
    A gorgeous behind the scenes look at the making of what just might be the best film Disney's put out in years. (Warning: the book does contain some movie spoilers.)
  8. •
    Katie Heaney— Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without A Date
    I read this every year— usually around Valentine's Day— and every year I found myself laughing just as hard as I did the first time I ever read it.
  9. •
    Lauren Graham— Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between)
    A quick, easy read that had me falling in love with Lauren Graham all over again.
  10. •
    Mara Wilson— Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame
    Funny, raw, witty, and honest— this collection of essays not only left me with a new level of respect for Mara Wilson, but wishing I could be her friend as well.
  11. •
    Markus Zusak— The Book Thief
    An old favorite and recommendation staple that I can sum up in a single word: perfection.
  12. •
    Nicola Yoon— The Sun Is Also A Star
    I admit I was pretty apprehensive going into this, not because I'd had a bad experience with Ms. Yoon's previous work, but because of how head over heels I'd gone for Everything, Everything. But by the end of the first chapter, my hesitations had been both soothed and forgotten and what I found was a story that left my heart an aching mess of beauty, brokenness, and hope long after I'd read the final word.
  13. •
    Nina LaCour— Everything Leads to You
    I am madly and deeply in love with this book, especially because it's filled with beautiful quotes like this: "Because in the conversation beneath this one, what we're really saying is I am an imperfect person. Here are my failures. Do you want me anyway?"
  14. •
    Renée Ahdieh— The Rose and the Dagger
    One of the sequels that I loved as much, if not more than, the first book in the duology/series.
  15. •
    @sarahdessen— Once and For All (Releases June 6, 2017)
    Have I read this one yet? Well, no. But even so, I have enough faith in Sarah and her writing to go ahead and recommend pre-ordering it. (And if you need something to hold you over until then, allow to recommend any and all of her twelve previous novels.)
  16. •
    Vivian Howard— Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South
    Thanks to the craziness of life, the holidays and my own general glum, I haven't actually tackled any of the recipes in this yet. That said, the book is gorgeous just to look at and I've already gone through an entire pack of post-it flags marking recipes I plan to dive into after the first of the year. (I'll also tell you that what I tried from her food truck the day of the book signing was delicious.)
  17. •
    And just in case you want to check out last year's installment: