Happy Thursday, book friends! The Goodreads Choice Awards winners have been announced. I always enjoy looking at the winners for the genres I read to see how many of them I’ve read. Even though the awards are really more of a popularity contest than anything, that’s sort of why I find them so interesting. I like to see what people were hearing about and reading the most in any given year, even if I don’t think that always equates to the “best” books of the year.
Let’s take a stroll through the winners from genres that are commonly covered here on Your Book Friend.
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrowtook this category, which I found 0% surprising. It’s actually the only nominee from this category that I’ve read (though a few others are on my TBR), which is one of the reasons I always feel a bit silly voting for the Goodreads Choice Awards.
Emily Henry’s Book Loverssnagged the win in this spot, which is also not that surprising. I’ve read a good handful of the nominees for this category, and I definitely think Book Lovers is up there. It isn’t my favorite of hers, but it still delivers on the bookish love story front.
Memoir & Autobiography
I’m Glad My Mom Died took the top spot here, and I am so pleased to see it. This book surprised the heck out of me and it’s truly such a well-written and raw memoir.
My favorite book of the year, Lessons in Chemistry, snagged the win and it is so very deserved in my opinion. This book has such a unique humor and storytelling mode to it. I’ll be thinking about this reading experience for a while.
This is the only commonly-read category this year where I haven’t read the winner, which is kind of impressive if I’m being honest. I usually have a much lower hit rate for what’s popular. Brené Brown’s Atlas of the Heart took the win here, which makes sense, because people do adore Brené Brown.
Since these are the only genres I reliably read this year, my commentary on the rest won’t be that interesting. I’m pretty happy that many of my favorities wound up winners, even if I’m not that surprised to see them there. If you want to know who won the other categories this year, the full list of winners is available here.
This year, I’m trying something new here at Your Book Friend. Gift guides are incredibly popular this time of year, and I see so many wonderful book lovers putting together lists of bookish goodies and books to gift. How could I possibly miss out on the fun?
I’m trying my hand at some gifting recommendations for your holiday (or any time) shopping pleasure. Gift them to a friend, family, or yourself — no judgement. Broken down by category, with a few suggestions for each, we hope there’s a little something here for (mostly) every book person in your life.
(Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for Bookshop.org and Passion Planner, which earn me a small commission if you choose to purchase. Book of the Month and Authentic Books links are referral codes.)
For the Romance Lover
Here at YBF, we rock a lot of romance. These titles are our recent faves.
Nora Goes Off Scriptby Annabel Monaghan. The story of a divorced screenwriter who lives her life under a strict routine, until her screenplay about the end of her marriage gets made into a movie and her life gets turned upside down. Strong female protagonist who’s also a single mother, with a love interest who’s an actor looking for a quieter life.
Lucy On the Wild Sideby Kerry Rea. Lucy wants to be promoted to senior keeper at the Columbus Zoo. But first, she has to learn to live with the cameras as a popular show films her work with the gorillas. Oh, and she just might fall in love and learn a little bit about herself in the process.
For the Home Cook
Learn to bake sourdough or throw together some vegan eats.
Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cookingby Dana Shultz. One of the first cookbooks I bought after college, this collection of plant-forward recipes is still one of my go-tos. A great variety of vegan recipes that are mostly gluten free and come together relatively quickly, without too many dishes.
For the One Who Already Has all the Books
Their shelves are full to bursting and they probably already have that book you want to recommend. Try these book-adjacent gifts instead.
A bookish candle from Frostbeard Studios. Every year around the holidays, I have to grab a Christmas at the Burrow candle from this shop. Their scents are all inspired by books.
Book journals from Quirky Cup Collective or Little Inklings Designs. These are both beautifully designed from small businesses, and are a wonderful way to keep a record of your reading life. I love seeing videos of people using them on Instagram, even I have personally failed out of book journaling attempts several times.
For the Neighborhood Witch
For the friend who always insists you do X or Y because of your star sign, these books might hit the spot.
Kitchen Table Tarot by Melissa Cynova. Whether you’re just starting to learn how to read Tarot or are looking for a refresher, this book is a great overview of the cards and how to read them.
Your Spiritual Almanacby Joey Hulin. A guide to living with the seasons. Each month includes different practices for movement, meditation, reflection, and seasonal foods to nourish you.
For Your Planner-Obsessed Friend
Planners are pretty personal so you may not want to go out on a limb and get them an actual planner, but that doesn’t mean you can’t shop for some accessories.
Planner stickers from Chelsea Brown Designs. I love these stickers. I have changed the planner size I use twice now just to make sure I can still use these to beautify my planner. Is there higher praise than that? I think not. Special shoutout to this book lover layout pictured above, which is perfect for that bookish planner fan.
Planner markers, stickers, and more from Passion Planner.Personally, I’m team #PashFam, and I love grabbing their sticker books and highlighters to beautify my planner experience. As an ambassador, I do have a discount code to throw your way —use code AMANDAO876 to save 10%.
For the Friend Who Just Really Likes Mail
Subscription boxes, anyone? Here are a few book boxes to consider (I subscribe to both, so I know what I’m talking about).
Book of the Month subscription. Just the book, without the frills. Your friend gets to pick the book they want each month and it’ll be delivered right to their door in the iconic blue box you keep seeing on Instagram.
Authentic Books single box or subscription. This box is more of an experience, with hand-picked items to accompany the book and engage your senses. A candle, some tea or coffee, soap or lotion, and a custom playlist for the book are all standard items that often appear in these boxes.
Could I go on? Almost certainly. There are so many great books and bookish gifts out there to give to yourself or a loved one. Hopefully this gives you a great start on making your list and checking it twice!