36 ways to treat a reader

A gift guide to the best books to wrap up for your favorite reader this holiday season

This has been an amazing year for books, and whether you like cooking, history, science, movies, or something entirely different, there’s something in here for everyone!

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: A wonderful young-adult novel about a teen who may have to ready himself for a huge change in his life when an email falls into the wrong hands.

In the Country: Stories by Mia Alvar: Beautiful stories centered around men and women from the Philippines, set all over the world.

Heart and Brain: An Awkward Yeti Collection by The Awkward Yeti: Funny, clever comics starring an anthropomorphic heart and brain.

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard: One of today’s foremost classicists brilliantly discusses the always-fascinating history of ancient Rome.

The Amazing Hamweenie Escapes by Patty Bowman: A bored housecat may have his shot at being a world-renowned magician when he escapes his apartment!

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein: A touching, smart memoir from the co-founder of Sleater-Kinney and co-creator of “Portlandia.”

Speed Kings: The 1932 Winter Olympics and the Fastest Men in the World by Andy Bull: The true story of the first American Olympic bobsledding team.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: A letter to a son from a father, trying to help him make sense of racism in America.

The Best American Infographics 2015 by Gareth Cook: A nerdy visual delight for fans of data, charts, and graphs.

The Sherlock Holmes Book by DK Publishing: Simply the coolest book yet on the world’s brainiest sleuth.

Plotted: A Literary Atlas by Andrew DeGraff: Amazing, detailed illustrations of famous locations from beloved books.

The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse: An Extraordinary Edwardian Case of Deception and Intrigue by Piu Marie Eatwell: Perfect for fans of history, “Downton Abbey,” and mysteries.

American Sweepstakes: How One Small State Bucked the Church, the Feds, and the Mob to Usher in the Lottery Age by Kevin Flynn: The fascinating true story of how New Hampshire went against the government and started a lottery.

Gilliamesque: A Pre-posthumous Memoir by Terry Gilliam: A gorgeously illustrated look at the life of one of Hollywood’s weirdest creators.

George by Alex Gino: A wonderful middle-grade novel about wanting to be who you truly are, and how to express it.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff: One of the year’s best novels, following the beginning and end of a marriage.

Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall: A blue crayon mislabeled as red suffers an identity crisis.

How to Be Drawn by Terrance Hayes: More amazing poetry from a National Book Award-winner.

Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins: A children’s book about ducklings that think a curmudgeonly bear is their mother.

Escape from Baghdad! by Saad Hossain: An outstanding novel of police and thieves (and jinn) in the streets of Afghanistan.

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older: A young street muralist’s art starts to come to life.

Science of the Magical: From the Holy Grail to Love Potions to Superpowers by Matt Kaplan: A look at mystical places and magical objects, from both past and present.

Slaughterhouse 90210: by Maris Kreizman: Great pairings of pop culture with literary quotes.

Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lai: Mai must spend her summer vacation accompanying her grandmother to Vietnam.

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji López-Alt: It’s so fun to learn all about food and cooking from a science perspective!

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery: A remarkably touching and fascinating look at one of the world’s smartest creatures.

100 Years of The Best American Short Stories edited by Lorrie Moore and Heidi Pitlor: The 100 best stories culled from a century of
the series.

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma: A magnificent debut novel about four brothers and tragedy in a Nigerian town.

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes: Screenwriter and showrunner Rhimes discusses what happened when she started saying yes to everything.

100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write: On Umbrellas and Sword Fights, Parades and Dogs, Fire Alarms, Children, and Theater by Sarah Ruhl: Quirky, smart, tiny essays on a wide variety of subjects. A delightful book!

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff: Schiff turns a dark period of New England history into a psychological thriller.

Harry Potter Coloring Book by Scholastic: Coloring books are all the rage with muggles right now.

Ordinary Light by Tracy K. Smith: A gorgeous memoir from the award-winning poet.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson: A hilarious and awesome graphic novel about a girl who wants to be a villain’s sidekick.

Vargic’s Miscellany of Curious Maps: Mapping the Modern World by Martin Vargic: Beautifully illustrated, inventive maps that use things from the modern world to represent various subjects.

The Dogist: Photographic Encounters with 1,000 Dogs by Elias Weiss Friedman: This one is self-explanatory. And adorable.