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11 Book Recommendations for Every Type of Person in Your Life

The holiday season is here which means it’s the time for gift-giving to your loved ones. To separate ourselves from the hyper-digital age we’ve found ourselves in during the past 20 months, a good book makes a great gift for transporting to a world filled with potentially sad feelings, romance, or knowledge. You can take a trip to your local bookstore (shop small!) to find the perfect novel for your loved ones. I visited Trident Booksellers and Café on Newbury Street in Boston and learned about these amazing books for every type of person in your life.

The chef

Salt Fat Acid Heat: Written by Samin Nosrat and illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton, this cookbook takes you through the four essentials in any recipe: salt, fat, acid, and heat. It’s both a recipe book and deep dive into those elements of cooking.

Dessert Person: If you used to watch Bon Appétit’s “Gourmet Makes,” Clair Saffitz’s Dessert Person will be the best book to bring out that sweet tooth, especially since we’re in the season of holiday pies and cookies.

the hopeless romantic

The Charm Offensive: One of the most popular romance novels this year was Allison Cochrun’s The Charm Offensive. The story follows the on-set romance of a reality show’s producer Dev and a contestant named Charlie.

How to Find Love in a Bookshop: Veronica Henry’s novel is such a sweet look at bookstores for the book and romance-lover in your life.

the college student

Letter to a Young Female Physician: Suzanne Koven writes a humorous book on going into the medical field as a woman. This book is perfect for the med students in your life.

The Defining Decade: For the student who just entered their 20s or who is already in the thick of it, Meg Jay’s The Defining Decade provides an outlook on life during this tumultuous time that’s difficult to prepare for — the supposed best and most important decade in your life.

the creative type

Hill House Living: If you’re familiar with influencer Paula Sutton’s Instagram page @hillhousevintage, her book is the perfect insight into a new creative life for the artist in your life. She gives many tips about interior design and living the cottagecore, vintage lifestyle.

The Artist’s Way: Julia Cameron shares her tips for bringing out your creative side. With end-of-the-semester burnout, we probably haven’t been as inspired as we would like to be, so Cameron’s guide is a great first step to more creativity. 


Crying in H-Mart:

A note from Nia T., a bookseller at Trident –

“Michelle Zauner wrote the memoir kids of color with moms of color have been waiting for all along. It’s a story of the process of grief, understanding your mother once you reach adulthood, and a need to connect to a non-white culture in an environment that doesn’t nourish it enough. Through the most descriptive food imagery and heartbreakingly accurate language I’ve ever read in a non-fiction work, Zauner paints a gorgeous portrait of the ways her mother continues to live through her.”

All About Love: bell hooks’ All About Love looks into how love interconnects us all, and how we express it from childhood to adulthood to our friends and family. It’s perfect for the friend who is always taking care of the group and letting them know that they are appreciated.

the actual parents

Thinking, Fast and Slow: For the analyst in your life (who might be one of your parents), Daniel Kahneman’s book takes a look into how we make decisions and think about the world around us.

Nightbitch: A note from Courtney F., co-owner of Trident –

Nightbitch is one of those novels that has you underlining passages and looking for a nearby ear to read sentences to aloud. While the plot sounds insane — a mother turns into a dog and finds her true nature — the book has more truth about motherhood and womanhood than any parenting book. After putting it down, I immediately wanted to share it with someone else, mother or not.”

the jokester

Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes: This essay collection by Phoebe Robinson is a bright and comedic outlook on life that will give the comedian in your life a good laugh.

Wow, No Thank You: Samantha Irby’s collection of essays follows her trying to figure out her role in the world and in our ever-changing culture in the most hilarious way.

the introspective type

Trick Mirror:

A note from Allizon S., bookseller at Trident –

“Few people have written cultural criticism of the early 21st century as insightful and as compelling as Jia Tolentino has. From the origins of social networking and contemporary feminism to the advent of the disruptor economy and the alarming efficiency of the chopped salad, the New Yorker staff writer’s first collection of essays is an autopsy of the oft-discussed but rarely understood anxieties and illusions of a generation of young people coming to terms with a social, political, and economic future different from that which they were promised. Trick Mirror is a must-read debut from a talented author to watch.”

How to Do Nothing: A note from Allison S., bookseller at Trident –

“One of the great questions of the 21st century so far is what social media, the demands of capitalism, and an increasingly automated economy are doing (or have already done) to our brains. How are productivity culture and social networking distancing and distracting us from each other, ourselves, and the earth on which we stand? In How To Do Nothing, Odell blends art, criticism, theory, and personal narrative to challenge how we respond to the monopolization of our attention. This rich, prescient book is an insightful manifesto for the internet age. (Bonus tip: this book pairs well with Trick Mirror, by Jia Tolentino)!”

the outdoorsy type

Braiding Sweetgrass: Botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer tells us how the living world of plants and animals can give us more insight into the world that we might not be privy to. Kimmerer uses her indigenous heritage to share this side of science and sustainability so we can be more connected to the flora and fauna of the world.

Fuzz: Fuzz is perfect for the environmentalist in your life. Mary Roach investigates cases of animals interacting with the human world in ways closer to what we may think is unlawful but are just animals going about their days. 

the Bibliophile

Beautiful World Where Are You:

A note from Hannah Z., bookseller at Trident –

“One of the best things about Sally Rooney is that she can say so much without saying much at all. It’s one of my favorite aspects of her writing, and Beautiful World, Where Are You is no exception. Through email exchanges between best friends and conversations between them and their respective lovers, Rooney masterfully portrays the dysfunction and complexities within these relationships, themselves, and the world around them. While this book is quieter than her previous two novels, it’s another fabulous book by the queen of somewhat dislikeable characters that we all root for. If you loved her other two novels, you won’t be disappointed.”


A note from Allison S., bookseller at Trident –

“The short stories in Afterparties read more like love letters than fiction, each one an intimate and attentive portrait of daily life in the Cambodian-American communities in which Veasna So was raised. The set-ups are simple — two cousins parting ways for college, a father and son struggling to keep their car repair shop afloat, and a young man ushering the passage of his father’s spirit to the next life, to name a few — but rendered in So’s sincere, fluid, and often funny prose, these stories are anything but ordinary. Afterparties is the most captivating book I’ve read in years, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.”

the poet

Black Girl Call Home: Jasmine Mans’ collection of poems tells her story of race, gender, and working through her identity. 

Postcolonial Love Poem: 2021’s Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry is a collection filled with hope as channeled through love for a country that seems to want to erase Black and brown stories.

This holiday season, visit your local bookstore (like Trident in Boston) to find yourself and your loved ones some new reads!

Receive a FREE Trident tote with an online purchase of $25 or more on www.tridentbookscafe.com with the code “hercampus”. Code expires on December 31, 2021 and Is not applicable when purchasing a gift card. Purchases can be shipped anywhere in the US or picked up in store. Happy Holidays!

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The Her Campus National Editors write about products we love and think you’ll love too. Her Campus has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase. All products are in stock and all prices are accurate as of publication.

Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.
Madison is studying journalism and international relations at BU. She's from Washington state, loves drinking tea, and watching Marvel movies. Check out her portfolio and blog at https://dontmakelies.com
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