Penguin Bookshop Holiday Gift Guide

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Dear Friends,

The Penguin team has put together a list of books that will undoubtedly make good gifts for the readers in your life. There's something for everyone! If you are still stumped, you can always give a gift card

Important Note: Whether you decide to shop in-person or online, we urge you to do so early! We are anticipating shipping delays from publishers and warehouses, and cannot guarantee delivery before Christmas for late orders. If you have any questions at all about the availability of a book, please do not hesitate to give us call or reach out to us via email.

Many thanks for your continued support! We're wishing you a safe and happy holiday season. 

The Penguin Team


Penguin Bookshop's Holiday Gift Guide

 Mary's PicksBobbi's Picks | Leila's Picks | Gus' PicksAmanda's Picks | Jack's Picks | Agnes' Picks

Mary's Recommendations


The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

"There is a reason why this book won a Pulitzer prize. This book follows a young boy who is doing everything right and eager to go to college. On a hot afternoon he accepts a ride and his life is forever changed. Read this book cover to cover please!"   Purchase


We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder and a Half Century of Silence by Becky Cooper

"This book reads like a great "who done it". Harvard campus life, a professor who may be a bit more involved with his students., silent clubs, and a reporter who cannot stop until the entire story has been brought to light."   Purchase


The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

"Never have I read one book that has pulled together so many facts about the United States government and their lack of equality and justice for people of color. This book is for everyone. This book is for those who need to know how, when, and by who have passed laws or stopped laws to make people of color equal. "   Purchase


I Promise by LeBron James & Nina Mata

"A totally sweet book about being a parent and helping their child be an equal as they grow."   Purchase


Bobbi's Recommendations


Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

"In her highly anticipated follow-up to the many generational epic Homegoing, Gyasi focuses on one family struggling to overcome addiction, loss, and mental illness. It is a beautiful and hopeful novel of the battle between science and religion and moving on from the past."   Purchase


Ordinary Hazards by Anna Bruno

"Ordinary Hazards by Anna Bruno is a debut novel that has a little bit of everything. It’s part mystery, with a tragedy, a love story, complicated and memorable characters and good writing at a quick pace."   Purchase


Why We're Polarized by Ezra Klein

"Why We're Polarized by Ezra Klein is an enlightening read, whichever side of the aisle you identify with. No party is blameless in Klein’s analysis. It won’t make you change your political affiliation, but it may give you insight as to what motivates us to identify the way we do. (And it may be helpful when conversing with family and friends who voted for the other guy. ;))"   Purchase


Leila's Recommendations


The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

"The Last Lecture is a great feel-good read, and it's perfect as one reflects on 2020 and thinks about their goals for the new year. It is a bit sad, but the message is insightful and inspiring. "   Purchase


I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

"I'll Be Gone in the Dark took me 2-3 days to finish! I love true crime, so this was the perfect book for me and any true crime lovers. The story was enticing and well written."   Purchase


Big Friendship: How We Keep Eachother Close by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman

"Big Friendship: How We Keep Eachother Close was the perfect read for the pandemic. Less social interaction and reading this book, helped me appreciate and reflect on my current and past relationships."   Purchase


The Penderwicks Series by Jeanne Birdsall

"The Penderwicks Series is an amazing read for children in middle grade. I thoroughly enjoyed reading these books when I was that age and think it's the perfect mix of family, adventure, and fun."   Purchase

Gus' Recommendations 


Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald

"W.G. Sebald is the author of some of the most important works of prose in the last century, including his final novel, Austerlitz. It's a beautiful book that explores one man's journey to unearth his own childhood history, which has been lost in the violence of World War II and the Holocaust. It's a must-read, and I highly recommend it!"   Purchase


A Promised Land by Barack Obama

"While this book is likely to be on many recommendation lists, I think it's too good not to be included here! While Obama's newest memoir is a fascinating look into his presidency, it's also a great literary work in its own right. He's the most literary president since Abraham Lincoln. How could you pass that up!?"   Purchase


Chelsea Girls by Eileen Myles

"I'll admit I have a penchant for reading books that were published over twenty years ago. But Eileen Myles' memoir/novel/short story collection (yes, it is all three) will blow you away. The book explores Myles years growing up in Cambridge and then New York City, and the writing is dynamic and powerful, fit for Myles' rebellious persona. Check it out! "   Purchase


Amanda's Recommendations


Dessert Person by Claire Saffitz

"Rife with recipes for both sweet and savory bakes, this book is the ultimate gift for the baker in your life. Claire has handily included a time-table index at the front of this book, so you can always choose a recipe that fits with your schedule. Her Salted Nut Tart with Rosemary makes for a wonderful holiday treat."   Purchase


Good Drinks by Julia Bainbridge

"Whether you're planning ahead for Dry January or are looking to detox from 2020, this book will undoubtedly come in handy. While these recipes may be non-alcoholic, they are guaranteed to lift your spirits."   Purchase


Best of Me by David Sedaris

"If there were one author I would want to be trapped on a desert island with, it would be David Sedaris. His stories of his lovable yet dysfunctional family are the ultimate salve for pandemic-induced gloom. Best of Me is a smartly curated compilation of his best stories from over the years. Hot Tip: If you enjoy audiobooks, I would highly recommend listening to this on David does his own narration! "   Purchase


Jack's Recommendations 


The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

"I loved this book as a younger kid. It has everything you want in a compelling story: Action, interesting characters, and an inventive world you can get lost in. Plus, it has a cold and wintery environment that will get you in the snowy spirit."   Purchase


Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

"I read this book in the span of a few hours, and I can say that it is very easy to fall into. With twists and turns around every bend, suspicious characters and an isolated environment, this work by renowned mystery novelist Agatha Christie will keep you guessing every step of the way. And with its snowy backdrop, it will get you feeling ready for the bitterness of the winter season. Perfect to curl up with on a chilly afternoon."   Purchase


Wonder by R.J. Palacio

"This book is one of the most heartbreaking and uplifting children’s novel that you can find. With lovable and hateable characters, a complex and evolving plot, and a beautiful message perfect for the holiday season, this book will give you the warmest feeling inside."   Purchase

Agnes' Recommendations 


Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

"One of the most powerful non-fiction books i’ve ever read. Breaks down the racial caste system of america and gives a haunting insight into the tragic truth of our American history. " Purchase


Read the Classics edited by Matthew Doucet

"Perfect gift for any lover of classic literature. Takes you on a beautiful walk through many excerpts of the classics, such as The Odyssey, Hamlet, Leviathan, and many more. This compilation of excerpts gives the reader a wonderful insight into why we communicate the way we do. "   Purchase


Daisy and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

"A very well written novel, that once you pick up is hard to put back down. This work of fiction follows Daisy the main character, and her life growing up under the harsh lights of rock and roll. The characters speak to the reader is a unique and creative manner. In a series of interviews from each character that makes you root for daisy as she navigates her life in the public eye. "   Purchase