When it comes to bookworms, there’s usually no better gift to get them than a nice piece of writing. But with the endless options out there, it might be hard to narrow down the list. These 18 nonfiction books will make things easier—especially since there’s something for just about anyone in your life.
For the true crime buff, Trials of the Century by Mark J. Phillips & Aryn Z. Phillips is a great go-to gift. What made Sam Sheppard’s case, the Lindbergh baby, and Charles Manson leap onto the headlines? This book looks at those famous cases and more.Wrap it up with I Will Find You by Joanna Connors, a story of a reporter who finally reveals a crime she had to hide, and the man who committed it.
The new homeowner will love opening Detroit Hustle: A Memoir of Love, Life & Home by Amy Haimerl. It’s the story of a couple who bought a fixer-upper in one of the country’s most economically hard-hit areas, and how four walls can become a place to call home. Wrap it up with Detroit Resurrected by Nathan Bomey, a book about the city, its bankruptcy and its path toward getting back on track.
Is there someone on your gift list who loves nothing more than to be scared? The one who longs for a different holiday? If so, The Monster Book by Nick Redfern is what you want to gift. Using quick chapters and scattered photos, this book informs, entertains and scares. Pair it with Real Visitors, Voices from Beyond, and Parallel Dimensions by Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger. Ooooooh, then shiver!
The person on your gift list with the most wanderlust will love having The Handy California Answer Book by Kevin S. Hile. It’s a book filled with fun-to-know facts about California in a Q&A format that contains everything you need to know. If the New England is where your giftee is headed, look for The Handy Boston Answer Book by Samuel Willard Crompton.
The new mother on your gift list—or, for that matter, the experienced mom—will love Navigating Live: Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me by Margaux Bergen. It’s a meditation on things to know, and things to share. Gift it up with Corsets and Codpieces by Karen Bowman, a book about the things we wore (and wish mom had warned us about) throughout history.
For the woman who’s just about had enough of everything this year, you’ll want to wrap up The Bitch is Back, a collection of essays edited by Cathi Hanauer. This no-nonsense sequel to The Bitch in the House is just as empowering and strong as its predecessor, and it’s perfect for the strong woman on your list. Also look for Face Value by Autumn Whitefield-Madrano, an insightful, intriguing look at how our looks shape the way we live, work, play and mate.
Is there someone on your list who’s about to retire? Then they’ll value Get What’s Yours for Medicare by Philip Moeller. It’s a handy reference guide to help get the best coverage for the best price.
The science fan on your gift list will love Death on Earth by Jules Howard. It’s a straightforward book on life, life expectancy and the deaths of creatures of all kinds, including parasites and more. Bonus: it’s not just about dead things. Add to it The Point Is by Lee Eisenberg, a book on who we are, why we’re here and how we can make the most of life.
For the know-it-all on your list, Head in the Cloud by William Poundstone makes a great gift. Why, Poundstone asks, do we know celebrities but not mathematics? When we can look things up online, why should we know things in our heads? You can’t go wrong with this gift if you also wrap up A Field Guide to Lies by Daniel J. Levitin, a book about critical thinking and believing (or not) everything you see online.
Your outdoorsman is going to leap when he unwraps The American Fisherman by Willie Robertson and William Doyle. This is a look at America’s fishermen—anglers, in particular—through history, competition and the dinner table.