Christmas Gift Reads

Christmas Gift Reads

Photo by  Inside Wanderer

You’ve seen this flow chart floating through the interwebs, right? The gift giving flow chart for book lovers. It all leads to this: if you are giving me a gift this year, make it a book! The image came to mind while I compiled my Christmas list for my siblings’ not-so-Secret Santa gift exchange: I simply sent my sister my Goodreads list.

Maybe you have one of those book lovers on your Christmas list or maybe you’re a book lover yourself, wondering which fantastic book you should give or ask for. Here are a few of my favourites from this year recommended to you for optimal gift giving. Merry Christmas, friends!

Courage, Dear Heart: Letters to a Weary World

written by Rebecca Reynolds

This book is that letter or email from your best friend saying just the words that you need to let you know that you’re not alone while also tethering you to truth (I hope you have a friend like that). Rebecca writes each chapter as a letter: A Letter to the Fearful, A Letter to the Homesick, A Letter to Those Living in Chaos. Through poetic personal narrative and weaving in other stories, l this book captures the human experience of living in tension and finding joy and aching for something we cannot see.

Buy this for: Your friend who needs to know they are loved and not alone.

Every Moment Holy

written by Douglas Kaine McKelvey
illustrated by Ned Bustard

If there’s a book I picked up the most this year it would be this one. Every Moment Holy is a book of liturgies - written prayers for specific moments. The book itself is beautifully bound making it lovely to keep out on a table within easy reach for just the right occasion. There are prayers of celebration (“To Mark the Start of the Christmas Season”) and prayers of petition (“For the Morning of a Medical Procedure”) along with prayers of lament (“For Those Fearing Failure”). Daily, I am delighted by the prayer “For the Ritual of Morning Coffee” and “Upon Feeling the Pleasance of a Warm Shower”). These liturgies have been teaching my heart to pray and my mind to look for the holiness in every day life.

Buy this for: The person on your list who sees God in each moment and wants new words to pray. Or for that person who wants to train their heart to see the holiness in the simple things. Or even for that person who loves a really beautifully bound book.


written by Hans Rosling

Hans Rosling is a doctor turned global-health lecturer. At his heart, he seems to be a gatherer of information and a teacher, loving to share his knowledge with the world (I’d dare guess he’s a 5 on the Enneagram?). This book is his final project, his magnum opus, as he died while editing the final manuscript. His children carried on the book project to the publication we get to read - one that has been recommended and even given out for free by Bill and Melinda Gates. This book dives into 10 “misinformed instincts” we have about the world - and very skillfully and factfully (ha, the title) explains why we believe and are drawn to them. All throughout these sections, Hans is teaching his reader how to process information. His goal is to help us to not take every news story as truth, to understand why journalists do what they do, and to help us know how to ask hard questions while remaining open to an ever changing world.

Buy this for: That person on your list who loves talking about worldview. Your friend who feels exasperated by the media and unsure how to consume news. Your uncle who loves charts and graphs.

All the Light We Cannot See

written by Anthony Doerr

We were introduced to a book store (read: rooms of books piled haphazardly in this man’s home) in the old city a few weeks ago. There were English books and Turkish books and German books; religious books and story books and how-to books. This one, out of everything, in the messy piles and dust, had to be mine. I cannot remember who recommended it in the first place (was it you?) but even just 65 pages in, I am loving every poetic chapter. The story takes place at the beginning of the Second World War and follows two people: one young orphan boy and the other a young girl who is blind. This is all I know so far, though I have lingered long over perfectly constructed sentences that let me smell and taste and touch the world the author describes.

Buy this for: Your friend who loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The person on your list who loves historic fiction and is mesmerized by the art of a story well told.

My Amazon wishlist and Goodreads “to-read” shelf is still growing! Of the books you read in 2018, which would you recommend? Message me on social media or leave a comment below and I will add your favourite to this list:

Savouring the Potential

Savouring the Potential

The Green Dress

The Green Dress