I’ve heard that a book is a boring Christmas present, but I never understood this sentiment. I love books, of all kinds. I even love e-books, which are mainly what I’ve been collecting lately, on account of how there is no space on the many bookshelves in my New York apartment.
I have also, as I mentioned quite some time ago when I was actually publishing my blog posts on schedule like I was supposed to, been doing a fair amount of reading this semester, mainly in the genre of religion and spirituality texts.
SO, just in time for you to run to your local bookstore or place one more Amazon Prime order, I thought I would kindly provide a thoughtful and informative short gift guide for your enjoyment and edification. Titles link through to Amazon, not as affiliate advertising or anything, but I thought it would be convenient.
For someone who likes smart discourse, and also words:
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
Because how can you not want to read a book with a chapter that begins, “I take it as an elemental truth of life that words matter”? If you’ve ever listened to On Being, you know Krista Tippett. This book is a collection of the highlights she’s gleaned from a really amazing cast of characters over an astonishing career. Its words do matter—it is a smart, lovely, hopeful book that is perfectly suited to gift-giving this year.
For someone you can’t for the life of you get along with:
Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile, The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery
But actually, get the book for yourself, not that person. I know I wrote a whole post about this book, but I think it’s such a warm, accessible invitation to a model for introspection and increased understanding of self that I had to include it. And who knows? As you learn more about why you do the things you do and feel the feelings you feel, maybe you’ll start to understand why that one person gets on your nerves…or maybe you won’t. But the process of discovery is worthwhile all the same.
For someone with a short attention span:
Multiple Authors, the post calvin: selected essays: 2013–2016
Okay, so this is basically a plug for a best-of collection from another blog where I am a contributing writer. That said, it’s pretty neat that the editors took time to pull this collection together and add awesome illustrations.
For someone who is probably, but not necessarily, a woman:
Shauna Niequist, Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are
Or, for that matter, Madeleine L’Engle, Glimpses of Grace: Daily Thoughts and Reflections
These are both 365-day devotionals. I read Savor recently, in a totally inappropriate, non-devotional manner, but enjoyed it (and the recipes within) all the same. I read Glimpses of Grace a while ago, as a devotional, and because I love Madeleine L’Engle, I love it. January 1 is quickly approaching; a 365-day devotional is a gift that keeps on giving.
For someone who would think all of the above books are a little too touchy-feely:
C. C. Benison, Eleven Pipers Piping: A Father Christmas Mystery
The one piece of fiction on this list. British priest called Father Christmas solves a mystery (in January, but that’s close to Christmas). That’s all you need to know.
What great religion & spirituality books have you read recently? Do you have recommendations to add?