Sign up for our newsletter to get 20% off + free shipping on orders over $25! Learn more »

Gift Guide: Books for the Times

Thu, 01 Nov 2018 - Gift Guide

We live in a world that is constantly changing, challenging, and opening itself to new ideas. Here are books for those with an insatiable curiosity about the human condition and hunger for knowledge about the world around them.

1. You and I Eat the Same

Good food is the common ground shared by all of us, and immigration is fundamental to good food. In eighteen thoughtful and engaging essays and stories, You and I Eat the Same explores the ways in which cooking and eating connect us across cultural and political borders, making the case that we should think about cuisine as a collective human effort in which we all benefit from the movement of people, ingredients, and ideas.

2. An American Marriage

This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future.

3. Signs of Resistance

Two hundred and forty images—from British rule and women’s suffrage to the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War; from women’s equality and Black Lives Matter to the actions of our forty-fifth president and the Women’s March—offer an inspiring, optimistic, and visually galvanizing history lesson about the power people have when they take to the streets and stand up for what’s right.

4. What Unites Us

Looking at the freedoms that define us, from the vote to the press; the values that have transformed us, from empathy to inclusion to service; the institutions that sustain us, such as public education; and the traits that helped form our young country, such as the audacity to take on daunting challenges in science and medicine, Rather brings to bear his decades of experience on the frontlines of the world’s biggest stories. As a living witness to historical change, he offers up an intimate view of history, tracing where we have been in order to help us chart a way forward and heal our bitter divisions.

5. The Opposite of Hate

As a progressive commentator on Fox News and now CNN, Sally Kohn has made a career out of bridging intractable political differences and learning how to talk respectfully with people whose views she disagrees with passionately. Her viral TED Talk on the need to practice emotional—rather than political—correctness sparked a new way of considering how often we amplify our differences and diminish our connections.

6. (Don't) Call Me Crazy

To understand mental health, we need to talk openly about it. Because there’s no single definition of crazy, there’s no single experience that embodies it, and the word itself means different things—wild? extreme? disturbed? passionate?—to different people.

7. The Global Economy as You’ve Never Seen It 

The Global Economy as You’ve Never Seen It presents 99 brilliant infographics that everyone can understand. From start-ups to monopolies, from trade agreements to theory, author Thomas Ramge and infographic specialist Jan Schwochow bring every facet of the economic web to life.

8. A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

In our unique genomes, every one of us carries the story of our species—births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration, and a lot of sex. But those stories have always been locked away—until now. Who are our ancestors? Where did they come from? Geneticists have suddenly become historians, and the hard evidence in our DNA has blown the lid off what we thought we knew. Acclaimed science writer Adam Rutherford explains exactly how genomics is completely rewriting the human story—from 100,000 years ago to the present.

9. My Feminist ABC

E is for Equal Rights, F is for Feminism, G is for Girl Power and also for Grit. This inspiring board book teaches little ones an esteemed alphabet of female (and human) values. Big ideas start early in life, and babies and tots of all genders will have a blast with the colorful art and sassy text in the pages of this unique book.


Want more gift inspiration and holiday content? Check out our holiday store page for our other gift guides, recipes, and more!

Share with your friends

Read more articles