Giving the Joy of Reading: Claire and Maris Recommend Books For Any Reader

Novels, collections, memoir-in-recipes, and more—there’s something for every sort of reader in these lists.


Claire Burrows, Development Director

A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley

This incredible collection of short stories set in Brooklyn and the South Bronx is the book you should buy for all the men in your life. And everyone. They will be stunned by the brilliance.

There There by Tommy Orange

This novel about Native American people in Oakland, California is so powerful and devastating, you’ll think about it all the time, long after reading the last page. I would recommend this as a gift for college students, aspiring authors, and everyone.

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

A beautiful and captivating novel about growing up in Columbia during the time of Pablo Escobar, this book is perfect for people who love to read. Sandra Cisneros recommends it.



Maris Finn, Financial and Administrative Coordinator

For the friend with wanderlust: I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff by Abbi Jacobson

Centered on an aptly-timed road trip from New York to Los Angeles, Abbi Jacobson (of Broad City fame) takes us on a hilarious, heart-breaking, and contemplative journey. Complete with original drawings, music recommendations, and irreverent anecdotes, this is a perfect gift for that friend who’s been meaning to take a road trip, or sign up for that improve class.


For the novel-reader: If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim

Kim’s debut novel is equal parts family saga and love triangle set during the tumultuous Korean War. Between Haemi Lee, the novel’s fierce and complicated protagonist, and the gorgeous prose, this is a story that sticks with you for a long time after you’ve finished reading, making it the ideal gift for those literary fiction lovers in your life.


For the oddball: Get in Trouble: Stories by Kelly Link

Kelly Link is a writer like no other. This book is perfect for that person in your life who seems impossible to shop for, and the stories in the collection will give you a temporary blissful relief from reality, which we could all use around the holidays.


For the Great British Baking Show fan: Breaking Bread: A Baker’s Journey Home in 75 Recipes by Martin Philip

Equal parts cookbook and memoir, Philip’s book is the perfect gift for the people in your life who may have watched more than their fair share of competitive baking shows. Though these recipes might not be for the novice baker, they’re ideal for collaborating with family members over the holidays. It’s a feast for the eyes as well: the photos of Philip’s bakes will make your mouth water!