Posted in Gift Guides

Holiday Gift Guide: Beautiful Gift Books

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… for so many reasons!

If, like me, you’re in the US, you’re probably looking forward to Thanksgiving.  Family, and traditions, and… well, pie.  Let’s not forget pie.  But this weekend also kicks off the biggest shopping (and gift giving) season of the year! 

Do you know what you’re getting everyone on your list this season? 

Me neither. 

Not yet, anyway.  But I’m getting there.  Still need some ideas?  I’m putting together a series of Holiday Gift Guide posts… between all of them, you’re sure to find some shopping inspiration just in time to play Santa!  (I also mentioned my love of gift guides and shared some links to guides by other bloggers in my latest Friday Favorites post.)


gifts christmas surprise
I’ll help you with the list. The wrapping is still up to you!


Today, we’re going to start off the Gift Guide series with Beautiful Gift Books!  These are lovely, visually inspiring titles perfect for a coffee table or a shelf display.  And, you know, to read!


(This post contains affiliate links, which allow me the opportunity to earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.  Please see my policies for further information.)






Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon 

This gorgeous, gracious book by our favorite award-winning actress (and girl boss!) combines Southern traditions with contemporary charm!

Reese Witherspoon’s grandmother Dorothea always said that a combination of beauty and strength made southern women “whiskey in a teacup.” We may be delicate and ornamental on the outside, she said, but inside we’re strong and fiery.

Reese’s southern heritage informs her whole life, and she loves sharing the joys of southern living with practically everyone she meets. She takes the South wherever she goes with bluegrass, big holiday parties, and plenty of Dorothea’s fried chicken. It’s reflected in how she entertains, decorates her home, and makes holidays special for her kids—not to mention how she talks, dances, and does her hair (in these pages, you will learn Reese’s fail-proof, only slightly insane hot-roller technique). Reese loves sharing Dorothea’s most delicious recipes as well as her favorite southern traditions, from midnight barn parties to backyard bridal showers, magical Christmas mornings to rollicking honky-tonks.

It’s easy to bring a little bit of Reese’s world into your home, no matter where you live. After all, there’s a southern side to every place in the world, right?

Get Whiskey in a Teacup:     Amazon     Barnes & Noble





National Geographic:  The Photo Ark by Joel Sartore 

Have an animal or nature lover in your life?  This photo book is sure to dazzle!

The lush and unique photography in this book represents National Geographic’s Photo Ark, a major initiative and lifelong project by photographer Joel Sartore to make portraits of the world’s animals—especially those that are endangered. His powerful message, conveyed with humor, compassion, and art: to know these animals is to save them.

Sartore is circling the globe, visiting zoos and wildlife rescue centers to create studio portraits of 12,000 species, with an emphasis on those facing extinction. Wiht a goal of photographing every animal in captivity in the world, he has photographed more than 6,000 already and now, thanks to a multi-year partnership with National Geographic, he may reach his goal. This book showcases his animal portraits: from tiny to mammoth, from the Florida grasshopper sparrow to the greater one-horned rhinoceros. Paired with the eloquent prose of veteran wildlife writer Douglas Chadwick, and an inspiring foreword from Harrison Ford, this book presents a thought-provoking argument for saving all the species of our planet.

Get The Photo Ark:     Amazon*    Barnes & Noble

(*FYI: On Amazon, take note of anticipated delivery dates; it says it may arrive after Christmas but gives a wide range… you can look at other sellers for quicker delivery.)





Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave by Joanna Gaines

Someone in your life a big Fixer Upper fan?  Get this beautiful book full of inspiration!

In Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, Joanna Gaines walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there. Using examples from her own farmhouse as well as a range of other homes, this comprehensive guide will help you assess your priorities and instincts, as well as your likes and dislikes, with practical steps for navigating and embracing your authentic design style. Room by room, Homebody gives you an in-depth look at how these styles are implemented as well as how to blend the looks you’re drawn to in order to create spaces that feel distinctly yours. A design template at the end of the book offers a step-by-step guide to planning and sketching out your own design plans. The insight shared in Homebody will instill in you the confidence to thoughtfully create spaces you never want to leave.

Get Homebody:     Amazon     Barnes & Noble





Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines

Need even more Joanna Gaines? Have a loved one who loves entertaining? If they haven’t picked this one up already, they’ll love this!

Magnolia Table is infused with Joanna Gaines’ warmth and passion for all things family, prepared and served straight from the heart of her home, with recipes inspired by dozens of Gaines family favorites and classic comfort selections from the couple’s new Waco restaurant, Magnolia Table.

Jo believes there’s no better way to celebrate family and friendship than through the art of togetherness, celebrating tradition, and sharing a great meal. Magnolia Table includes 125 classic recipes—from breakfast, lunch, and dinner to small plates, snacks, and desserts—presenting a modern selection of American classics and personal family favorites. Complemented by her love for her garden, these dishes also incorporate homegrown, seasonal produce at the peak of its flavor. Inside Magnolia Table, you’ll find recipes the whole family will enjoy!

Full of personal stories and beautiful photos, Magnolia Table is an invitation to share a seat at the table with Joanna Gaines and her family.

Get Magnolia Table:     Amazon     Barnes & Noble





Infinite Wonder: An Astronaut’s Photographs from a Year in Space by Scott Kelly

Anyone would love this amazing photo journey capturing the cosmos!

One’s perspective shifts when one lives for an entire year–as Commander Scott Kelly, and no other American astronaut in history, has–in the isolating, grueling, and utterly unforgiving vacuum of space. Kelly’s photos prove that this perspective–from 250 miles above earth–while hard-won, is also almost unspeakably beautiful. He mastered the rare art of microgravity photography. Using a Nikon D4 with a long 800mm lens and a 1.4x magnifying zoom lens, he panned the camera as the shutter released in order to compensate for the space station’s velocity: 17,500 mph relative to the earth. Kelly’s artist’s eye helped make him a social media sensation, and here his photos are collected alongside his own commentary, which sets the images in their proper contexts, human and cosmic. Kelly captures sunsets, moonrises, the aurora borealis, and the luminous, hazy tapestry of the Milky Way. He presents snapshots of life and work on the International Space Station, from spacewalks to selfies. But above all–or floating amid all–he takes the earth itself as his celestial muse. Here are hurricanes, wrinkled mountains, New York City shining like a galaxy–glorious photographs that are, in themselves, a passionate argument for the preservation of our planet in the face of climate change and environmental destruction.

Get Infinite Wonder:     Amazon     Barnes & Noble





History of the World Map by Map (Smithsonian & DK)

History or geography lover in the family? Aspiring world traveler?  This gorgeous volume will bring rave reviews!

More than 140 detailed maps tell the story of pivotal episodes in world history, from the first human migrations out of Africa to the space race.

Custom regional and global maps present the history of the world in action, charting how events traced patterns on land and ocean–patterns of exploration, discovery, or conquest that created empires, colonies, or theaters of war. Thoughtful organization of information will help you follow the story of civilizations through ancient, medieval, and modern times.

But not every page is full of maps. At key points in History Map by Map, broad, sweeping introductions provide a chance to step back and look at entire periods, such as World War II, or to explore overarching themes, such as the Industrial Revolution. Picture spreads, meanwhile, focus on epoch-defining moments or developments, such as fascism and communism, and the invention of printing.

Get History of the World Map by Map:     Amazon     Barnes & Noble



I hope that gets your creativity flowing for amazing gift ideas! Stay tuned… over the next couple of weeks I’ll be releasing more gift guides.  In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving, and of course, happy reading!

P.S. – If you’re ordering from Amazon, and you’re not already a member of Amazon Prime, it’s the perfect time to try it free for 30 days!  Free shipping for your holiday gifts, a library of videos and music at your fingertips… what could be better?  Try Prime now!




Midwest writer. Avid reader, coffee addict, wife, mother to a human and a canine. Blogging about books, the writing process, life's journey, and whatever else catches my attention like a shiny object.

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