Give the gift of a book

December is one of my favorite times of the year. Not only do students and staff members ask for reading recommendations for the upcoming holiday break, they request help to find the perfect book for a child, friend or family member. With the thousands of books published each year, selecting the right book for someone could seem like a daunting task. However, it is easier than you may think. 

There are plenty of book lists available to narrow down your choices. As there are a variety of readers and/or age groups, I chose three book lists to share. These lists offered different ways to organize book recommendations and should meet the needs of everyone.

2014 Goodreads Choice Awards – This is one of my favorite reading lists, as the winners in 20 categories were chosen by the readers! Eligible recommendations were books published in the United States between November 17, 2013, and November 15, 2014. This site also has a “Best of” Lists link (right-hand side) that includes recommendations from the New York Times, Amazon, Library Journal, and many more!


MU Libraries – University of Missouri – The professors at the University of Missouri celebrated its 175th anniversary by compiling a list of the 175 most influential books. Their choices are broken down by autobiographies/biographies, fiction, non-fiction, philosophy/spirituality, plays & poetry, science and social sciences. As you can see, it’s pretty impressive.

The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books – This is a leading children’s book review journal for school and public librarians located at the University of Illinois. Every year, they publish a free 2014 Guide Book to Gift Books. This annual publication highlights more than three hundred of the best books and is organized by age group: Picture Books, Books for Young Readers (Grades 1-3; 6-8 years), Books for Middle Readers (Grades 4-6; 9-11 years) and Books for Older Readers (Grades 7-12; 12-18 years).

Congratulations to the best and most influential books of the year.

Happy reading!


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