The 14 best fiction books to gift this holiday season

Nov 23 2021, 3:00 pm

When it comes to holiday gift giving, one of the greatest gifts you can give is a handpicked book. 

Whether your loved one is into historical fiction, suspense and thriller, or steamy romantic novels, there’s something for everyone on our book gift guide this year. 

Here are the 14 best fiction books to gift in 2021.

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Take a trip to New York City and meet Nella Rogers, a young black woman working in publishing at Wagner Books. All seems to be improving for Nella until she receives a note saying, “LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.” A chilling sign of the times, this thriller will have readers hooked in just a few pages. 

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

This book tells the story of two best friends, Alice and Eileen, both approaching their thirties, and on completely different trajectories. 

Alice, a writer, meets a new man called Felix, who works in a warehouse and invites him to Italy with her. Meanwhile, Eileen’s in Dublin getting over a break-up and flirting with Simon, a man she’s known since childhood. 

The Push by Ashley Audrain

Looking for a tense psychological thriller? Look no further than the instant international bestseller The Push. This page-turning drama is about the making and breaking of a family told through the eyes of a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for—and everything she feared.

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters

Detransition, Baby has won a host of awards this year and has been recognized as “one of the most celebrated books of the year” by Time. The book centres around Reese, a trans woman, her ex Ames, a detransitioned male, and a cis-woman named Katrina. Katrina gets pregnant with Ames’ baby and the three wonder if they can form an unconventional family to raise the baby together. 

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

A Reese’s Book Club pick and instant New York Times Bestseller, The Sanatorium will have you on the edge of your seat throughout. The story is set at Le Sommet, an abandoned sanatorium that’s since been renovated into a five-star hotel. Elin Warner takes time off from her job as a detective to visit the hotel. There’s something about the property that makes her nervous, and when she discovers her future sister-in-law is missing, Warner must use her instincts to find her.

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

This Good Morning America Book Club pick appeared on President Obama’s Summer 2021 reading list. Klara and the Sun tells the story of an Artificial Friend who carefully watches the behaviours of those who come to visit her at her store, and those who pass by on the street. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges, her circumstances may change forever. This is a gorgeous book told through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator.

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

I’ve read over 150 books this year, and The Rose Code remains in my top 10. Bestselling author of The Alice Network and The Huntress, Kate Quinn brings us another heart-stopping World War II story of three female codebreakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over. 

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

From the New York Times Bestselling author of Beach Read, People We Meet on Vacation centres around two best friends, Alex and Poppy. The two had a tradition of taking summer trips together, until two years ago, when something happened on one of their trips that put an end to their friendship. Separated by states, Poppy convinces Alex to take one last trip with her, a trip that could change their friendship forever. I adored this book!

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

The Last Thing He Told Me is a Reese’s Book Club pick, and I guarantee once whoever you gift it to picks it up, they won’t be able to put it down. Filled with gut-wrenching plot twists and expressive family drama, this gripping mystery is about a woman who thinks she’s found the love of her life—until he disappears. 

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The latest novel from sensational author Taylor Jenkins Reid will catapult readers directly to the sands and shores of Malibu. Set in August 1983, Malibu Rising is centred around the wealthy Riva family and weaves between the past and present. It’s thrilling, fast-paced, and completely addictive. 

His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie

His Only Wife is a witty, smart, and moving debut novel about a brave young woman traversing the minefield of modern life with its taboos and injustices, living in a world of men who want their wives to be beautiful, to be good cooks and mothers, to be women who respect their husbands and grant them forbearance.

Falling by TJ Newman

A pilot boards a flight with 143 passengers on board. Right before take off, he finds out that his family has been taken hostage, and he has two choices. He can crash the plane to save his family, or save the passengers and his family will be killed. Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride. This is the best thriller I’ve read all year! 

Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

From New York Times bestselling author Liane Moriarty comes a novel that looks at marriage, siblings, and how the people we love the most can hurt us the deepest. Apples Never Fall centres on the Delaney family; parents Joy and Stan, and their four kids. One night, Joy goes missing, and while two of the kids think Stan is innocent, the other two think he’s hiding something. 

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

Rock Paper Scissors is the latest domestic thriller from New York Times bestselling author Alice Feeney. This one centres on Adam and Amelia Wright, a married couple on the brink of divorce. They win a weekend away to Scotland, which might be just what their marriage needs. They both know this weekend will make or break them. Turns out, they didn’t randomly win the trip. One of them is lying, and someone doesn’t want them to live happily ever after.

Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder

An ambitious mother puts her art career on hold to stay at home with her newborn son, but the experience does not match her imagination. The Mother, crippled by extreme exhaustion is left depleted by the neediness of her son and husband. As though driven to a state of sleep-deprived acute psychosis, this Mother begins to experience canine symptoms in the form of small hair growths, similar to those of a dog, intensifying as her anger grows more feral. This book was unputdownable.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

From the New York Times Bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue comes a new romantic comedy that will stop readers in their tracks. The book centres around twenty-three year old protagonist August who’s just moved to New York City. She meets Jane, the love of her life on the subway, but there’s just one problem. Jane is a time traveller displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. One Last Stop is a big hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible.

Sean LoughranSean Loughran

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