We give books to others so often because they are more than objects; they are an experience. Here are suggestions for different life occasions and personality types.
"What has science revealed about fate, death, and what it means to be human?"
For a wanderer . . .
Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude
By Stephanie Rosenbloom
Rosenbloom covers the joys and perks of time spent alone—whether dining, enjoying silent spaces, and more—and shares insights from experts on how it can enrich our lives. VIKING
For the bereaved . . .
The Darker the Night, the Brighter the Stars
A Neuropsychologist’s Odyssey Through Consciousness
By Paul Broks
An English neuropsychologist and science writer, Broks penned a mystical musing on grief and human consciousness. He wrote this in the wake of his wife’s passing, and it’s simply gorgeous. CROWN PUBLISHING GROUP
When things are not working out as planned . . .
Free Yourself from Your Past, Change Your Present, and Get What You Really Want
By Christine Hassler
A life coach, Hassler wrote a handbook to assist people overcome disappointments on all levels: emotional, mental, behavioral, and spiritual. Whether it’s a divorce, a layoff, or general frustration, Hassler can help. NEW WORLD LIBRARY
For your favorite seeker . . .
Fifteen Myths that Explain Our World
By Oren Harman
What has science revealed about fate, death, and what it means to be human? Does believing in science mean you cannot believe in mythology? Harman invokes science and age-old legends. FARRAR, STRAUS AND GIROUX
“Books have changed my mind, opened my heart, and fueled my imagination. They have been my friends, teachers, spiritual guides, and cherished companions. My life has been shaped in a million ways by words on pages between covers, the extraordinary gifts given to the world by hosts of authors past and present.”
—Diana Butler Bass, scholar and author.
Her most recent book is Grateful.
For children who wriggle and jiggle . . .
Good Night Yoga
A Pose by Pose Bedtime Story
By Miriam Gates, illustrations by Sarah Jane Hinder
Soothe kids—and the whole family—setting the stage for a restful night’s sleep with this illustrated book of simple yoga postures. SOUNDS TRUE
For plane reading . . .
Can’t Help Myself
Lessons & Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist
By Meredith Goldstein
Despite her calm attitude in her column, Goldstein has questions about aging parents, office break-ups, dating-in-your-30s, feminism, and Tinder. A touching portrait of a single woman navigating the difficulties of life and love for both herself and thousands of others. GRAND CENTRAL PUBLISHING
For a former meat lover . . .
VBQ: The Ultimate Vegan Barbecue Cookbook
Over 80 Recipes—Seared, Skewered, Smoking Hot!
By Nadine Horn and Jörg Mayer
The perfect book for someone who loves to BBQ but has switched to a plant-based lifestyle, VBQ has accessible recipes filled with color and flavor. THE EXPERIMENT
When motherhood feels uncertain . . .
Finding Freedom from Unrealistic Expectations of Motherhood
By Jamie Sumner
Sumner, who struggled with infertility and now is mom to a special-needs child and a set of twins, discusses reality versus expectation, and highlights women in the Bible who overcame adversity. FAITHWORDS
When the diagnosis is cancer . . .
A New Way of Life
By David Servan-Schreiber MD PhD
This perennial best-seller came out 10 years ago. The author, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, struggled with brain cancer, and shares suggestions for natural, balanced ways of healing. VIKING/REPRINT PENGUIN
For a shutterbug . . .
Creative Awakening with a Daily Practice in Photography
By David Ulrich
Ulrich uses the principles of Zen practice to suggest ways photography can become a vehicle for self-expression and self- discovery. WATSON-GUPTILL