“You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy books and that is almost the same thing.”

One of my favourite Christmas memories is receiving a copy of Anne of Green Gables in my stocking. I remember being pulled into the story of Anne while be surrounded by talking and the lights on our Christmas tree. It was a magical moment.

Today, no Christmas is complete without a book or two.

Here are some of the books I have read if you are looking for a gift for the book lover in your life.


Amazing Grace and The Spoon Stealer by Lesley Crewe and Nimbus Publishing and Vagrant Press.

I first came across Lesley Crew with Amazing Grace, which was an amazing and put me into a long book slump. The Spoon Stealer was equally great. Both are books about people, relationships, and love. They are just great.

Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up by Alexandra Potter and PGC Books

This is still one of my favourite books, and I recommend it often. It was funny and relatable, both situations and the people. I loved the relationship between the characters.

Pippo and Clara Diana Rosie and PGC Books

I read this one this year and while I wouldn’t say it was happy and uplifting, it was great. I cried, multiple times. It showed me a part of the Second World War I didn’t know a lot about. Great characters, interesting perspective, great read.

Sirens of Memory by Puja Guha and PGC Books

What a rollercoaster of emotions this book was. It was suspensive and frightening. It gave me nightmares, but the characters and the hope that everything would turn out OK in the end pushed me through. Plus, it was a fast read – a couple of days and I could shake out the memory the main character had to lived through.

Together by Christmas, the Secret Path by Karen Swan and PGC Books

I really like Karen Swan’s work. Her books are destination heavy, meaning if feels you are living right beside the character. Her characters are great and the stories often have a twist. I have liked everything she has written that I have read and loved even more.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

I am a big fan of books about bookstores and books about people who love books. They just get it. This one is about a bookstore that is on a boat and a man who takes his bookshop to find out what happened to the woman he loved.

Other titles:

A Discovery of Witches trilogy by Deborah Harkness

How to Walk Away, Katherine Center by PCGBooks

Kate Morton books

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan, PGCBooks

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Middle grade and young adult

Harry Potter

No list should be complete without Harry Potter. I read the books the first time as an adult, and they were magical. That magic was repeated – and almost better – when I read them to my son. I got to experience the magic through his eyes.

Marina Cohen (Raincoast Books) always makes these lists because her books are so different and always on a bit of the creepy side. I loved The Inn Between as well as Box of Bones. I liked The Dolls Eyes as well, but my son didn’t enjoy that title.

The List by Patricia Forde and Raincoast Books

While the first book was better, the second book was also good and I would recommend both. And while it’s marked for middle grade don’t let that stop you. It is an interesting concept – how many words does one need? – and great read.

The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane by Julia Nobel and Raincoast Books

We are waiting for Book 3 to come out of this middle grade series. The first and second books were consumed quite fast – first by me, who reviewed them, and then by my son. We keep checking, and hoping, the next book will come out soon.

Other titles

Body Swap by Sylvia MicNicoll

I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora

Soldier Doll and On the Spectrum by Jennifer Gold

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Picture Books

Here are 24 of my favourites.

Other titles

All I Want for Christmas is Ewe, Rose Rossner and Raincoast Books

An Emotional Menagerie, Feelings from A to Z by The School of Life

Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet Ahlberg

Self help, coffee table books, activity book

Canada Above & Beyond, aerial photography by George Fischer and Nimbus Publishing

Coastal Nova Scotia, a photographic tour by Adam Cornick and Nimbus Publishing

Galapagos, A Traveler’s Introduction by Wayne Lynch and Firefly Books

What Next? DK Books (I highly recommend this career book)

Wild Things, Over 100 Magical Outdoor Adventures by Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks and Raincoast Books