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20+ Books That Make Awesome Gifts

Books are Great Gifts!

book proposal coach lisa tenerIn thinking about the upcoming holidays, I’ve put together a short list of meaningful gifts for folks on your Christmas, Hannukah or holiday list. All of these books will inspire. Some will entertain, some have the power to transform your friends and family into better leaders, and some will change people’s lives in ways they’ve longed for or dreamed of.

Every Christmas, my kids get about a half dozen books put together and they get devoured within days. I love getting books. Do you?

This season I have super exciting gifts ideas for you—from the book that can change your good friend’s life to the inspiration that will bring joy to your auntie’s heart to the book that will help your colleague finally get his book written (or maybe it’s for you!). I even have a couple of suggestions for the kids in your life.

Book Gifts for Parents and Families

a world of good willie1. A World of Good: Let’s start with the kids on your list, both grade school and middle school—or the inner kid in all of us. This book is for anyone who loves the Guinness Book of World Records.

In A World of Good, Willie Nugent shares the crazy capers he’s taken on to raise money for charity—many of them record-setting and one that even landed him in the big book itself!

a plant based life book cover2. A Plant Based Life: Anyone in your family or circle of friends struggling to eat healthier? Perhaps they have a health condition or just want to feel more energy.

Micaela Karlsen’s A Plant Based Life offers strategies to move towards healthier eating, as well as strategies and tools to stick to a healthful diet despite all the temptations that the holidays provide.

Perhaps order a second for yourself if you want to avoid developing your own resemblance to Good Old St. Nick this treat-filled season.

cough-cures3. Cough Cures: ‘Tis the season, but you and your loved ones don’t have to—ahem—expectorate.

Gus Ferrer, MD, director of the Cleveland Clinic Cough Center, and award winning author and homeopath Burke Lenihan, RN, help you understand what’s in all those meds at the pharmacy, how to choose the right one, avoid the ones that can land you in the emergency room, and how to know when a good old-fashioned home remedy can actually be a better choice (evidence-based!).

The authors even teach you how to make your own home remedies and teas when the cough calls for it. This is a terrific book for moms of small kids, teachers who are constantly exposed to germs, older folks who may be more vulnerable to dangerous coughs and anyone who likes to be informed and empowered when it comes to health.

book cover for 6 figure book deal4. The Soul of All Living Creatures: This book, full of heart-warming stories about real-live animals by animal behaviorist Vint Virga, D. V. M., is a winner for pet-lovers, watchers of the Discovery Channel, those who love to learn about nature and those who remember with longing their discovery of James Herriot.

book cover self-help5. Calming Your Anxious Child: Know a child who worries execssively, doesn’t want to go to school, won’t talk in social situations or refuses to learn to swim? Here’s the perfect gift for his or her parents. Dr. Kathleen Trainor’s advice helped my kid (he now swims underwater and doesn’t give it a second thought).

Reset Your Child's Brain book6. Reset Your Child’s Brain: It’s not a subtle gift, but maybe you’re not subtle. Has your friend or family member complained of feeling powerless when it comes to getting her kids off video games? This book by Victoria Dunckley, MD empowers with facts AND a proven program.

book cover

Books for Business People

7. Feedback First: This is great a pick for anyone who manages teams. They’ll learn to be a better leader, give and receive feedback more effectively, better motivate the millenials on their team, be culturally sensitive and have a few laughs along the way, since author Huibert Evekink includes his entertaining cartoons in every chapter.

Don’t let the cartoons fool you into thinking this lighthearted approach is lite on power. The advice and tips in this book can make a huge difference for the manager and his or her team. And no need to only give it to managers. It’s a great book to share with your own team!

 8. Success Without Stress: Picture for a moment the entrepreneurial woman in your life—the one who’s trying to balance work, kids, household and aging parents…she needs this book. Desperately. You will make her life easier, saner, her work more productive and effective, her relationships more joyful.

Maybe she’ll even learn how to master Executive Coach Teri Scheinzeit’s trick—one week out of every month she skips work and instead attends to her hobby—folk music. Teri attends music camps, festivals, takes her show on the road, or works on her next song or album. Teri taught me to, “Work smarter, not harder” and she’ll do the same for readers of this terrific book that offers all it’s wisdom is easy, bite-sized chunks.

start right where you are9. Start Right Where Your Are: My colleague Samantha Bennett is brilliant at helping creative people finish their projects. Now, she takes those same skills to the entrepreneurial set—or anyone wanting to complete a project. Get past your editor, your inner critic, your inner saboteur and finally tackle the project with humor and aplomb, thanks to Sam.

social media book10. Mastering the New Media Landscape: A great book for authors or entrepreneurs who want to reach more people with their book, message or business—or all three.

Authors Rusty Shelton and Barbara Cave Henricks will empower your friends to have the influence and impact they dream of—and it can help an author sell more books, too!

social media for writers book cover11. Social Media Just for Writers: My friend and colleague Frances Caballo has helped several of my authors develop their twitter following, including Carol Lambert who started from scratch. Int his bo

book cover- laugh your way12. Laugh Your Way to Real Estate Sales Success: Is there a realtor on your list? I laughed my head off just reading the introduction “loosely translated from Genesis 1.” Part of the beauty of this book is that Cathy Turney’s brilliant real estate tips are packaged in her laugh out loud humor on every page.

Books That Can Turn a Life Around

women-with-controlling-partners13. Women with Controlling Partners: It would be a better world if we didn’t have to worry about that BFF or sister or cousin with the abuse partner. But in this imperfect world, thank goodness for Carol Lambert, who, for several decades, has led groups for women with controlling partners and helped them take back control of their worlds.

You’ll feel empowered that you now have a gift that you can give these women in your life. In my just change theirs.

bo14. Moving Beyond Betrayal: It’s earth shattering when someone’s spouse or partner betrays them. There’s no way to sugar coat that situation. Yet this book by Vicki Tidwell Palmer could be the most meaningful and helpful gift that person in such a situation receives.

book cover 3000 pulses later15. 3,000 Pulses Later: If anyone in your life suffers from depression, and especially if they wonder about treatment options other than medication, this memoir by Martha Rhodes—plus introduction to TMS therapy—could be more than just inspiring. It could change a person’s life—and has, for many.

Books That Inspire or Heal

book cover arts awareness16. Arts Awareness: Any artists in your life? Or anyone who’s a bit creative and would love to read more about the different techniques and tools artists use in the craft to create beauty and inspire?

Dr. Patricia Hoy wrote this book to help anyone use the techniques of the artist to raise their own consciousness. Arts Awareness is also a wonderful gift for arts educators and others in the arts to expand their teachings and awareness.

books for gifts17. The Creativity Cure: Still a classic, this book by Carrie Barron and Alton Barron, both MD’s, will come in handy preventing the winter blues from settling in once the holiday hoopla is over.

While it’s a great antidote for the discouraged, dispirited or despondent on your list, anyone is likely to benefit from this prescription for happiness.

how-to-meditate18. How to Meditate and Why: Have someone in your life who keeps saying they want to learn to meditate but they just find it hard? This book by Mara Zimmerman makes meditation simple and accessible. Empower the would-be meditator in your life.

book cover behind the therapy door19. Behind the Therapy Door: Recently picked up by Central Recovery Press, there are still a few self-published copies you can scoop up before the holidays. In it, my friend and colleague, Dr. Randy Kamen shares fascinating stories of how her clients healed their wounds of the past and took back control of their lives.

And you’ll learn the mindfulness tools behind these stories so you can use them too!

book cover on the verge20. On the Verge: Inspire your loved ones to wake up, enjoy life to the fullest and experience more peak moments with Cara Bradley’s daily mindfulness tools.

kimber's book21. 52 Ways to Love Your Body: This will help your loved one start 2017 on a body-loving high note—and keep going all year. Kimber Simpkins’ second book is light hearted yet powerful.

A Stocking Stuffer for the More Challenging People in Your Life

Rethinking Narcissism book cover21. Rethinking Narcissism: I suppose you could slip this in the stocking of your favorite narcissist and he or she won’t even know whom you’re refering to, and yet you may see some subtle changes in their behavior as they read on.

A Winner for Athletes

real fit kitchen book cover22. Real Fit Kitchen: This one’s for the athletes in your life, especially those who don’t mind messing around in the kitchen.

The easy, healthy recipes from nutritionists Tara Mardigan and Kate Weiler will get them off those fake-healthy protein bars and bringing their own energizing treats to their next triathalon.

And the Perfect Gift for the Budding Author

1-quickstart23. Quick Start to Kick Start Your Book: Okay this one’s a bonus and it’s not exactly a book. I developed this self-study program to guide the budding self-help or how-to author through all the important questions to ask BEFORE writing that book.

book writing program starter kitYour author friend will get clear on vision, goals, readership, features, tone, content and even structure. It’s only $97 and one of the most thoughtful presents you can give to someone who’s wanted to write a book forever.

Oh, is that you? Well, let someone you love know what you want for Christmas! Find out more about this empowering book writing program here.



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Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions


  1. Carol Lambert says

    Thank you, Lisa, for reminding us that books make great gifts. I always cherish receiving a book as a gift whether for a birthday or the holidays. This year, for the first time, I have a book, Women with Controlling Partners: Taking Back Your Life from a Manipulative or Abusive Partner, that can be gifted to help a friend, a loved one, or yourself@carollambertmsw

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