39 Books to Place Beneath the Tree

Books make great gifts! Photo by NastyaSensei on Pexels.com

Whether you are looking for a book to read between now and then end of the year or a book to give as a gift, here are 39 books I highly recommend. I’ve culled these titles from the list of 185 books that I’ve read this year. They aren’t all new but many are.

Because much of my writing is for young readers, I’ve split the list into Books for Young Readers and Books for Adult Readers. That said, adults will enjoy many of the books on the first part of the list. I know I did.

The young readers list is further divided by age (picture book to young adult). The adult readers list is divided by genre.

Books for Young Readers

Picture Books:

Dandy by Ame Dyckman

Bruce’s Big Storm by Ryan Higgins

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan Higgins

Drawn Together by Minh Le

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom

Pies from Nowhere by Dee Romito

Leave It to Abigail by Barb Rosenstock

Home in the Woods by Eliza Wheeler

When Jackie Saved Grand Central by Natasha Wing

Middle Grade:

Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park

Young Adult:

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Books for Adult Readers


Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

Echo in Onyx by Sharon Shinn

Echo in Emerald by Sharon Shinn

Echo in Amethyst by Sharon Shinn


The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich

Horror/Thriller (a lot more atmosphere than gore):

The Chill by Scott Carson

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

The Institute by Stephen King

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Violet by Scott Thomas

The Other People by C.J. Tudor


Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien

A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette

Flipped for Murder by Maddie Day

This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber

Scones and Scoundrels by Molly MacRae

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton


The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantu

Hollywood Park by Mikell Jollett

All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung

So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

The Splendid and the Vile by Eric Larson

The Golden Thread by Kassia St. Clair


Coffee and Crushes at the Cat Cafe by Kris Bock

Kittens and Kisses at the Cat Cafe by Kris Bock

If any of you have a book that you would like to recommend, be sure to add it in the comments below!