Give the gift of words

You could gift a kitten, but books are so much easier to wrap.

Whenever I'm stumped for a gift (or running behind on my shopping), I rely on one of the best options out there, the gift of words. (OK, I usually give books even if I'm not running behind, but whatever.)

So when it's three days before Christmas, the seventh day of Hanukkah, one day after the Winter Solstice and just a week until New Year's — like it is today! — hit a bookstore and grab a good old-fashioned print book. Bonus: they'll often wrap your selections too! (And you *could* give the gift of audio or e-book if your giftee would prefer...)

To help you along this season, here's a list of some of my published-in-2014 favorites (with affiliate links), and a few other favs I dug into this year.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin (pub. 2014)

A tale about a bookseller and a mysterious package. Lovely little novel that reminds us "why we read and why we love."

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett (pub. 2014)

A collection of short stories from a master (Bel Canto, State of Wonder, Run). If you've got a dog lover in your life, buy this book just for "Dog Without End," about her beloved Rosie. P.S. David Sedaris recommends this as the one book to buy this year.

Juice: Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing and Living Well, by Hayden Slater, Carly de Castro, and Hedi Gores (pub. 2014)

I overstayed my welcome with the library on this one because the founders of L.A.-based Pressed Juicery included 75 recipes from the shop's most popular items. And they're good.

I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool For Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail, by Gail Storey (pub. 2013)

For fans of Wild, I recommend Storey's memoir. Same hike, completely different journey.

The Vampire Psychologist series, by Lynda Hilburn (reprinted 2012)

I devoured (see what I did there?) this urban fantasy series. Kismet Knight is a Denver psychologist who finds herself in the middle of the vampire underworld. Smart, sexy and funny. Good for those who loved Deborah Harkness' All Souls trilogy. The first in the series is The Vampire Shrink.

A Thousand Mornings, by Mary Oliver (pub. 2012)

One of my favorite collections of poetry. Use this all the time in my restorative yoga classes. Just simply beautiful.

Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal, by Rachel Naomi Remen (pub. 1996)

I've given so many copies of this book to friends and family (and read it so many times) that I can't keep count anymore. It's been around almost 20 years (updated once for its tenth anniversary), but its messages are timeless.

What books would you add to this list?