517 Magazine Days of Giveaways

Gift Book Picks for 2020

It’s the time of year when people start thinking about gift giving.

It’s the time of year when people start thinking about gift giving. I’ve been sifting through the stacks to narrow down a few standout titles that might make great gifts for those on your list.

For a great Michigan read, check out “Black Bottom Saints” by Alice Randall. Presented in the style of a book of saints, it shares the stories of legendary figures who moved through Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood at its height, from the Great Depression through World War II.

A timely pick for young readers is “Stamped” by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. This remix of Kendi’s “Stamped from the Beginning” is a hip look at racism that doesn’t “feel like homework” — one that adults would enjoy too. It’s also a wonderful audiobook read by Reynolds.

For nature lovers — and maybe especially for those who have rediscovered nature in response to the pandemic — try “Heartland Habitats: 265 Midwest Nature Walks” by Mary Blocksma. It’s a lovely guide to what to look for on walks or even in our own backyard, from birds to plants to fungi.

A favorite kids’ pick would be anything by author Minh Lê, who, along with an assortment of wonderful artists, has produced a couple of picture books and a juvenile Green Lantern graphic novel for DC just this year. His latest book is “Lift,” gorgeously illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat. It explores the adjustments a little girl must make with a younger sibling — including not always being the one to push the elevator buttons.

And for that avid reader with a sense of humor, grab “I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf” by New York Times illustrator Grant Snider. This lovely exploration of the joys and frustrations of reading has something for everyone, including strips on reading to children, libraries and gift books.

For more recommendations, check out our Capital Area District Libraries Staff Picks feature or get personalized help with our BookSleuth P.I. service. Find these under the Books & More tab at cadl.org.

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