The best books to give a book lover

Why am I passionate about this?

I am writing about the good things in life, covering love, books, motorcycles, and everything in between. It was around 2010 when I started travelling for my job as a travel journalist and lived abroad for some years in France, Namibia, and Indonesia. I started to visit indie bookstores in every city I got to and made a book out of them ten years later. The best part was the precious, deep, and always inspiring conversations with the bookshop owners. This list contains their and my favourite well-tried book present recommendations for every age and occasion.


I wrote...

Do You Read Me? Bookstores Around The World

By Marianne Julia Strauss,

Book cover of Do You Read Me? Bookstores Around The World

What is my book about?

Do You Read Me? is showing the most beautiful, quirky and magic bookshops I found all over the world, from Los Angeles to Beijing, Reykjavik, Paris and Tel Aviv. Independent bookshops are personal, political and surprising, they can show you doors to unexpected roads. They are places where likeminded - and unlikeminded! - people meet, talk and inspire each other.

This book seeks out the most innovative and committed bookshops achieving this, sharing their concepts and celebrating book culture in all its glorious forms. Support your local bookstore!

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores

Marianne Julia Strauss Why did I love this book?

For any friend of yours that loves laughing or is a bookseller or wonders about the strangeness of human mankind often or has ever been in a bookstore, or all of that together, this is a perfect present. Jen Campbell is a bookseller herself and has a fine and hilarious sense of humour that is very contagious and perfectly capable to turn a rainy Saturday afternoon into some well-lived hours.

By Jen Campbell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Can books conduct electricity?'

'My children are just climbing your bookshelves: that's ok... isn't it?'

A John Cleese Twitter question ['What is your pet peeve?'], first sparked the "Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops" blog, which grew over three years into one bookseller's collection of ridiculous conversations on the shop floor. From 'Did Beatrix Potter ever write a book about dinosaurs?' to the hunt for a paperback which could forecast the next year's weather; and from 'I've forgotten my glasses, please read me the first chapter' to 'Excuse me... is this book edible?'

This full-length collection illustrated by the Brothers…


Book cover of Bibliophile

Marianne Julia Strauss Why did I love this book?

From the workspaces of famous authors to bookish quiz questions to portraits of the most adorable bookstore cats, this one is an illustrated love letter to the universe of books. Jane Mount recommends her best reads from memoirs to fantasy, shows her favourite bookstores, and presents songs about books, books that were turned into great films and so much more, including for sure some beautiful book facts that are new to your giftee.

By Jane Mount,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bibliophile as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Searching for perfect book lovers gifts? Rejoice! Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany, is a love letter to all things bookish. Author Jane Mount brings literary people, places, and things to life through her signature and vibrant illustrations. It's a must-have for every book collection, and makes a wonderful literary gift for book lovers, writers, and more.

Readers of Jane Mount's Bibliophile will delight in:
Touring the world's most beautiful bookstores Testing their knowledge of the written word with quizzes Finding their next great read in lovingly curated stacks of books Sampling the most famous fictional meals Peeking inside the workspaces of…


Book cover of Library Lion

Marianne Julia Strauss Why did I love this book?

This one by Michelle Knudsen is for the little and future book lovers. Library Lion is not only lovingly illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, it also tells a story of being courageous, thinking outside the box, and of having an open heart for everybody. My 8-year-old nephew loves reading this one with me again and again - including some loud roars of course - and I am the proud auntie that sees him being into libraries and lions as I am.

By Michelle Knudsen, Kevin Hawkes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Library Lion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A wonderful addition to any child's library, this is the multiple award-winning and bestselling picture book about what happens when a lion visits a library.

In this international and award-winning bestseller about the joys of discovering the library and making new friends, a lion visits the library for the very first time. The head librarian, Miss Merriweather, is very particular about rules in the library. But when the lion visits, she isn't sure what to do - there aren't any rules about lions in the library! As it turns out, this lion seems very well suited to library visiting. His…


Book cover of The Shadow of the Wind

Marianne Julia Strauss Why did I love this book?

If you want your present to be a novel with books being one of the main characters, this mesmerizing masterpiece by Carlos Ruiz Zafón is my choice. The story about a mysterious book and the search for its author is beautifully wrapped in a time span from the wild days of the Spanish Civil War to the Franco regime until the 1960s. Though it’s at least 10 years ago that I read it for the first time, this novel is still giving me shivers (the good ones). 

By Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Lucia Graves (translator),

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Shadow of the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller

"The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero." -Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice)

"One gorgeous read." -Stephen King

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer's son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julian Carax. But when he sets out to find the author's other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been…


Book cover of Massimo Listri. The World's Most Beautiful Libraries

Marianne Julia Strauss Why did I love this book?

With its double book size and its weight of 7 kg, this breathtaking tome by Massimo Listri defines the ‘coffee table book’ new - in fact you could use it at coffee table itself! The photos and stories of the most amazing libraries from the 15th to the 19th century will blow you away. As pricyest book of this list it is a perfect present for a milestone birthday for a dear one who loves historical libraries (and who wouldn’t?).

By Georg Ruppelt, Elisabeth Sladek,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Massimo Listri. The World's Most Beautiful Libraries as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the mighty halls of ancient Alexandria to the coffered ceilings of the Morgan Library in New York, human beings have had a long, enraptured relationship with libraries. Like no other concept and like no other space, the collection of knowledge, learning, and imagination offers a sense of infinite possibility. It's the unrivaled realm of discovery, where every faded manuscript or mighty clothbound tome might reveal a provocative new idea, a far-flung fantasy, an ancient belief, a religious conviction, or a whole new way of being in the world.

In this new photographic journey, Massimo Listri travels to some of…


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Down a Bad Road

By Regina Buttner,

Book cover of Down a Bad Road

Regina Buttner Author Of Down a Bad Road

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a close girlfriend who was once involved with a man she wanted to marry. The trouble was, the guy was always hanging out with this other woman who he’d known since childhood. Just friends, he said. Nothing going on. Ha! The shenanigans they got up to were unbelievable, and extremely upsetting to my girlfriend, who eventually broke up with the cad. Her unlucky experience got me interested in the psychology of the love triangle, and why some people remain mired in these dead-end relationships. My reading jam is anything twisty and suspenseful, and what’s more fraught than a three-way competition for someone’s affections.

Regina's book list on love triangles that turn deadly

What is my book about?

Jealousy can be deadly.

Ron Burley has a rule against messing around with married women, but lovely Lavender has convinced him to break it. Their steamy affair sets someone off, but it isn’t Lavender’s clueless husband—it’s Marta, Burley’s clingy childhood friend and ex-lover. 

Hoping to win Burley back, Marta dangles a lucrative job offer. Though he’s sorely tempted, Burley’s afraid to trust her due to the sketchy circumstances surrounding their bitter breakup years ago; but this might be his only chance to get back at her for what she did. Meanwhile, Lavender has become suspicious of Burley’s romantic history, and…

Down a Bad Road

By Regina Buttner,

What is this book about?

"Gripping and unforgettable suspense-think North Country, New York noir laced with dark humor. Don't plan on setting this fast-paced thriller down until you read the last page!" –Cam Torrens, author of Stable

Jealousy can be deadly.

Longtime bachelor Ron Burley has a rule against messing around with married women in his rural upstate New York town, but sassy, lovely Lavender has convinced him to break it. Their steamy affair sets someone off, but it isn't Lavender's clueless husband-it's Marta, Burley's clingy childhood friend and ex-lover.

Marta knows Burley is on the verge of going broke, so she secretly tries to…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in libraries, the Spanish Civil War, and lions?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about libraries, the Spanish Civil War, and lions.

Libraries Explore 51 books about libraries
The Spanish Civil War Explore 51 books about the Spanish Civil War
Lions Explore 26 books about lions