8 Books That Should Top Everyone's Christmas List
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8 Books That Should Top Everyone's Christmas List

Gifts for those people who "don't like to read" and the seasoned page-turners—these books will never fail.


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8 Books That Should Top Everyone's Christmas List

No matter who you're shopping for this holiday season, here's a list of fool-proof gifts that anyone would love to see under their tree.

"Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life."
-Mark Twain

1. "The Geography of Bliss" - Eric Weiner 

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Out of all the books I've read in the past year, I think of this one the most. Former international NPR correspondent Eric Weiner researches this new idea of "global happiness." Now I'm sure you've heard something about the recent science of happiness and how global countries rank on this scale, but this book takes it to another level. Weiner first-hand explains his experience traveling in a handful of the most outlandishly ranked countries. He gives each an overarching definition, showing us that although we are closer to measuring happiness, it is still subjective to value judgements. For Moldova, happiness is just less sadness. In the Netherlands, it's the freedom to do whatever you like. In Qatar, happiness is money, and so on.

2. "Strength To Love" - Martin Luther King Jr. 

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This one, though written with complete intention to be read by religious people, is accessible and essential for all. No matter your demographic, this novel eloquently combines all of the values of religion into a guide on how to LOVE. It serves as a guide for both empathy and successful leadership and reminds us to keep the bigger picture in mind through all trials of life. I strongly believe this book should be read by all people who want to be influencers in life. Though it may come off strong, this collection of sermons leaves few cognitive gaps and can be boiled down to non-religious ideals.

3. "All the Light We Cannot See" - Anthony Doerr

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Okay. This book. Read it. I can't even begin to put into words the way this book impacted my life. Doerr's amazing use of metaphors and details will leave you in awe. Ten years in the making, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel that has the ability to stick with you forever. If a man took TEN YEARS to write this, he deserves a month of your time to read it.

4. "The Alchemist" - Paulo Coelho

This is the story of a Shepard boy Santiago on a quest to find his personal legend. Beautifully written and presented, this book will leave you with a warm feeling in your heart and the desire to act with more mindfulness.

5. "Into the Wild" - Jon Krakaur

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This is a classic wanderlust tale of leaving everything behind to pursue a solitary, minimalistic lifestyle. If you ever thought about dropping everything to just travel, this is the novel for you. A real-story of a man who abandoned his car in the desert, threw away his trust fund, and embarked on true self-actualization—this book is sure to keep you hooked. Fair warning though, you may feel the need to do the same upon completion.

6. "Ready Player One" - Ernest Clien

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This one is for all my nerds out there!! Riddled with allusions to 80's pop culture, video game culture, technology and (of course) a hint of dystopia, Clien creates a novel that is sure to keep your attention. In fact, it caught one man's attention in particular–thank you Steven Spielberg for bringing this book to life in theaters in 2017. Check out the book before you see the film as it illustrates important messages about teamwork, seeing past differences and I mean who doesn't love a good action scene? Definitely a "pick up and can't put down" sort of afternoon read. Short, sweet, entertaining...lovely.

7. "The Picture of Dorian Grey" - Oscar Wilde 

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If you know me at all, you probably know what a geek I am for Wilde. This book is my all time favorite. In fact, I can barely read my copy given that I've underlined almost every sentence in the book. A beautifully composed story about youth, vanity and the power of friendship, this is one you'll want to focus on. Read with a pen in hand, coffee on the table and your favorite song playing in the background. Your life will not be the same afterward.

8. Frankenstein - Mary Shelly 

Okay seriously, what a great book—the original pioneer of addressing the time-old battle between nature and nurture. Is mankind the way it is because God (or some universal governance) assigned us to be as so, or is it because of the way we are raised? Does evil exist because it is created as such, or because society labels it as so? Can the same thing be said about goodness? Find your brain wandering through these questions and more while reading this complex novel that has withstood the test of time.

Some more books that didn't quite make the cut but are phenomenal for all interest groups nonetheless...

"Flowers for Algernon" - Daniel Keyes

"The Great Gatsby" - F.Scott Fitzgerald

"The Old Man and the Sea" - Hemmingway

"A Tramp Abroad" - Twain

"South of Yosemite" - Muir

"Oliver Twist" - Dickens


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