When you’re a kid, seeing a book-shaped present under the Christmas tree can be a letdown — many would rather have a toy or cool game to play with. But as we’ve grown up, we’ve grown to appreciate the thought and care that goes into receiving a book as a gift. Whether it’s a new-to-you book that you can look forward to reading, or an old favorite in a new edition, we’re choosing to unwrap books first this holiday season!
The Books Forward team got together to reminisce on some of our favorites books we’ve been given during the holiday season:
“My father read To Kill A Mockingbird to my sisters and me when I was under 10 years old. He read us all of the classics. When I started JKS Communications for book publicity, he and my mother gave me a first-edition copy. I treasure it.”
Julie Schoerke Gallagher, founder
“When I was a kid, my dad bought me a copy of Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. It’s a classic that I’ve revisited multiple times, reading it from cover to cover!”
Angelle Barbazon, lead publicist
“Years ago, my dad got me a copy of The Snowman by Jo Nesbo for Christmas — usually I like to read a series from the beginning, but this book worked really well as a standalone. After reading it, I immediately dove into the rest of the series and got really into other Nordic noir books as a result!”
Ellen Whitfield, senior publicist
“I actually don’t buy a lot of books for myself anymore, even ones that become some of my favorites. So when I couldn’t stop raving about A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza, a friend (*cough* Books Forward publicist Ellen *cough*) bought it for me for Christmas 2019. Now, I have it on my shelf and can pick it up and reread anytime I want to feel all those feels again.”
Jennifer Vance, publicist
“When I was a teenager, my grandma gave me Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier for Christmas. I love watching my grandma’s favorite classic movies with her, and after reading Rebecca, I was swept into reading every book turned into an adaptation I could get my hands on. My grandma and I still discuss which books were better than the movies, and love cozying up on the couch together to rewatch all of them.”
Corrine Pritchett, publicist
“A decade ago, my good friend introduced me to Bill Bryson with his book The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America. Bryson had me at the first line: ‘I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.’ It was the first time I ever laughed aloud, unashamed, in public while reading a book, and this continued as I read the rest of Bryson’s works. Most people start with and favor A Walk in the Woods (also hilarious) but The Lost Continent remains my favorite (because it has to be somebody’s favorite).”
Chris Gorman, special projects
Ellen Whitfield is senior publicist at Books Forward, an author publicity and book marketing firm committed to promoting voices from a diverse variety of communities. From book reviews and author events, to social media and digital marketing, we help authors find success and connect with readers.