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We don’t mean to state the obvious, but books are an awesome gift. They’re thoughtful, compact and cover just about every obsession, fascination or hobby. Whether you’re shopping for your cool younger cousin or your baking-obsessed work wife, here are 43 tomes to consider for everyone on your list this year.

RELATED: These Are the Best Book PureWow Editors Have Read This Year

1. Cooking at Home: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Recipes (And Love My Microwave) by David Chang and Priya Krishna

For the home chef

Co-written by Momofuku founder David Chang and former New York Times food writer Priya Krishna, Cooking at Home is about learning the smartest, fastest, least meticulous, most delicious and absolutely imperfect ways to cook. From figuring out the best ways to use frozen vegetables to learning when to ditch recipes and just cook by taste, this handy guide tackles substituting, adapting, shortcutting and more.

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2. The Baseball 100 by Joe Posnanski

For the sports fan

In this mammoth book (it’s 880 pages), award-winning sportswriter and lifelong student of the game Joe Posnanski tells the story of baseball through the remarkable lives of its 100 greatest players. From comparing the career and influence of Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth to profiles of the players of the segregated Negro Leagues, whose extraordinary careers were largely overlooked by sportswriters at the time, it’s a tribute to the game and players so many millions of people love.

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3. Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres by Kelefa Sanneh

For the music nerd

In this fascinating work, New Yorker staff writer Sanneh dives deep into how popular music unites and divides us, charting the way genres become communities. Focusing on rock, R&B, country, pop, punk, hip hop and dance, he shows how these genres have been defined by the tension between mainstream and outsider, between authenticity and phoniness, between good and bad, right and wrong, while debunking cherished myths, reappraising beloved heroes and upending familiar ideas of musical greatness.

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4. Royal Trivia: Your Guide to the Modern British Royal Family by Rachel Bowie and Roberta Fiorito

For the royal family fanatic

Think you know everything there is to know about Princess Diana? Can you name all the Queen’s corgis? Do you remember every detail of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress? Meet your new best friend: Royal Trivia: Your Guide to the Modern British Royal Family. Written by PureWow’s own Rachel Bowie and Roberta Fiorito, cohosts of the Royally Obsessed podcast, the trivia book includes Qs about every major player in the modern British monarchy, including the iconic fashions of Lady Di, landmark wedding celebrations like Meghan and Harry’s, royal births and more.

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5. Nightbitch: A Novel by Rachel Yoder

For the overwhelmed mom

Two years after an ambitious mom puts her art career on hold to stay at home with her son, she discovers a dense patch of hair on the back of her neck and her canines suddenly look sharper than she remembers. As her symptoms—and her temptation to give in to her new dog impulses—intensify, she discovers the mysterious academic tome and meets a group of mom involved in a multilevel-marketing scheme (who may also be more than what they seem). A novel unlike anything you’ve read recently, Nighbitch is a satirical fairytale about art, power and womanhood.

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6. Femlandia by Christina Dalcher

For the love of all things dystopian

Miranda always thought she would rather die than live in Femlandia. But when the country sinks into total economic collapse and her husband walks out on her and her 16-year-old daughter, the two set off to Femlandia, the women-only colony Miranda's mother established decades ago. Though it initially feels like a safe haven, something isn’t right. There are no men allowed in the colony, but babies are being born—and they're all girls, leading Miranda to question how far her mother went to create this seemingly perfect and thriving society.

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7. Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe

For the newshound

The Sacklers are one of the richest families in the world. Their name adorns the walls of Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford, the Louvre and more. How they got to be so wealthy, though, was pretty vague until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing the catalyst for the opioid crisis, OxyContin. This is a meticulously researched saga of three generations of a single family and the mark they’ve left on the world.

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8. Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes by Phoebe Robinson

For the funny friend

We’ve come to know Phoebe Robinson as a whip-smart chronicler of the indignities and hilarities of modern life. Her latest collection of essays touches on performative allyship and white guilt; exploring what it's like to be a woman who doesn't want kids living in a society where motherhood is the crowning achievement of a straight, cis woman's life; how the dire state of mental health in America means that taking care of one's mental health—"self-care"—usually requires disposable money and more.

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9. The Shattering: America in the 1960s by Kevin Boyle FIX TEXT

For the history buff

Covering the late 1950s through the early 1970s, The Shattering focuses on that era’s fierce conflicts over race, sex and war. Historian Kevin Boyle covers everything from the violence of Birmingham and the Vietnam war to Americans' challenges to government regulation of sexuality, which yielded landmark decisions on privacy rights, gay rights, contraception and abortion. In addition to the major stuff, however, Boyle is sure to shine a light on some lesser-known moments, creating an incredibly comprehensive study of a decade your giftee may or may not remember.

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10. One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

For the activist high schooler

When teen activist Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her devastated sister Happi and their family are left reeling. But as Kezi becomes another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality, Happi questions the idealized way her sister is remembered. She’s “one of the good ones,” they say. As she wonders why only certain people are deemed worthy to be missed, Happi and her sister Genny embark on a journey to honor Kezi in their own way.

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11. Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion by Dr. Wendy Suzuki

For the therapy-goer

Dr. Wendy Suzuki is a world-renowned neuroscientist and author of Healthy Brain, Happy Life. Her new book asks what would happen if we had a way to leverage our anxiety to help us solve problems and fortify our wellbeing and, instead of seeing anxiety as a curse, we could recognize it as a unique gift. Drawing on her own struggles and based on cutting-edge research, Good Anxiety is an inspiring guidebook for managing unwarranted anxiety and turning it into a powerful asset.

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12. Just as I Am: A Memoir by Cicely Tyson

For the cinephile

Stage and screen legend Cicely Tyson died at the beginning of this year at the age of 96. Throughout her illustrious career, Tyson received three Primetime Emmy Awards, four Black Reel Awards, one Screen Actors Guild Award, one Tony Award, an honorary Academy Award and a Peabody Award. Her memoir is packed with details from her personal and professional journeys, including growing up with an abusive father, her on-again off-again relationship with Miles Davis, how she rose to the top of her field as a Black woman and so much more.

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13. Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

For the millennial

In her first novel after the wildly successful Normal People, Rooney focuses on two best friends and the men they’re tentatively dating. There’s Alice, a novelist, who’s seeing Felix, a man who works in a warehouse in the remote Irish town where Alice has relocated after a nervous breakdown. In Dublin, Alice’s best friend Eileen is working as an underpaid editorial assistant when she slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood. The four characters are still young, but life is catching up with them. Similarly to Rooney’s other simmering emotional portraits, these characters spend the novel desiring each other, deluding each other, getting together and breaking up. Filled with rich conversations and steamy sex scenes, Beautiful World, Where Are You is a deeply relatable character study from an author who has once again proven herself a force to be reckoned with.

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14. outside in by deborah underwood

Published during the height of the pandemic, Outside In is a meditation, for preschool-age kids, on the many ways nature affects our everyday lives, even when we're stuck inside. This cute and surprisingly insightful picture book reminds soon-to-be readers of the ways nature touches our lives in even when we're in our homes, apartments and cars.

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15. People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

For the beach bum

Alex and Poppy are polar opposites who are somehow best friends. Poppy lives in New York City, while Alex stayed in their small hometown, but every summer, for a decade, they’ve taken one week of vacation together. Until two years ago, when they ruined everything and spoke for the last time. Feeling stuck in a rut, Poppy decides to convince Alex to take one more vacation together to make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees, meaning they have just one week to mend their entire relationship.

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16. Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success by Gary Vaynerchuk

For your nephew who won't stop talking about NFTs

In his sixth business book, bestselling author, entrepreneur and investor Gary Vaynerchuk (whose VaynerX owns PureWow's parent company) explores the 12 essential emotional skills that are integral to his happiness and success. How do we know when to balance patience with ambition? How about humility with conviction? In Twelve and a Half, Vaynerchuk provides real-life examples involving common business scenarios to show leaders both established and green to use them together for optimum results.

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17. Heart of Fire by Mazie K. Hirono

For the child of immigrants

Raised poor on her family's rice farm in rural Japan, Hirono was seven years old when her mother left her abusive husband and sailed with her two elder children to the United States. Though Hiromo didn’t speak English when she entered school in Hawaii, she went on to hold state and national office and is now the first Asian-American woman and the only immigrant serving in the U.S. Senate. Her memoir is an inspiring account of both her mother’s courage and her personal journey coming into her own power.

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18. Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell

For the cult-obsessed

Scroll through your Netflix queue, Twitter account or New York Times app and you’re likely to see something about cults, whether sinister (like NXIVM) or seemingly harmless (like SoulCycle). Montell’s (Wordslut) latest is an examination of what makes “cults” so intriguing and frightening. What makes us binge Manson documentaries by the dozen? Why do we fall down rabbit holes researching suburban moms gone QAnon? Montell maintains that it’s not only because we're looking for a satisfying explanation for what causes people to join—and stay in—extreme groups, but because we secretly want to know if it could happen to us...

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19. Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho

For the elementary-age reader

In the spirit of Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, this important picture book tells a story about learning to love and celebrate diversity. When a young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers', she realizes that her eyes are like her mother's, her grandmother's and her little sister's. Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self-love and empowerment.

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20. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

For the literati

Kazuo Ishiguro is back and better than ever with Klara and the Sun, his first novel since being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The book centers on Klara, an Artificial Friend, or humanoid machine, who's a slightly older model than the current production run. In a similar vein as Ishiguro's fantastic Never Let Me Go, hist latest poses questions about what it means to love, and what happens to the people who must be cast aside in order for others to move forward.

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21. Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters

For the person with a modern family

Reese was thisclose to having it all: a loving relationship, an apartment in New York City and a job she didn't hate. She had a life that previous generations of trans women could only dream of. But then her girlfriend, Amy, detransitions and became Ames, and everything falls apart. But Ames isn't happy either. He thought detransitioning to live as a man would make life easier, but that decision cost him pretty much everything. To add insult to injury, Ames's boss and lover reveals that she's pregnant with his baby, leaving Ames to wonder if the three of them could form some kind of unconventional family and raise the baby together.

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22. My Remarkable Journey: A Memoir by Katherine Johnson

For the one who loves a good science story

You might know Katherine Johnson’s name from the New York Times best-seller and Oscar-winning film Hidden Figures (Taraji P. Henson played Johnson in the movie). Johnson was a mathematician whose calculations as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights. In this posthumously published memoir, Johnson shares her journey from child prodigy in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia to her historic work at NASA.

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23. Center Center: A Funny, Sexy, Sad Almost-Memoir of a Boy in Ballet by James Whiteside

For the ballet enthusiast

James Whiteside is an American Ballet Theatre principal dancer who's redefining what it means to be a man in ballet. His memoir in essays explains in absurd detail how he got to be a primo ballerina—including musings on the tragically fated childhood pets who taught him how to feel, ill-advised partying at summer dance camps and imagined fantastical run-ins with Jesus on Grindr. Overall, it’s an unapologetic celebration of queerness, self-expression, friendship, pushing boundaries and more.

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24. The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

For the friend who’s had a string of crappy jobs

In this thrilling debut, Nella is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. That is, until Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers and the two bond immediately. Things change, though, when Hazel becomes an office darling, and Nella is left in the dust. Then notes start to appear on Nella's desk—"LEAVE WAGNER. NOW”—and she soon realizes that there's a lot more at stake than just her career.

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25. Confident Women: Swindlers, Grifters and Shape-Shifters of the Feminine Persuasion by Tori Telfer

For the person who loves a good scam story

When you think of famous cons and scams throughout history, you likely think about Frank Abagnale (of Catch Me If You Can fame), Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff. Often forgotten are notorious female con artists—like Kate and Maggie Fox (who, in the mid-1800s, pretended they could speak to spirits), Loreta Janeta Velasquez (who is known for claiming to be a soldier and convincing people she worked for the Confederacy—or the Union, depending on who she was talking to) and Cassie Chadwick (who got banks to loan her upwards of $40,000 by telling people she was Andrew Carnegie's illegitimate daughter)—and their bold, outrageous scams. In this fascinating, darkly funny look at history, Telfer (Lady Killers) asks: Where does chutzpah intersect with a uniquely female pathology, and how were these notorious women able to so spectacularly dupe and swindle their victims?

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26. Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

For the NYC native

To his customers and neighbors on 125th street in Harlem, Ray is an upstanding furniture salesman making a decent life for himself and his family. What they don’t know is that Ray descends from a line of crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger all the time. When his cousin falls in with a crowd who plans to rob a hotel, Ray suddenly has a new clientele made up of shady cops, vicious local gangsters and other assorted lowlifes. As Ray navigates this double life, he begins to see who actually pulls the strings in Harlem.

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27. She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard

For the artsy, angsty teen

The summer is winding down in San Diego in this YA thriller inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray. Veronica is bored and uninspired in her photography. Nico is subversive and obsessed with chaotic performance art. They're artists first, best friends second, until Mick, Veronica’s dream girl, hits the scene. Soon, the two are falling in love when tragedies start happening—one fire, two murders and three drowning bodies. As suspects and stalkers emerge, this psychological whodunnit explores the intersections of love, art, danger and power.

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28. Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light: Essays by Helen Ellis 

For the boomer

Imagine your funniest friend—the one who can take make you laugh with little more than a sideways glance. The one who can make light of even the direst of situations. Now imagine that friend sitting you down and regaling you with 12 of her trademark wonderful stories. That’s pretty much what it’s like to read Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light, a new book by Helen Ellis (Southern Lady Code). In each of the book’s essays, Ellis tells stories about friendship and middle-age—even the not so glamorous parts (*cough* menopause *cough*). Conversational, witty and often poignant, the collection is one you’ll blow through while ear-marking pages to send to your group chat.

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29. Hello, Transcriber by Hannah Morrissey

For the wannabe crime reporter

In Wisconsin's most crime-ridden city, Hazel Greenlee is a police transcriber and an aspiring novelist who believes that writing a book could be her only ticket out. When her neighbor confesses to hiding the corpse of an overdose victim, Hazel becomes spellbound by the lead detective and the chilling narrative he shares with her. She quickly gets sucked into the investigation and is forced to determine just how far she will go for her story, even if it means destroying her marriage, her career and any chance she has of getting out of town alive.

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30. Single and Forced to Mingle: A Guide for (Nearly) Any Awkward Situation by Melissa Croce

For the single lady

One of the silver linings to 2020’s craziness was being able to avoid weird conversations with distant relatives at holiday parties about whether or not you’re still (yes, still) single. Part real-world guide, part commiseration and part celebration, Croce’s tongue-in-cheek guidebook gives you tips, tricks and advice for how to graciously endure all of the cringe-worthy scenarios your single self may dread, from awkward small talk with an ex to navigating well-meaning but insensitive relatives.

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31. The Unofficial Disney Parks Drink Recipe Book by Ashley Craft

For the Disney adult

Did they drink their way around the Magic Kingdom? Did they miss their twice-yearly trip to Orlando more than anything else during the pandemic? Get them this book. From coffee and tea to milkshakes and slushies to mocktails and cocktails, this tome features more 100 fan-favorite beverages from the happiest place on Earth. Cheers.

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32. It Had to Be You by Georgia Clark

For the rom-com lover

Anyone else feeling desperate for an escape from reality in the form of a book? Same, which is why we're positively jazzed about Clark’s latest, about a Brooklyn wedding planner who dies unexpectedly, and instead of leaving half of the business to his wife and business partner, leaves his share to…his much younger mistress. Chaos and hilarity ensue.

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33. Tacky: Love Letters to the Worst Culture We Have to Offer by Rax King

For the pop culture savant

This debut essay collection by journalist and podcaster King is all about pop culture—the high-brow, the low-brow and everything in between. Each of the book’s 14 essays revolves around a different maligned yet important cultural artifact, providing thoughtful meditations on desire, love and the power of nostalgia. Think: An essay about the gym-tan-laundry experience of Jersey Shore and how it relates the death of King’s father; or a story about how Guy Fieri helped the author heal from an abusive relationship.

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34. Ladyparts: A Memoir by Deborah Copaken

For the divorcee

Twenty years after publishing her memoir Shutterbabe, Copaken is broke, getting divorced and fighting on sexism's battlefield as she heads to the hospital in an UberPool. Ladyparts is an examination of the female body and the body politic of womanhood in America, touching on single motherhood, a broken healthcare system, unaffordable childcare, ageism, sexism and more.

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35. The 2000s Made Me Gay: Essays on Pop Culture by Grace Perry

For the queer millennial

While it’s easy for young people today to look around and see queer role models pretty much everywhere, that hasn’t always been the case. As a teenager, writer Grace Perry had to search for queerness in the (largely straight) teen cultural phenomena the aughts had to offer: Gossip Girl, Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl," country-era Taylor Swift, and more. Her new collection of essays is a hilarious and nostalgic trip through 2000s media, interweaving cultural criticism and personal narrative to examine how a very straight decade forged a very queer woman.

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36. The Divines by Ellie Eaton

For the person who looks back fondly (or not-so-fondly) on boarding school

For Josephine, now in her thirties, her years at St. John the Divine, an elite English boarding school, are a lifetime away. She hasn't even spoken to another so-called Divine in 15 years, when the school shuttered its doors in disgrace. When she inexplicably finds herself returning to her old stomping grounds, Josephine becomes obsessed with her teenage identity, edging closer and closer to the violent secret at the heart of the school's scandal.

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37. Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalola

For short-story fiend

In her debut collection, Babalola retells beautiful love stories from history and mythology with new detail and vivacity. Focusing on the magical folktales of West Africa, she also reimagines Greek myths, ancient legends from the Middle East and stories from long-erased places. With richly drawn characters like a young businesswoman attempting a great leap in her career and an even greater one in her love life and a powerful Ghanaian spokeswoman forced to decide whether she should uphold her family's politics or be true to her heart, Love in Color is a celebration of romance in many different forms.

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38. She Memes Well: Essays by Quinta Brunson

For the person who’s always on Twitter

You might recognize comedian Quinta Brunson from her really funny tweets or her often viral BuzzFeed videos. Her debut essay collection covers her weird road to Internet notoriety. She discusses what it was like to go from flat broke to “halfway recognizable,” and her experience rising up the ranks in a predominantly white industry.

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39. Fiona, It’s Bedtime by Richard Cowdrey

For the kid who wants to stay up all night

Fiona is the adorable internet sensation from the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. In this cuddly, read-aloud picture book, follow Fiona as she says good night to all her animal friends before snuggling up with her mama—encouraging kids to drift off to sleep with their own bedtime routine.

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40. Sarahland: Stories by Sam Cohen

For the Sarah in your life (you know there’s at least one)

In America in 2021, you either know someone named Sarah or you’re named Sarah yourself. In this wonderfully weird debut story collection, Cohen explores identity, sexuality and relationships through a series of stories about characters named, you guessed it, Sarah. In one story, a Sarah finds pleasure—and a new set of problems—by playing dead for a wealthy necrophiliac. Another Buffy-loving Sarah uses fan fiction to work through romantic obsession. It’s witty, subversive and a whole lot of fun.

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41. extra life: A Short History of Living Longer by steven johnson

For the pop science fan

Breaking down a complicated topic in a not only understandable, but juicy way, this is a fascinating history of why and how life expectancy has doubled in the past century. Like, did you know that early antibiotics research was conducted by government workers who walked around squeezing melons (looking for the perfect bacteria)? Or that one woman is credited with bringing smallpox inoculation to the west, after observing it in Turkey in the 18th century? This is the type of book that you'll think about—and tell everyone about—for a while.

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42. A New Take on Cake by Anne Byrn

For anyone with a sweet tooth

Show us a person who doesn’t love cake and we’ll show you a person we’re not sure we can trust. Cookbook author Anne Byrn is known for her cake mix magic, and her latest tome makes baking from a boxed mix as inspiring as it is easy. With 50 modernized classics and 125 brand-new recipes for delectable treats like Ice Cream Cone Cake, Vegan Chocolate Cake with Creamy Nutella Frosting and Blood Orange Loaf with Campari Glaze, your guests will never know your creations were made from boxed mixes. (Plus, there are recipes for gluten- and sugar-free eaters as well as those following a plant-based diet.)

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43. Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart

For the couple who quarantined together

In March 2020, a group of eight friends and friends-of-friends gathers in a country house to wait out the pandemic. Over the next six months, new relationships will take hold and old betrayals will emerge, forcing each character to reevaluate what matters most. There’s a Russian-born novelist, a struggling Indian American writer, a wildly successful Korean American app developer, a movie star and more, all interacting via Shteyngart’s signature style of humor-meets-tragedy.

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RELATED: Quiz: What New Book Should You Read Right Now?

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