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To Heck with Valentine's Day: Celebrate International Book Giving Day Instead!

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • February 14, 2020

Sure it's Valentine's Day, but what about people who aren't coupled up? We'd rather celebrate today's more inclusive holiday (even if it's slightly self-serving)—International Book Giving Day works for everyone! Now that we're thinking about it, this could even be combined with Valentine's Day. Get the perfect book for your sweetheart, along with a whole host of others!

Of course, it can be tricky choosing books for other people, so we've got you covered with a list of unique titles and the individuals who will love them.

For the mom who knows the story behind every family recipe

Eat Joy: Stories & Comfort Food From 31 Celebrated Writers
This collection of intimate, illustrated essays by 31 esteemed authors, including Carmen Maria Machado and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, explores the role that certain dishes have played in their lives. Perfect for someone who feels a deep emotional connection with food.

For the not-so-serious chef

The Bob's Burgers Burger Book
Fans of the cult television series will get the ultimate Bob's Burgers experience with seventy-five tasty burger recipes inspired by the show straight from the show's creator Loren Bouchard himself. Included are: the Bleu is the Warmest Cheese Burger, the Bruschetta-Bout-It Burger, and the Shoot-Out at the OK-ra Corral Burger (comes with Fried Okra).

For your friend who can't get enough of the Spooked podcast

The In-Betweens: The Spiritualists, Mediums, and Legends of Camp Etna
Blending memoir, ethnography, and investigative reporting, Mira Ptacin gives an engaging first-person account of her experience at a remote Maine camp where people commune with the dead. Bonus: The bookcover glows in the dark!

For the coworker who's always expecting the worst

The No Worries Workbook
This creative, interactive guidebook by Molly Burford is the perfect antidote to our frenzied, over-stimulated, electronic world! The book offers a set of 124 simple and engaging exercises for letting go of stress and worrying less.

For the new mom who's pretty sure she's the only one struggling

Confessions of a Domestic Failure
With razor-sharp wit and a knack for finding the funny in everything, Bunmi Laditan introduces a character as flawed and lovable as Bridget Jones, while hilariously lambasting the societal pressures placed upon every new mother.

For the dad who cuts comics out of the newspaper to share

The Complete Peanuts, 1950 to 1954
For Snoopy-lovers and book collectors, this book could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship—covering the first two-plus years of Charles M. Schulz's iconic strip. Comes packaged in a handsome collector's slipcase.

For your idealist brother who fantasizes about homesteading

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Barbara Kingsolver chronicles her family's adventure as they move to a farm in southern Appalachia and attempt to realign their lives with the local food chain. A funny, evocative read—it will appeal to any foodie, green-conscious reader.

For the host who always does everything with a sense of humor

I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence
Amy Sedaris's blisteringly funny take on entertaining, plus four-color photos and enlightening sidebars on throwing a party with extraordinary flair. This book is full of real hospitality tips and tricks. But most importantly, it's hilarious.

For your globe-trotting aunt who's planning a trip to India

Interpreter of Maladies
Short story collections make great gifts for people with busy lives and/or short attention spans. Jhumpa Lahiri's Pulitzer Prize-winning volume, including stories set in America and India, explores the idea of foreign-ness, in all its many forms.

For your artsy teenaged niece who's thinking about becoming a tattoo artist

How to Draw Modern Florals
This introductory step-by-step guide from artist Alli Koch teaches everything you need to know about the process of drawing and designing classic favorites like the rose, as well as succulents and cacti. No experience needed!

Hopefully this gives you some ideas for how to handle this special, celebratory day. Do you have any favorite books to give (or receive) as gifts? Let us know.

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Read more by Ashly Moore Sheldon

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