It’s gift-giving and last-minute-shopping time. And if you’re looking to get something for the bookworm in your life, a perfunctory “Gifts for book lovers” Google search will undoubtedly feed you a deluge of bookish trinkets and products. But here’s the thing. The best gift for a bookworm isn’t some fancy bookmark or library scented candle. The best gift you can give to your SFF-obsessed friend is a hefty tome they can enjoy. And lucky for you, we’ve assembled a quick ‘n’ easy gift guide for your book-loving friends and relatives.
But first, here’s our Best of 2020 list. If you have a bookworm on your list, here’s a sampling of the latest and greatest in the SFF genres. If that doesn’t scratch the itch, just keep on reading for some “books-as-gifts” recommendations.
The 2020 Quill To Live Gift Guide
For people who love The Hobbit: The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan
- What’s that you say? You like dragons and adventures? Well, then you really don’t have to look any further because that’s literally all this book is. Dragons and adventures.
For people looking for a sci-fi space opera: Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott
- This is for the friend who needs a good ole fashioned space fight, with a dash of heroism and intrigue. It moves fast, and doesn’t let the reader breathe, so they’ll be glued to the page just like they’ve always wanted.
For someone who’s on Santa’s nice list: The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
- Oh look, this book is on another list and the site owner is busy so I can sneak this one by! Seriously, though, give this one to your nicest, kindest friend. They’ll emerge even nicer and kinder.
For someone who’s on Santa’s naughty list: Prosper’s Demon by K.J. Parker
- Because this novella’s unnamed protagonist is so openly shitty that it’s impossible not to love him.
If you’re looking for wonderful and interesting characters: Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
- This one is for the folks who just love people, no matter who they are or how they live their life, they just love meeting people. Unfortunately, the people in this book don’t talk back and will most likely make them cry, but they’ll enjoy it nonetheless.
For someone who won’t stop telling you their story ideas: The Dungeon Master’s Guide
- Hand ‘em this book and tell them you’ll create a character. Boom, everybody wins. (The Player’s Handbook is a good idea, too).
For someone looking for a political commentary: Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer
- What’s that, you have a friend who likes politics with their politics, and with a side of more politics with a dessert full of intrigue? Give them Too Like The Lightning. they probably won’t be quiet about it, but hey, it’s a good story about the evolving nature of political systems.
For murder mystery buffs: Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger
- A mysterious death. Native American magic. Ghost dogs. Darcie Little Badger’s Elatsoe has it all.
For your “I want to read the book first” friend: Dune by Frank Herbert
- It’s a flagship sci-fi novel, but the movie is delayed to 2021. Perfect time for your cinema-buff friend to catch up on Frank Herbert’s masterpiece.
For people looking for an epic of gigantic proportion: Twelve Kings in Sharakhai by Bradley P. Beaulieu
- You don’t often hear this series mentioned next to Game of Thrones, Kingkiller Chronicle, Gentleman Bastards, and the like…but you should. Bradley P. Beaulieu crafts a sweeping adventure that any epic fantasy fiend will devour.
For people looking to explore a magical school other than Hogwarts: A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
- Don’t beat a dead horse. Revive it and make it ten times cooler than it was before. Enter Naomi Novik’s A Deadly Education. Oh, you thought the well of magic school content had been tapped dry? Think again.
For someone who wants to feel all the feels: The Divine Cities series by Robert Jackson Bennett
- These books will make you laugh, cry, gasp, sigh, and everything in between. Simply put, some of the best fantasy we’ve ever read. Also, there’s Sigrud. You’ll thank us later. We linked the first book, City of Stairs, but don’t sleep on City of Blades or City of Miracles. They’re all amazing.
For someone who cares about beautiful prose: Sailing to Sarantium by Guy Gavriel Kay
- Guy Gavriel Kay is a master of flowery language with a purpose, so you might as well hook your poet friends onto his work. You may never hear the end of it though, so be prepared.
For someone who wants to read a badass female protagonist: Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
- Just don’t tell them it’s about badass magic lawyers, unless that’s their bag, and you’ll be set.
For someone new to fantasy: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
- Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn is a perfect entry point into the fantasy genre. But don’t take our word for it here. Take our word for it in this post specifically for fantasy newcomers.
For someone still anxiously waiting for The Winds of Winter: The Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson
- Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book Of The Fallen is a beefy, 10-book epic fantasy of gargantuan proportions. And the series ended, as in the author finished it, in 2011. Be careful who you buy it for, though, Malazan is one of the biggest pillars of fantasy you can find. It’s an undertaking, and your friend may need this primer.
For someone who loves superheroes: Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots
- They might not like you for giving them a book that makes them unironically like the supervillain and want to see them win, but they’ll at least love the book.
For someone who loves fairytales: The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
The world’s sexiest manuhhhhh Henry Cavilluhhhhh Geralt of Rivia, the Witcher himself, fights monsters and explores twisted versions of popular fairy tales in this collection of stories from Andrzej Sapkowski.
For someone who wants to go on an adventure: Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell
- If your friend’s idea of a good time is getting involved in a fight they have no particular right to be in, that allows them to piss off people in power for the heck of it, and having an absolute blast doing it, this is the book for them.
For someone who needs a laugh: Mechanical Failure by Joe Zieja
- This series has a long set up, but an unfairly good punchline. This is for those friends who need to lighten up about taking genre fiction too seriously and just have a good time.
For someone who likes a short and snappy read: The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo
- We dubbed this a “scrumptious political snack” in our 9.0 review. Get it for your friend who wants an amazing story but can’t handle a 500-pager.
Have more recommendations? Want other ideas for your bookworm friends? Drop us a line in the comments. We at The Quill To Live wish you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!