Great gift books don’t have to be expensive. Below is a selection of well-priced fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and children’s titles destined for bookstore gift displays this holiday season.

Fiction & Poetry

After Alice

Gregory Maguire (Morrow, $26.99)

Published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s classic, this novel from Wicked author Maguire is “a feast for the mind,” wrote PW in a starred review.

Felicity: Poems

Mary Oliver (Penguin Press, $24.95)

This is the latest collection of poetry from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Dog Songs.

Golden Age

Jane Smiley (Knopf, $26.95)

The final volume in the Last Hundred Years trilogy, by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author, brings the Langdon family forward to the present, and beyond.

Goodnight, Mr. Wodehouse: A Novel

Faith Sullivan (Milkweed, $26)

“I was reminded of the extraordinary novels of the late, great William Maxwell,” wrote Margot Livesey (The Flight of Gemma Hardy) of Sullivan’s new novel.

House of Thieves: A Novel

Charles Belfoure (Sourcebooks/Landmark, $25)

“Belfoure’s sly, roguish writing opens a window to those living both gilded and tarnished lives... a most memorable, evocative read,” wrote PW in a starred review.

A Little Life

Hanya Yanagihara (Doubleday, $30)

Shortlisted for a Man Booker Prize and a National Book Award finalist, this novel traces the lives of four college friends through their 50s.

Pretty Baby

Mary Kubica (Harlequin/Mira, $24.95)

In a starred review, PW called this novel by the author of The Good Girl “a superb psychological thriller.”

Son of the Black Sword (Saga of the Forgotten Warrior)

Larry Correia (Baen, $25)

In book one of Saga of the Forgotten Warrior, “bestselling fantasy author Correia (The Grimnoir Chronicles) casts a compelling spell,” wrote PW in a starred review.


The Devil’s Financial Dictionary

Jason Zweig (Public Affairs, $19.99)

In the spirit of Ambrose Bierce’s satirical The Devil’s Dictionary, Zweig distills the complexities, absurdities, and pomposities of Wall Street into plain truths.

The Dogist: Photographic Encounters with 1,000 Dogs

Elias Weiss Friedman (Workman/Artisan, $24.95)

“Even readers who don’t consider themselves dog lovers will have a hard time resisting this heartwarming collection,” wrote PW.

Earth and Space: Photographs from the Archives of NASA

Nirmala Nataraj and NASA (Chronicle, $40)

This collection offers a tour of the universe that includes images of Earth from above, our solar system, and other celestial bodies. With a preface by Bill Nye.

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States

Sarah Vowell (Riverhead, $27.95)

This “crash course on the fledgling nation’s teenaged French general... [offers] an entertaining, nontraditional look at American history and a fast, enjoyable read,” wrote PW.

The Living Bird: 100 Years of Listening to Nature

Gerrit Vyn (Mountaineers, $29.95)

This book, marking the centennial of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, explores the relationship between birds and people in 250 images. With a foreword by Barbara Kingsolver.

Sinatra: The Chairman

James Kaplan (Doubleday, $35)

“Kaplan’s sympathetic but unflinching narrative revels in the entertainer’s scandalous private life while offering rapt, insightful appreciations of his sublime recording and stage performances,” wrote PW in a starred review.

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome

Mary Beard (Norton/Liveright, $35)

Classicist Beard (The Fires of Vesuvius) looks at how Rome, once an insignificant village in central Italy, became a seat of power for an ancient empire that stretched from Spain to Syria.

Twain & Stanley Enter Paradise

Oscar Hijuleos (Grand Central, $28)

“This vividly imagined and detailed epic about two giants of the 19th century is the product of over a decade of work,” wrote PW in a starred review.

Under This Roof: The White House and the Presidency

Paul Brandus (Globe Pequot/Lyons, $25.95)

Beltway journalist Brandus dishes the dirt on the intimate history of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and its mythic residents, past and present, in this accessible overview.

Wild Life of the World

Edited by Don E. Wilson (DK/Smithsonian, $50)

This book contains portrait-style, up-close photography of individual animals and profiles.


The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science

J. Kenji López-Alt (Norton, $49.95)

“The managing culinary director of the Serious Eats website... takes a deep dive into classic recipes and their best preparation methods,” wrote PW in a starred review.

The Nordic Cookbook

Magnus Nilsson (Phaidon, $49.95)

This magnum opus by the head chef of Sweden’s Fäviken Magasinet contains more than 700 recipes.

100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials

America’s Test Kitchen (America’s Test Kitchen, $40)

This book distills essential recipes for any cook.

Children's Books

The Day the Crayons Came Home

Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers (Philomel, $18)

“Once again, Daywalt and Jeffers create rich emotional lives and personalities for their colorful cast, and it’s hard to imagine a reader who won’t be delighted,” wrote PW in a starred review. Ages 5–8.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Illustrated Edition

J.K. Rowling, with illustrations by Jim Kay (Scholastic/Levine, $39.99)

The beloved first book of the Harry Potter series is now fully illustrated by award-winning artist Kay.

The Marvels

Brian Selznick (Scholastic Press, $32.99)

In a starred review, PW called this a “powerful story about creating lasting art and finding family in unexpected places.”

Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovitch and the Siege of Leningrad

M.T. Anderson (Candlewick, $25.99)

The National Book Award winner examines the role played by Russian composer Shostakovich and his Leningrad Symphony in the Siege of Leningrad.