The gift of reading: book recommendations for the Holiday Season

Work Life balance during the holiday season
December 12, 2023
Eco-friendly wrapping
December 18, 2023

Books make the perfect gift – whether birthdays, special achievements and rewards or the holiday season. Reading promotes knowledge and empathy – so in giving a book, you’re also giving these skills.


Have you heard the argument that one only requires three presents at Christmas? One thing to wear, one thing to do, one thing to read. For the lucky amongst us, the gift pile is significantly taller than that these days – but the fact remains that a book can be one of the most pleasurable and meaningful gifts to receive.

In this spirit, the Blueprint team has compiled a selection of four thoughtful book recommendations for 2024 to promote knowledge and empathy through the holiday season and beyond.


#1. If I Could Tell You Just One Thing… Encounters with Remarkable People and Their Most Valuable Advice by Richard Reed

Richard Reed built Innocent Drinks from a smoothie stall on a street corner to one of the biggest brands in Britain. He credits his success to four brilliant pieces of advice, each given to him just when he needed them most. Ever since, it has been his habit, whenever he meets somebody he admires, to ask them for their best piece of advice. If they could tell him just one thing, what would it be?

In this book, Reed has collected pearls of wisdom from some of the most remarkable, inspiring and game-changing people from the fields of business, tech, philanthropy, politics, sport, art, spirituality, medicine, film and design. This includes Hollywood greats like Judi Dench and Richard Curtis; entrepreneurial legends like Richard Branson and Simon Cowell; sports stars and TV personalities like Andy Murray and James Cordon to political activists and born survivors like Mandela’s Comrades and Katie Piper. This book picks some of the world’s most interesting brains to give you a lesson in how to live, how to love, how to create and how to succeed.

#2. Yellowface by R.F. Kuang

The bestselling author of Babel harnesses her satirical powers in this tantalising and deliciously humorous literary thriller. Yellowface interrogates ambition, greed and white privilege with deadly precision. This hotly tipped satire received widespread critical acclaim and many book-club recommendations in 2023 for the deft way it tackles identity politics, toxic friendships, and cultural appropriation with razor-sharp humour and pace. This thought-provoking novel is a rollicking read while bringing new ways of looking at the world – a great way to build empathy.

#3. Let the light pour in by Lemn Sissay

For the past decade, Lemn Sissay has composed a short poem as dawn breaks each morning. Life-affirming, witty and full of wonder, these poems chronicle his own battle with the dark and are fuelled by resilience and defiant joy. Let the Light Pour In is a collection of the best of these poems, and a book celebrating this morning practice.

‘How do you do it?’ said night

‘How do you wake up and shine?’

‘I keep it simple,’ said light

‘One day at a time’


#4. The Book You Want Everyone You Love* To Read *(and maybe a few you don’t) by Philippa Perry

In this warm, practical and witty book, No.1 Sunday Times bestselling psychotherapist Philippa Perry shows you how to approach life’s big problems.

She argues that life is all about relationships and the quality of those connections. Whether that’s with family, partners, friends, colleagues or most importantly yourself, if you can get those relationships on a functional and even keel, then the other tricky stuff that life throws your way becomes easier to manage. This book offers a healthy dose of sanity to help you to become a happier, wiser person.


What next?

Find more reading and holiday ideas on our blog: