Giveaways and Reviews

Books Always Make Great Gifts

It’s a true statement, don’t you think? I’m the bookworm in my family, who ultimately reads the most throughout the year, but I see that I’m setting a good example for my kids who are also keen on reading. Even for those people who don’t read much at all (that’s you, dear husband), a book on that person’s favorite topic is a sure way to score points for being an observant and caring gift-giver.

If you want to take a look at some of the books I’ve received and have read from Simon + Schuster Canada over the past year or more, you can find them all here! Some favorites over the past year include The Clockmaker’s Daughter, Southern Discomfort, Ask Again Yes, and The Turn of The Key among others (so far I’ve read 16 books this year but didn’t make my goal of 20!)

Simon + Schuster shared an awesome selection of books perfect for gift giving this holiday season, essentially something for everyone on your list (and mine!) Take a look at a quick summary of each, below:

Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao: Amy loves to make bao with her family. But it takes skill to make the bao taste and look delicious. And her bao keep coming out all wrong. Then she has an idea that may give her a second chance…Will Amy ever make the perfect bao?

The Family Upstairs: Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

An Earthling’s Guide to Outer Space: Beloved science commentator Bob McDonald takes us on a tour of our galaxy, unraveling the mysteries of the universe and helping us navigate our place among the stars. How big is our galaxy? Is there life on those distant planets? Are we really made of star dust? And where do stars even come from? In An Earthling’s Guide to Outer Space, we finally have the answers to all those questions and more. With clarity, wisdom, and a great deal of enthusiasm, McDonald explores the curiosities of the big blue planet we call home as well as our galactic neighbours—from Martian caves to storm clouds on Jupiter to the nebulae at the far end of the universe.

The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook: The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook presents over 100 recipes that showcase the cookery and customs of the Crawley household—from upstairs dinner party centerpieces to downstairs puddings and pies—and bring an authentic slice of Downton Abbey to modern kitchens and Downton fans.

You Are Awesome: A rude email from the boss means calling in sick. Only two likes on our post means we don’t have friends. Cell phones show us we’re never good enough. Yesterday’s butterflies are tomorrow’s panic attacks. Record numbers of students have clinical anxiety. And what about depression, loneliness, and suicide? All rising! What do we desperately need to learn? RESILIENCE. And we need to learn it fast.

The House By The Sea: Ten-year-old Floriana dreams of a better life. Abandoned by her mother and living with her alcoholic father, she finds solace in the beauty of the magnificent Tuscan villa that overlooks the sea just outside her small village. When Dante, the son of the town’s most powerful businessman, catches her spying from the crumbling wall, he invites her inside the garden. Even though the two are from opposite worlds, they form a fast friendship that blossoms into romance. But what they don’t realize is that there are other forces working to keep them apart.

Dork Diaries 14 Tales From A Not-So-Best Friend Forever: Nikki and her bandmates are looking forward to an AWESOME summer on tour as the opening act for the world famous Bad Boyz! Nikki is a little worried when her frenemy, MacKenzie Hollister, weasels her way into a social media intern position with the tour. But she has a total MELTDOWN when she learns that MacKenzie is her new roommate! Will Nikki survive her dream tour as it quickly goes from AWESOME to AWFUL?! The drama continues in Dork Diaries 14: Tales from a Not-So-Best Friend Forever!

Weeknight Baking – Recipes to Fit Your Schedule: If anyone knows how to balance a baking obsession with a demanding schedule, it’s Michelle Lopez. Over the past several years that she’s been running her blog Hummingbird High, Lopez has kept a crucial aspect of her life hidden from her readers: she has a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. But she’s figured out how to have her cake and eat it too.

Amazing right? Even as I go through this list and read more about each book, I can think of someone who would love to be gifted each one (and yay for me, having them ready to wrap right here!) You can find all these books online at along with “where to buy” links to Amazon, Indigo and local bookstores too!

One lucky reader is going to win all the books featured above for cozy winter reading! (As this contest ends right before Christmas, the books may not be received in time for gift-giving but will arrive during the holidays.)

To enter to win, just fill in your name and email address in the form below and click BEGIN! Then, just leave a comment on this post sharing which of the reads shared above interests you the most (and if you see one that would make a great gift, share that too!)


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