HAPPY Friday friends! Today is my last official day of school before SUMMER BREAK starts! (Read this post to clarify any myths about teachers and summers if you missed it on Tuesday.) I am giddy with excitement and full of energy and enthusiasm for the next two and a half months… All is right in the world today!
Speaking of summer, am I the only one who’s schedule is already packed with graduation parties, weddings, baby showers, etc. in the coming weeks?!? Gifts are one of my love languages*, and one way I like to personalize gifts is by adding a favorite book (with a meaningful inscription and date) to a more practical registry gift… Here are my five favorite books to give as gifts:
1. For the new graduate – Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Ok, first of all, I LOVE Anne Lamott. Her writing style is so down-to-earth and witty, but also, incredibly wise and powerful. This book provides “instructions on writing and life,” that have profoundly influenced me as a writer, teacher, and human. If I won the lottery, I’d buy a copy of this book for every single one of my students as they graduate and sign it – May you always be a writer and a thinker, wherever life takes you!
2. For the new home owners – It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to Be Beautiful by Myquillyn Smith. I’ve written about this one before (here), so I won’t say too much. But, I love The Nester’s philosophies on the heart, hospitality, and creating a home you love without investing tons of money and stress. Plus, this book is pretty enough to double as decor for the new house!
3. For the newlyweds – The Five Love Languages* by Gary Chapman (no relation ;)) Y’all, I almost didn’t include this one because the cover and subtitle are so cheesy and gimmicky looking. But, the truth is, I’ve read quite a few books on marriage, and this is the one that has left the most lasting impression on me (and my marriage). Put very simply, Chapman explains the different ways that people give and receive love and how, knowing your husband (or wife’s) “love language” can help you express your love for him in the way that is most meaningful for him. It isn’t a “how-to” book, but there are very practical tips for identifying your spouse’s “love language”, recognizing your own, and applying that to your marriage. (There are lots of other versions of this book out there now – love languages for kids, for teens, for singles, for the family – I haven’t read any of those, but I do apply this concept to many relationships in my life!)
4. For the new mom – Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott (What can I say, I love her!) As I may have mentioned a time (or 200) before, I read a lot before Sam was born and when he was an infant. About 95% of those books totally stressed me out and made me want to hire someone else to raise Sam for the first six months (of course, the sleep deprivation might have had something to do with that too). Then, my friend Amanda gave me this book, and – I truly believe – it was a turning point for me. In it, Lamott writes, in her same hilarious and honest style, of her experience with her own son Sam in his first year. It made me laugh out loud, sigh audible sounds of relief, and cry because she totally “got it.” Her son is a grown man and dad himself now, but this book proves that the trials and joys of motherhood are timeless. I pretty much quit reading parenting books after this one, but I’m still confident that this is the BEST one out there.
5. For the new teacher – Educating Esme by Esme Roji Codell. This book is the dairy of a first-year teacher, Esme Codell, in a Chicago public school in the 90s.. It was recommended to me during my student-teaching, and I can’t tell you how many times I thought of it during my entire first year… Not only did it give me some great ideas for classroom philosophies and methodology, it also inspired me to be a different kind of teacher, and made me feel like I wasn’t the “only one” struggling in those first 200 days… (I haven’t read this newly-updated version, but I like that it offers a supplemental guide with practical tips and ideas for new teachers too!)
(Bike Gift Tags from Paper-Source.com)
What about you? Do you give books as gifts? What are your favorites to give? Have you read any of these?