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  • Writer's pictureLilja team

Our holiday book recommendations

“In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold.” – Ben Aaronovitch

With the days shorter and colder, what better way to practice “hygge” than to cozy up with a good book?

To mark the season, we’re delighted to share our holiday book recommendations with you. Among our recommendations, you’ll find both holiday-themed books and books that make for excellent gifting.

May these books bring light to your holiday season!

Business and Leadership

“The Soul of Family Business” by Tom Hubler (Mary)

Over the past year, we helped family business expert Tom Hubler compile years of columns into a single book. Tom’s wisdom shines on every page, including his belief that family businesses succeed when driven by strong family values and love – the essence of the business “soul” he aptly describes. Full of case studies, it is an invaluable guide for anyone involved in a family business. We are very proud to be the publisher under our Lilja Press imprint.

“Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown (Kate)

Inspired by the famous “Man in the Arena” quote from Theodore Roosevelt, Brené Brown speaks frankly, and refreshingly, about vulnerability and having the courage to live a wholehearted life. “It is not the critic who counts” is an important reminder for all of us.

“New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World – and How to Make It Work for You” by Jeremy Heimans & Henry Timms (Courtney)

We’re living in a world where success can be propelled exponentially by the “new power” of participatory culture. Heimans and Timms offer explanations of why the #MeToo movement and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge took the internet by storm, which companies have found success in participation and how you can use new power in your favor.

“Big Magic” by Elisabeth Gilbert (Danielle)

This is a book that teaches readers about the creative process and how to live creatively. Rather focusing solely on artistic professions, it inspires readers to live a life that is driven by curiosity rather than fear, making it the perfect read for anyone in your life this holiday season!

“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell (Danielle)

With helpful real-life examples and his own personal stories, Malcolm Gladwell dives into the many factors that lead to success. Despite the myths and misconceptions that are out there, success is not simply determined by innate talent or skill but by opportunity, timing, cultural history, genetics, work ethic and much more.


“Holidays on Ice” by David Sedaris (Alicia)

This is a handy little digest of Sedaris’ holiday-themed short stories, including my favorite, “Santaland Diaries,” where he details his life as an elf helper to a department store Santa. Nothing tickles me more than a story that takes our preconceived notions about holiday magic and shows us what’s really behind the curtain. There’s also a fictional story written in the form of one family’s "boastful" Christmas letter. I won’t ruin any surprises on that one.

“Becoming” by Michelle Obama (Mary)

Up early, savoring my morning tea and I'm only on page 166 and I've already cried at least three times and laughed out loud. Such a beautiful memoir by an extraordinary woman – I highly recommend it. The first half is the story of her family and growing up years – very moving and illuminating about all she had to overcome.

“Running the Books” by Avi Steinberg (Courtney)

Avi Steinberg never thought that he’d find himself as the librarian in a Boston prison, but his unlikely position provided him with an experience that brings a perfect blend of humor, humanity and heartbreak to this memoir.

Children’s Books

“The Complete Ramona Collection” by Beverly Cleary (Kate)

This classic series, featuring the spunky Ramona Quimby, was one of my childhood favorites, and now I have the pleasure of reading the books to my own children! Cleary has an amazing talent for illuminating the mind of a child, reminding you what it was like to navigate a world that expects you to grow up.

“She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World” and “She Persisted Around the World” by Chelsea Clinton (Linda) Two of the best books I’ve found for young girls and boys to learn about women using their power to change the world for good. “Beautiful” by Stacy McAnulty (Linda) This is my “go to” picture book for toddlers and little girls. Filled with fun and deeply meaningful illustrations, “Beautiful” teaches girls that it’s not about your clothes, your hair or your style. It’s about who you are!

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