22 Good Adult Books for Cozy Holiday Reading

Looking for ideas on what to gift this holiday season? For the reader on your list, check out this compilation of good adult books with a few young adult titles that are sure to delight the gift receiver. Good adult books are a perfect gift any time of the year, making this list ideal for the gift giver (or to keep for yourself!)


22 Good Adult Books this Holiday Season

The Many Lives of Mama Love

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The unbelievable true story of Lara Love Hardin is beautifully told in her memoir, The Many Lives of Mama Love, published by Simon & Schuster. At the age of 41, Lara, a mother of four, is addicted to heroin and convicted of thirty-two felonies. As she detoxes, she quickly learns jailhouse politics and how to survive. After owning the responsibility for her crimes (and some that were not hers), Lara serves her time and fights to obtain custody of her youngest son and obtain employment.

Lara’s raw and vulnerable detail of her journey from junkie to ghostwriting for the Dalai Lama is not only incredible but inspiring. Through working hard and seeking out the kindness in others, Lara finds a job as a ghostwriter and discovers her life’s calling. She quickly becomes a powerhouse writer due to her ability to see through the eyes of her subjects. The final chapter has her dining with Oprah – the epitome of success! Treat yourself or someone you love to this delightful memoir, one of the good adult books to gift this holiday season.

The House of Eve

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An early Reese’s Book Club pick, The House of Eve is one of this year’s top historical fiction novels. Set in the 1950s, this book tracks the lives of two women in opposite socio-economic positions. In Philadelphia, Ruby Pearsall is fifteen and hoping to be the first person in her family to attend college. In Washington DC, Eleanor Quarles is new to town and quickly falls for William Pride, a wealthy Black man with a bright future.

Once these two women’s stories intertwine, the author takes the reader on an unexpected journey, making it hard to guess the outcome. Ruby and Eleanor are bright, determined women faced with decisions that will determine their future. This is one of the good adult books sure to keep you reading from start to finish.

The Future

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On the list of good adult books is The Future, published by Simon & Schuster, a novel that shows the reader what corruption of power could look like. After leaving her father’s compound, Martha Einkorn finds a job working with an insanely powerful social media mogul. She sees firsthand how the uber-wealthy rule the world with the ability to design the weather and predict global happenings.

At the same time, in Singapore, survivalist Lai Zhen suddenly discovers a predictive software on her phone that tells her how to escape the assassins trying to kill her. When the two women meet, their desire for good and drive for the truth could go one of two ways: peaceful existence or the end of the world. This dystopian thriller will have you on the edge of your seat. Are you ready for The Future?

How to Say Babylon

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Another memoir on the list of good adult books is How to Say Babylon. Safiya Sinclair recounts the true story of how she manages to discover her power as a woman despite being raised by a strict Rastafarian father. As a child, her father was fixated on her purity and ensuring she wasn’t corrupted by the outside influences of the Western world.

Safiya, her sisters, and her mother were only permitted to wear long skirts and dresses that covered their arms and legs, wraps to cover their hair, no makeup, and no jewelry. None were allowed to have friends or go to school outside the home. Somehow, Safiya managed to educate herself enough to find a voice and escape her father’s rule. Both beautiful and heartbreaking, this look at the Rastafarian culture is enlightening. Don’t miss out on this memoir this holiday season.

Read More: 20+ Outstanding Must-Read Fall Books You Can’t Put Down

Elon Musk

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Written by Walter Isaacson, this deep dive into the life of Elon Musk is insightful and educational. Growing up in South Africa, Musk was bullied both physically on the playground and mentally at home. While the physical impact of childhood bullying left him in the hospital for a week, the emotional scars given by his father impacted his life trajectory.

Fast forward to 2022, Musk has successfully launched thirty-one rockets into orbit with his company, SpaceX, sold over a million cars through Tesla, and is close to being the richest man on earth. But his mind is on the next move, which for him was owning Twitter. After spending two years shadowing Musk, Isaacson has a unique point of view as someone who spent hours interviewing Musk and everyone closest to Musk’s work and personal life. This is on the list of good adult books for its inside look at one of the most visible men of our generation, which is eye-opening and addictive.

How To Draw Modern Florals

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Looking for a gift for the aspiring artist on your holiday list? The spiral-bound How To Draw Modern Florals: An Introduction To The Art of Flowers, Cacti, and More provides a step-by-step guide to teach you everything you need to know about drawing florals. Learn the anatomy of a flower, the basic shapes for drawing flowers, inspiration, and more.

Author Alli Koch uses a conversational style to teach you about drawing your favorite flowers, cacti, and even succulents. There are blank pages and spaces near the how-to diagrams in the book to practice sketching your own flowers. On the list of good adult books for the artist in your life, you won’t want to miss out on this book published by Blue Star Press.

Mom’s Story

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Mom’s Story: A Memory and Keepsake Journal for My Family is a terrific gift for Mom or Grandma. The elegant linen book with gold foil features prompts for Mom to write down her story. From Early Childhood and School Years to Work/Travel and Words of Wisdom, the sections and writing prompts provide starting points and inspiration to remember and reflect on your past, present, and future.

The Journal is a place to record memories that might not have been thought about in years. Mom’s Story: A Memory and Keepsake Journal, designed by bestselling artist and author Korie Herold, has a lay-flat design to make it easy to write on acid-free and archival paper. The timeless gift is a great way to show Mom that you love her and want to get to know her even more. Herold also created Dad’s Story: A Memory and Keepsake Journal for My Family. The two journals make great holiday, baby, or birthday gifts if you are seeking good adult books.

Grateful for You

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Grateful for You: A Gratitude Journal for Parents to Preserve Memories and Special Moments is a beautiful heirloom journal published by Blue Star Press and designed to capture memories forever. The Grateful for You Gratitude Journal, designed by bestselling author Korie Herold, provides elegant journaling pages accented with hand-drawn artwork to write down everyday miracles and memories from rocking your toddler to sleep to funny quips said in the car while riding to school.

You can casually use the journal, which has a lay-flat design so you can easily write in it throughout the years, or make it a goal to record daily memories and fill a whole book in one year. The Grateful for You Journal boasts a beautiful cloth cover with foil deboss, acid-free archival paper, and a ribbon bookmark. Preserving memories and stories in your own handwriting is extremely special in this fast-paced digital world. The Grateful for You Journal is a gift for you in the present. This is one of the good adult books that will allow you to record and remember the little moments. And, one day, this journal will be a priceless gift for your children.

Read More: 20 Holiday Books for Kids Perfect for Your Young Child’s Wish List

Today I Noticed

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The book Today I Noticed: A Little Book of Mindfulness offers encouragement, artwork, and musings to inspire you to take notice and express gratitude for the small moments in everyday life. The heart-warming illustrations and three-word prompts motivate you to slow down and look at the world from a different perspective, making this a keepsake in the list of good adult books.

There is even space in the back of the book to record your observations as you begin to be mindful of everyday life’s joy, messiness, and humor. The book by Willow Older and Deborah Huber features adorable cartoon illustrations that go along with each musing, like: “Today I noticed…that when you love someone, their excitement is your excitement,” or “Today I noticed… the tiny rush of joy I feel when I find my favorite coffee cup is clean and ready to be filled.” The book serves as a reminder to take notice of the little things in life.

Bible Word Search for Adults

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Enjoy a modern Bible-themed word search to strengthen your faith as you explore the word of God in the Bible Word Search for Adults. The 100 Bible-themed puzzles range in difficulty from easy to challenging. This is one of the good adult books to gift to anyone on your list who loves to learn more about the Bible.

The puzzles are based on books of the Bible, events in the Bible, people from the Bible, verses from the Bible, and more. The lay-flat book design lets you enjoy puzzles like Noah and the Ark, Leviticus, Numbers, The Fruit of the Spirit, 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 and many more. Of course, the answer key for each puzzle is tucked in the back of the book.

The Hunger Games 4-Book Paperback Box Set

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Why buy just one of the four books in The Hunger Games saga when you can get all four? The Hunger Games 4-Book Paperback Box Set includes the three original novels by Suzanne Collins and is joined by the prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. These dystopian young adult books are perfect for anyone, from young adults to seniors, which is why the box set is on this list of good adult books.

Set in a futuristic North America, the first novel, The Hunger Games, explains how one tribute ranging in age from twelve to eighteen from each of the twelve districts is sent to the Capitol each year to battle to the death on live TV. Once you finish the first novel, jump straight to the second and third with this handy boxed set. Finish with the prequel and head to the theatres to see the action play out on screen. A gift for yourself or the reader in your life.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

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If you’ve already read The Hunger Games trilogy, there’s a chance you haven’t yet read the prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Set sixty years prior to the first Hunger Games book, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is a mentor in the tenth annual Hunger Games. After being assigned a female from District 12, Snow is humiliated because 12 is the lowest district with the lowest odds of winning.

Because Snow’s success is tied directly to his tribute’s achievements or failure, he dedicates himself to training her. But how can he move forward when he starts developing feelings for her? Especially when death is the most probable outcome. The last (and first) book of The Hunger Games, you don’t want to miss out on reading Suzanne Collins’ final story, part of this list of good adult books.

The September House

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Everyone dreams of finally settling into their dream home – and Margaret is no exception. After twenty-five years of marriage, Margaret and her husband finally buy a beautiful, large Victorian house for a steal of a price. Once they move in, strange things start happening. It starts with voices, and then the ghosts begin visiting, and once September hits, the walls start leaking blood.

While this craziness would be too much for most people, Margaret doesn’t let a little horror show get in the way of her dream. After four years, Hal hits his breaking point and leaves. While Margaret knows he needs time, after about a month, their daughter Katherine intervenes and starts the search for her dad. Margaret is terrified her daughter will discover the house hauntings and make them sell their dream home. This Penguin Random House title is one of the good adult books for horror aficionados this holiday season!

Read More: 19 Must-Read New Book Releases from Berkley, an Imprint of Penguin Random House

Murder Road

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From New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Cold Cases, Simone St. James, comes her newest thriller, Murder Road. In the summer of 1995, April and Eddie are on their honeymoon, searching for the small resort town where they plan to spend their first days as a married couple. After making a wrong turn, the couple picks up a hitchhiker on a deserted road. Once in their car, they see blood coming out of her jacket and a truck coming out of nowhere, ready to hit them.

The hitchhiker dies at a local hospital, and April and Eddie are thrown into the middle of a string of unsolved murders. The only way to clear their names is to solve the case of the mysterious deaths. But is that possible if there is something supernatural at work? Pre-order this March 5th release for the lover of thrillers that are good adult books from a bestselling author.

Happy Plants, Happy You

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In the book Happy Plants, Happy You, author Kamili Bell Hill of @PlantBlerd explains how spending time with your plants is quality time with yourself. Some only see houseplants as a decorator item for the home. But plants are so much more a solace, a friend, and a confidant. Good adult books for the plant lover are rare, making this a must-purchase!

Tending to your houseplants is a way to tend to yourself. Check in and be present. The book Happy Plants, Happy You: A Plant-Care & Self-Care Guide for the Modern Houseplant Parent provides houseplant-care tips so you can learn to care for your plants while creating a happier you. Discover how to choose the right plants for you. The roots of this book grow deep, making this one of the good adult books for the plant lover in your life.

The Adulting Workbook

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The Adulting Workbook: The “I Did It” Approach to Work, Life, and Getting Your Act Together can help adults at any age. At what age do you actually feel like you are an adult? The Adulting Workbook is here to help the 63 percent of Gen Z and Millennials between the ages of 18 and 42 who report that they are not prepared for adult responsibility.

The Adulting Workbook by Elsie Wild is a habit tracker, advice guide, and cheerleader. The book is designed to be user-friendly and includes financial management, employment, health and wellness, relationships, and owning and caring for a home. The lay-flat binding makes writing in the 6 by 8.42 inch book easy. You also will earn celebratory reward badge icons for adult milestones like “I made a shopping list and followed it,” “I put on clothes that weren’t pajamas,” and “I did not waste my afternoon scrolling on social media.” Have fun as you learn to become a full-fledged adult. On the list of good adult books, it also makes a great gift for high school and college-aged students!

The Essential Jewish Baking Cookbook

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If you are looking for good adult books that elevate your baking skills, check out The Essential Jewish Baking Cookbook: 50 Traditional Recipes for Every Occasion. From bagels to rugelach and kugel, you will enjoy sweet and savory recipes for everyday baking and holidays. Learn to make Marbled Rye Sandwich Bread and Onion-Scented Bialys.

The cookbook by Beth A. Lee, with photography by Annie Martin, offers tips for those new to Jewish baking, guidance on kosher baking, and more. Lee writes in a friendly style about her Bubbe, who baked from recipes not written down. She includes recipes from friends and relatives of friends, too. Impress your family and friends by baking delicious Blintz Casserole or sweet Pecan and Raisin Schnecken. You can find a recipe to enjoy every day.

Doing It All

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Moms work daily to do it all. But how do moms find a balance between work, raising children, maintaining a beautiful home, and relationships with spouses? Pediatrician Whitney Casares, MD, provides tips, tricks, and expert advice in her book, Doing It All: Stop Over-Functioning, and Become the Mom and Person You’re Meant to Be.

This title on the list of good adult books is written in a friendly, interactive journal-type style so the reader can put what they learn into action right in the book. With more than 40 prompts, lists, reflections, activities, and boundary-setting exercises, the book keeps you thinking, planning, and becoming the “Mom and Person You’re Meant to Be.”

From laundry and decluttering to creating a plan for money and caring for children while working, Casares’ book touches on it all. Moms are busy, and finding a balance, which includes a bit of “me time,” is the key to personal happiness. Casares is a pediatrician and a mother of two who works to help other Moms achieve purposeful, organized lives. When you take care of yourself, you are able to be the person you are meant to be, as well as a better mother.

Read More: 26 Really Great Reading Options For Your Kids This Back-to-School Season

Moon Baseball Road Trips

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Combine a love of baseball with a love of road trips, and you just might have the perfect vacation. Moon Baseball Road Trips: The Complete Guide to All the Ballparks with Beer, Bites, and Sights Nearby by Timothy Malcolm takes readers on a journey across America. Malcolm, a former baseball writer, and Phillies fan, helps you explore 30 major league cities as you follow epic road trip itineraries along the West Coast, the Midwest, or out East from Boston to Washington D.C.

Learn local fan culture from the ivy walls of Wrigley to Fenway’s Green Monster and Dodger Stadiumís mountain views. Discover tips about where to eat near the stadiums, where to catch public transit, Fourth of July celebrations, and more. Learn about other tourist sights in each major league town so everyone in your traveling party will enjoy the road trip. Moon Travel Guides was founded in 1973 to empower independent, active, and conscious travel. Gifting this or one of the other good adult books by Mood Travel Guides to the baseball lover on your holiday list should inspire a road trip in your future.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Chalice of the Gods

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The heavily awaited return of the three original characters from The Lightning Thief are back and ready to help Percy Jackson attempt his most daring feat yet: attending college. While Percy is no stranger to the gods getting in his way, he desperately hopes for a normal senior year of high school.

Unfortunately, in order to get his much-needed three letters of recommendation, the gods require Percy to fulfill three quests. With Annabeth and Grover’s help, Percy is set on tackling all three as fast as possible. This is on the list of good adult books because of the longstanding love for the series and for any and all titles by Rick Riordan.

The Official Harry Potter Cookbook

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The Official Harry Potter Cookbook features more than 40 recipes inspired by the Harry Potter movies. The Potterheads on your list will love adding this cookbook, one of the good adult books this holiday, to their collection. The cookbook, filled with beautiful photos of the recipes and photos from the Harry Potter movies, features recipes for any and all occasions.

The recipes are marked with lightning bolts based on your wizards’ skill level in the kitchen: a single lightning bolt for beginning chefs, two lightning bolts for easy-to-make recipes, and three lightning bolts for intermediate chefs.

The Official Harry Potter Cookbook published by Scholastic Books is sprinkled with cooking tips, magical facts, and break-out boxes. Witches and wizards of all ages will love cooking from the Official Harry Potter Cookbook, bringing a bit of Hogwarts magic to your home.

Diary of a Confused Feminist

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Today’s society makes it hard to understand politics and identities, especially for teens. Dive into fifteen-year-old Kat’s diary as she figures out who she is and wants to be. As any good diary should, it covers every scintillating and embarrassing moment in a girl’s life.

Kat has school, a special crush, friendships, social media, and more, all vying for top billing in her mind. She also has a grand goal of smashing the patriarchy – but she has to figure out what that is and what that involves first. Diary of a Confused Feminist is funny, charming, and oh-so relatable. Preorder this book with a release date of January 2nd, and you might just see yourself as the protagonist. Are you a confused feminist, too?


Finding the perfect read with all the good adult books available can be overwhelming. Bookmark this article and forget the worry over which of these good adult books you should purchase this holiday season. These good adult books are perfect for any time of the year, so buy one or more and check a few people off your list this holiday season!


You might also be interested in…

If you’re looking for a family vacation no matter the season, check out Daily Mom’s Travel Section for tons of tips, tricks, and trip ideas!

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Katie Cowan
Katie Cowan
A Kansas City native, Katie is a mom of three and wife of one. She enjoys being at home, freelance writing, and volunteering at her children’s school and her family’s Parish. She loves working out, trying new restaurants, reading, and binge-watching TV shows. All the TV shows. Follow as she attempts to read @onebookeachweek on Instagram!

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