Some books make better gifts than others

Books make terrific gifts, don’t they?

Well, not all of them.

Some books make better gifts than others.

I think we all know to consider the recipient’s taste and whether or not they enjoy reading. Otherwise,  a book might quickly become clutter. But there are other considerations.

Like what?

Take mine, for example:

Cover of "Hung Jury: The Diary of a Menendez Juror"Hung Jury: The Diary of a Menendez Juror

This glimpse inside one of the most famous trials of the 1990’s makes an ideal gift for:

        • Menendez supporters
        • True crime buffs
        • Lawyers
        • Those who study juries
        • Teenage girls (or so I’ve heard)

Caution: Many people who believed the prosecution-biased media coverage have said they changed their minds about the case once they read my book. But those people usually already knew, liked, and trusted me personally. It’s worth a try, though, if changing minds is your goal.


What’s a Photo Without the Story? How to Create Your Family LegacyWhat's a photo without the story front cover

This how-to book is a perfect choice for:

  • Yourself
  • Your family’s history keeper
  • Photo organizers and their clients
  • Genealogists
  • Storytellers
  • Those wanting to downsize their possessions and leave a legacy, not a burden

As seen in Family Tree Magazine and The Photo Managers holiday gift guides!

There are really no downsides to this one. Lots of folks buy this book as a gift intending to read it first themselves. Or, they buy multiple copies!


Cover of "Go With the Flow! (The Clutter Flow Chart Workbook)"Go With the Flow! The Clutter Flow Chart Workbook

This workbook is an excellent choice for:

  • Yourself
  • Professional organizers buying it for themselves and their clients (so they can work through it together)
  • Someone who not only wants to declutter but has also expressed that they cannot afford to hire a professional organizer, or they’ve literally put it on their wish list

Otherwise, think twice, and read this blog post before purchasing it as a gift. Spoiler alert: It would be like buying a Weight Watchers membership for an overweight friend who didn’t ask for one!


Q: What would make the best FREE gift for the author in your life?

A: Amazon and/or Goodreads reviews!

10 FREE Ways to Support Your Favorite Authors

This blog post includes easy instructions for leaving quick reviews!

Many thanks to those who have already written reviews for my books!


What other considerations can you think of when giving a book as a gift?

Please share in the comments below!


Happy Holidays to you and yours!

That is, all the holidays and gift-giving occasions, all year round.



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  1. Seana Turner on November 27, 2023 at 1:09 pm

    I think books make amazing gifts. For a couple of years, when money was tight, I would go over to the “take-it-or-leave-it” and select books for everyone in my family. There was always something there, and I think books make the ultimate reusable.

    What else to consider when buying a book? I guess I would think about whether the person likes to read. My niece once made a resolution to read one book during the year. So books are not great for her.

    Also, I would consider what format might be best. For example, I have a friend who is dyslexic. Audiobooks are a better gift for him.

    Lastly, what genre people like reading. I love Brit girl mysteries. They make me laugh and there is a puzzle to figure out.

    YOUR books are all winners! I’m happy to say I try to avoid the “media bias” in all stories these days. Listening to people who have a personal connection is always a better place to start.

    • Hazel Thornton on December 7, 2023 at 10:48 am

      I, too, prefer audiobooks these days, and one of my books is available in audio format. Thanks for all your great ideas for what makes a good book gift, Seana! And thanks for the compliment! 🙂

  2. Julie Bestry on November 27, 2023 at 3:53 pm

    I love to buy books for readers, but it can be difficult to know what they’ve already read (so I buy brand-spanking-new ones), but you’ve made an important point. And because I love the way you write, I would read anything you created. And everyone ELSE should buy everything you write!

    Your points are so apt. My sister buys herself books the minute she knows about them, so I don’t even mention books I might get her because she might buy it before I can gauge whether it appeals to her. I have other friends who only read on their Kindles, and it seems less like a gift when someone just magically gets an ebook instead of something unwrappable. (I’ll admit, I don’t even understand how to gift an ebook. Do they get an email? Does it go straight to their account?) So much to consider!

    • Hazel Thornton on December 7, 2023 at 11:00 am

      Thanks for being a fan of my books, Julie! <3

      To answer your question about gifting ebooks, at least on Amazon, during purchase you designate it as a gift and yes, they get an email with a redemption code. I wish everyone were on board with virtual gifts like that but I've sent virtual gift cards in the past that were overlooked/ignored/forgotten, or I had to do some prompting, which is no fun. So I slacked off for awhile. (So handy, though, for far away loved ones.) Seems to be better nowadays. Hopefully the giftee will acknowledge the gift, and be technology savvy enough to use it (no good if they don't normally purchase things on the internet). Usually there is a way for the gifter to tell if the redemption code has been used.

      If I know someone to be a reader I (usually) don't even try to pick something, but at least I know they'll appreciate a gift card (tangible or virtual) to a bookstore!

  3. Janet Schiesl on November 27, 2023 at 8:39 pm

    Books are wonderful, and what a great idea to gift books if you know what people like. When gifting a book, I would consider looking at the number 1 books that came out. Another one is Non Fiction as I really love learning about facts and what’s happening in the world or people’s lives.

    • Hazel Thornton on December 7, 2023 at 11:19 am

      I would never have claimed Non Fiction as a favorite category, but all of my books so far are Non Fiction. Go figure! Yes, it really does matter what people like and are likely to read. Recent bestsellers and award winners are a great idea! I am from a family of readers. Wish they were all on Goodreads, so I’d know what they’ve already read!

  4. Jonda Sue Beattie on November 28, 2023 at 7:20 am

    My family loves to give and receive books for gifts. When I am gifting a book I think one of them would especially like I ask first if they already have it. We are all adults, so a surprise is not really necessary. One thing I love about receiving books is that I often receive one that I would not have bought for myself and therefore increase my enjoyment of other genres.
    Your books are all stellar!

    • Hazel Thornton on December 7, 2023 at 11:13 am

      Thanks, Jonda!
      And good point: “We are all adults, so a surprise is not really necessary.”
      We say that all the time in book club — that we would never have picked that month’s book on our own, but we’re glad to have read it.

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Hazel's Books

Book cover: What's a Photo Without the Story? How to Create Your Family Legacy

What’s a Photo Without the Story? How to Create Your Family Legacy

Cover of "Go With the Flow! (The Clutter Flow Chart Workbook)"

Go With the Flow! (The Clutter Flow Chart Workbook)

Cover of "Hung Jury: The Diary of a Menendez Juror"

Hung Jury: The Diary of a Menendez Juror