Throughout the holiday season, we’re gathering books that make the perfect gifts for everyone on your list—from your mother and the teen in your life to your foodie friend and the coworker who loves Harry Potter. Need more ideas? Check out all of our amazing gift guides!
There’s no more magical time of the year than the holiday season—what with a handsome feast laid out in the Great Hall while crystalline flakes accumulate on the turrets of Hogwarts castle. Indeed, it’s good to be The Boy Who Lived come Christmas morning. And while mere muggles may never receive presents of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans or a brightly colored Weasley jumper, there are plenty of literary treasures to fill the stockings of your favorite Potterhead.
Special Edition Harry Potter Box Set, by J.K. Rowling, Kazu Kibuishi (Illustrator)
To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the U.S. publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, publisher Scholastic commissioned a brand-new set of beautiful paperback covers designed by Kazu Kibuishi, author and illustrator of the Amulet graphic novel series. While there’s no replacing Mary GrandPré’s iconic imagery, Kibuishi’s take is fresh and fun. (To wit, when the spines of all seven volumes are lined up, they create a landscape of Hogwarts.) Magical, indeed!
The Hogwarts Library, by J.K. Rowling
The Hermiones among us will rejoice over The Hogwarts Library, the first boxed set of Rowling’s supplemental works: Quidditch Through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. With Rowling penning a screenplay for Fantastic Beasts (the in-universe textbook written by Newt Scamander), now is the perfect time to brush up on Hippogriff-handling best practices.
The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling)
Rowling performed perhaps her most impressive literary illusion yet, publishing The Cuckoo’s Calling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith (a purported former Royal Military Police investigator) earlier this year. The crime novel was proclaimed an impressive debut by critics, until it was revealed that Rowling was, in fact, the brain behind the book. Cuckoo’s Calling follows grizzled private eye Cormoran Strike, who is is tasked with investigating the mysterious death of supermodel Lula Landry. We guarantee Potter fans will find plenty to love within the pages of Rowling’s foray into the genre (or else we’ll snarf down an entire Skiving Snackbox courtesy of the Weasley twins).
House of Secrets, by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini
When the elusive Rowling blurbs a novel, it’s worth noting—especially when she characterizes the work as a “breakneck roller coaster of an adventure.” And she should know, seeing as she advised two-time Harry Potter director Chris Columbus on his debut novel, House of Secrets, which he cowrote with It’s Kind of a Funny Story author Ned Vizzini. The first installment in a planned tween fantasy series, House of Secrets centers around Walker siblings Brendan, Eleanor, and Cordelia, who when their dad loses his job must move into a creepy Victorian house formerly owned by an occult writer. But before they can even lay down the welcome mat, they’re transported to a primeval forest, where they must contend with a slew of fantastical creatures to guarantee not only their survival—but the world’s.
The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon
What is this year’s most talked about fantasy tome by a British lady author, you ask? Why, The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon, of course. (Thanks for the oddly specific query, by the way.) The protagonist here is 19-year-old Paige Mahoney, a clairvoyant working in the criminal underground of Scion London—until she’s arrested and sent to the prison city of Oxford, run by a race of otherworldly creatures. Her mind-reading skills are highly prized among the Rephaim, and despite her fears, she’s drawn to her keeper, Warden. This is the first installment in a planned seven-part series, with the film rights already optioned by Andy Serkis’ Imaginarium Studios. (Perhaps Shannon can ask fellow countrywoman Rowling for a few premiere night tips when the time comes…)
Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell
Cath is obsessed with Simon Snow. Too bad he’s a fictional boy magician attending a secret academy for spellcasters called the Watford School of Magicks. (Sound familiar?) Cath’s struggles with college life and her increasingly strained relationship with twin Wren are interwoven with Snow-story excerpts by faux author Gemma T. Leslie and Cath’s own fanfiction: a playful construct that will surely leave fangirls of any ilk smiling.
What books do you plan to buy for the Harry Potter-lover in your life this holiday season?