A Slam-Dunk Gift Idea

Are you scrambling for some last-minute gifts? I have an idea. For any lady in your life — be it your mom, a best friend, an aunt, a close coworker..I propose: a life-changing book, plus a batch of homemade cookies. Here me out…

The Course of Love, written by Alain de Botton, is one of those books that you want to read with a pencil in hand. It’s a novel — at first an intimate portrayal of a couple over the course of their relationship — and then, you realize, something more along the lines of a guide or self-help book. It’s a perceptive look at the nature of love; of marriage, heartbreak, and the mundaneness of everyday living, and it’s both refreshing and realistic. I’ve read reviews that say it’s “unromantic” — but I disagree; Botton’s frankness and lightness with words makes the book relatable and a total joy to read. My mom really loved it too, and I’m pretty confident anyone (not just a woman, I’ll add) would end up raving. “Love reaches a pitch,” Alain writes, “When our beloved turns out to understand, more clearly than others have ever been able to, and perhaps even better than we do ourselves, the chaotic, embarrassing, and shameful parts of us.”

So, you have a book, but just to bring it up a notch, may I recommend some cookies, fresh out of the oven? These cardamom-currant snickerdoodles are delicious, wintery, and perfect with a cup of afternoon tea. I make them every year and distribute them to loved ones, and people always ask for the recipe.

There you have it!

P.S. If you need more last-minute gift ideas, let me know — I have a bunch up my sleeve! We can discuss in the comments :).

Top photo credit, bottom via Food52. 

7 thoughts on “A Slam-Dunk Gift Idea

  1. Ugh, last-minute gifts for men*, especially dads (“I don’t need anything!”) and brothers.
    *Because they never tell you want they want!

    • Jessica — I’m so sorry for the delay! I seemed to have some sort of wordpress glitch that prevented me from commenting — the day after I posted this **crying face emoji**.

      Dads and brothers are hard to shop for! I know this is too late, but for future gift ideas, what about…

      A beautiful wooden cutting board for slicing meat and cheeses
      A beer subscription
      A tie that goes with everything, jcrew has great ones
      Long johns from Uniqlo (They’re the best)
      Whiskey ice cube trays
      If they’re outdoorsy — an insulated travel mug from YETI (liquid stays hot or cold for hours)
      A cozy pair of indoor slippers
      A personalized calendar filled with photos of you and your family (I like pinhole press)

      Hope this helps! <3

  2. Do you think the Course of Love would inspire someone who is not in a relationship to take the leap and try dating again? Or could it possibly make a reader feel left out of the relationship world? Meaning, is this a guide to relationships from the very beginning, teaching courage and self worth to say yes to a date and continue on to allow yourself to be loved? I would so like to recommend this to the women in my life who are not in relationships simply because it sounds like a beautiful read and like all great books, could change the way you think about life and love. What do you think?

    P.S this is a great idea and I would be overjoyed if someone brought me cookies and a book they loved.

    • Rebecca, that’s a good question! I think it’s a great book for many reasons — and teaches so much about love in general, but it definitely has an emphasis on longterm committed relationships (i.e. there’s a chapter about laundry, lol) — For someone who is maybe a little tender (from a breakup, feeling lonely, etc), I would 100% recommend these two books: You’re a Badass by Jen Sincero and Tiny Beautiful Things by Sheryl Strayed.

      Hope this helps!! xo

  3. Joy, I so enjoy your book recommendations! I believe I found The Secret Lives of People in Love from you and just loved the writing style. Do you have a list of your favorite books anywhere that I could peek at? I’m adding The Course of Love to my 2018 reading list!

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