The ultimate list: Books our tastemakers love to give as gifts.

Less Than Zero

“Anything by my pal Bret Easton Ellis. He’s so damn good. Razor-sharp cultural observation.
Gets better with age, too! I recently gave the entire collection to writer Michael Ware when he was
here on assignment for Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Michael doesn’t like much — actually, Michael
hates everything — but oddly appeared thrilled with the stack of signed copies I gave him.”
— Gabe Doppelt, West Coast Bureau Chief, The Daily Beast

Secrets of the Sommeliers

“I’ve given it to a few friends, the ones who drink wine.
I think everyone who drinks wine deep down wants to be a sommelier.”
— Jessica Rowe, Blogger, The Aestate

The Giving Tree

“By Shel Silverstein. It was the book my mother used to teach me to read.
Everyone should have a copy.”
Nathan Turner, Interior Designer

The Sharp Time

“By Mary O’Connell. The protagonist, Sandinista Jones, is a thoughtful 18-year-old
girl and the story has the edgy plot that so many youthful readers love. But the language
of this book is so gorgeous that a reader of any age could be spellbound.”
Laura Moriarty, Author


“It’s unconventional and really easy to read. The main character’s
name is Edward so the person will always know who gave it to them.”
— Edward Barsamian, Fashion Associate, T: The New York Times Style Magazine

True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart

“It’s a Buddhist quick read. It’s really sweet. By Thich Nhat Hanh.”
— Lauren Bush, Co-Founder and Chief Feeder, Feed Projects

D. V.

“The memoirs of Diana Vreeland.”
— Virginie Mouzat, Fashion Director, Le Figaro

Green Eggs and Ham

“Any one by Doctor Seuss; they remind me of my dad.”
— Deborah Aaronson, Associate Publisher, Abrams

A Way of Life, Like Any Other

“I always keep a stack of these in my office to give to people because I love this relatively
unknown novel by Darcy O’Brien so much. I’ll admit I was first attracted to the Slim Aarons
photograph on the cover, but inside I found this amazing roman à clef about growing up in
Hollywood in the middle of the last century. Funny and heartbreaking.”
Alex Kuczynski, Journalist and Author

Hamptons Gardens

I love Hamptons Gardens by Jack de Lashmet or the Peter Beard book.”
Aerin Lauder

The Royal Portraits

“It depends on the person. The last book I gave was Cecil Beaton’s
The Royal Portraits, to someone who loves photography.”
— Suzy Menkes, Fashion Editor, International Herald Tribune


“My cookbook. :)”
Geoffrey Zakarian, Chef and Partner, New York’s The Lambs Club
and The National and Miami’s Tudor House

A Wonderful Time

“It’s a photography book by Slim Aarons.”
— Anna Dello Russo, Editor-at-Large, Vogue Nippon

Cupcakes and Cashmere

Cupcakes and Cashmere! My book is something that anyone can appreciate and
encourages the same things as my blog — to pay attention to the little things in life.”
— Emily Schuman, Blogger, Cupcakes and Cashmere

The House of the Spirits

“Isabelle Allende books. They feature history and romance — but not in a cheesy way.”
Bette Franke, Model


“I love to give Andy Warhol or Richard Avedon books. There’s so much to be told through photographs.”
— Joe Zee, Creative Director, Elle

The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye or The Great Gatsby. I love Salinger and Fitzgerald.”
Dree Hemingway, Model

La Technique

“Other than The Hunger, of course, because I have a lot of those stacked up in my house, I
have given La Technique by Jacques Pepin — that’s a great, great book about French cooking.”
— John DeLucie, Chef and Owner, New York’s Crown and The Lion

See all our tastemakers’ book suggestions from seasons past and present here.

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