Books We Love to Give As Gifts

Kathryn HaydonBooks We Love

Books We Love to Give As Gifts

By Kathryn P. Haydon

Books We Love

At Sparkitivity, you know we LOVE books. Books are our favorite gifts to give and to receive. You also know we love a good book recommendation list. Now we bring you this year’s list of best books to give for the holidays. We’ve read many this year and here are our top books for giving!


Stories that Stick by Kindra Hall

I picked up an advanced copy of this book at BookExpo this year, and it is now one of my top favorite business/creativity books. Kindra demonstrates clearly and engagingly how to use storytelling in business. True to form, she effectively uses storytelling as her main writing tool. She provides a simple story structure that is easy to learn and use immediately. Though this book is directed to business, teachers will get a lot of value out of it to add more storytelling into their classrooms, and it can help parents add storytelling at home.

Lingo by Jeffrey Shaw

Recently, I was invited by Jeffrey Shaw to be a guest on the Creative Warriors Podcast. While on his site scheduling the interview, I came across his book and bought it on a whim, thinking that I’d get to know my interviewer a bit by reading it. I had no idea what to expect, but found that his book nailed it. Jeffrey is a well-known photographer who is now a branding consultant, and in 183 pages helped me understand how to view my business through the lens of my core audience. He is brilliant at helping us see through the eyes of those who we are trying to serve, and writes with clarity and compassion. For anyone who is trying to clarify who their clients are and speak with them in a way that communicates deep understanding, Jeffrey’s book is for you.

War of Art by Steven Pressfield

This is a classic among those of us in the creative, entrepreneurial fields but I read it for the first time this year. If you want to know more about what I call the inertia of no and how to conquer it, read this book. Steven Pressfield calls this force “resistance” and his book is an honest series of vignettes on how to overcome it to get your real work out into the world. Take it from Pressfield: “Rule of thumb: The more important a call to action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”


Lost in the Spanish Quarter by Heddi Goodrich

Last spring, I was sitting with my friend Andrea in her living room in Ojai, California chatting with her about my then-upcoming book launch. I happened to mention that I’d be at BookExpo in NYC the following week and she said, “So will my childhood best friend, Heddi!” Because of Andrea, Heddi and I were able to meet and she signed an advanced copy of her book for me. As you know, I don’t read much fiction but swear that this is the next All the Light We Cannot See. The writing is exquisite, poetic, and full of yummy, original metaphor. The story is steamy in parts, emotional, and an all-around great read.

The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess

This is was a fun, quick read. It’s a story about an aspiring writer in the literary scene on Cape Cod in the 1980s. For better or for worse, it’s a dream come true when she becomes connected to the Bohemian writer’s scene. But the plot twists and a lot happens along the journey.


Upstream by Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver is my favorite poet, yet this isn’t exactly a book of poetry. Upstream is a book of essays about creativity, art, exploration, and nature. But essays written by a poet are bound to be beautifully written, and these are certainly so. Since Mary Oliver passed away this past January, it’s nice to remember her here with this lovely book.

What Do Birds Say to the Moon? by Kathryn Haydon

Did you miss the quiet launch of my own poetry book last year? It was a reflective release for a deep and reflective book of poems, many about nature, life, and light. I learned to write poetry in a creative writing class taught by Joan Franklin Smutny the summer after fourth grade. It truly changed my life, and it was a lifelong goal to create a poetry collection. What Do Birds Say to the Moon? is dedicated to that same Joan Smutny who has remained my mentor to this day. This poetry is accessible and inspiring, so pick it up if you have the chance!


Kathryn Haydon helps you maximize your creative strengths so you can do your best work. Through keynotes, workshops, and consulting, she trains individuals, leaders, and teams to find the unique spark that leads to deep engagement and productivity.

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