Inspirational books to give as gifts: make them dream!

Inspirational books to gift a friend that needs to dream, travel, cook, or nourish the soul.

This is my list of inspirational books to give as gifts. I have read and loved each one of them. Some I even bought twice, to give to the women in my life that understand the word “introspection.”

Some books are for introverts, some for enthusiasts of food culture and history. Other books are for the lovers of adventures, or of Italy. And some are for the lovely and unstoppable list-makers.

These inspirational books are all in my special place: next to the sofa, where I sit and read while sipping a hot cup of tea. This after lighting up a perfumed candle, snuggling under my favorite plaid, and playing some jazz or classical music.

When giving a friend one of these books, think that you are giving them a magical moment of peace, inspiration, and self-care.

Click on images or titles to go to the Amazon page where you can purchase them and get them delivered straight to your door. Order some cute gift paper, ribbons, and cards too: ordering online means more time to wrap and add a personal touch to your presents!

inspirational books for introverts

These are the best books for women that like to think, meditate, and dream.

  • The first book of the list is a book that gives you a little something to read every night: A Poem for Every Night of the Year. It’s like a calendar: each page is a date, and each date has a poem. The poem might refer to an event, a season, a feeling… This book is a collection of poems organized according to seasons, historical events, or nature. For example, on April 12th, the day Russian Yuri Gagarin journeyed, for the first time in mankind’s history, into outer space, you’ll find the “Song in Space” by Adrian Mitchell. When you read it, you are not only learning about the great event but also sensing how people felt at the time: the wonder, the surprise, the incredulity!
  • If the receiver is a night owl, get her One Poem for Every Night of the Year, if she’s an early bird, opt for One Poem for Every Day of the Year. The first book accompanies you to bed: it means that the last thing you do before falling asleep is something meaningful, that enriches your inner self. The second book is an inspirational energizer for when you wake up or are in the middle of a busy day, to slow down for a magical, intimate, moment.
a poem for every night of the year book
a poem for every night of the year inner pages

inspirational books for adventures (big and small) lovers

These are books for women that love to explorediscover, and have unique experiences both in the vicinities and the furthest corners of the planet.

  • The Bucket List is my new traveling planning assistant. Every time I’m plotting a short or long trip, I check the book in search of traveling inspiration. Sure, most of the time, I end up reading something that has nooooothing to do with my actual destination and taking notes for a future adventure, but isn’t that what dreaming is all about? The book is divided into Northern and Southern Hemisphere, but luckily there’s a detailed index to search your destination through the numerous experiences listed. Pictures are inspiring and are accompanied by a short description of the venture.
  • If you or the friend you want to gift, have children, Lonely Planet published Travel with Children: The Essential Guide for Travelling Families. I’ve given this book as a gift to almost all my friends with kids, and reviews were incredibly positive!
  • While if you are a solo traveler, opt for The Solo Travel Handbook, a guide for overcoming worries, planning wisely, and having the time of your life! 
the bucket list book cover
the bucket list book inner pages


The city of Sassi.


The city of Opulence.


The city of Renaissance.

inspirational books for lovers of everything Italy

These are books for women that have been or dream of coming to Italy. Those that love the food, the slow living mindset, and the immense cultural and artistic landscape.

  • The first, of course, is the Simposio series: books about Italy made in Rome. In each book, you’ll explore places, seasonal recipes, anecdotes, everyday life, and celebrations excuses (they’re a lot). Authentic food and real life in their best gear.
  • Florentine by Emiko Davies has become the iconic Florentine cookbook: a collection of recipes, stories, market visits, and butcher encounters that will catapult you in one of Italy’s most enchanting regions.
  • Acquacotta: Recipes and Stories from Tuscany’s Secret Silver Coast, Emiko’s latest book is on my wish list. As a frequent visitor and lover of Tuscany’s elegant beaches, I can’t certainly miss this one!
  • Only a foreigner can give such a complete and vivid portrait of a society. The Italians covers many topics: family, politics, food, wine, the search for beauty, etc. Add a cappuccino to the reading afternoon, and it will be like sipping it in the middle of a Piazza in Rome. If it’s a gift, add a bag of Italian coffee beans, one that Italians actually drink.
the gourmet mag book cover
the gourmet mag book inner pages

inspirational books for lovers of food culture & aesthetics

These are the best books for women that love food, not only as fuel, but as a nutrient to their curiosity for faraway lands, mystical flavors, and exotic aesthetics.

  • The Grammar of Spices is a beautiful book that tells you the story of each spice, its origins, and uses. It adds a list of foods to pair it with and gives you a few suggestions for your kitchen experiments. To add beauty to beauty, each spice is accompanied by a graphic plate. Colors, geometries, and patterns fill your eyes with beauty and wonder.
  • The Flavor Thesaurus is a book that enhances creativity in the kitchen. Every possible ingredient is listed and matched to all the other flavors it would benefit from. A treasure for creative cookers!
  • Another wonderful, rich in aesthetics, book, is Food Fights and Culture Wars: a rereading of history through ingredients, their origins, and the intersection between food and society.
  • Herbarium, the herbal equivalent of The Grammar of Spices. 100 herbs collected in a book and recounted through their histories, origins, and uses.
the grammar of spices book cover
the grammar of spices book inner pages
The Flavour Thesaurus book cover
The Flavour Thesaurus book inner pages

inspirational books for women that love to plan

These are books for women that make lists for everything (I think we’re a lot). Only this time, they’re invited to forget duty lists and convert to happy listings of beautiful things, emotions, and deep thoughts.

The 52 lists project book cover
The 52 lists project book inner pages

That’s it: my list of happy, beautiful, inspirational books for beautiful souls, I hope it will light the spark of someone in search of the perfect gift or a personal self-hug and bring some light into this, too often grey, world!

Have a wonderful Christmas (or anything you are celebrating) time!



more books to give

I have a gift guide list for foodie cooks, check the best cookbooks of all time, according to my personal experience!

best cookbooks of all time