2020 Gift Guide
Usually, these kinds of guides are broken down by category: we’ll suggest an on-theme gift for the budding environmentalist, or the right book to give to your herbalist friend. This year, we’re going a little broader. This has been—and forgive us repeating a sentiment we know you’re hearing ad nauseam—a year like no other. A pandemic is ravaging our communities. We’re in the midst of a long-overdue reckoning with the racism and oppression built into our country’s DNA. And: we’re making progress, building community, and finding new ways to connect and be present to each other. One story of this year has been: how do we heal a broken world?
As we looked at the books we’ve published this year (and at a few backlist titles, too), it became clear that the usual gift-rec categories weren’t working. After all, who’s to say that an “activist” title isn’t also, or more so, a book for the general public? Or that a chapter book for kids isn’t necessary reading for adults too?
As a publisher, our aim is to champion books that heal. And healing happens when we break down boundaries, honor interconnections, and work to see things a little differently. So, as you scroll through, consider each recommendation as a book not for one “type” of reader or giftee, but a book that—in its own way, through its own lens, and via each author’s singular voice—is a book that heals. Cheers from all of us at NAB.
(Plus: use code 2020FREESHIP now through the end of December for free shipping within the US.)
A Bigger Sky
BY PAMELA WEISS
A memoir of healing, strength, and spiritual awakening that imagines beyond a Buddhism created by and for men. A Bigger Sky is an inspirational read that explores the tensions of secular and spiritual life, challenges entrenched systems of patriarchy, and shows readers how the Buddha’s profound vision of healing and freedom can be lived within relationships, in community, and with the planet.
BY LEONARD LEINOW AND JULIANA BIRNBAUM
CBD is still going strong—and this book is the essential guide to understanding how to use it, how much to take, where to source it, and whether it’s right for you. With charts, dosing guides, and explanations of delivery methods, it’s one-stop shopping for both longtime users and the CBD-curious. There’s even a chapter for pets.
Every Breath, New Chances
Aging is hard. And even though it’s a process each of us will face, we don’t really talk about it—especially men, who have been fed a lifetime of societal cues like “be strong” and “suck it up.” Here, Lewis Richmond helps readers connect to what’s really going on inside and shows them how to mentally, emotionally, and practically cope with the effects of aging. Necessary reading for the aging men in your life.
Fat Girls in Black Bodies
BY JOY COX, PHD
There isn’t one thing in this world that fat Black women haven’t done. Not one. We are a force of nature. Dr. Joy Cox explores what it means to live in a body at the intersection of fat, Black, and womxn in a right-on-time book that’s both an incisive look at racism, sizeism, and sexism and a joyous celebration of fat Black womxn. A book to share with your best friend. Check out her event with Charis books here.
Good sex (or great sex!) doesn’t just happen by magic or accident: it takes work, understanding, and connection to ourselves and our bodies. If you’ve survived trauma, experienced relationship betrayal, or are living with circumstances that make embodiment difficult, getting there can seem impossible. Jessica Graham offers meditations, tools, affirmations, and a seriously open and supportive vibe to help you have the kind of sex you want and deserve.
Growing Sustainable Together
The Healthy Deviant
Want to be healthy in an unhealthy world? Get ready to start breaking some rules. Most health books will tell you how to get fit in 30 days, or what to eat when (or else). This isn’t that. Instead, veteran health journalist Pilar Gerasimo helps readers reconnect with their bodies and tap into what kind of healing works best for them, conventional rules and expectations be damned.
Love and Rage
In the face of systemic racism and state-sanctioned violence, how can we metabolize our anger into a force for liberation? The latest from Lama Rod Owens is a timely exploration of grief, rage, and trauma that asks us to look inward and attend to the deep soulwork of knowing and loving our anger. A book of profound healing, deep wisdom, and liberatory revelation.
The Modern Herbal Dispensatory
It’s 4 AM and…time to wake up? For your (very) early risers, a nature haiku picture book that shows what foxes, white-tailed deer, red-breasted robins, and other animals are up to before the rest of the world wakes up too. The illustrations are gorgeous, the haiku are sublime, and the rescue of an early-morning read should bring a little peace before it’s time to jump into the day.
The Politics of Trauma
“The book for right now” in 2016 is still the book for right now. Black Futures author Kimberly Drew says it best: “Radical Dharma and its accompanying workshops are a great, great tool for anyone interested in personal growth and self-care that reaches far beyond yoga and bubble baths and into the nitty-gritty of healing from the inside out.” Sound right for someone you know? Check it out.
Raising Multiracial Children
We live in a racialized world that still promotes a colorblind mentality—which can hold us back from talking about race and fully nurturing our kids’ multiracial identities. Farzana Nayani’s go-to guide helps you gain the skills you didn’t know you were missing, like how to build Racial Dialogue Readiness, start tough conversations, and foster positive identity development in kids of all ages.
Rune Reading Your Life
BY DELANEA DAVIS
Learn (or gift!) the ancient art of rune-reading. This is a beautifully packaged guide that lays out everything you need to know to unlock the wisdom of the runes and build your own practice. It also comes with tear-out rune cards, so you can get started immediately. For rune aficionados as well as fans of tarot, astrology, and angel cards.
Through nuanced historical analysis, storytelling, and the lens of her own experience, lawyer, Indigenous activist, and Penobscot Nation member Sherri Mitchell Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset considers some of our world’s most divisive challenges. She invites us all to decolonize our thinking and question the oppressive models of power that infiltrate our culture, relationships, and our own internal dialogues. This is a singular book that challenges us to rethink the assumptions we hold about truth and value in contemporary life.
At first glance, a guide to reducing your tech stress isn’t the giftiest of gift guide recs, but as said earlier, this has been a year like no other—and we bet you’re feeling the effects of too much sitting, scrolling, and Zoom fatigue too. The healing tips in this book are evergreen, but feel especially important in our age of remote connection. Goop thinks so too.
Walking with Glenn Berkenkamp
With 35 guided wellness walks for every mood and occasion, Glenn Berkenkamp invites us to reconnect to how we move, sense, and feel in our bodies—while engaging a greater sense of presence and joy in our lives. With strolls you can take solo or with friends, walks for building gratitude, and even a walk to enjoy during a full moon, Glenn (and his handy “which walks to do when” guide) brings fresh perspective to an enduring pastime.
The Whale Child
An inspirational, richly illustrated middle-grade book rooted in Indigenous wisdom that empowers kids to stand up for Mother Earth. Kirkus calls it a “necessary read” that “decolonizes the Western construction of climate change,” and we agree! A must-read for budding environmentalists and, for adults, a book that will impart deep medicine and help you feel hopeful again.
A Woman’s Place
Too loud. Too shrill. Too far. Too much. If you’re a womxn, you’ve heard it—and when we ask for more (or even just what’s owed), we’re talked over, pushed aside, or gaslit. Gen-Z journalist, feminist, and all-around force of nature Kylie Cheung has written the primer on gender equality we need now. A go-to guide for feminists and big-picture social healing for us all.
Yoga for Better Sleep
If you happen to be reading by the soft blue glow of your phone late at night…this might be for you. If not, chances are you have a giftee in mind who could use better, deeper, longer sleep. It’s a smaller trim, perfect for bedside reading, and is packed with meditations, yoga sequences, and all-natural ways to boost sleep. If all else fails, skip to the references.
*Please note that orders placed through our website can currently only be shipped to US-based addresses.