Books to Give Young Adults and Millennials

woman reading book

Despite reports to the contrary, there are plenty of young adults who love to read. A book is the perfect gift for someone who appreciates the written word, or beautiful photos, or just a great story. 


Coffee Table Books

Our country, united or divided, but always with a sense of humor. Share a few laughs with Judgmental Maps: Your City. Judged. By Trent Gillaspie.

If your young adult was a Lego fanatic as a child - or still is - 365 Things to Do with LEGO Bricks  by Simon Hugo will keep him or her entertained over winter break and beyond.

Who doesn't want to return to childhood every now and then?

Hi tech and other inventions of the future are all here in Super Cool Tech. With a laptop-like cover and colorful images, this visit to the future is filled with ideas that are becoming reality sooner or later.

The outdoorsy and adventurous millennial in your life will love this gorgeous book from National Geographic. National Geographic Greatest Landscapes: Stunning Photographs That Inspire and Astonish is a coffee table trip to some of the world's most beautiful places.

Football fans will find plenty of things to discuss and facts to back up their claims in Sports Illustrated College Football's Greatest. What fun is sports without stats and records?

Dog lovers will delight at the images in Underwater Dogs by Seth Casteel, a photographer and animal rights activist. Get ready to make them smile.


Amy Schumer is one of the hottest comedians around and her memoir, The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo, is a best seller.


Mindy Kaling, everyone's favorite Indian-American gynecologist on The Mindy Kaling Project, shares some of her best and not-so-best moments in her memoir Why Not Me?

Olympic champion and new dad Michael Phelps shares about his battle with ADD, his painful childhood moments, and his rise to the winningest competitor in the history of the Olympics in Beneath the Surface: My Story.

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls is Lauren Graham's memoir of her life, including the years she spent as Lorelai Gilmore on the wildly popular Gilmore Girls and as Sarah Braverman of the Braverman clan on Parenthood.

For many young adults, the meeting of business and sports sounds like the perfect career path. Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, shares his success story in Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

For inspiration, there may be no woman quite as amazing as Theresa Larson, a former marine platoon leader who finally asked for help battling bulimia. Warrior: A Memoir is not to be missed.


A story that seems particularly relevant this year, The Nix by Nathan Hill is, at its core, the story of a mother and son and their relationship. Mixing politics, history and a good dose of satire, The Nix is a good read for any millennial.

What happens when civilization collapses due to the outbreak of a devastating illness? While this may sound like a terribly depressing story, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is an enlightening and truly human book.

A coming-of-age story set in New York's now-hot borough, Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson is about young teens on the verge of adult life in the 1970's.

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley is a fast-paced and exciting story about a man and a boy who survive a plane crash and what happens after. In the world of 24 hour news, this book touches a nerve.

Maybe they've seen the movie, but that doesn't mean young adults should skip reading The World According to Garp by John Irving. No one who loves to read can skip this story of Garp, whose life was filled with fantastic and horrifying events. 

Start any young adult woman with the gift of Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend and she will thank you as she continues on to the next 3 books in the series. Romantic, episodic and heartbreaking, the story of two friends from Naples Italy as they grow into womanhood will keep her enchanted for weeks or months to come.