Harlan Coben's favorite books to gift this holiday season

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Cailey Rizzo
·6 min read
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Harlan Coben knows a good book. He has sold millions of them.

Harlan’s 31 novels — including “Tell No One,” “The Woods” and “The Stranger” — have been translated into 45 languages and sold around the world. His suspenseful, addictive thrillers have topped the bestseller charts and been adapted into gripping TV series.

When TODAY asked Harlan to share his favorite picks to gift this holiday season, he pulled out a diverse list of fast-paced thrillers, inspirational memoirs and suspenseful mysteries. No matter what book you choose to gift, it’s practically guaranteed to be impossible to put down.

Don’t forget to check out Shop TODAY’s 2020 Gift Guide to find the perfect present for everyone on your list!

For the pop culture lover

“No Time Like the Future” by Michael J. Fox

"No Time Like the Future" by Michael J. Fox

No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality (Amazon / Amazon)
No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality (Amazon / Amazon)
  • "No Time Like the Future" by Michael J. Fox $16.79 at Amazon

  • "No Time Like the Future" by Michael J. Fox $25.75 at Bookshop

  • "No Time Like the Future" by Michael J. Fox $24.99 at Barnes and Noble

Michael J. Fox’s third book follows his previous two memoirs, reflecting on the experience of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at age 29. Fox continues his tradition of writing openly and honestly about his health, family and state of mind while battling the disease. “No Time Like the Future” is a moving memoir that considers optimism and resilience in the face of darkness.

For the crime podcast obsessed

“The Searcher” by Tana French

"The Searcher" by Tana French

The Searcher: A Novel (Amazon / Amazon)
The Searcher: A Novel (Amazon / Amazon)
  • "The Searcher" by Tana French $16.97 at Amazon

  • "The Searcher" by Tana French $24.84 at Bookshop

  • "The Searcher" by Tana French $21.50 at Barnes and Noble

What happens when a former Chicago cop moves to a small Irish village to retire? Tana French’s propulsive novel won’t let you put it down until you find out. This page-turner about buried secrets in a seemingly bucolic town is steeped in suspense — and is perhaps the next best thing to a getaway in the Irish countryside.

For the sports fanatic

“One Life” by Megan Rapinoe

"One Life" by Megan Rapinoe

One Life (Amazon / Amazon)
One Life (Amazon / Amazon)

Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women’s World Cup Champion Megan Rapinoe has never been shy about being on center stage. But with this book, she peels back a layer and reveals her personal backstory. “One Life” follows Rapinoe from growing up the youngest of six in a fairly conservative town to becoming one of the most recognizable (and civically engaged) athletes today. Rapinoe’s story is a motivational one that will inspire readers to stand up for their beliefs in the face of adversity.

For the history buff

“Caste” by Isabel Wilkerson

"Caste" by Isabel Wilkerson

Caste (Oprah's Book Club): The Origins of Our Discontents (Amazon / Amazon)
Caste (Oprah's Book Club): The Origins of Our Discontents (Amazon / Amazon)

This nonfiction book has been lauded “an instant American classic” for its analysis of the invisible caste system operating in America today. Isabel Wilkerson explores how incorrect perceptions about race have impacted the course of American life for everyone. It’s been named one of the best books of the year by several reviewers, including Oprah herself.

Related: From coffee table books to cookbooks, there's something for everyone on your list.

For the coffee table collector

“A Wealth of Pigeons” by Harry Bliss and Steve Martin

"A Wealth of Pigeons" by Harry Bliss and Steve Martin

A Wealth of Pigeons: A Cartoon Collection (Amazon / Amazon)
A Wealth of Pigeons: A Cartoon Collection (Amazon / Amazon)
  • "A Wealth of Pigeons" by Harry Bliss and Steve Martin $20.99 at Amazon

  • "A Wealth of Pigeons" by Harry Bliss and Steve Martin $19.60 at Books A Million

  • "A Wealth of Pigeons" by Harry Bliss and Steve Martin $20.99 at Barnes and Noble

There are few frontiers comedian Steve Martin will not dare to cross. But despite a diverse career, he had not ventured into cartooning — until this year. In this new book, Martin teams up with Harry Bliss from the New Yorker to pen a parade of side-splitting cartoons, covering topics like achievement, isolation and irritating skin conditions. “You'll laugh out loud at some, you'll smile at others,” Harlan said, calling it “the perfect book to browse through on a cold night.”

For the kid

“I Promise” by LeBron James

"I Promise" by LeBron James

I Promise (Amazon / Amazon)
I Promise (Amazon / Amazon)

Show preschoolers the power of what can happen when they follow through on promises to themselves and others. This uplifting picture book by NBA star LeBron James teaches kids how to “throw the alley-oop” through rhymes about working hard and standing up for what is right. Colorful illustrations keep kids engaged, even if they’re still working on their reading skills.

For the thrill seeker

“The Law of Innocence” by Michael Connelly

"Law of Innocence" by Michael Connelly

Law of Innocence (A Lincoln Lawyer Novel, Book 6) (A Lincoln Lawyer Novel, 6) (Amazon / Amazon)
Law of Innocence (A Lincoln Lawyer Novel, Book 6) (A Lincoln Lawyer Novel, 6) (Amazon / Amazon)
  • "Law of Innocence" by Michael Connelly $14.50 at Amazon

  • "Law of Innocence" by Michael Connelly $26.68 at Bookshop

  • "Law of Innocence" by Michael Connelly $20.30 at Barnes and Noble

Mickey Haller was made famous by Matthew McConaughey in “The Lincoln Lawyer,” as a legal mind worthy of recognition alongside Atticus Finch. In this new legal thriller, Haller is back — this time locked up for a crime he did not commit. In this bingeable read, Haller has to prove his innocence, figure out who is framing him and solve the murder, all while locked up in a correctional facility in downtown Los Angeles. You’ll stay flipping pages until the very end.

For the foodie

“Chasing Flavor” by Dan Kluger

"Chasing Flavor" by Dan Kluger

Chasing Flavor: Techniques and Recipes to Cook Fearlessly (Amazon / Amazon)
Chasing Flavor: Techniques and Recipes to Cook Fearlessly (Amazon / Amazon)
  • "Chasing Flavor" by Dan Kluger $22.39 at Amazon

  • "Chasing Flavor" by Dan Kluger $32.20 at Bookshop

  • "Chasing Flavor" by Dan Kluger $35.00 at Barnes and Noble

Harlan received this recommendation from Rachel Ray, who couldn’t stop raving about Dan Kluger, the chef of New York’s beloved Loring Place restaurant. The debut cookbook includes not just show-stopping recipes but also lessons in flavor. With more than 190 recipes, Kluger teaches at-home chefs how the simplest techniques can produce the most impressive results. For those who are wondering: Harlan’s favorite recipe is the zucchini pizza with soppressata-tomato jam.

“The Flavor Equation” by Nik Sharma

"The Flavor Equation" by Nik Sharma

The Flavor Equation: The Science of Great Cooking Explained in More Than 100 Essential Recipes (Amazon / Amazon)
The Flavor Equation: The Science of Great Cooking Explained in More Than 100 Essential Recipes (Amazon / Amazon)

Great flavors don’t come through chance. It’s science (and art). Through more than 100 recipes, food blogger and scientist Nik Sharma breaks down the flavor profile behind what makes certain dishes sing. Named one of the best cookbooks of the year, “The Flavor Equation” will teach you the secrets of how to cook based on flavor, including recipes that are bright, salty, sweet, savory and rich.

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