Best Books to Gift Your Bestie Based on Aesthetic

Unsure of which book to buy your friend? Read on to get some recommendations based on their aesthetic!

Fantasy Fiction Non-Fiction Poetry & Drama Recommendations
Book jackets of Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield, Fifty Beasts to Break Your Heart: And Other Stories by GennaRose Nethercott, and The Honey Witch by Sydney J. Shields are pictured side by side bordered by gifts in an earth-toned color scheme, brown ribbons, and yellow waves. A green bow with white flowers sits at the top of the image.

Who doesn’t love being gifted a book by their best friend? Giving books is an act of love and acknowledgment of understanding and appreciating your friend’s interests and authentic self. If you find gifting books a daunting task, as it can be something so personal to the receiver, you can always count on giving a book based on their aesthetic! A person’s aesthetic reflects their soul, so a book in line with that will surely be a winner. Discover some of the best books to gift your best friend based on their core aesthetic!

Dark Academia – Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield

Book jacket for Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield. Ocean waves take up the bottom of the cover in front of an orange sky.
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Our Wives Under the Sea is a science fiction adventure novel following Leah, a marine biologist whose submarine sank to the bottom of the deep ocean floor, returning home months later. Now, she’s stuck in her head and has an absence of appetite, oscillating between the rooms in her home, leaving the taps running. Miri, Leah’s wife, knows something’s wrong, that something sinister happened when Leah was under the sea and has stayed with her. As Miri works towards unearthing the truth, she might also have to accept that she is losing her grapes on the woman she loves. This haunting exploration of the human condition is perfect for your dark academia friend.

Light Academia – If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho by Sappho, Anne Carson

Book jacket for If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho by Sappho, translated by Anne Carson. Fragments of a brown textured wall are scattered on the left side of the book.
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Any classic will do for a friend with a dark or light academic aesthetic. If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho is a beautiful collection of fragments of Sappho’s poetry that have survived from ancient Greece to the present. Out of her nine lyrical books, only one poem in full has been unearthed, though the fragments are just as lyrically beautiful. Anne Carson, a classist and poet herself, pens both the original Greek text and a side-by-side English translation. Historical and poetic, it’ll make an excellent gift for someone who loves romanticizing their academic endeavors.

Cottagecore – Fifty Beasts to Break Your Heart: And Other Stories by GennaRose Nethercott

Book jacket of Fifty Beasts to Break Your Heart: And Other Stories by GennaRose Nethercott. A drawing of a black fox runs down a winding tree with blue-green leaves and berries. The fox looks up to a goat woman in a black lace dress. An owl sits at the top of the tree and moths gather at the berries. Beneath the goat woman is a pink flower with a skull in the middle.
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This fantastical collection of twisted fairytales illustrates the horrors and tender emotions that take root within everyone. In one story, two young girls dig deeper into the secrets of the amusement park they work at. In another, an undead rooster is a detective solving the case of a missing person. Then, there is a tale of a woman who moves in with her artist boyfriend and begins maliciously morphing into his perfect muse. Unity between a vampire and a goat woman serves as their shield from the hatred of everyday society, which unfolds in another exuberant chapter. Although darker in nature than one might attribute to a cottagecore extraordinaire, this mythical book paints the intrinsic woefulness within us in a unique, lush, luxuriant light.

Coquette – Film for Her by Orion Carloto

Book jacket of Film for Her by Orion Carloto. Against a white background, on the bottom left, is a polaroid of a woman with short hair and bang in a white shirt holds up a film camera.
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Film for Her is an exquisite, romantic fusion of poetry, prose, and short stories, accompanied by mesmerizing film photography. A thematic exploration of people and places, this contemporary literature evokes memories of things once forgotten in the busyness of everyday life, reminiscent of life’s simple pleasures. With bows in their hair, your friend will relish the experience of this beautiful book for years to come.

Fairycore – The Honey Witch by Sydney J. Shields

Romantasy is a fast-growing genre, and this book combines a heartwarming romance with the captivating turmoil of fantasy. The main character in The Honey Witch, Marigold Claude, who would rather spend her life with magical meadow spirits than the persistent suitors at her doorstep, chooses to live with her grandmother and begin training as the successor of the Honey Witch on the Isle of Innisfree. This opportunity, however, will come with the sacrifice of romance, as love is forbidden for the Honey Witch.

Book jacket of The Honey Witch by Sydney J. Sheilds. Through a lock, an ornate fence and brick cottage sit on a meadow. The book is bordered by a variety of multicolored flowers and bursts of fairy dust.
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However, Marigold meets skeptic Lottie Burke and relishes the challenge of proving to her that magic is indeed real. Soon enough, and despite all odds, magic isn’t the only thing in the air. Yet when an evil magic threatens the Isle of Innisfree, Marigold must fight for the Isle, her magic, and her newfound love.

Goblincore – Beaverland by Leila Philip

Book jacket of Beaverland by Leila Philip. The tail of a beaver takes up the majority of the cover against a green background.
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If your friend loves hiking, pointing out cool bugs, and anything nature-related, they will love this book. A poignant, creative, and research-filled chronicle of how the American beaver changed America’s ecological and cultural landscape, Beaverland is an exquisite novel to give your outdoorsy friend. Author Leila Philip delivers information gathered by fur trappers, traders, auctioneers, wildlife and environmental scientists, engineers, PETA activists, Native American environmental activists, and individual environmental crusaders. The beaver’s near demise in early American history is followed through its conservation come-back story, both through personal narrative and a portrait of Western industries.

If you still need to decide whether you can curate a book your friend will honestly like when in doubt, get them a gift card to their favorite bookstore. But, even if what you gift them may not have been their go-to selection, you’ll introduce them to a new plotline or genre they’ll fall in love with! Truly, it’s the thought that counts, and what is more thoughtful than a book? Wrap it up with some aesthetic brown paper, a ribbon, and some flowers, and you’ll be sure to warm your best friend’s heart!


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