If you’re anything like me, you might feel like the holidays have come to the end of this tumultuous year. Fortunately, the librarians who work in the National Association of REALTORS® Library and Archives have you covered. These recent books related to homes, buildings and other facets of real estate are at the top of our wish list. From history to business to fiction, these gift ideas can inspire anyone who loves to learn and think about how real estate and communities affect our way of life.

The Great Indoors: the surprising science of how buildings shape our behaviour, health and happiness by Emily Anthes (Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

  • Science journalist Emily Anthes explores the ways in which our indoor environments affect our physical and mental health, from the air in our homes to the layout of our offices.

The yellow house by Sarah M. Broom (Grove Press)

  • The 2019 National Book Award winner Sarah M. Broom’s memoir weaves generations of family history and a compelling portrait of New Orleans with the story of her childhood home.

the sprawl by Jason Diamond (Coffee House Press)

  • By delving into representations of the suburbs in American culture and building on his own experiences growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Jason Diamond proposes a new examination of the suburbs as ripe for creative potential.

Brave new home by Diana Lind (Bold Type Books)

  • From micro-apartments to co-living communities, Diana Lind explores future alternatives to the single-family home that respond to today’s changing demographics and concerns about affordable housing.

The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth and Power by Deirdre Mask (St Martin’s Press)

  • Finalist for the 2020 Kirkus Prize for Non-Fiction, The Address Book takes an in-depth look at the stories behind street addresses and what they reveal about the people who live there.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey Books)

  • Hailed by many as one of the best books of 2020, A House is a protagonist in this supernatural mystery set in 1950s Mexico.

The encyclopedia of commercial real estate advice: how to add value in buying, selling, repositioning, developing, financing and managing by Terry Painter (Wiley)

  • This essential reference on all things commercial real estate has over 500 listings on everything from attracting investors to recession-proofing your properties.

How I Built This: The Unexpected Pathways to Success from the World’s Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs by Guy Raz (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

  • Based on the NPR podcast of the same name, How I built this provides lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs through founders’ stories on their path to success.

® Amy Lane