Philip Cohen and I co-edited Contexts Magazine from 2014-2017. We've collected many of the articles into a reader for introductory sociology classes. I daresay it's fantastic and appropriate for anyone looking to make themselves into a better person. Buy it for yourself, buy it for a friend.
I have a book about migration and multiculturalism with Douglas Hartmann called Migration, Incorporation, and Change in an Interconnected World that came out in 2015. It is short and very readable. And enjoyable. Buy it for your mom. Use it in your classes. Read it on the train.
(Here's a nice review of the book in Sociological Forum.)
I also wrote Dubai: Gilded Cage, which came out in 2010 with Yale University Press. I highly recommend it. Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s from a university press. My editor made readability a prerequisite -- she wasn’t going to publish it otherwise. So you can read it, enjoy it, and learn stuff in the process. A win-win situation. And it makes for the perfect holiday gift.
(Don't take my word for it, read the reviews: New York Review of Books (translated in Books [France]), Independent (UK), Times (UK), Guardian (UK), Herald (Glasgow), NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands), Times of India, Leonard Lopate Show (WNYC radio), Contemporary Sociology, Cities, India Business Journal, International Affairs, Social Europe Journal, Choice, Middle East Book Reads.)
(Photo: Rooftop view, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.)