Locally sourced and sold books for the holidays. Find the next great adventure read, go-to cookbook, new hobby, family-friendly bedtime story for the kids, or refresh on some ancient history this gift-giving season with our hand-selected holiday gift books.
CAN IT!: THE PERILS AND PLEASURES OF PRESERVING FOODS
Reaktion Books Ltd., 2016, $27
Before hipsters discovered mason jars, they were used to can and process food. This book offers a chance to learn the history behind and recipes for a variety of pickled, dried, fermented, smoked, condensed, salted, or freeze-dried foods. From chutney to glyko, Gary Allen gives readers a worldwide study on processing preserved food. Vintage magazine advertisements and other colored illustrations complement the 200-plus pages.
CONVERSATIONS IN THE SPIRIT: LEX HIXON'S "IN THE SPIRIT" INTERVIEWS: A CHRONICLE OF THE SEVENTIES SPIRITUAL REVOLUTION
Edited by Sheila Hixon
Monkfish Book Publishing, 2016, $20
Lex Hixon's "In the Spirit" interviews on WBAI were essential in forming America's spiritual exploration in the1970s. Many of the spiritual concepts talked about on the show have grown to societal familiarity today, like Zen Buddhism, yoga, and meditation. For the first time, 33 of Hixon's original interviews, spanning from the 1970s to the early 80s, have been collected and edited into text format. Read Hixon's interviews with icons: St. Teresa of Calcutta, Allen Ginsberg, Zen Mountain Monastery abbot John Daido Loori, and influential Indian monk and scholar Swami Nikhilananda.
THEY ALL SAW A CAT
Chronicle Books, 2016, $16.99
This book's full-page illustrations make it a perfect bedtime story for the youngest of readers. Coxsackie-based author and illustrator Brendan Wenzel's collage and array of styles shift as the different characters in the book encounter the cat. The bee sees small colorful dots to make up the cat's shape, the skunk sees a large figure in shades of black and white. These images teach children the importance of perspective, as well as recognizing different points of view. A page shows the creatures capitalized and named alphabetically, a way to warm-up to practicing reading comprehension.
MICKEY MANTLE: INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE LINES
Black Rose Writing, 2016, $15.95
Tom Molito's collection of stories is a refreshing hit within the baseball genre. Written in a Peekskill coffee shop, this sports memoir is part story of the player and part of its author. Molito's lifelong friendship with Mickey Mantle informs these new narratives on Mantle's career and personal life, a testament to the player's presence on and off the field. County-great Charlie Daniels writes a foreword in honor of Oklahoma's switch-hitting legend, and baseball historian Harold "Doc" Friend provides input.
THE CROWN MAPLE GUIDE TO MAPLE SYRUP: HOW TO TAP AND COOK WITH NATURE'S ORIGINAL SWEETENER
Robb Turner, Jessica Carbone, photographs by Tina Rupp
Abrams Books, 2016, $29.95
A sweet guide to maple syrup, served straight from Dutchess County. Crown Maple co-founder Robb Turner and culinary historian Jessica Carbone team up for this expansive book, beginning with the trade and colonial history of maple syrup. Chapters link together to form a how to guide from tap, yielding, filtration, and then, the table. Over 65 syrup-based recipes like roasted squash soufflé with maple streusel and maple crème sandwich cookies are included.
GABE AND GOON
Charlesbridge Press, 2016, $16.95
Hudson Valley children's writer and illustrator Iza Trapani, known for her renderings of Baa Baa Black Sheep and Old King Cole, returns with this frighteningly cute bedtime story. Purple and plush monster Goon lives inside Gabe's closet. Gabe isn't afraid of monsters, but Goon is afraid of kids: a switch of the classic monster tale. The two tackle their fears and become the best of friends. This illustrated story is as endearing as it is humorous.
Mary Ann Mclean
Cornell University Press, 2016, $29.95
This Rhinebeck-based naturalist writer and explorer's work is subdued yet stunning. Watercolor illustrations of fields, woods, and watery places intertwine with handwritten poems, offering readers a glimpse into a whimsically colorful world. These pages are a bright splash, a chance to see nature's bounty even as the skies darken and turn steely gray.
THE AGE OF CAESAR: FIVE ROMAN LIVES
Plutarch, Edited by James Romm, Translation by Pamela Mensch