2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Books

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Federal Donuts: The (Partially) True Spectacular Story

By Michael Solomonov, Steven Cook, Tom Henneman, Bob Logue and Felica D’Ambrosio (Hougton Mifflin Harcourt)

Solomonov and Cook, two James Beard Award-winners, share their story of taking their dream of opening up a donut mini-empire and eventually turning Philadelphia into a destination for their quirky approach to one of America’s favorite dessert foods. While sharing stories about some of their more exotic concoctions that include guava, pomegranate and Middle Eastern flavors, the authors also include tips for making donuts at home.

America The Great Cookbook

By Joe Yonan (Weldon Owen)

As the two-time James Beard Award-winning Food and Dining editor of The Washington Post, Yonan uses his extensive dining knowledge to edit and curate this tome that features a mix of scrumptious recipes and profiles of some of the country’s most respected culinary figures. Mario Batali, Ruth Reichl and Marcus Samuelsson are among the chefs who share their favorite dishes and how they came up with them.

War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony

By Nelson Denis (Hachette Book Group)

While Puerto Rico continues to grapple with the fall-out of natural disasters and the ineptitude of the federal government, Denis takes readers on a chronological trip starting with this island nation being part of the spoils that came out of the Spanish-American War up through 1950. Through declassified FBI documents, personal interviews, congressional testimony, and eyewitness accounts, the award-winning journalist shines a light on a shameful chapter of American foreign policy that continues to inform current repercussions faced by Puerto Ricans today.

Highbrow, Lowbrow, Brilliant, Despicable: Fifty Years Of New York Magazine

(Simon & Schuster)

With 2018 serving as its 50th anniversary, New York Magazine gets its due in this enormous coffee table book that traces the history of this storied publication that was founded by Clay Felker and Milton Glaser in 1968. In addition to helping introduce the world to future stories talents including Tom Wolfe, Jimmy Breslin, Nora Ephron and Gloria Steinem, New York took readers into various corners of Big Apple-centric scenes that included Wall Street culture, Brooklyn discotheques and other trends and people that helped define New York City as the center of the media universe.

Never Let Me Go

By Kazuo Ishiguro (Vintage)

Recognized as the 2017 Nobel Laureate in Literature, Ishiguro is best-known for his 1989 novel The Remains of The Day. This 2005 outing is a dystopian science fiction novel set at an elite boarding school in the English countryside. With the students taking place in what amounts to genetic engineering, restricted personal freedoms and sacrifice are touched on in this book that hearkens Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

Game Face: A Lifetime of Hard-Earned Lessons On and Off the Court

By Bernard King with Jerome Preisler (Da Capo Press)

If you’ve had the chance to catch the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Bernie & Ernie, about King and his college/NBA teammate Ernie Grunfeld, you’ll know that the depth of this Basketball Hall of Fame power forward goes far beyond the hardwoood. While hoops fans will gobble up anecdotes of the Brooklyn native going head to head with the likes of Dr. J and Larry Bird, King’s complexity as an individual comes across when he touches on his hardscrabble background and the struggles he went through to attain a level of greatness both on and off the court.

Calling the Shots: Ups, Downs and Rebounds—My Life In the Great Game of Hockey 

By Kelly Hrudey with Kirstie McLellan Day (Harper Collins)

Hrudey spent 15-years as an NHL goalie who played between the pipes for the New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks. He was a beloved player who parlayed his love of the game into a job as a respected analyst and color commentator. Hrudey’s memoir is chock full of anecdotes about vicious rivalries, his opinion that goalies were the weak links on 1980s hockey teams and a brutal and refreshing honesty about the game that gave him so much.

Smithsonian Rock And Roll: Live And Unseen

By Bill Bentley (Smithsonian Books)

What started out as a request from rock and roll lovers from around the globe for photos and stories of their favorite moments in music turned into this stunning coffee table book. Respected music industry insider Bill Bentley was tasked with riding herd of this staggering project that features 142 artists spanning six decades of music history that juxtapose seminal shots with the unique insight that only a veteran presence like Bentley could bring to the table.

The Vietnam War: An Intimate History

By Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns (Knopf)

The companion book to Burns’ excellent PBS documentary, it vividly encapsulates myriad aspects of what is one of the more controversial conflicts in American history. Burns and Ward do yeoman’s work in capturing viewpoints from all different sides, while coming away with a solid overview that will serve the needs of people who lived through it and those for whom the Vietnam War or those too young to have experienced it first-hand.

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