Books! A Few Holiday Picks


In advance of RJ Julia’s Annual Members Sale, I checked out some of the new holiday offerings. I had fully intended to walk away empty-handed and save myself for the sale, but NO. I managed to add a few to the stack by my bed. But you only need wait til Friday, November 10th to take 20% off everything in the shop. Not just books are discounted, you’ll also find a tempting array of gifts, games and journals. Not a member? You can sign up on the spot for $25 a year to enjoy the discounts. Sale runs November 10th through November 12th, 2017.

Here are my picks for presents this year:
1. Wanderful, The Modern B0hemian’s Guide to Traveling in Style: Perfect for all the 20-somethings in your life, this guide to hipster destinations not only tells you where to go but what to wear when you get there.

2. Christmas in Connecticut; Celebrating the Holiday in Classic New England Style: This wonderful photo book by local Chester photographer, Caryn Davis, celebrates the Nutmeg State’s Christmas traditions, town by town, from museums and churches to private homes. It’s a joy to peruse the various rituals and you’ll come away with a host of inspired decorating ideas, too. If you’re stuck on a hard-to-buy for friend or relative, here’s your answer. A good one for the gift closet. (Don’t miss author Caryn Davis’ book signing at RJ on 11/30/17 at 7pm).

3. Roz Chast’s Going into Town, A Love Letter to New York, for all your New Yorker reading friends (and everyone else because Roz Chast is HILARIOUS).

4. Home Grown: Cooking from My New England Roots:  I have yet to try Townsman, the much-touted restaurant by this Boston chef, but I can’t wait. Yankee fare is much maligned, but not to me. Think modern versions of clam chowder, Boston baked beans, brown bread, and whoopie pies, plus lots more New Englandish recipes.

5. A Grandfather’s Lessons; In the Kitchen with Shorey. Our beloved Jacques Pepin’s latest (he lives in Madison, so we get to claim him), is a gift to his granddaughter and the rest of us…filled with sage advice on setting the table and simple and elegant recipes. This one is NOT just for kids.

6. Party Food: Go-To Recipes for Cocktail Parties, Buffets, Sit-Down Dinners, and Holiday Feasts: A lovely treat for the host or hostess and only $12.95, this teeny tome offers up recipes for everything from canapes to carnitas.

7. My Miniature Library: Okay, this doesn’t exactly qualify as a book, but an ingenious fold-up library that you fill with teeny tiny books that you construct yourself. If I was 8 to, well, however-old-I-am-now, I’d be mesmerized for hours by it.

8. Home, The Best of the New York Times Home Section: Those of us who drool over the Home Section will be thrilled with this compilation of idiosyncratic, highly personal decor.

Oh, and try getting out the door without sampling one of these Whoopie Pies by Still Delicious. Gluten-free!

whoopie pie