November 28, 2020
Can you believe gift-giving season is upon us? Our rule of thumb: When in doubt, a gift book is often the ideal choice for a present. How often do you buy yourself an illustrated book, a book of art, or something aspirational to place on the coffee table for browsing? Here are several of the best from this year, plus more mouth-watering new cookbooks.
And it’s Small Business Saturday, the day set aside to support independent shop owners, especially your local bookstore! If you are able to shop in person, our bookstore has been festively arranged to call attention to our favorite titles of the year (look for the red satin ribbons). We are also happy to ship from our store directly to you or your loved one. And of course, our online store is always ready for clicking!
Buyer, Center for Fiction Bookstore
By Kimberly Drew & Jenn Wortham
Published by One World
This beautifully produced book is a visual roadmap to the startling array of art in all forms (from painting to Instagram) from Black artists creating work today. For lovers of contemporary artistic expression everywhere.
The Look of the Book
By Peter Mendelsund & David J. Alworth
Published by Ten Speed Press
We can all admit we’ve bought books by their covers. This assembly of book jackets and the stories behind them will be irresistible to designers, graphic artists, creative directors, anyone in the visual arts, and to any bibliophile..
By Brandon Stanton
Published by St. Martin's Press
Ten years ago Stanton published Humans of New York. Now this companion volume comes at a time we all need reminding what it is to be human. Compiled from the author’s global travels and interviews, it is a wonderful choice for just about anyone.
The Art of the Drag
By Jake Hall
Published by Nobrow
Illustrated by Sofie Birkin and Helen Li
Was there drag before RuPaul? You bet there was. Here is an illustrated history from kabuki to Shakespeare, from Stonewall to today. This is fabulous for fashion lovers and pop culture devotees, whether you are a drag queen or love to look at them (who doesn’t?)..
Accidentally Wes Anderson
By Wally Koval
Published by Voracious
For the frustrated film buff (Anderson’s new film has been delayed until 2021), this novel concept is a tribute to the filmmaker’s always brilliant, always unexpected aesthetic—photographs of 200 places around the world that echo his idiosyncratic vision of life.
The Best of Nest
By Todd Oldham & Joe Holtzman
Published by Phaidon Press
Nest was an extraordinary, rarified magazine, each individual page a unique, stunning design. Twenty-six issues only (1997-2004) are represented here, with selections from contributors like Michael Cunningham and Patti Smith..
By Abigail Crompton
Published by Thames & Hudson
Celebrating the female eye—words and pictures by an amazing array of women artists including Yayoi Kusama, Miranda July, Judy Chicago and the Guerrilla Girls. Art will surely save us!
A Wealth of pigeons
By Steve Martin
Published by Celadon Books
Illustrated by Harry Bliss
A collaboration between New Yorker cover artist Harry Bliss and cartoonist and polymath Steve Martin (is there anything he can’t do?). As he says, “cartooning [is] comedy’s last frontier.” And he has signed the books!.
By Meera Sodha
Published by Flatiron
For the vegetarians and vegans on your list but also a superb cookbook in general. Endorsed by Yotam Ottolenghi and Melissa Clark, here are delicious recipes from Bangalore to Beijing, for all tastes. Korean egg bread? Yum.
In Bibi's Kitchen
By Hawa Hassan & Julia Turshen
Published by Ten Speed Press
Collecting dishes from eight East African nations, this splendid cookbook includes the personal stories of the grandmothers who share their recipes—making this one both inspiring and delicious. Can’t wait to try the curried pigeon peas..
By Claire Saffitz
Published by Clarkson Potter
Sweet and savory, beautifully illustrated by the YouTube host and former Bon Appetit contributor. This one is making everyone’s year-end lists for best cookbooks. I want what’s on the cover.
Pie for Everyone
By Harry N. Abrams
Published by Petra Paredez
By the beloved owner of NYC’s Petee’s and Petee’s Café, who grew up in the pie business. You’ll be overwhelmed by the array of pies you can make in your own kitchen. Here key lime meringue pie looks especially good. Everyone I know is craving pie, pie, pie these days, aren’t you?.