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Got gift cards? Spend them on these books!

If you received some bookish gift cards this holiday season, I imagine that they might be burning a hole in your pocket. For me, I’m always online looking at books on Boxing Day. There’s something about the post-Christmas calm that lends itself to book shopping. But if you’re like me, you might be overwhelmed with all the choices, so today, we’re looking at some of 2023’s top nonfiction that’s perfect for post-holiday shopping. Plus, some of my favorite cookbooks. But first, bookish goods!

Bookish Goods

a photo of four notecards featuring watercolor illustrations of books and cups of coffee

Book Lover Note Cards by Willow Tree Papiery 

Have a lot of thank you cards that you need to write after receiving gifts for the holidays? These would be perfect! $13

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of Raw Dog: The Naked Truth About Hot Dogs by Jamie Loftus

Raw Dog: The Naked Truth About Hot Dogs by Jamie Loftus

Are you a person who loves micro-histories about very specific things? Then this book is for you. Jamie Loftus writes about the history of the hot dog in America, noting regional styles, controversies, and how hot dogs are celebrated today.

a graphic of the cover of Truth Telling: Seven Conversations About Indigenous Life in Canada by Michelle Good

Truth Telling: Seven Conversations About Indigenous Life in Canada by Michelle Good

Cree writer Michelle Good discusses the many issues around contemporary Indigenous identity. Broken treaties, racism, stolen land—Native peoples across what is now known as Canada have long experienced the horrors of on-going colonization. Good confronts these topics, affirming the right for Native sovereignty and self-determination.

Riot Recommendations

a graphic of the cover of Bottom of the Pot by Naz Deravian

Bottom of the Pot: Persian Recipes and Stories by Naz Deravian

Winner of the IACP 2019 First Book Award presented by The Julia Child Foundation, Bottom of the Pot celebrates Persian cooking, highlighting the incredible wealth of flavors of this cuisine. Naz Deravian is a home cook based in L.A., and she shares recipes from her childhood and her takes on Persian classics. When she was just a girl, Deravian and her family fled Iran during the height of the revolution. Food has been a way that Deravian and her family have stayed connected to their culture. I loved these recipes, photos, and little snippets that Deravian shares about her past, connecting moments in her life with her recipes.

a graphic of the cover of Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes by Ronni Lundy

Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes by Ronni Lundy

Victuals, winner of a James Beard Award, is one of my newest cookbook acquisitions, and I fell in love with it from the moment I saw it. In the last several years, Southern Appalachian cooking has been making its mark on the literary world. Ronni Lundy looks at traditional, heritage recipes from Appalachia, celebrating simple ingredients like beans and greens. The photos by Johnny Autry are gorgeous, taking me back to summers watching my grandparents eat salted tomato slices while relaxing on the back porch of their cabin.

Need a last-minute gift with no shipping delay? Tailored Book Recommendations is here to help! Here at TBR, we pair our customers with a professional book nerd (aka bibliologist) who just gets them. They fill out a survey and then sit back and relax as we pick books just for them. We’ve got three levels — recs-only, paperback, and hardcover — and you can gift a full year or one time, so there are options for every budget! Get all the details at

That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave, over on Instagram @kdwinchester, or on my podcast Read Appalachia. As always, feel free to drop me a line at For even MORE bookish content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy Reading, Friends!

~ Kendra