Take advantage of the pandemic book bump with a Christmas present

NEW YORK (AP) — In this world, there’s a book for everyone. Take advantage of that sentiment during the holiday shopping season.

Book sales boomed during the pandemic following initial concerns it could harm the publishing house. Come the holidays, some new non-fiction can hit you good gifts.

A sample:

“Dressing the Resistance: The Visual Language of Protest Through History”, by Camille Benda. From ancient Roman revolts to the Black Lives Matter movement, clothing has enabled the powerless to express dissent. Benda, costume designer and clothing historian, tells the story in more than 150 images, photographs and paintings with a lot of context in text. Take the simple topi hat, an envelope style of khadi cloth that was popular during India’s struggle for self-rule. The British authorities banned it and added fuel to the fire. $27.50. Princeton Architectural Press.

“The Christmas Owl”, by Ellen Kalish and Gideon Sterer, with illustrations by Ramona Kaulitzki. This delightful Christmas story is the true story of a little owl named Rockefeller. The young Saw-Whet Owl was found perched in the branches of a towering Norway spruce grown in upstate New York and cut last year as the Rockefeller Center holiday tree. Uninjured but hungry, she spent a short period in a Saugerties rehabilitation center before being released. Kalish is executive director of the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in the city of Hudson Valley. $15.49. From 4 years. Small brown books for young readers.

“Patient Zero: A Curious History of the World’s Worst Diseases”, by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen. Outbreaks of diseases. How do they start? How do they spread? How do we overcome? These are questions for our time, but certainly nothing new. This book explores everything that came before COVID-19: plague, yellow fever, mad cow disease, typhoid fever, and more. Who was Typhoid Mary? She was an asymptomatic, temporary home cook who infected hundreds, if not thousands. Where did the N95 Respiratory Mask start? Featuring Sara Little Turnbull and the fibrous molded bra padding she invented for 3M. $24.95. Werkman Publishers.

“In the Weeds: Around the World and Behind the Scenes with Anthony Bourdain”, by Tom Vitale. Bourdain’s director and producer shares stories and secrets of more than a decade of world travel with the beloved and complicated foodie/adventurer. There was a time when Bourdain raved about the Peking duck from a restaurant in Hong Kong, only to learn that he was devouring suckling pig. And a stop in Namibia, when the anus of the warthog he was eating hit his stomach hard. Bourdain committed suicide in a French hotel room in 2018. $30. Book Hachette.

“Sharing the Wisdom of the Times,” by Pope Francis and Friends. This book, soon to be a four-part documentary series on Netflix, is a collection of personal stories from grandparents and the elderly around the world, including filmmaker Martin Scorsese. There is an Auschwitz survivor, a blind basket weaver in Kenya and a 100-year-old midwife in Guatemala. The pope said in a statement: “Our society has silenced the voices of grandparents. We’ve got them out of the way.” During one of his daily prayer sessions, Pope Francis was inspired to shine a light on the vital role of grandparents and other elders, the publisher said. Loyola Pers. $21.98.

“Unprotected: A Memoir”, by Billy Porter. Bullied at school, sexually abused by his stepfather, Porter tells his truth about growing up gay in Pittsburgh. He was criticized by his church and sent to therapy to restore his effeminacy at age 5. The Emmy, Grammy and Tony winner details his HIV-positive diagnosis in 2007 and his struggles with shame and trauma over the decades. “There is healing in Delen. There is healing in the truth,” Porter told GLAAD’s Anthony Allen Ramos in an interview. $19.69. Abram’s press.

“Fantastic Fungi Community Cookbook”, edited and with essays by Eugenia Bone, recipes by the Fantastic Fungi Community. With plant-based lifestyles all the rage, this book features over 100 ways to prepare mushrooms, from appetizers and main dishes to desserts and drinks. Chaga chocolate chip cookies, anyone? The book follows the path charted by Louie Schwartzberg’s award-winning documentary, “Fantastic Fungi: The Magic Beneath Us”, and is driven by the fans that have sprung up. $37.50. Insight editions.

“Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Real-Life Tales of Black Girl Magic,” edited by Lilly Workneh with a foreword by CaShawn Thompson, who coined the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic in 2013. The latest in a series for ages 6 and up, this book highlights the contributions of 100 groundbreaking black women and girls across generations. Amanda Gorman, Naomi Osaka and Ava DuVernay are included. So is Sanité Bélair, who at fifteen fought in the Haitian revolution and paid for a firing squad with her life. $35. Rebel Girls.

“Best Wishes, Best Regards: The Story of Schitt’s Creek”, by Daniel Levy and Eugene Levy. You’re welcome, fans. Your favorite father and son have put together “behind the episode” insights, cast member Q&A, and definitive guides to Moira’s emotional support wigs and David’s many knits. Here’s Karen Robinson on her Ronnie Lee: “I think people should strive to be more like Ronnie. Live your life authentically. When you speak, speak the truth.” $31.99. Black Dog & Leventhal.

“The Highlights Book of Things to Draw”, by Highlights. The people who bring you the Highlights magazine have provided a fun artist introduction for children from 7 years old. The diary-style book features 175 creative projects and activities, from learning to incorporate texture to drawing shadow art. Similarly, there’s “The Highlights Book of Things to Write,” with imaginative clues like, “You’ll find a talking tree. What does it say about the view?” $14.99 each. Highlights Press.

“Spike”, by Spike Lee. Fun fact: Lee’s New York University thesis film, “Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop,” won an Academy Award for college students. Not so fun fact: Lee was the only person of color at the awards ceremony. Scrapbook-style, with plenty of behind-the-scenes photos, Lee tells his story in a career-spanning monograph — his first — featuring material from his archives. Photos featuring the work of Spike’s brother, David Lee, have been beautifully reproduced. Text is impressive, but kept to a minimum. $50. Edited by Steve Crist. Chronic chroma.

“Keep Moving: The Journal”, by Maggie Smith. The author and poet’s bestselling book, “Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity and Change,” was a title for the moment in 2020. Now she has a companion magazine meant to inspire the world to persevere. It has 52 writing exercises divided into the same three sections as the book: revision, resilience, and transformation. Smith says, “I now know that hope is a muscle — it gets bigger and stronger the more I use it.” $16. Atria/One Signal Publishers.


Follow Leanne Italy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/litalie

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