The holidays are almost here, but there’s still time to check items off your shopping list before the gifting extravaganza begins. Whether you’re on the hunt for a quirky coffee table book, a trending deep read, or the perfect cookbook for a friend who loves to entertain, we’ve got you covered. As editorial director for Books at Amazon, part of my job is to read and recommend great books, and I recently shared a special list of books that are perfect for last-minute gifts on the CBS Mornings show. Keep reading for a list of new reads to round out your shopping list, and maybe even find a new book for yourself.
This gem is America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) cookbook with advice from Elle Simone Scott, food stylist, and judge on the new competition show ATK: The Next Generation. This book is a guide on how to create and style the types of beautiful meal boards you’re seeing on social media—with a healthy helping of food porn. As we all start to entertain again, I love her ideas on everything from the standard charcuterie board to a steak frites board. Learn more.
As Sir Mix-a-Lot would say, I like this book, and I cannot lie. Beyond the eye-catching hot yellow emoji cover is a thought-provoking, interesting, smart (but not boring) book. This is for fans of pop culture, the body positivity movement, and anyone who’s ever wondered why everyone was waif in the 1990s and getting Brazilian Butt Lifts to look like Kim Kardashian in the 2020s. Heather Radke keeps the narrative moving, whether she’s quoting existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir or RuPaul (both are cited in a single paragraph ). Yes, butts can be “silly,” Radke writes, but they’re also “tremendously complex symbols.” Learn more.
Fair Warning: since reading this book I have been doing even more games! This is perfect for fans of Wordle, crosswords, or jigsaws. In the introduction, A.J. Jacobs writes that he’s going to try to convince the reader that puzzles can change the world. He covers everything from the history of the Rubik’s Cube to how American and British crosswords vary, plus it gives you examples of each kind of puzzle at the end of every chapter. Learn more.
It may seem like an odd choice to gift a celebrity addiction memoir for the holidays, but this book is so much more than one of the biggest celebrity memoirs of 2022. For fans of Friends and Hollywood tell-alls, Matthew Perry’s memoir delivers behind-the-scenes gossip—like what the note on the flowers he first sent to Julia Roberts said—but it also gives readers an intimate look at how severe Perry’s addiction to drugs and alcohol was. Perry is self-aware and frank as he shares details about a disease that caused him to go through detox 65 times and spend two weeks in a coma. He talks about the reality that money can’t buy happiness, and problems don’t get wrapped up in a neat bow. Learn more.
So many kids love cooking shows, and there are now junior versions of some of our favorites, like Junior Bake Off. I love that this cookbook focuses on building confidence and basic skills in the kitchen while also inspiring young chefs to expand their horizons. Featuring beginning, intermediate, and advanced recipes, Kids Can Cook Anything! is packed with color photographs of not just finished dishes, but the steps and techniques used to get them there. As an added bonus, there are QR codes for helpful videos sprinkled throughout the book. I cooked the Kimchi-Miso ramen with my boys, and it was amazing–I would have paid money for that! Learn more.