Each of the books on our holiday roundup list feature stories about life, but how those stories are told, and about what, make these four books as diverse as your friends and family. From personal histories intertwined with the Southeast Asian diaspora to learning how to brew an “Oldtoberfest Smoked Rye Lager” at home, each book focuses on a different theme. But they all celebrate, and invite people into, a community.
Planting SEADS: Southeast Asian Diaspora Stories
Edited by Chanida Phaengdara Potter, mk nguyễn, Narate Keys, Pheng Thao
Featuring the stories of Hmong, Lao, Khmer, and Việt contributors, Planting SEADS recounts the diaspora stories of peoples’ lives in their countries and communities, and the changes that brought them to who, and where, they are now. The book is a mix of personal narratives, poetry, illustrations, and photographs that encompass the vast experiences of conflict, daring movement to new places, and resettlement. Each story is written in English as well as the author’s native language. Readers are encouraged to truly meet these people, and share their lives with them.
Great for: storytellers and creative people, and those who are always exploring history and cultures.
Treasured Times: Seasonal Recipes and Unique Traditions to Savor Together
By Jaryn McGrath
Less stress, more joy, is what McGrath wants for her readers in the introduction and throughout the rest of this book. Treasured Times is a year-long exercise in creating meaningful experiences for our families and ourselves. From January to December, McGrath details her family’s monthly traditions, the recipes that go along with them, and the value they hold. Steal some ideas, modify others, and be encouraged to create space to enjoy and appreciate life.
Great for: mothers and grandmothers, event planners who always strive to make gatherings meaningful, and everyone looking for new ways to spend time with family.
By Charles R. Stinson Architects
Connections features personal stories about the most personal art of all: a living space. The book takes the reader on a tour of a variety of homes using sketches, pictures, and written stories. Clients talk about their lives and what makes their house their home, integrating their personal experiences into the realization of their private spaces. And, after paging through the wonderful, full-size photographs of interior and exterior spaces, Charles himself discusses creating each family’s dwelling. These homes, described by one client as fitting their inhabitants in “deeply personal ways,” are ongoing journeys from the original concept to day to day life.
Great for: art appreciators, lifestyle lovers, and, of course, architecture admirers.
Mashmaker: A Citizen Brewer’s Guide to Making Great Beer at Home
By Michael Dawson
Mashmaker is for brewers who like different, who want opportunities to make their brews their own, and who generally want to be in the thick of things. Dawson begins with a quick rundown of malt, hops, yeast, and some basic starting information. After that, the recipes abound. Each brew features a brief overview, a list of ingredients, some tips and tricks, and of course, directions. What makes this collection special is Dawson’s enthusiasm and snarky repartee. The author loves beer, and he keeps up a sparkling conversation for readers who also share this passion.
Great for: craft beer lovers, especially those who want to have some fun off the beaten path.
Gather your community for the holidays and celebrate the aspects that you love most about your life while encouraging them to celebrate theirs as well.