Book List, Holiday, Seasonal Picks

Jólabókaflóð: From Cookbooks to Graphic Novels, and Everything In-Between!

The last few holiday seasons at the store, we’ve really embraced the idea of celebrating Jólabókaflóð, an Icelandic tradition of giving your loved ones a book and hot chocolate on Christmas Eve. It just feels like a tradition that fits an indie bookstore so perfectly. This morning we’re sharing the rest of the books we have on our Jólabókaflóð display!

A Literary Holiday Cookbook by Alison Walsh

In A LITERARY HOLIDAY COOKBOOK Alison Walsh takes you on a culinary journey inspired by some of those great classics of literature. You’ll find delicious recipes for all manner of holiday fun popped right off the pages of books from LITTLE WOMEN to DRACULA to REDWALL. For anyone who loves cooking, reading, and combining the two this is the cookbook you have been waiting for.


For fans of Little Women, The Chronicles of Narnia, A Christmas CarolAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and more, a literature-inspired cookbook for voracious readers during the festive holiday season.
Some of the most famous instances of fictional fare have become synonymous with the holidays. Who can forget the plentiful food surrounding the Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol? The simple but generous and joy-filled Christmas gatherings at the Marchs’ in Little Women? Or the Van Tassel’s autumnal feast in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow? Finally, these literary meals can become a reality on your table with A Literary Holiday Feast.
From Christmas and Thanksgiving to Halloween and New Year’s, this seasonal cookbook offers 17 full four-course holiday meals from 25 classic books—each including an appetizer, entrée, side dish, and dessert. Additionally, whip up festive sips and delectable edible gifts to share with loved ones. As you curl up by the fireplace to reread one of your favorite literary classics, learn to make:

  • Mouse King Cheese Bites and Sugar Plums from The Nutcracker for Christmas
  • Turkey Roulade and Jo’s Gingerbread from Little Women for Christmas
  • Skillet Cornbread with Homemade Butter and Venison Pot Roast from The Little House on the Prairie for Thanksgiving
  • Deviled Raven Eggs and Coffin Pizza Pockets from Edgar Allen Poe for Halloween
  • The Queen of Hearts Tomato Tart and Eat Me Cakes from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for the New Year
  • and many more! 

Finally—whether you love Dracula, Phantom of the Opera, Redwall, or The Wonderful Wizard of Oz—book lovers can enjoy full menus of literary delicacies from their favorite books for all of their favorite holidays!

Appetites by Anthony Bourdain

When Appetites first came out in 2016, I was far more exciting in the fact that I scored a signed copy than actually cooking anything out of it. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to respect the dedication and effort it took for Tony to go from restaurant chef to dad chef. Full of Tony’s irreverent humor, and some suggestive photographs (what else would you expect?), it’s otherwise a surprisingly family friendly collection of recipes and a great addition to any home chef (or wannabe chef’s) cookbook collection.


Anthony Bourdain is a man of many appetites. And for many years, first as a chef, later as a world-traveling chronicler of food and culture on his CNN series Parts Unknown, he has made a profession of understanding the appetites of others. These days, however, if he’s cooking, it’s for family and friends.
Appetites, his first cookbook in more than ten years, boils down forty-plus years of professional cooking and globe-trotting to a tight repertoire of personal favorites—dishes that everyone should (at least in Mr. Bourdain’s opinion) know how to cook. Once the supposed “bad boy” of cooking, Mr. Bourdain has, in recent years, become the father of a little girl—a role he has embraced with enthusiasm. After years of traveling more than 200 days a year, he now enjoys entertaining at home. Years of prep lists and the hyper-organization necessary for a restaurant kitchen, however, have caused him, in his words, to have “morphed into a psychotic, anally retentive, bad-tempered Ina Garten.”
The result is a home-cooking, home-entertaining cookbook like no other, with personal favorites from his own kitchen and from his travels, translated into an effective battle plan that will help you terrify your guests with your breathtaking efficiency.

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

Hygge is a Danish word that refers to an overall feeling of comfort and well-being. It describes how you feel when you’re reading by the fire or enjoying a nice meal with family. Written by the CEO of the Happiness Institute, this book explores ways in which you can incorporate these beautiful yet simple moments into your own life.


Embrace Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) and become happier with this definitive guide to the Danish philosophy of comfort, togetherness, and well-being.
Why are Danes the happiest people in the world? The answer, says Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, is Hygge. Loosely translated, Hygge—pronounced Hoo-ga—is a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. “Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience,” Wiking explains. “It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe.”
Hygge is the sensation you get when you’re cuddled up on a sofa, in cozy socks under a soft throw, during a storm. It’s that feeling when you’re sharing comfort food and easy conversation with loved ones at a candlelit table. It is the warmth of morning light shining just right on a crisp blue-sky day.
The Little Book of Hygge introduces you to this cornerstone of Danish life, and offers advice and ideas on incorporating it into your own life, such as:

  • Get comfy. Take a break.
  • Be here now. Turn off the phones.
  • Turn down the lights. Bring out the candles.
  • Build relationships. Spend time with your tribe.
  • Give yourself a break from the demands of healthy living. Cake is most definitely Hygge.
  • Live life today, like there is no coffee tomorrow.

From picking the right lighting to organizing a Hygge get-together to dressing hygge, Wiking shows you how to experience more joy and contentment the Danish way.

Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit by Wizards RPG Team

If you or someone you know is interested in getting into Dungeons and Dragons, start here. The Essentials Kit has everything you need to get started playing D&D with your friends and family – either in-person or online. D&D was my primary pastime throughout quarantine and has given me so many amazing memories and stories to tell, I can’t overemphasize how much I recommend it. It’s my favorite game, and may be yours as well!


Everything you need to create characters and play the new adventures in this introduction to the world’s greatest roleplaying game. Designed for 2-6 players.

• Take your first step into the world of Dungeons & Dragons, or get a more expansive D&D experience after playing the Starter Set.
• Play with groups as small as two players (one Dungeon Master & one adventurer) for the first time in D&D fifth edition with the introduction of “sidekicks.”
• Battle and plunder your way through Phandalin in the all new D&D adventure, Dragon of Icespire Peak.
• Experience the thrill of being a Dungeon Master behind a four-panel DM screen with at-a-glance game rules for quick and easy reference.
• Continue your Dungeons & Dragons journey with codes to unlock content on D&D Beyond, the official digital toolset for D&D.

Components: (1) rulebook, (1) Dragon of Icespire Peak introductory adventure, (6) blank character sheets, (11 ) dice, (1) 33″ × 8.5″ Dungeon Master’s screen, (81) cards for magic items, sidekicks and more, (1) 21″ x 15″ double-sided poster map for use with the adventure, (1) code for 50% the digital version of the Player’s Handbook, access to supplementary content, including additional adventure materials to continue the story into higher levels of play.

Happily Ever After & Everything In Between by Debbie Tung

Debbie Tung is back with her latest graphic memoir, this time delving into day-to-day married life. With her same sense of wit and humor, HAPPILY EVER AFTER & EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN paints a lovely and hilarious picture of marriage through comic style artwork and expert storytelling anyone can relate to and enjoy. If you want to laugh, feel warm and cozy, and see cute moments that will make you say aww, this is the book for you!


From the bestselling author of Quiet Girl in a Noisy World and Book Love comes a funny and adorable collection of comics about married life. From choosing a movie and sharing (or not sharing) dessert to snoring (naturally) and knowing when someone needs a cup of tea and a cozy blanket, Happily Ever After is the perfect gift for anyone in a relationship.
The comics in Happily Ever After & Everything In Between may be inspired by Debbie Tung’s marriage to her extrovert husband, but any couple can relate to increasingly relaxed anniversaries and slowly seeing more of each other’s weird sides. Happily Ever After humorously captures what everyday love looks like—both the sweet moments and the mundane—making it a fitting gift for weddings, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day.

Billions of Besties by Peggy Panosh & Susie Arons

We could all use some positivity these days and what better way to share it than by celebrating awesome friendships! The ones included range from the well known (Gayle and Oprah) to more ideological (Lizzo and The Truth). It’s a great collection and will be an adorable gift book for your BFF this holiday season!


This beautifully illustrated and joyful tribute celebrates famous friendships (both real and fictional) and proves that there is no relationship more important than friendship.
Our best friends are our soulmates. They understand us when no one else does, lift us up, and bring out the best in us. It’s a relationship based on a bond that can’t always be described, but is always magical.
Billions of Besties shines a light on some of the most engaging, funny, inspiring, and sometimes unexpected sets of friends. In this gorgeous and playfully illustrated volume, creators and besties Peggy and Susie highlight more than 100 besties, both real and fictional, from all walks of life. From the comedic powerhouse of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, to the unexpected camaraderie between RGB and Antonin Scalia, the glamourous friendship between Anna Wintour and Roger Federer, or the fictional ride-or-die bond between Thelma and Louise, this book is a timeless salute to friendship in all its forms.
Uplifting and charming, Billions of Besties celebrates the power and vitality of friendship—from bromances to work wives—reminding us that when we have each other’s backs, we have the power to change the world.

Watchmen by Alan Moore

Epic, ambitious, seminal: Watchmen is a superhero story unlike any other. Meet the “Watchmen,” a group of superheroes well past their prime and shunned by society, who find that they need to save the world one more time. The comic book industry has never been the same since this graphic novel was published in 1985. Its influence on pop culture, comic books and even cinema cannot be overstated. The hype is real!


A masterful deconstruction of the superhero, Watchmen pulls no punches. Set in a gritty world where the lines between hero and villain are blurred, the story focuses around the costumed detective Rorschach and his hunt for the murderer of a government-sponsored superhero. Critiquing government policy of the 1980’s and packed with symbolism, Watchman is a powerful graphic novel. For mature audiences only.


A hit HBO original series, Watchmen, the groundbreaking series from award-winning author Alan Moore, presents a world where the mere presence of American superheroes changed history–the U.S. won the Vietnam War, Nixon is still president, and the Cold War is in full effect.
Considered the greatest graphic novel in the history of the medium, the Hugo Award-winning story chronicles the fall from grace of a group of superheroes plagued by all-too-human failings. Along the way, the concept of the superhero is dissected as an unknown assassin stalks the erstwhile heroes.
This edition of Watchmen, the groundbreaking series from Alan Moore, the award-winning author of V For Vendetta and Batman: The Killing Joke, features art from industry legend Dave Gibbons, with high-quality, recolored pages found in Watchmen: Absolute Edition.

My Hero Academia Vol. 1 by Kohei Horikoshi

This manga skyrocketed in popularity, and for good reason. There is action, there is drama, and the ever important character development! In a world where most of the population has a “quirk” – a power of sorts – follow a group of aspiring heroes as they train at one of the top hero academies of Japan, battle real big-time villains and, of course, also navigate their everyday life. One of the things I loved most about this manga is that it inspires you to push yourself past your limits, Plus Ultra!!!!!!


Midoriya inherits the superpower of the world’s greatest hero, but greatness won’t come easy.
What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested superpowers called “Quirks”? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Being a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? The Hero Academy of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?
Middle school student Izuku Midoriya wants to be a hero more than anything, but he hasn’t got an ounce of power in him. With no chance of ever getting into the prestigious U.A. High School for budding heroes, his life is looking more and more like a dead end. Then an encounter with All Might, the greatest hero of them all, gives him a chance to change his destiny…

Check, Please! Book 1: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

I absolutely adored this story. You can’t help but love wholesome jock Eric Bittle as he starts a new chapter of his life, moving from Georgia to Massachusetts, on the Samwell University Hockey team. He’s multi talented – he is a former junior figure skating champion, a vlogger, and incredible baker – but like anyone else has his weaknesses. He just can’t seem to get over ‘checking’ (a more aggressive aspect of hockey). With the help of his teammates, especially his captain, Jack, he starts to become more comfortable with his new life at Samwell.


Bitty, the protagonist of Check Please (full name Eric Richard Bittle,) is an absolutely darling. He loves baking and hockey, but comes to the sport by way of competitive figure skating and he’s terrified of being checked (where another hockey player slams into you, something that happens all the time in the contact sport of ice hockey.)
As he grows into his role on a university ice hockey team, he discovers more about himself, and the players on the team, particularly what a tight knit brotherhood they have – they always have each other’s backs. The pacing is incredibly quick, 200 and change pages covers both Bitty’s freshman and sophomore years of university. Bitty, Jack, and the other hockey players are incredibly well developed – I felt that it was the best ensemble graphic novel character cast I’d seen since Giant Days and I couldn’t have been more delighted by how the first graphic novel ends, character wise.


Eric Bittle may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It is nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia! First of all? There’s checking (anything that hinders the player with possession of the puck, ranging from a stick check all the way to a physical sweep). And then, there is Jackhis very attractive but moody captain.
A collection of the first half, freshmen and sophomore year, of the megapopular webcomic series of the same name, Check, Please!: #Hockey is the first book of a hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life. This book includes updated art and a hilarious, curated selection of Bitty’s beloved tweets.

The Invasion (Animorphs Graphix #1) by K. A. Applegate

Admit it, you judged the original Animorphs books by their terrifying covers. However, what you slept on was a surprisingly complex story about a secret intergalactic war between body-snatching parasites and five teenagers constantly forced to make tough decisions to survive. Whether you skipped over the series before, or are just looking to start now, this graphic novel adaptation by Chris Grine is the perfect entry into the series.


The wildly popular, bestselling sci-fi series by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant returns in a new full-color graphic novel series, adapted by Chris Grine.
Sometimes weird things happen to people. Ask Jake. He could tell you about the night he and his friends saw a strange light in the sky that seemed to be heading right for them. That was the night five normal kids learned that humanity is under a silent attack — and were given the power to fight back.
Now Jake, Rachel, Cassie, Tobias, and Marco can transform into some of the most dangerous creatures on Earth. And they must use that power to outsmart an evil greater than anything the world has ever seen. . . .

Heartstopper: Volume 1 by Alice Oseman

I have been waiting for Heartstopper’s US release for months now after hearing about it’s success in the UK, so I picked this up the second that I saw it in the store, and it was truly the greatest. This book is the definition of wholesome! It follows two boys who become unlikely friends and start to realize that there might be more there than just friendship. I loved Nick and Charlie so much, they made me smile and laugh the whole time I was reading. If you love this book and need to know more about the characters, but don’t want to wait for Volumes 2 and 3, the author updates regularly online


Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. A sweet and charming coming-of-age story that explores friendship, love, and coming out. This edition features beautiful two-color artwork.
Shy and softhearted Charlie Spring sits next to rugby player Nick Nelson in class one morning. A warm and intimate friendship follows, and that soon develops into something more for Charlie, who doesn’t think he has a chance.
But Nick is struggling with feelings of his own, and as the two grow closer and take on the ups and downs of high school, they come to understand the surprising and delightful ways in which love works.

Always Human by Ari North

I truly enjoyed this book, the artwork was great, the story was great, everything was just fantastic! I absolutely adore Sunati and Austen, both in their relationship and each of them individually as characters. Always Human is a wonderful light sci-fi romance that is all too relatable to the world we live in now. Awesome!


First serialized on the popular app and website WebToon, Always Human ran from 2015-2017 and amassed over 76,000 unique subscribers during its run. Now reformatted for a print edition in sponsorship with GLAAD, Always Human is a beautifully drawn graphic novel about a developing relationship between two young women in a near-future, soft sci-fi setting. Always Human is drawn in a manga-influenced style and with an incredible color palette that leaps off the page!
In the near-future, people use technology to give the illusion of all kinds of body modifications-but some people have “Egan’s Syndrome,” a highly sensitive immune system that rejects these “mods” and are unable to use them. Those who are affected maintain a “natural” appearance, reliant on cosmetics and hair dye at most to help them play with their looks.
Sunati is attracted to Austen the first time she sees her and is drawn to what she assumes is Austen’s bravery and confidence to live life unmodded. When Sunati learns the truth, she’s still attracted to Austen and asks her on a date. Gradually, their relationship unfolds as they deal with friends, family, and the emotional conflicts that come with every romance. Together, they will learn and grow in a story that reminds us no matter how technology evolves, we will remain . . . always human.
Rendered in beautiful detail and an extraordinary color palette, Always Human is a sweet love story told in a gentle sci-fi setting by a queer woman cartoonist, Ari North.

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang

If you miss watching basketball as much as I do, you’ll love this fun and exciting true story of a California high school team’s quest for a state championship. Gene Luen Yang usually writes about super heroes or cultural history, but in the Dragons of Bishop O’Dowd and their coach Lou Richards he found a compelling tale and real heroes. He interviewed coaches, players, and staff, and woven between their stories is the history of basketball – from its invention to the starts of the NBA. Yang is one of my favorite authors and this book is easily in my top five of graphic novels.


In his latest graphic novel, Dragon Hoops, New York Times bestselling author Gene Luen Yang turns the spotlight on his life, his family, and the high school where he teaches.
Gene understands stories—comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins.
But Gene doesn’t get sports. As a kid, his friends called him “Stick” and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it’s all anyone can talk about. The men’s varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that’s been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships.
Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he’s seen on a comic book page. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn’t know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons’s lives, but his own life as well.

1 thought on “Jólabókaflóð: From Cookbooks to Graphic Novels, and Everything In-Between!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s