Reads to curl up with this holiday season
By Valeria Cloës
The Regulator Bookshop
The staff at The Regulator Bookshop recommends “Cure: New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ’Em” by Neal Bodenheimer and Emily Timberlake with photography by Denny Culbert. This book tells the story of New Orleans – known for its drinking scene – through 100 different cocktails, highlighting the spirited city’s past, present and future. Celebrate the holiday season by cracking open “Cure” to learn how to craft your own Sazerac or Ramos Gin Fizz, which will transport you right to the Big Easy.
Bookstore staff also suggest “Dogs on the Trail: A Year in the Life” by Blair Braverman and Quince Mountain in part because of their love for dogs. Enjoy a stunning photographic look at the experiences of a sled dog team through this book, inspired by Blair’s wildly popular Twitter account.
Another highly rated book is “Winter Recipes from the Collective” by Louise Glück. Don’t let the title fool you – this is a collection of poems that ponders a lifetime worth of experiences. Named Best Book of the Year by NPR, Literary Hub, Financial Times and Library Journal, “Winter Recipes” from the contemporary poet is best read curled up next to a fireplace.
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead” by Olga Tokarczuk is not your typical holly jolly read, thanks to its light gore factor. Without giving too much away, the book incorporates hot chocolate, crunching snow and an old lady, and is mainly structured as a thrilling murder mystery. “It’ll leave you in a place that’s uplifting and loving, if also perhaps a tad unsettling,” says Letters Bookshop‘s Kyra Rathmann.
Perfect for short-story aficionados, “An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good” by Helene Tursten mixes in mystery novel tropes, steering away from some of the more kitschy holiday tales. Social gatherings with family and friends will have to wait: Pick up this book, and you won’t be able to put it down.
Letters Bookshop also hosts an author meet-and-greet with Durham-based Culley Holderfield for a live reading from “Hemlock Hollow,” which tells a story about a ghost who haunts a cabin bequeathed to protagonist Caroline McAlister.
Rofhiwa Book Café
“Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto,” authored by The Nap Ministry founder Tricia Hersey, is the book for that someone you know who is always working (maybe that someone is you!). It encourages readers – those of us living in a society that values productivity above all else – to step back, learn to take breaks (and yes, take a nap!) as a way to resist that aspect of capitalism and reclaim power by asserting the most basic level of humanity.