Wednesday, November 25 2020 9:19

All I want for Christmas is… A Good Book

Written by Cathy Fiebach of Main Point Books

Find the Perfect Books for This Season

When I receive the perfect present, big or small, it always makes me feel a little special. And with everything that’s happening right now, who doesn’t want to make family and friends feel extra special this holiday season?

Unfortunately, with pandemic slowdowns and supply chains strained to the max, it might be tougher than ever to buy a great gift in time for the holidays.

Luckily, there really is a book for everyone. And a book won’t go bad if it’s delayed in the mail. Or better yet, a great book that supports an independent book store is two gifts in one!

Here are some suggestions to make your holiday gift shopping a bit easier during this busy season. Enjoy!

Books That Make You Laugh

This year, a good laugh might be just the ticket. David Sedaris’s The Best of Me is a collection of stories and essays spanning his prodigious career. It’s full of joy and the incisive humor that has led Sedaris to be called “the funniest man alive” (Time Out New York). Or how about A Wealth of Pigeons: A Cartoon Collection from Harry Bliss and Steve Martin? Yes, that Steve Martin, whose observations about life are always spot-on.

Need something for someone who celebrates Chanukah? Try Have I Got a Cartoon for You!, the best book of Jewish cartoons as selected by Bob Mankoff. I’ve shared each cartoon in the book with different members of my family, and they’ve loved them all.



Books For The Cooks

I love to give cookbooks! OK, I admit it’s because I love to eat and I have the secret wish that the recipient will invite me to sample a meal inspired by the gift.

There are many great cookbooks coming out this season, but I’m most excited by Ina Garten’s Modern Comfort Food. Who couldn’t use more comfort these days? And the Barefoot Contessa author’s recipes come out perfect every time, even if you’re only an average home cook. Garten’s recipes are childhood favorites on steroids—think Cheddar and Chutney Grilled Cheese sandwiches.

For the vegetarian in your life or someone who just wants to add more veggies to their meals, try Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage’s new cookbook, Flavor. Ottolenghi and Belfrage offer a next-level approach to vegetables that breaks down the fundamentals of cooking into three key elements: process, pairing and produce. And the results are tasty!

Finally, Melissa Clark of The New York Times has a new cookbook aimed at kids, ages 8 to 14. It’s called Kid in the Kitchen: 100 Recipes and Tips for Young Home Cooks. Yours will be turning out tasty treats like Brown Butter French Toast, Sweet or Savory Dutch Babies and Burgers with Kimchi Mayo!



Books For The Kids

If Santa brings your small fry a good book, you might get to sleep a few minutes later.

For the 4 to 8 year old in your life, The Couch Potato by Jory John has a sense of humor and seems particularly appropriate at the moment. This Couch Potato has everything he needs within reach of his sunken couch cushion. But when the electricity goes out, Couch Potato is forced to peel himself away from the comforts of his living room and venture outside.

For the 8 to 12 year old who needs a good laugh, check out the 12th book in the popular Bad Guys series. In Bad Guys in the One?! the gang continues their silly misadventures. It’s a series along the lines of Captain Underpants.

Jimmy Fallon of The Tonight Show wrote a sweet children’s book, 5 More Sleeps ‘til Christmas, about not being able to wait for Christmas to arrive. Make the week before Christmas even more magical by counting how many “sleeps” there are until the arrival of Santa and his reindeer.




Books With Local Interest

Everyone we know is spending more time outside, so give family and friends books to help them enjoy the great outdoors. Backyard Birdwatching in Philadelphia: An Introduction to Birding and Common Backyard Birds of Eastern Pennsylvania is a pamphlet from Wildlife and Nature Identification. If someone is sharing their workspace with our fine, feathered friends, learning about them could be fun.

You can put that pamphlet in a nice gift basket with Philadelphia Trees, A Field Guide to the City and the Surrounding Delaware Valley, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles Philadelphia and The Hidden History of the Main Line by Mark E Dixon.

Want to get your child excited about a big trip to Philadelphia? The Kid’s Guide to Philadelphia lets them help plan the day. It includes kid-tested tips on where to go, where to eat, what to see, and where to get the best souvenirs. Along the way, the kids are engaged with fun facts. The book also includes awesome games to keep everyone busy on the ride.


Cathy Fiebach is the owner of Main Point Books, an independent bookstore with a handpicked selection for every member of the family. Check out their Zoom events at or on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Order on-line for delivery or pick-up. 484-580-6978; 116 N. Wayne Ave., Wayne. Check for holiday hours on-line.