Bookish Gifting Guide: The Best 2021 Books to Gift This Holiday Season – Parade Magazine

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These fiction and nonfiction titles make excellent holiday gifts for everyone on your list! Food, mystery, romantic comedy, history, the Land of Oz, climate change activism, mob drama and more are all represented here, so you can be sure find a present for even the hardest to please.
A Prohibition-era cocktail in New Orleans. A massaged persimmon in Japan. Steam-brewed beers in North Korea. That’s just a sampling of more than 500 dishes, ingredients, traditions and cooking practices from every corner of the world in the new culinary book Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer’s Guide (Workman) by Cecily Wong and Dylan Thuras.
Related: Your Favorite Celebs Have Memoirs, Fiction, Cookbooks and More Publishing This Fall
Set against the backdrop of the American South, Honorée Fanonne JeffersThe Love Songs of W.E.B Du Bois (Harper) is an epic tale of adventure that follows a young Black girl struggling with her own identity, alternating her own story with those of her ancestors.
In Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli (Gallery Books), a thorough, page-turning “making of” story nearly 50 years after the film’s release, Mark Seal writes of the revolutionary film that “sparked a war between two of the mightiest powers in America: the sharks of Hollywood and the highest echelons of the Mob.”
Two heroines—one female aviator who dreamed of circumnavigating the globe and a young Hollywood actress cast to play her a century later—make Maggie Shipstead’s Great Circle (Knopf) one of the year’s most addictive and entertaining reads.
In Dava Shastri’s Last Day (November 30, Grand Central Publishing) by Kirthana Ramisetti, one of the world’s wealthiest women has just received a cancer diagnosis. Now a dying billionaire matriarch, she decides to leak the news of her death so she can read her obituaries, horrifying her children and inadvertently exposing secrets she spent years burying.
Two dads (and ex-cons) attempt to solve and avenge the gruesome murders of their sons in S.A. Crosby’s bestselling thriller Razorblade Tears (Flatiron).
When Harry Met Sally buffs will bask in the warm and witty comfort of Emily Henry’s People We Meet on Vacation (Berkley). The 2021 rom-com hit follows a travel writer who reconnects with the best friend she might be in love with.
Unveiling an entire untold history of female distillers, brewers, drink makers and more, screenwriter Mallory O’Meara’s Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol (Hanover Square) is a fun and fiercely feminist look at the women who changed drinking.
A tale of magic, mischief and monsters, Beasts of Prey (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers), the first in Ayana Gray’s fantasy trilogy (which is also being developed into a film by Netflix), follows two Black teens hunting down a vicious creature. 
The first book in an all-new magical Wicked spinoff series, The Brides of Maracoor (William Morrow) by Gregory Maguire welcomes back a few familiar faces from Oz as well as Elphaba’s vibrantly green-skinned granddaughter, Rain, who washes ashore on a foreign island where a compelling cast of seven “brides” takes her in.
With glowing reviews from Bill Nye, Leonardo DiCaprio, Greta Thunburg and more, world-renowned climatologist Michael E. Mann’s The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet (PublicAffairs) debunks deniers and sets out systemic measures to combat the global problem.
For anyone on your list who cherishes books, The Paris Library (Atria) by Janet Skeslien Charles is based on a true story and takes readers to World War II–era France, where a group of heroic international librarians defies Nazi rule to hand-deliver books to Jewish readers.
Next, 25 Books We’ve Loved Reading This Fall
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