Books that Make Great Gifts

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By Beth Geohring

Earlier this month, our head Tomato Cheryl Benton hosted a Jazz and Jingles holiday lunch at Turkish Cuisine, a charming restaurant in the theatre district. While we enjoyed their delicious food, we were serenaded by Randie Levine-Miller and other talented Tomatoes who served us everything from “Ice Cream” to “All That Jazz.” (The piano was hot, too, thanks to Jon Weber, an incomparable jazz artist.) I wish I could bottle the feeling in that cozy room and give it this year to everyone on my gift list.  In lieu of that, I’ve got some suggestions for books that glow with that same warmth, energy, and love.

dorries cookies

Dorie Greenspan’s baking books never disappoint. Bakers of every skill level will amaze themselves and the lucky recipients of these treats with everything from pecan-butterscotch shortbread to Maine blueberry bars. Open wide and say, “Ahhhh.” Get the book.

red bandana

This tribute to Welles Crowther, an extraordinary ordinary young guy, still a kid really, whose heroism on 9/11 saved lives at the expense of his own will revive faith in humanity in even the most skeptical friend.  Get the book.

pearl harbor

While we’re talking sacrifice, Pearl Harbor still shocks and awes us even after 75 years. LIFE Magazine covered the era in unforgettable black-and-white photos that still have a powerful “you-are-there” quality, even in our age of Facebook Live.  Get the book.

a man called ove

If a lighter touch is what you’re after, for a friend with a quirky sense of humor, give a set of three novels by Frederik Backman. (Even their titles are fun: besides A Man Called Ove, there’s My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She’s Sorry and Britt-Marie Was Here.) There is something so lovable about this Swedish author’s characters; their lives aren’t easy, but they meet every morning as if the lottery is theirs to win, it’s just a matter of getting to the local shop to snag the ticket. Get the book.

zen dogsAnd if this doesn’t provide warmth, energy, and love in one perfect package, I’ll eat my corgi Gracie’s leash!  Get the book.

cat castles

What’s that?! Cat should get equal time, you say? Here’s a gift for the cat lovers in your life, and the felines in theirs. Get the book.

Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good read!

beth goehring, book reviews, the three tomatoesBeth Goehring believes, with apologies to Lorelei Lee, that rather than diamonds books are a girl’s best friend…and a boy’s, a man’s and a woman’s. For more than twenty-five years, through Book-of-the-Month Club and its related clubs, she’s sold popular fiction, mysteries, romances, cookbooks, children’s books, play scripts, behind-the-scenes tales of the movies and theatre, and lifestyle books. She lives with her husband and


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