Holiday Books Gift Guide 2017 | Books & Authors | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

With the holidays coming up, there are no greater gifts than books. Here are our some of our suggestions for the bakers, musician fans, and history buffs in your family, plus some picks from local bookstore owners. Support your local independent bookstore this gift-giving season!

Yoga: The Secret of Life 
Francesco Mastalia
powerHouse Books, 2017, $60

highlights the spiritual and physical journey of yoga through the personal experiences of 108 masters. Stunning portraits by Rhinebeck photographer Francesco Mastalia are accompanied by enlightening teachings aimed at constructing a happy, fulfilled life. The world-renowned yogis and yoginis featured in the book include Radhanath Swami, Gurmukh Kaur Khasla, Sri Dharma Mittra, Krishna Das, Rodney Yee, Seane Corn, Shiva Rea and Woodstock-based Jivamukti founders Sharon Gannon and David Life. The photographs are taken on glass plates using the wet collodion process, a photographic technique dating back to the 1850s. With the use of a large format wooden camera and antique brass lens, glass plates are hand coated to produce one-of-a-kind ambrotype images. When light and chemistry collide, we enter a mysterious world where art and science meet and the alchemy reveals itself. Recommended by Audrey Cusson, Mirabai

Feed The Resistance: Recipes + Ideas for Getting Involved
Julia Turshen
Chronicle Books LLC, $14.95, 2017

This handbook packs powerful recipes for political activist. Filled with easy dishes, creative meals for large groups of people and tasty baked good suggestions sandwiched between food-themed essays, this is a perfect mini cookbook gift for the political minded in-law. On Saturday, December 9, Julia Turshen will be signing books at Keegan Ales in Kingston from 4 to 6pm.

Baking with Success
Gall Sokol
LifeRich, $40.99, 2017

Chef Gail Sokol explains the daunting task of baking. In this cookbook readers will find simple concise, easy to follow recipes accompanied by photographs of tasty delectables. Lessons on how to make cakes, cookies, breads and more can be enjoyed in this enlarged handbook. In addition, Sokol provides sections on necessary baking ingredients, tools, and how to measure properly in the art of baking.

Old MacDonald Had a...Zoo?
Iza Trapani
Charlesbridge, $16.99, 2017

Ulster Park-based author and illustrator Iza Trapani's latest children's book provides a classic twist on the Old MacDonald Had a Farm nursery rhyme. With the addition of kangaroos and elephants, MacDonald is clearly in for a treat, as he loads up his zoo characters. The colorful illustrations and expressive animals will be enjoyed by both parents and children.

A Spirit of Sacrifice: New York State in The First Word War
Aaron Noble, Keith Swahey, and Vicki Weiss
Excelsior Editions, $29.95, 2017

To commemorate the 100th year anniversary of World War I, this historical coffee book features beautiful color and black and white photographs. Posters, artifacts and other forms of visual media are displayed in this catalog which showcases New York's involvement in World War I. Produced to accompany the New York State Museum exhibit of the same name, on Saturday, December 9, the authors will be signing copies of the book at the museum in Albany after a tour from 1 to 3pm.

What I Found in a Thousand Towns: A Traveling Musician's Guide to Rebuilding America's Communities—One Coffee Shop, Dog Run, & Open Mike Night at a Time
Dar Williams
Basic Books, $27, 2017

Cold-Spring based pop-folk singer-songwriter Dar Williams has traveled extensively throughout America. In her latest book, Williams profiles several cities and towns and the historical, natural, cultural or social aspects that make them flourish. Featuring a chapter on Beacon entitled "Beacon, New York: The Power of Created Space" in which she examines the revitalization of one of the Hudson Valley's hippest towns.

Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell
David Yaffe
Sarah Crichton Books/FSG, 2017, $28

Joni Mitchell may have missed the historic Woodstock festival due to an appearance on "The Dick Cavett Show," but her iconic song "Woodstock" remains an integral part of the concert's legacy for a town, a generation, and a state of mind. "The deprivation of not being able to go provided me with an intense angle on Woodstock," is just one of the many surprising insights in Syracuse professor David Yaffe's moving biography. Yaffe will join nine musicians on December 1 at Colony Woodstock for a Mitchell tribute concert and he'll be in conversation with journalist Holly George-Warren on December 2 at the Golden Notebook. Recommended by James Conrad, Golden Notebook

The Quarry Fox: And Other Critters of the Wild Catskills
Leslie T. Sharpe
Overlook Press, 2017, $25.95

Naturalist Leslie T. Sharpe brings us a beautiful meditation on the fauna of the Catskills. The first in-depth writing on area wildlife to date, Sharpe's book is narrative nonfiction with much contemplation on life in the Catskills mixed in with her fascinating stories of abundant animals. This book is the perfect gift for local environmentalists and anyone who has a deep appreciation for the outdoors and longs to know more about our fellow critters. Recommended by Suzanna Hermanns, Oblong Books & Music

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