From my husband:
Mission Street Food: Recipes and Ideas from an Improbable Restaurant
Anthony Myint & Karen Leibowitz
Mission Street Food was born in a subletted Guatemalan taco truck in the Mission District of San Francisco. The truck served “reengineered tacos” and was hugely, ridiculously popular. So popular, in fact, that Mission Street Food moved to a brick-and-mortar pop-up restaurant that was originally open only two days a week.
Now, Mission Street Food is Mission Chinese Food, a regular-hours restaurant that donates 75 cents of each entrée purchased to the San Francisco Food Bank (to date, it has donated over $210,000).
The book is part history of the restaurant (some of which is told in a delightful comic-book style) and part cookbook (with recipes ranging from sesame-avocado brown rice to marrow-stuffed squid). It is loaded with gorgeous food photos (many recipes have step-by-step instructions with an accompanying photo for each step) and excellent descriptions of techniques and tools.
Nom nom nom!
From my stepbrother:
Drew guaranteed me a merry Christmas by getting me every single YA novel on my Amazon Wish List:
Looking for Alaska
This was author John Green’s debut novel, and it won the ALA’s Michael L. Printz Award (which “annually honors the best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit”). From what I hear, it is nearly as good as The Fault in Our Stars. If it comes anywhere close, I’ll be a happy reader.
He also got me the second and third books in the Divergent Trilogy (Insurgent and Allegiant) by Veronica Roth. I’ve already finished reading Insurgent, so be on the lookout for that review soooooooon.
From my stepsister:
I Found This Funny: My Favorite Pieces of Humor and Some That May Not Be Funny At All
Edited by Judd Apatow
You know Judd Apatow. He’s the guy who has had a hand (producing, directing, and/or writing) in some pretty hilarious movies, including Superbad and Anchorman, over the past decade or so. He also co-wrote the delightful cult-classic television show Freaks and Geeks.
This anthology (published by the fabulous McSweeney’s) has pieces by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jon Stewart, Michael Chabon, Jonathan Franzen, Steve Martin, David Sedaris, Conan O’Brien, Alice Munro, Nora Ephron . . . the list goes on and on and on. The pieces range from drawings to short stories (like “Coyote v. Acme” by Ian Frazier, written as the opening statement in Wile E. Coyote’s product liability suit against Acme Company).
This is going to be a good read-aloud book for road trips with Bryan.
From my mother:
Little King December
By Axel Hacke
Illustrated by Michael Sowa
Translated from the original German by Rosemary Davidson
Michael Sowa is a German artist who is known for his surreal paintings featuring whimsical animals (like Pig in Soup and Highway Pig). You may have seen his work without realizing it–it was featured in the movie Amélie (for a delightful refresher, click here). If you’re unfamiliar with his work, the best place to see a wide variety of his stuff is on his Facebook page. Or, you can watch this YouTube compilation of his work (but turn the sound off–it’s really creepy):
I am OBSESSED with Sowa’s work and have been for years and years and years. Normally, my mom gets me a Sowa calendar every year for Christmas . . . but this year they didn’t make one. Mom knew Christmas would be ruined without my annual Sowa fix, so she got me this book in the calendar’s stead. It is a kids’ book with plenty of glorious, delightful Sowa illustrations.
I’m hoping Santa brings me a painting one of these days . . .
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As I’ve said before, a book-filled holiday is a happy holiday, so I have to thank my fabulous family members for making my Christmas so very merry.
What books did you get for Christmas?