For my cat-loving, song-loving friends and family: Hanukcats: And Other Traditional Jewish Songs for Cats. This is a fun little hard cover gift book that includes hits like ‘Matted Fur’ sung to the tune of Ma’oz Tsur. Teehee.
For my friends and family who love good history and are curious about the various 20th century Jewish experiences: David Laskin’s The Family: Three Journeys Into the Heart of The Twentieth Century. David Laskin is a historian from Seattle whose new book follows his own family’s trajectory; one branch went through the Holocaust, another immigrated to Palestine and another in America. Fun fact: one relative he tracks was the founder of Maidenform bras and a renegade as a Jewish female in business.
For the cook, the food historian, the lover of good food (and those of us who appreciate fatty meats but are sick of the bacon craze): The Book of Schmaltz: Love Song to a Forgotten Fat by Michael Ruhlman. Schmaltz is essentially rendered chicken fat and it has gone a long way in flavoring a good Jewish meal throughout the centuries. This unique book has great traditional recipes and history.