2019 Holiday Gift Guide—Books

The Art of Escapism Cooking: A Survival Story, with Intensely Good Flavors 


Mandy Lee’s (aka @ladyandpups), author of The Art of Escapism Cooking: A Survival Story, with Intensely Good Flavors (William Morrow; Oct 15; HC), is a “unique and deeply felt debut” (Publisher’s Weekly starred review) packed with meticulous recipes & dramatic photography. There’s even a chapter devoted to high-end doggie treats!

Lee’s international path (born in Taiwan and raised in Vancouver, she came of age food-wise in New York City, wrote the book in Beijing, and now lives in Hong Kong) informs the flavors of her dishes, like: Buffalo Fried Chicken Ramen, Wontons with Shrimp Chili Coconut Oil and Herbed Yogurt, and Poached Eggs with Miso Burnt Butter Hollandaise.ᐧ

The Anti-Cookbook


The Anti-Cookbook is the perfect gift to give those who will be cooking on their own for the first time. Written by two old college roommates, the book is filled with hilarious stories about them learning to cook, and then teaching their own children how to cook. Most importantly, the Anti-Cookbook shows that creating meals doesn’t have to be a daunting task. 

The Anti-Cookbook also:
•    Breaks down recipes in an easy to follow format
•    Shows how cooking doesn’t need to be complex
•    Reminds us that food is not only nourishment, but a chance to sit around the table, share stories and create memories

Created with the idea that cooking should be fun and NOT difficult, The Anti-Cookbook is filled with easy-to-follow recipes that are yummy and healthy.

Christmas in Pennsylvania, 60th Anniversary Edition

Bestselling classic, Christmas in Pennsylvania, 60th Anniversary Editionby Alfred L. Shoemaker and Don Yoder, with historical accounts, full-color vintage images, and a selection of recipes from Pennsylvania’s Christmas past! 

Originally published in 1959 and written by one of the seminal figures in American folklife studies, this classic work examines the folk origins of Christmas in the Keystone State. Composed of interviews and contemporary newspaper reports, it records holiday traditions from the eighteenth century through the early twentieth century, including mummers, Christ-Kindel and Kriss Kringle, Christmas trees and trimming, Belsnickels, the Philadelphia carnival of horns, Moravian pyramids and putzes, Pittsburgh firecracker celebrations, and holiday treats. 

Now with full-color images, this edition includes Don Yoder’s new expanded afterword on recent research of Christmas customs and a selection of traditional recipes.

Dear Grandchild, This Is Me

Preserving a family legacy can feel like a daunting task, but this new keepsake journal makes it easy for grandparents to capture memories, wisdom, and stories in one beautiful package.

Being a grandparent is an incredibly rewarding experience. Dear Grandchild, This Is Me by Waterbrook–designed for any grandmother or grandfather to complete–will allow grandparents to collect these priceless memories in one heartfelt keepsake.

Special Features:
*  Built-in envelopes to stash special, private letters for specific occasions in your grandchild’s future.
*  A sheet of adhesive photo corners to adhere photographs and special memories throughout.
*  Off-the-record questions to prompt fun stories.
*  A family tree to track your ancestry.
*  Space to share your favorite recipes, or those passed through the generations.
*  A world map to showcase your travels.

Within these pages you’ll find a place to answer questions that speak to a grandchild of any age from the simple questions about favorite things to deeper questions about childhood memories, identity, and faith. This book will be a tangible way to keep a loved one close at all times.


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The rate of newly diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes North America is skyrocketing – in fact, 1 in 3 North Americans either have the disease or are in a state of pre-diabetes and it will be a $1 trillion annual industry by 2026. But the thing is, it’s completely reversible AND curable and doing so can increase life expectancy by 50%. So…why aren’t we? Dr. Kent Sasse is the founder of the Obesity Prevention Foundation and one of the most compelling authorities on type 2 diabetes working specifically within the community of adults and adolescents whose pre-diabetes or type 2 onset as a result of obesity.  He is on mission is to eradicate the disease and our dependence on harmful pharmaceuticals. His new book THE TYPE II DIABETES CURE [September 10 | $25.99] explains the hidden risks of living on a heavily prescriptive, managed treatment plan for type 2 diabetes, gives readers the surprisingly easy steps to take to reverse and cure it, and provides them with the tools they’ll need to create the long-term physical and mental health eco-system necessary to succeed.


The warm summer weather means more outdoor activities in the Pittsburgh area. Rossilynne Culgan, author of 100 Things to Do in Pittsburgh Before You Die, 2nd Edition, has put together the definitive Pittsburgh bucket list, and it’s full of fun things to do in the summer months. Below are some suggested activities straight from the book itself:

• Taste the freshly made waffle cones and homemade ice cream and travel back in time to a retro drugstore and soda fountain shop at Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor

• Ride the two iconic inclines, or funiculars, which carry commuters and sightseers from the base of Mount Washington to the summit where panoramic views await.

• Marvel at the unique Point State Park, where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers join to form the mighty Ohio River, and a fountain blasting water one hundred air trumpets the rivers’ union.

The story of Pittsburgh’s transformation from a smoky steel town to a modern, high-tech city draws people from around the world to this corner of southwestern Pennsylvania. Pittsburghers are known for their deep pride in the city, and with so much to do and see (and eat!) around here it’s no wonder why. 100 Things to Do in Pittsburgh Before You Die, 2nd Edition features itineraries and tips on what you’ll discover in the Steel City. Admire the artwork of Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol. Kayak the three rivers. History buff? Travel back in time to the drama of the Whiskey Rebellion, which unfolded right here. Devour a Primanti’s sandwich topped with French fries. Maybe even pick up a little Pittsburghese, yinz. As a lifetime resident and a seasoned traveler, author Rossilynne Culgan combines a local’s expertise with the spirit of discovery in her hometown. With this book as your guide, you won’t miss a thing on your quest to make memories in Pittsburgh.

100 Things to Do in Pittsburgh Before You Die, 2nd Edition, is available at reedypress.com and wherever books are sold.

About the Book
100 Things to Do in Pittsburgh Before You Die, 2nd Edition-part of the 100 Things series
Softcover 8.5 x 5.5 inches
160 pages


Comedian and world-renowned ventriloquist, Taylor Mason, who was the winner of the 1991 Star Search, recently released his humorous new memoir, Irreversible.

In the book, Mason reflects on his life as a ventriloquist from the moment he discovered the art, to performing with some of today’s biggest comedic stars while part of The Second City improv group in the 1980s. Throughout his book, Mason shares where he is today while giving insight into standup comedy, ventriloquism, and working in the entertainment industry.

About Taylor Mason:

Taylor Mason born in 1956, is a comedian, a musician, and a world-class ventriloquist who has been making audiences laugh around the world since 1983. He boasts more than one thousand television appearances, numerous accolades, a previous television show, two published books and countless performances at top comedy clubs and arenas in every major U.S. city. He can currently be seen performing live shows as well as on the popular Dry Bar Comedy YouTube channel. To learn more please visit www.taylormason.com.

Pittsburgh: A Keepsake

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Discover Pittsburgh’s historic sites, modern downtown, famous rivers, recreation, and arts.

Witness the city’s progression from an outpost and battleground in the colonial war for the control of North America to one of the nation’s most important industrial cities. Going through several periods of growth and decline, then a renaissance period, Pittsburgh today is one of the nation’s most culturally and economically advanced cities.

Once serving as a gateway to the American frontier, Pittsburgh today serves on the frontier of technology, with a strong emphasis on green environmental design, education, and medicine. It is a city others try to emulate and where young professionals find new opportunities. You will discover why Pittsburgh is often rated as one of the World’s Most Livable Cities. You will want to treasure this book by Michael P. Gadomski as a keepsake or give to a family member, friend, or business associate.

Pittsburgh is often rated as one of the World’s Most Livable Cities with 85 color photos showing Pittsburgh’s historic sites, modern downtown, industrial roots, and cultural renaissance.

Intrigue at 404 Appalling Street

Retired professor turned author, George S. Haines, has released his latest pager turner with his exciting fictional mystery novel “Intrigue at 404 Appalling Street.” As a former professor and teacher, Haines taught students at the seventh grade level through adults and served as professor of education and director of teacher education during a 17 year tenure. Now retired, Haines focuses his time on his writing, having published over 10 books chronicling the ongoing adventures of main characters Sam and Howie with this book being his latest.

He was inspired to write his series of fiction books to motivate people of all ages to read and write and make reading an enjoyable experience by writing a challenging mystery. He also hopes readers will be influenced by his stories to write about their own personal experiences and expand into fiction.

Haines loves sharing his passion for writing to inspire fellow members of the senior community that it is never too late to pursue your passions.

Medicine and Miracles in the High Desert: My Life Among the Navajo People

At the age of 73, there is no slowing down for author and adventurer Erica M. Elliott, M.D. who has had many life altering adventures which helped form her into the inspirational doctor and empowering public speaker she is today. In her debut book, “Medicine and Miracles in the High Desert: My Life Among the Navajo People,” Elliott chronicles the early years of her extraordinary life which included living as a young Anglo woman among the Navajo people in the 1970s as well as her path to becoming a doctor after serving in the Peace Corps. 

In the book, Elliott reflects on her time as a teacher on a Navajo Reservation boarding school where she was allowed the privilege to learn their ancient spiritual ways after being determined to reach across the cultural divide by learning the Navajo language. Through her experiences, Elliott eventually found her calling to help heal others and served the Navajo people as a medical doctor in the 1980s and also went on to become a rock climber and mountaineer including being the first American woman to climb the Aconcagua mountain in Argentina.

Your Mother’s Not a Virgin!’ The Bumpy Life and Times of the Canadian Dropout Who Changed the Face of American TV

Emmy-award winning producer John Barbour, is the creator of America’s first reality TV show ‘Real People’, and Director of an award-winning series on the murder of JFK, which featured the private tapes of District Attorney Jim Garrison. 

There are thousands of Xerox machines and even more social media posts about “Showbiz”, but only a half a dozen original typewriters from the original writers involved in the advent of Television. One those belongs to John Barbour, who created, produced, and co-hosted the first trend-setting reality show ‘Real People’ in the 1970s and 80s. He is the only person to win five Emmys for News and Entertainment. He’s also directed and written two definitive award-winning documentaries on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, featuring the private tapes and documents of District Attorney Jim Garrison, which will be featured at the April Conference “Political Assassinations of the 1960s”. 

Barbour ran away to Hollywood, from his childhood home in Toronto, to make it in movies. Instead he ended up one of the most controversial stand-up comedians, TV talk show hosts, and television/film producers to conquer Los Angeles.

But the 85-year-old will tell you: The things he planned rarely turned out the way he wanted whereas the things that happened by accident provided an incredible, life-long ticket to success. Along the way to becoming one of the driving forces of reality TV in the 1970s and 1980s, he was propositioned by Cary Grant; he became Frank Sinatra’s ghostwriter; he challenged Johnny Carson; he befriended a down-and-out Bob Hope, and has a treasure trove of stories about celebrities such as Muhammad Ali, Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx, Jane Fonda, Sophia Loren, Dick Cavett, Woody Allen, Dionne Warwick, and Merv Griffin!

He was fired more times than he could count by demanding honesty in his reviews and reports to viewers about the day’s most controversial events, such as the assassinations of JFK and RFK, the long-term implications of the 1972 Olympic massacre of Israeli athletes by terrorists, and the veracity of the Jim Garrison investigation into the Warren Commission report.

His new memoir, ‘Your Mother’s Not a Virgin! The Bumpy Life and Times of the Canadian Dropout Who Changed the Face of American TV’, will give audiences everywhere the ultimate inside look into the entertainment industry and the “REAL” steps it takes into making it in Hollywood.

Click here to learn more about John in his own words.

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber

A New York Times technology correspondent presents the dramatic rise and fall of Uber, set against the rapid upheaval in Silicon Valley during the mobile era.

“The tale of Uber, the queen of the so-called ‘unicorns,’ is a parable about power—and the lengths to which some startup founders will go to amass it and hold onto it. Aside from being a delicious read, Mike Isaac’s account is also teeming with new revelations that will shock and outrage you.”—John Carreyrou, author of Bad Blood

IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S THE WORKPLACE: Women’s Conflict at Work and the Bias That Built It

There is a misconception that women are inherently antagonistic toward each other at work. Andrea S. Kramer (Andie) and Alton B. Harris (Al), leading authorities on how women can succeed in their careers, reject the notion that women’s same-gender workplace conflicts are due to some internally motivated tendency to be competitive with, jealous of, and hostile toward other women in the new book  IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S THE WORKPLACE: Women’s Conflict at Work and the Bias That Built It (Nicholas Brealey Book, August 27, 2019).
In IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S THE WORKPLACE: Women’s Conflict at Work and the Bias That Built It they argue that these conflicts are rooted in two bias-driven workplace dynamics: 1) the obstacles to career advancement women encounter simply because they are women, and 2) the misunderstandings and stereotypes they face in working with women whose social identities are different from their own—be it because of race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, or parental status. 
IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S THE WORKPLACE offers a fresh approach to help readers recognize their own biases, those of their co-workers and supervisors, and those embedded in the institutional practices with which they must conform. Andie & Al provide detailed action plans for both individuals and organizations to follow to avoid and overcome the discriminatory effects of these biases.
Filled with practical real-world advice and tactics, IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S THE WORKPLACE:  

  • Debunks the myths and misconceptions about the causes of women’s workplace conflicts. These conflicts are not because women are inherently hostile or competitive with one another but because the workplaces where they are pursuing careers are so highly gendered that they force them into situations in which such conflicts are all but inevitable.
  • Examines the various discriminatory biases present in our gendered workplaces and the lose-lose choices women feel they must make because of them. These biases explain why women so often choose to “become one of the boys,” accept second class status, or leaving their workplaces entirely.
  • Explains why “sisterhood” is so important and why strong, effective sisterhoods do not depend on close personal friendships.
  • Makes clear that gender is not the whole story; women’s many different social identities are equally important. Whether these differing identities are because of race, ethnicity, sexual preference, age, or parental status, they have differing stereotypes associated with them and these stereotypes are a further source of women’s workplace conflicts.
  • Presents a comprehensive perspective on how women’s distinctive difficulties with other women can be addressed and offers detailed steps and advice as to how women can overcome their conflicts.
  • Presents a concrete program that organizations can use to attack workplace bias and create welcoming workplaces for everyone.

IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S THE WORKPLACE is for women, men, leaders, and board members. Men and organizations can learn how best to create a supportive work environment for women and to develop a broad, diverse, and talented leadership pipeline.

Break Open Your Box

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Encouraging New Book ‘Break Open Your Box – Piecing Your Life Together for a Time Such as This’ is Released

Author Matthew M. Plank provides invaluable life lessons from a millennial perspective perfect for young readers dealing with today’s society and challenges

As a millennial himself, author Matthew M. Plank is well aware of the issues surrounding younger generations’ anxieties around social conformity, especially as they apply to their spirituality. With his debut book, “Break Open Your Box – Piecing Your Life Together for a Time Such as This”, Plank presents his modern-day perspective as he spiritually navigates the transition into adulthood. 

As a husband and father with a successful career as a pharmacist, Plank also maintains a strong relationship with his faith and his book enthusiastically invites readers on a journey to better discover their purpose as they piece their lives together. 

Readers will find Plank’s stories relatable and inspiring and will appreciate the puzzle analogy and pop culture references which circle back to important biblical heroes whose own stories help capture the essence of each piece. To learn more please visit www.breakopenyourbox.com.

Break Open Your Box” is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and WestBow Press.