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Melissa's Gift Guide

The Essential New York Times Cookbook: The Recipes of Record - Between Melissa Clark's cookbooks (a NYTimes editor) and the NYTimes cooking app and the occasional Alison Roman or Julia Turshen recipe, I have all of my weeknight and weekend recipes covered. Pick up this book for the home cook in your life -- it will be a go-to cookbook for years to come.

Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma by Claire Dederer - My favorite book released in 2023. This one is a careful analysis of fandom and how we, as fans, can or cannot be held accountable for the monsters who make art. I felt like I could breath after finishing it.

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez - A perfect novel! Perfectly paced, great writing and Puerto Rico -- la isla del encanto! This one is a crowd pleaser so if you have a person on your list who you're not sure about -- get 'em this book.

All the Sinners Bleed and Blacktop Wasteland by SA Cosby - Give me all of the SA Cosby books. Give them to me and then do not speak to me until I have reached the last page. Perfect for the crime novel lover, the car chase lover, the gritty drama lover. If you haven't read this author, get started with Blacktop Wasteland. If you have read this author, All the Sinners Bleed is the best one yet!

The Breakaway by Jennifer Weiner - Charming, funny, low stress and it's about biking! I love Jennifer Weiner and this book is just as gentle and poignant as Good in Bed. Get this one for yourself -- it's like a brain massage.

The Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty - I have given Adrian McKinty's Duffy books to all the crime novel lovers in my life, and every single person has loved them. Start here with his first novel in the series but watch out -- Sean Duffy gets under your skin in the best possible way.

The Paris Toujours shawl pattern from Isabel Kraemer, in Sincere Sheep yarn - I am a proud low ambition knitter. I am also a proud repeat knitter. I've made two Paris Toujours and I'm about to make a third. This pattern has just enough variation to keep it interesting, but it's easy to do during work meetings, or better yet, during Suits watching. Choose a beautiful yarn and the fiber will do the work of making it great that you're too lazy or disinterested to do.

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