This Valentine’s Day, give a book! It can send a message to your recipient from platonic to romantic, geared to their specific interests. Books are affordable and make a great Valentine’s day gift idea If you write something in the flyleaf of the book, it becomes something personal, cherished, and very much appreciated. Here are six gift-able books under $50 destined to be the best Valentine’s Day gift ever for friends, family, perhaps even your soulmate!
Valentine’s Day Gift Idea for Plant Lovers/Hostesses/Art Lovers:
Do you know someone who loves flowers? How about someone who likes to cook with exotic ingredients? Or a friend who loves all things beautiful? The book Edible Flowers by Monica Nelson (Author), Adrianna Glaviano (Photographer) (Monacelli November 2, 2021) is stunning, with gorgeous photos of edible flowers. But also there’s the how, why, and when to eat them. I was fascinated by the number of flowers that grow nearby that I never thought could be used for decoration, let alone wouldn’t kill me if I ate them!
I didn’t know, for example, that mint, even the flowers, are fully edible. Imagine the possibilities when you have 250 pages of different species plus resources in this very gift-able book. In the back are some recipes. Two I loved were a butter log and flowers in pasta noodles. They’re easy and gorgeous! Anyone who loves being a hostess will upscale their skills using edible flowers! Hardcover $27.69
V-Day Gift Idea for Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Fand/Fashionistas:
Who doesn’t love the series: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? And those costumes!! Fashionistas who love the costumes from previous decades as much as they enjoy the actual show will go absolutely crazy for Madly Marvelous: The Costumes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel by Donna Zakowska (Abrams, November 30, 2021). This large 9.1 x 1.1 x 12.1 book has page after page of drool-worthy costumes from the show (mostly) of Mrs. Maisel. There are plenty of costumes from the other actors as well.
Donna Zakowska has been recognized for her work on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” She received an Emmy Award in 2019, as well as a Costume Designers Guild Award nomination in 2018 and a win in 2019. The book offers an in-depth and personal view of photos, sketches, production stills, and more. The book is more than just eye candy, as there is a lot of information about the 1950’s look, how the clothing was made, and even comments from the cast. Hardcover $45.33
Valentine’s Day Gift Idea For Cooks/Ethnic Food Lovers:
You don’t have to be Jewish to want this mouth-wateringly delicious cookbook: Persian Delicacies: Jewish Food for Special Occasions by Angela Cohan (Clyde Publishing Inc September 2021). Although many if not most of the recipes are vegetarian/vegan the focus is on unprocessed natural food that tastes great. The chicken with dried apricots and prunes is simply divine! The best part of the recipes is that none of them are really difficult and most of them have ingredients you can easily find in the supermarket. Even a beginning cook can make these and have great success.
In summary. if you’re tired of the same old same old brand out with dishes you’ve never tried. Once you do, they’ll become some of your favorites, for sure. At press time this book wasn’t being sold on Amazon, but you can order it at Overcup Books. Hardcover $35.
Valentines’ Day Gift Idea for Classical Music Lovers:
Conductor Arturo Toscanini by all accounts was one of the most acclaimed and influential musicians of the late 19th and early 20th century, renowned for his intensity, his perfectionism, his ear for orchestral detail, and sonority, and his eidetic memory. He made many recordings, especially towards the end of his career. You can hear some of them on YouTube among other places. Listen to Toscanini conduct one of my favorites, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in 1935 with the BBC Orchestra. The book: This Was Toscanini: The Maestro, My Father and Me by Samuel Antek and Lucy Antek Johnson (Brown Books Publishing Group 2021) is an up-close and personal look at the celebrated conductor.
Conductors do a lot more than just wave a baton around in front of the orchestra. They interpret and guide the music for the musicians. Therefore, Samuel Antek who was the first violinist with the NBC orchestra over 17 years, shares what made this conductor so extraordinary. This is a revised version of the 1963 original manuscript Samuel Antek wrote but never finished in 1963. His wife did publish it. Now their daughter Lucy has revised it including personal memories of her father’s career as well. Hardcover $25.
V-Day Gift Idea for Mixology Fans:
Moon Magic Mixology by Julia Halina Hadas (Adams Media 2021) offers 70 “celestial drinks infused with Cosmic Power.” Who would love color-changing Lunar Transformation Syrup in a cocktail? Maybe it’s just the thing to jump-start your love life or find “the one.” A good portion of the book has some fascinating information about the moon and its properties and every zodiac sign before the book gets into drink recipes. Then it’s organized by the seasons and for each zodiac sign.
Some of the cocktails require an “eye of newt” (exotic ingredients) that you might not have on hand. However, you’ll get ideas for unique drinks and enjoy photography that is truly a work of art. You don’t have to believe in witchcraft to be bewitched with these cocktails! Kindle $11/Hardcover $15
Valentine’s Day Gift Idea for Bakers/Cultural History Buffs:
A sourdough starter is a focus on an episode on the hit, Netflix show “Atypical.” Husband and wife Doug and Elsa attend Doug’s co-worker and best friend Chuck’s funeral, Chuck had a coveted sourdough starter that he had nurtured for many years with the hope of starting a bakery. Doug inherits Chuck’s sourdough starter but his wife throws not realizing what it is. That said, Sourdough bread is delicious and fairly easy to make, but you need a good starter to make it taste right. Therefore learn about what a sourdough culture/starter is in a fascinating book called Sourdough Culture by Eric Pallant (Agate Publishing, 2021).
Although there are recipes in this book, it’s really about the history of bread making from ancient times to now. Therefore, anyone who is interested in cultural history or bread-making will love this book. I don’t really bake anything but at one point I did have a sourdough starter. I found the book fascinating on so many levels. It might just encourage you to start a new hobby and your own starter for sourdough. Kindle $15/ $24 hardcover