Give the gift of reading this holiday

If you have book lovers on your Christmas lists, check out some of the newest and best releases from Minnesota authors.

Carmela's Cucina
Minnesota Author Carmela Tursi Hobbins teaches private cooking classes and classes at area cooking schools. Now she shares some of the cooking tips and recipes she has cultivated through her family and her extensive travels.
Tursi Hobbins walks readers through creating savory multi-course meals, beginning with appetizers such as artichoke squares and ending in desserts such as double chocolate biscotti.
Tursi Hobbins decided to create "Carmela's Cucina" after many people asked for her recipes.
"I decided it was time to preserve this part of my heritage for my children and nieces and nephews," she writes. Boun appetito! Nodin Press, $16.95

Christmas In Minnesota
Do you remember the perfect Christmas? In this lovely anthology, readers will re-live perfect Minnesota Christmases with the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Garrison Keillor, Lorna Landvik, and Kevin Kling, among many other Minnesotans. The book is peppered with black-and-white photos of Christmases past. Minnesota Historical Society, $24.95.

Famous Minnesotans Past and Present
Lea Thompson. Al Franken. Cheryl Tiegs. The Coen Brothers. What do these famous faces have in common? They are all Minnesotans, and they are all featured in "Famous Minnesotans Past and Present" by local author Dan Flynn. This oversized book features glossy black-and-white photos and biographical tidbits of Minnesota's most famous actors, politicians, business leaders, sports figures, writers, scientists, artists and adventurers. Nodin Press, $19.95

Grow It. Eat It.
Minnesota author and expert gardener Linda Larson has packed dozens of hints on how to grow and prepare healthy food. The step-by-step book is great for beginning gardeners but offers challenges for the expert gardener as well. Gardeners of all levels will learn how to grow fruits, vegetables, flowers, and culinary and medicinal herbs. Nodin Press, $16.95

Let's Go Bowling!
Kind Henry VIII did it. St. Boniface did it, too, along with numerous U.S. Presidents, who have their own playing field right in the White House.
We're talking about bowling, a game that has its roots in ancient times. In "Let's Go Bowling!", local author Eric Dregni takes readers through a light-hearted and informative look at the history of this favorite sport.
Dregni said the book was fun to write, since he practically grew up in the now-defunct Aqua Bowl. As an adult, Dregni is an MFA student at the University of Minnesota and teaches writing classes. "(Let's Go Bowling!) is a little different from the books we teach over there," he said. MBI, $19.95

Walking Briskly Toward the Sunset
For 30 years, Jim Klobuchar wrote a column for the Star Tribune. Shortly after his retirement a few years ago, he began writing for the Christian Science Monitor. "Walking Briskly" is a collection of post-retirement stories, some of which first appeared in the Christian Science Monitor.
Included in this book is the sweet story of how he met his wife Susan, a fun story  about jogging with Ginger Rogers and a reflective piece about his last time climbing Kilimanjaro.  Later chapters of the book are devoted to essays on politics and sports.
Fans of Klobuchar will delight in this, his 21st book. Nodin Press, $18.95.

Wild Minnesota
Join author and Minnesotan Shawn Perich and native Minnesotan and photographer Gary Alan Nelson in finding the most awe-inspiring spots in Minnesota. The book takes you from the North Shore's majesty to the Jeffers Petroglyphs State Historic Site in southwestern Minnesota, exploring rivers, lakes, prairies and forests. The breathtaking photographs and lyrical writing makes "Wild Minnesota" a perfect holiday gift for nature lovers. Voyageur Press, $19.95.

Wild Rice for All Seasons Cookbook
Wild rice doesn't have a grain of rice in it.
It's actually the seed of an aquatic grass known as the zizania aquatica, according to Beth Anderson, author of the "Wild Rice for All Seasons Cookbook."
Wild rice, according to the cookbook, is low in calories and fat, but high in fiber and high-quality protein. A half cup has only 70 calories. But keep in mind that wild rice can poof up to four times its original size when cooked. Now that's a mouthful.
Anderson's book offers dozens of wild rice recipes, including some off-the-wall ones (wild rice-lime gelatin salad, wild rice with Green Goddess sauce) and more traditional fare, such as creamy wild rice with pheasant and herbed wild rice. Nodin Press, $12.95

Duluth resident and renowned watercolor artist Cheng-Khee Chee painted the breathtaking illustrations for this cozy Christmas book written by Tony Johnston. Chee used a wet-paper technique for his paintings; he kept the paper moist throughout the whole process, which allowed colors to blend naturally. It's a tricky job: if the paper is too dry, the colors won't blend. If the paper is too wet, the paints will run together. But when the paper is just right, the results are incredible. Carolrhoda Books, $15.95.

Once Upon a Christmas Eve
This tender tale follows a little girl'ss search to discover if the forest animals can really speak on Christmas Eve and discovers a beautiful secret in the depths of the forest. This beautiful book is written by Minnesota native Kathy-Jo Wargin, who was born in Minnesota in 1964 and was brought home from the hospital on Christmas Eve, dressed in a red Christmas stocking. She currently lives with her family in Michigan. Mitten Press, $17.95.

Think Big!
Vinney the frog has a big problem: he's too small!
In the latest book by prolific Minnesota author Nancy Carlson, Vinney is teased about his diminutive stature but finds out that being small has its advantages too.
Think Big!, which is also illustrated by the Minnesota author, is only one of over 50 books written by Carlson. Carolrhoda Books, $15.95

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