UT Press Staff Gift Book Recommendations

UT Press Staff Holiday Shelf Talkers

The holiday season is quickly approaching and, as always, there’s lots of preparation to be done. To assist your festive fatigue and help you with your decision making, the staff at UTP have pulled together a list of our favorite books that we’d like to either give or receive this holiday season.

If you’re feeling inspired, feel free to browse through our website and pick some of our favorites for your loved ones to enjoy. When you purchase from our site through Wednesday, January 31st, 2024, you can get 40% off all print books and 50% off all ebooks. Order by December 6th to guarantee on-time delivery for the holidays! 

Recommended Title: Quantum Criminals: Ramblers, Wild Gamblers, and Other Sole Survivors from the Songs of Steely Dan

Author(s): Alex Pappademas and Joan LeMay

“Chances are, you know someone who loves Steely Dan. And they will love this book. From the wildly imaginative color illustrations that will leave you planning Halloween 2024, to the surprising stories sprinkled between the pictures, they—or you? —will never see SD the same. Welcome to the Daniverse: Dr. Wu will see you now.”

Recommended Title: Llamas beyond the Andes: Untold Histories of Camelids in the Modern World

Author(s): Marcia Stephenson

“Who doesn’t love a llama! This book has everything: a cool cover that beats all covers, llamas, alpacas, great camelid art. This is the book you NEED right here. You will forever be the cool friend who gifts this book.”

“How and why did llamas, Andean beasts of burden, end up as hot commodities in twentieth-century America? Read this unconventional and deeply researched history and learn the stories of the Neiman Marcus star Llinda LLee and her camelid peers! This book is truly a Llabor of Llove by its author.”

Recommended Title: Super Bodies: Comic Book Illustration, Artistic Styles, and Narrative Impact

Author(s): Jeffrey A. Brown

“Perfect for the super-hero or comic-book lover in your life. Brown examines how various art styles can help determine meaning in comics, depending on the way the artist depicts the hero. Accessibly written and extensively illustrated, this book turns a rare eye to comic-book art rather than writing.”

Recommended Title: Thelma & Louise Live!: The Cultural Afterlife of an American Film

Author(s): Bernie Cook

“With each passing year, Thelma and Louise (1991) seems more and more of a lock when it comes to naming the greatest films of the nineties and the greatest feminist films of all times. Read this book to understand why this film was such a talking point in 1991 and why it is every bit as resonant today.”

Recommended Title: My Mexico: A Culinary Odyssey with Recipes

Author(s): Diana Kennedy

“Around the holidays, my family gifts books that show that we’re listening to each other and care about everyone’s interests. I would love to learn more about the regional cuisines of Mexico (and eat the fruit of Diana Kennedy’s labor). Mom, if you’re reading this, My Mexico has a Plátanos Rellenos recipe that I’d really love to make in the new year.

Recommended Title: Resurrecting Tenochtitlan: Imagining the Aztec Capital in Modern Mexico City

Author(s): Delia Cosentino and Adriana Zavala

Resurrecting Tenochtitlan looks at how the post-revolutionary government and famed artists like Diego Rivera and Miguel Covarrubias took inspiration from the discovery of the Aztec Templo Mayor to reimagine a modern city and society based deeply in the past. A must before any trip to Mexico City—you’ll walk around seeing it in a completely new light.”

Recommended Title: Dinosaurs and Other Ancient Animals of Big Bend

Author(s): Cindi Sirois Collins and Asher Elbein

“I chose this book because I love dinosaurs and it’s awesome to see that they left a big mark in Texas.”

Recommended Title: Ghostlight

Author(s): Keith Carter & Bret Anthony Johnson

“Once you’ve experienced the swamps & bayous of East Texas, you’ll know what it’s like to be haunted by them. Bret’s short story perfectly sets the tone for Keith’s photos that capyure all the spooky, the unexplained sounds, the otherworldly animals. In fact, I dare y’all to find bigfoot in these pages → she’s out there!!!”

Yuletide, y’all! 🩵