Rhody Reads: Books for Everyone on Your Holiday Shopping List

November 2022


Tis the season for shopping new books – the gift that keeps on giving! This month’s Rhody Reads profiles six titles with local connections that the reader in your life will be delighted to receive this holiday season, and grateful to you for introducing them to their next great read. Visit your local bookstores for a wide range of tomes, including these selections; many even carry special signed editions.

For the comedian and chef: What’s the deal with all of the food references in Seinfeld? Find out for yourself in the brand new Seinfeld: The Official Cookbook by former Hey Rhody editor Julie Tremaine and The Rhode Show’s Brendan Kirby. Check out this collection of more than 60 recipes inspired by the hit ‘90s sitcom about nothing and enjoy commentary and insights from two well-known and unusually funny Rhode Island personalities. There’s even soup for you!

For the political junkie: Rhode Island’s most provocative congressperson, David N. Cicilline, offers his take on recent politics in House On Fire: Fighting for Democracy in The Age of Political Arson. A witness to the January 6 attack on the White House, Cicilline sounds the alarm, warning us of the long-term damage that the current Republican party may wreak on democracy. At the same time, he outlines ways to fight back that include citizen engagement and practical governmental reforms.

For kids and family: Handwritten letters may be  a long-lost tradition for many, but Hayley Rocco’s How to Send a Hug reminds us of the impact of such a personal expression of love and caring. Illustrated by Rocco’s husband, Caldecott honoree John Rocco, the story follows Artie as she learns to connect with her grandmother who lives so far away by giving and receiving hugs through the mail. Sometimes, the waiting is the hardest part but worth every minute.

For the drama lover: The Other Mother is a family saga set in Providence. Written by Brown University graduate Rachel M. Harper, the book follows Jenry Castillo, a musical prodigy at Brown who discovers his family’s history involving both his deceased father and estranged grandfather only to learn that the parent he should be looking for is Juliet, his other mother. Long-kept secrets are revealed as Jenry grapples with issues of race, class, and sexuality to learn the truth about what it means to be family.

For doctors and healthcare professionals: Doctor Jay Baruch’s Tornado Of Life: A Doctor’s Journey Through Constraints and Creativity in the ER takes a deep dive into the complicated world of medical care as professionals deal with not only the physical health of their subjects but also social, emotional, and substance abuse issues, sometimes all at the same time. As professor of emergency medicine at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School, Baruch is often caught up in this whirlwind as he and his team struggle to find the best solution for each patient in their care.

For anyone aspiring to be great: Young and old readers alike can find inspiration in the story of  how the youngest congresswoman in America achieved her success in Phenomenal AOC: The Roots And Rise Of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by award-winning Barrington author Anika Aldamuy Denise. Ocasio-Cortez’s journey from Puerto Rico to Washington DC reminds us that anyone, regardless of their age, race, creed, wealth, or zip code, can strive to become a voice for change.


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