In case you haven’t heard, Penn Press’s 2022 holiday sale is happening right now! Through December 31, all books here on pennpress.org are 40% off, plus free shipping to addresses in the U.S., when you use discount code HOLIDAY22-FM at checkout!
For those of you hoping to use the sale to take care of some holiday shopping, we’ve put together a guide of some of our books that we think would make great gifts. Browse the selection below, and happy holidays!
Women at the Wheel
Katherine J. Parkin
A great gift option for the feminists and car fanatics in your life (and especially anyone who’s both!), Women at the Wheel explores women’s historical experience with automobiles. Katherine Parkin argues that in every regard, from learning to drive to repairing cars, from being a passenger to taking the wheel, women had a distinct experience with cars in American culture.
This Is My Jail
Melanie D. Newport
For anyone interested in the urgent issues around incarceration reform, This Is My Jail offers an in-depth history of Chicago’s Cook County Jail. Melanie D. Newport places jails at the heart of twentieth-century urban life and politics, arguing that they are critical sites of inequality that sustain the racist actions of the police and judges and exacerbate the harms wrought by housing discrimination, segregated schools, and inaccessible health care.
Kitchen Table Politics
Kitchen Table Politics investigates the role that the grassroots activism of middle-class, mostly Catholic homemakers played in the development of conservatism in New York State—and in the national shift toward a conservative politics of “family values.” Anyone interested in how these suburban women went from apolitical homemakers to ardent Reagan-era activists needs a seat at this table.
The Prepared Leader
Erika H. James and Lynn Perry Wooten
Offering proven leadership tactics from two experts in crisis management, The Prepared Leader is perfect for the boss (or aspiring boss) on your gift list! The book encapsulates more than two decades of the authors’ research to convey how it has positioned them to navigate through the distinct challenges of today and tomorrow. Their insights have implications for every leader in every industry and every worker at every level.
John James Audubon
John James Audubon’s The Birds of America turned its author into both one of the most adulated artists of his time and America’s first celebrity scientist. In this biography, now available in paperback, Gregory Nobles explores the central irony of Audubon’s true nature: the man who took so much time and trouble to depict birds so carefully left us a bold but deceptive picture of himself. Get it for the birdwatcher, tree-hugger, or nature lover in your life!
The Complete Old English Poems
Translated by Craig Williamson
Do you need a gift for an Anglophile? A lover of poetry? A connoisseur of translation? Perhaps a gift for someone who’s all three—and who happens to also be a completist? Then this outstanding volume is the perfect present: it collects every known poem written in Old English in a portable hardcover. It even includes an introduction by noted medievalist Tom Shippey as well as a remarkable “how-to” essay by the translator for anyone who would like to attempt their own “true-to-form” translation of their own!
God Almighty Hisself
Does the baseball fan in your life know who Dick Allen is? He has a higher OPS+ than Hank Aaron, hit more home runs than Rod Carew, and was #9 on MLB Network’s Top 40 players not in the Hall of Fame. This book is the first and only biography of Dick Allen—first baseman, third baseman, and outfielder for several teams in the 1960s and 70s, most notably for the Phillies from 1963-69, and the White Sox from 1972-74.
E. R. Truitt
Having trouble finding a gift that can impress even the early adopter in your life? Medieval Robots not only describes the wondrous mechanical wonders of the Middle Ages that were often perceived to be the work of magic or devils but also the rich and powerful “early adopters” of technology such as hydraulics and pneumatic tubes who put them to use building elaborate practical jokes for their sumptuous parties. Buy it for anyone who loves to to quote science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke’s “third law” at the dinner table: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Undercurrents of Power
For anyone interested in water sports, the history of the African diaspora, or both, Kevin Dawson’s Undercurrents of Power considers how enslaved Africans carried aquatic skills—swimming, diving, boat making, even surfing—to the Americas. Dawson not only chronicles the experiences of enslaved maritime workers, but also traverses the waters of the Atlantic repeatedly to trace and untangle cultural and social traditions.
Benedetta Origo, Morna Livingston, Laurie Olin and John Dixon Hunt
La Foce is the ultimate gift book for armchair travelers. It’s got history, sumptuous color photos, Laurie Olin’s drawings and commentary—a virtual Tuscan vacation between book covers!
C. Dallett Hemphill
Edited by Rodney Hessinger and Daniel K. Richter
For the history buff (or Philly local!) on your list, Philadelphia Stories presents portraits of twelve Philadelphians—men and women, Black and white Americans, immigrants and native born—from the colonial era to the Civil War who left their mark on the city, with maps showing important sites that still exist.
Biblical Women and Jewish Daily Life in the Middle Ages
In Biblical Women and Jewish Daily Life in the Middle Ages, Elisheva Baumgarten examines how medieval Jewish engagement with the Bible—especially in the tellings, retellings, and illustrations of stories of women—offers a window onto aspects of the daily lives and cultural mentalités of Ashkenazic Jews in the High Middle Ages. This heavily illustrated volume will make an attractive addition to the bookshelf (or coffee table) of anyone interested in religious history.
Edited by Matt Cohen and Edlie L. Wong
Penned by fiery novelist, labor activist, and reformer George Lippard (1822-1854) and first serialized in 1849, The Killers was the work of a wildly popular writer who outsold Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne in his lifetime. This edition supplements the long-out-of-print novella with contextual materials that help set the scene of an antebellum Philadelphia rife with racial and class divisions, implicated in the international slave trade, and immersed in Cuban annexation schemes. This compact and compelling tale will make a great gift for anyone interested in how fiction provides a lens on history.
Habeeb Salloum, Muna Salloum and Leila Salloum Elias
The medieval Arab culinary empire was vast and varied: with trade and conquest came riches, abundance, new ingredients, and new ideas. Drawn from the wealth of medieval Arabic writing inspired by this luxurious cuisine, Scheherazade’s Feasts presents more than a hundred recipes for both foods and beverages, framed by the verse that inspired them, culinary tips, and tales of the caliphs and kings whose courts demanded their royal preparation. Buy it for the foodies in your orbit!
Historic Landmarks of Philadelphia
Roger W. Moss
Photographs by Tom Crane
Perfect for fans of the City of Brotherly Love, visitors, architecture buffs, or your favorite shelter mag subscriber, Historic Landmarks of Philadelphia features more than 200 color illustrations showcasing notable attractions throughout Philadelphia. It celebrates master builders and their influence on the course of American architecture while identifying the distinctive qualities that embody Philadelphia’s history and spirit.
The Cat in Ancient Egypt
This slim and attractive paperback offers the definitive account of cats in Egyptian life, religion, and art, richly illustrated with 90 color and 21 black and white images. Perfect for cat people… need we say more?