Two Birds Books Holiday Gift Guide 2022

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Gift Guide Winter 2022

Hello & Happy Holidays! Flip through for some fun gift items we’re carrying at Two Birds Books this winter, as well as our curated reading lists to help you find the perfect book for someone on your list...or, you know, yourself. Wishing you a very safe and happy holiday season, The Two Birds Books Crew (a.k.a. Gary, Denise, Tito, & Marsh)

Staff Favorites Fiction Picks Nonfiction Picks 2022 Award Winners Cookbooks Children’s Books Gift Ideas


Between the two of us we’ve read 300+ books so far this year. Here’s what rose to the top as our favorites of 2022…

True Biz A great novel about the students, parents, and teachers at a school for the deaf. Wonderfully real characters give an inside look at deaf culture. One of those books Gary was sad to finish. This TIme Tomorrow A woman wakes up on her 40th birthday in her 16-year-old body. This funny, magical, heartfelt time-travel novel is an homage to a very special father/daughter bond.

Allow Me to Retort An extremely funny and scathing take on the Constitution with real world examples of how to make things better. Dinosaurs A man who walks from New York to Arizona to lead a new life next door to a glass house. Millet’s trademark backdrop of the impending doom of climate change is here, but foregrounded with a quiet suburban story about being good in a bad world. Thistlefoot

Trust A book best left unspoiled, but in general, this book is exploring history, writing, and how one tells one’s story or how others tell it for them. Foster & Small Things Like These These novellas from Irish short story master Claire Keegan are quiet, atmospheric, and deeply moving: Small Things is a wintry tale of a man delivering coal and coming to terms with the dark secrets of his small village; Foster is about a neglected young girl who gets a brief glimpse of what it would feel like to be truly cherished. Our Wives Under the Sea A strange and wonderful book about a woman who is stuck at the bottom of the ocean in a submarine and her girlfriend left behind.

A novel based on Russian folklore’s Baba Yaga. Here, her grandchildren inherit her chicken-leg-house and decide to tour the country with their puppet show. Then things get weird. Remarkably Bright Creatures Much of this novel is told from the perspective of an octopus trapped in Seattle-area aquarium and his friendship with its elderly janitor. Heartwarming doesn’t begin to describe it. Black Cake A woman who leaves behind, yes, a cake, plus a decades-long trail of secrets for her estranged children when she dies. An excellent pick for anyone interested in food diaspora, the Caribbean, or family sagas; anyone deeply connected to the ocean, swimming, or surfing; or anyone who appreciates very human, well-written characters.

Our Overall Favorite Books of 2022

Fantasy & Science Fiction Books We Loved This Year

Romance Books We Loved This Year

Mystery/ Thriller Books We Loved This Year

Nonfiction Books We Loved This Year

More Books to Watch Out For: Fiction

More Books to Watch Out For: Fiction

More Books to Watch Out For: Nonfiction

More Books to Watch Out For: Nonfiction

2022 Award Winners & Finalists


Small Things Like These Claire Keegan Booker Prize Shortlist


The Rabbit Hutch Tess Gunty

National Book Award Winner

The Birdcatcher Gayl Jones

National Book Award FInalist

South to America Imani Perry

National Book Award Winner

frank: sonnets Diane Seuss

Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

The Netanyahus Joshua Cohen Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Cuba Ada Ferrer

Pulitzer Prize for History

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida Shehan Karunatilaka Booker Prize Winner

A Desolation Called Peace Arkady Martine Hugo Award–Best Novel

All This Could Be Different Sarah Thankam Mathews National Book Award Finalist

Watercress Andrea Wang

Caldecott Medal, Newberry Honor, Asian/Pacific American Award– Best Picture Book


The Book of Form & Emptiness Ruth Ozeki

Last Night at the Telegraph Club Malinda Lo Asian/Pacific American Award– YA

Women’s Prize for Fiction

A Snake Falls to Earth Darcie Little Badger Newberry Honor, Nebula Award

Firekeeper’s Daughter Angeline Boulley Printz Medal, Morris Award, Edgar Award

Annie Ernaux

Nobel Prize for Literature

The Trees Percival Everett

Booker Prize Shortlist

A Master of Djinn P. Djèlí Clark

Nebula Award, Best Novel


We loved this one!

The Last Cuentista Donna Barbra HIguera Newberry Award Winner

Cooking with Mushrooms Andrea Gentl

Go-To Dinners

Mezcla: Recipes to Excite Ixta Belfrage

Smitten Kitchen Keepers

The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook Margarita Carrillo Arronte

Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things

Milk Bar: All About Cookies Christina Tosi

Korean American

First Generation: Recipes from My Taiwanese-American Home Frankie Gaw California Soul: Recipes from a Culinary Journey West Tanya Holland

Ina Garten

Deb Perelman

Noor Murad & Yotam Ottolenghi

Erik Kim What’s for Dessert Claire Saffitz I Dream of Dinner (so You Don’t Have To) Ali Slagle

Books for the Foodie on Your List

Picture Books


Middle Grade Readers (8-12)

Odder Katherine Applegate

Across the Desert Dusti Bowling

Diary of a Wimpy Kid #17: Diaper Överlöde Jeff Kinney

Red, White, & Whole Rajani LaRocca

* The Door of No Return Kwame Alexander

Dwellers Eliza Victoria Stellarlune (Keeper of the Lost Cities #9) Shannon Messenger

Cat Kid Comic Club #4: Collaborations Dave Pilkey

Our absolute favorite book accessories: Book Seats for books/tablets (available in a range of colors) Mighty Bright book lights (available in a small size, shown here, and a slightly larger rechargeable size)

Games & Puzzles

Surefire gift ideas: Literary chocolate bars | Anecdote Candles

Other ways you can support us this holiday season: Have books shipped directly to your loved ones from our storefront at Order an audiobook from Purchase a Two Birds Books gift card!

Thank you for shopping

local this holiday season, and also for the very warm welcome to the neighborhood in our first two years of business! Two Birds Books 881 41st Avenue Santa Cruz, CA (831) 900-5588 @twobirdsbooks Th-Tu 10-6