Holiday List Header 2023

2023 Holiday List

To round out the year and ring in 2024, we’ve compiled a list of the best new and classic books to read and give this holiday season.

Happy holidays to all! Since 1924, New Dominion Bookshop has been the place to find special holiday gifts. Support your community bookstore by shopping local for your gifts this year! Below are our hand-picked recommendations for everyone on your gift list.

How to Order

To order books, email us at staff[at]ndbookshop[dot]com or fill out the contact form on our website here. For personal recommendations or to purchase gift cards, give us a call at 434-295-2552. New Dominion Bookshop also offers shipping (normal rates apply). Free gift-wrapping is available for all orders!


General Nonfiction

Of Time and Turtles: Mending the World, Shell by Shattered Shell
By Sy Montgomery
Illustrated by Matt Patterson

Montgomery’s reflections on helping an old turtle named Fire Chief open up conversations on compassion and care. Includes lavish illustrations. (Mariner)

Emperor of Rome: Ruling the Ancient Roman World
By Mary Beard
Thinking about the Roman Empire? Separate the facts from the fictions about Ancient Rome—from the famous classicist who gave us SPQR. (Liveright)

The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder
By David Grann
A thrilling true-crime tale of the high seas from the author of Killers of the Flower Moon. (Doubleday)

Safe and Sound: A Renter-Friendly Guide to Home Repair
By Mercury Stardust
From fixing a clogged sink to patching drywall, this empowering how-to guide is sure to answer your home repair questions. (DK  )

Wild Girls: How the Outdoors Shaped the Women Who Challenged a Nation
By Tiya Miles
Harriet Tubman, Louisa May Alcott, Grace Lee Boggs, and other change-makers gather strength from the outdoors in this unique history. (Norton)

American Visions: The United States, 1800 – 1860
By Edward L. Ayers
From longtime UVA history professor and host of the popular podcast Backstory comes a historical overview of the US from 1800 to 1860. (Norton)

Critical Hits: Writers Playing Video Games
Edited by Carmen Maria Machado and J. Robert Lennon
What happens when literary minds write about video games? Find out in this anthology featuring work from Hanif Abdurraqib, Elissa Washuta, and more. (Graywolf    )

Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma
By Claire Dederer
These incisive essays examine the morality of consuming art for art’s sake. For the art monster in your life! (Knopf  )

The Quickening: Creation and Community at the Ends of the Earth
By Elizabeth Rush
Rush weaves together tales of her voyage to Antarctica and tales of motherhood as she envisions a better future for her child and the planet. (Milkweed )

Under the Table and Screaming, Vol. 1: Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar
By Erin O’Hare
Charlottesville Tomorrow reporter and WTJU DJ Erin O’Hare shares Charlottesville music history. The second volume, on Miller’s and Fellini’s, is also available. (WTJU Radio)

Biography & Memoir

World Within a Song: Music That Changed My Life and Life That Changed My Music
By Jeff Tweedy
Tweedy’s collection of short essays on his favorite songs is the ultimate playlist for the music lover in your life! (Dutton)

Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden
By Camille T. Dungy
Blending nature writing and memoir, Dungy recounts the seven-year process of diversifying her garden in Fort Collins, Colorado. (Simon & Schuster)

Necessary Trouble: Growing Up at Midcentury
By Drew Gilpin Faust
Faust, the first female president of Harvard, recounts her upbringing in 1950s Virginia and her awakening as an intellectual. (FSG)

The Upstairs Delicatessen: On Eating, Reading, Reading About Eating, and Eating While Reading
By Dwight Garner
The beloved NY Times book critic serves up a memoir of his love for food and literature, with rich anecdotes of famous writers and eaters. (FSG)

Madonna: A Rebel Life
By Mary Gabriel
The author of Ninth Street Women turns her attention to Madonna’s cultural legacy of more than forty years in the spotlight. (Little, Brown)

The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year
By Margaret Renkl
In fifty-two radiant essays, Renkl paints the changing seasons of life from the canvas of her backyard. (Spiegel & Grau)


The Covenant of Water
By Abraham Verghese
A book club favorite! This uplifting epic follows the lives of three generations of a family weathering joys and sorrows in twentieth-century India. (Grove Press)

So Late in the Day: Stories of Women and Men
By Claire Keegan
From the author of Foster and Small Things Like These comes a resplendent new triptych of stories. (Grove Press)

Terrace Story
By Hilary Leichter
Both witty and poignant, this mind-bending fable follows the lineage of a young family throughout an interconnected multiverse. (Ecco)

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store
By James McBride
“We all need—we all deserve—this vibrant, love-affirming novel that bounds over any difference that claims to separate us.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post (Riverhead )

Hang the Moon
By Jeannette Walls
From the renowned author of The Glass Castle comes a 1920s tale of a Virginia moonshine dynasty, based on Shakespeare’s Henry VIII. (Scribner)

Family Lore
By Elizabeth Acevedo
Acevedo, winner of the National Book Award for The Poet X, is back with an intergenerational narrative of powerful Dominican women. (Ecco)

Open Throat
By Henry Hoke
“I’ve never eaten a person, but today I might,” opens Henry Hoke’s novel-in-verse starring a queer mountain lion roaming the hills of Hollywood. (MCD)

Roman Stories
By Jhumpa Lahiri
Translated by the Author and Todd Portnowitz
Lahiri, winner of the Pulitzer, returns with evocative stories set in Rome and translated from Italian. (Knopf )

Mysteries & Thrillers

The Penguin Book of Murder Mysteries
Edited by Michael Sims
Not the usual suspects here: discover forgotten crime writers and well-known names trying their hand at a whodunnit. (Penguin Classics)

Crime Novels of the 1960s: Nine Classic Thrillers
Edited by Geoffrey O’Brien
Patricia Highsmith, Ed McBain, Richard Stark, and other greats of the genre are collected in this pop-art slipcover set. (Library of America)

Happiness Falls
By Angie Kim
In this present-day page-turner, members of a Korean-American family in Virginia search for their lost father. (Hogarth)

The Helsinki Affair
By Anna Pitoniak
CIA officer Amanda Cole unearths Cold War secrets in a fresh take on the spy novel. A great gift for readers of John le Carré. (Simon & Schuster)


Leaning Toward Light: Poems for Gardens & the Hands That Tend Them
Edited by Tess Taylor
Poems of growing, tending, and healing celebrate the joy of gardening. With a foreword by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. (Storey Publishing)

The Blue House: Collected Works of Tomas Tranströmer
By Tomas Tranströmer
Translated by Patty Crane
Read the English poems side by side with the original Swedish poems in this expansive display of Tranströmer’s life work. (Copper Canyon)

a “Working Life”
By Eileen Myles
“Put your heart inside that bark” with this new collection from poet, activist, and writer Eileen Myles. (Grove Press)

Milk Tongue
By Irène Mathieu
Mathieu, both a poet and a pediatrician, writes honest and gorgeous poems reckoning with life and love. (Deep Vellum Publishing)


Baking Yesteryear: The Best Recipes from the 1900s to the 1980s
By B. Dylan Hollis
Learn how to make a decadent treat from every decade with this trendy cookbook. Perfect for the cooking historian! (DK)

Blueberries for Sal Cookbook: Sweet Recipes Inspired by the Beloved Children’s Classic
By Robert McCloskey
Jam, cornbread, milkshakes, and other goodies populate this sweet cookbook based on the children’s classic Blueberries for Sal. (Clarkson Potter)

Start Here: Instructions for Becoming a Better Cook
By Sohla El-Waylly
The perfect gift for a timid or new cook, this easy cookbook will make anyone into a better chef. Yotam Ottolenghi calls it “a book to return to again and again and again.” (Knopf )

Nixology: Low-to-no Alcohol Cocktails
By Elouise Anders
Illustrated by Claudia Frittitta
A fun and fabulous collection of cocktail recipes for teetotalers and tipplers alike. (Smith Street Books)


Dragon’s First Taco
By Adam Rubin
Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
An adorable board book (in the shape of a taco!) introduces the beloved Dragon and his love of stuffed tortillas. Ages 0 –2. (Dial )

We Are Starlings: Inside the Mesmerizing Magic of a Murmuration
By Robert Furrow and Donna Jo Napoli
Illustrated by Marc Martin
A poetic picture book told from a starling’s point of view. Martin’s beautiful watercolors bring these clever birds to life. Ages 3–8. (Random House Studio)

A Whale of a Time: Funny Poems for Each Day of the Year
Selected by Lou Peacock
Illustrated by Matt Hunt
This collection features 366 joyful poems from beloved poets such as Maya Angelou, Edward Lear, and Jane Yolen. Ages 4  –10. (Nosy Crow)

The Buddha at Bedtime Treasury
By Dharmachari Nagaraja
Nagaraja, who gained popularity on BBC Radio’s Pause for Thought, retells timeless Buddhist tales for children. Ages 5–10. (Watkins Publishing)

Moth in a Fancy Cardigan
By Charlotte Lance
Illustrated by David Booth
When Gary Grey Moth and Florence Butterfly switch cardigans, silliness ensues! This charming chapter book encourages everyone to be themselves. Ages 7–12. (Berbay Publishing)

Timelines of Nature
How does a day in the life of a mayfly differ from a year in the Arctic? Find out in this new book from the Smithsonian. Ages 7–12. (DK)

The Lost Library
By Rebecca Stead
Illustrated by Wendy Mass
Have you ever wondered about the Little Free Library? Enjoy this mystery about a little library, a boy, and a guardian cat. Ages 8  –12. (Feiwel & Friends)

Signed by the Author

The Exchange: After The Firm
By John Grisham

Starling House
By Alix E. Harrow

The Sound of the Future: The Coming Age of Voice Technology
By Tobias Dengel

What an Owl Knows: The New Science of the World’s Most Enigmatic Birds
By Jennifer Ackerman

We will also be receiving a limited supply of  signed copies of other new titles this holiday season. Stop by the shop or give us a call at 434-295-2552 to inquire about our current stock of  signed books.


Your Personal Penguin
By Sandra Boynton

Nutshell Library
By Maurice Sendak

The Book of Imaginary Beings
By Jorge Luis Borges
Translated by Andrew Hurley
Illustrated by Peter Sis

My Father’s Dragon, 75th Anniversary Edition
By Ruth Stiles Gannett

The Gift of the Magi
By O. Henry

The Iliad
By Homer
Translated by Emily Wilson

The Color Purple
By Alice Walker

All the Pretty Horses
By Cormac McCarthy

The Betty Crocker Cookbook, 13th Edition
By Betty Crocker

By Norman Rush

A Month in the Country
By J.L. Carr

Niels Lyhne
By Jens Peter Jacobsen
Translated by Tiina Nunnally

Holiday -Themed

Red & Green
By Lois Ehlert
Lois Ehlert’s darling die-cuts shine in this sprightly retelling of The Night Before Christmas. Ages 0  –  8. (Beach Lane Books)

Winter: A Solstice Story
By Kelsey E. Gross
Illustrated by Renata Liwska
This soft solstice tale follows a group of woodland creatures as they “help to shine the light.” Featuring art from New York Times –bestselling artist Renata Liwska. Ages 3–8. (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books)

The Christmas Appeal
By Janice Hallett
A holiday caper awaits the Fairway Players in this cozy epistolary novel from the author of The Appeal. For adult readers. (Atria)

The Christmas Book
By Phaidon
This beautiful coffee table book has full-color art on each page, telling the story of Christmas with art from Botticelli to Beatrix Potter. All ages. (Phaidon)