Looking for gift ideas this holiday season? We’ve picked out a selection of our newest books on a wide variety of topics to make your holiday shopping easier. Including cooking, forensic anthropology, architecture, music history, nature, aeronautics and astronautics, and more, this guide will help you find great reads that are just right for all the people on your list. You might even see something to enjoy for yourself! Happy holidays from University Press of Florida, and happy reading!

All UPF books are up to 40% off with $1 per book shipping through December 15. To order, visit upress.ufl.edu and use code XM17 at checkout.


vanak001_500x5001Norman Van Aken’s Florida Kitchen
By Norman Van Aken

Find your way into any foodie’s heart with this book of recipes from award-winning chef Norman Van Aken. Norman Van Aken’s Florida Kitchen shows home chefs how to pull off delicious meals in Van Aken’s famous fusion style. In no time, your friend can whip up mouthwatering dishes like “Spanglish” tortillas and fully loaded cracked conch po’ boys. (Bonus: they might share the amazing meals they make with you!)

charl002_500x500When Science Sheds Light on History: Forensic Science and Anthropology
By Philippe Charlier with David Alliot
Translated by Isabelle Ruben

Got a niece who’s super into CSI? When Science Sheds Light on History shows how forensic science can solve the real mysteries of history just like the cases on TV. Your niece will discover the truth about Richard the Lionheart, Joan of Arc, Tutankhamun’s tomb, and many more of the world’s most famous questions all in the comfort of her favorite reading chair.

charl003_500x500Zombies: An Anthropological Investigation of the Living Dead
By Philippe Charlier
Translated by Richard J. Gray II

Your dad’s seen every zombie flick known to man, from Dawn of the Living Dead to World War Z, and he’s followed The Walking Dead religiously since the beginning—but does he know the truth about zombies? Zombies, an anthropological investigation into the zeds of Haiti, will have your dad spending hours learning about the Vodou practices and beliefs surrounding zombies as he reads tales of the real-life zombies the author meets in his travels.

johns006_500x500An Ice Age Mystery: Unearthing the Secrets of the Old Vero Site
By Rody Johnson

Know a wannabe Indiana Jones fascinated by the mysteries of archaeology? An Ice Age Mystery brings to life the story of a lost skull, 14,000-year-old bones, and a significant archaeological find that upended everything archaeologists thought they knew about the history of humans in North America and left dozens of questions in its wake. It’s sure to keep your Indy pouring over this fascinating tale for days.

beckx002_500x500River and Road: Fort Myers Architecture from Craftsman to Modern
By Jared Beck and Pamela Miner

For the architecture addict in your life (who may or may not watch way too much HGTV), pick up a copy of River and Road: Fort Myers Architecture from Craftsman to Modern. This book will walk them through the gorgeous historic homes of Fort Myers, Florida, and it’s packed with plenty of pictures. Warning: side effects can include a strong desire to renovate your home into a dream house.

05242017193910_500x500Florida Soul: From Ray Charles to KC and the Sunshine Band
By John Capouya

Do you know someone who likes to talk about the “good old days” of music? Help them reminisce with John Capouya’s Florida Soul: From Ray Charles to KC and the Sunshine Band. This book takes readers on a tour of soul music’s history in the state of Florida, with colorful stories about the genre’s greatest hits and legends. Don’t be surprised if your loved one replaces their holiday music with the tunes of Sam & Dave this year!

keali003_500x500Elvis Ignited: The Rise of an Icon in Florida
By Bob Kealing

For the ambitious musician in the family, Bob Kealing’s Elvis Ignited: The Rise of an Icon in Florida will provide endless entertainment. Following Elvis through his tours of Florida in 1955 and 1956, this book is an exciting look at the music legend’s early career and rise to fame. The King’s story might even inspire your family member to try their hand at “Heartbreak Hotel,” written (by Mae Axton) and recorded in Jacksonville, Florida.

frank005_500x500Before the Pioneers: Indians, Settlers, Slaves, and the Founding of Miami
By Andrew K. Frank

The history enthusiast in your life is sure to love Andrew K. Frank’s Before the Pioneers: Indians, Settlers, Slaves, and the Founding of Miami. This captivating read chronicles the history of the Magic City, beginning with the Tequesta Indians who shaped the land along the Miami River nearly 4,000 years ago. Your history buff will delight in discovering Miami’s ancient roots.

graha005_500x500Silent Films in St. Augustine
By Thomas Graham

For the cinema connoisseur, check out Thomas Graham’s Silent Films in St. Augustine. This fascinating read gives a glimpse into the film industry’s little-known East Coast beginnings, when stars like Rudolph Valentino and Ethel Barrymore came to Florida to make their movies. St. Augustine’s sunshine and stunning architecture serve as the backdrop for countless classic movies, so this book will be sure to satisfy any film enthusiast.

leexx002_500x500Bad Guys, Bullets, and Boat Chases: True Stories of Florida Game Wardens
By Bob H. Lee

Your brother loves nothing more than fishing, hunting, and chasing new thrills in the great outdoors. But he’ll want to sit back and live vicariously through Bob H. Lee’s Bad Guys, Bullets, and Boat Chases: True Stories of Florida Game Wardens. These stories of survival, rescue, and more will impress even the most experienced adventurer. And your brother will be safely out of trouble—at least for a few hours!

clunef05_500x500Historic Pensacola
By John J. Clune Jr. and Margo S. Stringfield

Have a friend who’s fascinated by all things old Florida? Give them Historic Pensacola by John Clune and Margo Stringfield. This award-winning book tells the history of “The City of Five Flags” and its important role in the settlement of the Gulf Coast frontier. Color photographs and historic illustrations fill the pages, and pretty soon your friend will be road-tripping to the Florida Panhandle to see the city in person.

sprig001_500x500Voices of Civil Rights Lawyers: Reflections from the Deep South, 1964–1980
Edited by Kent Spriggs

Not sure what to get the niece who’s in law school? Check out Voices of Civil Rights Lawyers: Reflections from the Deep South, 1964–1980. Focusing on the role of lawyers in an era of political and social unrest, this inspiring book provides a look at some of the most important events in civil rights history. Eyewitness accounts and dramatic narratives are sure to give the future attorney a much-needed break from her studies.

fishms01_500x500Journeys Through Paradise: Pioneering Naturalists in the Southeast
By Gail Fishman

For the friend who loves spending time camping in national parks, give them Journeys Through Paradise: Pioneering Naturalists in the Southeast by Gail Fishman. This book follows the path of thirteen groundbreaking naturalists, including John James Audubon and John Muir, through their explorations of America’s wilderness and their campaigns for conservation. Your nature-loving friend is guaranteed to find inspiration by following in their footsteps.

halloc01_500x500Travels on the St. Johns River
By John Bartram and William Bartram, edited by Thomas Hallock and Richard Franz

Is your dad an amateur sea captain who loves to talk about his days on the water? Give him a copy of John and William Bartram’s Travels on the St. Johns River this holiday season. This father-son team’s eighteenth-century exploration of the St. Johns River Valley provides readers with travel writings and early naturalist records that are sure to captivate. Don’t be surprised if the Bartrams’s adventures inspire your dad to make his next boating trip a family affair.

noble003_500x500Captain “Hell Roaring” Mike Healy: From American Slave to Arctic Hero
By Dennis L. Noble and Truman R. Strobridge

Captain “Hell Roaring” Mike Healy will enthrall the maritime historian in your life. This is the stunning story of a man who served as a ship captain in what’s now the U.S. Coast Guard despite being born a slave in Georgia. The book depicts Healy’s fall from grace and his 1896 trial (the charges: conduct unbecoming an officer and endangerment of his vessel for reason of intoxication) and his rapid rise back through the ranks until his death. Readers will enjoy an exciting high-seas journey to follow a man who fought incredible odds.

rodge002_500x500The Generalship of Muhammad: Battles and Campaigns of the Prophet of Allah
By Russ Rodgers

For your uncle who’s fascinated by military history: The Generalship of Muhammad offers a new take on the politics, economy, and military strategies of Muhammad’s campaigns in seventh-century Arabia. This book will captivate your uncle with its in-depth analyses of everything from logistics and supply chains to special operations forces, illustrating one of the significant ways that Muhammad shaped world history.

lafra004_500x500Seminole Indian Recipes
By Joyce LaFray          

Want your college-aged son to stop setting off the smoke alarm in the kitchen? Give him Joyce LaFray’s easy-to-follow Seminole Indian Recipes. Inspired by Seminole cooking, these recipes are sure to suit your son no matter his tastes, be they tame, like pumpkin bread and hushpuppies, or more adventurous, like fried frog legs and alligator tail steak. With this book, your cooking-challenged child may make microwave meals and instant ramen a thing of the past.

08092017141657_500x500The Politics of Disaster: Tracking the Impact of Hurricane Andrew
By David K. Twigg

For that politically savvy friend: The Politics of Disaster provides a unique look at how natural disasters like Hurricane Andrew can affect the political as well as the physical landscape, especially when it comes to incumbents and election results. This book is sure to satisfy your friend’s curiosity and teach them what to watch for in the aftermath of other megastorms.

colli003_500x500Florida Weather and Climate: More Than Just Sunshine
By Jennifer M. Collins, Robert V. Rohli, and Charles H. Paxton

For the storm chaser in your life: Florida Weather and Climate: More Than Just Sunshine details the tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts, and wildfires that abound in the state, offering scientific explanations for each phenomenon and discussing some of the most significant weather events in Florida history. It’s sure to intrigue anyone from the tornado-tracking adrenaline junkie to the calm and collected meteorologist.

salus001_500x500Backroads of Paradise: A Journey to Rediscover Old Florida
By Cathy Salustri

Does your mom love exploring quaint historic towns and the beauty of nature far from busy interstates? There’s more to the Sunshine State than tourist traps and swamplands, and this off-the-beaten-path guide to Florida tells all about the little-known scenic drives the state has to offer. Pair this book with a cup of coffee and some indie tunes on the radio, and you’ve just gifted her the perfect weekend getaway.

masho001_500x500Backcountry Trails of Florida: A Guide to Hiking Florida’s Water Management Districts
By Terri Mashour

For the friend who’s always on the hunt for new trails to blaze: Backcountry Trails of Florida tells where to find off-the-grid hikes and how to plan for a day in the great outdoors. Your friend will find all sorts of terrain to suit their fancy, and they’ll learn about the ecosystems and hidden wonders they’ll run into along the way. This guidebook will have them lacing up their favorite beat-up hiking boots faster than you can pack your backpack.

treesso01_500x500Trees: South Florida and the Keys
By Andrew K. Koeser, Melissa H. Friedman, Gitta Hasing, Alan R. Franck, Holly Finley, and Julie Schelb

Stumped on what to get that budding ecologist nephew of yours this holiday season? Look no further. Trees: South Florida and the Keys serves as a comprehensive guide to the trees you see every day in the region, complete with an identification key and facts sure to interest your nephew for hours on end.

brosc002_500x500Ornamental Palm Horticulture
By Timothy K. Broschat, Alan W. Meerow, and Monica L. Elliott

Green thumbs will delight in Ornamental Palm Horticulture. They’ll learn about the care and keeping of palm trees, useful elements of plant biology (like seed germination), and how to combat pests and diseases. Another perk: plenty of pictures provide a reference for the reader, making this book the perfect gift for any garden guru.

tietc001_500x500The Cubalogues: Beat Writers in Revolutionary Havana
By Todd F. Tietchen

Have a friend who’s a literary buff? Introduce them to The Cubalogues, tales of Beat movement writers in Cuba after Castro’s revolution. The intellectual and cultural scene these writers found in Havana left its mark on them, and the effects can be seen in their works for years afterwards. This book is sure to score a place on your friend’s nightstand next to their much-loved, dog-eared copy of Howl.

mccarf98_500x500“A River in Flood” and Other Florida Stories by Marjory Stoneman Douglas
By Marjory Stoneman Douglas, edited by Kevin McCarthy

The aspiring author in your life is always complaining of writer’s block. Unlock their creativity with “A River in Flood” and Other Florida Stories by Marjory Stoneman Douglas. 2018 will mark the 20th year since her death, and Douglas continues to be revered as the “grande dame” of Florida writers. Hurricanes, corruption in the Everglades, and other unique Florida topics fill her timeless stories, which are sure to provide the remedy for any writing slump.

spitz001_500x500The History of Human Space Flight
By Ted Spitzmiller

For the family member who’d jump at the opportunity to visit NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Ted Spitzmiller’s The History of Human Space Flight is the perfect gift. From hot air balloons to rocket ships, this book follows the technological developments that have allowed humans to travel beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. The complete story of space exploration is sure to keep your space buff entertained during their holiday downtime.

duggi002_500x500Trailblazing Mars: NASA’s Next Giant Leap
By Pat Duggins

The science fiction fan in your life is sure to want a copy of Trailblazing Mars: NASA’s Next Giant Leap by Pat Duggins. This fascinating read explores the real-life challenges and developments in human exploration of the red planet, from food production to emergency rescues. Long considered an impossible feat, the prospect of life on Mars will bring your loved one’s favorite sci-fi adventures to life!

buss001_500x500Willy Ley: Prophet of the Space Age
By Jared S. Buss

Is your cousin writing the next great sci-fi novel? Give them a copy of Jared Buss’s Willy Ley: Prophet of the Space Age this holiday season. This book tells the story of science writer and rocketeer Willy Ley, who predicted and boosted the rise of the Space Age. Your cousin will be inspired by this example that today’s far-fetched and fantastic dreams just might turn into the reality of tomorrow.

westw001_500x500The Final Mission: Preserving NASA’s Apollo Sites
By Lisa Westwood, Beth Laura O’Leary, and Milford Wayne Donaldson

For your relative who remembers exactly where they were when they watched the moon landing, The Final Mission: Preserving NASA’s Apollo Sites is the perfect gift. From astronaut training sites at Meteor Crater, Arizona, to Tranquility Base on the surface of the moon, this book advocates for the preservation of Apollo program sites as an important part of cultural history. Your loved one is sure to be fascinated by the places that made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s historic landing possible.

To order any of these books at discount prices and to receive $1 per book shipping, visit upress.ufl.edu and use code XM17 at checkout.
Orders over $50 will receive a free UPF tote bag while supplies last.

We wish all our readers a wonderful holiday season!

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