It’s the time of year when you’re beginning to scramble to find gifts for your friends and family. Luckily we’ve rounded up some great new books for you to consider. With everything from history to cooking to the arts, we’ve got you covered this holiday season.

All UPF books are on sale with free shipping through December 16, 2020. Orders over $50 will receive a free UPF 75th anniversary tote bag while supplies last. To order, visit and use code XM20 at checkout.

For the friend who loves trying new recipes

Taste the Islands: Culinary Adventures in a Caribbean Kitchen
Hugh Sinclair, Cynthia Verna, and Calibe Thompson

Filled with colorful photographs and infused with the joy of two expert chefs celebrating the foods that are closest to their hearts, Taste the Islands brings the places, histories, and rhythms of the Caribbean into your home kitchen. Enjoy a fun and delicious journey through the Caribbean in this vibrant collection of gourmet and home-style recipes.

For the sibling who’s hooked on true crime podcasts

Star Crossed: The Story of Astronaut Lisa Nowak
Kimberly C. Moore

Star Crossed transports readers to the moment the news broke that one of America’s heroes, an astronaut who had flown aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery just months before, had been arrested for a very bizarre crime.  An award-winning investigative reporter who covered Nowak’s criminal case, Kimberly Moore offers behind-the-scenes insights into Nowak’s childhood, her rigorous training, and her mission to space. 

For the future engineer

Lunar Outfitters: Making the Apollo Space Suit
Bill Ayrey

Bill Ayrey, longtime space suit test engineer at ILC Dover, draws on original files and photographs to tell the dramatic story of the company’s role in the Apollo Program. A fascinating behind-the-scenes history of a vital component of the space program, Lunar Outfitters goes inside the suit that made it possible for human beings to set foot on the moon.

For the friends who had to cancel travel plans this year

Portraits of Cuba
Daniel Duncan, Marcela Vásquez-León, Dereka Rushbrook

Through an abundance of dynamic photographs, Portraits of Cuba depicts the experiences of Cubans of different ages and walks of life who are navigating the challenges and changes transforming the island today.  From the vintage colonial architecture and potholed streets of Havana to the farms and winding highways of the countryside, images by documentary photographer Daniel Duncan capture daily life across the nation.

For everyone who misses dining out

Columbia Restaurant Spanish Cookbook
Adela Hernandez Gonzmart and Ferdie Pacheco
Anniversary Edition

This special 115th anniversary edition of The Columbia Restaurant Spanish Cookbook is both a history of the elegant family restaurant and a delicious cookbook of 178 recipes that make them famous. It is also the biography of Adela Hernandez Gonzmart, the heart of the Columbia, with commentary by Ferdie Pacheco, Adela’s childhood friend.

For the history enthusiast

From Saloons to Steak Houses: A History of Tampa
Andrew T. Huse

Since its early days as a boomtown on the Florida frontier, Tampa has had a lively history rich with commerce, cuisine, and working-class communities. This book delves into the culture of the city and traces the struggles that have played out in its public spaces. In this unique take on Tampa history, Huse draws from local newspaper stories and firsthand accounts to show what authorities and city residents saw and believed about these establishments and the people who frequented them.

Millard Fillmore Caldwell: Governing on the Wrong Side of History
Gary R. Mormino

Millard Fillmore Caldwell was once considered one of the greatest Floridians of his generation. Yet today he is known for his inability to adjust to the racial progress of the modern world. In this book, Mormino measures the contributions of Caldwell alongside his glaring faults, discussing his complicated role in shaping modern Florida. In the current debates surrounding public memorials and historical memory in the United States, Millard Fillmore Caldwell is a timely example of one man’s contested legacy. 

Yamato Colony: The Pioneers Who Brought Japan to Florida
Ryusuke Kawai
Translated by John Gregersen and Reiko Nishioka

Opening a window onto the little-known Japanese-American heritage of Florida, Yamato Colony is the true tale of a daring immigrant venture that left behind an important legacy. Celebrating the lives of ordinary men and women who left their homes and traveled an enormous distance to settle and raise their families in Florida, this book brings to light a unique moment in the state’s history that few people know about today.  

For the cousin who loves inspiring biographies

The Extraordinary Life of Jane Wood Reno: Miami’s Trailblazing Journalist
George Hurchalla

Now mostly known as the mother of former attorney general Janet Reno, Jane Wood Reno was a journalist who wrote countless freelance articles under male names for the Miami Daily News until she became so indispensable that the paper was forced to take her on staff and let her publish under her own name. Reno’s life offers a view of the Roaring Twenties through the 1960s from the perspective of a swamp-stomping woman who rarely lived by the norms of society. Titan of a journalist, champion of the underdog, and self-directed bohemian, Jane Wood Reno was a mighty personality far ahead of her time.  

For the activist

Black Panther in Exile: The Pete O’Neal Story
Paul J. Magnarella

In the tumultuous year after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, 29-year-old Pete O’Neal became inspired by reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X and founded the Kansas City branch of the Black Panther Party (BPP). Black Panther in Exile is the gripping story of O’Neal, one of the influential members of the movement, who now lives in Africa—unable to return to the United States but refusing to renounce his past. Paul Magnarella, O’Neal’s attorney during his appeals process, describes his unsuccessful attempts to overturn what he argues was a wrongful conviction. 

For the artist

Alfred Hair: Heart of the Highwaymen
Gary Monroe

This book introduces a charismatic personality whose energy and creativity were foundational to the success of his fellow African American artists during the era of Jim Crow segregation. Alfred Hair remembers a man who lifted the spirits of the Highwaymen painters and enhanced the idea of Florida through his art.  

For the storm tracker

Tossed to the Wind: Stories of Hurricane Maria Survivors
María T. Padilla and Nancy Rosado

Framed by the stories of Hurricane Maria evacuees, Tossed to the Wind is the gripping account of the wreckage, despair, and displacement left in the wake of one of the deadliest natural disasters on U.S. soil. This book features interviews with Puerto Ricans from all walks of life who are still fighting every day to pick up the pieces of their world.

For the idealist

Chesterfield Smith, America’s Lawyer
Mary E. Adkins

In this biography of Chesterfield Smith, Mary Adkins details the epic life of a person driven by the motto “do good”—a child of the rural South turned war hero who put himself through law school and rose to lead the Florida Bar and mastermind the drafting of a new state constitution. Adkins also discusses the people and the organizations still influenced by his humane vision of the law.  

For the musician

Jacksonville and the Roots of Southern Rock
Michael Ray Fitzgerald

The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd helped usher in a new kind of southern music from Jacksonville, Florida, resetting the course of seventies rock. Michael FitzGerald tells the story of how the River City bred this generation of legendary musicians. A vivid journey into a crucible of American music, this book shines a light on the artists and songs that powered a phenomenon.  

For the photographer

The Last Resort: Jewish South Beach, 1977‒1986
Gary Monroe

Before the high rises, the nightlife, and the fashion scene, Miami’s South Beach was a retirement haven for American Jews. In The Last Resort, photographer Gary Monroe presents a collection of images that preserve his observations of this vanished time, offering an exquisitely rendered portrait of a special community most people have forgotten.

For the person most likely to be on a game show

This Day in Florida History
Andrew K. Frank, J. Hendry Miller, and Tarah Luke

Featuring one entry per day of the year, this book is a fun and enlightening collection of moments from Florida history. This book covers everything from revolts by Apalachee Indians to crashes at the Daytona 500, and each entry includes a short description paired with a suggested reading to learn more about the event or topic of the day. This Day in Florida History is the perfect starting point for discovering the diversity of stories and themes that make up the Sunshine State.  

For the friend who’s always updating their vintage Pinterest board

Florida’s Healing Waters: Gilded Age Mineral Springs, Seaside Resorts, and Health Spas
Rick Kilby

Rick Kilby explores the Victorian belief that water caused healing and rehabilitation, tracing the history of “taking the waters” from its origins in the era of Enlightenment. Through the wealth of images in this book, Kilby shows how Florida’s natural wonders were promoted and developed as restorative destinations over 100 years ago. He also emphasizes the value of preserving the natural features of the state in the face of continual development.

For the family’s resident environmentalist

Seeking the American Tropics: South Florida’s Early Naturalists
James A. Kushlan

Seeking the American Tropics tells the stories of the explorers and adventurers who—for better and for worse—helped open the unique environment of South Florida to the world. In this absorbing and cautionary tale, Kushlan illustrates how exploration has so often trumped conservation throughout history.

For the adventurer

Journey of a River Walker: Paddling the St. Johns River
Ray Whaley

When Ray Whaley set out to accomplish his bucket-list goal of kayaking the length of the St. Johns River, it didn’t take long for him to realize he was in over his head. In Journey of a River Walker, Whaley tells the whole story of his experience, from his preparations beforehand to the techniques he learned along the way to his daily escapades and discoveries on the water.

For the person who’ll probably call in to the family Zoom chat from their local park

The Greenway Imperative: Connecting Communities and Landscapes for a Sustainable Future
Charles A. Flink

In this eye-opening journey through some of America’s most innovative landscape architecture projects, Charles Flink shows why we urgently need greenways.  Greenways can and should dramatically reshape the landscape of America in the coming years, Flink argues. He provides valuable reflections and guidance on how we can create resilient communities and satisfy the human need for connection with the natural world. 

For the aspiring dancer

Howling Near Heaven: Twyla Tharp and the Reinvention of Modern Dance
Marcia B. Siegel
Second Edition

For more than five decades, Twyla Tharp has been a phenomenon in American dance. Howling Near Heaven is the only in-depth study of Tharp’s unique, restless creativity. This second edition features a new forward that brings the account of Tharp’s work up to date and discusses how dance and dance-making in the United States have changed in recent years.  

Moving Lessons: Margaret H’Doubler and the Beginning of Dance in American Education
Janice L. Ross
Second Edition

Moving Lessons is an insightful and sophisticated look at the origins and influence of dance in American universities, focusing on Margaret H’Doubler (1889–1982), who established the first university courses and the first degree program in dance. In this second edition, Ross adds new details on H’Doubler’s radical pedagogy and reflections on recent developments in dance studies and education.  

The Legat Legacy
Edited by Mindy Aloff

This book brings back into print two classic works that offer rare insights into the golden age of Russian ballet. The first, Ballet Russe, takes readers into the last three decades of the Imperial Ballet before the 1917 Russian Revolution.  The second, Heritage of a Ballet Master, is a valuable testament to Legat’s classroom pedagogy. This book also features several Legat classes remembered by other students.

To order any of these books at discount prices and to receive free shipping, visit and use code XM20 at checkout. Sale ends December 16, 2020.

Orders over $50 will receive a free UPF 75th anniversary tote bag while supplies last.

We wish all our readers a wonderful holiday season!

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