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By December 3, 2021 Read More →

Books with Local Flavor- A Holiday Gift Guide 2021

Holiday Gift Guide 2021

Let’s celebrate the region’s history and culture with gifts that have a local flavor! I love giving books for the holidays (or really, any occasion!) Here is my selection of the best local books to share with your loved ones this year.

After each description, I have included a list of where you can buy the book locally. But we all sometimes need to buy things online. If you buy online, I hope you will take advantage of Amazon Smile and bring some of that money back home to your favorite nonprofit. If you would like those dollars to help the Monadnock Center, find us under “Peterborough Historical Soc.”

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!




A Deep Presence: 13,000 Years of Native American History

Dr. Robert Goodby, 2021

Bob Goodby is the professor you wish you had in college. Reading A Deep Presence is like attending the most enjoyable lecture where you learn about the remarkable evidence of 13,000 years of Native Americans living in the Monadnock Region.

Written in a conversational tone accessible to any reader, Goodby’s book weaves science, anthropology, history and the living traditions of today’s Abenaki people to reveal and explain the sites found right in our backyards. With 60 photographs and illustrations, this beautifully designed book will leave you looking at the ground in a whole new way!

A Deep Presence can be purchased at:

The Monadnock Center for History and Culture

Historical Society of Cheshire County

Harris Center for Conservation Education

The Toadstool Bookshops


Chasing Eden: A Book of Seekers

Howard Mansfield, 2021

How I wish I could write like Howard Mansfield! If you have read any of his books, you know what I mean. Mansfield masterfully stitches together stories from the past in the most elegant prose that looks deeply at the big themes in American culture. His latest book, Chasing Eden, examines America’s primary occupation, the pursuit of happiness and how that pursuit has created a nation of seekers. Taking you from the Shakers in Canterbury to the veterans of World War II to the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags, Mansfield introduces a diverse collection of Eden-seekers looking for peace, for freedom, for hope, and ultimately for meaning.

Boston Public Radio host Jim Braude said, “This book is just spectacular. Everybody should go out and buy it.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Chasing Eden can be purchase at

The Toadstool Bookshops



Block Paper Chisels: Prints from New Hampshire’s Monadnock Region

Kim Cunningham, 2020

A work of art can magically take the familiar and make us see it in a different way. Block, Paper, Chisels will show you the Monadnock Region through the eyes of printmaker Kim Cunningham. Seventy prints from Cunningham’s 40 years as a working artist in the Monadnock Region are collected in this lovely volume. Some prints will show familiar landscapes and others explore the more abstract beauty of our local landscape, flora, and fauna. Block, Paper, Chisels is sure to please the art lover on your gift list.

Block, Paper, Chisels can be purchased at

The Toadstool Bookshops



Nature Almanac & Perpetual Calendar: Nature Observed in Backyard and Beyond

Francie Von Mertens, 2020

Not strictly a book, Von Merten’s Nature Almanac is a daily lesson on the natural world from the wetlands to the pollinators to the vernal pools- all beautifully illustrated with striking photography. The perpetual calendar format takes the reader through the year, making this a gift that gives every day.

Nature Almanac can be purchased at

Harris Center for Conservation Education

Steele’s Stationers



Red Sled

Lita Judge, 2011

For the littlest people on your gift list, nothing is better than Red Sled by author and illustrator Lita Judge. Woodland creatures borrow a child’s red sled for an overnight joy ride. Even the smallest child will be taken in by this simple story told through the joyful sounds the animals make as they slip and slide through the winter woods. Red Sled will become a perennial favorite, pulled out and read each year when winter arrives.  And you might even be rewarded (as I was) to find your preschooler “reading’ the story on their own.

Red Sled is available in both a hardcover and a board book edition and can be purchased at

The Toadstool Bookshops