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Book Suggestions for Your Holiday Gift Giving



Book Suggestions for Your Holiday Gift Giving from Santa Monica Press 

October 17, 2023  Santa Monica Press is the publisher of an eclectic line of non-fiction books for over 25 yearsand, more recently, young adult fiction and narrative non-fictionIn the past year, the press has published the following books that would make for a perfect holiday gift:


Inspiring Women’s Stories


Chasing Dreams: The True Story of the Youngest Female Tevis Cup Champion

by Sanoma Blakeley

July 252023

Hardcover, 232 pages




The incredible, action-packed memoir of Sanoma Blakeley’s 2019 Tevis Cup championship, won while riding her beloved horse Goober, and the tale of how she became the youngest woman to ever become a Tevis Cup champion. Beginning her endurance riding career at the age of seven, Blakeley writes about the years of training and teamwork required to win the most challenging and famous 100-mile horse race in the world aboard a horse she had originally acquired for free off of Craigslist. See more from Blakeley in recent TV interviews: Oregon's Sanoma Blakely Shares Book "Chasing Dreams" | KATU

Teen Tevis Cup champion makes history on steed she found free on Craigslist (



One with the Waves

by Vezna Andrews

May 232023

Trade Paper, 312 pages

Young Adult Fiction



Can surfing change your life? For Ellie, it most certainly does. Vezna Andrews’ debut novel is set in 1980s Southern California. After sixteen-year-old Ellie’sworld is turned upside down when her father unexpectedly diesher mother sends her to Manhattan Beach, California to live with her aunt and uncle, and Ellie discovers herself through her new-found love of surfing. “Andrews’ plot contains several expected elements—adjusting to a new school, first love, standing up to bullies—all depicted in a competent, familiar way. The novel soars to a literary sweet spot in its descriptions of surfing and Ellie’s blossoming identity as a surfer, at one with the ocean and its mysteries as each day becomes a limitless adventure. An enchanting coming-of-age story with a lyrical heart.” Kirkus Reviews



Mattie and the Machine

by Lynn Ng Quezon 

November 82022 (National STEM Day)

Trade Paperback, 264 pages

Ages 12 and up



Winner of the 2023 Grateful American Book Prize and Finalist for the 42nd Annual Northern California Book Award in Young Adult,

a fictionalized yet historically accurate account of Margaret E. Knight’s fight to obtain recognition as a 19th century female inventor (she would eventually be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006). This story focuses on Mattie’s journey to her first patent, for the machine used to create the modern paper bag. It is an entertaining tale filled with romance, competition, and treachery, and features a feisty and brilliant female heroine who excels in STEM-related tasks. New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer said it was “a surprisingly twisty tale, full of betrayal, romance, grit, friendships, machinery, and a protagonist you can’t help rooting for!”






Travel and Cooking


L.A.’s Landmark Restaurants:

Celebrating the Legendary Locations Where Angelenos Have Dined for Generations

by George Geary 

October 11, 2022

Hardcover, 288 pages


$55.00/$71.99 Can/ £39.99 UK


L.A.’s Landmark Restaurants follows in the footsteps of Geary’s now classic and critically acclaimed book, L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants. Once again, Geary has delivered an illustrated history of over fifty famous Los Angeles restaurants where generations of Angelenos dined throughout the 20th century.Each restaurant profiled is illustrated with a collection of photographs and ephemeraand every location features a short history of the restaurant. Recipes made famous by the restaurant, updated for today’s cook and kitchen by Chef Geary, are also featured for every establishment. Such landmark eateries as Phillipe the Original, Cole’s, Pacific Dining Car, The Original Pantry, Victor Hugo’s, Canter’s, Sportsman Lodge, MocamboNightclub, Nate ‘N Al’s, The Smoke House, Tail o’ the Pup, The Apple Pan, Antonio’s Pizzeria, and Valentino’s are featured in this beautiful tribute to Los Angeles and its historic restaurants.



Route 66 Adventure Handbook, 6th Edition
by Drew Knowles

August 22, 2023
Trade Paperback, 428 pages

Route 66 Adventure Handbook is your personal guide to the vanishing American roadside, with all of its exuberance, splendor, and absurdity.For this updated and expanded sixth edition, Drew Knowles has included it all: magnificent architecture, natural wonders, Art Deco masterpieces, vintage motels and cafes, unique museums, offbeat attractions, fascinating artifacts and icons, and kitschy tourist traps. The sixth edition also includes hundreds of beautiful new photographs—including a 24-page center insert with stunning color photos and the addition of dozens of new attractions. Knowles has also added QR codes for certain locations that will enable the reader to access additional online material, such as more photos, video clips, and scans of vintage memorabilia. “Don’t leave your driveway without it.”—Road & Track

I received a pdf copy of this book to review. All opinions expressed are my own. While I can’t comment on the physical aspects of this book, because I reviewed a PDF copy, I will say that there is a ton of information about traveling the famous route 66; which by the way is on my bucket list. For anyone who would love to learn more about the attractions of Route 66 or plan on taking a trip down the famous highway, this is a perfect gift for them.




It Happened Right Here: 

America’s Pop Culture Landmarks

by Chris Epting

August 152023

Trade Paper, 460 pages

Dozens of B&W Photos



Journey across North America to the exact locations where the most significant events in American popular culture took place. It’s a road map to the sites where the most bizarre, shocking, weird and wonderful moments that have come to define American popular culture took place. Featuring hundreds of photographs, this encyclopedic list of locations includes those featured in such television series as Stranger Things, Breaking Bad, and Curb Your Enthusiasm; celebrating the legacy of legendary musician Prince; the Jay-Z, Beyonce, Solange elevator incident; the Jussie Smollett Subway sandwich shop locationSteve Bartman's seat location at Wrigley Fieldand many more!




Young Adult Boys’ Fiction



Ventura and Winnetka

by J.G. Bryan

August 152023

Trade Paperback, 310 pages

Ages 15 and up



The adventures of Douglas and his friends as they come of age in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley in the late 1970s.

As seniors in high school, the gang spends their final year before college practicing crazy car stunts, getting high, obsessing about girls, passionately listening to the great rock and roll of the ’60s and ’70s, arguing about the Dodgers and the Lakers, and partying at the prom in powder blue tuxedos.  From a West Hollywood porn theater to a punk rock club in Chinatown to the site of the Manson murders, the Valley boys also begin to spread their wings as they explore the city of Los Angeles, located “just over the hill” from where they live. “Coming-of-age in the 1970s is wildly fun and equally fraught. . . . Breezy adolescent escapades in the Me Decade.”—Kirkus Reviews





Humphrey and Me

by Stu Brody

September 192023

Trade Paperback, 288 pages

Ages 15 and up



The impassioned story of a teen who has to choose between his ethics and his political hero during the tempestuous 1960s and 1970sLoosely based on the author’s real-life relationship with Vice President Hubert Humphrey, the novel follows 16-year-old Ray Elias who, inspired by the ebullient senator from Minnesota, joins the campaign to make him Johnson’s vice president and is taken under the senator’s wing. “By paralleling first person accounts of a young man’s political awakening with that of his indefatigable mentor, Stuart Brody has rendered a timely affirmation of how enduring societies depend upon an apprenticeship of values. Most importantly, he has resuscitated for our cynical age a uniquely American notion of leadership and service.”—Aaron Woolf, Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker



About Santa Monica Press

Santa Monica Press has been publishing an eclectic line of non-fiction books for over 25 years. Our critically acclaimed titles are sold in chain, independent, on-line, and university bookstores around the world, as well as in some of the most popular retail, gift, and museum outlets in North America. Our authors are recognized experts who are sought after by the media and receive newspaper, magazine, internet, social media, radio, and television coverage both nationally and internationally. At Santa Monica Press, we’re not afraid to cast a wide editorial net. Our list of lively and modern non-fiction titles includes books in such categories as pop culture, film, music, humor, biography, travel, and sports, as well as regional titles focused on California. We have recently added Young Adult Fiction and Young Adult Narrative Non-Fiction to our list! Remember to look for the shell! Distributed by PGW/Ingram. • • 800-784-9553