Thanksgiving Reads

Before the crush of the holiday season sets in (if it hasn’t already), take some time to check out a book featuring the Thanksgiving holiday!  The list below includes some Thanksgiving romance, mysteries, cookbooks for your big feast,  and Thanksgiving traditions.  All the books on this list are available through WGPL.


Thanksgiving Night by Richard Bausch

Encumbered with the challenges of his bookstore and his wife’s high-school teaching career, Will Butterfield fears he will soon reach the end of his patience with his wildly eccentric mother and aunt, a situation that is both lightened and complicated by new friendships with the local handyman and his own chaotic family. The Ghost at the Table

The Ghost at the Table: A Novel by Suzanne Bern

Thanksgiving at the New England home of the second of three sisters marks a reunion between the three Fiske sisters and their long-estranged father, in a portrait of the unraveling of a family.

The Thanksgiving Visitor by Truman Capote

A boy recalls his life with an elderly relative in rural Alabama in the 1930s and the lesson she taught him one Thanksgiving Day about dealing with a bully from school.

The Lay of the Land

The Lay of the Land  by Richard Ford

In the fall of 2000, with the results of the presidential election still hanging in the balance, Frank Bascombe confronts the perils of Thanksgiving as he contends with health, marital, and family issues and works as a realtor at the Jersey shore.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain

A satire set in Texas during America’s war in Iraq that explores the gaping national disconnect between the war at home and the war abroad. Follows the surviving members of the heroic Bravo Squad through one exhausting stop in their media-intensive “Victory Tour” at Texas Stadium, football mecca of the Dallas Cowboys, their fans, promoters, and cheerleaders.

Want NotWant Not by Jonathan Miles

On Thanksgiving Day a freegan couple living off the grid in Manhattan, a once prominent linguist struggling with midlife, and a New Jersey debt-collection magnate with a second chance at getting things right randomly and briefly collide as the weight of their desires ultimately undoes each of them, leaving them to pick up the pieces from what’s left behind.

A Patchwork Planet by Anne Taylor

Relates the story of Baltimore’s Barnaby Gaitlin, a furniture mover with a history of misdemeanors and a fair-weather girlfriend.

American Boy by Larry WatsonAmerican Boy

On Thanksgiving Day 1962, the shooting of a young woman sets off a chain of unsettling events in Willow Falls, Minnesota, all revolving around Matthew Garth, who becomes obsessed with the shooting victim and with the lavish lifestyle of a local doctor’s family.

Nothing with Strings: NPR‘s Beloved Holiday Stories by Bailey White 

White writes about an almost-gone little town where a spoon player is a guardian angel, an old woman fears that John James Audubon is living in her attic, and a homely governess wins a baby bull in a raffle and loses her heart.


Skating Under the Wire by Joelle Charbonneau

Skating Under the Wire

“Rebecca Robbins has pulled the rink she inherited off the market. She’s decided to stay in Indian Falls for good. Rebecca is certain that if she can get her maid of honor duties fulfilled and Thanksgiving dinner cooked, life will finally settle down to normal. But when Rebecca is hired to look into a string of home invasions and a dead body turns up at the bridal shower, she is forced to put aside her hopes for a quiet holiday season. With the help of her Elvis-loving grandfather and her sexy, commitment-seeking large animal vet boyfriend, Rebecca has to track down thieves that have eluded the cops for years, solve a murder, get her friend safely married, and somehow cook dinner for an ever-expanding guest list without getting herself killed. Boasting the drama of both madcap wedding hijinks and the infamous Thanksgiving dinner, a puzzling murder, and a wonderful cast, Skating Under the Wire is Joelle Charbonneau’s most exciting mystery yet!”– Provided by publisher.

Strangers at the FeastStrangers at the Feast by Jennifer Vanderbes

A riveting second novel that unfolds over the course of Thanksgiving Day as two families are connected by a horrific crime.


A Secret Affair by Barbara Taylor Bradford

From the romantic canals of Venice to the streets of New York and the beaches of East Hampton, two very different people–a respected American TV newsman and a talented young artist–struggle to come to terms with their complicated lives after they embark on an illicit but fateful love affair.

A Perfect ProposalA Perfect Proposal by Katie Fforde

Sophie Apperly has been supporting herself since she left school, but as far as her academic family is concerned she’s never had a “proper”‘ job. And because she’s currently in-between work she’s dispatched to look after Uncle Eric while his housekeeper is away. Here, whilst tidying his papers, she discovers a document relating to family business in America. Driven mad by her family and wanting to prove herself to them and bring in some much-needed income for them all, when her best friend Milly invites her over to New York she jumps at the chance –what’s more she’s lined up some nannying work to pay her way. However, she’s hardly been in the country five minutes before disaster strikes. She suddenly finds herself with no work, nowhere to stay, and very little money. Luckily Milly has a corner in her tiny apartment she can camp out in. A jaunt to an art gallery opening throws her into the path of Matilda–a grand old lady who is delighted to find someone who comes from the same part of the world that she grew up in. She is very taken with Sophie and invites her to her house in Connecticut for Thanksgiving. But Matilda’s grandson Luke is very suspicious of Sophie–what exactly does this English girl want? Is she after his grandmother’s money? And he’s determined to nip this growing friendship in the bud.

Eagerly visiting New York to escape her suffocating family, young Englishwoman Sophie clashes with her hostess’s arrogant grandson, who follows her back to England with an unconventional proposal.

Foul Play by Janet EvanovichFoul Play

Veterinarian Jake Elliot offers Amy Klasse a job as his receptionist after she loses her television job to a chicken, and when the chicken disappears under suspicious circumstances and Amy is blames, they investigate together.

The Grand Finale by Janet Evanovich

Divorcée Berry Knudsen falls out of a tree and meets the man of her dreams, hunky first grade teacher Jake Sawyer. And that’s just the start of their screwball courtship.

ThanksgivingThanksgiving by Janet Evanovich

When Megan Murphy discovers a rabbit gnawing on the hem of her skirt, she is about to give its careless owner a piece of her mind, but Dr. Patrick Hunter turns out to be too attractive to be mad at.

Non fiction

Thanksgiving: how to cook it well by Sam Sifton

From one of America’s finest food writers, the former restaurant critic for The New York Times, comes a definitive, timeless guide to Thanksgiving dinner–preparing it, surviving it, and pulling it off in style. From the planning of the meal to the washing of the last plate, Thanksgiving poses more–and more vexing–problems for the home cook than any other holiday.

The Pioneer Woman CooksThe Pioneer Woman Cooks: a year of holidays by Ree Drummond

Ree shows you how to ring in your favorite holidays with inspired menus for breakfasts, brunches, lunches, dinners, parties, deliveries and feasts, accompanied by fun instructions and hundreds of her signature step-by-step photos.  Filled with creative and flavorful ideas for  intimate dinners, group gatherings, and family meals, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays included dozens of mouthwatering dishes (with nineteen recipes for Thanksgiving alone!), helping home cooks create a variety of delights.

Lies My Teacher Told Me: everything your American history textbook got wrong by James Loewen

Criticizes the way history is presented in current textbooks, and suggests a fresh and more accurate approach to teaching American history.  Includes a chapter titled “The Truth about the First Thanksgiving.”

Turkey Day Game Centennial 1907-2007 by Shawn Greene

Read about the Webster Groves-Kirkwood tradition of the Turkey Day football game.

Downloadable eBooks from OverDrive:

Turkey Day Murder: a Lucy Stone mystery by Leslie Meier

Tinker’s Cove has a long history of Thanksgiving festivities, from visits with TomTom Turkey to the annual Warriors high school football game and Lucy Stone’s impressive pumpkin pie. But this year, someone has added murder to the menu, and Lucy intends to discover who left Metinnicut Indian activist Curt Nolan deader than the proverbial Thanksgiving turkey—with an ancient war club next to his head.

The list of suspects isn’t exactly a brief one. Nolan had a habit of disagreeing with just about everybody he met. Between fixing dinner for twelve and keeping her four kids from tearing each other limb from limb, Lucy has a pretty full plate already. So what’s a little investigation? But if she’s not careful, she just may find herself served up as a last-minute course, stone-cold dead with all the trimmings. . .

Let’s Talk Turkey . . . And All the Trimmings: 100 Delicious Holiday Recipes, Tips, and Ideas from America’s Top Magazines by Hearst

Whether you’re hosting your first turkey dinner or you’re a time-tested pro, you’ll find new recipes and ideas in this collection from Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Country Living, and Woman’s Day that will make this year’s holiday meal super-delicious—and practically stress-free. Tips and illustrated how-tos will guide you every step of the way. There are ideas for easy ways to set a beautiful table, a guide to carving, and help for Turkey Day troubles (like what to do when guests are late). Plus you’ll find menus for the perfect meal, whether you’re serving four or twenty-four.

Several of the books featured at the beginning of the post are also available through OverDrive:

Have any other suggestions for this Thanksgiving book list?  Leave them in the comments section!


Heritage Quest

HeritageQuest is an online database available through WGPL that can help you with genealogical research.

Sign onto Heritage Quest from home by going to and clicking on HeritageQuest Online.

WGPL Reference

When accessing the database from home, you will have to enter your entire library card number.  After you have entered your number, you will be directed to the HeritageQuest homepage.


With Heritage Quest you can search:

U.S. Federal Census— images from 1970-1940, including name indexes for many years.

  • Tip: The index will search for names exactly as they were entered in the database.  As a result, any misspellings will not be included.  Try variations of the name if you are not finding what you are looking for.
  • Click on the Advanced Search tab for more options to filter by age, sex, race and birthplace.
  • When you have found a record that interests you, you can zoom in on the text, switch it to negative so it’s easier to read, and click through the images of surrounding pages.  You can also download and print the image.

Books— Find information on people and places described in over 28,000 family and local histories.

  • You can search by people, places, or browse the list of publications.
  • Clicking on “View Image” next to the book you are interested in will open the scanned book on your computer.

PERSI Archive— Find information about people and places from this index of over 2.3 million genealogy and local history articles (1800-present).

  • You can search  by people, places, how to’s  (research methodologies), and periodicals.
  • If you find an article or record that you are interested in, there will be a link with instructions on how to request the material (there is a charge).

Revolutionary War records— Search selected records from the Revolutionary War Era Pension & Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files.  Most of the records are dated between 1800 and 1900.

Freedmans’ Bank— Search for individuals in the Freedman’s Bank (1865-1874), which was founded to serve African Americans.

U.S. Serial Set— Search the Memorials, Petitions and Private Relief Actions of the U.S. Congress.  Documents range between 1789-1969.

Please contact us at the library if you are having any problems with the Heritage Quest database.

(314) 961-3784