A Dozen Gifts for Vegan Book Lovers

So, you're working your way through your gift list and you've come to that vegan/vegetarian friend, relative, or co-worker who loves to read. How very convenient, then, that you've somehow stumbled upon this blog post! It was really hard for me to narrow this list down to just a dozen, as there are so many great choices out there. It actually blows me away, considering what was available when I first made the choice to go vegan in 1991. I think there were like two books back then. (I started writing cookbooks for a reason.)

Anyway, this is my definitive list. It's an eclectic mix, so there's something here for just about anyone - even if they're only veg-curious! So, get yourself ready for some thrills, people - this is gonna be fun...yet informative.

My Top Twelve List of Gifts For Vegan Book Lovers (in no particular order):

1. The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia by Rebecca Wood: This is a lovely reference guide that I recommend in all of my books. Rebecca's book is a wonderful treasure of whole foods, listed in alphabetical order along with their nutritional benefits. She also includes storage tips, historical references, and a few preparation tips. Basically, it's like a fun, well-written wikipedia for plant foods.
2. Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness by Robert Cheeke: This book gives you all the information you need for building your body on a plant-based diet (it's not just for bodybuilders either - it's helpful for all fitness regimes). I also like recommending Robert's book because he's just a really nice guy with a lot of common sense - and he does one hell of a George Bush impression.

3. My books (Radiant Health, Inner Wealth; The Two-Week Wellness Solution; Radiance 4 Life): I know many of you already have these, but for those who don't, they're all about deliciousness and optimal health. And who doesn't want that fab combo?? I'm currently running a sale on all three - perfect for the foodie who wants to get (or stay) healthy!
4. Beauty, Disrupted by Carré Otis and Hugo Schwyzer: Although this isn't technically a book about veganism, I can't bring myself not to include it on my must-read list. It's one of the most inspiring things I've read in ages, being that Carré is living proof that transformative change is possible in this life.
5. Happy Herbivore Cookbook by Lindsay Shay Nixon: I love how simple and easy Lindsay's recipes are. If you want practical, healthy dishes, her book is a fantastic resource! And she's also just a down-to-earth, friendly person who constantly surprises me with her creativity and intelligence.

6. Japanese Cooking by Miyoko Schinner: I love this book mostly because it contains some of the first vegan recipes I ever came to love. Imagine my delight when, twenty years later, I got to spend some time with Miyoko at the San Francisco Veg Fest (we were both speakers there). She's just a delighful woman who understands the concept of balance, health, and delicious food.
7. The Thrive books by Brendan Brazier: I actually met Brendan on that same trip (at the San Fran VegFest) and found him to be delightful, funny, and just chock-full of good, common sense - something that's ironically often lacking in so many health books. Brendan is a great example of how to be in top notch physical condition on a vegan diet and his books are full of great advice for anyone interested in reaching their peak condition.

8. A subscription to VegNews Magazine: So, this isn't a book, but you probably figured that out after you saw the word "magazine." But hey! What's more fun than a gift that you keep getting all year round? Not much, my friends. VegNews is all kinds of awesome.
9. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Eating by Julieanna Hever: A great book for those who need to learn the basics of healthy vegan eating, written by one of the sweetest people I know! Plus, how cool is it that Julieanna was recently featured on Dr. Oz? I'll answer that - it's crazy cool.
10. Sweet Freedom by Ricki Heller: This book was even recommended by Ellen Degeneres. It's a great gift for the gluten-free gal (or guy) on your list, as all of her dessert recipes are wheat-free, vegan, and also free of refined sugar. And, yeah, Ricki's a peanut too. It's a great community that I'm part of!
11. The New Fast Food by Jill Nussinow: The great thing about this book is the fact that Jill really gets pressure cookers - and few do. I often recommend this book, as I love seeing my readers and students using the fabulousness that is the pressure cooker!
12. Party Vegan by Robin Robertson: Robin is one of those long-time vegan goddesses who has written lots of books and is very dedicated to her profession. I admire her tremendously. I chose to recommend this book as it's a great resource for, yeah, parties. And also, it gives me some time to stall the people who've asked me to write a book along those lines! For now, I have a few others I'll be writing first, so I'm happy Robin has it covered! It's a great concept and a great book.

So, I hope you found that list helpful. And I do encourage you to give the gift of reading these great books not only to the vegans on your list, but also to anyone who wants to live a healthy, happy life.

I also have to mention that it was very hard keeping this list to a mere dozen - there are many other vegan books and authors that are near and dear to my heart, and I hope I have a chance to feature them as well before too long! Happy holidays and thanks for stopping by!!


  1. Wow, thanks so much for including my book in this awesome list! I'll have to check out the couple of others I haven't seen yet, especially Miyoko's book. I should note, though, that I wrote Sweet Freedom before I went gluten-free, so only about 30% of the book is gluten free. :)

    Happy holidays!!

  2. Thanks for including me, Tess! I'm going to check out some of the other suggestions as well.

  3. Great list! I have most of them but now have a few more to add to my list! :)

    I would also suggest Vegan for Life by RD's Ginny Messina and Jack Norris. Packed with solid, practical advice on how to eat a nutritious, balanced and delicious vegan diet.

  4. Love it, Tess! So many great books to read. :)

  5. Thank you for recommending my book, Party Vegan.
    This is a great list, Tess. I, too, enjoy The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia and am also a fan of Miyoko's books. Looking forward to getting some of the others on your list, too.

  6. What a great list; thank you for sharing! Perfect for holiday gifts.

  7. I have six out of 12, not bad. Like mindedness is good!
    Would add to that list Dr. Esselstyn book with recipes, Real Food Daily.
    and Candle 79. Twitter @veganfork

  8. What about my book?! Please check it out! Prosetta of Passions

  9. Tess, thanks for your recommendations. I too love Jill Nussinow's The New Fast Food and would like your readers to know that this book is available in ebook format as well as paperback for those who prefer an electronic version instead of a paper copy - or for those who might like a copy in both electronic and print formats. The book also serves as a nice introduction to pressure cooking - a great tool for omnivores but an especially useful one for vegans and vegetarians because of the speed at which you can cook legumes and grains.

  10. Thank you Tess and Sigrid. I thought that I posted a comment here to say thanks but I don't see it.

    It's an honor to be on this list with so many other wonderful authors, including you.

  11. I enjoyed Vegan Vittles.A gift from a vegan family member.I gave the book to a young girl at a coffee shop that was interested.

  12. Thanks for all the great comments, everyone!! x

    Aaron, I love the "Crock Cheese" recipe from VV. It's a super special recipe that I've made for years. In fact, I even asked Jo if I could use it (while crediting her, of course), but it's one of the few recipes she wants to keep just in that book...I can totally understand, tho, cuz it ROCKS. : )