This holiday season, there’s nothing more we’d like to do than curl up with a good book and a glass of wine or hot chocolate in hand. If you, too, find the idea a superbly good one, or have family or friends who do, we suggest you scroll down.

We’ve picked the 10 best books recently published in English by Israelis or about Israel, ranging from good old-fashioned thrillers and heart-wrenching dramas to kiddie fun and fabulous cookbooks. There’s something to suit every taste.

We wish you and your loved ones hours of pleasure, and of course healthy and happy holidays!

1. More Than I Love My Life by David Grossman

Hebrew readers have had the pleasure of losing themselves in David Grossman’s latest book for the past couple of years already, and now English-speaking audiences can do the same. More Than I Love My Life is based on the true story of one of Grossman’s elderly acquaintances and focuses sharply on love, war, cruelty and family. A truly beautiful novel, it makes a very poignant read and is sure to delight fans of the celebrated Israeli author.

2. Above Us Only Sky: The Diaries of Ilan and Asaf Ramon

The diaries of Ilan and Asaf Ramon, the famous father and son who tragically found their deaths in the sky – Ilan in the Columbia space shuttle disaster and Asaf while training as a pilot in the Israeli army – provide an opportunity to read the thoughts of two exceptional men. The diaries reveal stories surrounding Israel’s bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor, theological discussions with Israel’s greatest philosopher and the ins-and-outs of being an IAF pilot. Accompanied by handwritten entries and photos, it makes for a personal and unusual read.

3. Gazoz: The Art of Making Magical, Seasonal Sparkling Drinks by Benny Briga and Adeena Sussman 

If you’d like to recreate the magical flavors of Tel Aviv’s Levinsky Market, look no further than Gazoz. The alchemist behind one of the market’s most famous stalls, Briga creates elaborate, fruit- and herb-laden fizzy delights that keep his storefront permanently packed. Here, he teamed up with celebrated food writer Adeena Sussman to share a myriad of recipes that are more than fabulous and festive enough for the holiday season.

4. The Cellist by Daniel Silva

For many, it’s not a proper holiday if they haven’t had time to delve into a really good thriller. Luckily for them, the latest installment in the Gabriel Allon series (no. 21!) came out not long ago, giving fans an opportunity to join the Israeli superspy on yet another whirlwind adventure. Allon’s latest mission is carried out against the backdrop of a global pandemic and American-Russian tensions, making it all very contemporary and convincing.

5. My Everything by Einat Natan 

Perhaps it’s no surprise that the Hebrew-language edition of My Everything: The Parent I Want to Be, The Children I Hope to Raise was a huge hit in Israel, AKA the most child- and family-obsessed nation in the world. In her book, parental counselor Natan shares her own parenting stories and her years of professional experience, addressing issues such as tantrums, self-esteem and sexuality, and above all advice on establishing a loving and respectful relationship with your children.

6. The Slaughterman’s Daughter by Yaniv Iczkovits

Yaniv Iczkovits’ novel came out in Hebrew a good few years ago, but was translated and published in English only this year, immediately going on to win a prestigious literary prize. It tells the story of Fanny, a wife, mother and former ritual slaughterer in a shtetl in 19th century Czarist Russia, who left her home to bring back her runaway brother-in-law to her sister. Giving a sneak peek into a lost world seen through an unusual lens and including a good dose of female empowerment, it makes for a captivating read.

7. Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad

The latest installment in a long line of cookbooks that changed how we think about food and how we like to eat it, Ottolenghi’s Shelf Love is all about making the most delicious and creative use of our pantries, fridges and freezers. Recipes include mouthwatering entries such as curried cauliflower cheese filo pies and confit tandoori chickpeas, which not only look absolutely amazing but also a good deal easier than many other Ottolenghi classics. Yours truly can’t wait to get her order in.

8. Adventure Girl: Dabi Digs in Israel by Janice Hechter 

As ISRAEL21c’s avid readers surely know, hardly a day goes by in Israel without someone stumbling upon some ancient artefact – think coins, amulets and even sarcophagi. Now your little loved ones can join in the fun, reveling in the story of Dabi, an adventurous girl who makes her own archeological find at Beit Guvrin National Park. Don’t be surprised if your kids ask to go there next time they’re in Israel.

9. Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth by Noa Tishby

Israel’s unofficial ambassador to Hollywood Noa Tishby came out this year with a guide to Israel that is both informative and fun and which leads readers through complicated history and burning issues in an informal, easy-to-digest way. Tackling things such as the history of Zionism, BDS and the country’s melting-pot culture, it makes for an intriguing and unusual read, and a perfect one for the holidays, too.

10. Aquarium by Yaara Shehori 

Aquarium tells the story of two sisters, Lili and Dori Ackerman, who grow up in a deaf household where silence is golden and the hearing are far less so. But when a dark secret erupts, it shakes their world, separates between the two and changes their lives forever. Award-winning Shehori has already published three books in Hebrew, but this is her first to be translated into English, giving audiences worldwide the chance to enjoy her literature.