11/22/2016 12:12 EST

20 Cookbooks That Make Excellent Christmas Gifts

The recipes are just as enticing as the pictures.

If you’re going to give a book as a Christmas gift, a cookbook isn’t a bad place to start. They’re a useful gift for avid home cooks, and an aspirational gift for those of us who just like to read the stories and look at the pretty pictures.

And these days, the variety and audience for cookbooks is wider than ever before. There are beautiful, expensive cookbooks by famous chefs, which nobody ever actually expects to cook out of. Then there are those that inspire you to explore a new cuisine or learn some new techniques. And of course, there are books that might not be groundbreaking or genre redefining but are full of delicious, easy recipes you’ll refer to again and again.

The cookbook Christmas gift list below contains books from all of those categories, featuring 20 of 2016’s most exciting cookbooks: books from famous chefs and lifestyle gurus, ones that are as much travelogue or cultural exploration as cookbook, and a couple that celebrate the tastes of holidays throughout the year.

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