Yinzer Shopping Network: Pittsburgh Books & Games

Including some very Pittsburgh gift ideas from special guest from Rick Sebak

by Boaz Frankel
December 10, 2020

[🎥 Video credits: Boaz Frankle & Alden Roth.]

Welcome back to the Yinzer Shopping Network, your go-to destination for Pittsburgh holiday gifts! In this installment, we’re recommending books and games that will make perfect gifts for all those literary and game-obsessed Pittsburghers in your life.


Suggestions from White Whale Bookstore

To get us started, we chatted with Jill & Adlai at White Whale Bookstore on Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield. They’ve got a wonderfully curated selection of new and classic books, and they offered a few recommendations for the readers in your life:

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw/$18.99

Firstly, they’re recommending this collection of nine stories that chronicle four generations of characters who are grappling with who they want to be in the world. It’s gotten rave reviews from pretty much every book reviewer in the world and it’s a 2020 National Book Award Finalist. That’s a big frickin’ deal.


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The crew at White Whale are also recommending a few other books by Pittsburghers:

You can pick up any of these books at White Whale Bookstore in Bloomfield or head to www.whitewhalebookstore.com

Suggestions from The Tiny Bookstore


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Lea and Bill own The Tiny Bookstore, an adorable bookshop in the North Hills. They sent us some recommendations too:

Mister Rogers Poetry Books” by Fred Rogers & Luke Flowers/$8.99 Each

For the little Yinzers in your life, they’re recommending this set of Mister Rogers Poetry Books. They’ve taken beloved songs by Fred Rogers and turned them into delightful board books illustrated by Luke Flowers.


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The crew at The Tiny Bookstore also had a couple more recommendations:

The Tiny Bookstore offers curbside pick-up at their shop or you can head to www.tinybooksonline.com

Suggestions from Heinz History Center

The folks at the Heinz History Center have their very own publishing division and they’ve shared a few of their favorite recents publications with us:

Pittsburghese: From Ahrn to Yinz” by Heinz History Center/$5.99

We’re almost aht a time but I’d be a jaggoff if I didn’t tell yinz about this book that needs read. This book is all about the unique way that folks talk in Western Pennsylvania. It’s got a well-research introduction about the origin of Pittsburghese and a glossary of all the terms and special pronunciations that you probably already know and love. This might be a helpful gift for any Pittsburgh newbies in your life.


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57 Servings from the Heinz Table” by Emily Ruby/$16.95

This book is packed with 57 short chapters that tell the story of the ketchup empire that was born here in Pittsburgh.

Kennywood: Behind the Screams” by Brian Butko/$12.95

This book for Kennywood lovers explores the history of all your favorite attractions. From the Log Jammer to the Jackrabbit to the ride formerly known as Garfield’s Nightmare – this book covers it all. All these books are available at the gift shop at the Heinz History Center or at www.shop.heinzhistorycenter.org


Pierogi Toss by Commonwealth Press/$60

Commonwealth Press came up with this game that’s something of a cousin to cornhole. It comes with 6 non-edible pierogies made from high-quality, heavy duck canvas. And the whole set is made here in Pittsburgh. You can get yourself some tossable pierogies at www.compressmerch.com

Morels Game from Games Unlimited/$24.99


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You ever wish that you could capture all the thrill and excitement of mushroom hunting with a board game? You’re in luck because Brent Povis, former Pittsburgher, created just the game for you. Morels is a two person game that lets you forage, saute and trade mushrooms in 30-minutes of action-packed play. It’s for ages ten and older.

They’re also recommending the Tiny Epic series of games created by Pittsburgher, Scott Almes.

You can pick these games up at Games Unlimited, now open at their new location on Forbes Ave in Squirrel Hill. Or head to www.gamesunl.com

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Boaz Frankel is a talk show host, filmmaker, writer and former Guinness World Record Holder for high-fiving.

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