This is primarily a link to an entry I did a year ago with suggestions for cookbooks for Thanksgiving. The three books I mentioned there are still on the top of my list for Thanksgiving as well as other family holiday meals.
Through the years we’ve collected a lot of cookbooks, especially during the period when I was in a book club and things rather ran amok (which is still a sore point between my wife and me). I find that for many of the basic dishes I still keep going back to the Joy of Cooking. That and the New York Times Cookbook should probably be at the core of your cooking bookshelf for American-style cuisine, in my opinion.