So December is now upon us. And Christmas is once again looming. Why not get ahead of the Christmas shopping frenzy and buy some books as gifts. We obviously think books make great presents, and we have come up with a list of reasons why:
- They are easy to wrap
- No batteries are needed
- They are more thoughtful than that pointless kitchen gadget, that they’ll never use anyway
- They can expand and broaden the mind (always a good thing)
- They don’t go out of fashion (and they certainly don’t change their kit every season)
- People can never have enough books
- Bookshops are lovely, calming places
With this in mind here is a round-up of our Short Books Christmas recommendations:
Just Soup by Henrietta Clancy
‘A Christmas present for people who have soup several times each week and are constantly searching for inspiration as the seasons pass’, says Rose Prince in the Spectator, calling it ‘an ode to warmness; inner cashmere’. This really is a winter warmer of a book, containing masses of delicious soup recipes all beautifully and appetisingly photographed. The above recipes are for a Nutty Parsnip & Lemon Soup and Instant Beetroot & Pear with Crumbled Feta Soup.
101 Things To Do When You’re Not Drinking by Robert Short
101 Things To Do Instead of Playing on Your Phone by Ilka Heinemann
Perfect stocking fillers. Need we say more?
A Paris Christmas by John Baxter
A wonderful present for foodies, Francophiles and romantics. This is a sparkling memoir by John Baxter, an LA-based film critic, who impulsively moves to Paris to marry the woman he loves. He is set the challenge of cooking up a christmas feast for his sceptical in-laws, a terrifying band of gastronomes. We follow his culinary misadventures and delicious triumphs as he traverses Frances’ history and landscape looking for the best recipes and ingredients.
‘Such a likeable, readable book, packed with humour and quirky knowledge’ The Independent
The 1966 World Cup Final: Minute by Minute by Jonathan Mayo
A book for your Dad or any football fan in your life. This is the story of the extraordinary 24 hours of the finest moment in English sporting history. Full of fascinating details, this book evokes a period when football fans wore suits to matches, traffic policemen were invited into homes to watch the game, and the England squad could walk to the cinema undisturbed the evening before the biggest game of their lives.
Rasputin by Frances Welch
One for history buffs and lovers of salacious stories. An unputdownable, short biography of the captivating and unfathomable, Grigory Rasputin, Siberian peasant-turned-mystic whose role in the downfall of the tsarist regime is beyond dispute. A.N. Wilson in the Spectator describes Welch’s Rasputin as ‘extremely funny’, containing ‘all that you could possibly want to know about this fascinatingly unsavoury character; as well as speaking volumes about Russia.’
Pugh’s New Year’s Resolutions by Jonathan Pugh
A wonderful Christmas gift collection for parents or grandparents with a wry sense of humour. Jonathan Pugh casts a masterly eye over our annual attempts at self-improvement – why is it that we always set the bar just a little too high? These are uniquely affectionate and witty cartoons that poke gentle fun while cutting right to the heart of all our foibles.
How to be Danish by Patrick Kingsley
A present for Scandinavian-wannabes and Danish pastry appreciators. Part reportage, part travelogue, How to be Danish fills in the gaps – an introduction to contemporary Danish culture that spans politics, television, food, architecture and design. Welcome to the happiest country in the world.
‘Kingsley is an eloquent and inquiring observer.’ Sunday Times
Top Dog by Kate Bendix
The dog book that every dog lover would be thrilled to have. Top Dog is written by Kate Bentix, a funny, straight-talking dog lover who got sick of riding the multinational gravy train that is the global pet market and decided that there had to be another way of having a dog. She explains how to improve your dog’s health dramatically with a change of diet and how to treat the most common dog ailments yourself, using natural remedies that really do work.
Everything You Need You Have by Gerad Kite
For those who need some inspiration and guidance – one to buy for yourself and a friend. A revelatory book, Kite shows us how to look at things from a different perspective, and to uncover the truth: that everything we need to be happy and well, we already have inside. Drawing on the principles of ancient Chinese philosophy and his extensive experience of helping people of all ages and from all walks of life, Kite offers a life-changing promise – a route to a state of being that is more authentic, expansive and liberating than anything most people can currently find either in their thoughts or the world around them.
‘Gerad has opened my eyes to a new way of thinking’ Fearne Cotton
A Commonplace Killing by Sian Busby
A rollicking read for murder mystery enthusiasts. London, July 1946. A woman’s body is found in a disused bomb site off the Holloway Road. She is identified as Lillian Frobisher, “a respectable wife and mother” who lived with her family nearby. In this deeply evocative crime drama, Sian Busby strips away the veneer of stoicism and respectability in post-war Britain to reveal a society riven with disillusionment and loss.
‘A superbly accomplished and gripping piece of post-war noir.’ The Times