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Wednesday 28 November 2012

Christmas Gift Guide- Books!

I love present shopping: hunting for and finding things for my loved ones that I know they'll appreciate is one of the best feelings ever. Full of the joys of Christmas spirit, so I am. Like Tiny Tim. Except without the crutches. As it happens I've actually bought most of my Christmas presents so I can rest slightly easier now and I can also impart my knowledge to you all here, in a series of gift guides.
First up, books. You pretty much can't go wrong with buying a book for someone- it's generally easy enough to suss out what sort of genre the recipient would like but even if it's something they normally wouldn't go for, then all the better- a change is as good as a rest as they say!
Here are my top picks (the links to where you can buy them are the book titles themselves, written in grey and all prices are in either sterling or US Dollars cause I couldn't be arsed converting them. That's just how I roll):

1) Back Story, David Mitchell, £5.99. Comedian, star of Peep Show and columnist for The Observer, I've always been a big fan of Mitchell's unique brand of wit so I can only imagine how funny this collection of his memoirs will be. 2) Moranthology, Caitlin Moran, £8.42. I loved Moran's (a columnist for The Times) hugely popular first book How To Be A Woman- a feminist work of brilliance. Her follow up, Moranthology, discusses everything from binge-drinking to Obama and plenty besides. I haven't read it yet but it looks great. 3) World War Z, Max Brooks, £6.89. I'm reading this at the moment and it's a good'un. It follows how a zombie pandemic would play out across the world- interviews with survivors 10 years after the end of the war. Good clean zombie fun. 4) Vagina: A New Biography, Naomi Wolf, £7.40. I'm also reading this at the moment- Naomi is an author, political consultant and feminist. In Vagina, she explores the link between sexuality and creativity and looks at what it means to be female. Personally, I feel like I'm aware of all of this already but it would be ideal for any budding feminist in your life. 5) I Can Make You Hate, Charlie Brooker, £8.50. Writer and broadcaster Brooker brings us a collection of his articles for The Guardian- his articles are pretty much always laugh out loud funny so this should be great. 6) The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling, £9.00. The most anticipated novel in years- Rowling's first non-Potter book is apparently a much more sedate affair but enjoyable nonetheless. 7) Bring Up The Bodies, Hilary Mantel, £8.86. Set in the court of Henry the 8th this follows the rise of Thomas Cromwell and the fall of Anne Boleyn. OK, this is a dodgy one because I read this book's predeccessor Wolf Hall, which won the Booker Prize and although I wasn't a huge fan, plenty of others were. This book has also just won the Booker Prize, so what do I know, eh? 8) Skagboys, Irvine Welsh, £8.18. Skagboys is the prequel to Trainspotting and follows the characters on their journey to becoming heroin addicts (Nothing says Happy Christmas like heroin addiction, am I right?). 9) The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky, £4.71. Recently made into a film, this is described as a charming coming-of-age book. I haven't read it yet but it's received really positive reviews. 10) Me Before You, JoJo Moyes, £3.86. A bestseller, this is apparently a total weepie and a bittersweet love story. 11) The Mystery of Mercy Close, Marian Keyes, £7.60. I love Marian. This is her most recent book and follows heroine Helen Walsh- her battle with depression and her search for a missing boyband member. This has also received great reviews.

12) The Walking Dead Compendium: Volume 2, Charlie Adlard and Robert Kirkman, £29.51. Following the story of The Walking Dead and utilising stunning artwork, this is a great option for the zombie lover in your life (this is part 2, part 1 is also available). 13) The Hunger Games Trilogy Classic Boxed Set, Suzanne Collins, £11.99. These books are amazing, I don't know if there's anyone left who hasn't read them but if so, this is a great gift. 14)  I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar, Sharon Eliza Nichols, $9.99. For the grammar pedant. 15) A Song of Ice and Fire (7 volumes), George R. R. Martin, £29.98. A really reasonably priced collection of the Game of Thrones novels. 16) DC Comics: The 75th Anniversary Poster Book, £27.50. A great option for fans of DC Comics, features beautiful pullout artwork. 17) 101 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die, Steven Jay Schneider, £9.99. These 101 books are always a fun read and ideal for those who enjoy making lists! 18) All My Friends Are Dead, Avery Monsen and Jory John, $9.99. This is just very cute, not a proper read but kind of dotey all the same. 19) The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead, Max Brooks, £7.09. Written by himself of World War Z fame, this is a good idea for anyone really- you'll thank me when the zombie invasion starts. 20) 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami, £6.29. 1Q84 is actually 3 novels, this is the first two in one book. These surreal works, based on a fictional Japan in 1984 explores the nature of reality and were big bestsellers. If you're looking for something a bit different, look no further.

21) Vintage Style: Iconic Fashion Looks, Sarah Kennedy, £20.00. Always wanted to look like Marilyn, Debbie Harry or Twiggy but never knew how? Look no further! 22) The Primrose Bakery, Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas, £13.00. Although mostly known for their amazing cupcakes, this lovely book also covers pastries and cakes of all varieties. Nom. 23) Kate: The Kate Moss Book, Kate Moss and Fabien Baron, £50.00. Written by Kate herself (I wonder if she could've wedged another "Kate" onto the cover title), this is a retrospective of the career of one of the most iconic fashion models ever- it looks really interesting. 24) The Wah Nails book of Nail Art, £9.99. Fairly self explanatory, this is perfect for the nail art lover. 25) The Little Paris Kitchen: Classic French Recipes with a Fresh and Fun Approach, Rachel Khoo, £10.86. Featuring beautiful recipes and photos (food porn, very important at all times), if you want to get to grips with French cuisine, this is the book to start with. 26) 100 Years of Fashion, Cally Blackman, £24.95. This book just looks so beautiful- any fashion lover will be delighted to receive this. 27) Jamie's 15 Minute Meals, Jamie Oliver, £11.99. Following on from his 30 minute meals, which I bought and used loads, this promises even quicker meals while still as delicious. 28) Style Me Vintage: Make-Up, Katie Reynolds, £15.99. This is actually one of a set of three- Style Me Vintage Hair, Clothing and here, Make Up. Very pretty. 29) Gok Cooks Chinese, Gok Wan, £8.86. I watched some of the accompanying series to this, which was really enjoyable. Any budding chefs looking to expand their repertoire into asian cooking will be delighted with this.

So that's the lot! Any of those setting your present-buying spider senses a-tingling?


  1. Great selection, I've bought Jamie's 15 minute meals for my dad for Crimbo! My mam adores Hilary Mantel and I'd like to try World War Z!

    1. You should definitely read World War Z, I've really enjoyed it so far. My sister loves Hilary Mantel too, I just found Wolf Hall a bit arduous to read but she is a great writer.

  2. You can just wrap them all up for me - except Jamie, he wrecks my head. I have heard his books are very good though - maybe I could get one and cover it with wallpaper a-la primary school...

    1. Ha ha ha! Not a bad idea! Yeah he has some great recipes, I mostly included it in the list because I think it's one of the few cookery books you'd actually use a lot, you know? The recipes are really easy to follow and he tends to use a lot of the same ingredients in each meal! :)