There really is no greater gift than a book. Looks good on the shelf, can be read and used again and again and, sustainably, can be endlessly lent to, and borrowed from, friends. Stocking fillers, the main event, or a top-up gift, we’ve found the best books for everyone in your life, no matter their fancy.
For those who know all there is to know about Climate Breakdown or for someone who needs a little education and doesn’t know where to start, these are the books for them.
Atlas of Vanishing Places, Travis Elborough
Imagine what the world once looked like as you discover places that have disappeared from modern atlases. Ever wondered about cities that lie forgotten under the dust of newly settled land? Rivers and seas, the shapes of which have changed shape of, and shifted the landscape, around them? Or places that have seemingly vanished, without a trace? With beautiful maps and striking colour photography, Atlas of Vanishing Places shows these places as they once were as well as how they look today: a fascinating guide to lost lands and the fragility of our relationship with the world around us. Buy it here.
Choked, Beth Gardiner
Gardiner travels the world meeting scientists with unrivalled understanding on pollution, its effect on our bodies and discover the economic forces and political decisions that led to its position as a pervasive problem in the world. She also focuses on real-world solutions and highlights inspiring real-world tales of people fighting for a better future. With enthusiastic fans like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Kolbert, this tome has cemented itself as a vital contribution to a worldwide problem. Get it here.
The Secret Diary of Boris Johnson Aged 13 1/4, Lucien Young
This newly ‘discovered’ ‘diary’ of Boris Alexander de Pfeffel Johnson, aged 13 1/4, provides a glimpse into Johnson’s innermost thoughts and feelings, revealing a formerly hidden side of the man best known to the country as the guy who got stuck on a ZipWire and now (as of time of publishing) runs the country…Purely satirical and 100% unofficial, this is an oven-ready gift for someone who, unlike us, has some idea of what’s going on. Get it here.
For anyone who has a close eye on Top Ten lists and is an avid user of Goodreads, these two are musts for 2019/20 and they’ll soon find themselves lending it to everyone who asks.
Convenience Store Woman, Sayaka Murata
Think Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, but set in Japan. Quirky and independent Keiko is 36 years old and has held the same job, at a convenience store, for 18 years. The pressures of what is ‘normal’ become so oppressive that Keiko finds themself looking for a ‘cure’ and to live a life that’s more familiar to their friends and family. Like a lot of Japanese literature, it’s light and delicate writing on the makes-you-think subject matter and avoids the tropes of a normal finding-oneself novel. At just over 100 pages, they’ll consume the whole thing in a day. Get it here.
The Binding, Bridget Collins
Imagine you could erase your grief. Imagine you could forget your pain. Imagine you could hide a secret forever. The Binding is an unforgettable novel that follows young labourer, Emmett, as he works as a young apprentice at a bookbinders binding the books that contain people’s most unconscionable memories. And then one day…he comes across his own. An un-put-downable read ideal for the holiday break. Buy it here.
For those who are looking to live a more considerate life, wising up on how to turn everyday activities and choices into positive experiences then look no further.
How To Hygge, Signe Johanssen
Hygge is central to the Nordic sense of well-being. Roughly translated as ‘cosiness’, it evokes all things warm, convivial and community. This one is for people looking to make every day a good day and life a calm one. Explore the culture of hygge, the secrets of Nordic living and learn how to adopt the practices into your every day. Expect recipes, design tips, and general philosophies. Get it here.
The Mindful Kitchen, Heather Thomas
Part practical, part meditative, The Mindful Kitchen infuses every day with simple nature-related rituals to reinforce thoughts as positive actions-creating focus, awareness and translating intent into a lifestyle. Bite-size philosophical notes, meaningful questions, joyful rituals, and an abundant feast of vegetarian recipes are mindfully mixed in this new-wave cookbook. Get it here.
For anyone whose pantry contains basics like saffron, truffles, and kosher salt. Choose a cookbook that’s part recipes and inspiration and part worldly education. Discover new flavours, textures and traditions and practices that they can make their own.
Silo: The Zero Waste Blueprint, Douglas McMaster
Silo is the world’s first zero-waste restaurant and, reader, let me tell you it is a delight. Opened in 2014 by the author, this book is an insight into the mind of a radical young chef and the creativity, determination and perspective it took to create Silo. The book explores the solution to basic ingredients; their carbon footprint, their seasonality, and the preparation of them to bring out their best. Buy one for everyone you know. Buy it here.
Palestine On A Plate: Memories From My Mother’s Kitchen, Joudie Kalla
A celebration of one of the world’s tastiest, most vibrant, and moreish cuisines. This recipe book introduces traditional Palestinian methods, cooking styles, and flavours and brings the best of this Middle-Eastern food into your home. Authentic, healthy, varied and easy, this book will turn reluctant cooks into pros and pros into experts with an ever-evolving canon of skills. Get it here.