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10 books to make the perfect Christmas gift

Find the ideal book to give your loved one this festive season.

A good read makes a perfect present (Alamy/PA)

Whatever your family and friends’ hobbies or pastimes, or fact or fiction preferences, there’s a book that will feed their interests or capture their imagination this Christmas.

So wrap up a book for under the tree, whether it’s a thrilling page-turner, a mouth-watering cookbook or a lifestyle offering to guide them into the New Year.

Here are 10 options to suit a variety of tastes.

1. Fearless by Trinny Woodall (HQ, HarperCollins, £26)

Mid-lifers who would enjoy a combination of bite-size self-help and style can dip into this book long after the decorations have been put away. The What Not To Wear TV style guru-turned CEO weaves insights from her own sometimes rocky path, from feelings of insecurity, to IVF, solo parenting and freedom of her 50s, covering subjects like self-worth, confidence and intuition, mixed with steps on finding your ideal colour palette and curating outfits.

2. World Cocktail Atlas by Olly Smith (Quadrille, £22)

Anyone who loves a cocktail over the festive season and beyond will be able to travel the world of drinks without leaving their home, thanks to award-winning drinks writer and TV presenter Ollie Smith’s exploration into tipples from far and wide. From the Cape Snow of South Africa to the UK’s Chocolate Manhattan, the Sibelius Black Punch of Finland, to the Guarapita of Venezuela, readers will be left shaken and stirred into oblivion.

3. Comfort Eating by Grace Dent (Faber & Faber, £20)

(Faber & Faber/PA)

This deliciously entertaining read will have you salivating over a mound of comfort food revelations from the restaurant critic and MasterChef judge, who admits she bungs in the oven chips after a day of sampling haute cuisine at the TV studios. It covers all our behind-closed-doors favourites, with chapters on cheese, butter, pasta, potatoes and bread, and there’s even a section on uncomfortable eating – cue green peppers, quinoa and pre-soak pulses. A perfect antidote to the excesses of a posh food Christmas.

4. Craft Your Year With Sara Davies by Sara Davies (Bantam, £20)

The bubbly Dragons’ Den crafting queen brings her talents to the page with more than 70 step-by-step projects, ranging from simple flower frames to marbled mugs, succulent plant pots, macrame coasters and cookie gift jars. Featuring projects for beginners, intermediate and advanced, give this to your loved one and you may well be receiving a gorgeous home-made hand-crafted present next year.

5. The Secret by Lee Child and Andrew Child (Bantam, £22)

Jack Reacher fans will be escaping to a quiet room to read the 28th book in the series from the bestselling novelist, this time written in collaboration with his brother, as our tough military lone wolf sets out to track down two sisters on a killing spree to avenge the death of their father. It’ll make a great change from the annual Boxing Day action movie.

6. The Book You Want Everyone You Love* To Read *(and maybe a few you don’t) by Philippa Perry (Cornerstone, £18.99)

Another sage buy for family members and friends who need a little help with their everyday challenges and how to deal with them, with words of wisdom from the psychotherapist and agony aunt. Awkward situations and relationship, love, change, loss and conflict are all covered – which is pretty timely for the festive season – along with solutions to help us feel more in charge and more able to deal with difficult situations that lie ahead.

7. The Woman In Me by Britney Spears (Gallery UK, £25)

(Gallery UK/PA)

Anyone who loves a celebrity tell-all story will feast on the most talked-about memoir of the autumn, as the ‘Princess of Pop’ reveals her experience of fame, motherhood and her conservatorship, which took over her life for more than a decade. While her life among the stars may have seemed glamorous, and the big bombshells in the book have already made headline news, this is actually a tragic account of someone who was pushed to her breaking point by the industry and those around her.

8. Roast Figs, Sugar Snow by Diana Henry (Aster, £22)

Any foodies who want to snuggle up in winter with some rich, heart-warming dishes and missed the Irish food writer’s book when it was first published in 2005, will be savouring the recipes from this new edition, a collection from cold weather climes, with a new foreword by Nigel Slater and seven new recipes. Dishes include a Swedish apple, almond and cardamom cake, Danish roast pork and a rich risotto from northern Italy.

9. The List by Yomi Adegoke (4th Estate, £14.99)

This corker of a debut was billed as the book of the summer but you can huddle up away from the Christmas chaos in December and immerse yourself in this intense story about a career couple who seem to have it all – until his name appears on a crowdsourced list of sexual abusers online. It’s a cautionary tale that mines the dark side of social media and its influence on even our closest personal relationships. The novel is being co-developed by HBO Max, the BBC and A24 for the screen.

10. Land Of Milk And Honey by C Pam Zhang (Hutchinson Heinemann, £16.99)

This dystopian tale, a follow-up to the Booker Prize-longlisted How Much Of These Hills Is Gold, is set in a near future when a blanket of smog has spread over the world, causing widespread famine and despair. The narrator, a struggling chef, is given the opportunity to work at an exclusive research community, an elite sanctuary for the super-rich run by a wealthy man and his daughter, set in the mountaintops above the smog and untouched by the blight. There she discovers more food than she could ever imagine – and finds out what her employers are really up to.


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