7 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide | Books



For as long as I can remember, my favourite thing to receive at Christmas is books. Especially if it's a book which has been chosen with my interests in mind; I think books can be both thoughtful and budget-friendly gifts, and can capture imagination and attention more than any beauty gift set or sweet treat. Lots of friends and family will be receiving books for us this Christmas - and I've even treated myself to a few new reads, too - the perfect excuse to share a book themed Christmas gift guide with you all!

Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes, £12.50
"Beauty books. Exquisite coffee-table affairs featuring improbably beautiful models with wholly-unachievable-to-most women looks, product review-heavy volumes which become almost instantly outdated, or tracts of holistic mumbo jumbo, like how to make an unproven face pack from organic molasses and rough-hewn porridge oats. Not any more. In Pretty Honest, Sali Hughes draws on over 20 years of wisdom, advice and expertise to show real women how to make the most of makeup’s physically and emotionally transformative powers. Covering everything from teenage skin to mature beauty, botox to bridal make-up, sickness to good health, it's a work that is part instruction manual, part love letter to makeup – in a writing style that combines beauty editor, feminist and painfully funny best friend.".

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven by Corey Taylor, £7.19
"Corey Taylor has seen a lot of unbelievable things. The Grammy Award-winning singer of Slipknot and Stone Sour's curiosity has drawn him into situations that would’ve sent most people screaming scared and running for the hills. Corey’s ballsy enough to go into the darkness and deal with the consequences though. As a result, he’s seen ghosts up close and personal, whether it be while combing through an abandoned house in his native Iowa as a child or recording an album in the fabled Houdini Hollywood Hills mansion. He’s also got the memories (and scars) to prove it. For some reason, he can’t seem to shake these spectral stories, and that brings us to this little tome right here... At the same time, being an erudite, tattooed, modern Renaissance Man, he never bought into the whole God thing. Simply put, he’s seen ghosts, but he hasn’t seen Jesus. Corey especially can’t find a reason why people do the insane things they do in HIS name. That’s where everything really gets interesting. His second book, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven, compiles Corey’s most intimate, incredible, and insane moments with the supernatural. His memories are as vivid as they are vicious. As he recounts these stories, he questions the validity of religious belief systems and two-thousand-year-old dogma. As always his rapid-fire writing, razor sharp sense of humour, unbridled honesty, and cosy anecdotes make quite the case for his point. You might end up believing him or not. That’s up to you, of course. Either way, you’re in for a hell of ride."

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling, £5.59
"Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: comedienne, actress, obedient child of immigrant professionals and, now, writer. With a blend of witty confessions and unscientific observations, Mindy writes about everything from being a timid young chubster afraid of her own bike to living the Hollywood life, dating, friendships and planning her own funeral – all executed with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls.".

Skin Secrets by Liz Earle, £12.79*
"Liz Earle's millions of customers worldwide have long clamoured for this book because, however good the products, they're not the whole answer. Here Liz explores real skin secrets. She describes which botanical ingredients are best for young skin, which plant oils are the most effective wrinkle removers and why vitamin E is so good for you. Liz also emphasises the importance of a holistic approach - what you eat, how you sleep and how you relax are just as important as how you cleanse and detox. She gives you a long-term strategy, recommending complementary therapies and supplements that will nourish your skin, as well as recipes and exercise routines to keep your skin healthy and glowing. For the price of her Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth cleanser (over 4 million sold), this book will keep your skin looking good for life.".

James Wong's Homegrown Revolution by James Wong, £16 *
"Whether it's a window box of homegrown saffron, your very own kiwi vine or a mini green tea plantation on your patio, TV botanist and best-selling author James Wong proves that 'growing your own' can be so much more exciting than spuds, sprouts and swede. Breaking free from the 'dig for victory' time warp of allotment staples, James reveals the vast array of 21st century crops that will flourish outdoors, even in our blustery North Atlantic climate - no greenhouse necessary. From goji berries to food-mile free sweet potatoes, James' revolutionary approach to edible gardening will show you how to grow, cook and eat all manner of superfood crops that are just as easy (if not easier) and far more exciting to grow than the 'ration book' favourites. Inspiring, fun and full of plant know-how, this book is set to revolutionise the whole concept of 'growing your own' for newbie growers to seasoned allotment veterans alike. You'll never look at your garden the same way again!".

Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the stories behind them by Wendy MacNaughton, £14.88 *
"Every tattoo tells a story, whether the ink is meaningful or the result of a misguided decision made at the age of fourteen, representative of the wearer's true self or the accidental consequence of a bender. These most permanent and intimate of body adornments are hidden by pants legs and shirttails, emblazoned on knuckles, or tucked inside mouths. They are battle scars and beauty marks, totems and mementos. Pen & Ink grants us access to the tattoos-and the stories behind them-of writers Cheryl Strayed and Roxane Gay; rockers in the bands Korn, Otep, and Five Finger Death Punch; and even a porn star. But it also illuminates the tattoos of the ordinary people living in our midst-from professors to thrift store salespeople, cafe owners to librarians, union organizers to administrators-and their extraordinary lives.".

Revolution by Russell Brand, £6.99
"We all know the system isn't working. Our governments are corrupt and the opposing parties pointlessly similar. Our culture is filled with vacuity and pap, and we are told there's nothing we can do - "it's just the way things are". In this book, Russell Brand hilariously lacerates the straw men and paper tigers of our conformist times and presents, with the help of experts as diverse as Thomas Piketty and George Orwell, a vision for a fairer, sexier society that's fun and inclusive. You have been lied to, told there's no alternative, no choice and that you don't deserve any better. Brand destroys this illusory facade as amusingly and deftly as he annihilates Morning Joe anchors, Fox News fascists and BBC stalwarts. This book makes revolution not only possible, but inevitable and fun.".

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham, £5.69
"Lena Dunham, acclaimed writer-director-star of HBO and Sky Atlantic’s ‘Girls’ and the award-winning movie ‘Tiny Furniture’, displays her unique powers of observation, wisdom and humour in this exceptional collection of essays. “If I could take what I’ve learned and make one menial job easier for you, or prevent you from having the kind of sex where you feel you must keep your sneakers on in case you want to run away during the act, then every misstep of mine was worthwhile. I’m already predicting my future shame at thinking I had anything to offer you, but also my future glory in having stopped you from trying an expensive juice cleanse or thinking that it was your fault when the person you are dating suddenly backs away, intimidated by the clarity of your personal mission here on earth. No, I am not a sexpert, a psychologist, or a dietician. I am not a mother of three or the owner of a successful hosiery franchise. But I am a girl with a keen interest in having it all, and what follows are hopeful dispatches from the frontlines of that struggle.”.

The Philosophy Book, £13.59
"An innovative and accessible guide to more than 2,000 years of thought. To the complete novice learning about philosophy can be daunting - The Philosophy Book changes all that. With the use of powerful and easy-to-follow images, succinct quotations, and explanations that are easily understandable, this book cuts through any misunderstandings to demystify the subject. Each chapter is organised chronologically, and covers not only the big ideas, but the philosophers who first voiced them, as well as cross-referencing with earlier and later ideas and thinkers. The Philosophy Book untangles knotty theories and sheds light on abstract concepts, and is perfect for anyone with a general interest in how our social, political, and ethical ideas are formed, as well as students of philosophy and politics. Covers major and niche topics, from moral ethics to philosophies of religion.".

Are there any books on your Christmas wishlist this year?

*PR samples - Disclaimer
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5 comments

  1. I really would love to read the Russell Brand book, I've heard it's great. The Amy Winehouse book is along high on my list to read.

    GreyWalls 

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  2. Lovely wee post. I always love getting books for Christmas. On my list this year is Bowerman and the Men of Oregon (an older on) and Not My Father's Son, as I think I'll find a lot of personal inspiration in it. X

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  3. A wonderful post which has got me thinking about Christmas in a different way.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. The tattoo one sounds awesome if it's got KoRn and FFDP in it. Have you read Corey's yet? I downloaded a sample of his older one onto my Kindle and didn't reckon much to it. Would be interested if you were to recommended this one! Are you off to see Slipknot on this UK tour?

    GNAR MOSH

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