Emma Asks…Which Books Make Great Christmas Gifts?

Christmas is coming and that means it’s time to start buying gifts for your loved ones. But what should you buy? Here’s the book-lovers guide to Christmas gifts!

Forget soap-on-a-rope, day-of-the-week socks, and boxes of chocolates (there’s enough calories going around at Christmas already without the gift of more). Give a loved one something of meaning and value this year: a book they will cherish.

This will take a little thought and effort, you can’t just buy ten copies of whatever tops the seasonal bestseller list and hand them out willy-nilly. Cousin Jack, who lives in a top-floor flat, might not appreciate a book on “Planting Your Seed, How Does Your Garden Grow?”  Book tokens are an easy option, but can be seen as a little thoughtless.

If you are giving a book as a Christmas gift show that you care by tailoring the book to the recipient. What do they enjoy? Do they have any hobbies? Is there a famous person they admire? There are so many books to choose from! Does Mum like to tinker with her old Aston Martin on the garage? Then consider something on classic cars. Dad enjoys whipping up a lemon drizzle? Mary Berry can help you out there.

That’s the beauty of books, they exist for everyone. From your one-year old niece through to your great, great, great Grandpa. If there’s a topic they like you will be able to find a book to match. Not convinced? Let’s take a wander through some of the newest releases to see what’s on offer for Christmas 2017:

Cook Up a Storm

Christmas – a time to eat, drink and be merry. So, what better gift to give the aspiring cooks and self-diagnosed foodies in your life than the latest cook book? There are two stonking reads that will be up there on the best-seller list. First off – Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredients – Quick & Easy Food. It’s on sale now and, just like Mr Oliver’s other delicious cookbooks, this one will also no doubt be voraciously devoured by those who enjoy hanging out in the kitchen. Jamie is going for his sixth Christmas number 1 with this pukka book and is hoping to attract no frills cooks with his tag line – “maximum flavour, with minimum fuss”.

If a good bake is more their bag, how about Nadiya Hussain’s Bake Me a Festive Story. A past winner of Bake Off, Nadiya reduced the judges to tears with her heartfelt triumph. Now bakers can follow her recipes and knock up their own treacle ice cream. Yum.

Home Sweet Home

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We all have those people in our lives who like to keep the perfect home and garden. Give them a perfectly inspirational gift – Mary Berry’s Mary’s Household Tips and Tricks. Berry continues to delight as the queen of bakes and in this book, she also offers her own take on how to run a happy (and no doubt), efficient home.

Science, Magic, & Mystery

Christmas always yields those favourite family films and near the top of many lists will be one from the Harry Potter series. So, if you know a fan why not treat them to: Harry Potter – A History of Magic. There are illustrations from the Harry Potter archives, manuscripts, and details about some of the weird and wonderful lessons taught at Hogwarts.

Fans of the The Da Vinci Code and other Robert Langden thrillers will be rubbing their hands together in glee with the notion of getting hold of the latest in the series. If you know someone who loves nothing more than debating the meaning of life, then put a copy of Dan Brown’s Origin in their Christmas stocking.

It’s All About Me

Have a close friend or relative who is rather nosy? Let them find out all about their favourite celebrity or someone they admire by giving them a copy of their autobiography. As usual, there are a lot due for release in the run up to Christmas. Sporting fans may like to spar with Bruno – Let Me Be Frank or rev it up with Jenson Button – Life to The Limit. If entertainment is more of their thing how about getting a smell of the country with Paul O’Grady’s Country Life or (hankies at the ready) George: A Memory of George Michael by Sean Smith, particularly poignant in light of his sad passing last Christmas.

For something slightly different consider gifting them Dawn French’s Me. You. A Diary. An insight into French’s own world via her own journal entries and space for the reader to record their own thoughts too.

Kids Rule

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As it’s Christmas, we cannot forget the kids. They will have electronics coming out of their ears by boxing day, so give them a good book they can unwind with. For laughs galore gift them David Walliams’s Bad Dad. Walliams continues to delight with his comic prose and his latest offering is no exception. Frank hatches a plan to spring his dad from prison so the stolen money can be returned. They just need to avoid the evil Mr Big as he tries to stop them from doing the right thing.

The Gift of Knowledge and Imagination

Books offer so much, they can take the reader to so many different places, allow them to explore new lands, meet new people and discover new skills, all from the comfort of their own home.

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