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Gift Books: 10 editions that make perfect presents

Gift Books: 10 editions that make perfect presents

We’ve already shared our fiction picks for Christmas and now it’s time for some non-fiction treats. Whether you’re after modern poetry, a witty memoir or head-scratching quizzes, we’ve selected an assortment of books to suit every bookish taste.

The Twelve Dels of Christmas by David Jason

The new memoir from David Jason is the book equivalent of an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special. The Twelve Dels of Christmas delves into Jason’s life and work through a festive lens, revealing new stories and anecdotes to entertain and amuse. Full of the actor’s characteristic down-to-earth warmth, wit and wisdom, this is the perfect book for Del Boy fans. (Century)

The Game of Hearts by Felicity Day

Thanks to the likes of Bridgerton, readers and TV watchers alike have discovered a newfound love for Regency high society. But what of the real women behind the fictional tales of Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen? Through insightful letters, diaries and newspaper stories, Felicity Day invites readers into the fascinating – and often scandalous – world of six leading ladies, revealing the loves, losses and desires that shaped their lives. (Blink Publishing)

A Ukrainian Christmas by Nadiyka Gerbish & Yaroslav Hrytsak

Christmas is a time for celebration and embracing different cultures, beliefs and traditions. Which is why A Ukrainian Christmas feels like such a special book. It captures the spirit of the country’s rich and varied history, whilst introducing readers to its unique music, food and festive customs. At a time when Ukraine is still very much in our hearts and minds, this English language edition of the critically acclaimed book is a powerful reminder of hope and resilience. (Sphere)

Block, Delete, Move On by LalalaLetMeExplain

Smart, bold and feminist are just three words to describe this deep dive into the highs and lows of modern dating from anonymous Instagram sensation LalalaLetMeExplain. From recognising warning signs and toxic traits to navigating ghosting and gaslighting, this book empowers readers to spot trouble before its too late, as well as celebrating the power of self-love and being contentedly single too. Raw, candid and all too aware of the perks and pitfalls of romance and dating, it’s vital reading for all young women. (Bantam Press)

101 Dogs by Romy Blümel & Nicola Jane Swinney

If you’re not sure what to give the dog lover in your life this Christmas, 101 Dogs makes an ideal small gift or stocking filler. Complete with original illustrations by The New Yorker artist Romy Blümel, it’s a compendium of canine facts including details on shape, size, temperament and defining skills. From the pug to the poodle to the pekingese – and all the other wonderful breeds in-between – this invaluable little book deserves a place on any canine aficionado’s bookshelf. (Big Picture Press)

In Search of Perfumes by Dominique Roques

This beautiful hardback book from perfume expert Dominique Roques takes readers on a fragrant journey across the world from Andalusia to Somaliland by way of Bulgaria, Laos, El Salvador, Indonesia and Egypt. Detailing his passionate search to source the best natural ingredients for leading perfume brands, it reveals the traditions, techniques, beauties and mysteries of the trade. It’s also a history lesson filled with evocative descriptions of not just the scents and ingredients but the people who are part of the growing and manufacturing process too. A richly detailed and transportive piece of narrative non-fiction. (Mountain Leopard Press)

The Ministry of Quizzes by David Gentle

There are countless quiz and puzzle books to choose from, but if you want one that’s not only imaginative but is diverse in its questions and brain-teasers, then you should be adding David Gentle’s The Ministry of Quizzes to your gift list. This ultimate compendium offers questions and rounds to suit all interests and knowledge levels – making it essential for Christmas day and beyond. (Macmillan)

Once Upon a Tome by Oliver Darkshire

Every year there’s one book that calls straight to the hearts of bibliophiles and this year that book is Once Upon A Tome. Written with an earnest humour and offbeat charm, Oliver Darkshire’s bookish memoir draws readers into life at Sotheran’s Rare Books – one of the world’s oldest bookshops. It’s very much a love letter to antiquarian bookshops – the people who work in them, the people who frequent them, and the books that live in them. A complete delight from beginning to end. (Bantam Press)

Ignore It All and Hope It Goes Away by Nic Aubury & Moose Allain

Nic Aubury’s wry and perceptive collection of original comedic poems tackles the irritations and uncertainties of modern life. With sections on friends, work, love, adulting, ageing and so much more, it’s a dip-in-dip-out volume that never fails to raise a smile for how relatable it is. Accompanied by Moose Allain’s comic illustrations, this will make the ideal gift for anyone who’s allergic to self-help books. (David Fickling Books)

Night Sky Almanac 2023: A Stargazer’s Guide by Storm Dunlop & Wil Tirion

The seasonal almanacs are a perennial favourite for readers with an interest in nature and connecting with the world around us on a month-by-month basis. For astronomers – both budding and professional – there’s also the Night Sky Almanac, which offers a beautifully presented guide to stargazing. You can track the rhythm of the lunar phases and explore the constellations, whilst learning fascinating astronomical facts. It makes a lovely gift – but you’re just as likely to want to keep it for yourself. (Collins)

Read our fiction gift guide here.

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