All the books to gift this Christmas from fiction to non-fiction, cookery and more

With the season of giving upon us, there is a serious flurry of new books hitting the shelves. Books are a fantastic Christmas gift, especially once you’ve narrowed down the field of interest for the person you’re buying for. In today’s post Margaret Hussey highlights fantastic book gifts to give this December from a host of genres. Whether you’re gifting a budding cook, someone who loves to escape into a novel or a memoir lover, Margaret has the perfect book gift in this wonderful round-up. And who knows, you might just find one or two to treat yourself with too.

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Cookery

One of our favourite Hollywood actors takes us on a very funny and touching journey through his Italian-American life, where everything revolves around eating. More memoir than straightforward cookery book, his sheer passion and joy for food shines through. And you get a few celebrities dropped in along the way – from Meryl Streep to Ryan Reynolds. 

Taste, Stanley Tucci, £20, Fig Tree 

Inspired by his YouTube series, Ramsay In 10 is fast food at its finest. The ten is ten minutes and there are 100 recipes to make mealtimes quick and tasty. Recipes include Welsh rarebit, chicken souvlaki and microwave sticky toffee pudding. 

Ramsay in 10, Gordon Ramsay, £25, Hodder & Stoughton

Flavour and punch is what you’d expect from an Ottolenghi book and this one has it by the bucketload. Ottolenghi shows how to make the most of what you’ve got in your store cupboard or fridge, and recipes include kale pesto strata and curried cauliflower cheese filo pie. It’s also a handy notebook for you to scribble ideas on. 

Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love, £25, Ebury Press

To tie in with her new BBC series, Mary Berry takes simple home cooking up a notch. With 120 recipes, including lemon limoncello pavlova and Kashmiri chicken curry, there are plenty of ideas to keep any family chef happy.

Love to Cook, Mary Berry, £26, BBC Books

With his inimitable style, Rick Stein shares the dishes he loves to make at home, with many inspired by the farmers, producers and seafood of Cornwall. Among others there’s crab omelette, Cornish mussels with cider and Apple Charlotte.

Rick Stein At Home, £26, BBC Books

The veteran food writer and cultural anthropologist takes us on an amazing culinary journey in this beautiful book. The 120 recipes cover everywhere from Roden’s birthplace in Cairo to Genoa, Nice and Istanbul. There’s haricot beans with clams, bean stew with chorizo and bacon and plum clafoutis.

Med A Cookbook, Claudia Roden, £28, Ebury Press 

In her first lifestyle book ET and Charlie’s Angels star Drew Barrymore takes us inside her kitchen to share recipes like yuzu eggs and harissa spaghetti. With beautiful photographs, taken by Drew herself, she highlights the importance of food and its links to wellness and mental health.

Rebel Homemaker, Drew Barrymore, £25, Ebury Press 

Memoir

Having travelled to more than 120 countries, affable adventurer Simon Reeve takes us to jungles, remote islands and dangerous corners. Reflecting on what travel has taught him, he discusses everything from fatherhood to his beloved dogs to grief.

Journey to Impossible Places, Simon Reeve, £20, Hodder and Stoughton

This has been Michaela Coel’s year, winning an Emmy and a BAFTA for the powerful series I May Destroy You. In this very personal book, inspired by her MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival, she looks at race, class and gender and shares stories about growing up in East London, discovering storytelling and a love for theatre.

Misfits, Michaela Coel, £9.99, Ebury Press

Dave Grohl is the kind of rocker you would love to bring home to your Mum – charming, funny, self-effacing. And a part of one of the most influential bands of the last 30 years. The road to success with Nirvana is well documented – as is the ending. Fame continued with Foo Fighters and his enthusiasm when writing about everyone from Iggy Pop to Rick Astley is infectious. 

The Storyteller, Dave Grohl, £20, Simon & Schuster

From the creation of the original Geezer on social media to selling out national tours, Mo looks back fondly at his childhood in South London, school, raving and the moment he realised he was famous. Now one of our most in-demand stars, he’s done everything from Celebrity Gogglebox to The Masked Singer UK, had a Netflix special and won a BAFTA.

That Moment When, Mo Gilligan, £20, Ebury Press 

The man with the biggest collars in comedy takes up back to his childhood in 70s Kent, where he would make smoke bombs and carve soap. And then documents how from being a doctor, he jacked it all in, started on the comedy circuit, before eventually being catapulted into primetime TV. 

Fight!, Harry Hill, £20, Hodder Studio 

Veteran Fleet Street music writer Lesley-Ann Jones looks at the loves of the flamboyant Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. They include Mary Austin, who inherited half his estate, and Jim Hutton. Even though it’s 30 years since he died, at just 45, Mercury’s legacy and influence lives on. 

Love of My Life, The Life and Loves of Freddie Mercury, Lesley-Ann Jones, £20, Coronet

Sport

Dead dying dafodil flower in moonlit graveyard.

One of football’s most erudite players, this is a fascinating read even if you are not a Manchester United fan. Among other things Schmeichel talks of his turbulent relationship with his alcoholic father, a Polish musician, who was asked to spy in the West. There’s also his musings on winning the treble and the influence of Alex Ferguson. 

One, Peter Schmeichel, £20, Hodder & Stoughton 

This brilliantly written book tells Dettori’s incredible story, no holds barred. From leaving Italy at just 14 to come to the UK, to nearly being killed in a plane crash, to a six months drugs ban, his life has been a rollercoaster. But at its heart the legendary jockey – who famously won seven races in one day at Ascot – shows his true love as being his family and horse racing. 

Leap of Faith, Frankie Dettori, £20, HarperCollins 

Growing up in an abusive family in a deprived part of Sunderland, Craig Bromfield tells how a chance encounter with legendary football manager Brian Clough changed his life. In this very moving story he shows how despite the gruff exterior, Mercedes-driving Clough always looked out for the underdog. Taking him and his brother Aaron under his wing, he showed them a side to life that they could never have imagined. 

Be Good, Love Brian, Craig Bromfield, £16.99, Mudlark

Fiction

This poignant tale sees Diana O’Toole, an appraiser at Sotheby’s in New York, whose life seems to be all planned out – until it is thrown a curveball by a pandemic. Alone in the Galapagos Islands, and with the world shutting down around her, she starts to assess everything. 

Jodi Picoult, Wish You Were Here, £16.99, Hodder & Stoughton, is out on November 25

The best-selling author is back with another thriller – and this time the suspect serial killer is a judge. Weaving his usual cat and mouse threads, there’s a whole heap of pace and tension. A must not just for hardcore Grisham fans but anyone wanting a solid, page-turning read.  

The Judge’s List, John Grisham, £20, Hodder & Stoughton

And finally..

They say that everyone has a book in them, but we never get the time to write it. Master Storytellers can take your grandmother’s, your aunty’s or even your own story and turn it into a memoir. With a team of writers, designers and editors the books come beautifully packaged and you can even book a celebrity photographer for your cover. A mini memoir costs £995 and a 70-page biography costs £2,800 with five copies. For more visit master-storytellers.com 

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imagery courtesy of publishers | feature image: Fig Tree, courtesy of publisher