Books worth Buying Friends & Family this Christmas!

The Christmas holidays are when I get 90% of my year’s reading done, and I can’t wait! I love buying books for friends and family for Christmas, it’s a chance to be choose really thoughtful gifts which will be enjoyed for days (if not weeks) beyond their unwrapping.

Icelanders have a beautiful tradition of giving books to each other on Christmas Eve and then spending the night reading, which I’d love to adopt for my family.


These are my picks!


For you

It goes without saying, right, every bride to be needs the little white book wedding organiser and diary!




I’ve been reading Estee Lalonde‘s blog for years, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Bloom, her first book. Estee talks style, beauty, travel, work and her life’s pleasures (including adorable dog Reggie)!

As a blogger, Estee is an inspiration, as someone with my own book, she’s absolute #goals (check out her book launch – mine is in two weeks!) but this book goes far beyond blogging – Bloom is about discovering who you are and how you interpret that through the lifestyle choices you make:

For me, the word “bloom” encapsulates the idea that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. It’s a word that hints at becoming who you are meant to be.

Aethetically pleasing, emotional and relatable.

For the foodie

Rick Stein’s Long Weekend is just what ever foodie needs for a long, delicious summer! Published to accompany his second series of the show, it’s a mouthwatering collection of over 100 recipes from ten European cities: Bordeaux, Berlin, Reykjavik, Vienna, Bologna, Copenhagen, Cadiz, Lisbon, Thessaloniki and Palermo!

I love the TV show and can’t wait to devour this book’s incredible recipes and vibrant fresh photos.

Just check out this food-porn…



For your girlfriends

I’ve been devouring two books for the last few months: Lauren Conrad’s Celebrate and Kate Hudson’s Pretty Happy and they’re the perfect books to gift your girlfriend or little sister.

Now that Lauren Conrad has gotten everyone all dressed up and looking their most beautiful with Style and Beauty, she gives them somewhere to go in this must-have guide to entertaining (which obviously suits me!).

Kate Hudson’s New York Times Bestseller is a beautiful book about taking care of yourself (something I’m always talking about). She says “This is a process, and my body is constantly changing. So is yours. And when I learned how to accept that I will always be like this, I relaxed. Our bodies do not stand still for time. When you understand yourself and connect to how you can become body smart, you realize pretty quickly that the perfect, the ideal is not the goal. Instead, the goal is feeling good in your body. That’s what leads to confidence, to feeling and looking fit, and being pretty happy. Doesn’t that sound great? I think so!

For your little sister

I’ve read two thought-provoking books recently that ought to be read by every girl in those awkward, formative teen years. Amy Schumer’s The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo makes you love her even more than you already did (impossible, right) a collection of confessional essays which both made me laugh and boosted my own self-esteem, I just wish I’d read it earlier.

For more (funny) feminism, see Reductress’s clever book How To Win At Feminism – wry self-aware satire, written in bite-sized magazine articles. They say:

Feminism is all about us women having each other’s backs. But more than that, it’s about setting an example for those who may not be as enlightened as yourself. After all, you’re not really a feminist unless you’re sharing a slice of feminism with all your gal pals and raising them up to your level… Femsplaining allows us to empower ourselves and other women at the same time, while throwing just a teensy bit of shade their way for being so basic.

It was very different from my expectations, very witty and satirical, funny and clever – I wouldn’t read it all at once, but it was fun to pick up and read on the plane!

For the beauty junkie

Both Pretty Happy and Bloom are great for beauty (and have you seen Lauren Conrad’s Style) BUT they’ve got nothing on Pretty Iconic!



As someone who ‘tries my hand’ at beauty blogging, Pretty iconic is a godsend! Full of beauty  wisdom, it breaks down over 200 iconic products that are among the best and most influential in the beauty world – past, present and future. While I’m usually reviewing the latest and greatest, it’s essential to look to the past, from the basics like Simple Face wipes to the best – like Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair (the best!)

For the man in your life


It doesn’t take a pilot to love The Flying Doctor, but love it Blair did! Misadventures, escapades and high jinks from a life of medicine, aviation and hunting, The Flying Doctor is the tale of Dave Baldwin – author of Healthy Bastards and well known and loved, and general all-round incredible Kiwi. Great buy for Dad, boyf or husband.

Blair’s a total war buff, so WAR: A History in 100 Battles was an easy choice – A history of warfare distilled into 100 momentous battles – epic moments that have shaped our world. In Richard Overy’s own words, Battle is not a game to plug into a computer but a piece of living history: messy, bloody and real.

Whatever else has changed over the last few millennia, that much remains the same.

It’s not my bag, but history/war readers will love it.

For you (thank me later)

Desire: 100 of Literature’s Sexiest Stories is just that, the sexiest book you’ll pick up this summer holiday. Mariella Frostrup, who put together the compilation, says erotic fiction could improve everyone’s sex life.


Strict mistresses, naughty maids, handsome gardners and disarming strangers, you won’t want to read this in Paper Plus… gift this book to yourself and put it on the bedside.

Now check out the little white book wedding diary and organiser, and head to the wedding planning index to get started with wedding planning!

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