What’s On The Bookshelf: Books your loved one will treasure this Christmas
Our friends at the Emirates Literature Foundation are making your holiday shopping a little easier for the bibliophiles on your Christmas Gift list…
With the holiday season upon us, gift-buying is no doubt on everyone’s mind as we all go in search of that perfect present for friends and family.
Books remain a timeless option, great for gift receivers of any age, and excellent for people with a wide array of interests, and the person in your life who already has everything. Of course, choosing the right one isn’t always easy…
Luckily our friends at the Emirates Literature Foundation have more than a few suggestions. So read on and let the gift-buying suggestions come to you.
Draw with Rob by Rob Biddulph
Illustrator Rob Biddulph is the Internet sensation behind the Draw With Rob YouTube channel, where he taught thousands of people how to draw cute little characters during the lockdown. This short activity book contains the spirit of all those fun and easy-to-follow lessons, but with the added bonus of extra illustrations and guides, making for a fun and colourful experience for anyone looking to get away from screens for a while.
While all Biddulph’s books are targeted towards kids, they’d make an excellent gift for people of any age, especially if they’re interested in art, illustration, or on the lookout for a stress-relieving hobby.
Nadiya Bakes by Nadiya Hussain
Great British Bake Off winner-turned-TV-superstar Nadiya Hussain returns with another cookbook, this time celebrating her baking skills as she lays out recipes that will work for everyone, whether you’re a hesitant beginner or a seasoned expert. From cookies and cakes to puddings and pastries, Hussain is able to make even the most intimidating dish feel completely approachable.
Similar to her Netflix series with the same name, the book is the perfect treat for anyone looking to get into the kitchen or perhaps even level up their pre-existing baking skills as part of their upcoming New Year’s resolutions.
Dickens and Christmas by Lucinda Dickens Hawksley
If re-reading Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is part of your loved ones big Christmas traditions, then this book is perfect. Written by one of Dickens’ direct descendants, the book explores the beloved author’s relationship with the holiday and the way he sometimes centred it in his work.
It’s ideal for any readers looking to learn how Dickens would have celebrated Christmas in his own life — and especially at the height of his fame — and how his writing has gone on to impact how people celebrate the holiday worldwide. It’s easy to follow and full of fascinating facts and will make a great addition to any home library.
Rabbit Hole by Mark Billingham
While Billingham’s latest novel isn’t a part of his ever-popular Tom Thorne book series, it is a fast-paced, standalone thriller, which makes it the perfect gift for anyone looking to dive into one last book before the end of the year or someone who is simply a fan of a good mystery. The novel is set in a psychiatric ward, where former police officer Alice Armitage is trying to work out who is trying to kill her fellow patients — in case they decide to come for her next.
Billingham is in top form with Rabbit Hole as he deftly blends a compelling and tightly plotted mystery with a healthy helping of humour that will keep readers on the edge of their seats and chuckling all the way through.
The Garden by Sean Michael Wilson and Fumio Obata
Reading is a pleasant escape from the pressures of everyday life and Wilson and Obata’s graphic novel is a prime example of that. It tells the story of a woman named Joanna, who takes a break from her fast-paced job at a finance firm and travels to Japan in search of meaning.
Once there, she discovers the art of meditation and Zen gardening, both practices she attempts to bring back with her as she attempts to continue her journey towards healing and maintaining inner peace. Wilson’s writing is quiet and graceful, gently spurring the narrative onwards, while Obata’s manga-inspired style is lush and elegant, capturing Joanna’s growing unease and dissatisfaction, as well as her growth and eventual path towards happiness.
Where Hope Comes From by Nikita Gill
Most people recognise Nikita Gill from her popular Instagram poems, but her latest collection of poetry is an absolute must-have. This is for anyone looking to feel recharged and motivated for the year ahead, or simply hoping to find a silver lining of the here and now.
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Drawing on her own feelings in the early stages of the pandemic, Gill has crafted a beautiful ode to the human spirit and its capacity to rise to challenging times. While the collection works as a whole and can be easily read in one sitting, each poem also works on its own, allowing for long pauses where readers can savour them. A perfect stocking filler that’s destined to charm even the most reluctant poetry readers.
How to Spend a Trillion Dollars by Rowan Hooper
Money may not make the world go round, but it could solve a lot of its problems — at least that’s what Rowan Hooper hypothesizes in his latest book.
Hooper considers some of the biggest issues affecting our world today and explores solutions together with experts in the field, to draw up a plan for how humanity could succeed. It’s an educational and eye-opening read from one of the best science writers working today, written in a tone that is clear, engaging and easy to follow. Great for anyone who prefers to read non-fiction or is looking for ways to get involved in making this world a better place for all of us. After all, this is the season of giving!
If you enjoyed this bookish feature on holiday gifts by Nivea Serrao, Website Content Manager at Emirates Literature Foundation, check out more of her reviews on this blog. You can listen to the latest episode of the Boundless Book Club for recommendations on the Best Books of 2021 from the Foundation team and local author, Annabel Kantaria. You can also follow the team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep up to date with Festival news and Foundation events.
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