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christmas books

Ideas for Christmas




atlas obscuraAtlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Most Unusual Places – Joshua Foer, Ella Morton, Dylan Thuras

Anyone can be a tourist.
With its compelling descriptions, hundreds of photographs, surprising charts, maps for every region of the world, Atlas Obscura is a book to enter anywhere, and will be as appealing to the armchair traveller as the die-hard adventurer.  
Atlas Obscura revels in the weird, the unexpected, the overlooked, the hidden and the mysterious. Every page expands our sense of how strange and marvellous the world really is.

Inside are:  Natural wonders the dazzling glowworm caves in New Zealand, or a baobob tree in South Africa that's so large it has a pub inside where 15 people can drink comfortably.  And Mind-boggling events, like the Baby Jumping Festival in Spain, where men dressed as devils literally vault over rows of squirming infants. Not to mention the Great Stalacpipe Organ in Virginia; Turkmenistan's 40-year hole of fire called the Gates of Hell, a graveyard for decommissioned ships on the coast of Bangladesh; eccentric bone museums in Italy, or a weather-forecasting invention that was powered by leeches, still on display in Devon, England.


straight upStraight up: The insiders' guide to the world's most interesting bars and drinking experiences Joel Harrison & Neil Ridley

A travel book with a difference!  Here we have access to the world's experts to help you choose the coolest and most interesting bars, wherever you find yourself in the world!

Straight Up is a carefully curated collection of insider tips that will allow you to discover the best drinking spots around the globe.From a 10-seat basement bar in Tokyo, to classic hotel-bar glamour and a glitzy rooftop poolside bar in Milan, this book contains everything you need to drink in style, brought to you by the locals in the know. Spirits experts Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley have gathered a team of expert contributors among the world's bartending community to nose out the most interesting and characterful experiences.  Straight Up also includes lots of features on signature cocktails, the low-down on star bartenders, and even 'A Day Drinking in...' with the perfect city itinerary.


carveCarve: A Simple Guide to Whittling – Melanie Abrantes

Carve modernizes a mindful hobby that people have turned to for generations to help them slow down, relax, and connect with the outdoors.

Choose from a dozen projects with bespoke details, all are designed to be useful at home or while camping – a beautiful spoon, a comb, a pair of dice - and because these objects are small, they require only a few hours and a tool or two to complete.  You'll also learn how to choose the right knife and wood, helpful information on techniques and safety, and tips for refining, personalizing and maintaining your piece. 

Best cookery

much more vegRiver Cottage: Much More Veg - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall  Putting dairy and refined foods to one side, this is a new collection of foolproof delicious recipes.  Many of these dishes are also gluten-free and require less tthan 20 minutes to prepare

feastsFeasts - Sabrina Ghayour  A new collection of delicious, aromatic Middle-Eastern dishes.  Designed with big family and friends celebrations in mind, Ghayour offers recipes for summer banquets and brunch, all packed with flavour and zest

grow cook nourishGrow Cook Nourish: A Kitchen Garden Companion in 500 Recipes - Darina Allen Growing your own food is exciting but, when it comes to knowing how to make the most of your produce, it can be daunting. In Grow, Cook, Nourish, bestselling author Darina Allen draws on more than 30 years of experience gardening at Ballymaloe to take you through an extensive list of vegetables, herbs and fruits. Each entry includes explanations of different varieties, practical information on cultivation, growing and maintenance, plus instructions for the best ways to cook produce as well as preserve and utilise a glut.




pachinkoPachinko - Min Jin Lee Beginning in Yeongdo, Korea 1911 and ending in Japan in 1988 Pachinko follows the story of Sunja and her family who follows a man she barely knows, to a hostile country where she has no friends and no home. An epic saga


manhattan beachManhattan Beach - Jennifer Egan Opening in Brooklyn during the 1930s Great Depression, Manhattan Beach's main character Anna Kerrigan grows up to work at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that had always belonged to men. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. Page-turning suspence

sixteen trees sommeThe Sixteen Trees of the Somme - Lars Mytting  Edvard grows up on a remote mountain farmstead in Norway with his taciturn grandfather, Sverre. The death of his parents, when he was three years old, has always been shrouded in mystery - he has never been told how or where it took place and has only a distant memory of his mother. His desperate quest to unlock the family's tragic secrets takes him on a long journey - from Norway to the Shetlands, and to the battlefields of France - to the discovery of a very unusual inheritance

last paintingThe Last Painting of Sara de Voz - Dominic Smith An utterly gripping story set between 17th century Holland, 1950s Manhattan and 2000s Sydney, following a trail of art, forgery and deception.




munichMunich - Robert Harris  September 1938, Hitler is determined to start a war; Chamberlain is desperate to preserve the peace.  The issue is to be decided in a city that will forever afterwards be notorious for what takes place there, Munich. As Chamberlain's plane judders over the Channel and the Fuhrer's train steams relentlessly south from Berlin, two young men travel with secrets of their own. Hugh Legat is one of Chamberlain's private secretaries; Paul Hartmann a German diplomat and member of the anti-Hitler resistance. 

houseThe House - Simon Lelic  Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago.  It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it. So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake, because someone has just been murdered outside their back door.



The Dry - Jane Harper Luke Hadler is accused of murdering his wife and son before committing suicide, but as Aaron Falk, policeman and childhood best friend, begins to delve deeper, he questions the truth of his friend's crime.


spook streetSpook Street - Mick Herron The 4th thriller in the Jackson Lamb series.  River Cartwright is consigned to Lamb's team of pen-pushing no-hopers at Slough House.So it's Lamb they call to identify the body when Cartwright's panic button raises the alarm at Service HQ. And Lamb who will do whatever he thinks necessary, to protect an agent in peril.



inner life animalsThe Inner Life of Animals: Surprising Observations in a Hidden World – Peter Wohlleben  We humans tend to assume that we are the only living things able to experience feelings intensely and consciously. But have you ever wondered what's going on in an animal's head?  Mother deer that grieve; Horses that feel shame; Squirrels that adopt their grandchildren.  From the leafy forest floor to the inside of a bee hive, The Inner Life of Animals takes us microscopic levels of observation to the big philosophical, ethical and scientific questions. We hear the stories of a grateful humpback whale, of a hedgehog who has nightmares, and of a magpie who commits adultery; we meet bees that plan for the future, pigs who learn their own names and crows that go tobogganing for fun. And at last we find out why wasps exist. 

secret life owlThe Secret Life of the Owl – John Lewis-Stempel  In this vividly written and beautifully illustrated book the author not only explores the many legends surrounding the owl, but also its deeply rooted history


secret life cowThe Secret Life of Cows – Rosamund Young  With a collection of observations about the domestic cow, this book takes us through a day in their life - from playing hide and seek to blackberry picking and chewing the cud.


choiceThe Choice – Edith Eger  In 1944, sixteen-year-old Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. There she endured unimaginable experiences, including being made to dance for the infamous Josef Mengele.  Over the coming months, Edith's bravery helped her sister to survive, and led to her bunkmates rescuing her during a death march. When their camp was finally liberated, Edith was pulled from a pile of bodies, barely alive. In The Choice, Dr Edith Eger shares her experience of the Holocaust and the remarkable stories of those she has helped ever since.



 Click here for recommendations for children and teenagers/young adults



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