Blogmas 2020 Book Recommendations

Good books for secreat Santa gifts.

Happy Blogmas day 5! So today I want to talk about Secret Santa. I’m quite lucky where I work because we all hate each other and so no one bothers planning anything like that but if you’re not so lucky and you do have to deal with this then I’m hoping this blog post can help! I’ve split this up into categories so hopefully you’ll find something. 

Food.

Cook, Eat, Repeat: Ingredients, recipes and stories.

By Nigella Lawson 

‘The recipes I write come from my life, my home’, says Nigella, and in this book she shares the rhythms and rituals of her kitchen through over fifty new recipes that make the most of her favourite ingredients. Dedicated chapters include ‘A is for Anchovy’ (a celebration of the bacon of the sea), ‘Beetroot and Me’, ‘A Vegan Feast’, a shout out for ‘Brown Food’, a very relatable ‘How To Invite People for Dinner Without Hating Them (or Yourself)’, plus new ideas for Christmas. 

Mary Berry’s Baking Bible

Mary Berry

This definitive collection from the undisputed queen of cakes brings together all of Mary Berry’s most mouth-watering baking recipes in a beautifully packaged edition. Filled with 250 foolproof recipes, from the classic Victoria Sponge, Very Best Chocolate Cake and Hazelnut Meringue Cake to tempting muffins, scones and bread and butter pudding, this is the most comprehensive baking cookbook you’ll ever need. Mary’s easy-to-follow instructions and handy tips make it ideal for kitchen novices and more experienced cooks alike, and full-colour photographs and beautiful illustrations will guide you smoothly to baking success. Drawing on her years of experience to create recipes for cakes, breads and desserts, Mary Berry’s Baking Bible will prove to be a timeless classic.

Sport.

The Furious Method: Transform your Mind, Body and Goals

Tyson Fury

From weighing twenty-eight stone and fighting a deep depression, to his amazing return to heavyweight champion of the world, Tyson opens up and shares his inspiring advice and tips on diet, exercise regime, and his incredible journey back to a healthier body and mind. Frank, accessible and inspiring, The Furious Method is a feel-good and motivating tonic, full of inspirational advice for readers on how we can all improve our physical and mental health. And how we can all create a champion mind-set. Whatever your starting point or past set-backs, Tyson will show you how you can make your own comeback and start living your life to the fullest – fighting fit, mentally restored, and stronger than ever.

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing: Life, Death and the Thrill of the Catch

Bob Mortimer (Author)  Paul Whitehouse (Author)

Two comedy greats talk life, friendship and the joys of fishing… Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse have been friends for 30 years, but when life intervened, what was once a joyous and spontaneous friendship dwindled to the odd phone call or occasional catch up. Then, Glory Be! They were both diagnosed with heart disease and realised that time is short. They’d better spend it fishing… So they dusted off their kits, chucked on their waders and ventured into the achingly beautiful British countryside to fish, rediscover the joys of their friendship and ruminate on some of life’s most profound questions, such as: How did we get so old? Where are all the fish? What are your favourite pocket meats? What should we do if we find a corpse? Following the success of the BBC’s Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing series, this wonderful book by two lifelong friends is a love letter to the joys of angling, the thrill of the catch and the virtue of having a right daft laff with your mates. On the fish, the equipment, the food, and the locations, Gone Fishing is the perfect book for fans of Bob Mortimer, Paul Whitehouse and for anyone who wants to read a brilliantly written and endlessly funny joint memoir on life, friendship and joys of fishing.

Comedy. 

The Secret Political Adviser: The Unredacted Files of the Man in the Room Next Door 

Michael Spicer

Just who is the secret political adviser calling himself The Man in the Room Next Door? No one knows. We don’t even know his name. But now the lid is about to be blown clean off, because the secret files of the world’s most influential* Political media adviser are published in this book. Packed with letters, memos, texts, tweets, emails, journal entries, leaked documents and crude doodles, these pages will reveal who The Man in the Room Next Door is and, more importantly, his thoughts on those who employ his services, including Donald ‘dangerous puffin’ Drumpf, Boris ‘posh motorboat’ Johnson and some of their least competent colleagues. This book is the evidence that anyone can be a world leader. Just as long as they’re wearing the right earpiece.

The Future of British Politics

Frankie Boyle

In The Future of British Politics, comedian Frankie Boyle takes a characteristically acerbic look at some of the forces that will be key in coming years, from Scottish independence and post-colonial entitlement to big tech surveillance and the looming climate catastrophe. Despite his fears that ‘soon the only red tape in this country will be across the finish line of the compulsory Food Bank Olympics’, he manages to locate some hopeful signs amid the gloom, reminding us that ‘despair is a moment that pretends to be permanent’. This brief but mighty book is one of five that comprise the first set of FUTURES essays. Each standalone book presents the author’s original vision of a singular aspect of the future which inspires in them hope or reticence, optimism or fear. Read individually, these essays will inform, entertain and challenge. Together, they form a picture of what might lie ahead, and ask the reader to imagine how we might make the transition from here to there, from now to then.

Novels.

The Thursday Murder Club: The Record-Breaking Sunday Times Number One Bestseller

Richard Osman

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders. But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Toshikazu Kawaguchi (Author)  Geoffrey Trousselot (Translator)

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a cafe which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time. In Before the Coffee Gets Cold , we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the cafe’s time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer’s, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know. But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the cafe, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . . Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s beautiful, moving story – translated from Japanese by Geoffrey Trousselot – explores the age-old question: what would you change if you could travel back in time? More importantly, who would you want to meet, maybe for one last time?

All these books can be found here on bookshop.org. I am an affiliate so that helps me as well as helping bookshops. 


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