Book Gift Guide

These last few weeks, you have probably been bombarded, just like me, with about a million gift guides. Not that I'm complaining. You know by now that I love a good gift guide and I've certainly done my part in the whole shenanigans. No, scratch that, I've actually done three parts: a stocking fillers gift guide (because who doesn't love buying beautiful useless crap,) a what to buy your mum gift guide (because you are running out of candles you haven't yet given her,) and finally one for your beloved dad (because, in the end, we both know he will end up with another pair of socks, but there's nothing wrong with that!)

| 1. Christmas Days-Jeanette Winterson |2. V&A: The Twelve Days of Christmas | 3. The Night Before Christmas-Nicolai Gogol | 4. Neverwhere-Neil Gaiman | 5. The One Hundred Nights of Hero-Isabel Greenberg | 6. Austen Vintage Classics | 7. A Room of One's Own-Woolf Vintage Classics | 8. Mrs Dalloway-Virginia Woolf | 9. Brontes Vintage Classics | 10. Pretty Iconic-Sali Hughes | 11. Bloom-Estee Lalonde | 12. Inside Vogue-Alexandra Shulman | 13. Women in Clothes | 14. Literary London | 15. The Bookshop Book-Jen Campbell | 16. Aimme's Perfect Bakes | 17. Classic German Baking | 18. Golden : Sweet & Savory Baked Delights from the Ovens of London's Honey & Co.| 19. Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook |

|1. The Essex Serpent-Sarah Perry | 2. Swing Time-Zadie Smith | 3. What is Not Yours is Not Yours-Helen Oyeyemi | 4. Fates & Furies-Lauren Groff | 5. The Good Immigrant-Nikesh Shukla | 6. Girl Up-Laura Bates | 7. We Should All Be Feminists-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | 8. Bad Feminist-Roxane Gay | 9. His Dark Materials-Philip Pullman | 10. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making-Catherynne M Valente | 11. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay | 12. Celtic Tales-Kate Forrester | 13. The Bombs that Brought Us Together-Brian Conaghan | 14. Illustrated Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets | 15. The Fox and the Star-Coralie Bickford-Smith | 16. The Book of Lost Things-John Connolly | 17. The Monstrous Child-Francesca Simon | 18. The Liszts-Kyo Maclear |

However the best gift you can buy for anyone you have to, is a good book, and that's it. I have been buying books for presents ever since I can remember. I was the lame child who would get their classmates books on their parties. Well, my parents did anywho, but I never opposed them, though I'd wish that just for once I would be the one to take the cool new Barbie with the coloured hair. Despite my hesitations by then, this habit of buying books as presents on any occasion has stuck with me, and frankly, I am really glad that it did. From my experience, you will find a book for everyone, even for those who never read books. Because, nowadays, there is so much variety and even books that are more like games than anything else. There are amazing graphic novels, and drool-worthy cookbooks and beautiful lifestyle books that you can dip in and out of. It's no wonder then that I will visit many bookstores around this season, trying to find the perfect gift for all my friends and family.

The gift guides above are indicative. I could have never fit in a graphic all the books I have had in my mind that would make perfect gifts. And yes, they're all in my wishlist if you're asking. Most of them I haven't read, so I can't review any of them, but they are all books that I think would make really exciting presents to any bibliophile out there.

Gift buying books, however, is not as breezy as it may sound. Sure, for some it may be, but I'm sure that many of you can relate to trying to find the perfect present. The key is to take into consideration what the other person likes, what their hobbies are and what their age is. Below, I have tried to categorise some books according to interests and types of people, so that hopefully, it will help you decide what to buy them.

For the One Who Is Always Reading

This is the person in your life who always got a book in their bag. They know what the shortlist of this year's Man Booker was, and they can tell you that they knew which one was going to win. They always seem to be the first ones to read the next big hits and they have strong opinions on every book they read. You just have to remind them that no, you haven't read Hot Milk yet, so please don't spoil anything.

For your bookworm friends, I would suggest you get them a book that has just been released and hopefully, they haven't had their mitts on them yet. How about Zadie Smith's new novel? I have also heard good things for Ali Smith's Autumn if you're feeling low after Brexit and everything else that seems to be going wrong in the world right now. As for me, I know I would love to get The Underground Railroad. It's already in my bag as a birthday present to myself. If you're not sure about buying them a new release, then you can find a beautiful new edition of a book they already love. For any Virginia Woolf fans, there are out now, six books of hers in the most amazing colourful covers. Same goes with Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. Your safest bet is besides looking online, to head to your bookstore and ask for the book you've got in mind. Perhaps there's a beautiful edition in a leather-look cover that will make the perfect gift.

Another tip, when buying presents for book lovers, or anyone really, is to spy on their bookcases. Obvious I know, but it could save you from buying them something they've already got. On the same note, make sure they haven't shared a wishlist somewhere. Take a peek at their Pinterest boards. Finally, check out if they've got a Goodreads page. Chances are, if they have one, then they also have a list of the books they want to read. If they do, then you're sorted.

For the One Who Loves Reading Fantasy

There are some people who place fantasy and/or sci-fi novels above all else. Granted, they love reading in general as well, but most times, you will see them buried deep inside a brick of a book, lost in a world of dragons and elves or demigods and monsters. These people can be tricky when buying presents for. They usually are quite particular with the type of fantasy they like and can often be disappointed. Make sure then that you keep tabs at the names of the authors they are reading. Perhaps you can buy something of their oeuvre. Of course, there are always the authors that you can't really go wrong with. Neil Gaiman, for example. Everything I've read of him; I've loved, dipped in mystery, wit and humour combined with a dark eeriness. I've loved Neverwhere, which is out now in a new illustrated edition, and American Gods, too, which is about to come out as a tv series, so perfect timing to get it to someone as a present!

I've talked before about my love for the Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, and personally, I would love to get anything by him. I love his fluid writing and his incredible world-building capabilities. Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind is also one that has been praised quite a lot in the fantasy cycles, as is Brent Weeks Black Prism. In my opinion, there are amazing YA fantasy books, too, that adults can ready perfectly fine but I will keep them in a separate category. Maybe some (I've no idea who these people are,) aren't excited to buy the screenplay of the Fantastic Beasts.

For the Ones Who Love Cooking and Baking

Well I bet this one is pretty obvious, but you see you can buy a book for an interest that doesn't have to do with reading. There are so many beautiful cookbooks out there you will surely find something that they will stain in no time. Be it Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook, an oh-so-trendy Hygge book, to the newest Bake-off book, the choices are endless.Have they been yapping about clean eating? Get them a smoothie recipe book or Madeleine Shaw's Ready, Steady, Glow. For me, it's all about baking, so I'd love Food 52's Baking book or to have Linda Lomelino's spectacular cakes in book form!

For the Ones who love Design and Art

You know who these are. They have a million boards on Pinterest dedicated to interiors. They love coffee table books. They follow blogs such as My Scandinavian Home and the Design Sponge. I can't blame them; my mum belongs to this category, and I'm slowly but surely, following in her footsteps. If they are obsessed with adding greenery in their homes, might I suggest Greenterior? If they also love looking at other people's homes, then there's a small but full of pretty images book called 100 Interiors around the World. But you get the idea. All these design books make amazing gifts, with their wonderful images and hardbacks. An all around win-win. For an art lover, you can find a book on their favourite artist. Taschen makes brilliant art, photography and fashion books. There's also the classic The Story of Art by Gombrich for those who love some theory to go with their art.

For The Ones Who Love Staying in the Know

Got a friend who is always discussing current affairs and seems to always know what is going on in the world to the point where he/she makes you feel completely ignorant and inadequate? Well, here are a few book recommendations for them. There's The Good Immigrant that appears to be the star of this year's Guardian's Best Books. The Another Day in the Death of America is one that they will probably want to read, as it deals with the very current issue of gun shootings in America. If they're more interested in history, there's A History of Britain in 21 Women, written by Jenni Murray of BBC 4's "Women's Hour". At the Existentialist Cafe, looks like it might be the perfect gift for all the Sartre and Camus' lovers out there.

For the Teenagers and Young Adults

Don't worry I promise they won't hate you forever if you get them one of these books. There are many categories of teenagers, with different tastes and likes so I'll try to break them down as much as I can.

If they Genuinely Love Reading

get them a novel. Ok, sure, I'll elaborate. There is some great fiction aimed towards teens right now. I've heard good things about Nina is not Ok, and Orangeboy has been shortlisted in the Children's category for a Costa Award. If they haven't read Malala's book yet, then they probably should. As do I.

If They Love Being Online and Have already Replaced Google Search with Youtube Search

Then you'll probably be safe, getting them a Youtuber book. Zoella's got three now I believe, Tanya Burr's got a new baking one and if they love Estee Lalonde's channel, then they'll probably love her book, too. If they love playing with makeup, then Pixiwoo's book will probably be right up their alley.

If They Love Fantasy,

why not get them the newest illustrated Harry Potter. Or they might enjoy reading the screenplay of the Fantastic Beasts film. If they love romantic triangles and hardcore female protagonists, then try Sarah J. Maas Throne of Glass series. The His Dark Materials Trilogy is always a great option in my eyes; ingenious and thought-provoking without lacking in the action department. Patrick Ness' Chaos Walking Trilogy is also critically acclaimed, and I can say that I've read the first book and enjoyed it much more than I do some adult books.

Something For Everyone

If you're not really sure what book to buy, I don't think you can go wrong with a humorous one. The Ladybird for Grown-ups have a book for pretty much anyone. There are also a gazillion colouring books out there by now, but make sure that the person you're buying them for will be calmed and not stressed by them. A travel coffee table book is something that anyone would love to have in their house. Personally, I'd love to have The New York Times: 36 Hours in Europe. I would also give anything to get my hands on The Wes Anderson Collection. I'm sure most fans of his work would.

But I'll stop babbling because I'm sure you're getting tired of me. Don't worry, I tire me as well. Hopefully, I have helped you find some great presents for your loved ones, or at least given you some ideas. Please let me know below if you'll be buying any books for Christmas if you're eyeing some for yourself or you've got any books to recommend to me. I would love to know your thoughts!

As always, thanks for reading!

xx, Mary

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