For the Home Décor Enthusiast:
Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Inspirations and Beautiful Spaces, $35.00
Rachel Ashwell created a style of interior design that is accessible and comfortable while still being stylish and, well, chic. In her new book, Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Inspirations and Beautiful Spaces, Ashwell shares her inspirations and her humor, celebrates the charm of the old and battered, and demonstrates time and again how her interiors transcend fashionable trends, extending a calming, personal welcome to all. I think that anyone decorating will appreciate her celebration of the “perfectly imperfect.” I will be giving a copy to my mom, who decorated our entire house according to the doctrine of Shabby Chic.
For the Everyday Cook:
The Italian Country Table, $24.95
The Italian Country Table is a must-have for anyone’s cookbook library. The book is filled with authentic recipes that have been collected from all over Italy and adapted for the home cook. The recipes range from starters like Tuna Carpaccio and Tuscan Bean Soup to pastas like Lasagna al Forno and Gnocchi with Rocket Pesto. There are also plenty of rich and hearty meat and poultry dishes to try including Pork Loin Roasted with Rosemary and Garlic, Beefsteak with Arugula, and Devilled Grilled Chicken. Yum!
For the Man in Your Life:
The Perfectly Dressed Gentleman, $14.95
Robert O’Byrne’s The Perfectly Dressed Gentleman is an invaluable gift for both the seasoned dresser and fashion-challenged alike. It is chalked full of helpful tips on how to dress your best and accompanied by charming illustrations and interesting tidbits on fashion history. Every man should have this on his dresser.
For the Crafter:
Wild & Wonderful Origami, $19.95
I recommend Wild & Wonderful Origami for people of all ages that enjoy getting crafty. This book offers 35 creative projects and 50 colorful pieces of origami paper that will teach you how to make everything from zebras and monkeys to dolphins and sea turtles. With designs of varying skill levels, both parents and children can construct the origami creatures together during the holiday season.
For the Jet-Setter:
My Travel Notes, $19.95
Travel Notes Journal is the perfect companion for travelers during the holiday season or for those planning trips for the coming year. There are enough pages to record a whole year of adventures as well as space to store the contact details of people you meet, note the places you stayed and jot down recommended places to visit, plus blank pages for doodling on long journeys. It also includes a fold-out map of the world and time zones, plus specially designed checklists and information to help plan your trip.
For the Baker:
How to Make Bread, $27.95
How to Make Bread has already become an instant classic for the baking community. Bakers are raving about the recipes developed by author Emmanuel Hadjiandreou, Gordon Ramsay’s former head baker. The book outlines the basic steps to making delicious bread and allows the reader to build off of that foundation with more complex recipes that include sourdoughs, flavored yeasted breads, and pastries. In all, there are more than 60 easy-to-follow recipes housed in a beautiful package that any baker would be thrilled to have in his or her kitchen shelf.
Ryland Peters & Small – CICO Books