Christmas 2022: from Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us sequel to a Neil Gaiman special edition and more, ideas for books to gift
- Books still make great presents, and top choices this year include an Emily in Paris cookbook and TikTok star Colleen Hoover’s sequel to It Ends With Us
- Fantasy fans may appreciate a special edition of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, and royal fans a compendium of more than a century of Vogue images of British royalty
Books are an easy gift choice, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be fresh. There’s always a great selection around the holidays for a range of ages and interests. Here are some ideas.
Creature by Shaun Tan
It’s as if, Tan writes, “I need to throw the artistic pebble far across a pond of weirdness in order to see some meaning in the ripples …” Those words in the introduction of his new book speak volumes.
The artist, writer and filmmaker from Perth, Australia, has collected his dreamy, sometimes eerie paintings and drawings. Tan reflects at length on his childhood in thoughtful text.
Ugly-Cute by Jennifer McCartney
Is there beauty in just about anything? McCartney thinks so. She has put together a colourful look at “cuglies”: oft-underappreciated species both well known and obscure. Gaze upon the male star-nosed mole and its 22 pink, fleshy appendages in place of a face. McCartney has filled her little book with bite-sized facts and fun quizzes.
Africa in Fashion by Ken Kweku Nimo
The Ghanaian researcher and designer explores the complex role the continent plays in the global fashion worlds past and present.
He spotlights a new wave of African talent while looking back on vast textile, craft and embellishment traditions that are hundreds of years old. Nimo also delves into the potential of Africa as a luxury hub.
The Crown in Vogue by Robin Muir and Josephine Ross
Published for the late British Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, the book takes readers through more than 200 images of the British royal family from British Vogue magazine, starting from the early 20th century.
All the top royals have graced the magazine’s pages at one time or another, from the queen mother on to Prince Harry and Meghan. The book includes commentary, from writers including Evelyn Waugh and Zadie Smith.
Emily in Paris: The Official Cookbook by Kim Laidlaw
There’s lots of food porn in this book that is filled with 75 recipes inspired by the hit Netflix series. The photos of the show’s protagonist Emily (played by Lily Collins) within the pages will also no doubt get fans in the mood for season 3, which drops in December.
Remember Gabriel’s omelette? It’s in there. How about that moment Emily was struggling to pronounce un pain au chocolat? The tasty croissant is included, too.
The Pigeon Will Ride the Roller Coaster by Mo Willems
Author Mo Willems is back with another book in his series about the blue pigeon. This time around, we get a lesson in managing expectations, as our determined avian friend plots out the process of riding a roller coaster: buying a ticket, waiting in line, the possibility of the bad-tummy dizzies.
What he gets instead might surprise you. This book is great for kids aged three to five.
From Gay to Z by Justin Elizabeth Sayre
Sayre is not a historian. Instead, they (their chosen pronoun) are a playwright and performer who has turned their five-part stage show GAyBC’s into a compendium of gay culture.
Acknowledging they couldn’t cram the entirety of queer culture into one book, they do a pretty good job delivering quick snippets on everything from the Aids activist group Act Up to Franco Zeffirelli, the Italian film and opera director known for romantic and lavish productions.
Women Holding Things by Maira Kalman
True to its title, artist, designer and bestselling author Kalman’s latest book contains paintings and ruminations that feature women holding things together. A woman holds a baby. A woman holds court.
Kalman includes a painting of English writer Virginia Woolf, who’s “barely holding it together”. She writes of the book’s last image, a girl with pink balloons: “Hold on.”
It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover
Hoover has millions of fans on TikTok and elsewhere who eagerly awaited this sequel to her bestselling It Ends With Us.
Her latest story of a dramatic love triangle and a woman’s struggle against domestic abuse helped cement her status on TikTok and made her the most popular fiction writer in America.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, with illustrations by Chris Malbon
This dark urban fantasy from 1996 focuses on the dispossessed, as the reader is taken into London Below, a secret world that exists in parallel with the London we know. Gaiman wrote the novel after the BBC made it into a TV series.
He wrote in 2005 that the story’s goal was to move adults as he was so moved by Alice in Wonderland, the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis, and The Wizard of Oz as a kid. A special edition is available with a slipcase and a new introduction by author Susanna Clarke.
Ice Cold. A Hip Hop Jewelry History by Vikki Tobak
A photographic review of how hip hop helped redefine luxury with its over-the-top culture of bling. At the beginning, there was Run-DMC’s gold Adidas pendants and Eric B. & Rakim’s dookie rope chains and Mercedes medallions.
They were followed by the likes of Pharrell Williams, Jay-Z, Gucci Mane and Cardi B. There’s a foreword by Slick Rick and essays by A$AP Ferg, LL Cool J, Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “P” Thomas of hip-hop record label Quality Control Music.