Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi ($37.95)
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a glut of gorgeous cookbooks on offer and if that’s your kind of thing then you’ll already know about Ottolenghi’s brand of iconic, gorgeous fare. This is a reprint of the classic 2008 cookbook and recovers those 140 recipes along with a new introduction. I literally have no space in my kitchen for more cookbooks, but a cull is due soon and – who knows? – this one might eventually find its way onto the shelves…
Together is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration by Simon Sinek ($24.50)
If you find it difficult to buy books for the business/entrepreneurial person in your life, I will recommend this title from best-selling, big-brained Simon Sinek. If you’re not familiar with his work, you’ll get a great taste from his couple TED Talks (Google them), but I like this one better.
Feeding Hannibal: A Connoisseur’s Cookbook by Janice Poon ($44.80)
Fans of the Hannibal television series (including myself) have been anticipating this release for a while. Janice Poon was the food stylist for the show, crafting gourmet meals and dazzling set pieces. Along with recipes, this contains insights and stories from the show, the kind of trivia I love to read.
The Princess Diaries by Carrie Fisher ($26.95)
When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager.
Fisher is a terrific writer. Teenage diaries are often well-intentioned but exorable texts best left alone (well, mine are) but I can see the potential in Fisher returning to hers, to speak from her wealth of experience with her customary humour and empathy. Definitely on my list.
Runner: A Short Story About a Long Run by Lizzy Hawker ($21.25)
I love a good running book. Born to Run is the top of my favourite pile, followed by Murakami, and I’m always up for trying another. I’m not sure why they appeal so much – perhaps because the better ones provide the writer an opportunity to use narrative archetypes (‘the journey’, the ‘humble person surpassing expectations’, the ‘hero’ etc) to great effect without becoming cliche because each tale is different. If 100 people line up to run the same race, there will be 100 experiences.
Trail runners, in particular, will enjoy this offering from Hawker, Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc winner and 100K Women’s World Champion.