“It’s the most wonderful time of the year …” says a famous song. But even this magic time comes with a difficulty for some of us (or most of us?) – the pressure of finding the most appropriate presents for our loved ones. How about offering a beautiful and fascinating book this year? I put together a list of 6 non-fiction books to help you find the present that will bring a lot of joy and happiness to the one receiving it.
§ Harry Potter: A History of Magic
Who would not like to receive a Harry Potter related book as Christmas present? I am a big Harry Potter fan and you can’t imagine the happiness on my face when I received this wonderful book as an unexpected present ❤
“Harry Potter: A History of Magic” is the official book of the corresponding exhibition from the British Library (London), an exhibition that celebrates the 20th anniversary of the publication of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone“.
The book presents in a very beautiful form the artefacts & all the other items displayed in London – it’s almost like visiting the exhibition from the comfort of your living room. Being structured into subjects taught at Hogwarts (for example: Potions, Charms, Astronomy, Divination), the book is rich in images and explanations, having also sketches and illustrations from the Harry Potter archive. It’s the perfect gift for Harry Potter fans, I can assure you of that!
§ The Secret Lives of Colour
If you’re looking for a beautiful and unusual book, “The Secret Lives of Colour” might be the one you’re looking for. I won this book after participating in a competition organized by RFI Romania and Baroque Books & Arts, and I am sure I would have bought it in case I was not the lucky winner!
In a nutshell, the book is a historical exploration of the world of colours, telling the stories of 75 shades and hues. Expect to be amazed by the peculiar tales about colours that you might have not heard of before.
If you have a friend who is passionate about design, painting, colours or simply likes to know “hidden gems” of history, that’s the book you have to look for! The Romanian edition was printed on 100% recycled paper, so this also makes it an eco-friendly present 🙂
§ Bloom: Navigating Life and Style
When my favourite youtuber, Estée Lalonde, published a book about her life, I knew her book was going to be the first biography that sparked interest for me. And so it was!
In “Bloom: Navigating life and style“, Estée presents her life from childhood to the present moment. Having moved from Canada to the UK when she was only 19 (she is now 27), Estée blossomed and she is now a freelancer and Youtube star.
This book is perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon when you just want to read something entertaining while sipping from a cup of tea. It contains many beautiful pictures that support the written stories and contribute to the feeling of going through a personal photo album. If you have a friend who watches Estée’s videos, this book is certainly the perfect Christmas gift!
§ Bad Girls Throughout History
Talking about Estée, I found out about this book from one of her videos and it immediately caught my attention. “Bad Girls Throughout History” by Ann Shen tells the stories of 100 remarkable women who changed the world, for example Marie Curie (first woman to win the Nobel Prize), Ada Lovelace (first computer programmer), and many other stories you might have not heard of before.
Not only that I like the idea of celebrating these women who were pioneers in their fields and challenged the status quo, but I also love the wonderful illustrations that explain what “bad” means in each woman’s case. You should also check out Ann Shen‘s website, her illustrations are gorgeous!
This book can be a great present for any person in your life, both boy/man and girl/woman. While the feminine side will get a boost of motivation and inspiration while reading about successful stories, I hope the book will also help the masculine side to appreciate and support the women close to them.
§ The Diary of a Bookseller
This is a book I first heard about from The Literary Edit, and just as Lucy said in her review: “as soon as I saw the cover, and read the brilliantly bookish blurb, I was sold“.
“The Diary of a Bookseller” by Shaun Bythell is about the author’s experiences as owner of Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop. He provides an inside look at how it’s like to be a bookseller, starting from book trade and eccentric customers to managing his own staff.
I personally have quite an idyllic image about the job of being a bookseller, I see it as a peaceful occupation, surrounded all the time by beautiful books. However, I am pretty sure in reality things are more complicated than it seems, and “The Diary of a Bookseller” might be a great educational tool for readers of all ages.
§ The Atlas of Beauty
“The Atlas of Beauty” by Mihaela Noroc is not a book per se, as it is officially a photography album. However, this collection of beautiful pictures does not only contain photographs, but also the stories of the women photographed.
Since 2013 Mihaela has travelled the world and took pictures of more than 500 women from over 50 countries. Her work celebrates beauty and diversity, as she photographed women in a wide variety of environments – starting from London city streets to markets in India and Amazon rainforests.
“The Atlas of Beauty” feels like a breath of fresh air in today’s world dominated by photoshopped images of beautiful women, and it offers an important lesson about the beauty of authenticity and diversity.
Latest news: Mihaela decided to donate all her earnings from the Romanian edition to help Magda, one of the women portrayed in the album. Magda needs an urgent surgery and at the moment she does not have enough funds to cover the medical expenses. More details here (in Romanian).
I really hope this post offered you some good ideas of presents you can buy for Christmas. What other books would you recommend offering as Christmas presents for the loved ones?
‘Till next time … happy reading and shopping!
PS: I was not sponsored in any way to write about these books. I chose to recommend them because I personally find them interesting and worth sharing.