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A gift of words

LAST week we looked at books for lovers of crime, sport and non-fiction.

But that’s just the beginning.

The range of cookbooks, for example,is mind-boggling. Dedicated cooks read them like novels and can’t get enough of the backgrounds, personal snippets and travels within, as well as the recipes. Some that will make the recipients’ mouths water are The Nordic Cookbook (Magnus Nilsson, $59.99),The Great n Cookbook ($49.95), Nopi: The Cook Book (Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully, $59.99), France (Luke Nguyen, $59.95), Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School ($49.99), and Tokyo Cult Recipes (Maori Murota, $45).

HANDY GIFT: Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School is, like just about any cookbook, a thoughtful Christmas gift. You can’t go wrong with a book.

While the Yates Garden Guide (44th edition, $39.99) is considered the gardener’s bible, there are a few other books around to whet their interest.Therapeutic Gardens: Design for Healing Spaces (Daniel Winterbottom and Amy Wagenfeld, $69.99) demonstrates how gardens can support learning, movement andreconciliation, and improve physical and psychological health. Cultivating Chaos – how to enrich landscapes with self-seeding plants (Jonas Reif et al, $59.99), and The Art of Gardening ($59.99), offer design inspiration and innovative planting techniques.

Young readers have a wealth of material to choose from: Graeme Base’s Eye to Eye ($26.99), Adelaide’s Secret World (Elise Hurst, $24.99), Jill & Dragon (Lesley Barnes, $24.99), Wombat Wins (Jackie French and Bruce Whatley, $24.99), Perfect (Danny Parker and Freya Blackwood, $24.95), Peter and the Wolf(Ayesha L. Rubio, $29.99), Where’s Jessie (Janeen Brian and Anne Spudvilas, $24.99),Bob the Railway Dog (Corinne Fenton, $24.95),The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party (Shannon and Dean Hale, $19.95), The Very Cranky Bear 5-book boxed set (Nick Bland, $49.99), and Enid Blyton’s The Enchanted Wood; The Adventures of the Wishing Chair; The Magic Faraway Tree ($29.95 each).

Teens also have a rich selection: Illuminae (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, $19.99), Red Queen: Obernewtyn Book 7 (Isobelle Carmody, $32.99),The Iron Warrior(Julie Kagawa, $19.99), The Boy At The Top Of the Mountain(John Boyne, $19.99), The Sword of Summer: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard (Rick Riordan, $22.99), andTinder (Sally Gardner and David Roberts, $14.99).

And stocking fillers? Cats:If it Fits, I sits ($22.99). Dogs: Dogs In the Air (Jack Bradley $29.99). Or the latest craze, colouring-in books: from Stephanie Holm’s Wildscapes($19.99) and Johanna Basford’s Lost Ocean ($24.99), to Harry Potter, Alice In Wonderland, Game of Thrones, Dr Who, Animal Kingdom, Cities, Snowflake Seashell Star, Cats, Sea, Art Deco – you name it, it’s there to be coloured in. There’s even Crap Colouring In by Joe Summer for the anti-colouring in brigade. And don’t forget to add colouring pencils.

But regardless of who you want to buy a book for, the best way is to enter a bookshop and immerse yourself in the richness of choice. And give yourself a few hours in which to do it. Who knows? You may find an alternative method to colouring-in books to achieve calm.

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