Most Beautiful Books of 2019 – A Holiday Gift Guide

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A Holiday Gift Guide

Most Beautiful Books of 2019

Welcome to my third holiday gift guide! In this post I review some of the most stunningly designed and physically beautiful books published during 2019, to help you find lovely gifts for your nearest and dearest – or even better, as a treat for yourself!

The books are all listed below, loosely sorted by genre, and any book with a star next to it has been visually reviewed in the video above. Links are also provided if you are interested in buying any of them yourself.

If you want to jump ahead, the subcategories include picture books & children’s literaturefictionfantasy & scifi, non-fictionHarry Potter, and Christmas books.

Children and the Young at Heart

Anatomicum Paxton cover

★ Anatomicum by Katy Wiedemann and Jennifer Z Paxton | Part of the Welcome to the Museum collection

A curated guide to uncovering the mysteries of anatomy, from the muscles we use to show emotion to the delicate workings of the brain. Oversized, with stunning artwork, fascinating for the whole family. 

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

Buy from Book Depository

Animalphabet Donaldson cover

★ Animalphabet by Julia Donaldson and Sharon King-Chai

A beautiful abecedarian animal guessing game for preschoolers, with peekaboo die-cut holes and clever hints hidden in the illustrations.

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

Buy from Book Depository

Alice in Wonderland paperscapes

Alice in Wonderland Paperscapes by Lewis Carroll, paper engineering by Selina Wood, illustrated by John Tenniel

This clever book displays the iconic Alice images in a series of intricate die-cut pages that form layered scenes. A beautiful decorative item.

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

For more Alice books, please also check out my extensive Alice library review…

Alice in Wonderland MinaLima cover

★ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by MinaLima | part of the Interactive Children’s Classics series

A stunningly illustrated and interactive edition of this children’s classic, including Alice with extendable legs and arms; the Cheshire cat with a pull tab that removes the cat and leaves the cat’s grin; and a removable map of the Looking Glass world, among other delights for Alice lovers. 

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

For more beautiful Interactive MinaLima Children’s Classics, also see the video series review…

FS ALice in Wonderland

★ Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Charles van Sandwyk

The Folio Society have just released this simply stunning edition illustrated by Charles van Sandwyk – it’s based on the limited edition that sells for thousands of dollars, and it has almost all the same gorgeous illustrations in a much more child-friendly size and pocket-friendly price. I have a lot of Alice books, and this is definitely one of my favourites.

→ Buy from Folio Society

Chris Colfer Land of Stories A Tale of Magic cover

★ A Tale of Magic by Chris Colfer | part of the Land of Stories series

The latest in Chris Colfer’s Land of Stories series – this edition has a beautifully illustrated hidden cover under the dust jacket that’s sure to please.

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

Guardians of Magic Riddell cover

★ Guardians of Magic by Chris Riddell | Book 1 of the Cloud Horse Chronicles

A stunningly and profusely illustrated magical quest in which three ordinary children, with extraordinary gifts, come together to defeat the enemies who threaten the mysterious cloud horses. 

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

Guess how much i love you 25th anniversary edition

Guess How Much I Love You (25th Anniversary Slipcase Edition) by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram

This anniversary edition of the story of Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare, who playfully vow a universe of affection, has been released in a lovely slipcased edition that also includes a framable print of the Nutbrown Hares.

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

knock three times wizards of once cressida cowell

Knock Three Times by Cressida Cowell | Wizards of Once book 3

Another rollicking adventure in the Wizards of Once series, the UK editions feature gilded hidden covers under the dust jackets and fabulously illustrated interiors.

→ Buy from Amazon (US edition)

→ Buy from Book Depository (UK edition)

Paddingtons Post cover

Paddington’s Post by Michael Bond, illustrated by R. W. Alley

An interactive novelty book based on the Paddington stories that explores Paddington’s new life in London after travelling all the way from Darkest Peru. It includes six envelopes that can be opened to find Paddington’s first letter to Aunt Lucy, a half-price voucher for his favourite buns, a birthday card and more.

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

prudence charlotte gastaut

★ Prudence and Her Amazing Adventure by Charlotte Gastaut

This lovely oversized picture book makes clever use of cut-outs and textured papers to create atmosphere as Prudence playfully dances through underwater kingdoms and plays in tropical forests as she goes adventuring.

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

Starfell Willow Moss Valente cover

★ Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day by Dominique Valente, illustrated by Sarah Warburton

The youngest and least powerful sister in a family of witches, who has a magical ability for finding lost things like keys or socks, suddenly has to help the powerful witch in the world of Starfell find a day that has inexplicably gone missing. Beautiful hidden cover under the dust jacket and lovely illustrations throughout the text.

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

The Boy the mole the fox and the horse charlie macksey cover

★ The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Macksey.

This gorgeous book is actually my top gift recommendation for the year. It’s the tale of four beloved friends who share a tender bond, with text and illustrations that remind us of what truly matters in the world. I think it will join those wonderfully profound children’s classics like Winnie the Pooh and The Little Prince. It’s a book of hope, a window into the heart, and a simply beautiful piece of art.

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

Heros Quest Jeffrey Love cover

★ The Hero’s Quest by Jeffrey Alan Love.

This lovely picture book is ideal for young fantasy lovers, as it is packed with vividly rendered dragons, wolves and sea-monsters.

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

House Without Windows Follet Morris cover

★ The House Without Windows by Barbara Newhall Follett, illustrated by Jackie Morris.

This enchanting lost classic was actually written by the author when she was only twelve years old, and it is a lovely fable about the beauty of the natural world – perfect for a middle grade lover of the outdoors. It’s beautifully illustrated in black and white, and is also a sweet read for adults – quite haunting due to the mysterious disappearance of the author in the 1930s at the age of just 25.

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

land of roar jenny mclachlan

The Land of Roar by Jenny McLachlan, illustrated by Ben Mantle

A pair of twins are drawn into a magical portal adventure to the dragon-filled Land of Roar. Lovely illustrated French flaps and illustrated end pages on the paperback.

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

★ The Little Mermaid and The Snow Queen by Geraldine McCaughrean, illustrated by Laura Barrett

If you are looking for a few fairy tale classics for a young person’s bookshelf, this new series features foiled covers and magical silhouette artwork by illustrator Laura Barrett. There’s also an interactive ‘pop-up and play’ version available.

→ Little Mermaid from Amazon (US)
Snow Queen from Amazon (US)
Pop-up & Play Snow Queen from Amazon (US)

→ Little Mermaid from Book Depository
Snow Queen from Book Depository
Pop-up & Play Snow Queen from from Book Depository

story orchestra swan lake cover

The Story Orchestra: Swan Lake by Katy Flint, illustrated by Jessica Courtney Tickle

A retelling of Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet of Swan Lake, where you push the button on each scene to hear the orchestra play a relevant part of the score. This is the fourth volume of a series that has been releasing one book a year since about 2016, the others covering Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and Tchaikovsky’s other fairy tale ballets Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. Normally I think these types of books are a little gimmicky, but the beautiful double page illustration spreads are lovely, and it’s a wonderful way to introduce classical music to young children, cleverly bringing different musical instruments, techniques and rhythms to life for a young audience.

→ Buy Swan Lake from Amazon (US)

→ Buy Swan Lake from Book Depository

strangers guide to talliston john tarrow

The Stranger’s Guide to Talliston by John Tarrow

Abandoned and alone, thirteen-year-old Joe’s world is shattered when he enters a deserted council house and becomes trapped within a labyrinth protecting the last magical places on earth. Get a signed copy from the magical house the story is based on, and you can find all sorts of other goodies, like a subscription to ‘letters from the labyrinth’.

→ Buy from Talliston House

wonders of nature hoare cover

★ The Wonders of Nature by Ben Hoare

This gorgeously illustrated storybook contains interesting facts and history along with fascinating myths and legends of of the natural world. The cover is foiled, the page edges are gilded and there is a bound in ribbon bookmark as well. There’s also an earlier companion in the series called An Anthology of Intriguing Animals if you’re looking for more.

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

thomas the tank engine awdry 75th anniversary

Thomas the Tank Engine (75th Anniversary Edition) by Rev Wilbert Awdrey

A beautiful nostalgic offering for young train fans, this lovely slipcased edition contains all 26 books from the series in a single volume with the classic illustrations.

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

tilly lost fairy tales anna james pages co 2

Tilly and the Lost Fairy Tales by Anna James | Book 2 of the Pages & Co series

On a wintery visit to Paris, Tilly and her best friend Oskar bravely bookwander into the land of fairytales to find that characters are getting lost, stories are all mixed-up, and mysterious plot holes are opening without warning. Gorgeous hidden cover under the dust jacket.

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

Fiction & Classics

★ ‘Liberty of London’ Special Editions of Contemporary Classics by Faber

These two special editions feature luxury British designer Liberty’s fabric-covered editions of Faber’s classic and groundbreaking contemporary works. Milkman by Anna Burns is covered in a new fabric design called ‘Small Town’, designed by Duncan Grant, while the cover design for The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath incorporates period fabric from the Liberty archives. These are really beautiful looking classics.

→  Buy Milkman from Book Depository

→  Buy The Bell Jar from Book Depository

★ Thomas Nelson’s new ‘seasons editions’ classics, featuring their first series focusing on Winter.

This series includes a selection of classics chosen to reflect the season in which the main part of the story occurs, so for winter we have Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte,  A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

↪ For a more detailed look inside these editions, also see the video series review…

★ Chiltern’s classics, new additions to the series.

These are beautifully crafted hardbacks with embossed and pearlescent covers, they fit really comfortably in the hand to read, and are printed on thick, creamy paper. The most recent books are the Adventures of Sherlock Homes by Arthur Conan Doyle, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, Northanger Abbey, Emmaand Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupery.

↪ For more about the books in this series, also see the Chiltern Classics series review…

boy swallows universe trent dalton limited gift edition

★ Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton

The pretty sparkly cover is a limited hardback gift edition of the ‘new Australian classic’ novel set in 1980s Brisbane, a dark tale of brotherhood, love and unlikely friendships. Another gorgeous hidden cover, along with decorative endpapers.

→  Buy Limited Gift Edition from Booktopia (AU)…

→  Buy standard US edition from Amazon…

→  Buy standard UK edition from Book Depository…

Jessie Burton The Confession cover

The Confession by Jessie Burton

A dual narrative story about three women, Elise, Constance and Rose. Elise and Constance are lovers in the 1980s, while in the present day, Rose seeks answers about her mother Elise, who left when she was a baby. A lovely book about mother hood and friendship. Beautiful cover and endpapers.

→  Buy from Amazon (US)…

→  Buy from Book Depository…

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

A story of love, family, sacrifice, and the power of place, set in small town Pennsylvania. A fascinating decades-long story about family.

The Waterstones exclusive edition is particularly pretty with has delft pottery stencilled edges, patterned endpapers and a bonus essay.

→  Buy Waterstones sprayed edge edition (UK)…

→  Buy standard edition from Amazon (US)…

→  Buy standard edition from Book Depository…

folio society phantom of the opera

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, illustrated by Taylor Dolan

The Folio Society edition of The Phantom of the Opera is perfect for the music lover, telling the story of the famous musical featuring mysterious goings on at a Paris opera house. It has a recent and very readable translation (David Coward’s 2012 translation) along with its gorgeous and bright illustrations.

→  Buy from Folio Society

Fantasy & Science Fiction

a court of thorns and roses collectors ed front

★ A Court of Thorns and Roses (Collector’s Edition) by Sarah J Maas

This collector’s edition is covered in generously foiled gilt designs. It comes in a black slipcase with a red ribbon pull, decorative metallic gold endpapers and a map that has been intricately and beautifully updated from the original.

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

For a more detailed look inside this and the companion volume, also see the video series review…

george martin game of thrones FS spread

A Game of Thrones (Folio Society Edition) by George R. R. Martin, illustrated by Jonathan Burton | A Song of Ice and Fire series

The Folio Society’s edition of A Game of Thrones is simply spectacular (although so is its price). Bound in three-quarter blocked cloth , spread over two volumes, printed in black & gold, with full page and double spread illustrations, illustrated chapter openers, house sigils, family trees, a separately bound fold-out map, and even the slipcase has a printed illustration inside it.

→ Buy from Folio Society

A Gathering of Shadows and A Conjuring of Light (Collector’s Editions) by VE Schwab | Books 2 and 3 of the Shades of Magic series

The Collector’s Editions of A Conjuring of Light features a ribbon bookmark, fan art, updated glossaries and new original short stories. The US and UK editions have different cover art.

→ Buy Gathering of Shadows from Amazon (US edition)

→ Buy Gathering of Shadows from Book Depository (UK edition)

→ Buy Conjuring of Light from Amazon (US edition)

→ Buy Conjuring of Light from Book Depository (UK edition)

folio society a hero born

A Hero Born by Jin Yong, illustrated by Ye Luying | Legends of the Condor Heroes

Another Folio Society release on my list, of a fascinating historical fantasy novel set in China, featuring a young hero trained in kung fu who has to face mythical villains and a cunning enemy.

→ Buy from Folio Society

Akarnae Lynette Noni special edition

Arkarnae by Lynette Noni

This is a special Australian edition of the first book in the Akarnae series, in which schoolgirl Alex finds herself stranded in a magical fantasy world called Medora.

→ Buy from Booktopia (AU) – signed editions available for a limited time

Robin Hobb Assassins Apprentice Illustrated cover

Assassin’s Apprentice (Illustrated Edition) by Robin Hobb, illustrated by Magali Villeneuve

This special edition was released to celebrate 25 years of Robin Hobb’s classic Assassin’s Apprentice featuring FitzChilvalry Farseer. It includes ten full-colour illustrations by Magali Villeneuve.

Buy from Amazon (US)

Buy from Book Depository

★ Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

The conclusion of the Nevernight Chronicles. Truedark approaches, and Mia, Ashlinn and Jonnen must undertake a perilous journey across the Republic. The UK hardbacks feature beautiful glossy animals hidden on the boards under the dust jacket.

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

★ Finale by Stephanie Garber

This year saw the final volume in Stephanie Garber’s delightful Caraval series released, aptly called Finale. My favourite edition is the UK one, which has a fantastic hidden cover with a gilt quote in swirling text on the cover.

→ Buy from Amazon (US edition)

→ Buy from Book Depository (UK edition)

Tamsyn Muir Gideon the Ninth

★ Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Honestly, the front cover blurb on this one will let you know if this is for you – it’s billed as “Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space”. Obviously it’s much more than that – the book tells the story of Gideon Nav, indentured-servant-turned-swordswoman of the Emperor’s Ninth House, and aforementioned necromancer Harrowhark. They have to prove themselves against the other houses by engaging in skeleton battles, solving spooky riddles and engaging in scientific experiments. It sounds like it would have a fairly niche audience, but it’s actually a lot of fun even if you’re not particularly into the genre. Also, the book design is excellent – first printings have black sprayed page edges and an embossed skull hidden on the boards under the dust jacket.

→  Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

★ Good Omens (The Definitive Occult Edition) by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Paul Kidby.

I really enjoyed the Good Omens TV series, and this is a lovely set of new editions illustrated by the wonderful Paul Kidby. My favourite of the bunch is the limited Occult edition – it’s expensive, but absolutely divine. There are still a few copies available from the illustrator and Discworld website if you’re quick… 

→  Buy Occult Edition from Discworld

→  Buy slipcased edition from Amazon

→  Buy slipcased edition from Book Depository

↪ For a more detailed look inside the Occult edition, also see the detailed video review…

bridget collins the binding uk cover

The Binding by Bridget Collins

A spellbinding story of enchantment, mystery, memory, and forbidden love. Waterstones has recently re-released their lovely purple sprayed edges edition if you like that sort of thing, which obviously I do!

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Waterstones (with purple sprayed page edges)

Rockport Time Machine HB cover

★ The Time Machine (Classics Reimagined) by HG Wells, Alessandro Lecis and Alessandra Panzeri

A science fiction classic, retold with stunning modern illustrations.

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

rockport jekyll and hyde

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Classics Reimagined) by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Tina Berning

A science fiction classic, retold with stunning modern illustrations.

→ Buy from Amazon (US)

→ Buy from Book Depository

Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke, illustrated by Allen Williams

Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun is a collaboration between Guillermo de Toro and Cornelia Funke. The book fleshes out the dark fantasy film from 2006, in which a fairy tale clashes with Spanish fascism as an 11-year old girl escapes from a war through a twisted labyrinth. In addition to amazing illustrations by Cornelia, the book also has additional short stories to flesh out the fantasy world. The hidden cover is particularly spectacular.

→  Buy US edition from Amazon

→  Buy UK Edition from Book Depository

Six of Crows  and Crooked Kingdom duology by Leigh Bardugo

A magical fantasy series set in a world loosely inspired by the Dutch Republic of the 17th century.

→  Buy Crooked Kingdom from Book Depository

→  Buy Six of Crows from Book Depository

↪ For a more detailed look inside these editions, also see the video series review…

Kiran Millwood Hargrave Deathless Girls

★ The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Deathless Girls is a gothic and atmospheric feminist retelling about the girls who end up being the brides of Dracula. It’s one of those ageless magical stories that about revenge, loyalty, sisterhood and trust. This is a lovely physical book, with stunning endpapers and a hidden gilded cover.

→  Buy from Amazon (US)

→  Buy from Book Depository

The End and other Beginnings cover

The End and Other Beginnings by Veronica Roth, illustrated by Ashley Mackenzie

This is a fun collection of novella-length stories set in the future, illustrated with great black-and-white artwork and a lovely hidden cover under the dust jacket.

→  Buy from Amazon (US)

→  Buy from Book Depository

★ The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman, illustrated by Paul Kidby | Book 2 of The Book of Dust

A sequel of sorts to the His Dark Materials series. Lyra is now a twenty-year-old undergraduate at St. Sophia’s College, her daemon Pantalaimon is witness to a brutal murder, and the dying man entrusts them with secrets that carry echoes from their past. The slipcased edition from Waterstones sold out before publication, but is still available secondhand.

→  Buy US edition from Amazon

→  Buy UK edition from Book Depository

→  Buy slipcased edition (OOP) from Abes

erin morgenstern starless sea waterstones dust jacket

★ The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

This one is a story of magic and subterranean libraries. The Waterstone’s exclusive is still available with decorative sprayed page edges and a selection of hidden covers under the dust jacket if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary.

→  Buy the Waterstone’s exclusive edition…

→  Buy the standard UK hardback edition from Book Depository

→  Buy the standard US hardback edition from Amazon (US)

★ Wayward Son by Erin Morgenstern

Wayward Son is the delightful sequel to Carry On, and it’s a about ‘what happens to the Chosen One after he saved the day’. Waterstones released a really special edition with fabulous sprayed page edges and hidden cover that match Baz’s suit. It’s sold out now, but they occasionally turn up on the second hand market.

→  Check availability of the Waterstone’s exclusive edition (OOP) on Abes…

→  Buy the standard UK hardback edition from Book Depository

→  Buy the standard US hardback edition from Amazon (US)

deluxe lotr sketchbooks hobbit alan lee

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Sketchbooks by Alan Lee

These richly illustrated books celebrate in words and pictures the beautiful work that award-winning artist Alan Lee produced for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings, and includes dozens of brand-new paintings and pencil drawings.

→  Buy the Deluxe Boxed Set of both books from Amazon

→  Buy The Hobbit Sketchbook from Book Depository

Non-Fiction & Reference

1000 places to see patricia schultz cover

1000 Places to See Before You Die (Deluxe Edition) by Patricia Schultz

This photographic journey through some of the most beautiful places to travel around the world was first published in 2003, and revised in 2015, but this latest ‘deluxe edition’ is a large oversized volume that features beautiful new photographs for each of the thousand places listed in the book. Perfect for anyone in your life with wanderlust, or rather ‘wanderlove’ as the author calls it.

→  Buy from Amazon (US)…

→  Buy from Book Depository…

Atlas Obscura 2nd ed Foer cover

Atlas Obscura, 2nd Ed by Joshua Foer, Ella Morton, Dylan Thuras

The second edition of Atlas Obscura was released this year, and it’s another oversized monster filled with unusual, curious, bizarre and mysterious places on Earth. It even has a full-color gatefold road trip map with a dream itinerary to tempt the travellers in your life.

→  Buy from Amazon (US)…

→  Buy from Book Depository…

booked kreitner cover

★ Booked by Richard Kreitner

A travel guide for the literarily minded, exploring eighty real-life iconic literary locations around the globe with photographs and maps, ranging from Paris and the Hunchback of Notre Dame, to Central Park and the Catcher in the Rye, to Forks and teen vampire sensation Twilight.

→  Buy from Amazon (US)…

→  Buy from Book Depository…

literary places sarah baxter cover

Literary Places by Sarah Baxter, illustrated by Grimes

Another literary travel guide, but in this case it looks at fewer locations in greater detail, and is illustrated with hand-drawn artwork.

→  Buy from Amazon (US)…

→  Buy from Book Depository…

★ Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez

This fascinating book provides a startling perspective on the unseen design bias at work in our everyday lives – from phones that are too big for the average woman’s hands, to the fact that women are almost 50% more likely to be seriously injured in a car accident due to safety features being designed for the average male body. It’s a brilliant analysis of gender bias, filled with a wealth of data. I have the UK hardback edition – currently out on loan, so unfortunately I can’t show it here – but it has a clever hidden cover design based on male and female silhouettes.

→  Buy US edition from Amazon (US)…

→  Buy UK edition from Book Depository…

Poems to fall in love with chris riddell cover

★ Poems to Fall in Love With by Chris Riddell

A gorgeously illustrated collection of classic and modern poetry celebrating love in all its guises, from silent admiration to passion to tearful resignation. 

→  Buy from Book Depository

→  Buy from Amazon (US)

★ The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson has written many brilliant and hilarious armchair travel books, but this time the journey is through the human body. The book is highly educational and full of fascinating anecdotes and trivia. 

→  Buy from Amazon (US)…

→  Buy from Book Depository…

the secret life of books tom mole cover

★ The Secret Life of Books by Tom Mole

The author of this volume is the director of the Centre for the History of the Book, and it’s a perfect book for bibliophiles – it’s about how books and readers have evolved over time, and how books transform us.

→  Buy from Book Depository

→  Buy from Amazon (US)

WW2 Infographics cover

★ World War II Infographcis by Jean Lopez et al

For the history buff, this is a fascinating history of World War II, told entirely through visually stunning infographics.

→  Buy from Book Depository

→  Buy from Amazon (US)

Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Illustrated Edition) by JK Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay

A massive volume, but filled with gorgeous illustrations and a lovely set to keep collecting. There are also the (much more expensive) fabric bound limited editions which come with prints and other goodies for the passionate collector.

→  US edition from Amazon or Book Depository

→  US Limited edition from Amazon or Book Depository

→  UK edition from Book Depository

→  UK Limited Edition from Book Depository

harry potter cursed child journey cover

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: The Journey by JK Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay

For theatre folk who are interested in how the show was developed, this heft tome covers details from crafting the story, to the team of artists and actors who brought the story to life. Lots of photographs and interviews and notes about the production.

→  Buy from Book Depository

→  Buy from Amazon (US)


Childrens Literary Christmas British Library cover

A Children’s Literary Christmas anthology by the British Library

My top affordable Christmas pick for the year is the British Library’s Children’s Literary Christmas. This collection of Christmas stories, prose, songs and poetry is arranged into twenty-four seasonal chapters of adventures, festive traditions, tales of elves, snowmen and reindeer, fairytales, folklore and family fun. It includes both Christmas favourits like Charles Dickens Kenneth Grahame, and Ezra Jack Keats, alongside charming, but more edgy, contemporary voices.

→  Buy from Amazon (US)…

→  Buy from Book Depository…

Letters from Father Christmas Tolkien Deluxe

Letters from Father Christmas (Deluxe Edition) by J.R.R.R Tolkien

This gorgeous collection of Tolkien’s classic Father Christmas letters written to his children between the 1920s and the 1940s contains brand new high-quality digital reproductions of his amazing letters and pictures, including a number of them that have never been printed before, beautifully bound and encapsulated in a delightfully decorative slipcase.

→  Buy from Amazon (US)…

→  Buy from Book Depository…


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