Reading list

10 books to inspire creativity this Christmas

How better to spoil the artistic souls in your life this yuletide than with the gift of a book to reveal their creative side?


Johanna's Christmas by Johanna Basford

This unabashedly festive selection of gorgeous illustrations to colour in might be the ultimate present to buy yourself. Shading the colouring-book queen Johanna Basford’s pretty gingerbread houses and Christmas trees will keep you calm and creative during the festive season, and each of the thirty-seven prints can be pulled out and framed as unique crafty gifts.


Walk Through Walls: A Memoir by Marina Abramović 

Serbian-born, NYC-based performance artist Marina Abramović has had a truly incredible life. This beautiful, intimate memoir spans Abramović’s fifty-year career, taking in her early work as an art student in 1970s Belgrade and her long collaboration with fellow conceptual artist Ulay. The joys and rigours of a life lived in the pursuit of expressive art are all here, and all inspiring.



Nadiya's Kitchen by Nadiya Hussain

There wasn’t a dry eye in the Bake-Off tent when the nation’s cookery sweetheart Nadiya Hussain mille-feuilled her way to victory. In this, her first cookbook, Nadiya’s delectable array of family favourites with an international twist will inspire even novice cooks to unleash their culinary creativity and get busy with the baked goods.


Life on Instagram

Demonstrating the unique artistry of the filtered and cropped phone photo, this glossy compendium of some of Instagram’s finest imagery, taken all over the world, is guaranteed to thrill the photography fan in your life. The first annual of its kind, Life on Instagram celebrates captured moments and the wonder of the way we live now.


V&A: The Very Arty Box by V&A

The gift that will quite literally stay with you all year – this box, especially designed to inspire would-be artists, designers and writers – contains fifty-two beautiful postcards: one for every week of 2017. From make-and-dos and creative writing prompts, to book-cover art and iconic pieces from the V&A collection, this gift really will set imaginations free.


Set the Boy Free by Johnny Marr

A must-read for any musician or music-lover, this much-anticipated autobiography by the immaculately coiffured Smiths guitar hero and all round musical legend Johnny Marr charts the excesses and exhilarations of a rock and roll existence, including Marr’s early life as a teenage rockstar and his famously bittersweet relationship with bandmate Morrissey.



The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

Bring some light and happiness to a loved one with this charming book on how to introduce the Danish concept of hygge into your own life. With comfort food recipes, home decor and clothing ideas, as well as a special chapter on having a hygge Christmas – this sweet little book will bring creativity into your home this winter.


Doctor Who: Dot-to-Doc

For the creative Whovian in your life there are hours of fun to be found in this Doctor Who-themed, join-the-dots bonanza of a book. With portraits of every incarnation of the Doctor, as well as Rose, Stella, a Dalek and many more, these highly intricate dot designs will allow young and old alike to experience the pleasure of drawing with zero actual art skills. 


Rick Stein’s Long Weekends by Rick Stein 

The recipient of this lush, beautifully photographed cookbook will be inspired to great creativity in the kitchen, with the chance to whip up all manner of decadent and exotic dishes. That same lucky recipient will also be transported far from the chilly British winter, with more than 100 recipes from Rick’s fabulous travels around Europe, as seen in the TV series.


The Official Outlander Colouring Book by Diana Gabaldon

For fans of Diana Gabaldon’s novels and/or the popular TV series, this unique adult colouring book will carry you away to the eighteenth century as they colour. With intricate illustrations of tartan-clad characters, historical costumes and rugged Scottish landscapes, this book is for anyone in need of an instant art attack.



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