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Outline by Rachel Cusk
After hearing rave review upon rave review about this book, I simply had to read it for myself. Wow, am I ever glad I did! Line after line, with prose that reads like poetry, this book will pull you in. With its tale of a British novelist teaching a summer course in Athens, and all the souls she meets along the way, Outline is one book among many I can't wait to share over the holidays.
Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush by Jon Meacham
George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, is an enigma to many, myself included—before I read this book. Pulitzer-Prize-winning Jon Meacham weaves a deeply compelling portrait of an exceptionally introverted man. Bush Sr. was the last of the gentleman's politicians, and I consider this brilliant biography a must for politics and history buffs—an absolute gem that might change the way you view the man and the nation he led through triumph and strife.
Nopi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully
As soon as holiday feasts are behind us, this is the first cookbook I will be taking down from my shelf. Ripe with incredibly creative vegetarian recipes and bold Middle Eastern flavours—the type of food famed restauranteur, and one of my favourite chefs, Ottolenghi, is known for—this cookbook is sure to be beloved by any foodie on your list. Plus, the photos will have your mouth watering.
Millie Marotta's Animal Kingdom: Deluxe Edition: Color Me, Draw Me
Colouring can be a wonderful way to calm the mind, and this book is such a phenomenal place to start. Within this beautifully bound hardcover book, you'll find hypnotic illustrations of fish, birds and mammals—animals that will stir the imagination and pluck at your heartstrings. Truly a collector's edition, this version of Millie Marotta's Animal Kingdom makes a wonderful gift for adults who love to colour or are interested in the practice of mindfulness.
The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris by Steve Martin, Cynthia Burlingham and Andrew Hunter
A friend re-introduced this book to me recently, and reminded me of the exquisite talent of Lawren Harris. A pioneer and artist extraordinaire, Harris coloured the way the world saw Canada in the 20th century. As a founding member of the renowned Group of Seven, his paintings reflected the sparseness and beauty of Canada's wilderness with a certain boldness that can hardly be described in words. Nature is presented as a powerful force, universal and sublime. Art lovers will certainly have this stunningly illustrated book in mind for the holidays. Once you open its cover, it's easy to see why.
Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson
If I had to choose one book for kids, this would be my number one pick for the holiday season. The work of acclaimed musician Robbie Robertson, this book is an incredible read and so beautifully illustrated. You'll want to read this one over and over with anyone who will listen—your child, grandchild, niece or nephew—but really, it's a book for people of all ages. Each page shares the richly empowering, uplifting and inspirational tale of Mohawk leader Hiawatha and his spiritual guide, the Peacemaker, who leads Hiawatha to unite tribes to forge a better future. Worthy of being passed down from generation to generation, this is a must read for everyone.
The Wonder Garden: Wander Through 5 Habitats to Discover 80 Amazing Animals by Jenny Broom
This is the most magnificent book about the magical world of animals. Through this gorgeous book, children on your list will discover five of the Earth's most incredible habitats, including the Amazon Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. See nature at its most beautiful with some of the most awe-inspiring illustrations I've ever seen.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling
The first time I saw this book I got chills. The intricate illustrations by the fabulous Jim Kay are the perfect complement to the brilliant writing of J.K. Rowling. Images of Harry and friends, Diagon Alley, Hagrid's house, the Sorting Hat and more look exactly as I first imagined them in the magical world of Harry Potter. For everyone who loved and loves Harry Potter, this collector's edition is one you'll want to re-read again and again.
Need more holiday ideas? Here are 10 emergency Christmas gifts that will get you out of any gift-giving bind.