A Christmas gift guide… for the classic bookworms

Well, this is it! Saturday morning and time to get that Christmas shopping done! Before you get started, here’s one last guide – some of the literary classics for the bookworm in your life! Bonus? They can all be ordered online at Book Depository to arrive in time for Christmas!

Clockwise from top left…

1. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
What’s it all about? The classic teenage struggle against life and death and loneliness and isolation and all of the difficulties that come with those tumultuous years.
Buy it for: The one who’s had a rough trot.

2. On The Road by Jack Kerouac
What’s it all about? One of my favourite books of all time, Jack Kerouac’s semi-autobiographical piece is based on the travels he and his friends took across America which defined a generation, and continues to capture those of us with gypsy hearts even now, almost 50 years after it was published
Buy it for: The gypsy heart and wanderluster

3. Dracula by Bram Stoker
What’s it all about? It’s the classic Victorian horror tale about the vampire that inspired all the tales and movies to come. And it’s a classic for a reason.
Buy it for: The fantasty and horror buffs

4. Slaughterhouse5 by Kurt Vonnegut
What’s it all about? A satirical look at the experiences of the protagonist’s journey through World War II, told in flashbacks and memories
Buy it for: Anyone who’s seen a “everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt” tattoo and not known where the quote came from.

5. 1984 by George Orwell
What’s it all about? The original Big Brother – the classic dystopian tale of a society where nothing is sacred and nothing is secret.
Buy it for: The skeptics. And the optimists.

6. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
What’s it all about? This is another huge favourite of mine – it’s about Dorian Gray, a beautiful young man who wishes to stay that way. This isn’t about a piece of art, it’s about the evil within us all and the lengths we’ll go to to get what we want.
Buy it for: The one preoccupied with youth and beauty

7. Around The World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
What’s it all about? The premise of the story is quite simple: Phileas Fogg, an upstanding but eccentric English gentlemen makes a bet with his mates to the tune of, today, what is around £1.6 million (or just over AUD$3 million!) that he can travel around the world in exactly 80 days
Buy it for: The escapist.

8. Lillytales wooden bookmark
What’s it all about? These gorgeous wooden bookmarks are handmade in Melbourne, and they are the best accessory for a new book!
Buy it for: Everyone! Obviously!

9. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
What’s it all about? The romantic comedy with a sad twinge about a young woman with commitment issues in New York who’s just trying to find her way. Still quite relevant, despite being written over 50 years ago…
Buy it for: The one who doesn’t realise the movie was based on a book.

A Christmas gift guide… for the travellers

Happy Friday! Hope everyone is ready for the weekend Christmas shopping anarchy that’s about to hit… A little more help coming your way this morning, your gift guide for the travellers and explorers…

Clockwise from top left…

1. Scratch map
What’s it all about? A world map with a foil layer that can be scratched off to reveal the countries you’ve visited. Amazing! Available all over the place – Australian Geographic stores, Etsy, eBay, etc…
Buy it for: The visual record-keepers.

2. Mini globe & stickers
What’s it all about? I decided to take my scratch map idea to another level – I found this cute little globe for $7 at Kmart and bought a pack of stick on sparkles to lay over the cities I’ve visited. Awesome little piece to add to anyone’s bookshelf.
Buy it for: The travellers who like to decorate with their travels.

3. Notebook
What’s it all about? Pretty straightforward – I always carry a notebook when I travel, and I’d rather have  a pretty one! I picked this one up for $4 from Officeworks; Typo also have a lot of very cute ones around.
Buy it for: The travellers who like to record as they go.

4. Luggage tag
What’s it all about? Finding your suitcase on the conveyor belt is never fun – a colourful luggage tag is a no-brainer. I love the ones from Typo and have bought them for heaps of family and friends over the years.
Buy it for: The easily frustrated and impatient traveller.

5. Lonely Planet’s The World’s Best Street Food
What’s it all about? One of the best parts of travelling is experiencing all the different food. This is a part travel guide, part cookbook. It’s a great way to re-live the memories you’ve eaten, and it gets a lot of use at my house – the gozleme are a massive favourite!
Buy it for: The travelling foodie.

6. Lonely Planet’s The Travel Book
What’s it all about? It’s a classic for travellers – all of the places in one nifty little volume with all the basic information to get you motivated to pack your bags and visit Tunisia or Belize or New Caledonia…
Buy it for: Everyone!

A Christmas gift guide… for the foodies

So, I was watching Sunrise yesterday morning before work, and heard that this weekend is meant to be the BIG one for Christmas shopping, both online and in store. And while I’ve finished my Christmas shopping already (yes, I know, freak), I’ve been thoroughly enjoying all of the holiday gift guides that are popping up on my dashboard – because once Christmas is done, the birthdays continue, so the ideas are still much appreciated!

So just for funsies, I thought I’d also contribute to the 50,000 gift guides already circulating for the big weekend of shopping ahead! I’ll have a few over the next few days to help get you all sorted, but let’s start with a book list for the foodies – here are some of my favourite food-related books and cookbooks…

Clockwise, from top left…

1. I Quit Sugar: Simplicious by Sarah Wilson
What’s it all about? Healthy food, simple and essential, full of nutrients and low on sugar. It’s about making life easy for yourself, reducing waste and increasing sustainability by buying and cooking in bulk, freezing and preserving food, and using scraps.
Buy it for: The time poor, yet health and budget conscious.

2. Eating Well by Australian Women’s Weekly
What’s it all about? Shunning the bulls#!t diets and cooking with real foods, while catering for those of us with food intolerances (like the gluten and lactose intolerant) as well as those who’ve made special diet choices (like the sugar free and paleos).
Buy it for: Anyone who has special dietary requirements.

3. La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy by The Italian Academy of Cuisine
What’s it all about? I’ve had this book for years, and it’s one of my absolute favourites. It’s the most stunning and complete collection of Italian food from every part of the country, often with multiple recipes for the same dish, each with minor variations according to the different regions it’s made in.
Buy it for: Anyone who loves Italian food and doesn’t need photos in their recipe books.

4. T2 The Book by Maryanne Shearer
What’s it all about? By the brain behind T2, it tells the story of how the empire today came to be. Also, great tea infused and inspired recipes, tasting notes, and history.
Buy it for: Your favourite tea aficionado (or nanna)

5. L.A. Son by Roy Choi
What’s it all about? I bought this book while I was travelling in American last Christmas, and I absolutely bloody love it. It’s part memoir, part cookbook, detailing his life from childhood to the edge of his meteoric rise to foodie fame.
Buy it for: Your legitimate foodie friends and anyone who likes a good not-so-old-fashioned underdog story. And food.

6. Flavours of Melbourne by Smudge Eats
What’s it all about? A breathtaking photo documentary on Melbourne’s streets and laneways, with a focus on the food found around them. Lots of signature recipes, too, from Melbourne’s big names in food, like Gingerboy’s sesame crusted kingfish tataki, Chin Chin’s crying tiger, Chuckle Park’s pulled pork rolls and Caterina’s Cucina’s baccala con polenta fritta.
Buy it for: Anyone who loves Melbourne’s streets and laneways, street art and incredibly diverse food scene. It’s like the ultimate Melways with all the good stuff.

7. Mug Cakes by Leslie Bilderback
What’s it all about? 100 easy recipes you can throw together and cook in a matter of minutes. All you need is a coffee mug and a microwave.
Buy it for: Anyone who appreciates quick and simple, or is prone to having a bad day and looking for solace in cake.

8. CWA Classics by the Country Women’s Association
What’s it all about? All of the classics – the cakes and slices, biscuits and preserves, puddings and tarts. This is the ultimate baking bible, for me, and because it’s CWA, the recipes are all super simple and never-fail.
Buy it for: Classic cookbook collectors, those who have been baking for years, and those who are new to baking and likely to be intimidated by lengthy recipes.