Gift Guide

We have prepared a gift guide to help you find the perfect present for your loved ones. Click on the categories below to jump straight to that section.

Gifts for Art Aficionados

How to Enjoy Art
A Guide for Everyone

Ben Street

Debunking the pervasive idea that specialist knowledge is required to understand and appreciate art, instead How to Enjoy Art focuses on experience and pleasure, demonstrating how anyone can find value and enjoyment in art.

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The Story of the Country House
A History of Places and People

Clive Aslet

The fascinating story of the evolution of the country house in Britain, from its Roman precursors to the present.

“The 223 pages can be read in one gripping sitting and create a desire to rush off and visit the many houses mentioned.”—Jeremy Musson, Country Life

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John Craxton
A Life of Gifts

Ian Collins

Uplifting and engaging, this story recounts the life and career of a rebellious 20th-century British artist.

“This beautifully produced book is a feast for the eyes and senses”—Ysenda Maxtone Graham, Daily Mail

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The Bloomsbury Look
Wendy Hitchmough

An in-depth study of how the famed Bloomsbury Group expressed their liberal philosophies and collective identity in visual form.

“[A] fascinating study [and] beautifully illustrated with images of paintings, decorative arts and clothing designs, plus a wealth of previously unpublished photographs.”—Victoria Marston, Country Life

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David King
Designer, Activist, Visual Historian

Rick Poynor

Exploring an unjustly overlooked figure in 20th-century British visual culture.

“Gives access to a wealth of material I had never seen, lovingly curated and meticulously reproduced.”—Marker Porter, Eye

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Young Bellini
Daniel Wallace Maze

A revisionist history of the early life and career of Renaissance artist Giovanni Bellini.

“Full of dazzling archival discoveries and sensitive observations of paintings.”—David Young Kim, University of Pennsylvania

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Gifts for History Buffs

The Man Who Saved MI6

Helen Fry

The dramatic story of a man who stood at the centre of British intelligence operations, the ultimate spymaster of World War Two: Thomas Kendrick

“A remarkable piece of historical detective work.”—Saul David, The Daily Telegraph

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The Making of Oliver Cromwell
Ronald Hutton

A pioneering account of Oliver Cromwell—providing a major new interpretation of one of the greatest figures in history

[Hutton] is incapable of writing a dull sentence . . . No one can read this book without coming away with their understanding of Cromwell deeply enriched.”—John Adamson, The Sunday Times

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Mission France
The True History of the Women of SOE

Kate Vigurs

The full story of the thirty-nine female SOE agents who went undercover in France

“Gripping . . . these are three-dimensional tales of failure and betrayal, as well as heroism and bravery.” — BBC History Revealed

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Going to Church in Medieval England
Nicholas Orme

An engaging, richly illustrated account of parish churches and churchgoers in England, from the Anglo-Saxons to the mid-sixteenth century

“Christmas is the time of year when people are most likely to attend divine service, and Going to Church in Medieval England . . . tells us how they did it 800 years ago.”—Simon Heffer, The Daily Telegraph

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The Dissolution of the Monasteries
A New History

James Clark

The first account of the dissolution of the monasteries for fifty years—exploring its profound impact on the people of Tudor England

“A stunning achievement.”—Tracy Borman

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The Story of Work
A New History of Humankind

Jan Lucassen

The first truly global history of work, an upbeat assessment from the age of the hunter-gatherer to the present day

“Full of colour, surprise and human warmth,”—Simon Ings, The Daily Telegraph

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Gifts for Literature Lovers

100 Poets
A Little Anthology

John Carey

A wonderfully readable anthology of our greatest poetry, chosen by the author of A Little History of Poetry.

“Does anyone know more about poetry than John Carey? Almost certainly not.”—The Times

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A Little History of Poetry
John Carey

A vital, engaging, and hugely enjoyable guide to poetry, from ancient times to the present, by one of our greatest champions of literature.

“[A] fizzing, exhilarating book.”—Sebastian Faulks, Sunday Times, London

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How the Just So Stories Were Made
The Brilliance and Tragedy Behind Kipling’s Celebrated Tales for Little Children

John Batchelor

A fascinating, richly illustrated exploration of the poignant origins of Rudyard Kipling’s world-famous children’s classic.

“A scrupulous and poignant account of how love and loss inspired the Just So Stories”—Kathryn Hughes, The Guardian

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The Craft of Poetry
A Primer in Verse
Lucy Newlyn

A wonderfully accessible handbook to the art of writing and reading poetry—itself written entirely in verse.

“A wonderfully refreshing approach . . . Every one of these pieces shines with vigour.”—Rowan Williams

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The Quick and the Dead
Selected Stories

Mairtin O Cadhain, Louis de Paor

A collection of the finest stories from the Irish author of The Dirty Dust, published fifty years after his death

“Every sentence is packed with explosive power, not a word wasted, and the whole is almost unbearably moving.”—Hilary Mantel

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Invisible Ink
A Novel

Patrick Modiano, Mark Polizzotti

The latest work from Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano, Invisible Ink is a spellbinding tale of memory and its illusions.

“The city of light is marvellously evoked, a metropolis dense with mystery, teeming with ghosts from its often wilfully forgotten past.”—Hephzibah Anderson, The Observer

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Gifts for Musos

The Life of Music
New Adventures in the Western Classical Tradition

Nicholas Kenyon

A personal, celebratory account transforms our understanding of how classical music is made—and shows us why it is more relevant than ever.

“Nicholas Kenyon is an amiable and enthusiastic guide to a thousand years of classical music.”—Neil Fisher, The Times

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The Piano
A History in 100 Pieces

Susan Tomes

A fascinating history of the piano explored through 100 pieces chosen by one of the UK’s most renowned concert pianists

“A book that should appear on every pianophile’s wishlist”—Michael MacMillan, Pianist

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The Classical Music Lover’s Companion to Orchestral Music
Robert Philip

An invaluable guide for lovers of classical music designed to enhance their listening experience to the full.

“A crisp, compendious and penetrating account of virtually every well-known piece of orchestral music the listener could hope to hear.”—Nicholas Kenyon

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A Biography

Roger Nichols

An authoritative account of the life and work of Francis Poulenc, one of the most prolific and striking figures in twentieth-century classical music.

An assured overview of Poulenc’s life and work.”—Alex Ross, New Yorker

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The Letters of Cole Porter
Cliff Eisen
and Dominic McHugh

The first comprehensive collection of the letters of one of the most successful American songwriters of the twentieth century.

“[A] gorgeous book”—Roger Lewis, Daily Mail

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Play It Loud
Instruments of Rock & Roll

Jayson Dobney and Craig Inciardi

Play It Loud celebrates the musical instruments that gave rock and roll its signature sound—from Louis Jordan’s alto saxophone and John Lennon’s Rickenbacker to the drum set owned by Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, Lady Gaga’s keytar, and beyond.

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Gifts for Nature Enthusiasts

Drawn to Nature
Gilbert White and the Artists

Simon Martin
With an introduction by Sir David Attenborough

The natural world as seen through the eyes of British artists including Eric Ravilious, Clare Leighton, and John Piper.

“Rarely is [the Revd Gilbert White’s] essential Englishness understood, but it comes across church-bell clear in the superb Drawn to Nature.”—John Lewis-Stempel, Country Life

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How I Became a Tree
Sumana Roy

An exquisite, lovingly crafted meditation on plants, trees, and our place in the natural world, in the tradition of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass and Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

“Sumana Roy has written—grown—a radiant and wondrous book.”—Robert Macfarlane

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Nature Inside
Plants and Flowers in the Modern Interior

Penny Sparke

The story of how plants and flowers have shaped interior design for over 200 years.

“Highly accessible and a thoroughly good read”—Katie Dutton, Gardens Illustrated

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Blooming Flowers
A Seasonal History of Plants and People

Kasia Boddy

An evocative and richly illustrated exploration of flowers and how, over the centuries, they have given us so much sustenance, meaning, and pleasure.

“This joyful, elegant study of how poets, philosophers and politicians have seen meaning in various types of flowers . . . is a tour-de-force.”—Iona McLaren, The Daily Telegraph

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Nature’s Giants
The Biology and Evolution of the World’s Largest Lifeforms

Graeme D. Ruxton, Norman Owen-Smith

A beautifully illustrated exploration of the science behind the awe-inspiring giants of past and present.

“A menagerie of modern organisms that will make any reader do a double-take.”—Riley Black, Wall Street Journal

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The Long, Long Life of Trees
Fiona Stafford

A lyrical tribute to the diversity of trees, their physical beauty, their special characteristics and uses, and their ever-evolving meanings.

Elegant, engaging, impeccably written and packed with interest.”—John Carey, Sunday Times

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Gifts for Politicos and News Junkies

Time for Socialism
Dispatches from a World on Fire, 2016-2021

Thomas Piketty

A chronicle of recent events that have shaken the world, from the author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

“Thomas Piketty’s personal journey from liberalism to socialism, at a time when socialism was in retreat, is a mark of the man’s ethos but also evidence of the soul crushing inhumanity of our post-2008 hypercapitalism.”—Yanis Varoufakis

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The Will to See
Dispatches from a World of Misery and Hope

Bernard-Henri Levy

An unflinching look at the most urgent humanitarian crises around the globe, from one of the world’s most daring philosopher-reporters

“A passionate, engaged book that combines philosophy, war reportage, and autobiography to explore the creation of a brilliant and brave mind.”—Salman Rushdie

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The Fall of the Soviet Union

Vladislav M. Zubok

A major study of the collapse of the Soviet Union—showing how Gorbachev’s misguided reforms led to its demise

The best narrative of the Soviet Union’s end we have so far.”—Vladimir Pechatnov

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The Final Edition

Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein

An updated and refreshed edition of the groundbreaking book that shows how people can be nudged toward decisions that will improve their lives.

“Few books can be said to have changed the world, but Nudge did. The Final Edition is marvelous: funny, useful, and wise.”―Daniel Kahneman

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Kashmir at the Crossroads
Inside a 21st-Century Conflict

Sumantra Bose

An authoritative, fresh, and vividly written account of the Kashmir conflict—from 1947 to the present.

“For those who want to understand Kashmir’s “ground truth,” this is the place to start.”—Teresita Schaffer, former U.S. diplomat

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This Is Not Normal
The Politics of Everyday Expectations

Cass R. Sunstein

How our shifting sense of “what’s normal” defines the character of democracy.

“Sunstein is admirably alert to the fragilities of liberal democracy.”—Lawrence Douglas, Times Literary Supplement

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Featured image: Photo by Szabo Viktor on Unsplash

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