2013 Reading ListHello, I hope you had a festive but calm weekend, they seem to be getting more crazed for some as the days of December slip away. We are managing to stay grounded and our tree was chosen and decorated while the mulled wined stayed warm on the hob, I am loving the reflection of the lights in the window of our bedroom.

This is my final gift guide of 2013. I adore books and am surrounded by all my favourites all of the time, piled high around me on tables, window sills and next to the bed, like a fortress of inspiration. I love to give and receive books, so here are the ones that have made my year – old and new.

Observer books – I am head over heels for these little guys, small enough to slip in a stocking or secretly into the coat pocket of someone you love, I picked up an astrology one for my husband the other day and he was made up with it, I have collected quite a few over the years.

The Green Kitchen – A recipe book I was given earlier this year and that is now stained with raw beetroot and freshly squeezed orange juice, as it has been in the splash zone while we have recreated many of the recipes inside. Happy healthy yummy fresh food. LOVE IT!

The Liberty Book of Simple Sewing – An inspiring collection of 25 simple home DIY projects for furnishings and accessories for adding a bit of Liberty print in to your life.

A Life Less Ordinary – Zoe Ellison and Alex Legendre have created a beautiful shopping and interiors experience with their beautiful Hove store i gigi, this, book is where they share their secrets and open their hearts as they describe their life’s journey so far, their inspirations, ideas and interiors. With stunning photography throughout and a natural palette of calm muted colours.

Gardening at Longmeadow – Monty Don is my new hero, since we moved here with two rather large gardens, I have been glued to gardeners world every Friday and any other programme Monty had hosted about gardens and gardening. His advise and love of the outdoors has really struck a chord and I am almost okay now with picking up worms, turning over compost and have embraced making stinky stinging nettle feed for my flowers. I want to know everything he knows!

Rachel Ashwell Couture Prairie – Pictures and words about Rachel’s bed and breakfast The Prairie in Texas. Her inspired finds, her imagination, eye for detail, beauty, comfort and function. Chapter by chapter, this book leads you through Rachel’s different spaces on the prairie, from the Ranger’s Lounge where hearty breakfasts are served, to the super cute Liliput Lodge. She has created her own village of houses and lodges dressed in shabby fabrics and vintage treasures. A dream destination for me to visit one day, but until then I have this book full of the magic she creates.

Modern Rustic – It was music to my eyes when I heard this book was in the works, I was frantic to get my hands on a copy, the modern rustic look celebrates building the layers the of a home. Rich textures, natural materials and the ‘ruggedly handsome’ bare bones of buildings blended with texture, pattern, muted neutrals or vibrant colours, beaten-up leather armchairs and brick floors. Great inspiration if like us, your furniture is old battered and loved, but needs to mix in with new, salvaged and other antique pieces.

trEATs – Over 50 edible savoury and sweet goodies to make for every occasion. From cookies to preserves, cakes to flavoured salts and even alcohol gifts, there’s something to suit everyone you know! If you like to give home made gifts to friends and family and lets face it edible gifts are always welcome, then this is the perfect Winter book. When the weather is foul, get baking making and sharing x

The Kinfolk Table – Collected recipes from all different cultures for every occasion. Shared suggestions for simple, slow and meaningful entertaining from Kinfolks growing community of chefs, home cooks, designers, bloggers, photographers and others. I love every page of this book, the photography and words are so beautiful, (the reason I never miss an edition of their magazine) and this hardback book with its simple grey linen cover that is already much loved, will undoubtedly end up battered and creased with recipe ingredients and pencil written notes on the pages within.

Chocolat, The Lollipop Shoes and Peaches for Monsieur Le Curé – The magical world Joanne Harris creates in her books captured my imagination and heart from the very first page when I opened Chocolat, and ever since I have been bewitched with this trilogy and most of her books. The characters, places and stories are so beautifully descriptive you can almost taste and smell what she is describing. Just brilliant.

I hope you have enjoyed this journey through my chosen books, do you have a favourite title you would like to share below? x

  • ann
    December 16, 2013

    I adore Joanne Harris’s books. She is such a wonderful storyteller and whose literary alchemy can transport you to such wonderful places with utterly compelling characters.

    December 17, 2013

    Great picks! I loved Modern Rustic.