In addition to all the great fiction available this year, there is also a pretty great selection of new non-fiction from which to choose. Which is excellent, because, as you well know, some avid readers are not so much into the made-up. Therefore, here are ten factual books that will make jolly good Christmas presents for your favourite info-fiends.
Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty – WAS R329, NOW R269. SAVE R60
Across multiple cultures, and with some longevity, the image of a monk consistently conjures a sense of inner peace, calm, acceptance and devotion to higher principles… things we could all do with achieving a little more fully. As it turns out, it is not as difficult to incorporate these things into our daily lives as we might initially think. And it doesn’t have to involve packing it all for an ascetic lifestyle.
Influential vlogger and podcaster, motivational speaker and former monk, Jay Shetty, created something of a sensation with this book of distilled and accessible teachings. Think Like a Monk has been an essential staple of the top ten bestsellers for some months now.
The application of timeless wisdom to contemporary concerns is not necessarily a new idea, but an author who has explored both in equal measure certainly doesn’t came along all that often. The teachings of many hermetic routines can sound complicated and abstract. Think Like a Monk brings these concepts into sharp and practical focus. Whether you are hoping to overcome negative habits, conquer your anxiety, foster better relationships or realise your greater purpose, Shetty’s new book will help you build the skills to do so.
A Promised Land by Barack Obama – WAS R599, NOW R389. SAVE R210
Speaking of sensations, it’s hard to imagine that Obama’s first volume of presidential memoirs won’t be remembered as the book event of the year – much as his wife’s memoir, Becoming, was.
“The first black man to be president of the USA” is an epithet that will forever guarantee his status as icon and history-maker. But posterity still has a great deal upon which to decide. Until then, we might hear from the man himself.
The first volume of Barack Obama’s presidential memoirs begins as such biographies tend to: with a young person finding themselves and taking the first steps on a historic road. With surprising candour and enthralling detail A Promised Land charts Obama’s political education, the moments that most defined him and the challenges and triumphs of his first term in office.
But policy and international diplomacy are not the only areas digested. Obama is also open about the challenges he faced as a black man expected to usher in a new era of “hope and change”, about the crises in self-faith prompted by high-stakes decisions, and about how the White House affected and shaped the lives of his daughters and his wife.
By and large, A Promised Land is an intimate and powerful testament to a particularly Obam-ian assertion: that democracy is a function of empathy and understanding, is not given, and must be worked for and upheld every single day.
Obama is also a surprisingly gifted writer, which is just one more thing that makes his memoir completely unignorable.
7 Ways by Jamie Oliver – WAS R449, NOW R369. SAVE R80
Alright, what sort of kitchen-loving foodie is not thrilled to get the newest Jamie Oliver book for Christmas? That’s right, none of them!
Reinvention has long been at the heart of Oliver’s approach to food and cooking. When he first appeared on televisions, farther back now than any of us has business remembering, he sought to take the pretention out of good cooking, taking culinary art back from the snobs and the old-fashioned. Now, 7 Ways, strives to keep great food both accessible and surprising.
Taking everyday ingredients, such as chicken breast, eggs, mushrooms, mince and potatoes (among others) and giving us whole new ways to prepare them – without increasing the stress or the cost – 7 Ways is just the thing to revitalise your interest in meal times.
Traybakes, freezer-friendly batches and exciting (more affordable) alternatives to takeaway treats… there’s something here to suit every kitchen and every cook.
Featured recipes include:
Cheat’s Fish & Chips
Sausage & Mash Pie
Thai Red Aubergine Curry
Sesame Roast Chicken
Sticky Ginger Beef
Flavour by Yotam Ottolenghi – WAS R599, NOW R549. SAVE R50
Sticking with flavour-fiends, Ottolenghi is another of those cookbook series that are never not exciting. Their gorgeousness and visual opulence make each and every one of them a dead cert when it comes to finding gifts for the enthusiastic cook.
Flavour is a book that seeks to reveal secrets… and rest assured, prior to opening up Ottolenghi’s newest, you will likely have had no idea how much flavour is hiding in even the most humble produce.
Flavour has less to do with telling you what to cook than it does with how to cook and how to get the best out of ingredients that are so often overlooked.
A book ideal for those really looking to elevate their cooking to the next level, and to uncover new reservoirs of flavour and sensation, Flavour is divided into three sections, each of which defines and expands upon three essential Ottolenghi precepts: process, pairing and produce.
Bold, surprising, effortlessly stylish and utterly rewarding, Flavour contains more than one hundred recipes covering everything from the simple family dinner to show stopping part dishes.
Brilliant Recipes Featured: Aubergine Dumplings alla Parmigiana, Miso Butter Onions, Spicy Mushroom Lasagne, Cabbage ‘Tacos’ with Celeriac and Date Barbecue Sauce, and Romano Pepper Schnitzels.
No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer – WAS R349, NOW R239. SAVE R110
Netflix! Need we say more?
Sticking for the moment with overcoming limits and doing whatever you can with what is available to you, we move on to No Rules Rules, a book about entertainment and tech revolution from the CEO and Chairman of the world’s most famous streaming service.
Next time you’re complaining that there is too much to choose from in your Netflix list, stop to think just how much this company has managed to achieve in such a short time. The content they have produced, the rules they have broken, the creativity they continue to champion. How does a thing like this happen? Well, now you can hear, from the company’s highest leadership, how Netflix rejected corporate conformity, how they stay almost impossibly on the ball when it comes to their singularly massive subscriber audience and how this organisation became one that is fundamentally different.
Lessons in leadership, important business insights for our changing times and an inside look at the cultural phenomenon that changed not only how we access content, but how we regard it, what place it plays in our world and how it gets made.
Read an extract here
The Gift: 12 Lessons to Save Your Life by Edith Eger – WAS R349, NOW R239. SAVE R110
Here therapist, renowned speaker and Holocaust survivor Edith Eger delivers a striking manifesto for living, striving and thriving. In a nutshell, The Gift is all about overcoming your own prisons, smashing your self-limiting beliefs and embracing all that you can in order to realise your potential. These are bright messages for a challenging time.
Few have managed to transcend trauma to the extent that Eger has. Fortunately for us, she has been able to translate her own experiences into the kind of wisdom and advice that can be applied to absolutely any destructive behaviour or moment of darkness.
Release yourself from your own prisons – whether they be fear, anxiety, grief… anything, really – and live every moment with proper fullness with the help of these twelve inspirational lessons.
Read an extract here
The Greatest Secret by Rhonda Byrne – WAS R369, NOW R329. SAVE R40
That’s right, Rhonda Byrne is back with more ways to take charge of your future and, ultimately, to be what you want to be and achieve what you want to achieve.
This next progression of The Secret aims to transport the reader beyond the material realm and into the spiritual one – where boundless possibilities exist and can be created.
Infused with sage advice from all around the world, The Greatest Secret shares the most direct ways to overcome hardship and to eschew painful paths and prolonged hardships in favour of a journey unburdened by fear and anxiety.
If you’re after a book overflowing with positivity, workable approaches to squashing negativity and ways to work yourself toward lasting happiness, you’re in proven hands.
Home Body by Rupi Kaur – WAS R279, NOW R239. SAVE R40
Not all revelations come in the form of targeted advice. In fact, poetry has historically, and enduringly, provided this function. But it doesn’t have to be stuffy or highfalutin.
Celebrated Canadian, Indian-born poet Rupi Kaur has topped bestseller lists with both of her previous poetry collections: Milk and Honey and The Sun and Her Flowers. Her style is marked by Punjabi influences, simple honesty and intimate explorations of the self.
In this collection, which is augmented with simple illustrations by Kaur herself, the poet urges “conversation with oneself” and explores the need for community and acceptance of change. Home body can be dipped into for doses of both light and dark, for ruminations on nature and for elucidation of all the things that shape us.
Journey: A Journal of Discovery by Paulo Coelho – WAS R299, NOW R249. SAVE R50
You need no introduction to Paolo Coelho.
This is his first journal, and the ideal gift for both fans of his work and for anyone looking to record and reflect on their own personal journey.
Every life is filled with signs and omens, with the unknown and, of course, with desire. Here you’ll have ample room to document each step that you take and to fully flesh-out each of the important things that you contemplate along the way.
Filled with beautiful quotes from Coelho’s books, interviews, speeches and more, Journey also prompts you to explore your soul and mind with 45 evocative questions. Fear, love, gratitude, forgiveness, destiny… there is nothing that cannot be further illuminated by spending a little time with this journal and your own thoughts.
Beautifully produced, well-structured and well, just terribly pretty really, this gift is a shoo-in.
Stories of Hope by Heather Morris – WAS R329, NOW R189. SAVE R140
By harnessing her gift for listening and distilling the experiences of others, Heather Morris was able to bring us the bestsellers The Tattooist of Auschwitz and its sequel Cilka’s Journey. So it stands to reason that her new book Stories of Hope is a love letter to the power of listening – a gift that we would all do well to employ more often.
In this book, Morris shares the story of how she came arrived at writing and how she learned to really listen to the stories that others told her, reminding us all that our stories are primarily what connect us to other people.
We are also treated to an intimate look at her friendship with Lale Sokolov – the Auschwitz survivor (and tattooist) – a relationship that profoundly influenced her life and her work.
Stories of Hope also includes a special sneak peek at her next upcoming novel.
Read an extract here