With Mother’s Day coming up next Sunday – don’t say we didn’t remind you – Cara Fielder pulls together her top ten suggestions for the perfect book treat for your mum. And this being Cara, you can be sure this is not your ordinary selection…
What Katie Ate
Katie Quinn Davies
This stunning cookbook is not only a visual delight but is jam-packed (a cover related pun for you there) with delicious yet realistic recipes. What Katie Ate was originally a popular recipe blog from food photographer, designer, writer and cook Katie Quinn Davies. With all these accolades under her belt it’s easy to see why this book is a must for all cookbook fans. My personal favourites that had me chewing on my bottom lip in hunger were the Caramelised Onion and Goats Cheese Tartlets and the Apple and Blueberry Ginger Pie. Take a look at Bea Carvalho‘s recent post for more on this book.
If your mum is one of the hoards of people who are caught up in the re-emergence of Victoriana style and enjoying programmes such as BBC’s Ripper Street, then this could be the perfect gift. The novel starts with Gwen Carrick being charged with the murder of butterfly collector Edward Scales. It then skips back to six years earlier, when Gwen and Edward first met and fell in love. So what pushes a lady to kill the man she loves or is there more going on than meets the eye?
The Book of Barely Imagined Beings
This collection of 27 essays from Caspar Henderson combines zoology, mythology, palaeontology and art to create a truly unique insight into some of the most fascinating creatures our planet has ever seen. From Axolotl to Zebrafish you’ll find his passion for the subject utterly contagious, making this compendium a beautiful and absorbing read.
This is one for all the mums with a sweet tooth. Le Cookie is a collection of over twenty five of the most sumptuously naughty treats from New York based French pastry chef Mickael Benichou. He brings a fashionable American twist to whoopie pies, brownies cookies and cupcakes but watch out for the Chocolate and Salted Caramel Whoopie Pies, taste these and any other pudding will become a disappointment!
And Sew to Bed
For the crafty mums whose bedroom is their sanctuary there is And Sew to Bed, a luxurious collection of ideas to turn a regular bedroom into a heavenly boudoir. Instead of having to spend a fortune on overpriced glamour, she can have the fun and sense of achievement of creating it herself. These genius ideas include how to make French knickers from old shirts and hot water bottle covers from old curtains. These 20 projects also all come with easy to follow illustrations and pattern sheets to make the process even easier.
Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies
If you have not heard of Wolf Hall or Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel you must have been on a lunar mission for the past few years. Mantel has won the Booker Prize in 2009 with Wolf Hall and then won again in 2012 with Bring up the Bodies. This limited edition boxed set is the perfect gift for any mother with a love of historical fiction.
Information is Beautiful
I had always been aware that Information is Beautiful was a stunning book but I hadn’t had enough time to properly sit down and take it all in until my friend Paul gave me a copy this Christmas and my mind was blown. To describe it as a visual guide to how the world works is accurate but just doesn’t seem to do it justice. Through diagrams and carefully constructed images this book varies from informing you of quirk fun facts to terrifying financial representations. Just be prepared to lose you Mum for hours between the pages of this book.
The Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home
The bestselling Hummingbird Bakery are back with this brand new recipe book, containing over a hundred lip smacking goodies. They are already baking masters when it comes to the world of cupcakes but this fabulous collection also includes pies, roulades, loaves, layer cakes and savouries. As always the recipes range in suitability from beginners to the more challenging and with ideas such as Red Velvet Roulade, Strawberry Milkshake Cupcakes, Olive Loaf and Walnut Streusel Cake, there’s something to suite every taste.
Mad Girl’s Love Song
It has been fifty years since since the novelist and poet Sylvia Plath took her own life and this touching biography from Andrew Wilson tells the story of her life before she met her partner Ted Hughes in 1963. Born to an immigrant family in 1932, losing her father when she was eight years old, repression of women in the 1950′s and her continual fight with depression all play large parts in this heartbreaking story. Tender, moving and a must read for any Plath fan.
Instructions For A Heatwave
Maggie O’Farrell‘s brand new novel Instructions For A Heatwave is my favourite choice for the best Mother’s Day gift. Set in the blistering heat of 1976 a retired Robert Riordan waves goodbye to his wife Gretta as he goes to buy a paper from the local shops. When he doesn’t return Gretta starts to panic and calls her three grown children back to the family home. They all have their secrets, they’ve all told lies and spat truths in anger that should have been left unsaid but it’s time they all started to be honest, with each other and themselves. This novel is exquisite, an utterly perfect gift. (Watch Maggie O’Farrell reading from Instructions For A Heatwave at a recent event.)
Of course you can add a box of chocolates and flowers to make her feel even more loved but it’s all about the books really…
Cara Fielder, for Waterstones.com/blog