Christmas Countdown Day 5: The Book (not beauty!) Edit


We thought we’d switch to books from beauty for Day 5 (WOT?) so if you’re looking for a “word gift” this Christmas, here’s an eclectic selection of books I’ve loved which I’ve read again and again – they’re all keepers.  If you haven’t discovered these yet, I hope you’ll love them too.

Top of the list:

1. Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant (and Kamal’s new follow up, Live Your Truth)

Kamal suddenly appeared on my Kindle one evening as an Amazon recommendation (I usually ignore them).  But the cover – below – drew me in and the next thing I knew I’d read Kamal Ravikant’s runaway best-seller 5 times.  It’s wise, very personal and there’s magic in this book.

The book is about how Kamal – in a nutshell – went from “down to up” (I won’t give away the details and the really good bits!) but to paint the background for you, in the intro Kamal writes:

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have some amazing experiences in my life so far. I’ve trekked to one of the highest base camps in the Himalayas, meditated with Tibetan monks in the Dalai Lama’s monastery, earned my US Army Infantry patch, walked 550 miles across Spain, lived in Paris, been the only non-black, non-woman member of the Black Women’s writers’ group, written a novel, held the hands of dying patients, and worked with some of the best people in Silicon Valley. But the most transformative experience has been the simple act of loving myself.”

Short, sweet and beautifully written, Love Yourself left its mark on me.  If you’re alone over the holidays for whatever reason, this would be a great read. Or if you’re not.

Kindle £1.59  Paperback £3.99 at 

love yoruself

2. Turkish Meze by Sevtap Yuce

I’m half Greek and I love a modern twist on meze…and there are quite a few here!  I spotted Sevtap Yuce’s recipes in the Guardian (Australia) and forked out (excuse the pun) a fiver for her Kindle book Turkish Meze 

Here are two of her divine dips – Roasted Beetroot and Pistachio and Eggplant (Aubergine to us Brits!) and Walnut in The Guardian


3. Liz Earle: Skin Secrets

Ah, how could we not include a book on beauty? The definitive guide to skincare, and a modern classic if ever there was one, this is one of the best (and easiest to follow in real life) books ever written about how to keep skin happy.  Liz knows her botanicals inside out and if you only read one book on skincare in your life, you’ll learn a lot from this one. We’ve also been loving Liz Earle Wellbeing this season.  Curl up with a chai tea and dive into when the snowflakes start falling…

liz earle book

4. Tout Sweet, Hanging Up My Heels for a New Life in France by Karen Wheeler

Ex London fashion editor says goodbye Jimmy Choos and chooses a whole new life in France.  Good idea? Yes/no/maybe? An addictive combo of some sad bits and lots of hilarious ones, I couldn’t put this down.  It was the only book I had with me on a long trip to Morocco (without the aforementioned Kindle) and the locals must have wondered what I was laughing at.  If you’re single, have toyed with the idea of leaving it all behind (including perhaps boyfriend who recently lost a lot of points) and starting a new life, chances are you’ll not only love this book but totally identify with it.  Brilliantly written and thankfully for Tout Sweet fans, it’s part of a series – more to inhale after you’ve finished the first one! 


5. Pink Moon, A Story About Nick Drake


If you don’t know who Nick Drake was, this won’t mean much.  If you love his music (our tall, dark English stranger was gone far too soon) this is the best book about Nick I’ve read – it’s utterly beautiful, and considering it’s been translated from Swedish into English it’s even more astounding. Gorm Henrik Rasmussen retells how he tracked down Nick’s parents after discovering one of his albums one rainy night with friends and has pieced together a sort of ad-lib biography which has more gems in it than some of the more official ones.  Read the customer reviews and you’ll see why… Thank goodness for people like Gorm Henrik Rasmussen.  This is a magical masterpiece and a book to treasure. Nobody really knows if he committed suicide or not but thankfully the music will live always…

Lyrics and music to Northern Sky (my favourite Nick Drake song) on YouTube



Part 1: Nick Drake “A Skin Too Few”, a documentary 


Nick D

I never felt magic crazy as this
I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea
I never held emotion in the palm of my hand
Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree
But now you’re here
Brighten my northern sky.

Nick Drake



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