When Grace asked me to wrap up the 2010 Design*Sponge gift guide marathon (This is number 24! Whew!) with the ultimate last-minute gift — books — I nearly jumped for joy! After all, I am a librarian, so I have that love of books thing down, but honestly, there have just been so many amazing books that have come out this year! I narrowed my huge list down to 35 of my absolute favorites! There’s everything from classics bound in black rubber to, my personal favorite, a book devoted to the craft of Victorian Jelly. Happy reading! (PS — I’m always looking for a good book recommendation, so be sure to leave your 2010 favorites in the comments!) — Amy A.
Images above, clockwise from left: Handmade Weddings: More Than 50 Crafts to Personalize Your Big Day, $16.47; The Exquisite Book: 100 Artists Play a Collaborative Game, $19.77; Paper + Craft: 25 Charming Gifts, Accents, and Accessories to Make from Paper, $13.57; P.S. — I Made This, $12.89; How to Design a Typeface, $12.32 (the series also includes How to Design a Light, $13.60; How to Design a House, $13.60 and How to Design a Chair, $13.60); Lotta Jansdotter’s Handmade Living: A Fresh Take on Scandinavian Style, $19.77; Creative, Inc., $11.11; Crafting a Meaningful Home, $16.47
Image above: 1. From Seed to Skillet: A Guide to Growing, Tending, Harvesting, and Cooking Up Fresh, Healthy Food to Share with People You Love, $19.80; 2. The Commonsense Kitchen: 500 Recipes Plus Lessons for a Hand-Crafted Life, $23.10; 3. Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys, $23.10; 4. The Complete Book of Butchering, Smoking, Curing, and Sausage Making: How to Harvest Your Livestock & Wild Game, $15.81; 5. Laduree: The Sweet Recipes, $26.37 (This book is from mine (and Sofia Coppola’s — they made the sweets for the movie, Marie Antoinette) favorite Paris spot for macaroons!); 6. Jelly with Bompas and Parr, $21.81 (I am dying for this book!!!); 7. Canal House Cooking Cookbooks Set, $39.95
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Image above: 1. One Big Table, $27; 2. Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, $22.43; 3. The Essential New York Times Cookbook, $23 (This book came highly recommended by Rebecca Federman, culinary librarian, blogger and fantastic cook — and my personal go-to source for restaurant recommendations!); 4. Around My French Table, $24 (Dorie Greenspan was Julia Child’s pastry chef; this is her foray into savory!); 5. DIY Delicious, $16.47; 6. La Cuisine: Everyday French Home Cooking, $29.70; 7. The New Brooklyn Cookbook, $26.40; 8. Cooking with Italian Grandmothers, $26.40
Image above: 1. Encyclopedia of the Exquisite: An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights, $16.18; 2. Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl, $16.29; 3. United States of Americana: Backyard Chickens, Burlesque Beauties, and Handmade Bitters: A Field Guide to the New American Roots Movement, $10.19; 4. Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits, $14.55; 5. Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World, $33 (I’ve become totally obsessed with these rubber-sealed paperbacks from Occulter.); 6. Let’s Bring Back: An Encyclopedia of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful, Chic, Useful, Curious, and Otherwise Commendable Things from Times Gone By, $13.57
Image above: 1. Home Love: 100 Inspiring Ideas for Creating Beautiful Rooms, $55; 2. Stables, $34.65; 3. V&A Pattern: Slipcased Set #2, $31.35; 4. Antiquaires: Flea Markets of Paris, $47.25; 5. Allegra Hicks: An Eye for Design, $26.40; 6. Details: A Stylist’s Secrets to Creating Inspired Interiors, $25.97 (This book just came out on December 7th, so I haven’t even seen it yet, but I’m a huge Lili Diallo fan, so I can’t wait!); 7. Bunny Williams’ Scrapbook for Living, $37.80