Christmas Picks 2017

Perfect match: the cookbook edition

It is a truth universally acknowledged that you can never have too many cookbooks, but finding the right cookbook to add to a collection is a delicate process, not unlike choosing a paint colour, or a spouse.

Luckily we've taken the leg work out of the selection process and broken it down so that you can get it right and earn the love and approval that you so sorely deserve. Because that's what christmas is all about. 

For the serious chef: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat ($50)

This one is not for the flippant shake-and-bake crowd - it’s a fascinating read on the chemistry behind how we prepare food and ideal for curious, intelligent cooks who love what they do. 

For the aspiring restaurateur: Igni: a Restaurant’s First Year by Aaron Turner ($60)

Part cook book, part diary, Igni is a glimpse into the magic, mayhem and mastery behind the first year of a new restaurant. Great for industry types and anyone who gets a couple of glasses of wine in them and starts talking about opening a restaurant ‘one day’. 

For the literary cook: The Little Library Cookbook: 100 Recipes from your Favourite Stories by Kate Young ($40)

If you know someone who likes cooking and reading, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that Kate Young’s book is a genius present guaranteed to melt the heart of its recipient. Filled with dishes of literary origin, it’s a whimsical journey through food and fiction.  

For the baker: The Tivoli Road Baker by Michael James with Pippa James ($60)

Gird your salivary glands, this baking book is an inventory of deliciousness covering everything from croissants to chicken curry pie. For a baker or a bakee (someone who eats baked goods professionally), this is one of our favourites for christmas. 

For the kitchen adventurer: Hummus and Co. by Michael Rantissi and Kristy Frawley ($50)

Ready, set, hummus! From the culinary creatives behind Kepos St Kitchen comes a new cook book with signature middle eastern flavours. A clever gift idea for food-lovers and anyone for whom felafel is more of a religion than a snack. 

For the veggie lover: Vegetable: Recipes that Celebrate Nature by Caroline Griffiths and Vicki Valsamis ($50)

It’s not true that you don’t make friends with salad. Surveys have shown that vegetable lovers are more popular and delightful than people who hate vegetables. And this stunning cook book is an appropriately reverent ode to our earthy friends. 

Gardening, Interiors and Architecture oh my!

Best Gardening Books for Christmas

If you've seen the luscious plants outside of our shop you would know that we are all about gardening in style - and so are our books. Any of these three beauties would make your favourite green-thumb or armchair gardener very happy this Christmas. 

Best Interiors Books for Christmas

Why go outside when you could be inside, surrounded by gorgeousness? For the man or woman in your life who's never as happy as when they're decorating or dreaming of decorating - here are three winning gift suggestions. 

Best Architecture Books for Christmas

Here are three original and immaculately put-together books, perfect for architecture fiends or just anyone who looks at the skyline and sighs with satisfaction (or dissatisfaction).

Christmas Picks for Slightly Bigger Kids

Kids! They love to read (mostly). And they love to get presents (all the time). Here are some suggestions for those hard-to-buy-for age groups from our resident kids' lit experts.

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend | $17 | Suitable for ages 8-14

Receiving enthusiastic reviews from critics and children alike, this enchanting debut tells the story of an unlucky girl who is called upon to do the impossible. Filled with magic, suspense and a whole lot of heart, this is the perfect read for all Harry Potter fans and our book of the year for young readers. 

The Fall by Tristan Bancks | $17 | Suitable for ages 9-13

A sharp, contemporary crime novel with classic genre elements, and nail-biting suspense that will keep readers (young AND old) on the edge of their seat. 

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell | $17 | Suitable for ages 8-12

In Katherine Rundell’s gem of a book, a crash-landing in the Amazon leaves four children stranded deep in the jungle, who must find within themselves the strength, courage, perseverance, and wisdom to survive. A true adventure story for curious kids.

Polly and Buster by Sally Rippin | $20 | Suitable for ages 7-10

Polly is a struggling young witch - she just can't seem to get her spells right. Buster is a monster who lives next door and he just happens to be Polly's best friend. Can a monster and a witch be best friends in a world does not approve? Rippin's heart-warming tale may just bring a tear to your eye. 

Babysitters' Club Series by Anne M. Martin | $10 each | Suitable for ages 8-11

Any girl who was a pre-teen in the 90s knows that Kristy, Maryanne, Stacey and Claudia are just about the coolest babysitters you'll ever find - and they're back to inspire and entertain a new generation of readers. 

Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren | $13 | Suitable for ages 8-12

An riveting tale of sisterhood, valour and rebellion, Prisoner of Ice and Snow is the perfect mixture of danger and delight. Perfect for fans of action stories that really transport you. 



Staff Summer Reads 2018

Are you looking for that special novel to sidle up by the pool with this summer?  Well, you're in luck. Each expert Potts Point staff member has handpicked their most eligible book - and the great news is they're all single and ready to mingle (the books, that is) ... with you! Find that one summer read you'll remember with a glint in your eye through the cold winter months. 

Naomi’s Pick - Heather, The Totality by Matthew Weiner

The characters at first seemed like sketches, but after I put down the book I realised how clever and insightful each observation was. It’s a read-in-a-sitting kind of story - totally compelling and one of the best twists in any book I’ve read. 

Simon’s Pick - Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

In Manhattan Beach we follow Anna Kerrigan through the Depression and World War II as she determinedly forces her way into a job as the only female diver in the Navy Yard, and investigates the disappearance of her father.  With irresistibly engaging characters, crystalline prose and rich historical detail, Egan hits all the right notes with precision, perception, and panache.

Joel’s Pick - Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang

Zhang's debut story collection, and the first book published on Lena Dunham's Random House imprint, is obscene, earnest and moving. A millenial tragicomedy ushering in a unique new voice in fiction. 

Tim’s Pick - The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst

A gorgeous symphony of a novel which spans fifty years of friendship between a group of artists, writers and lovers. Each sentence is constructed with exquisite care and the characters are drawn with warmth and complexity. I sense I’ve just read next year’s Booker Prize winner.

Anna’s Pick - Vanity Fair Diaries 1983 -1992 by Tina Brown

Tina Brown took a magazine in decline and turned it into the toast of the town. In these merciless diaries, Brown spills the beans on all of the industry gossip, making her book a total indulgent pleasure to read, and all the more thrilling because the entries were written in the midst of the action. 

Nat’s Pick - A New England Affair by Steven Carroll

A New England Affair is a beautifully written meditation on memory, love and regret. Carroll reimagines the relationship between TS Eliot and Emily Hale, creating a heartbreaking story of what was then, what is now and what could have been.

Kate’s Pick - Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

From the first page of this darkly witty debut, I knew I had fallen for Rooney’s characters in all their narcissistic imperfections. This fresh-voiced debut throws the reader into a deliciously doomed love quadrangle that zigs and zags in the most enjoyable and unpredictable ways. 


For the super sleuths this Christmas

Crime readers are notoriously prolific, always up-to-date on the latest Jack Reacher thriller or Harry Bosch investigation, waiting for the next fix, desperate to discover a new series to follow. Here some gems they may not have discovered.


Crimson Lake boasts Fox’s signature style, edge and humour, and introduces former Sydney-based police detective Ted Conkaffey, who has fled to the steamy, croc-infested wetlands of Crimson Lake, where he partners with an accused and convicted murderer now operating as a private detective to investigate the disappearance of a local author.


Wimmera tracks the friendship of two boys from a defining moment in their childhood, when a mysterious newcomer arrives in the small Australian country town of Wimmera, through to the discovery of a body in the river twenty years later. Mark Brandi’s debut is a simply extraordinary literary crime novel, delivered with intelligence, power and heart.


Tense, powerful and considerably less crass than its contemporaries, Bluebird, Bluebird is a deftly plotted whodunit that examines contemporary black life in rural America. It begins with a double homicide in the small town of Lark, off Highway 59: the first victim, a black man from Chicago; the second, a local white woman. 


Rachel Childs, a former television journalist, lives as a virtual shut-in with a husband who seems too good to be true after the mental breakdown she experienced on-air as a result of coverage of the massive earthquake that shattered Haiti in 2010. But after a chance encounter one afternoon, everything changes, and Rachel realises she’s been involved in a massive conspiracy; a deception unlike anything she could’ve possibly imagined. Lehane’s latest is a propulsive physiological thriller that will satisfy fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the TrainSince We Fell.


In this superb follow-up to The Dry, five women head off into the bush on a corporate retreat, and only four come out the other side. The well-being of the missing bush walker, Alice Russell, is of particular interest to Federal Police agents Aaron Falk and Carmen Cooper: she’s the whistle-blower in their latest case.  They head to the Giralang Ranges, determined to disentangle the mess of deceit, deception and suspicion formed between the remaining four women during their ill-fated hike. Force of Nature is further proof: Jane Harper knows all there is to know about detonating the gut-level shocks of a great thriller. 


In The Word is Murder, a wealthy (and healthy!)  woman calmly walks into an undertakers to arrange her own funeral. Hours later, she is strangled to death. With its unorthodox protagonist, clever plotting, brilliantly imperfect characters, and escalating sense of urgency and intrigue, this is an instant crime classic that will keep you reading as fast as you can. 


Fellowes uses the real-life murder of Florence Nightingale Shore as the foundation for her first mystery novel in this new series based on the life of the legendary literary Mitford sisters. This Golden Age mystery is  rich in period detail and nostalgia, and a delight for readers of 'cosy crime.'


This first book in a series centres around a police detective working with a former child abductee, now eccentric consultant, to find a missing boy. Part psychological thriller, part police investigation, eminently readable.


Haunted by nightmares from the events of Resurrection Bay, his personal life a mess just as much as his professional one, Caleb Zelic is pulled back into the darkness when a young woman is killed in front of his eyes moments after pleading for his help in sign language. Determined to uncover her identity and discern the reason for her death, Caleb quickly discovers the trail leads straight back to his hometown. Viskic created a brilliant protagonist with the profoundly-deaf and irrepressibly obstinate Zelic.


For little kids this Christmas

We love picture books here at Potts Point, so it’s pretty impossible to choose the six titles we love the most. But life’s about hard choices - so here is what we came up with. Whether you’re looking for something funny, sweet, indie cool or just plain silly, we’ve got every kid covered.  

The Wolf the Duck and the Mouse by Mac Barnett with illustrations by Jon Klassen | $25 HB

“I may have been swallowed but I have no intention of being eaten.” Being consumed by a wolf seems like it would be an inconvenience at the very least and catastrophic at worst. But a dynamic mouse and duck duo prove that home is where you make it. 

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers | $25 HB

A helpful guide to planet Earth for beginners. With beautiful, quirky illustrations full of funny details and easy to follow instructions on being a good-hearted, responsible human, Here We Are would make the perfect gift for new parents or for curious growing brains. 

The Great Rabbit Chase by Freya Blackwood | $25 HB

A gentle tale about a roving rabbit who ends up brightening everyone’s day. Freya Blackwood’s illustrations are soft and charming, and the story is filled with relatable neighbourhood characters. This would be a quiet, lovely book to read as a family after a long busy day.

Why Can’t I Be a Dinosaur? by Kylie Westaway and Tom Jellett | $25 HB

Some days you just wake up and you know you’re a dinosaur. And sometimes that just happens to be on the very same day as your Aunt Daisy’s wedding. Follow Nellie’s negotiation of identity politics as she attempts to merge her ferocious dinosaur ways with her petal-throwing side. 

I Just Ate My Friend by Heidi McKinnon | $25 HB

Friends are pretty great. Until you eat them. And even then, you can go shopping for a new friend - but it’s important to find exactly the right one. This slightly sinister, but mostly hysterical book is all about the search for companionship and the attempt to regulate one’s appetite. 

The Very Noisy Baby by Alison Lester | $25 HB

Meet a baby with an incredible vocal range. From neighing to squawking, this very noisy infant has the whole town confused. This gorgeous picture book by veteran author Alison Lester is perfect for little babies and tired mummies and daddies looking for a bedtime story with humour and warmth. 

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For art and fashion lovers this Christmas

Do you have a gallery-going art lover or stylish fashion fiend in your life? Someone who is so effortlessly creative and chic that it makes you want to scream? Well, don't scream, that's not going to help you find him or her the perfect christmas gift. Just breathe, we're here to help with some stellar suggestions from our art and fashion section. Your friends and family will love these books so much they won't even remember to make a sardonic comment about your holiday outfit choice.

Annie Leibovitz Portraits: 2005 – 2016 | $120

The only problem with buying the new Annie Leibovitz portrait collection as a Christmas present is that you will want to pore over it for hours and then possibly ‘forget’ to give it away. From Patti Smith to Oprah, Obama, Trump and Melania, the photographs in this book capture some of the world’s most intriguing and controversial personalities with exquisite intimacy and candour. This is a special gift and a definite staff favourite this christmas.

Catwalking: The Life and Work of Chris Moore by Alexander Fury | $90

McQueen, Versace, Galliano, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent. Chris Moore has photographed catwalk shows by everyone and anyone who matters in fashion - and this is the ultimate collection of his work covering six decades of style, glamour and provocation. With accompanying words by journalist Alexander Fury, this covet-worthy coffee table book will be a treasure trove for anyone who looks forward to Fashion Week as if it's the second coming. 

Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson | $50

Virtuoso biographer Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs and Einstein) takes on one of history’s intellectual and artistic giants. Leonardo da Vinci was a polymath whose talents lay in fields as diverse as botany and aviation. His mark on the world cannot be overestimated and neither can Isaacson’s excitement and passion for his subject. A thoughtful gift for the aspiring renaissance man or woman in your life.

Robert Doisneau: The Vogue Years | $90

Celebrated French photographer Robert Doisneau worked for Vogue from 1948 to 1952, immortalising artists, urban life and high society costume galas with his exacting lens. This beautifully put-together book will be pure, decadent joy for anyone who appreciates spectacular fashion with a side of wit and personality.

Bronwyn Oliver: Strange Things by Hannah Fink | $59.95

This is the first book about renowned Australian sculptor Bronwyn Oliver. Author Hannah Fink tells the story of Oliver’s extraordinary life and work, starting from her childhood on a farm in northern NSW and following her ambitious art career and conceptual practice. A great opportunity to dive into the exciting and beautiful work of a true creative.

Love, Cecil: A Journey with Cecil Beaton by Lisa Immordino Vreeland: $70

Cecil Beaton was an artist whose work was inextricably linked to his social life. Vreeland pieces together his colourful world using diary entries, drawings, photographs and scrapbooks. The result is an irresistibly lively and intimate portrait, perfect for photography lovers, art fans and anyone who enjoys a rollicking story.