We’ve handpicked some of our most beautiful and popular titles, which would make stunning gifts for your friends and loved ones. All of the below are 50% off so are not only great gifts, but affordable too.

Use discount code GIFT50 at checkout for 50% off the following titles, order by 10th December for delivery by the 25th!

A sonnet to science

How was the universal computer inspired by Lord Byron?

Why was the link between malaria and mosquitos first captured in the form of a poem?

Whom did Humphry Davy consider to be an ‘illiterate pirate’?

A Sonnet to Science focuses on six ground-breaking scientists who also wrote poetry, and the effect that this had on their lives and research. Written by leading science communicator and scientific poet Dr Sam Illingworth, the book shows how these two disciplines can work together, and in so doing aims to convince both current and future generations of scientists and poets that these worlds are not mutually exclusive, but rather complementary in nature.

Buy it for: poets and poetry lovers, scientists and science fanatics, sonnet reciters.

Christmas in nineteenth-century England

Whether for reasons of family, food, shopping or religion, it’s hard to imagine a British winter without Christmas. But how and when did Christmas cards, pantomimes and advertising become part of that tradition?

This suitably festive book looks at how people in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries experienced Christmas and how today’s priorities and rituals began and endured. It explores the origins of our deeply held notions around Christmas traditions and demonstrates how those ideas were in fact shaped by the fast-paced modernisation of English life.

Buy it for: traditionalists, historians (both amateur and professional), your Gran who sends 100s of Christmas cards a year.

Creating God

What do we really know about how and where religions began, and how they spread?

In this bold new book, award-winning author Robin Derricourt takes us on a journey through the birth and growth of several major religions, using history and archaeology to recreate the times, places and societies that witnessed the rise of significant monotheistic faiths. Beginning with Mormonism and working backwards through Islam, Christianity and Judaism to Zoroastrianism, Creating God opens up the conditions that allowed religious movements to emerge, attract their first followers and grow.

Treat someone to this really beautiful hardback edition.

Buy it for: devotees, disciples and theologians.

Everything harder than everyone else

There is a part of human nature compelled to test our own limits. But what happens when this part comes to define us?

Everything Harder Than Everyone Else follows people doing the things that most couldn’t, wouldn’t or shouldn’t. By delving into their extreme behaviour, there’s a lot that us mere mortals can learn about the human condition.

Buy it for: your mate who loves an Iron Man/Tough Mudder, or wants to climb Everest on a solo mission.

Ideal homes

Ideal homes investigates the tastes and aspirations of the new suburban communities that emerged in Britain following the First World War. In a period when homeownership was becoming the norm, these communities sought out varieties of architecture and design that were both nostalgic and modern, reflecting longings for ‘Old England’ on the one hand and technological convenience on the other.

The book draws on exhibitions, memoirs, advertisements and films, as well as surviving examples of suburban architecture and interiors, to argue that the ‘ideal’ home of the period was both a retreat from the outside world and a site of change and experimentation.

Buy it for: architects and interior designers, fans of Ancestry.co.uk and homebodies.

Love is the Drug

What if there were a pill for love? Or an anti-love drug, designed to help us break up?

Will relationships be the same in the future? Will we still marry?

This controversial and timely new book argues that recent medical advances have brought chemical control of our romantic lives well within our grasp. Substances affecting love and relationships, whether prescribed by doctors or even illicitly administered, are not some far-off speculation anymore.

This book is a highly readable insight into a cutting-edge field of medical research that could have profound effects on us all.

Buy it for: the hopeless romantics and cynical serial-daters.

Manchester Cathedral

Founded in 1421, the Collegiate Church of Manchester, which became a cathedral in 1847, is of outstanding historical and architectural importance. But until now it has not been the subject of a comprehensive study.

Appearing on the 600th anniversary of the Cathedral’s inception by Henry V, this book explores the building’s past and its place at the heart of the world’s first industrial city, touching on everything from architecture and music to misericords and stained glass.

Written by a team of renowned experts and beautifully illustrated with more than 100 photographs, this book is the bargain of the century.

Buy it for: Mancunians, Christingle attendees and lovers of ornate, historic architecture.

Manchester

What is Manchester?

Moving far from the glitzy shopping districts and architectural showpieces, away from cool city-centre living and modish cultural centres, this book shows us the unheralded, under-appreciated and overlooked parts of Greater Manchester in which the majority of Mancunians live, work and play. It tells the story of the city thematically, using concepts such a ‘material’, ‘atmosphere’, ‘waste’, ‘movement’ and ‘underworld’ to challenge our understanding of the quintessential post-industrial metropolis.

Buy it for: Mancunians, readers of poetry, history, art and architecture.

Painting Dublin, 1886-1949

Delving into a hitherto unexplored aspect of Irish art history, Painting Dublin, 1886-1949 examines the depiction of Dublin by artists from the late-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century.

Artists’ representations of the city have long been markers of civic pride and identity, yet in Ireland such artworks have been overlooked in favour of the rural and pastoral. While Dublin is already renowned for its representation in literature, this book will demonstrate the many attractions it held for Ireland’s artists, offering a vivid visualisation of the city’s streets and inhabitants at a crucial time in its history.

Buy it for: current and former residents of Dublin and Ireland, readers of Irish history, art and urban life.

Penguin Books and political change

Founded in 1935 by a young publisher disillusioned with the class prejudices of the interwar publishing trade, Penguin Books set out to make good books available to all.

The ‘Penguin Specials’, a series of current affairs books authored by leading intellectuals and politicians, embodied its democratising mission. Published over fifty years and often selling in vast quantities, these inexpensive paperbacks helped to shape popular ideas about subjects as varied as the welfare state, homelessness, social class and environmental decay.

Buy it for: people in publishing, collectors of Penguin books, lovers of literature and history.

Queer Objects

Queer lives give rise to a vast array of objects: the things we fill our houses with, the gifts we share with our friends, the clothes and accessories we wear, and the analogue and digital technologies we use to communicate with one another.

But what makes an object queer?

Queer Objects considers this question in relation to lesbian, gay and transgender communities across time, cultures and space. In this unique international collaboration, writers traverse world history to write about items ranging from ancient Egyptian tomb paintings and Roman artefacts to political placards, snapshots, sex toys and the smartphone.

Buy it for: anyone with an interest in the LGBTQ+ community and its history, historians, collectors of weird and wonderful objects.

Rebel women between the wars

What did it mean to be a ‘rebel woman’ in the interwar years?

Taking the form of a multiple biography, this book traces the struggles, passions and achievements of a set of ‘fearlessly determined’ women who stopped at nothing to make their mark in the traditionally masculine environments of mountaineering, politics, engineering and journalism.

From the motorist Claudia Parsons to the ‘star’ reporter Margaret Lane, the mountaineer Dorothy Pilley and the journalist Shiela Grant Duff, the women charted in this book challenged the status quo in all walks of life, alongside writing vivid, eye-witness accounts of their adventures.

Buy for: the fearless and rebellious women in your life.

The invisible painting

Since her death in 2011, the legendary Surrealist Leonora Carrington has been reconstructed and reinvented many times over. In this book, Gabriel Weisz Carrington draws on remembered conversations and events to demythologise his mother, revealing the woman and the artist behind the iconic persona.

A textured portrait emerges from conversations, memories, stories and Leonora’s engagement with the books that she read. Using the act of writing to process and understand the death of his mother, the author has produced a moving and fascinating account of life, art, love and loss.

Buy it for: readers of memoir, fans of art, writing, travel and Leonora herself.

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