Gert’s Christmas book suggestions

Here’s a selection that caters for friends of all tastes from the foul-mouthed to the saintly, the spendthrift to the frugal, the dreamy to the practical, the conservative to the risk-taker, the traveller to the stay-at-home.



The opulent dinner parties thrown by Salvador Dalí  and his wife and muse, Gala, were the stuff of legend. Luckily for us, Dalí published a cookbook in 1973, ‘Les diners de Gala’, which reveals some of the sensual, imaginative, and exotic elements that made up their notorious gatherings.

The Dali cookbook will set you back £600 but we know that’s peanuts to our better-heeled readers, especially if they read Phishing for Phools and avoid being scammed.  Or how about a first edition of Enid Blyton for young Ermintrude (only £100)?



Here’s another cookbook filled with delicious and not-so-delicious recipes invented and/or improvised by winners of the Ig Nobel Prize, Nobel laureates, and organizers of the Ig Nobel Ceremony. You may wish to check your insurance first.


Gert’s a big fan of Finland even though she’s not yet been there  (2017!) so her eye was caught by Fakta om Finland, by the Norwegian Erlend Loe. This is one for your Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Russian or Chinese friends – alas for Gert, not translated into English. It is, apparently, hilarious and not too long.

The main character is a Norwegian graphic designer and copywriter trying to write a tourist brochure about Finland.

The writer, who has very little previous knowledge about Finland starts out ambitious but quickly disappears into a swamp of procrastination, in which stream of consciousness rants presents trivia about Finland, the main character themselves and their rapid disintegration of ability to deliver the work on deadline.


And to finish on a high note we have Butler’s Lives of the Saints  (4 volumes) first written in the mid-eighteenth century and revised in 1956 to include 2,565 saints (only 1,486 in the original).  We do hope it includes our favourite St Drogo, patron saint of unattractive people,  broken bones, cattle, coffee house keepers, deaf people,  gall stones, hernias and insanity.


26 thoughts on “Gert’s Christmas book suggestions

      1. They are cute but somewhat after our time. I’m sure I would have found a spot for them with Ratty and Mole and Pooh, but I didn’t encounter them until well past that stage. We do like Tove Jansson’s writing for grown ups though and have reviews of her work in this hallowed place.

  1. Yay for Drogo, my kind of saint! I fall into several of the categories — being (when I look in a mirror) unattractive, suffering from incipient deafness (according to Better Half), a touch insane (all musicians are, by definition) and (apologies if you’re just avout to eat) booked in for a hernia op just before Christmas. Happy Holidays!

        1. I know in the hospital where I worked they tried to send everyone home and close down most electives until after the holiday season.

  2. I remember reading a lot of Enid Blyton books a very long time ago. For the life of me I can’t remember what they were about.
    Do It Yourself Coffins that’s a whole new take on frugality. chuckle. Come to think of it we made a coffin out of very nice wooden box that some fine wine came in. We used it for my father’s ashes and it was most appropriate.
    Dali’s book would be really interesting. I wonder if our library will get it in?
    Have a good one, ladies.

    1. What a perfect use for a fine wine box. Lovely ladies could adapt that and use a box that held very expensive perfume.
      If your library runs to spending that amount of money on a book, you’re in a very small minority I would say. But you’re a cook, Leslie, how about trying out some of the IgNobel ones, which would certainly be original even if they mightn’t taste all that good.
      Hope you have a lovely Xmas.

      1. Sometimes they have inter-library loans. You never know someone somewhere might have it.
        As for cook books – I have so many, I even have one by Paul Bocuse. We had a meal there a couple years ago in Lyon. It was memorable.

        1. To tell you the truth, I’m not an enormous fan of French cuisine. Too heavy and meaty. There’s a lot of Asian influence here and we have a taste for light but spicy.

          1. When I said the dinner was memorable I had some gastric upset for that same reason. I remember the meal well. We were driving back to Paris that night and got horrible lost at some place called Nevers. Not much signage in France, at least not on the back roads.

      2. BTW, as our grandson puts it – we’ve had round one of Christmas and it was delightful. Two more to go.
        Hope your Christmas is delightful too.

  3. Good luck with your hernia operation, Chris! I’ve postponed mine till after Christmas. I’m thrilled to discover there’s a patron saint of hernias, and will endeavour to seek the help of Saint Drogo when my time comes. And I own, not a first, but very early edition of Five Go Down To The Sea, with my name in printed block capitals at the front. (I think I was about 8 when my parents bought it for me.)

    1. The connection with cattle and coffee-house keepers is a little obscure, but we’re happy to have given comfort to hernia-sufferers. We must have had similar versions of Blyton, but they have vanished into the mists of time, along with Ted and the velvet puppy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s