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. https://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/art/all/04639
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. http://inktank.fi/books-novels-about-finland-by-foreigners/
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.