8 brilliant books for Christmas

These are the best festive reads recommended by your favourite TV and radio broadcasters


Kirsty Lang – Presenter of 
Radio 4’s front row

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The books I want for Christmas

Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig (£14.85, incl p&p)

I like to be given books that are beautiful objects in their own right. There are some lovely new editions of the classics and I would be delighted to receive this one by

Stefan Zweig, published in 1939 and the Austrian writer’s only novel. Wes Anderson was heavily influenced by it when he made his film The Grand Budapest Hotel. 

Provence to Pondicherry by Tessa Kiros (£20.30, incl p&p)

This is also a gorgeous-looking cookbook about the influence of French cuisine in far-flung places. I love cooking and lived in France for many years, plus I also travelled to Pondicherry in the south east of India as an 18-year-old on my gap year, so Kiros ticks 
a lot of boxes! 

The book I’ll be giving

Motor Miles by John Burningham (£11.50, incl p&p)

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This picture book – about the joy of a difficult dog when he gets given a car of his own – is a good present for young children, and shows that the 80-year-old children’s author is still on classic form.