books,  christmas,  gifts

Gift Ideas: New Books For Christmas

Christmas is coming, and that means you really need to start thinking of presents for the special people in your life. Today I am focusing on some brand new books that are not only exciting and interesting, but will also allow the recipient a few relaxing hours over the manic Christmas break in order to lose themselves in another time, another place, another world.


Rock ‘n’ Roll Nanny – Sally Arnold

What a life Sally has had – what a woman! Sally Arnold has had a rich and variable life working with some of the greatest names in rock and roll and the celebrity world. It all started in 1971 when she became the nanny of Jade Jagger, and from there she went on to have adventures most of us could only dream of…

From The Who and The Jaggers to the Royals and State leaders, Sally has seen it all and worked with massive household names. From her time with the fated American rock band Lynyrd Skynyd, through to Classic FM and all round the networks of Charity Projects, Comic Relief and numerous other high-profile events with the likes of Princess Diana, the stories are vivid and eye-opening. 

Sally was the first woman in the UK to get a tattoo over her mastectomy scar having battled breast cancer. Sally was the first female tour manager for The Rolling Stones, Peter Gabriel, The Who and Lynard Skynard. Sally really is the epitome of a true, strong, independent, trailblazing woman. 

If that hasn’t wetted your appetite to read about her life, the fact that the book also has lots of photographs, many of them unseen, means that this is the perfect book for the person in your life who was a secret hellraiser in the past (and maybe even now…)

Rock and Roll Nanny by Sally Arnold

Nineties Spirit Music Caught on Camera Paul Bergen

The 1990s were a glorious, exciting era for music. It was the time of Grunge, the time of Britpop with the battle of Blur and Oasis, the time of The Spice Girls and All Saints, of Madonna, rave, The Prodigy…the list could go on and on.

Nineties Spirit Music Caught on Camera by Paul Bergen is a photographic celebration of the decade. It is a wonderful, coffee table book that is chocked full of glorious photographs of everyone who was anyone in music in that decade.

David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana and Oasis, Pete Doherty and Phil Collins, Prince and Motörhead — the internationally acclaimed and renowned music photographer Paul Bergen has seen all the stars of the 1990s through his lens, both on stage and backstage. 

His photo archives are among the world’s largest in the music industry. In Nineties Spirit, he is now sharing these treasures with a large audience for the very first time. 

The artists themselves also get a chance to have their say. In short passages, interviews, and commentaries, they bring the iconic decade alive again. They make Nineties Spirit a one-of-a-kind chronicle of the times that captures an entire generation’s attitude toward life.


Available at Acc Art Books



2022 saw the 25th anniversary of the untimely death of Diana, Princess of Wales, but there is no let up in the fascination for the Princess, not least when it comes to her wardrobe.

DIANA: A LIFE IN DRESSES From Debutante to Style Icon by Claudia Joseph is a beautiful remembrance of a life of style. It shows Diana’s style evolution, from gauche teenager, to the most copied, most photographed woman in the world.

Claudia Joseph chronicles Diana’s style evolution from the days she shopped with her mother for her wedding trousseau at Harrods, to her discovery of her wedding dress designers, the Emanuels, and her relationship with Vogue fashion director Anna Harvey, who introduced her to designers such as Catherine Walker, Jacques Azagury and Versace. She looks at the designers who shaped Diana’s image and tracks down her most symbolic dresses to museums around the world.

This is a book you can read and enjoy, or just relax and simply pour over the photographs.


Available from ACC Art Books

Little Book of Chanel by Lagerfeld by Emma Baxter-Wright.

Another fresh new book in the ‘Little Book‘ fashion series from Welbeck Publishing, the Little Book of Chanel by Lagerfeld focuses on the iconic fashion hour during its recent history, when it was headed by the mercurial Karl Lagerfeld.

Litte Book of Chanel by Lagerfeld details the influence and significance of Karl Lagerfeld’s tenure at Chanel. After becoming its creative director in the 1980s, Lagerfeld took and transformed Gabrielle Chanel’s signatures into fashion fit for the 21st century and through his most exquisite pieces and catwalk shows, kept Chanel at the forefront of the industry.

This book is small in stature, but big on beauty, chocked full with incredible photographs that detail the evolution of Chanel under Lagerfeld, showing key collections and shows, as well as celebrities wearing the brand.

The Little book of Chanel by Lagerfeld is available at many stockists, including Amazon.


N-4 Down: The Hunt for the Arctic Airship Italia – Mark Piesing

I love an historical adventure true story, particularly those linked to exploration of the polar ice caps, but the tragic story of the Arctic Airship Italia is one that I had never heard, even though it involved a rescue attempt by one of the most famous of all polar explorers, Roald Amundsen.

The riveting true story of the largest polar rescue mission in history: the desperate race to find the survivors of the glamorous Arctic airship Italia, which crashed near the North Pole in 1928.

Triumphantly returning from the North Pole on May 24, 1928, the world-famous exploring airship Italia—code-named N-4—was struck by a terrible storm and crashed somewhere over the Arctic ice, triggering the largest polar rescue mission in history. Helping lead the search was Roald Amundsen, the poles’ greatest explorer, who himself soon went missing in the frozen wastes. Amundsen’s body has never been found, the last victim of one of the Arctic’s most enduring mysteries . . .

This is a really well written, riviting book with a real mystery still at its heart. It is definitely one to be poured over this Christmas.

N-4 Down: The Hunt for the Arctic Airship Italia by Mark Piesing, available at Amazon

Travel and Nostalgia

Nostalgic Journeys From the Orient Express to Ocean Liners By Stefan Bitterle

If you would loved to have traveled in the days before package holidays and airport queues, then this is the book for you to pour over and enjoy. Nostalgic Journeys is a tale of travel and luxury, from the art deco Ocean Liners that were like floating palaces, to the mythical Orient Express, of course made so famous after Agatha Christie made it the venue of a notorious murder.

Nostalgic Journeys takes you on a journey back in time, through the last two centuries: Ride the Orient Express to the East, cross the Atlantic on huge ocean liners, travel Route 66 through the United States, and break the sound barrier aboard the Concorde. As you browse through the pages of this book, you will get the idea that travelling was, and can be, more than just being stuck in a traffic jam or passing through numerous security checks. It can be a stylish and sometimes adventurous way to explore the world and return home feeling transformed by your many and varied experiences. Bon Voyage!

This is just a stunning coffee table booked packed with glamorous photographs of glamorous people, in the most glamorous of settings.

NOSTALGIC JOURNEYS From the Orient Express to Ocean Liners BY STEFAN BITTERLE

Available from ACC Art Books

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