Recommended books to read this Christmas

US history, marine conservation and a digestive digest feature among top tastemakers’ literary choices

Clockwise from bottom left: Ocean of Life by Callum Roberts, Penguin, £13. Flight of the Eagle: The Grand Strategies That Brought America from Colonial Dependence to World Leadership by Conrad Black, Encounter Books, $15. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington, Harmony, £8. Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ by Giulia Enders, Scribe UK, £10. The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories by Jack London, Oxford World’s Classics, £6
Clockwise from bottom left: Ocean of Life by Callum Roberts, Penguin, £13. Flight of the Eagle: The Grand Strategies That Brought America from Colonial Dependence to World Leadership by Conrad Black, Encounter Books, $15. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington, Harmony, £8. Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ by Giulia Enders, Scribe UK, £10. The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories by Jack London, Oxford World’s Classics, £6 | Image: Amazon (The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories)

Alexandre Mattiussi, Ami artistic director “The best thing I’ve read in the past year is probably To Build a Fire, from a collection of short stories by Jack London. It’s a breathtaking tale of a man and his husky dog trying to survive a winter in the Yukon.” Oxford World’s Classics, £8.

Margaret Howell, fashion designerA History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor is a perfect bedtime book as each chapter is just a few pages, about one particularly useful tool from history.” Penguin, £11.

John Derian, découpage glassware designerGut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ, by Giulia Enders, offers a fascinating, often funny look at the digestive system and has definitely changed the way I eat.” Scribe UK, £10.

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Emilia Wickstead, womenswear designer “The books on my bedside table include Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington. She has very interesting theories on how to balance professional success with bringing up a family. And then there’s Gina Ford’s Top Tips for Toddler Tantrums – required reading for anyone with a two-year-old.” Thrive, Harmony, £8; Top Tips for Toddler Tantrums, Vermilion, £7.

Thierry Despont, architect and designer “Conrad Black’s Flight of the Eagle: The Grand Strategies That Brought America from Colonial Dependence to World Leadership offers a brilliant history of US diplomacy and the country’s founding fathers.” Encounter Books, $15.

Alannah Weston, Selfridges creative directorOcean of Life by Callum Roberts is an amazing marine-conservation manifesto from a world expert on why protecting sea life is so important for the world’s future. Sarah Hall’s short-story collection The Beautiful Indifference is utterly spellbinding – I just haven’t been able to put it down. It’s all about women who possess some kind of dark, violent secret.” The Beautiful Indifference, Faber & Faber, £9; Ocean of Life, Penguin, £13.

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