The write stuff

Try these sparkling reads this winter

Unless you’ve had your head under a rock, you can’t have escaped the buzz building around Lady Gaga’s soon-to-be-released third album, ARTPOP. For the low-down on how the girl born Stefani Germanotta became the most flamboyant woman on the planet, check out Christian Guiltenane’s Lady Gaga: The Unauthorized Biography (Michael O’Mara Books; £9.99). 


Another ‘mustn’t miss’ for musos is Daniel Rachel’s Isle of Noises: Conversations with Great British Songwriters (Picador, £25). Over 20 of the UK’s most-renowned musicians – here’s looking at you Billy Bragg, Paul Weller, Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher – disclose the secrets behind their art in a rare collection of exclusive, intimate interviews.


Want to dress like the A-list? Get lessons from the likes of Lily Allen and Florence Welch in Bestival Presents... The Art Of Dressing Up(; £15.99) – 364 pages of photos and lessons from the Isle of Wight festival's celebrity fans.


Elsewhere literary lovers and film fanatics will love William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily A New Hope (Quirk Books, £11.99). Accompanied by woodcut illustrations of Chewbacca, C-3PO and Luke Skywalker, Ian Doescher takes the reader line by line through the script of Star Wars in true iambic pentameters from the Bard of Avon – making it accessible to the modern reader.


On the fiction front, we’re loving David Gee’s The Dropout (Matador; £7.99) – a coming-of-age drama based on the author’s own university experience, that offers an edgy new twists on themes from The Graduate and American Pie.


When hunger pangs strike, look no further than Nutella: The 30 Best Recipes (Jacqui Small, £8.99), which is all about discovering new ways of using, cooking and enjoying the famous chocolate hazelnut spread. What’s more, the mouth watering recipes are presented in the form of a 3D Nutella® jar! To order a copy at the discounted price of £7.00 call 01903 828503 and quote offer code JS231.


Packed with tasty, inexpensive recipes from fajitas to noodles, to crowd-pleasers like roast chicken or lamb madras, Sam Stern's Cookery Course for Students in the Kitchen (Quadrille; £20) offers succor for the starving, strapped for cash student. Stern, a recent graduate of the University of Edinburgh, is the perfect person to help you find your way in the kitchen, whatever your standard.

Finally for an eye opening read, don’t miss Narcomania: How Britain Got Hooked On Drugs (Random House, £9.99) - a myth-busting journalistic investigation of the country’s illicit £8bn drug market, that is now hardwired to our culture, communities and economy.


Or try How To Think Like Steve Jobs (Michael O Mara Books; £12.99) for an illuminating insight into the ideas, inspirations and philosophies of the man behind the game-changing Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad.