As you might expect from a publisher, we’ll all be giving (and, hopefully, receiving!) a LOT of books this Christmas. I thought it might be quite interesting to write about our literary wish lists, so about 10 days ago I emailed everyone at Nosy Crow and asked them for their choices.
Unfortunately this blogpost will probably come a bit too late to act as Christmas gift inspiration for anyone (unless you’ve left it really late, in which case, (a) here you are! good luck! and (b) gosh, you really have left it rather late), but after harassing everyone for their answers it seemed a shame not to post them at all. So here you are – this is what we want for Christmas:
I am giving:
Maps to my adventure-hungry 6-year-old daughter
The Fairy Doll by Rumer Godden to my gentle, book-crazy 8-year-old daughter
Daughter of the Desert: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell to my slightly eccentric mother
And if it were published yet (but it’s not! How crazy is that?) I would be giving the National Geographic: Round the world in 125 years to my partner. But it’s not published until Jan 25!! What were you thinking, National Geographic??
I would like:
Life after Life by Kate Atkinson
The Luminaries (but whether I ever read it is another matter).
The National Geographic: Round the World in 125 years
I’ll be giving my niece The Bedtime Frog – she’s a biiiiiig Pip and Posy fan and has been since she was 2. And now she’s starting to read them properly for herself, which is so good to see … and it means we don’t have to spend ages listening to/singing ‘The Alphabet Song’, with all the letters and the sounds they make. We’re now stringing the sounds together more confidently. Well, she is… We often play Pip and Posy – but if I deviate from the stories in the book … do a bit of ad-libbing … I’m sharply reprimanded.
And I want the biography of The Mystery of Princess Louise by Lucinda Hawksley. I really enjoy historical biographies … especially a gossipy one…
I can’t reveal ALL the books I’ll be giving because my mother reads this blog (I should make clear that by this I mean that I am giving her some books; not that they are too rude to say), but I think it’s probably safe to share that I’ll be giving my two-year-old cousin some Pip and Posy books and Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap Farm, which I LOVE. I’ve also given copies of The Goldfinch (Hatchards on Picadilly have signed copies!) and what is, to my mind, one of the stand-out books of the year (certainly one of the most beautiful), Letters of Note.
I think that I would quite like to receive Maps, the book that Camilla will give to her 6-year-old – it’s an amazing book for all ages (and one I’ve not been quite able to justify buying for myself). I’ve felt a slight sense of bitterness towards The Luminaries and have churlishly refused to read it until now, after I lost a phenomenal sum of money betting that Jim Crace’s Harvest would win the Booker Prize, but I think I’ve finally made my peace with the outcome now, and would quite like a copy of Eleanor Catton’s winning novel.
I plan to give to my nephews The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, by John Scieszka. I’ve revisited this on repeated occasions all year for typographical inspiration and it never tires, so I’m hoping they’ll find it just as funny as I do.
I would love to receive David Roberts’ illustrated edition of The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. I completely fell in love with his artwork for it at the British Library exhibition this year. Though I do own another version of WiW already, so I wouldn’t mind having some food inspiration too. Perhaps Beating the Lunch Box Blues as I’m currently stuck in a soup rut!
After Tom showed us Letters of Note, I decided I must have it, so I guess that’s one of my picks! It seems like the perfect book to pick up in between other books, if that makes sense… Also Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood, because Oryx and Crake is one of my favourite books ever and the time has come to read the second of the series. Wouldn’t mind getting one of the Leon cookbooks either.
What books I’ll be giving: one of Madhur Jaffrey’s cookbooks, Alice Munro’s Friend of My Youth and Robert Galbraith’s (aka J.K. Rowling) The Cuckoo’s Calling. My little cousins will get some of Nosy Crow picture and fiction books next year, when they’re published in Poland…
I’d really love The Circus and Other Stories by Samuil Marshak and Vladimir Lebedev. I love the illustration style of picture books from this era (1920s Soviet Union), and the fact that these particular collaborations were inspired by the idea that a children’s book is an important cultural object makes it even more of a must-have. Oh, and being a massive Arsenal supporter, I’d also like the autobiography of one of our greatest legends, Dennis Bergkamp!
What books are you giving this Christmas? And what would you like to receive? Do let us know in the comments!