A Bookish Gift Guide
Bookshops become overrun this time of year and I love it. There are the bookshoppers who know exactly which titles they are after and then there is the panicked last minute ones who pick up all the latest bestsellers and call it a day. The most important thing, books are being bought and shared. So to help out, I’ve got a little run down of the books I will be gifting…
For the Curious
It goes without saying that establishments like The White House just evoke curiosity. They are so vast and so important that regardless how you feel about them, you kinda wanna know goes on in there. So these two books will help satisfy as well as entertain.
From the Corner of the Oval Office, Beck Dorey Stein - is one of the best books I have read this year. It’s funny, emotional and hands down mind-blowing, imagine spending your birthday flying on a helicopter with Barack Obama! I had the privilege to meet Beck earlier this year when she came across to do some book events and she is a fabulous human. Which makes the book even more fabulous. It charts her 4/5 years working at the White House under Barack Obama as a stenographer. It’s a whirlwind of heartbreak and staying up too late - all of which comes with the territory of your first grown-up job. Honestly, you will love this book and it’s a great one to gift.
Becoming, Michelle Obama - I don’t think this one needs exactly selling as I’m pretty sure it is on most people’s Christmas lists anyway but I have to say I’m loving it and am so drawn in. This will be one of those books you don’t want to put down, maybe only for more cheese but that’s about it. Highly recommend.
For the Historical Fiction Fiend (That’s me!)
I’ve said it before but I am a sucker for historical fiction - my favourite era is 1920’s - 1950’s but that doesn’t mean I don’t branch out. This first one is a re-telling of the Trojan War from the POV of the women involved. I’ve actually be lent this by a dear friend who really enjoyed it, so I’m expecting good things and the second is one is the start of a series that will forever hold a special place in my heart.
The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker - this is the re-telling of one of the most famous ancient stories of all time from the female perspective. Following the woman who starts as a Queen to then become a captive, it captures the other side of the story. Think this is going to be a big hit with my Mum.
The Light Years, Elizabeth Jane Howard - this is book one of the Cazalet Chronicles and you will start a love affair with this series if you gift this book. Set a couple of years before the outbreak of WWII, Three generations of the Cazalet Family are enjoying their summer at the family home in Sussex. It begins the stories of the children, extends the stories of the adults and draws you in so much - you’ll really want there to be a new TV adaptation. (There is one apparently but it’s pants) And trust me, they’ll love it so much you can give the second book to them for their birthday.
For the Foodie
One of the main loves in my life is food. I honestly can’t think of time better spent than with wonderful people around a table eating and chatting. That for me is everything. I also love reading about food. So these two are for that person in your life that not only enjoys the eating but the reading as well.
Delicious, Ruth Reichl - again it’s a stalwart recommendation because it is such a fabulous book. Set in NYC, the story follow a young lady working at a food magazine, who discovers an archive of recipes and letters from the War. Honestly this book has everything.
Heartburn, Nora Ephron - this is one of my favourite books and there is a really gorgeous edition out at the mo. This book is about love and food. If you haven’t read anything by Nora Ephron then you need to change it and you need to gift it so everyone else can share in the joy as well. I’m yet to watch the film with Meryl Streep but I’ve heard good things. Not overly long but not lacking in emotion, I think every woman needs to read this at some point in her life. And the focus around food is just an added bonus. Great one for the stocking.
For the Non-Fiction Reader
My plan this year was to read way more Non-Fiction as I knew I missing out on a vast pile of fantastic books. It’s also having a bit of a boom at the moment, which I love. Both these books are designed to help people feel less alone. Not in a woo woo way, in a genuine sharing of experiences and reflections and both highlight how we can be better humans but also reminding us that we aren’t as bad as we think or as lonely etc. It’s worth putting both on your own Christmas list too.
Tiny Beautiful Things, Advice on Love and Life from someone who’s been there, Cheryl Strayed - you’ll probably recognise the name, if not Reese Witherspoon portrayed her in the movie. This book is what happened after her walking adventure. Cheryl became an agony aunt to all the women that had written her letters because of her first book, Wild. This is a collection of all the incredible advice she shared with those women.
Notes on a Nervous Planet, Matt Haig - I don’t think I’ll ever shut up about this book. It is the very much needed manual for the 21st Century that will keep you sane and happy. It reminds you that you are more than the amount of likes or retweets you get and we really do need a break from it every now and then.
Hopefully those give you some help, even if it is what to add to your own Christmas list. Happy December.