My Top Five Books for Gift-Giving this Festive Season!
There’s probably nothing better than curling up on the comfiest living room chair, full of turkey and mince pies, with Christmas music playing faintly in the background and wrapping strewn all over the floor, and a book you’ve been given for Christmas earlier that same morning.
Some think giving books as gifts is notoriously difficult, but when chosen carefully, they can be one of the most valuable and generous presents a person can give or receive. Here’s a compiled shortlist of five books I recommend as reading must-haves over the festive season, and which are sure to make you a certified stellar gift-giver. And don’t forget, if one of these catches your eye, you can always treat yourself to a present of the literary kind!
The Starless Sea – Erin Morgenstern
Just over eight years since her debut novel The Night Circus (2011), Erin Morgenstern has returned with The Starless Sea, an exquisitely written discovery plot that combines storytelling and mystery with infusions of magic and myth. This book is tailored for the escapist family member or friend who loves nothing more than to disappear into another world. Praised as an “enchanting read” by The Independent, this novel is sure to usher in a much-needed feeling of magic to anyone’s Christmas.
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse– Charlie Mackesy
Whilst not strictly literary, this beautiful collection of illustrated short stories might be a perfect gift for yourself and others this Christmas. As his first collection, Charlie Macksey has published a modern heartwarming fable, its pages filled to the brim with tender messages of hope in times of uncertainty. It’s even turned Bear Grylls into a softie, who said of it: “Love, friendship and kindness – this book speaks a universal language.” Winner of Waterstones’ ‘Book of the Year’ award, this collection would be a wonderful gift for anyone who needs reminding of the power of kindness and friendship. It can also be enjoyed by the whole family, for readers of all ages.
Meg and Jo – Virginia Kantra
As many of us wait in excited anticipation to watch the new Little Women film adaptation, why not revisit your favourite classic in the form of a modern retelling from Virginia Kantra? The four sisters we know and love are catapulted into 21stcentury America, facing modern problems in journalism, fashion, food blogging, and the music industry. For a story that recalls a timeless classic, and celebrates the bond of sisterhood during the festive period, pick up a copy of Kantra’s reimagined story for yourself, a friend, or a sibling this Christmas.
Grand Union– Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith, recent winner of the Infinity Award (2019) and author of White Teeth, has released a set of eleven short stories in perfect time for Christmas shopping. An eclectic mix of form-challenging narratives, Smith’s publication explores themes of motherhood, travel, social relations and speculative fiction. It’s perfect for Zadie Smith lovers as well as new readers. Plus, a selection of short stories makes an ideal gift for your friend who’s always on the go with little time to spare for delving into a larger publication.
The Creature Choir – David Walliams
Released in perfect time for younger readers this Christmas, The Creature Choir hit shelves on December 12th. Fall in love with Warble the Walrus and a whole host of Christmas characters as they celebrate doing what makes you happy, all wrapped up in a Christmassy context! Perfect for anybody big or small who loves to sing, why not consider purchasing this latest Walliams classic for someone’s bookshelf?
– Charlotte Fitch