BOOKS TO GIVE AT CHRISTMAS - what are you wrapping this year?

(113 Posts)

This year, I'm going all out for strikingly beautiful, gorgeously tactile books, probably as a reaction to Kindlemania... but leaving room in the stockings for a few straightforward paperbacks too.

What will you be putting under the tree?

For 0-5 year olds:
Stuck - Oliver Jeffers
All manner of strange objects get stuck in a tree, as Floyd tries to unstick his kite. A beautifully drawn, funny, whimiscal book from one of the best children's authors (The Incredible Book Eating Boy is still a firm household favourite.)

For 5-8 year olds:
Any of the Tim and Ginger books by Edward Ardizzone
Sea-faring adventures and derring do aplenty, with exquisite illustration and hand-coloured pictures. They are always popular with my boys for having an almost cartoon style coupled with a good old-fashioned yarn.

For older kids:
The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Brian Selznick
This book was published back in 2007 but has just come out as a film by Martin Scorcese. Twelve-year-old Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets. His mysterious adventures are depicted in both magical words and hand-drawn pictures, and the whole book is an incomparable work of art. Mainly for 9-14 year olds, but would equally captivate younger children or adults. A bit of a whopper (500 pages, but lots of those are illustration) - get in some extra wrapping paper...

For boys in particular:
History Heroes: How Well Do You Know Your Explorers?
Not strictly a book, but a pack of cards, a bit like top trumps, with facts about explorers and adventurers. Keeps my 5 year old fascinated - and usefully covers a great hole in my own knowledge.

For girls in particular:
Penguin clothbound Jane Austen/Louisa May Alcott
As always, Penguin have pulled out the stops and made the classics into something extra-special. One of these (Emma? or maybe Little Women? So hard to choose) will be ideal for my 11 year old niece: she'll read and re-read forever.

For the men:
Private Eye: First 50 Years
OK, not an original choice, but it does tick a lot of boxes: funny, intelligent, visually striking. It's almost like an alternative history book, with all major events covered in those spot-on photo caption covers.

For the women:
Wildflowers - Sarah Raven
A seriously sumptuous present (a sort of equivalent to a giant glass bottle of Jo Malone). It is stunningly produced (endpapers, ribbons, glorious photography, the works) and consequently pricey (RRP £50 but half the price on Amazon). It is also hard to categorise - not exactly an identification book or a gardening book, but a personal detailing of all the wildflowers she found across Britain. Makes you happy to live here, and happy just to think of spring.

Stocking filler paperbacks for grown ups:

Snowdrops - ADMiller
An utterly gripping thriller that was shortlisted for the Booker prize, perfect for crime fans and literary bookworms alike. And it's our Mumsnet Bookclub book for January 2012

Room - Emma Donoghue
One of the best books we did in Bookclub this year - and one I still can't stop talking about.

By Heart - ed. Ted Hughes
A collection of poetry that you can learn easily by heart, with a great introduction on how to visualise the imagery and commit the words to memory. Reminds me how much I love poetry and yet never take time to read it. This means you should (theoretically, at least) be able to pull it out of your head whenever you fancy.

Stocking filler paperbacks for kids:

Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog - Mimi Grey
Traction Man has to save his loyal scrubbing brush from the hideous bin-things - and prevent Turbo Dog from usurping his faithful friend. Great jokes for adults and kids, and a lovely comic illustration that looks stylish and retro.

The Little Wooden Horse - Ursula Moray Williams
A great aunt sent us an original copy of this (try to get a secondhand copy, as the original drawings are lovely) - each chapter sends the little toy into a wild adventure, taking on pirates, kings, coal mines, racehorses and crazy children as he tries to get back to his master. Kept everyone saucer-eyed, despite being decidedly old-fashioned.

Cromwell44 Tue 29-Nov-11 23:54:45

For me: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal by Jeanette Winterson
OH: When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the 1970s by Andy Becket
DS1(14) : The Fear by Charlie Higson
DS2 (12) :the new Skulduggery Pleasant in HB, The Power of Six by Pittacis Lore

SamsGoldilocks Thu 01-Dec-11 13:57:46

OOoooh
I've got a Diana Henry book for my mum -Roast Figs sugar snow which looks lovely and simple with recipes from northern cold countries
OH has The Long Fall by Walter Mosley - he loved the Easy Rawlins series so i thought he might like to try a different chararcter
my godd is getting some trashy vampire type literature - i think it might be the Inkheart series

I too would recommend Room to everyone - was in fact just doing that last night.

Kveta Fri 02-Dec-11 10:29:54

I'm giving The Help to my grandmother and my sister.

DS (2) is getting a couple of new 'classics' - Aliens Love Underpants and Hairy Maclairy - to try and replace the sodding tiger who came to tea, because if I have to read that book one more time I shall rip my own eyes out.

DH is getting Quirkology, and I am trying to persuade him to get me the complete James Herriot collection (as it's sadly missing from my bookshelves!), the new Young James book, and blush the mumsnet rules.

zipzap Fri 02-Dec-11 10:51:09

Quite a few - max hasting's new war book for my mum's other half. (currently half price on amazon). Lots if stuff from the book people for others - a famous five collection for my niece who's 8, assorted drawing and arty books for ds1 (6) as well as an easy reading Ben 10 set of books, hairy mcclairy set for ds2(3), music/language/psych books for dh. I'm currently checking out all the deal of the day stuff on the book people, amazon etc and picking up bargains as they appear!

ChippyMinton Fri 02-Dec-11 12:15:18

The iconic hardback with yellow slipcover Wisden Cricketers Almanac for DH.

titferbrains Fri 02-Dec-11 12:40:05

3yo dd is getting one of the Emily Brown books, she has loved EB and the Thing.

DH is getting a signed copy of the Chez Bruce cookbook.

That Sarah raven book sounds lovely, trying to decide which of my greenfingered family members will enjoy it most.

notnowbernard Fri 02-Dec-11 12:54:12

0-5 - 'Alfie' books by Shirley Hughes
In The Night Garden musical book

5-8 - My Naughty Little Sister series
the 'Ottoline' books (wonderful illustrations!)

for girls in particular Jaqueline Wilson poetry anthology

stocking fillers for kids The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl

lilibet Fri 02-Dec-11 13:31:36

I've got a collection of Alan Coren's writings for my best friend and also found her some really great things form The Literary gift Company, a website I fouind on mumsnet.

How can anyone resist this

Tortington Fri 02-Dec-11 16:18:20

i do like me a bit of poetry so i ordered by heart off ebay just now for under 2.00 inc P&P - awesome. also ted hughes gets on my nerves so a collection of poetry is good

also bid on snowdrops - on your recommendation - so it better be good or its a custard pie for you

montmartre Fri 02-Dec-11 17:00:03

We love Oliver Jeffers! smile

The Jolly Christmas Postman

Meg and Mog collection (from Book People) for my 2yo

Pippi Longstocking for my 5yo

Mini Beatrix Potter editions for their stockings.

A v geeky book about coding for my DH (by Knuth if anyone's remotely interested)

pchick Fri 02-Dec-11 17:08:24

I just bought my Christmas present from the kids to myself - the new Lorraine Pascale cookery book. I've only seen five minutes of one programme but the recipe looked so simple (no fancy ingredients) so I thought I'd get the recipe book for myself.

Tonksforthememories Fri 02-Dec-11 17:28:16

We have bought The Skulduggery Pleasant books (1st 5 on Amazon black friday for 12.99!) for DD1 nearly 8y.

DD2 (6) is reading the bloody rainbow fairies books so may get her another couple.

DS- a replacement copy of Dear Zoo by Rod campbell as it's his fave and he's destroyed it!

DH may get the new Percy Jackson book.

alto2 Fri 02-Dec-11 18:57:56

The Toaster Project for the geeks in my life
Clare Tomalin's Dickens for my Mum
The Private Eye at 50 book is excellent - got it for dh's birthday

ScaryFairy28 Fri 02-Dec-11 19:53:45

Dd is getting even my ears are smiling a book of poems illustrated by babette cole. Might buy my mum a book something historical / about nazis!

CroissantNeuf Fri 02-Dec-11 20:09:07

DS (7) is getting the Mr Gum box set.

He has been a very reluctant reader but when he read one of the Mr Gum books a little while ago he loved it and, TBH, anything that encourages him to read has got to be worth a recommendation.

tigerdriverII Fri 02-Dec-11 20:37:00

Tin tin books for DS, with football detective books by Tom Palmer and the two or three Wimpy Kids he hasn't got - he's a reluctant reader par excellence but Tin Tin seems to do it for him atm.

The Sarah Raven book sounds fab - Tilly suggests it for women, but might it be something that a man (57, into countryside, gardening and, er, cars) might like? He irritatingly buys all the books he wants so surprise presents hard to come by!

HoHoOpotomus Fri 02-Dec-11 21:13:48

Bad jelly the witch by Spike Milligan for DD1 who is 4. It's the hard back version with coloured illustrations.

For women or teenage girls -

'Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day' with a copy of the DVD to go with

A gorgeous edition of Pride And Prejudice with the Keira Knightly DVD

For foodies -

The Fat Duck book

For me -

'The Lost Photographs Of Captain Scott'

For Harry Potter fans -

The amazing, 'Harry Potter From Page To Screen' book which is full of gorgeous photographs and art work

For teenagers or tweenage boys -

The series beginning with 'Gone' about all the adults suddenly disappearing or 'The Knife Of Never Letting Go' trilogy

Tom Palmer rocks btw - he is a genuinely all round nice bloke, so if you have football loving little boys, he's deffo worth a look.

ColonelBrandon Fri 02-Dec-11 21:38:28

For ds (7)
How to Train Your Dragon series
Ivan the Terrible

For dd(5)
The Jolly Postman
Princess Evie (totally pink and glittery but she likes the cut-out horses)

For ds(1)
A robust pop up or lift-the flap book

midnightexpress Fri 02-Dec-11 21:50:06

DP always turns his nose up at my literary offerings, so I may have to call his bluff and order him something wilfully obscure. That'll learn him.

This year we've most enjoyed reading all the Moomins books with the DC (nearly 5, and 6). The characters are so glorious and the stories so fabulous and Scandiwegian and sad and jolly. Just as lovely as I remember them, and great for reading out loud.

For SIL, who is a bit of a foodie, but on a diet (otherwise I'd get her the new Dan Lepard), I'm thinking perhaps the River Cottage Veg Every day book, which I really like.

DM loves all those popular history books like the Lighthouse Stevensons or Dava Sobel sort of stuff, so if anyone has any good suggestions of that kind of thing, I'd love to hear them.

tigerdriverII Fri 02-Dec-11 22:01:31

midnight there was a great TV series called "Men of Rock" about Scottish geologists (not Ozzy et al). I bet they have a book out, would be good.

midnightexpress Fri 02-Dec-11 22:16:04

Oh that might be good (she's Scottish!). Thanks.

tigerdriverII Fri 02-Dec-11 22:21:32

Bah - just googled him and doesn't appear to be a book or even a DVD. AND IT WAS A GREAT SERIES! DH studied geology a zillion years ago and we spend months each year in the West of Scotland but I don't think I'm biased. I feel like writing in to the BBC about this (not Clarkson though).

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