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.
Oh everyone's getting books this year! No-one ever buys me any - I think being an English teacher scares people off
Please excuse me for not using quotation marks around the titles for these - I wouldn't let my Year 7s get away with it but I just can't be arsed!
Up and Down
The Way Back Home - Oliver Jeffers
You Choose colouring book - they're both getting one of these as they've loved 3 copies of You Choose to death between them already!
Alfie gets in First
Alfie gives a Hand
Harry's Home - Laurence Anholt
DD (nearly 5)
Madeline and Madeline at Christmas - she has no idea they were books before they were her favourite cartoon so I am super excited about giving her these!
Bread and Jam for Frances - hopefully she'll be able to read it herself (also now a cartoon!)
Would you rather - John Burnhingham (for me really - I loved it so much!)
The Pencil, The Runaway Dinner - Alan Ahlberg
The Highway Rat - Julia Donaldson
BIL also getting her Ladybird read it yourself fairytales
Yellow submarine storybook (DSis is going to be made up!)
Fragments (Marylin Monroe's writing - looks gorgeous)
IQ84 1, 2 and 3 - Haruki Murakami
Wonders of the Universe - Brian Cox
Information is Beautiful - David McCandless (check out the website!)
Two Greedy Italians cookbook
Paper aeroplanes book
The Beach Hut by Veronica Henry - actually looks good but I only really bought it because I've hired a beach hut for her for a week in the summer as her present and I want to hide the picture inside!
Liberty book of home sewing
British Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Set of Antonia Fraser biographies (Book People!)
Hollyoaks Companion from 2002 (!)
Penguin's Poems for Life
Dear Grandma, from you to me
Anthony Horowitz boxset
Diary of a Wimpy Kid boxset
Man that's a lot of books! Easy to wrap though!
Thanks for all these. Hope Amazon can cope.
Long live Mr Gum!
BIL works at Amazon and he said there's not nearly as many orders coming in as they would usually expect - weird eh?
"See Inside Your Body" for DD2 who has an obsession abt skeletons and the like.
"Wind Up Plane Book" for DS who loves planes.
"Sewing School: 24 Projects That Your Kids Will Love" for DD1 who loves going on my sewing machine!
That's it, I think... For now.
DS1 (4) - Usborne Beginners Sun Moon and Stars
DS2 (2) - Hairy Maclary Shoo
DH - The Men Who Fell to Earth (from a few years ago, about the experiences of astronauts, it's wonderful)
Book Club Secret Santa - Celebrity: How Entertainers Took Over The World and Why We Need an Exit Strategy (for discussion, and it looked fun)
MiL - The Bolter
SiL - Ottolenghi, the first cook book
Midnightexpress, if the idea of a geology book has interested you then I'd recommend www.amazon.co.uk/Hidden-Landscape-Journey-into-Geological/dp/1847920713/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322874035&sr=1-1. It's easy to read and as a non-geologist I enjoyed it a lot.
These are for ds age 8 years
I have treated myself to the Little House (on the Prairie) boxed set (from SIL). I loved the books as a child and would love to read them again and hope that I can encourage DD to read them.
DP - IQ184 1-3 by Haruki Murakami
DD1 8 - Sapphire Battersea by Jacqueline Wilson & also JW 2012 Diary
DD2 5 - Big Horrid Henry Hardback Compendium
I have just started the new Aravind Adiga, and think I shall give that to my mum (although I may give her a couple of Jane Gardams as she hasn't read JG) and/or my sister, or might give my sister the Winterson.
DD1 wants the new Lauren Child. Am tempted to give DD2 the new Francesca Simon, the one that isn't a HH, but that is chiefly because I want to read it myself.
Just My Type by Simon Garfield, for anyone who likes a nice font. It is good and geeky (though I am very very and on the point of writing to him about his (one-word) description of Eric Gill's serial child abuse as 'outings' - but if you can get over that then fine).
Since geology has been mentioned, there's an older book called 'The Map That Changed The World' which is about the first geological map, but also about snobbery in post-enlightenment Britain etc.
If anyone has an art and gardening loving lady to buy for, a woodcut/linocut artist called Angie Lewin has a book out, beautifully produced and a good amount of writing as well as pictures. V successful present.
I so want that font book LrePrune, but there's no way anyone will be getting it for me! I don't advertise my font obsession
I think that font book would do for my otherwise impossible father: I've been eyeing it up.
Greeb & Blacks Chocolate Recipes to be wrapped with some chocolate and baking goodies
The font book is actually a good read: he's got quite a nice turn of phrase, and the layout is great. Surely everyone gets shivery at a nice font? [deluded]
Ds (6 and 4) getting stick man, see inside castles and some superheroes phonics books. And some king Arthur legend stories.
Ds3 (18m) getting a nursery rhyme book.
Dh is getting the David millar book about cycling and his drug taking.
I want the private eye one but might have to buy it myself!
I've got DB - Game of Thrones as I know he enjoted the TV series and 10 month DN - Julia Donaldson's Hide and Seek Pig.
'Celeb' books for us -
DP - I, Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan by Alan Partridge
DD2(16) - One Direction - Dare to Dream
DD3(13) - Ripley's Believe It Or Not
I've asked for the Inbetweeners Yearbook, Steve Jobs biography and the History of the Pankhursts.
DCs will get (from us or others)
Brilliant Book of Doctor Who
Top Gear Annual (children's version)
Horrible Science Annual
Horrible Histories Annual
Many annuals are dreadful cash-ins, but I know that those ones will be read again and again and again, and are genuine value for money by the time you've got a 3-for-2 deal or whatever.
In the realm of "real" books, they'll get the new Francesca Simon Viking book, the new Wimpy Kid book (signed and for free, thanks to Mumsnet), the new Richard Dawkins/Dave McKean, and a big boom of Ocean Liners posters .
DH will get the new Heston Blumenthal, which looks ace. I'll get the latest Pratchett and 2 Mark Kermodes.
the font book and I, Partridge for DH, plus various obscure music journalism off his wish list.
For my DM, Veggiestan middle eastern veg cookery
DD 10 has the new Lauren Childs and will be getting Green Glass Beads poetry collection, because I think the JW name will entice her to open it
DS 7 will get some other books by the guy who wrote Percy Jackson, plus poetry collection
for my DF - I have no idea. he must already possess nearly all the titles ever published. Everything I think of, he has.
for DH, the normal - Private Eye annual (always snatched by others first) and a wine book but also a religious anthology by the partner of a friend (shameles plug) Janet Morley's The Heart's Time - a poem a day for Easter and Lent (yes, I know not seasonal but only just come out...) to accompany a large bottle or several of whisky
for DM Great Lives - short biographies of famous people based on the Radio 4 series which on a quick riffle through looks good,
for v serious and important ILs the Private Eye annual, a wonderful set of estate agent blurbs from the observer, called Brothel In Pimlico + a couple of detective stories..and the Vladimir Grossman
for DS, probably, a TinTin
For DH: Rule. 34 by Charles Stross because he's one of his favourite authors
For DD: I think I might go for the recomm anthology, thank you! Also Gormenghast.
For me: well, I got the Game of Thrones box set from Amazon in their Lightning Deal and dh doesn't want it, my brother's read them all already so I guess it's mine.
For brother, an Amazon voucher as he will have read any book that I would get for him so I'll let him choose his own (book tokens are like getting a present twice, once when you get the token and again when go and spend it).
Join the discussion
Please login first.