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Offbeat / obscure books for 12 y/o dd's Xmas stocking . . . suggestions needed!

21 replies

Takver · 21/10/2014 09:40

As above, really. She always has a couple of books in her stocking to read over Christmas. She's an obsessive reader with a well stocked school library (and these days I really don't know what she's been reading), so it needs to be a bit off beat and unlikely to be in the library.

Non-fiction might be good as she's less likely to pick those up herself - last year I got her the Little History of Science which went down well. Auto/biographies might also go down well, esp science/nature-y ones.

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ThinkIveBeenHacked · 21/10/2014 09:44

Schotts Almanac
I think theres a book from the QI tv series which is interesting
David Attenbrough autobiography

ThinkIveBeenHacked · 21/10/2014 09:46

I have the Schotts Miscellany its like bitesize facts and chunks of "useless" info - golf parrs, anniversary gifts, weights and measures etc.

Booksteensmagazines · 21/10/2014 10:08

These two are good books but less well known:

The Bell Between Worlds by Ian Johnstone
Peak by Roland Smith

Would you consider a magazine subscription for her - a fact one like All About Soace or All About History's?

Takver · 21/10/2014 11:30

Magazine subs is also a good idea - she gets Nat. Geographic, but I'm sure she'd enjoy another one. I haven't seen either of the ones that you've mentioned, will look out for them.
Miscellany is also a good thought, as is QI.

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InMySpareTime · 21/10/2014 11:39

these books are A6, good as stocking fillers, and quirky too.

ThinkIveBeenHacked · 21/10/2014 11:40

Has she read Lemony Snickets series of unfortunate events? A bizarre quirky set of books if ive ever read!

DeWee · 21/10/2014 12:33

I got dd1 who is similar the StoneyWyld series when she was 12yo in her stocking:
www.stonewylde.com/

I hadn't come across them before, but the author was signing books in our bookshop, and I stopped to chat. She recommended them for 14+, but I thought I'd try them for dd1 as she was running out of those I knew about.
Upshot was I got her the first 3 books and she spent her Christmas money on getting the others in the series.

A different alternative, depending on her tastes, dd2 loves the old fashioned books (30s/40s/50s children fiction) and Girls gone By Publishing publishes quite a few. I can recommend Malcolm Saville or Violet Needham if she likes adventures, Monica Edwards or Gwendoline Courtney for good more girlie adventures, Chalet School or Antonia Forest for school stories.

madamehooch · 21/10/2014 20:14

365 Days of Wonder

The Pointless Book

Wreck this Journal

madamehooch · 21/10/2014 20:17

For biographies try Chinese Cinderella. Mud Sweat and Tears by Bear Grylls is also an interesting read.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius · 21/10/2014 20:20

It is fiction, but "The Land of Green Ginger" by Noel Langley is a hilarious sequel to the Aladdin story - I loved it as a child, and love it still.

antarctic · 21/10/2014 20:32

For fiction, how about some old classics? Is she less likely to have read them than modern books?

I'm thinking of:
Anne of Green Gables
Little Women
The Pursuit of Love
I Capture the Castle
Anything by Noel Streatfield or Diana Wynne Jones

LadyIsabellaWrotham · 21/10/2014 20:41

My DC love the Pointless books as well; they fight over them even though they're not remotely aimed at children.

Frances Hardinge's books are good, esp Fly By Night, and Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones is great if she hasn't read it. Agree that Lemony Snicket's books are fun, and also objects of beauty.

DD loves the Murderous Maths books, which are a bit less obvious than Horrible Histories and available super cheap e.g.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius · 21/10/2014 21:32

Eva Ibbotson's books are good too - The Dragonfly Pool is lovely, as is Journey to the River Sea.

traviata · 21/10/2014 23:13

Richard Dawkins 'Magic of Reality'

Richard Feynman's physics books (a bit antiquated perhaps, with very dubious sexual politics in the background)

Sherlock Holmes - the original Conan Doyles

Takver · 22/10/2014 08:06

I don't know the Pointless books, will look them up. I remember you recommended Chinese Cinderella before MmeH - will try and figure out if she got it! If not, that's a great idea.

Classics / Feynman / Dawkins etc we tend to have on our bookshelves anyway. Sherlock Holmes though reminds me of Raffles and Father Brown which we don't, for some reason, and which might appeal, esp Raffles (anyone remember if they're wildly racist/otherwise inappropriate - I don't think so?).

Thanks all!

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traviata · 22/10/2014 11:31

Lord Peter Wimsey?

honeysucklejasmine · 22/10/2014 11:35

What about the "Queen's Thief" series by Megan Whalen Turner? Not usually stocked in shops or libraries but superb books.

Pantah630 · 22/10/2014 11:39

The Natural Navigator is a good one, especially if she like nature and walking.

traviata · 22/10/2014 11:46

this sort of thing? science in 30 seconds

madamehooch · 22/10/2014 18:02

Try her with 'Murder Most Unladylike' too. It's new and a cross between Agatha Christie and the Chalet school :-)

Takver · 22/10/2014 20:54

So far got the Complete Raffles and I Capture the Castle - will check out other suggestions, and thanks all :)

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