So let us start the Christmas shopping a little bit. Never hurts to start thinking about it in time, Christmas eve is upon us faster then you know.
Buying books as Christmas gifts (or gifts at all) is both heaven and hell. As a book lover I always want to share that love and make other people excited about reading, but giving them thick Russian classics isn’t always the best way. And that’s not even addressing the minor problems or a) have the recipient possibly already read it b) what does the recipient like to read at all? So my strategy, unless I know for a fact that there is a particular title that is on the wish list ( i.e. books for my father and brother) I usually go with collections, books to browse or a little something feel good.
- Anything by Peter Mayle. A year in Provence is such classic but it is a readily available and super cosy winter read. Reading about their Christmas in France during the holidays brings cheer. And his written several other books in the same style, that also work just fine. Good food, good wine and crazy “frogs”; what’s not to like?
- The Crazy Rich Asian trilogy by Kevin Kwan. I’ve talked about these a lot but I do love them, and think that they are suitable for so many people. They are funny and smart at the same time. Great on a holiday.
- A poem for every night of the year compiled by Allie Esiri. I bought this book last year and I have read a poem most nights, which I think is a great little thing to do. There is now a companion A poem for every day of the year, which I have my eye on. The first one is intended for children but I’d say anyone between the ages 5 and 105 can get something out of it. And you don’t have to read a poem every night, but should you fancy it – you’ll find something very suitable in this (and fear not; there is Byron among them).
- A food lovers book of days by James and Kay Salter. Another one I keep talking about but I think that it is scandalously underrated and unknown. Just these little lovely entries about something food related for every day, a few recepies. Celebrate the season and all that.
- A time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor. Another book that I think is sort of feel good (or at least very engaging) and suitable for many people. Fermor’s travels through Europe in the 30s does capture the imagination and he writes ever so well.
- On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder. Neither feel good nor something to “dip in and out of”, but as I was putting together this list I decided that this little book might be one of the best stocking stuffer of all time.
- Let Proust change your life by Alain de Boton. Just the right amount of philosophy and air of French intellectual that anyone need during the Christmas holidays. Both fun and informative; you are giving people a possible new outlook on life.