Books are a permanent fixture of our Christmas – chosen well, they’re never an unwelcome gift, and they’re swiftly available as a perfect last minute option too.
With the wealth of choice before you, it’s often easier to know what other people like – so I thought I’d share my own personal literary gift-buying this year.
GHOSTS: The Button House Archives
If you’re a fan of the show (and you really should be) then this is a must-have. It’s no money-grabbing bit of merch. This book is amazing – written by the team themselves, it’s all the background info that you never knew you needed. Learn how to weave a basket using potatoes as the only unit of measurement from Mary, read extracts from Captain’s war journal and learn about Julians expenses claims.
(NB – the last episode ever is showing on Christmas Day *weeps*. You can catch it later on iPlayer, obviously)
The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse – Charlie Mackesy
Yes you could ift it to children, gift it to adults. If you haven’t read it yet, gift it to yourself. I received it in 2020 as a Christmas present, gave it to my daughter in 20201 and last year I gave it to my daughter in law – it’s a short, thoughtful, beautiful book, and she sat and read it on Boxing Day, and cried when it was done.
This book never disappoints, and is the perfect gift for those who have everything.
Buy the hardback version – only £9 on Amazon currently
Bonus extra: Since its publication in 2019, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse has warmed the hearts of millions of readers across the globe. The mole, in particular, has brought joy and delight to readers – for his bravery, friendship and love of cake! – and Charlie Mackesy has now created a tangible reminder that we will make it through the storm. That we are loved and enough.
The Mole plush is available excliusively through waterstones, and I can coinfrim it’s as beautiful and huggable as you would wish, and comes in it’s own adorable carry case.
Dinosaurs: A Concise Natural History
If you have an actual dino nerd in your family – not a child who likes a T-Rex, but a teen or adult who’ll actually sit and watch a two hour YouTube video on the latest palaeontology finds – then this is the book for you. It’s not cheap, but this is the leading text book that Uni students use, and this fourth edition includes the latest evidence and thinking from the world’s leading experts, written in such a way as to make it totally readable for a brain thirsty for knowledge. My ADHD daughter is going to LOVE it.
This is such a stunning book – be aware it is HUGE, and heavy. But if you have a space nerd in the house, they cannot fail to be delighted.
In a frozen vault in Houston sits the original NASA photographic film of the Apollo missions. For half a century, almost every image of the Moon landings publicly available was produced from a lower-quality copy of these originals.
Now, expert image restorer Andy Saunders has taken newly available digital scans and created the highest quality Apollo photographs ever produced. Never-before-seen spacewalks and crystal-clear portraits of astronauts in their spacecraft, along with startling new visions of the Earth and the Moon. A book to pore over on a long slow winter’s afternoon.
Apollo Remastered is £39
Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to British Birds
A humorous and very personal guide written by Bill Bailey about his favourite British birds, complete with his own drawings, notes and cartoons.
‘When herons are spooked they have a habit of vomiting as a defence. Half-digested pieces of eel and water vole skull on your head is not a good look. Just so you know.’
Charming, genuinely informative and – as you’d expect – throughly entertaining for any wildlife lover.
Garden Rubbish, and Other Country Bumps by W. C. Sellar & R. J. Yeatman
Stick with me here. If you have an older relative who loves gardening, this is just the thing. Trust me.
It’s a first edition by the authors of 1066 and All That – and it’s brilliantly fun, while containing actual interesting gardening advice from the 1930s.
Check Abebooks to find a copy – I found a first edition for under £9 including shipping, but the 1950s reprints are just as charming