Christmas/Birthday Book Haul

Because I love being late to the party, here’s my Christmas book haul. Expect my January book haul sometime in the next year or two… I must get better at this whole blogging thing! Anyway. I love Christmas. It’s a great excuse for me to add lots of lovely books to my TBR pile without feeling guilty for spending money on them, BECAUSE IT AIN’T MY MONEY. HAHAHA!

These are the books I received for Christmas/my Birthday/bought myself in the sales because I have no self-control. I hope you enjoy the list, I think each of them makes a great gift so if you’re looking for any inspiration for upcoming birthday presents for loved ones, or maybe even Valentine’s Day gifts, these are some pretty good choices!

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Soppy – Philippa Rice

Sometimes it’s about sympathizing with someone whose tea has gone cold or reading together and sharing a quilt. When two people move in together, it soon becomes apparent that the little things mean an awful lot. The throwaway moments in life become meaningful when you spend them in the company of someone you love.

This book is so cute and sweet, I’ve been following this artist’s work for a while now and just love her style. I love that she mainly uses red, white and black and I especially love how she portrays such sweet moments inspired by her life with her boyfriend. I’m looking forward to lazily flicking through this book. I can also imagine this book making the perfect mini coffee table book for guests to flick through, as the book doesn’t have a story and features lots of different scenes.

Just Kids – Patti Smith

In Just Kids, Patti Smith’s first book of prose, the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies. An honest and moving story of youth and friendship, Smith brings the same unique, lyrical quality to Just Kids as she has to the rest of her formidable body of work–from her influential 1975 album Horses to her visual art and poetry.

This book has been on my reading wish list for years. I saw someone blogging about it a long time ago and have been a bit obsessed with it ever since. The shop, HMV, always used to feature some really great books, usually cult classics relating to film or music, and ‘Just Kids’ by Patti Smith was one I always used to spot while wandering about but never bought. I’m so excited to finally give this one a read as I’ve heard it’s a beautiful read.

A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.
But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Isn’t that such a tempting little synopsis? I bought this one for myself and was a little bit disappointed to purchase the film tie in cover, as I don’t usually do that. Luckily, this cover is still very pretty so I don’t mind too much. I have been wanting to read this for a while too, especially after seeing the trailer for the film and hearing so many great things. I’m a little apprehensive as Patrick Ness’s ‘More Than This’ was the only book I didn’t manage to finish last year but I’m willing to give his writing another go in 2017!

The Muse – Jessie Burton

On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, she has been offered a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick. But though Quick takes Odelle into her confidence, and unlocks a potential she didn’t know she had, she remains a mystery – no more so than when a lost masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery.

Again, another self-buy. I spotted this on the shelf in Sainsbury’s and couldn’t stop myself. I loved the look of Jessie Burton’s debut, The Miniaturist, (especially those blue sprayed edges!) but never really fancied picking it up. This novel however seems a bit more up my street, and the cover art is gorgeous (I absolutely judge books by their covers and I’m not ashamed of it). Looking forward to picking this up soon.

The Revenant – Michael Punke

The year is 1823, and the trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Hugh Glass is among the company’s finest men, an experienced frontiersman and an expert tracker. But when a scouting mission puts him face-to-face with a grizzly bear, he is viciously mauled and not expected to survive. Two company men are dispatched to stay behind and tend to Glass before he dies. When the men abandon him instead, Glass is driven to survive by one desire: revenge.

This is really not a book I’d normally choose but, again, I spotted it in the shop and decided to try something new. I’m also pretty keen to watch the film (because of Leo, mainly. What more reason is needed?) and, as an English and Film graduate, I’m always curious to see books adapted to the big screen.

Not That Kind of Girl – Lena Dunham

These are stories about getting your butt touched by your boss, about friendship and dieting (kind of) and having two existential crises before the age of 20. Stories about travel, both successful and less so, and about having the kind of sex where you feel like keeping your sneakers on in case you have to run away during the act. Stories about proving yourself to a room of 50-year-old men in Hollywood and showing up to “an outlandishly high-fashion event with the crustiest red nose you ever saw.”

Okay, so I’ve always had mixed opinions about Lena Dunham. On the one hand, I think she makes great art. Girls is a great TV show and has characters that, as a 20 something woman, I can really relate to. But on the other, I acknowledge that she can say really shitty things and she’s a pretty divisive figure among my friends. I’m keen here to learn about her experiences and am excited to read her writing style as, aside from my other doubts, I am certain that she is an excellent storyteller.

You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried – Susannah Gorah

You can quote lines from Sixteen Candles (“Last night at the dance, my little brother paid a buck to see your underwear”), your iPod playlist includes more than one song by the Psychedelic Furs and Simple Minds, you watch The Breakfast Club every time it comes on cable, and you still wish that Andie had ended up with Duckie in Pretty in Pink. You’re a bonafide Brat Pack devotee—and you’re not alone.

Oh my god, so this was a gift from a very good friend – who I actually introduced to the movies of John Hughes last year – and I could not be more excited about it. As a film geek, I love John Hughes’ films. I love 80s culture, the outfits, the music and I love the cast of characters that starred in the films such as Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy and Judd Nelson. I’m so excited to get stuck into this book and delve deeper into some of my most loved films!

Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness – Marie Tourell Søderberg

Others books will tell you how to be hygge. This is the only book that will show you. Though we all know the feeling of hygge instinctively few of us ever manage to capture it for more than a moment. Full of beautiful photographs and simple, practical steps and ideas to make your home and life both comfortable and cheering all year round, this book is the easy way to introduce hygge into your life. 

I know Hygge is a bit over done now, but I love the idea of this. My favourite ever thing is cozying up with a book or having movie nights in with friends, so I reckon I’m already pretty good at Hygge, but I’ve been so intrigued by this trend all year and really wanted to read about it for myself. And of course, I asked Santa for the prettiest Hygge book of them all!

The Bookshop Book – Jen Campbell

Every bookshop has a story. We’re not talking about rooms that are just full of books. We’re talking about bookshops in barns, disused factories, converted churches and underground car parks. Bookshops on boats, on buses, and in old run-down train stations. Fold-out bookshops, undercover bookshops, this-is-the-best-place-I’ve-ever-been-to-bookshops.

Honestly, I’ve loved Jen Campbell since I first started watching her videos a couple of years ago. This book sounds like a bookish bible for everyone who loves spending an hour (or three) perusing bookshops. I am so excited to learn about some amazing shops all over the world, and maybe get some inspiration for future travels.

Letters of Note – Shaun Usher

From Virginia Woolf’s heart-breaking suicide letter, to Queen Elizabeth II’s recipe for drop scones sent to President Eisenhower; from the first recorded use of the expression ‘OMG’ in a letter to Winston Churchill, to Gandhi’s appeal for calm to Hitler; and from Iggy Pop’s beautiful letter of advice to a troubled young fan, to Leonardo da Vinci’s remarkable job application letter, Letters of Note is a celebration of the power of written correspondence which captures the humour, seriousness, sadness and brilliance that make up all of our lives. 

I’ve had my eye on this book for a while and after deciding to gift it for a friend’s birthday and flipping through the pages as I wrapped it, I decided I just had to put it on my Christmas list. I love handwritten letters, I wish they were still common. I think it will be a really unique insight into some great historical figures and I’m so excited to pick it up.

I hope you enjoyed this list! I’m very happy with my book haul, let me know your favourite Christmas gift you’ve received!

All italicized writing from Goodreads.

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