This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
So the festivities are over, but the delights of Christmas live on thanks to the large stash of books Father Christmas left under my tree. Most of my Christmas list was inspired by recommendations I'd seen on social media – mainly Twitter – but also, bizarrely enough, through gaps in my knowledge highlighted by the game show Pointless.
1. Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton – I saw the cookbook, Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton, on Jane Green's Instagram, which looked fabulous. But Jane also recommended Blood, Bones & Butter as one of the best food memoirs, so I just had to have it. It is a "rollicking, passionate" memoir about food, purpose and family. Perfect. (Incidentally, Instagram is another great place to get book recommendations.)
2. A Merry Christmas & Other Christmas Stories by Louisa May Alcott – Father Christmas must have been reading my Novelicious posts because I mentioned this was on my list before Christmas. And lo! I now have it. By the author of Little Women this is a Penguin Christmas Classic collection of enchanting festive stories. It looks and feels lovely.
3. My Life in France by Julia Child – Okay, there might be a bit of a food memoir theme going on here. Of course, I adore the film Julie & Julia, and I have Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but I have never actually read about Julia's life in France in her own words. Julia arrived in Paris in 1948 barely knowing a word of French. Her first lunch in France was the most exciting meal of her life. I am intrigued to read more.
4. The Nation's Favourite Poems – Whilst watching Pointless I realised I had a gap in my poetry knowledge, so my husband has bought me this – a collection of the nation's favoutites. It is going to be lovely to dip in and out of. It features If by Rudyard Kipling as well as Tennyson, Wordsworth, Keats, Wilfred Owen and Dylan Thomas – so many of the classics that I really should know.5. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton – I made heavy hints about this novel and they worked perfectly. I even got the special edition cover. It is set in 1686 in Amsterdam. Nella Oortman is 18 and has arrived at the wealthiest quarter of the city to become the wife of illustrious merchant trader, Johannes Brandt. Her wedding gift from Johannes is a cabinet-sized replica of their home containing tiny creations, which mirror their real life counterparts.
Tell us, what books did you get for Christmas?