Books usually make up a large proportion of my Christmas gifts. This year, I had asked for only one. Which turned into two. Which turned into five. You can relate, right!?
At least I’m putting some new shelves up soon, and will be able to fit all of the extras into my little room without doing the annual book clear-out (don’t make me give away any more books!).
I thought I’d share which books I received with you, and tell you why I asked for each one.
☆ Autumn and Winter by Ali Smith
Beautiful, pricey hardback, or cheap, on-sale, paperback? They both lay side by side in Waterstones when I bought a copy of Autumn by Ali Smith this year. I knew very little about the story, but in a single visit I’d heard three different customers and members of staff raving about it. So obviously I was going to buy it. But which edition? My student loan spoke, loudly: “The one you can afford!” Little did I know that Autumn would become my favourite read of the year! So one of the loveliest Christmas presents that I received this year was that beautiful hardback I had refrained from buying the first time around, along with the new book in the series, Winter. I can’t wait to read more of Ali Smith’s writing!
☆ Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
I went to Paris in 2015 for my eighteenth birthday, and one of the places I was most desperate to visit was Shakespeare and Co. bookshop. It’s since become one of my favourite little corners of the world. When I visited for the first time, I remember seeing a flyer advertising that Emily St John Mandel was giving a talk on her new book: Station Eleven, the day after I was leaving – isn’t that always the way of these opportunities? Ever since, I’ve felt a strange sort of attachment to the book, as though I had already read it and decided it was a favourite. Does that make sense? Anyway, I’ve got high expectations for you, Station Eleven!
☆ Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
I’ve never read an Agatha Christie novel. I have no justification other than that crime has never been my sort of thing. I tried Sherlock a few years ago, and really enjoyed the first couple of books, but I wouldn’t say it was my favourite kind of read. However, 2018 is going to be a year of classics for me, and I wanted to try a range of stories and genres. With the new film adaptation recently in the cinema, Murder on the Orient Express seems to sit at a prime position on the shelves of most book shops right now. I think it’s time to give the Queen of Crime a go!
(Side Note: I actually picked it up on Christmas day, and have been addicted to the story since, reading it in every bit of spare time I have had. So I might be feeling a tiny bit silly for waiting so long to pick up a Christie novel.)
☆ The Intimate Strangers & Other Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I’m always looking for more of Fitzgerald’s short stories, and Alma Classics have published quite a few collections. This is the third collection I’ve owned, and it is filled with some of the lesser known stories. I’ve not heard the best things about some of them, and most of them I’ve heard nothing about at all, which makes me all the more excited to read them. Fitzgerald is my favourite short story writer, so I’m intrigued to see what I think of this less popular collection.
Did you receive any books for Christmas this year? Which ones did you receive, and which is at the top of your to-read list?