This And That

Christmas Bookish Guide

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Hi everyone!

Christmas is coming and it’s high time to present to you my little Christmas Gift Guide (I reckon this will probably not be the last one…)


1) Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (Vintage Publishing)

I have already told you about this wonderful graphic novel in my Persopolis review (it was here). Probably one of the best graphic novels to offer to someone who doesn’t know much about graphic novels. This graphic novel, in which the author recounts her childhood and teenage years under the oppressive regime of the new Islamic Republic of Iran, is a good introduction to the autobiographic graphic novels (which is a big part of the genre).

2) Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Illustrated Edition

You have probably all heard about this beautiful new edition of Harry Potter, which was released by Bloomsbury Childrens last October. This gorgeous hardback book has the particularity to be fully illustrated and Jim Kay’s coloured illustrations are absolutely stunning. If you have grown up with the Harry Potter series – like me – you may want to treat yourself with this beautiful present. For the most altruistic people, this book would also make a beautiful gift for a young reader from the new generation who has yet to discover Harry Potter.


3) Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

I have also recently reviewed this great novel (it was here, if you are interested in reading my review). It’s definitely one of the best novels I have read this year, an unforgettable epic novel, which I will re-read at some point, that’s for sure. If you know someone who likes gripping novels, novels focusing in family stories or just novels thanks to which they can escape, this is the perfect novel to offer them!


4) A little life by Hanya Yanagihara (Pan Macmillan)

Everyone talked about this book this year, mostly because it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015 and was the indisputable front runner. Finally, it didn’t win the Man Booker Prize and received some harsh criticisms for its unlikely ending, which apparently totally ruins the rest of the book. However, it was also widely acclaimed by some readers, who called it a life-changing book. This novel recounts the story of 4 friends who live in New York and mostly deals with the theme of sexual abuse, which affected one of the characters. This book is definitely on my To-Be-Read list and I believe it would make a great gift.


5) The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst (Penguin Random House)

Everyone has been celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland this year: the exhibitions and shows have followed one another in London, and new and beautiful editions of Alice in Wonderland have invaded bookshops. To stay in the Alice theme but at a different level, I would like to show you this book, which is not another edition of Alice in Wonderland but which recounts the story behind Alice in Wonderland: the “double personality” of the author (Charles Dodgson versus Lewis Carroll), the relationship of the latter with Alice Liddell, the little girl who was the inspiration for the Alice from the book and so on. This looks absolutely fascinating!


6) Roald Dahl’s Scrumdidlyumptious Story Collection by Roald Dahl (Penguin Books)

Everyone likes Roald Dahl’s books, children and adults alike. I had the chance to rediscover Roald Dahl recently and I really feel like reading all of his books now. Roald Dahl’s stories are always funny and witty, and Quentin Blake’s illustrations marvellously complement them. This amazing box set comprises 6 books from Roald Dahl (from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to The Twits), as well as extra material about Roald Dahl’s life (which seems to be as interesting as his books!).


7) Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination by J. K. Rowling (Illustrated by Joel Holland)

Who said that this Christmas Gift Guide was too Rowlingish? No, I have never enough of J.K. Rowling! This little book is the transcript of the commencement speech given by J.K. Rowling at Harvard University in 2008. This is the first time that this speech has been published in a book form and it looks just awesome. In her speech, J.K. Rowling mostly dealt with big issues such as how failure can be embraced and how imagination can save us and the others. I have not read this book yet but I am planning to buy it early next year and to use it as a boost.


8) The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Another book we have heard lot about, but I definitely believe that it would be the perfect gift for a teenager who likes reading (but make sure they have not seen the movie!). I must admit that I have yet to read it, but it is at the top of my “to be read” list and I am sure I will adore it (and not only because I love John Green as a person – ok, as a Youtuber! – ): it is a heart-breaking story which features two “unusual” teenage characters, both having cancer. I believe that there is also another layer in the story, a bit of intertextuality, which doesn’t only make it an entertaining read but probably also a clever one.


9) The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell (Little, Brown Book Group)

Probably not the first time I’ve written it on this blog but: I am in love with Jen Campbell, writer, blogger, Youtuber and bookseller. Most of the books I have recently bought are books she recommended on her blog or Youtube channel. But she is also a writer and her non fiction books look absolutely amazing. The Bookshop Book will give you a world tour of the most unusual and greatest bookshops in the world. I think we can safely say that this book would be a great gift for any book lover!


10) In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume (Pan Macmillan)

Finally, let’s finish this bookish Christmas Gift Guide with another young adult novel, written by the master of young adult novels, Judy Blume. Judy Blume is one of the precursors of young adult novels as we know them (from the 1970’s, she addressed issues such as sex in novels aimed at teenagers, which was really revolutionary at that time!). Judy Blume is back with this terribly tempting novel based on a childhood memory of hers, the crashes of three airplanes in her hometown, Elizabeth, in 1951 and 1952.

I hope you liked this article and that it will give you some inspiration for your Christmas shopping!


Have a wonderful week!


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1 Comment

  • Reply heyimManon 19 January 2016 at 16 h 10 min

    So Amélie, have you been spoiled this year ? What did Santa brought you ? I had the chance to receive the illustrated version of the first book of Harry Potter ! Lucky me, and you ?

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