Second only to my love of buying books for myself, is my love of buying books to give as gifts to friends and family. The upcoming Christmas celebrations are a perfect opportunity to indulge in the latter (and of course to put in a few requests of my own…).
If I’ve done my sums correctly (arithmetic not being my strongest point) there are 20 books all waiting to be wrapped and handed over to new homes. It’s been great fun making choices. Some were easier than others.
My sister is an easy one to buy for – she loves historical fiction so on Christmas morning I hope she’ll be delighted to see C.J Sansom ‘s Winter in Madrid and Heresy, the first of four books by S.J Parris set in Elizabethan England. I always like to introduce her to a new author so this year it is John Banville with Ancient Lights.
My niece is currently at university studying English literature and history. She doesn’t read books so much as gobble them up which makes it hard to find authors she has never read. This year I went for writers outside the familiar territory of UK/USA and am introducing her to Mo Yan, the Nobel Literature prize winner from China and her novel Frog; Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood and Emile Zola (Therese Racquin). I’m hoping she’ll get the Zola bug as much as I did.
Other purchases include lots of non fiction for my husband (including A.A.Gill and Paul Theroux); some crime for my dad (Belinda Bauer) and a bit of a wild card for my mum with Sarah Walters’s Paying Guests but I think she’ll love Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn.
The hardest one of all has been my nephew. Just what do you get for a seventeen year old who does enjoy reading though doesn’t spend that much time on it. He’s outgrown the YA stuff, was luke warm on Hunger Games and the Stephanie Meyer vampire stuff and isn’t a great lover of science fantasy sagas. I’m going to try him with John Wyndham via The Day of the Trifids and The Midwitch Cuckoos. If anyone has some better ideas please let me know though for the next time…
So how about you all – do you like buying to give as much as I do? And if you do, how do you choose what to give?