What A Lovely Christmas

I am hoping you have all had as lovely a Christmas as I did. I was at my mothers for the first time in a few years and it was a full house as I brought The Beard (first Christmas away from his parents in almost two decades), both my stepsisters were there with their partners, plus my Mum stepdad and my little sister and brother. And so ten of us all spent a lovely 24 hours in my mother and step fathers converted old pub. You can see me playing Where’s Wally here after dinner, when I had unsurprisingly hidden away with a book for a while, though I didn’t really read anything much…

Where's Wally?

Where’s Wally?

I got some lovely presents, though I won’t list them or show you pictures of them all as I find that whole oversharing of the commercial side of Christmas makes me feel a little bilious. I will share the two books I received both by Peter Mendelsund, a book designer who I learnt all about in America when I went to Booktopia Asheville and Ann Kingman and Michael Kindness, who host Books on the Nightstand, as well as several of the Booktopians were raving about both his books, so Cover and What We See When We Read came all the way from the US and will be being read in very early 2015…

Cover & What We See When We Read

Cover & What We See When We Read

Apart from the slight bit of reading, present unwrapping and mass eating we also played lots of board games, made more than one trip to the pub, went walking, drank rather alot and were generally a very jolly bunch, and I get a second Christmas Day on Sunday which I am really looking forward to, that and another week off reading. Bliss.

Me, The Beard, my stepdad, Mum, little brother and sister; all having far too jolly a time!

Me, The Beard, my stepdad, Mum, little brother and sister; all having far too jolly a time!

What about all of you? Did you have a wonderful day? Did you get any lovely books? Which ones did you give to people? What did you read?

Small additional note – this is my 2000th post! That’s madness!


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11 responses to “What A Lovely Christmas

  1. sharkell

    Sounds like a lovely day. I spent most of Boxing Day curled up with Nora Webster by Colm Tóibin. Bliss!

  2. pam

    hi simon! we had a lovely christmas as well. i was out for boxing day gathering and received “in cold blood” from a dear friend. our little reading group will be taking it on in january. i’m so excited!

  3. Sarah Cubitt

    Sounds really lovely. I had a great first Xmas as a parent 🙂 received my year of reading dangerously by Andy Miller, which I’ve wanted ever since you interviewed him!

  4. David

    ‘Cover’ is a fantastic book – I’ve been a fan of Mendelsund’s work for years. I love that he shows lots of rejected covers alongside the published finals so you can understand both his process and how fickle and originality averse marketing bods can be! (Having just gone through twenty-odd versions of a cover before getting the final one approved this is something I have great sympathy with).
    For Christmas I was given the Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature, which I have been thumbing through endlessly and adding dozens of books to my wishlist as a result; and Xavier Herbert’s Australian classic ‘Poor Fellow My Country’ in the lovely new hardback reissue edition – the thing weighs a ton though at over 1400 pages!

    • David

      Oh, and I GAVE: four Margaret Forsters, the two most recent Persephones (including “a Whipple”), and the new hardbacks by Laurie Graham and Elizabeth Buchan to my Mum; Tom Rob Smith’s ‘The Farm’, Fredrick Backman’s ‘A Man Called Ove’, Richard Crompton’s ‘The Honey Guide’ and Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg’s ‘The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules’ to my Dad.

  5. Merry Christmas, Simon. I didn’t receive any books (I never do) but I did get a new bike! 🙂

  6. Sounds like you had a rather lovely Christmas, Simon! I got Anne of Green Gables, which I read the same day, it was marvellous.

  7. louise

    Sounds like a lovely Christmas 🙂
    I got 5 books this year “Pure” by Andrew Miller,
    “Ash flowers” (it translates into I believe) by Nobel prize Winner Patrick Modiano
    Une saison by Sylvie Bocqui (En Sæson in Danish)
    “Oriental Tales” by Marguerite Yourcenar (really excited by this one!)
    And two books by Danish authors 🙂

  8. Rhian

    Sounds like you had a fan time. The only book I got was a cookbook, but I did get leopard print pyjamas!

  9. Carrie Mercer

    Merry Christmas, Simon! I got a book I’ve been asking for forever: The Economy of Prestige by James F. English, all about culture of prizes, including but not limited to literary prizes. Really interesting so far, and of course I thought of you because of your creation of the Green Carnation Prize, which I think is great because LGBT books seem to get marginalized otherwise. I have a dream of creating some kind of Christmas Literary Prize, but it’s still in dream stage. I know you’d vote for ghost stories to be in the qualifications! I am envious of those Peter Mendelsund books you got! I’ve just had both of them out from the library but didn’t finish either before I had to bring them back for the LONG waiting list. They’re good books to own because you don’t want to consume them all at once, but nibble at them like fine chocolate. So enjoy!

  10. Merry Christmas! Sounds like you had a fab one. I got a good stack of books for Christmas, including The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris, which I am really looking forward to. It’s my birthday in a few days, which fingers crossed means another lovely pile of new books. AND I treated myself to a couple of bookshop visits as well. Books coming out of my ears, I tell you!

    Oh, and as for books I gave? Weirdly, I also gave The Gospel of Loki (on I think the back of Gavin’s recommendation) along with In one Person by John Irving to one friend. To another we gave the first volumes of Sex Criminals and Hawkeye. Oh, and I gave Tim the new Chris Hadfield book You Are Here, which looks beautiful. Unusually, I think that was it this year. Usually I give everyone books. I’m clearly slacking.

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