Surprise Bookish Christmas Gifts (Who Else Would Like Some?)

One of the things that I don’t tend to have waiting for me under the Christmas Tree each year is bookish shaped parcels. Such a shame as really I wish all presents were bookish shaped. That said those who know and love me have (somehow, goodness knows how) realised that buying me a book I don’t already own is quite a task and so instead I tend to get lots of book vouchers. I am not complaining, just explaining. This year though I will have bookish shaped parcels under the table, two of them, thanks to the lovely folks at Penguin Books – a bundle of which arrived in the post just the other day, a secret selection of books (I know not what) they think I will love and be overjoyed to open…


You may have noticed that my bundle of parcels contains two that look the same, an astute lot aren’t you? Ha! Well those lovely people at Penguin have sent me two lots of one set of books because they thought (and I agreed) that one of you lovely lot might also like a selection of books awaiting you under the tree on Christmas Day and so I will be sending a parcel, with a little Christmas note to one of you lucky lot wherever in the world you may be (in general or over Christmas itself). Spreading festive fictional cheer at this special time of year.

So how can you win this parcel of comfort and joy? All you have to do is let me know the one book you are really, really, really hoping for under your tree and one you will be giving away to people you love this year, that simple. You have until 2100 hours GMT  tomorrow (the 15th of December) and I will then send it out first thing on Wednesday, if the winner gets their details to me ASAP. So off you go; a book you want and a book you’ll be giving…

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED. The winner has been picked at random (by and is Martine Frampton, who has been emailed, congrats!!!!


Filed under Give Away

68 responses to “Surprise Bookish Christmas Gifts (Who Else Would Like Some?)

  1. I’m giving my sister After Anna and I’d really like The Girl on the Train as I think I’m the only person in the universe who hasn’t read it! Great idea. Thanks for the chance to enter.

  2. I really want ‘Spectacles’ by the amazing Sue Perkins because…well, because it’s Sue Perkins! I’m giving quite a few books this year but the one I’m most pleased about is the signed copy of Mark Webber’s autobiography that I got for my hubby – I tracked it down especially from the amazing Booka Bookshop in Oswestry.

  3. Ann Bradley

    The book I would love to find under my tree this year is The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley.(Have dropped more than a few hints!)The book I am giving as a gift this Christmas is Dark Corners by Ruth Rendell…hard to believe her last. Exciting competition! 🙂

  4. Beth Boddice

    Hey Simon!
    Happy Christmas!
    I’m really hoping for Radiance (Catherynne M Valente) & I’ll be gifting lots of books, but two copies of the Gracekeepers (Kirsty Logan) will be given to my two best friends because it’s my favourite book of the year.

  5. Liz Rudloff

    I’m giving my 10 month old niece The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh. It’s her 1st Christmas and I’m excited to read it to her. The book I’m looking forward to reading most in 2016 is The Murder of Mary Russell by Layrie R. King. I’ve been waiting quite impatiently for it. Come on April!

  6. Kateg

    Hi Simon,
    Merry Christmas and thanks for the chance to enter. What I would love to find under the tree is The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante as I loved the first book in the tetralogy. I am giving 2 copies of Anne of Green Gables to 2 of my favorite 12 year olds ( one a niece and one a family friend).

  7. Nicola

    I’m hoping for the new Mitch Albom book as I adore his writing. What I’m giving is totally varied as most of the people I’m buying for have a book within their gifts. Always good to share the joy of books!

  8. D M

    The heat by Garry Disher is what I would like to find in my pile of presents. ( one can dream). For a loved one, my Mum, I would get The Reckoning by Magda Subanski. I know this would be appreciated because she told me she wanted it and I have already bought it.

  9. Averil

    I’d love to find A Little Life. Your passion for the book has convinced me to read it. My discovery for 2015 was Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche and I will be giving her book, Americanah, to a friend. I’ll also be giving Ten Cities That Made an Empire by Tristram Hunt, Grandpa’s Great Escape by David Walliams, and the Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt, amongst others.

  10. A book I would like to receive is A Little Life and I will  be giving SPQR by Mary Beard. X

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

  11. What a lovely idea! I want the book Men & Cats and I’m buying Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling for my sister.

  12. Kateg

    Simon, sorry for the 2 comments. I was having issues with my phone and I thought the first one was lost. 🙂 Kate

  13. Averil

    Happy Christmas Simon!

    I would love to find A Little Life under the Christmas tree for me. Your passion for this book has made me want to read it. I discovered Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche in 2015 and will be giving her book, Americanah, to a friend. I will also be giving Ten Cities That Made an Empire by Tristram Hunt, Grandpa’s Great Escape by David Walliams, and The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt, amongst others.

  14. I’d like the lovely new hardback edition of Susan Hill’s ghost stories. I pretty much want to give everyone The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer because I absolutely loved it.

  15. sharkell

    I am giving my son The Fifth Wave in an attempt to encourage him to read and I’m giving a signed copy of The Ghost River by Tony Birch as my Kris Kringle Book Club gift. I have already been given a book voucher for Christmas and the first book on my list is Kate Forsyth’s The Beast’s Garden.

  16. I am hoping for The People In The Trees by Hanya Yanagihara as I adored A Little Life. I am gifting a copy of The Lovesong Of Miss Queenie Hennessey by Rachel Joyce as I love her writing!

  17. A book I want? ‘Malcom Orange Disappears’ by Jan Carson. Check it out. Would love to discover if it is as good as I have been lead to believe. The book I am giving? ‘A Boy Called Christmas’ by Matt Haig. This deserves to be read by anyone who feels at all tarnished by commercialisation at this time of year. xx

  18. I would love to get The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death by Corinne May Botz – forensic dioramas of crime scenes to solve? Yes please. My niece will be getting Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar because it was one of my favorite books when I was her age.

  19. Rhonda

    I am giving Dear Mr.You Mary Louise Parker to girlfriends .H is for Hawk my wish.Happy Holidays to you,

  20. I’m giving away several copies of “A Little Life” (my favorite read this year) and would very much love to find Isabel Allende’s latest, “The Japanese Lover” under my tree!

  21. I’m giving Fox’s Socks by Julia Donaldson and the Neil Gaiman/Chris Riddell 3-book set to my grandson (he’s 15 months old…starting him out early). And I’d love to receive H is for Hawk. Merry Christmas – and thank you!

  22. Karen

    Hi Simon. Happy Christmas! I don’t know why we don’t say that here in the US. “Merry Christmas” just doesn’t’ have the same ring to it!

    I’d like to get Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor E. Frankl. Ann Kingman recommended the audiobook. I’m going to give a friend Stories from the Kitchen which was edited by Diana Secker Tesdell. I’d like to read that myself!

  23. Heather

    Hi Simon, what a great idea! I am giving Scrapper by Matt Bell to my uncle (he is an architect and fascinated by what’s happening with the beautiful old architecture in Detroit). I am also giving my nephew two really beautiful children’s storybooks. The book I’d most like to receive is The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee, but I know it’s not out until February 2, 2016! Thank you, Simon. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday!

  24. A very Merry Christmas to you. Thank you for the chance and especially for making it open to all. I’d love to receive the latest Susanna Kearsley. I’d like to give The same as I think everyone should read her.

  25. I’m hoping to receive The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards; a discussion of wonderful golden age mystery writers and the chance to discover new ones? Sign me up! Also, the hardcover looks really nice – I love the jacket design- so I just want to own it. I’m giving a lot of books; my family and friends always know what they are getting from me! But, the most important book is going to my best friend’s baby, who is getting a copy of Babar and Father Christmas, a personal childhood favorite. Always nice to see such lovely bookish parcels under the tree; hope that you enjoy them!

  26. Thanks for such a generous gesture, Simon! The book (or books) I really, really would love to see under my tree would be ‘The Penguin Book of The British Short Story’ (2 volumes) edited by Philip Hensher. As for the one I am giving away, it’s David Esterly’s ‘The Lost Carving: A Journey to the Heart of Making’.

  27. Mary

    Wishing for: The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey. Gifting: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell to a friend who I think will love it! Thanks!!

  28. I am giving a good friend the book A House by the Lake by Kate Morton though I really want to keep it for myself. I would love any book by Kate Morton. Thanks Simon

  29. I really, really want a copy of The Golden Age of Crime by Martin Edwards although any of the books from my 200+ wish list would be most welcome- wishing you a very bookish Christmas!

  30. Happy holidays! What a great idea, and than you. I’m still hoping to receive/read A Little Life. A book I’ll be giving and recommending to everyone is Between the World and Me.

  31. @janf06

    Hi, what a wonderful thing to do….
    Would like: Twelve Deaths of Christmas
    Giving: Elizabeth is Missing
    Would love to be ‘the lucky one’!

  32. I gave 2 blogger friends my favorite Cecelia Ahern book, If You Could See Me Now, and I think like most others I’d die to see the new Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone illustrated edition under the tree or the sequel to Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott!

  33. I’m giving lots of the adult Ladybird books – just for fun! The one I’d most like is Elvis Costello’s memoir.

  34. diana

    Oh my…such pleasure! I am giving Lanterns across the Snow by Susan Hill to my little grandson and I am looking for Heartland by John McKay ( amongst many many other books on the ever growing wish list)

  35. I’m giving The Grown-Up by Gillian Flynn to my daughter as she really likes her books. Am also giving the Ladybird book’s The Wife and The Husband to my brother and new sister-in-law! I’m hoping to receive The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern; was listening to her on Radio 2 book club last night and it sounds lovely 🙂

  36. Hi Simon, I have bought ‘The Soul of an Octopus’ by Sy Montgomery, for my my daughter to remind her about the joy she finds in science, because she is stuck in a dead end job. I am hoping for Nora Chassler’s `Grand mother divided by Monkey equals Outer Space’ that I read about earlier this year and put on my wishllist, based mainly on the totally surreal title, which I have found can be as good a reason to be drawn to a book as any.

  37. David

    I shall be giving a few books as gifts, including a trio of Persephones for my Mum: ‘Wilfred & Eileen’, ‘Greengates’ and ‘Maman, What Are We Called Now?’.
    As for receiving, I’ve dropped no hints so likely won’t receive any books, but in a fantasy world I’d love to unwrap the Folio Society’s edition of David Roberts’s ‘The Holy Land & Egypt and Nubia’.

  38. Merry Christmas Simon! I’m giving my family My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante so they won’t miss me while I’m working on Christmas Day…well, and so I can hopefully have long and enthusiastic conversations about the book with them.

    As for me, I’d love a book that I’ve never heard of that will keep me spellbound all Christmas night and Boxing Day.

  39. I’d like the book Do No Harm as I need to read more non-fiction. I also wouldn’t complain if the new Robert Galbraith, Career Of Evil, is there too! I’d give everyone I know Without The Moon by Cathi Unsworth, a fantastic book that didn’t get the recognition it deserved. The Abrupt Physics Of Dying by Paul Hardisty is an absolute corker of a thriller if that’s to your taste. Exotic, intelligent, relevant and complex, it’s a fabulous read.

  40. Clara Sortsoe

    I’m really really hoping that ‘His Dark Materials’ will be waiting for me under the tree! I’m 20 years old and feel like it’s a bit of a crime that I haven’t read the books yet! I will be giving my grandma a copy of ‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tartt since I know she absolutely loved ‘The Goldfinch’ so I think she’ll like that one too! 🙂 thank yoi for hosting this giveaway, it’s such a good way to spread the bookish love and some christmas cheer! 🙂

  41. I’d love a clothbound edition of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell – but a Folio Society copy would do 🙂

  42. What a lovely idea & opportunity… BRAVO to you & the lovely people at Penguin Books

    So, so many books on my wishlist but the one I’m really hoping for is ‘Life from Elsewhere: Journeys Through World Literature’ by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen as this year I’ve particularly enjoyed travelling vicariously & discovering new cultures with Writers in Translation and this book celebrates the tenth anniversary of the programme championing these writers.

    I always gift many books at Christmas but the one I’m really excited about seeing opened is for my hubby ‘Good Night and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Life’ by David Cavanah… but not just because it’s a great read for him (he was a masdive fan) I know he’ll be enthusiastically reminding me & educating the kids about the music we grew up with and our social history long into the New Year and those interactions are priceless.

    🎄Merry Christmas🎄

  43. Jo

    A book I really would love to find under my Christmas tree is ‘A Little Life’. I will also be giving my mother ‘I Am Malala’ for Christmas! 🙂

  44. I’d love anything by Neal Stephenson, whom I only just discovered this year, but especially The Diamond Age or Quicksilver. This year I’m giving my three best friends the same book: Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed.

  45. Louise

    Happy Christmas everyone 🙂
    I’m hoping for a copy of The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin, and I’m giving my daughters Godmother the Persephone edition of Greenery Street by Denis Mackail

  46. I’m hoping quite desperately for The Emperor of Ice Cream by Dan Gunn though I think it’s unlikely and because everyone should read it I’m giving A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James to one of the biggests Bob Marley fans I know :).

  47. I’m gifting Tender by Belinda McKeon to anyone and everyone as it is so wonderful! As I am on a permenant book buying ban, any book under the tree would be a treat but I am secretly hoping for Beatlebone by Kevin Barry. Happy Christmas!

  48. Kate Connolly

    I’m hoping to receive the collected stories of Clarice Lispector, after reading Why This World, her biography written by Benjamin Moser, this year and several of her novels, and being captivated by her imagery and language. I’m going to be giving Public Library by Ali Smith, to the same friend I gave How To Be Both to last year. It just feels warm, and I love the modernist writer in-jokes in it.

  49. mee

    I want a Penguin modern classic book, let’s say A Confederacy of Dunces. And I’ll be giving the classic picture book This is Britain to hubby (he’s not a big text reader so pictures help :).

  50. Still Dreaming of Manderley

    Happy Holidays Simon! For Christmas I am hoping to receive We Have Always Lived in a Castle and for my mother I have purchased 84 Charing Cross Road. She recently saw the movie and doesn’t know it is based on a book. It is small so I’m hoping we can squeeze in one last read along in 2015.

  51. The book I would most like is And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (I want to read it before I watch the adaptation!). I’m trying to hunt down a really beautifully illustrated copy of Papa Panov’s Special Christmas (Tolstoy’s retelling) to give as a present, although no joy as yet!

  52. Tina

    It has got to be the middlebrow holy grail–Rhododendron Pie by Margery Sharp.A book i will never ever read.

  53. Fenella

    Hi Simon,
    I’m hoping – and hinted – for a signed copy of James Rebanks second book, The Illustrated Herdwick Shepherd. I follow him on twitter and enjoyed his first book very much.
    I’ve already sent out to a friend in Romania The Santa Klaus Murder by Mavis Doriel Hay, reprinted by the British Library.


  54. Hanna Poole

    I would love to get The House of the Dead by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and I want to give The Murders in the Rue Morge by Edgar Allan Poe to my niece. Hanna Poole

  55. Hi Simon — I am hoping for a copy of Career of Evil as I loved the first two Robert Galbraith books. Gifting a couple of copies of the hilariously cute Shake Cats (look it up — you’ll be smitten). xSophie

  56. Hoping for Weatherland: Writers & Artists Under English Skies by Alexandra Harris..Giving Gut by Giulia Enders.

  57. Sharanya

    I would love to receive ‘Crooked Heart’ by Lissa Evans and I am giving ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’ by Marlon James to a friend 🙂

  58. I really would like to receive Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. As for giving a book to someone I would choose Perfect People by Peter James

  59. Robin Dawson

    I’d love to get Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither by Sara Baume and the book I’m giving to my besties is The All of It by Jeanette Haien.

  60. Mary Arth

    Oh Boy!!! The book I really, really want this year is A Brief History of Seven Killings because I have heard so much about it. The book I am giving away is Everything I need to know I learned from a Disney Little Golden Book. My daughters grew up with Golden Books!!!

    Sent from my iPhone


  61. I’d love to receive A Brief History of Seven Killings – I’ve been waiting until I had time over Christmas to read it so fingers crossed!
    I would give Where The Devil Can’t Go by Anya Lipska as a gift as it’s the first in a series of three highly addictive crime novels!

  62. A book I *really* want to receive is ‘Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights’ by Salman Rushdie. He dropped the title and concept at Cheltenham 2014 and I’ve been waiting for it ever since! It seems like such a perfect “gift” book though because it has a bit of everything!

    A book I really want to give…Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’. Partly because the TV adaptation is on on Boxing Day but also because I also have a copy I’m intending to read and I think it’d be such a fun book to read at the same time as someone else what with all the cliffhangers and false leads!

  63. Seeing lots of ‘A Little Life’ and ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’ – Man Booker must have really got it spot on this year! (Although arguably both rather depressing Christmas reads haha.).

  64. Lucía Fernández

    I usually give my mum and sister books for Christmas, and this year I’ve considered maybe giving one of them The Girl On the Train.
    As for me, I’d love the find The Heart Goes Last or A Little Life under my Christmas tree.

  65. Andrew Cole

    I am giving my wife the bumper book of peanuts. I know I because I have to say what I want to avoid getting books I don’t that I will get the kermode/mayo the movie doctors and the new bill Bryson. If Santa was really wonderful I would get an advance copy of the new john irving ‘avenue of mysteries’, alternatively in the real world the new lisbeth salander or ‘a little life’. Happy Christmas reading.

  66. I’m hoping for The German Genius by Peter Watson and am giving The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand to somebody who has had it on his must read list for many years.

  67. I’m hoping for The German Genius by Peter Watson and am giving The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand to somebody who has had it on their must read list for years.

  68. chatebooks

    I’m hoping to receive the Clarice Lispector’s collection. Happy Holidays!

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