[ctitle title=”Trisha or Traditional?” color=”#990d09″ background=”#fff”]

by Joanne D’Arcy

As well as your own Christmas reading, I think books make a great gift. Easy to wrap, they are a gift that can last a lifetime, and be shared with others as the book gets passed on. And, you don’t have to worry about whether you have bought the right size or colour, as they never go out of fashion!
But what to buy? These are the ten books I would recommend for Christmas giving and reading. Some I have read, others are on my own reading book list.

1  Miracle on Regent Street – Ali Harris. I love this book, you can lose yourself in the wonderful shop that is on Regent Street and can only hope that it will be saved from closure before Christmas. Think big department store with wonderful window displays. Think this is the number one book for me.

2  A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens. An obvious choice you may think, but I have to say that I have never read it and this needs to rectified fairly rapidly. It is a short tale, only about 160 pages.

3  The Novel Cure: An A-Z of Literary Remedies – Susan Elderkin & Ella Berthoud. It does what it says on the cover. Whether you have a cold or man flu or are just feeling a little bit blue and out of sorts, this book provides a remedy. Books are medicine in my eyes, and this book proves it!

4  The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit – Emma Thompson. Beatrix Potter, and more importantly Peter Rabbit, lives on thanks to Emma Thompson – a book that is great for the young and old alike. Share it with your children or grandchildren, and when they have gone to bed read it all over again.

5  Christmas would not be Christmas without a Debbie Macomber book. There are many to choose from, but start out with something light and Christmassy, that leaves you feeling great. Falling for Christmas – Debbie Macomber – two short stories, with one of them introducing you to Cedar Cove.

6  Christmas would not be Christmas without a reference book or two in my opinion. This year I am going for The 100 Most Pointless Arguments in the World – Richard Osman, Alexander Armstrong. I love Pointless, a quiz programme. One of those books to dip in and out of – a great book to keep in the downstairs loo!

7  There has to be an autobiography in my house at Christmas. This year there are two David’s vying for the top spot – I will count them as one choice. Everybody’s favourite detective Poirot and Me – David Suchet , and favourite actor My Life – David Jason. Both national treasures in my eyes. Will we see Sir David Suchet in the New Year’s honours list I wonder?

8  My next choice is interesting, and I think ideal for the man who has everything, Harris’s List of the Covent Garden Ladies – ed. Hallie Rubenhold. Again, it is a book that does what it says on the cover – a list of those ‘certain’ ladies. But never fear these are ladies from the past, and this book is simply a catalogue of their ‘traits.’

9  Another author that I think you might like is Trisha Ashley, and you need to catch up with her latest novel Wish Upon a Star which is based in the fictional village of Sticklepond. Trisha has written a few books that feature the village and its well known characters, with wonderful shops and lots of lovely food. Ideal reading for those watching the calories. But be warned, you may want to get up in the night and start making cakes!

10  What about visiting Jane Austen, Ian Fleming, Arthur Conan Doyle and P.G. Wodehouse? Well of course they are all well known and well loved authors, but actually what about visiting their new incarnations – Joanna Trollope has reworked Sense and Sensibility. James Bond can be found in William Boyd’s Solo. Anthony Horowitz with a new Sherlock Holmes novel The House of Silk. For me, I will be revisiting Jeeves and Wooster in Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks.

Merry Christmas and Happy Reading for 2014!

Joanne D’Arcy
I was born and still live in Portsmouth. I love my city, which has a rich history from Henry VIII to Charles Dickens, with all sorts in between.  It is a place where I have found my two passions – reading and history. In minutes, if I turn south I can be walking along the seafront; if I go north I can walk in the country.
I fell into my temporary job 12 years ago, and I’m still there. I enjoy it, but the most important thing, apart from pay the bills, is it gives me plenty of time and head space to be able to read and more importantly write about books.
I have been blogging at The Book Jotter for over 3 years, but book reviewing started a long time before that.  As a personal challenge to myself, I decided that for every book I read I would write a review, no matter what book or what I thought about it – you can find my reviews on Amazon. What the blog also enables me to do is talk, in a rather cathartic way, about lots of other things as well: my book club, my baking, my endless crafts and whatever else is in my brain and needs downloading.
I hope you enjoy the books I share with you, and in doing so pick up the odd recommendation or two.  Do pop over to the blog when you can.