If you, like me, unwisely leave Christmas shopping for the last minute (or more precisely for the last week), you may still need some ideas about what to buy for the book lovers in your life. Last year, the post I wrote to share gift ideas included both books and related items. This time I’m limiting my recommendations to books which have either beautiful covers or are gorgeously illustrated. Some I own myself, others I don’t but wish I did.
Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson
I didn’t include this collection of short stories and recipes on my gift recommendations last year, because I was convinced that it was supposed to be read on the countdown to Christmas. However, I’ve recently heard that the 12 days of Christmas start on Christmas day and end on 5 January, making it a perfect gift after all. I will definitely read it this season!
Virago Modern Classics Editions of Daphne du Maurier’s books
After loving Rebecca, I’ve been adding books by Daphne du Maurier to my wish list almost every other month. And I would love to have them all on the Virago Modern Classics Editions, which have stripy spines and du Maurier’s name on the top. One or more of them would make a perfect Christmas gift. Quality content and gorgeous covers – what more could a reader want?
Virago Modern Classics Designer Collection
Virago Press released this collection earlier this year in order to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Virago Modern Classics. The covers are gorgeous, having three rhombuses at the centre to showcase the title, the author and the person responsible for the introduction of the book. I don’t own any of them yet, but there are a few on my wish list, including The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter, A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor and Memento Mori by Muriel Spark.
Penguin English Library Editions of Classics
The Penguin English Library was the first collection of books I fell in love with. There is a huge selection of classics to choose from, and they have the power to embellish all bookcases. Some of my favourites, in terms of the story itself, are The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
Useless Magic: Lyrics and Poetry by Florence Welch
If you know someone who claims not to like poetry, but that enjoys listening to Florence and the Machine, this is the perfect book to gift them this Christmas. I don’t own it myself, but from the pictures I’ve seen, it’s stunning! As you can guess from the title, it features various lyrics and poems written by Florence Welch, accompanied by illustrations and photos.