Wednesday, 15 December 2010
All I Want for Christmas - Part One
I've had great fun over the past six months with High Heels and Book Deals. I've 'met' so many fantastic authors, as well as people in the industry. Many of them have gone out of their way to help me.
Over the past two weeks, I sent my Christmas Email Elf out with a question for some of the people that I have had the pleasure of emailing with over the past six months. Some have featured on my blog, some I've met through twitter and well, some, are my writing heroes.
As ever, I’m overwhelmed at their generosity. I've had over thirty responses back, so this post will be run, alphabetically over the next three days. I didn't stipulate fiction or non fiction purposely, which is why there are some fascinating answers.
Which book would you like to find under your Christmas tree this year, and why?
WAIT FOR ME by Deborah Devonshire. I'm obsessed by anything Mitford. No idea why because I'm decidedly below stairs myself! Or I REMEMBER NOTHING, Norah Ephron. HEARTBURN is one of my favourite novels and Ephron remains, for me, the queen of the smart-yet-true one-liner.
From being very young I have loved reading, I love romance, murder mystery, thrillers and real life stories. I always have at least one book on the go. At the moment I am reading two, both thrillers. So to answer your question, as I am reading the first novel from Pamela Callow, DAMAGED, then I would love to see her new thriller, INDEFENSIBLE, under my tree.
Alison Barrow, Transworld
Polly Samson's new collection, PERFECT LIVES, a compelling sequence of contemporary stories which expose the frailties of the human spirit, the nuances in relationships and the humour to be found in the darkest places. Genuinely beguiling.
I’d be happy to find a nice new copy of NIGHT DOGS by Kent Harrington all wrapped up on Christmas morning, as my own copy is a little tatty now. It’s quite simply the best cop novel I’ve ever read and one that I would recommend unreservedly. The story of a cop in Portland, Oregon, this searing, brutal and often uncomfortable novel has stayed with me since I first read it. Hansen, a damaged Vietnam vet, struggles through the summer of 1975 to exorcise the demons of war, and maintain peace on streets that have themselves become a combat zone. Not an easy Christmas read, but one it’s not easy to forget in a hurry...
I'd like to get one of those magic books that I'll fall in love with and cry over and want to kiss goodnight... It happened this year with PREP Curtis Sittenfeld and THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY by Michael Chabon. Another one of them. (Please Santa.)
I would love to receive a box set of hardback editions of all the DR SEUSS books. I loved reading them to my sons and any surviving copies are dog-eared and falling to pieces. It would be nice to have hard back versions in my bookcase that I could dip in and out of to relive those lovely days and I would then happily pass them on to my grandchildren and watch in delight as they became dog-eared and tattered too.
80% of my Christmas list is always made up of books. This year, I really hope Santa gets me BROOKLYN by Colm Toibin and SO MUCH FOR THAT by Lionel Shriver (amongst many others) - but the one I'm hoping for most of all is THE WHISTLING WOMAN by AS Byatt. It's the last in four books about the Potter family (no - nothing to do with boy wizards!!), and with each one I've read, I've got more and more immersed in their lives and losses and ambitions. Byatt's such a clever writer, with the most wonderfully descriptive and emotive prose, and I can't wait to see how she concludes this quartet.
I don’t think there’s any fiction I’m desperate for – I just go out and buy it myself like I buy food to eat. But I would really like to find a copy of THE WORLDWIDE HISTORY OF DRESS by Patricia Rieff Anawalt under the tree. Published by Thames and Hudson 2007.ISBN-13: 978-0-500-51363-7 ISBN-10: 0-500-51363-5. Costume fascinates me and is also part of my research. To have all the sources pulled together and put into context with over a thousand yummy colour illustrations would keep me quiet for ages on my cushion in the corner.
I’d like this book under the tree this Christmas: EKATERINBURG: THE LAST DAYS OF THE ROMANOVS by Helen Rappaport. It’s on my wish list already. The reason I want it is that Helen Rappaport was one of my featured authors on the last series of The Write Lines and Scott Pack told me it was a fantastic book. It’s about the last days of the Romanov Empire. It’s a historical time that intrigues me but am shamefully ignorant about the details. Can’t wait to get a chance to read it once my house move is over.
I'd like to find THE COMPLETE SHERLOCK HOLMES under my Christmas tree this year. I've been a Sherlock Holmes fanatic since I was twelve years old and I was given some book tokens for my birthday. I'd just read WATERSHIP DOWN, and I was proud of having read such a big, thick book, so when I went to the book shop I found a book that was both bigger and thicker than WATERSHIP DOWN—and that was THE COMPLETE SHERLOCK HOLMES. I read it cover to cover and I became a Sherlock Holmes addict. That book changed my life. I wrote an essay about it that helped me get into the university of my choice. I studied English literature (and specialised in Victorian literature) because of it. I visited England, and eventually moved here, because of it. My dad loves Sherlock Holmes too, and we've had a lot of fun together; he even accompanied me to Sherlock Holmes society meetings as my guest. My original first edition has disappeared, somewhere, so this Christmas I've asked my dad for another copy.
The shorter answer is I want to find Melissa Hill's THE TRUTH ABOUT YOU because I won it on your blog!!!
Lynsey Dalliday, Transworld
Under the Christmas Tree this year, Id be super thrilled to find a copy of THE COMPLETE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA by C. S. Lewis. Somehow I made it through my entire childhood without ever visiting the land that lay inside the wardrobe and I think my reading education has suffered because of it! Christmas would be the perfect time of year for encounters with the snow queen!
Thank you so much to everyone who took part today. If you have a book that you would like to find under your Christmas tree this year, why not share the reason why in the comments below. Go on, try it. It's not easy to choose one - I couldn't as you will see on Monday.
Tomorrow, find out what Peter James, Jonny Geller and Veronica Henry, amongst others, would like to find underneath their Christmas trees and why...