“He’s the very soul of bounty”

Timon of Athens, Act 1, Scene 2

William Shakespeare

What bookish blog would be complete without a post-Christmas haul update?

I was lucky enough to receive lots of lovely new, mostly hardback books this festive season – in fact, Christmas was one of the primary ways I was indoctrinated from a young age with a love of reading, as my parents have always given me a ‘book pile’ every year.

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This year’s stash included:

  • Much Ado About Nothing William Shakespeare (RSC edition) – I’ve been trying to collect all of Shakespeare’s plays in these beautiful editions for a few years now. They have great analysis at the beginning, interviews with directors and actors at the back, and photos of previous productions, as well as gorgeously smooth pages. Not only is this play one of my favourites anyway, but, as regular readers will remember, I recently went to a brilliant production of it in Stratford.
  • Look Who’s Back Timur Vermes – I’ve been wanting to read this (reasonably) recent release for ages now. It was incredibly controversial in Germany; telling, as it does, the story of Hitler reawakening in modern-day Germany to find his beloved Fatherland run by a woman and full of immigrants. He quickly becomes a YouTube sensation as an ‘impersonator’ and even gets his own TV show. Once again, his influence is growing… Just sounded like a great concept to me! Cant wait to read it (when I’ve finished the most confusing book of all time, ‘Ulysses’, that is…)
  • Very British Problems Rob Temple – This jokey, keep-by-the-toilet-to-amuse-yourself book stems from the hilarious twitter account @SoVeryBritish which I have been reading out to my family for well over a year, much to their delight (?!) Especially comforting if you are a Brit abroad, these will reassure you that you are not alone in the world:

    “List of problems tea can’t temporarily solve:
    1. Broken kettle
    -end-”
    @SoVeryBritish – 15 Dec 2014

  • The Best of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan-Doyle (Collectors Library ed.) – Once again, this is all about the edition. These tiny little hardbacks have a beautifully smooth cover, a satisfying hold, a bookmark and gold on the outside of the pages. And of course, how can you go wrong with a bit of Holmes and Watson?!
  • 1001 Books To Read Before You Die Peter Boxall – Whilst I am extremely grateful to my brother for this kind and thoughtful present, the pressure is now very much on. Not only do I have a mega reading list for uni, but now I also find out there are about 906 other books I haven’t read that I simply must. Somebody send help.
  • Shakespeare & Me  ed. Susannah Carson – This is one I’ve been angling for for a while now. Carson invites 38 actors, directors, scholars and writers to write down what my number one man Shakespeare means to them. People including James Franco, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, James Earl Jones, Germaine Greer and Antony Sher all contributed; I’m hoping it has short enough chapters for me to dip in and out over the next term when I need a Bard top-up.
  • Girl Online Zoe Sugg (aka Zoella), Siobhan Curham –  The debut novel by the YouTube sensation that has rocked both BookWorld and FanGirlWorld to their cores after an infamous ghost-writing scandal. I’m interested to see if the book itself is any good, considering I know next to nothing about Zoella herself, so have as little invested in it as possible. At the same time, the premise doesn’t really excite me that much: girl creates blog, becomes very successful, has boy trouble. Big whoop. Still, apparently the ending is surprisingly good, so I’ll give it a try at some point.
  • Literary Listography Lisa Nola – What else does every good bibliophile need but another book to list all of the other they’ve already read? I mean, I like lists and I like books – what more is there to say?!

And, finally, I was lucky enough to receive a brand new Kindle Paperwhite (having carelessly lost my old one in America in August) from my parents. No, this doesn’t mean I’ll betray all my lovely worn paperbacks and crisp new hardbacks – where else will I get my fill of decaying-pages smell?! But, all the same, it is actually equally beautiful in its own way.

What did you guys get for Christmas?

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