I always love writing this post. It’s the easiest of the Christmas book posts for me to write, because I always have a big old list of books that I want but can’t justify buying. And given that I’ve been being really disciplined about not buying books as I try and shrink the to-read bookshelf down, this year the list is bigger than ever.
After my trip to the cinema to see Death of Stalin, I’ve got a yen to read more about Soviet Russia and I saw someone reading Frances Spufford’s Red Plenty on the train the other week and I would love to find that in my stocking, but Stalin and the Scientists by Simon Ings also looks like it might scratch that itch.
I’ve also been staring enviously at The House of Fiction by Phyllis Richardson which looks – as you might expect – at houses in fiction and how authors’ life experiences influenced the houses they created in their novels. Also on the bookish front, I would be happy to find The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler under the tree. And, although it might make me blush when I unwrap it, I really want to read Fern Riddell’s Victorian Guide to Sex. We all know that I read a lot of historical romance novels, and I would love to read some actual historical research into what people were really up to in the Nineteenth Century.
I’ve been lucky with managing to get my hands on a lot of the current-affairs-y nonfiction that I’ve been looking for this year, but I still haven’t managed to get a copy of Anne Helen Peterson’s Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise of the Unruly Woman
There aren’t a lot of memoirs on my list this year, but if you’ve been reading a while, you’ll know that I loved the Tales of the City series, so it’s probably not a surprise that Armistead Maupin’s memoir Logical Family is one of them. As far as biographies go, I keep staring at Tatiana de Rosenay’s Manderley Forever about Daphne Du Maurier, but I’m not sure I’m enough of a Du Maurier fan to get the most out of it.
A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Short Stories by Lucia Berlin, which sounds like it might be right up my street. In terms of authors I love who have new books out that I haven’t been able to justify buying, I really want the new Sarah MacLean, Day of the Duchess, but only in the cheesy US mass market paperback edition or it won’t match the others in the series!
We’re (slowly) working our way through a complete rewatch of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I heard The Last Adventure of Constance Verity by A Lee Martinez described as being a book with a Buffy-ish feel, so that went straight on my Christmas list!
If you want to buy me something pretty for my bookshelf, I’m still lusting over a couple of the Virago Designer Modern Classics – the Daphne Du Maurier short story collections (which would go nicely with the de Rosenay wouldn’t they, wink wink) The Birds and Don’t Look Now, and Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train. I can’t justify buying them for myself just to add to a pretty bookshelf, but they would look nice. And if Virago did any more of these lovely clothbound babies, I would be first in line to buy!
I’m coming up a bit short on other bookish ideas – I’m well stocked for notebooks and pens – and I think if I get given any more book bags Him Indoors will throw a fit. As with last year, I still have a Literary Review subscription* and Vanity Fair and a bunch of newspaper subscriptions and I don’t have a lot of other ideas, unless someone wants to buy me Private Eye for a year or pay for another year of Fahrenheit Press (if they do a subscription again in 2018).
Anyway, that’s what I’m hoping to see in my stocking this year – and I’ll keep you posted on whether any of my wishlist actually appears! And in case you missed them, here are my Books for Him and Books for Her posts for ideas for what to buy your nearest and dearest this year!
*It’s very good, the nonfiction reviews help me work out what I want to buy and the fiction reviews mean I can sound knowledgable about the latest literary fiction without having to read it thus giving me more time to devote to reading romance and cozy crime!