Travelling Home for Christmas

I suspect some of you are on the road today, making your way to wherever you want to be this Christmas. I’ve already given you a fair few Christmas recommendation – including a Christmas road trip in the Holidays with the Wongs series – and I hope if you are on the road you have got a good audiobook to listen to on the way.

There are a lot of books about trips out there – although not always Christmas ones. If you’re looking for one, you could try Jade Chang’s The Wangs vs the World – where a Chinese immigrant family go on a road trip together across America after the father loses all the money from his cosmetics empire. It’s funny and has an interesting cast of characters. Or you could go for a classic murder mystery like Death on the Nile or Murder on the Orient Express. Or there are a fair few fantasy novels with trips in them – like Howl’s Moving Castle or A Wrinkle in Time, or Neil Gaiman’s Stardust or even Wayward Son, the second in what’s now the Simon Snow trilogy from Rainbow Rowell, although you need to have read the first one really to get the best from that. As for me, I’ve got Road Trip by Beth O’Leary on my tbr pile, but our Christmas commute isn’t really long enough for e to read it. Also I get travel sick if I read in the car!

Happy Travels everyone.

not a book, tv

Christmas bonus post: Festive TV

It’s the final-final run towards the big day and the TV schedules are starting to look awfully festive, so today I’m back with some suggestions about what to watch out for this year.

Obviously the first thing and the programme that I’m most excited about is the return of Detectorists for a Christmas special. We’ve actually started another rewatch ahead of the feature length special on Boxing Day. If you haven’t ever watched the show, go read my post about it and then start at the beginning!

But before we get to Boxing Day there are a few other shows to mention – namely Ghosts. I don’t think I’ve mentioned Ghosts here before, but this is the BBC One comedy about a couple who inherit a dilapidated stately home complete with ghostly residents that only one of them can see. I love it. It’s funny but not mean and I find it so hard to pick who my favourite character is. There’s also a bunch of reruns of various of the Mischief Theatre Christmas offerings – if you’re in the UK and have missed them you can find them on iPlayer. And if Mischief are doing a show anywhere near you next year, do go and see it. I think that The Play That Goes Wrong is one of the funniest nights out you can have.

I’m also recording the repeat of the Sky adaptation of Going Postal, which although it is not as good as the book is still a pretty good go at it, and has Claire Foy (pre the crown) and Richard Coyle as Moist – who is about to read the new version of the audiobook, which I have preordered, even though I love the Steven Briggs version!

If you want more pre-Crown Claire Foy, BBC Four is repeating Wolf Hall at the moment – which is one of the best TV adaptations of a novel I’ve seen in ages. It’s in memory of Hilary Mantel who died earlier this year – and ahead of the first part they had an interview with the director, who revealed that the adaptation of The Mirror and the Light is in the works, although whether I’ll be able to bear watching it I don’t know. If you know your history, you’ve known from the start what is going to happen but that doesn’t make it easier. And they did such a powerful job of Anne Boleyn’s execution, I can’t imagine how they’ll do Cromwell. And Mark Rylance is possibly the best actor I have ever seen live. To the point where I would go and see him in anything.

I’m sure there were more new things I meant to write about, but I’ve got a bit carried away with the repeats! To be fair, the TiVo recording schedule hasn’t made this any easier. Maybe I’ll have to do a part two of the bits I forgot?!

book related, Gift suggestions

Bookish Christmas gift ideas

It’s getting towards final posting dates now, but here are some ideas for the bookish person in your life this Christmas.

Let’s start with the obvious: a voucher to buy books. Don’t know what books I want or more likely which books from my list my mum has already bought me (hi mum!) – then get me a book token. My store of choice is Foyles – but they only do physical gift cards so if you’ve already missed the posting date you might need to go for a National Book Token or Waterstones who do physical and e-cards.

Or you could think about the books that your bookish person likes and get something related. For example my love of Terry Pratchett is well documented – and I’m not the only one in my family who loves the Discworld, so the Discworld Emporium might be your friend – I have some Assassins Guild socks (very cool) and they also do very good jigsaws. If they are a very special person in your life, then check out Paul Kidby’s website – he’s the official illustrator and I treated myself to a print of his Errol illustration earlier this year and it is beautiful.

And the same applies to a lot of other fandoms – I have a Background Slytherin print in the kitchen from Emily McGovern which I’ve had for years and really love and although she doesn’t do that print any more there are some really cool things in her shop. Then if you’re in the US, out of print are great – or at least they were last time I ordered from them, which is *gulp* four years when I was last over there but they have plenty of book-related apparel. And you can sometimes find stuff stocked over here.

And then you can always have a wander around Etsy and the craftier side of internet shopping – I’ve got a very cool quote I quote printed on a page from a French dictionary that I picked up online, and a cool book shaped USB light that I got given a few years back. All in all, plenty of options for you.

Good luck!