Are you the kind of person that likes to have all your Christmas shopping done before the end of November or do you go on a mad spree on Christmas Eve? I’m probably a bit in between as I have already bought some presents, wrapped them and sent them to their destination! But equally I’ll still be buying up until the 20th December when the kids break up from school.
So, would you like a few ideas for books to buy? In terms of crime, you can look back over my reviews from the year. I’ll be compiling my top ten of 2016 very soon but a few that will be in there are Epiphany Jones by Michael Grothaus (you need to be very selective about who you give this to – probably not Great Aunt Maud! You can read the review here ), The Constant Soldier by William Ryan (read the review here) and for a particularly creepy read, Willow Walk by SJI Holliday (read the review here ).
But I thought it would be fun to see what else there is and what I’m buying.
Firstly, if there was ever a year that need a lighthearted ending, it’s 2016! So, some particularly funny spoof books are the Adult Ladybird series and Five Go series. I already have some of the Ladybird books from last year and I’m planning on getting some more. We bought The Grandparent for my mother-in-law’s birthday and I think it’s obvious who will be getting a copy of The People Next Door – a lovely present for our new neighbours!
I have three of the Five Go – Five Go Parenting, Five Go Gluten Free and Five Go On A Strategy Away Day. I’m planning on getting Five Go To Brexit Island but as yet, I’m undecided as to who to give it to – a Remainer or a Brexiteer!
One shining event of 2016 was Tim Peake being up in space. He captured the imagination of the whole country and he’s released a book of his photos from his time at the Space Station. Hello, is this Planet Earth?: My View From The International Space Station has over 150 photographs taken by Tim Peake and offers considerably more than a bird’s eye view. Tim has become a source of inspiration for school kids all over Britain and I know how excited my youngest child was to see Tim Peake up in space. A book for the whole family.
If I say Phil Collins, what’s your reaction? Are you instantly humming and tapping your feet or do I need to duck? He’s a bit of a Marmite musician really. His autobiography, Not Dead Yet, is, as one reviewer (Stephen Aldous) on Amazon says, ‘Brutally honest, funny, sad and compelling’ (Aldous’ review is excellent). This may be more of a book for a man of a certain age but it’s a candid view on fame that can bring destruction as well as riches. [Confession time: I secretly, sort of like Phil Collins. My favourite track is Inside Out from No Jacket Required, which was the theme tune of a TV programme of the same name about probationers. Amazing how I can remember a TV theme tune from 1985 but can’t remember what I did last week! *sigh* ]
Minecraft. I’m not sure I need to say any more really, especially if you have children. Whether you want the Official Annual or the Unofficial Annual or a How To manual or looking for something by Stampy or DanielTDM, there is a plethora of books out there to choose from. Of course, it’s not enough just to play the game these days, you also have to watch on YouTube other people playing and commentating. So if you’re reading this and are perplexed by the names Stampy and DanielTDM, just put those names into YouTube to find out more!
And as the end of the year approaches, we all need a bit of glamour and sequins in our lives, Strictly style! I really have bought the annual for, believe it or not, my 7 year old son! He adores Strictly and for a child who’s really not into reading, he loved looking through last year’s annual so I hope he enjoys this one too. But ssh, don’t tell him!