Christmas Books Part 2

16 November 2018

Perfect stories to delight the grandchildren, novels to read with a stiff brandy, books on maps, wine and theatre, and, for photography fans, a book to inspire and beguile.

Wordery is now one of the largest online bookshops in the UK. It offers more than 10 million books, round-the-clock access and great prices - not forgetting FREE worldwide delivery! Take a look at our picks for February.

All available to buy online.

Cat poems by the World's greatest poets

Cat loving children will be charmed by the cover of this little book of verse - the golden-eyed puss peering out at them - and want to learn some of the poems by heart. Here are cats of real fur and cats merely figurative. The selection is idiosynchratic, with six offerings by Stevie Smith, yet no TS Eliot. But happily we have WB Yeat's The Cat and The Moon. 'Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?'

Available to buy online.


Tales from Moominvalley by Tove Jansson

To this day I can recite lines from Moomin, Mymble and Little My, my introduction to Jansson's weird and wonderful world of Moomins, first dreamt up by the late Finnish author and illustrator in 1945. This is one of the last two in a set of new hardback editions, a collection of stories that includes ​The Invisible Child, The Last Dragon in the ​​and, for Christmas,​The Fir Tree. ​The drawings never fail to delight. Moomin marvellous.  

Available to buy online.


Mini Rabbit Not Lost by John Bond

To what lengthswil Mini Rabbit go to find berries for a cake? Because, says mummy, no berries, no cake. He braves the elements, ventures into forest and snow, crosses the sea, with such singleness of purpose - 'Cake, cake, cake!' A great debut picture book from a witty author, featuring a curious little character - and with more than one twist in the tale. 

Available to buy online.


Pages & Co by Anna James

Tilly, aged 11, has lived with her grandparents since her mother disappeared, and escapes into a world of fiction through the books in the bookshop, Pages & Co. But then the characters from her favourite books start to escape from fiction, stepping off the page, and Tilly bookwanders into the stories she chooses. With an inspriational, indomitable heroine, this is a good, old-fashioned story to encourage further reading. Great illustrations by Paola Escobar. 

Available to buy online.


The Corset by Laura Purcell

Could you really commit murder with a needle? Just by sewing with malice, could you kill or maim? This is what Ruth Butterham claims she has done - a kind of voodoo. As she awaits trial, she relates a life story of appalling suffering to Dorothea Truelove, a wealthy do-gooder, prison visitor and amateur phrenologist. Can Ruth be believed? Is she mad? Will she hang? With what skill does this author embroider her tale?

Available to buy online.


The Way of all Flesh by Ambrose Parry

'No decent story ought to begin with a dead prostitute...' With such panache starts an atmospheric tale set in 1840s Edinburgh. At the home of Dr James Young Simpson (real-life pioneer of anaesthesia), Will Raven, a medical student with secrets, meets housemaid Sarah Fisher. She is hostile but they must work together to investigate a spate of murders. 'Ambrose Parry' is the husband-and-wife team crime novelist Chris Brookmyre and anaesthetist Marisa Haetzman - a writing marriage made in heaven. 

Available to buy online.


Red & White by Oz Clarke

'I had never had any wine so eager, so furiously appetising, so intensely real.... so rasping, yet so strangely ripe and right.' Here is Oz Clarke in Tuscany, whither he had eloped, drinking Chianti from a bottle filled for him at a village shop - just a taste of his memoir and wine guide, a tour through his colourful life and the wine-producing world. Wizard! 

Available to buy online.


Bountiful Empire by Priscilla Mary Isin

Foodies and history buffs in thrall to Ottoman Empire - one of the mightiest and most enduring of all time - will find much to relish in this deeply researched book by this food-historian author. An exploration of food culture over six centuries, it covers feasting, fasting, farming, street food, army provisioning, picnics, the kitchen and far more. The many illustrations - especially those from the 1500s - are a particular joy. 

Available to buy online.


Born Lippy by Jo Brand

You'd be looking at Jo Brand for a long time before Good Two Shoes came to mind. We rate her so highly as our agony aunt for the wit and earthy wisdom of an unconformable woman who has made mistakes and tells it as it is. ​Born Lippy ​ is essentially a memoir, filled with advice on everything from friendship to food, to families to fashion. Like sitting down with a good, kind forthright friend. 

Available to buy online.


The Birth of Modern Theatre by Norman S Poser

ah, the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd! This American author takes the reader on a journey to filthy but exciting old London, in the days if actor David Garrick, who so enriched the harmless stock of public pleasure. Powder your wig, pop into a sedan chair, meet the players who trod the boards in Drury Lane and the Haymarket, in an age when modern theatre was in its infancy. 

Available to buy online.


Victorian Maps of England by Editor John Lee

This coffee-table book - the size and weight of a coffee table - affords rich insights into a bygone Britain with its changing boundaries and burgeoning population. Engraved maps from the 1830s, with accompanying illustrations, were produced to accompany the test of Thomas Maule's ​The English Countries Delineated, ​originally released as a part-work, Cambridge, we read, in is the Hundred Flendish, it is above a mile in length and has 2,594 houses. 

Available to buy online.


Insomnia by Marina Benjamin

'Insomnia is the thief of my repose and demon lover both.' For anyone sleep-deprived, this will offer unexpected comforts. For one thing, endless night gives time to read. The author invokes the poet Rumi, the Odyssey, Gilgamesh the warrior king of ancient Uruk. She tells us Nabokov loved the 'joggy, jittery and buzzy' feelings insomnia gave him. And through it all there is the reassurance: you are not alone. 

Available to buy online.


Is That a Big Number? by Andrew CA Elliotts

What weight can a person carry? How many fish in the sea? What is a number? This book is for those who say they don't 'do' numbers. Beacause everybody does - all 7.4 billion of us. Just be prepared to be bombarded with fascinating facts, from the top speed of a giraffe to the weight of the Eiffel Tower. 

Available to buy online.


Landscape Photographer of the Year - collection 12

Every popular, this annual collection features mesmerising images of town and country, field and forest, light and darkness, sea, sun, snow... From an amazing view of Battersea Power Station in a thicket of cranes, to an enchanted Derbyshire woodland, to the Trossachs and a gentle view of Buttermere, there is so much that startles, so much to sigh over. amateur photographers will be inspired.

Available to buy online.

Queen in 3-D and Mission Moon 3-D by Brian May

If the film Bohemian Rhapsody has reignited a loved one's interest in the band Queen, Brian May's book of photos, Queen in 3-D will be the perfect present. As well as being an ace guitarist, modern-day polymath May is a keen photographer and also holds a PhD in astrophysics, which makes his other 2018 book of photography Mission Moon in 3-D, a great gift for the moon-struck.


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