(Kittens, unfortunately, not included.)
For a lot of people, a well-chosen book is the perfect gift for the holidays. Here is a selection of books which I think would make lovely presents this year:
- In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware – a crime story that they won’t be able to put down.
- Gramma by Leanne Ellul – a Maltese book that’s aimed at teenagers, but I fully enjoyed it as an adult.
- Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur – beautiful poems for the super-woman in your life.
- Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris – for anyone who’s obsessed with language/spelling/grammar.
- Graffiti by Savannah Brown – a book of poetry by a teenage YouTuber (she’s now 20 though, I believe), and she’s my new favourite poet (after Kate Tempest, of course).
- Hold Your Own by Kate Tempest – this woman is incredible. That’s it. Just buy this book for yourself, for your dog, for your colleagues. It’s great.
Happy reading and gifting!
In my world, books are the perfect gifts. They’re the gift of an experience, as well as a physical product, and it’s such a personal offering – (hopefully) the person giving you the book thought about the contents and story of the book, and they’ve decided to actually give you the opportunity to own this new story and this new physical book. Bonus points if the book/edition is particularly nice to look at and to own.
Here are some suggestions of books which might be perfect for friends/family/acquaintances this Christmas:
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – a beautiful story for the fledgling feminist in your life.
- The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson – a Gothic novella for someone who’d love a quick, exciting read of a classic.
- Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry – a vivid story about family and struggles, perhaps for someone who’s dealing with ageing family members or tough circumstances.
- An Atlas of Countries That Don’t Exist by Nick Middleton – a really gorgeous coffee-table book for the history/geography lover in your life.
- Yes Please by Amy Poehler – a hilarious compilation of anecdotes and strangely useful advice for a kick-ass woman.
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed – a moving story for anyone who might be feeling a little lost.
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie – my favourite whodunnit for someone who loves a good riddle.
Hope you receive a tonne of beautiful books yourself this year. :)
Christmas is about a month away! Very exciting, particularly because I’m fully engaging in the “going-home-for-Christmas” process, since I’m flying over to Malta from Luxembourg for a few weeks (including a little jaunt up to Rome for a few days too!). My heart warms up at the thought of seeing so many friends and family members at Christmastime.
And then there are the present exchanges! Who’s excited? I am. Here are some items on my Christmas wishlist this year:
- Books, books, books, books. They’re always a Number 1 excellent gift for me. Some beautiful ones I’d love to receive this year include Hold Your Own by Kate Tempest, a beautiful edition of Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Swimming Lessons and Other Stories by Rohinton Mistry.
- A Daniel Wellington watch. Yes, this watch. I can’t decide whether I’d prefer the regular big one (with the beautiful minute markings) or else the smaller one (pictured), which would fit my wrist much better. Hmmm.
- A Feminism-related T-shirt for working out. My wonderful friend Anke bought me a “Feminist as Fuck” T-shirt for Christmas last year and I have worn it SO MUCH. I wear it almost every time I work out, and I practically live in it when I go to music festivals. I need more. MOOOOORE. Some of my favourites (not all SFW): “Females are strong as hell”. “Girls just wanna have fundamental human rights”. “Angry Liberal Feminist Killjoy”. “I don’t only have glitter in my veins”. “Feminist as Fuck”. (Again, of course.) (Or this one.)
- A Chicwish midi skirt. OH MY DEAR GOD. These are so beautiful! I want one I want one I want one so much. But I haven’t clicked ‘Order’ yet because I can’t justify spending my dwindling financial resources on a skirt which I don’t reeeeally need. But ARGH. So beautiful! This is my favourite one, but it seems to be sold out. The ones in the collage above are also gorgeous.
- NUTTY unicorn slippers from ASOS. My lovely friend Maxine gave me a perfect pair of slippers for my birthday a few years ago. And I seem to have worn them every single day since. And now they are getting a little… tattered. Too much love. SO. I clearly need some unicorn slippers to replace them. Yes. Although they seem to be sold out, which makes me ever so sad.
I could also (as always) use more mascara, a new portable (fun) umbrella, a clip-on hard plastic case for my MacBook Air (13″), a list of countries poster, my friends’ awesome game, and chocolate. Mmm, chocolate. (And wine.)
Have a great Christmastime! Someone pass the mince pies.
I’m turning 26 on 18 March, and I have no idea how I’m going to be spending the day, but I’m very excited. And, as usual, I have compiled a little wishlist of things I would (hypothetically, tee hee) love to receive as gifts.
- A Daniel Wellington watch (with rose gold edges) – I’ve been wanting this for about a year, and it’s so gorgeous and sophisticated, yet not at all flashy…
- Dining out at fancy restaurants – I love a good meal at a good restaurant, and this sort of treat is one which might seem like a “waste of money” for some, but for me it is one of the loveliest experiences; I don’t forget special meals out, and I cherish the memories and the time spent with special people.
- Travel – whether it’s just the planning or whether it’s a concrete train/plane ticket, travel is what I ache for every day. And now that I live in the centre of Europe, it’s so easy (and quite surreal) to think about how, for example, I can be in the heart of Paris in two hours (TWO HOURS).
- Crooked House (Agatha Christie) – I’m becoming quite the Christie fan, and I’ve heard fantastic things about this one, so it’s next in line and would be the perfect gift. <3
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Neil Gaiman) – I’ve heard such excellent things about Neil Gaiman, and it’s high time that I give one of his books a go. This one has been given some pretty good reviews, so I think it could be a good gift for me to start off with his oeuvre, as it were.
- Diptyque Vanille candle – I finally forked out the money for a Diptyque candle at the end of January, and I can see what the fuss is about. Even Dave, my boyfriend, has been pestering me to “put on Feu de Bois” in the evenings. They’re magical candles, and I’d love to own another one soon.
Other options include: nice perfume (which I haven’t been able to find anywhere), a leather jacket I’ve had my eye on, and just more books.
So, just a few things, apart from gender equality and world peace and stuff. And perhaps this wishlist has inspired you to buy a gift for a special person in your own life (even if it’s just yourself). :)
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (my first Christie – spectacular)
- Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (eye-opening + great tips for professionals)
- The Clockwork Muse by Eviatar Zerubavel (the kick up the bum I needed to write my thesis)
- Kulħadd ħalla isem warajh by Clare Azzopardi (mesmerising stories about women, Malta, life)
- Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell (an addictive writing style)
- Bossypants by Tina Fey (hilarious and poignant)
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (adorable well-written Young Adult fiction)
- Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (ICELAND + an amazing, haunting story)
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (good, but meh)
- What Happens in Brussels Stays in Brussels by Ġużè Stagno (didn’t go anywhere)
- Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (mostly superficial – I guess I’m the wrong demographic)
- Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (didn’t even finish this)
- Delirium by Lauren Oliver (I skimmed through most pages)
- Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham (couldn’t relate to most of this)
- The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (didn’t even finish this)
- The Children Act by Ian McEwan (a beautiful story)
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (poetic writing)
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (a big, juicy read – loved the first two-thirds, mostly hated the last third)
(Not in any particular order.)
That daily journal. Those books.
That chocolate! (I must have consumed about 10 bars of that in March…
Some seriously good books. The best phone (only until I Lollipopped it up…). Amazingly soothing lip balm.
That Dior lip glow thing. And absolutely excellent Orwell.
That mascara. That blusher.
That book. That shampoo. That body lotion. Those cups. That cleanser! Such a good month, favourites-wise.
Some lovely books. And that lip balm has been mistaken for a fancy lipstick SO MANY TIMES. <3
The glasses! Fantastic dry shampoo. Beautiful book.
Always stellar shower gel. Beautiful body oil. Daily primer. Necessary + calming pillow spray.
My favourite author. A subtle, lovely under-eye concealer.
Aaaaand… December Favourites.
They’re all amazing. Especially the book.
Thanks for letting me share my favourites with you each month. Please share any lovely books/products/favourites with me. Here’s to another year of favourites!
Do you know that I’m fond of books? You probably do. Reading has always been one of my favourite things to do, and I think there’s nothing better than a great book as a gift. Here are my Christmas 2014 suggestions for your friends/family/other-people-you-have-to-buy-a-present-for:
- The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde: Wilde’s plays are always an amusing read, and his wit is absolutely hilarious. These timeless plays are great for young and old alike, and The Importance of Being Earnest will prove to be a forever-favourite.
- Around the World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne: I read this when I was very young, and Verne immediately became one of my favourite authors. His stories are always magnificent, and if someone in your life hasn’t read this classic, go ahead and buy it for them to read on Christmas weekend.
- On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan: I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but this is one of my absolute favourite books by Ian McEwan, and he’s my favourite author. It was the first one of his books that I had ever read (it was either this one or one of his short story collections…), and I fell in love instantly. It’s a very quick read, and a beautiful, sad story. I’ve actually already bought a copy to give to someone myself this year!
- Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead – Sheryl Sandberg: While reading this book (which is not without its irrelevant bits and not without its flaws – like any book, I guess), I kept nodding and thinking “YES.”, and sort of wanted everyone in my life to read it. It’s certainly not just for women, but it’s a fantastic book about leadership and having an effective work ethic. I also really want to read the Graduate edition, which will probably be a thousand times more relevant for me at the moment.
- The Clockwork Muse: A Practical Guide to Writing Theses, Dissertations & Books – Eviatar Zerubavel: This book was recommended to me by my wonderful + so beautiful Dutch friend, Eline, who mentioned it to me while I was struggling with my Doctor of Laws thesis. It really, really helped, and bits of it stuck in my mind, so much so that I think about it and its suggestions even when it comes to different types of writing, not just thesis-writing. Buy this for any aspiring novelist/writer in your life, or for the poor student who’s struggling to write that wretched thesis/dissertation.
- Kulħadd ħalla isem warajh – Clare Azzopardi: My Maltese pick for this Christmas – a beautiful book that became an immediate favourite by the time I was halfway through it. Its structure makes it very pleasant to read, and the characters are ones that will keep lingering in your mind forever. I kind of wish this book could go on forever.
Let me know if you have any other Christmas (book) present suggestions! I might just buy them for myself…
September was such a busy (often stressful) month. However – it’s been sprinkled with some fantastic downtime and (really fun) proofreading jobs. October is going to be INSANELY GOOD, I can feel it.
Some favourites from the month of September:
- The new McEwan book (The Children Act) – I was so excited about this book, that I bought it twice! I pre-ordered it months ago from The Book Depository, but when I saw it at a bookshop and hadn’t received it in the mail yet (and wouldn’t for over 5 days…), I had to buy it. It’s not my favourite McEwan, but it was bloody brilliant. When’s his next one out? #favouriteauthor
- Planning for a Lake District trip with my two best friends – I AM SO EXCITED. WE ARE SO EXCITED. EVERYONE SHOULD BE EXCITED.
- New glasses! – I’ve been needing to wear glasses more often lately, and I definitely needed new ones (the ones I had been using had been bought when I was about 15 years old…) These are quirky and gorgeous.
- Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-Powder – this is a dry shampoo and “style extender”. It’s very luxurious (but pricey). It really works though.
- Bumble and Bumble thickening full form mousse – I’m definitely a mousse girl when it comes to hair products. My hair routine is simply: shampoo, condition/treatment, mousse, oil (optional). This mousse isn’t the usual “type” of mousse that I usually enjoy (i.e. defined curls), but it really gives my hair a thick, volumised look, and definitely feels like the expensive product it is (thankfully).
Hope your September has been equally happifying. Let’s enjoy October to the fullest. Can I use the C word? Because I’m excited.