12/14/2019

The Bookish Gift Guide '19



It's eleven days until Christmas! Work is starting to wind down, Summer/Winter are setting in, we get all nostalgic and we take time to be with our nearest and dearest. I know Christmas shopping can be stressful and books in particular can sometimes be a bit of a tricky thing to gift. My advice, find out what they have read and enjoyed this year-that is usually quite a good starting point. That or pick the brains of the lovely booksellers in your community. I have to give a shout out to Unity Books and Time Out here in Auckland because they are packed with friendly, well-read folk who know their stuff and are yet to recommend a dud, for myself or others. Today though, I will be doing the recommendations. I've tried to mix it up so there's a bit of all I love but also books I have read and gifted throughout the year. Many of these are books I have read during 2019 and enjoyed too. So if you want some reading recs, keep reading. Wow Sophie, so eloquent. Anyway...

Poetry: Validate Me x Charly Cox. One for the millennials, those who may be feeling a bit wary of the current state of the world (2019-what the heck) or just want a book that resonates. I particularly loved Charly's writing about her friendship with Elizabeth Day. So good. Other poetry volumes I rate for gifting; HeraTayiLavinia's brilliance.

Good Vibes: I guess I really mean books that are just a delight to read and immerse oneself in. The one book I think of time and again for this is Everything I Know About Love x Dolly Alderton. This is honestly such a beautiful book and Dolly is totally worthy of her modern-day Nora Ephron comparisons. 


The Cool Girl: Not the Amy Dunne level, props if you get that reference. For the babe in your life who maybe likes a book that is like a breath of fresh air. That evokes feelings of another time and place; beautiful imagery. A book that is thought-provoking as much as nostalgic. So first up we have I Used To Be Charming x Eve Babitz. One of my favourite discoveries of 2019 has been the work of Eve Babitz. This latest volume is a collation of her work for various publications as well as previously unpublished work. I describe her as the anti-Didion, but in a good way. Trick Mirror x Jia Tolentino. One of the New Yorker's brightest stars at present. She writes in a wonderful, nuanced way on everything from reality TV, to the decision to marry (or not), self preservation and more.

Royal Readers: Maybe they've immersed themselves in Season 3 of The Crown and demand more. Lady in Waiting* x Anne Glenconner is one of the best books I have read this year and one of the best royal-themed biographies. Lady Glenconner was part of Princess Margaret's inner circle and was married to Colin Tennant, aristocrat and the man responsible for turning Mustique into an idyllic getaway. She writes candidly and brilliantly, with humour and charm+fantastic insight into a life well lived. 

Love: That which is valued above all things. This year I read One Day x David Nicholls and loved it so I am really looking forward to reading his latest, Sweet Sorrow. If she loved One Day and maybe was a John Green fan once upon a time, this is bound to go down a treat. 


Music: A book I am sure is going to be on many a Christmas list is Me x Elton John. I don't have my copy here because one of my friends is borrowing it currently but I loved this book. So many brilliant stories and tales from a life that is anything but ordinary. John's co-writer did a fantastic job here. Another music book that would make a stunning Christmas gift, this exquisite illustrated edition of Just Kids* x Patti Smith. It is gorgeously presented in this larger format and is accompanied by images and illustrations from both Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe. 

A Yourshelf Bundle: Kinda biased here as Jay is a good friend of mine but his specially curated book bundles are a treat to receive. They are carefully selected and he always includes editions that are beautiful and more often than not, one of a kind. 

Shop Local: You may see throughout this post I have linked to Time Out and Unity. Auckland is also home to some great secondhand bookstores and The Women's Bookshop on Ponsonby Rd. Remember to smile and thank them for their time-I can only imagine how stressful this time of year can be for booksellers!

-What books would you gift this Christmas?

*Review Copy



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