Around this time of year, I always like to do a little post sharing some of the festive bookish arrivals at the Ramblings; I used to share more book hauls, but I trawl the charity shops less nowadays, and most new volumes come by post and end up appearing on social media! However, I have a December birthday, plus there is Christmas, and with fairly well trained friends and family there are usually more books making it past the barricades and into the house!

First up, here are the birthday arrivals!

The birthday books!

As you can see, there are some awfully interesting titles!

My brother and brother-in-law followed instruction and are responsible for “The Lascaux Notebooks” and “A Book of Days“; my brother in particular was a wee bit perplexed about the former (‘caveman poetry’? he queried, not getting the joke that this is an Oulipo-style literary game). But they came up with books I wanted so that’s fine! “Writing in the Dark” was from the Offspring, who plucked it from my wishlist, and provided a marvellous reading cushion to go with it so I will be comfy wherever I am – this is what it looks like and it’s soooooooooooo nice to sit in and read!

Reading cushion c. John Lewis – so comfy…..

The Last Englishman” (biog of J.L. Carr) came from my BFF J. and I’m very excited to read this one as Carr is a favourite and the book has a brilliant reputation.

The remainder of the books (Doyle, Literary Houses and “The Cause You Serve“) were from Mr. K, and frankly he’s outdone himself with the latter. Not only is it an author I’ve never come across, the book is a Raduga edition produced by the USSR in English for sale abroad, and I’m a bit of a collector of those, along with the similarly-marketed Progress books!! So to say I was gobsmacked is an understatement! Mightily impressed, as always, with Mr. K’s bookfinding skills and I’ve already got enough here to keep me going with reading for quite a while…

And then there was Christmas where there were again some bookish arrivals although many of the larger, coffee table type. Here they are!

Christmas 2022 arrivals!

As you can see, there are some big books there! The bottom five are courtesy of Mr. K, and the very bottom one probably doesn’t show up so well, but it’s a beautiful vintage catalogue from a Tate exhibition of John Piper‘s works. The cover is stunning and it has the most wonderful reproductions of his art inside so I was very excited. Then there are two more books of ‘Literary Houses‘ – I’ve not come across these before, but on a quick flick there appear to be illustrations and plans of various famous houses from books, so I shall enjoy exploring these.

Mr. K’s next clever find was the “Rock Lighthouses of Britain” book which looks absolutely glorious. I *love* lighthouses (as I probably made clear in my review of “Seashaken Houses“) and so this is a treat, full of photos and original plans and histories of all the rock lighthouses (as opposed to land based ones). What fun!! Finally, he presented me with first edition hardback of the Edward Ardizzone illustrated version of Dylan Thomas’s “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” and it’s absolutely beautiful. A favourite story and a favourite illustrator – what could be better? I spent happy moments looking through the book accompanied by the recording of Thomas reading it, which made for a very memorable Christmas experience. Kudos to Mr. Kaggsy! 😊😊

Other wonderful peeps have also presented books for the festive season. Lovely JacquiWine sent a beautiful edition of an Anita Brookner I don’t have, which will help me to continue my Brookner journey – thank you Jacqui! My BFF J. came across the Camus biography and knew I would love it because a) I love Camus, and b) it’s a white spine Picador – she knows me well! And last but definitely not least, lovely HeavenAli send me two very intriguing sounding titles from The Emma Press. I love the sound of both, and I love an indie publisher – and this is one I haven’t explored yet, so thank you Ali!

So I have been very spoiled this December by my family and friends, and have some absolutely wonderful new books to spend time with. We have had all the Offspring home at various times over the Christmas period, including one special day when they were all here together, and so that has been the biggest treat, after the awfulness of the lockdown times when we couldn’t get together. I hope you’ve all had wonderful festive times and managed to get some rest to recharge your batteries too. Me, I’m now going to be trying to get my head around my books of the year post… πŸ˜‰πŸ˜³