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The best books to give as Christmas presents

Meet Paul Wallace. Shopkeeper at David’s Bookshop in Letchworth, he’s a man who knows a lot about books and whose recommendations are always tip-top. He’s been recommending and selling books since the beginning of time, and he’s kindly taken time out of his busy, busy, bookselling life to share his best gift ideas for Christmas. Thank you, Paul!

Paul Wallace, introducing Paul Merton at an event in Letchworth Photo: Letchworth Heritage Foundation

The Robin: A Biography by Stephen Moss (£10.99) is a lovely gift book on the natural and cultural history of Britain’s favourite bird. The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa (£8.99)  is a novel exploring friendship and kindness, through the eyes of a feline. It’s perfect for cat lovers. I like The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young (£9.99). It’s a quirky but profound book on the characters of cows and their relationship with humans. Whether you’ve seen the new film or not, Paddington Pop up London (£25.00) is a beautiful and fun gift book for all lovers of the bear.

black cat on white background, bird with red breast and beak and brown feathers on turquoise background, bear wearing red hat with Big Ben behind him and red curtains, two cows facing on blue blackground

The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris (£20.00). Words describing the natural world we once took for granted are disappearing from children’s lives: dandelion, otter, bramble, acorn. This beautiful book stands up for them! I also like The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell (£12.99). It’s the first in a new series by the author of the bestselling How to Train Your Dragon collection.

The Unofficial Jeremy Corbyn Annual 2018 (£9.99). Affectionate fun poked at Labour’s Glastonbury star. Bletchley Park Brainteasers (£12.99). Puzzles, stories and facts related to the wartime codebreakers. Citizen Clem by John Bew (£12.99). This is a new biography of Labour’s radical postwar prime minister, winner of the Orwell Prize for political writing. Clement Attlee went to school in Hertfordshire. The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell (£14.99). A subject close to my heart! This is the characterful and humorous chronicle of the trials and tribulations of a secondhand bookshop owner in the days of online bookselling.

 

David’s Bookshop, Eastcheap, Letchworth

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