I am a huge bookworm as you know so of course I think giving books at Christmas is the best gift you can give or receive! So I've compil...

Adult Bookworms Christmas Gift Guide

Wednesday, December 02, 2020 BookBairn 1 Comments

I am a huge bookworm as you know so of course I think giving books at Christmas is the best gift you can give or receive! So I've compiled a short list of some of my favourite reads from this year but I would say it's worth having a look at the gift guide I collated for readers 7+ because there are some great books for young readers that will also appeal to grown ups. 

Before I share, I just want to say that there are many many great books out there but these are some of my favourites that I have discovered this year. It would be impossible to compile a fully comprehensive list so this is more of a highlights guide. If you want to see our gift guides from last year, or any of our other gift guides from this year you can find them all linked here. I've tried to include a variety of books so that there is something for everyone.

What Are Little Girls Made Of? by Jeanne Willis & Isabelle Follath

“Once upon a time, Georgie Porgie kissed the girls and made them cry.
Now he wouldn’t dare.”
So says the blurb of this brilliant new poetry collection which take traditional nursery rhymes and sugar and spice and all things nice and turn them to heart and brain giving us some mighty fun and powerful new rhymes for feminist times. Along the way you will meet Little Bo-Peep who is entirely in command of her sheep, Jill who mends Jack’s crown, little Jade Horner sitting in a corner gazing upon the stars, and Little Miss Muffet who is definitely not afraid of spiders amongst many other familiar yet not-so-familiar characters. I love the wit and the humour in this! And I adore the pastel-toned illustrations which pack a punch with their blood yet subtle subverting of the traditional stories in the rhymes. I think that lots of adults would enjoy flipping through this and reimagining these rhymes with a feminist twist!

The Weed by Quentin Blake

Taking all the things that we know and love about fairytale whimsy and classic storytelling and creating something entirely new really is ingenious. I’ve only read this book twice - once when it arrive and again before wiring this review - and I feel like I’ve know the story my whole life. In the way that only a fairytale-fable can be imprinted on your reader’s soul. The Meadowsweet family suddenly and unexpectedly find themselves living at the bottom of a giant crack in the earth and when all seems doomed they decide to free their mynah bird from it’s cage - it needn’t suffer their fate. But Octavia, the bird, retuned with a very special seed that with a bit of faith and belief might just help them get back to the surface. I needn’t say much about the illustrations in this - because they are Quentin Blake - his style is uniquely identifiable and no doubt contributes to that feeling of nostalgia you get reading this (brand new) story, which brings back all the memories of reading his and Roald Dahl books as a child. And I think lots of grown up readers will relish in that nostalgia!

Harry Potter by JK Rowling, designed and illustrated by Minalima

There are few people that know the world of Harry Potter as well as the creatives behind Minalima - they designed much of the movies set pieces (and particularly the wondrous wonder of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes - the shop owned by Fred and George) so when I saw that they had illustrated and created a paper-engineered version of the Philosopher's Stone, I just had to put it on my wish list (fortunately my generous husband said I could have it now and he'll think of something else for my Christmas). This book is obviously joyous to read - it's Harry Potter and you'll most likely know this enchanting story. However, this new version really brings the story to life. Full of lift-the-flap invitation to Hogwarts, fold-out Diagon Alley and Hogwarts, moving pictures and pop-out chess boards - it really is a feast for the eyes. And that's without even mentioning the glorious illustrations throughout. This is perfect for any Harry Potter fan - but be warned - they'll spend all of Christmas day reading it! And gasping at it's wonderous joyful fun!

How to Give Your Child a Lifelong Love of Reading by Alex Johnson

I suspect if you follow along here you are passionate about raising a reader (or a whole classroom of readers) and this book is a fantastic resource! I first picked this up because I get a little mention inside it as a good resource for finding new books which just thrilled me as I work so passionately to do just that and it’s always nice to get a pat on the back. But this book has loads of great tips - as a confident reader-parent-bookworm the advice in the beginning chapters were intrinsic to me and something I do naturally but I enjoyed reading about supporting my children as they learn to read themselves, about growing their passion for reading. Mostly this book considers all different sorts of readers and how we find that book which hooks their loving of reading and with so many examples of all different sorts of books it’s a diamond mine of recommendations! A brilliant resource for parents and teachers!

All Sorts by Pippa Goodhart & Emily Rand

This book is so perfect for anyone who became obsessed with The Home Edit on Netflix! Frankie likes to sort stuff: matching things together, creating order. Frankie likes neat orderly lines - of cars, toys, flowers, trees. She goes on a sorting mission. She sorts her toys, organises the kitchen, and categories cars (where can I get a Frankie to come and organise my life?!) But there’s one thing that she can’t seem to sort - people! How is she going to sort everyone out?! Maybe there’s a reason we all muddle together? There’s a beauty in both the orderly and muddled illustrations in this book (and endpaper goals right here!) and in the message remind us that sometimes the joy comes from a little bit of (orderly!) chaos! I adore this book - it’s like my life philosophy in the pages of a book! Brilliant!

Gender Swapped Fairy Tales by Karrie Fransman & Jonathan Plackett

People have been telling fairy tales to their children for hundreds of years and for almost as long, people have been rewriting those fairy tales - to help their children imagine a world where they are the heroes. And these new versions take a very simple twist: they haven't rewritten the stories, or reimagined endings or reinvented characters. They have simply swapped the genders. From Jacqueline and the Beanstalk, to Sleeping Handsome and Gretel & Hansel these tales illuminate and disrupt gender stereotypes. This is such a fantastic book for creating s discussion about gender - for boys girls, non binary and trans people and those who have never really thought about gender before. With stunning illustrations throughout it''s a beautiful book and incredibly thought-provoking!

She Will Soar collated by Ana Sampson

I've only recently discovered how much I enjoy reading poetry - well, some poetry! And this is a great collection of poems written by a mixture of both well-loved classic poets as well as innovative, inclusive and bold modern voices. As an anthology it spans several themes but all have empowerment at the core looking at freedom, escape, wanderlust and courage there's a poem fro everyone in this collection. All written by female writers, this is a "bold choir" of voices demanding independence and celebrating women's hard-won power. This would make a great gift for readers who have not read much poetry before or for those who already love it!

The Five by Hallie Rubenhold

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers. What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. Their murderer was never identified, but the name created for him by the press has become far more famous than any of these five women. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, historian Hallie Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, and gives these women back their stories.This was so gripping, fascinating and totally changed my perception of the 'Jack the Ripper ' story. It was also so readable, I thought it would be a bit dense and potentially a bit heavy to read but it was a real page turner. And head scratcher.

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

A gripping novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their beautiful lead singer, revealing the mystery behind their infamous break up. Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the real reason why they split at the absolute height of their popularity…until now. I loved this so much that I listened to the audiobook almost immediately after finishing the paperback. It's brilliant and so is the audiobook cast. It's so compelling and the characters seem so real that I wanted to listen to the music, buy the album and put up posters on my wall. And so so fun!

The Overstory by Richard Powers

These strangers – each summoned in different ways by trees – are brought together in a last and violent stand to save the continent’s few remaining acres of virgin forest. There is a world alongside ours – vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe. This was a book of two excellent halves. The prose in the first part was more like a series of short stories but with the most beautiful and interesting writing. And the second part pulled all the stories together and then became an eco novel extraordinaire. This had a mythical type nature to it as well and was incredibly moving.

I hope that helps you find something for grown up bookworms in your life! And if you want any specific recommendations please feel free to get in touch! All our social media links are in the header at the top of the blog - or you can just search 'bookbairn' to find us!

I have also added this list to my Amazon shop so you can find the links easily, just click on the section for Adults but do check out my Picture Books for Grown Ups recommendations where you'll find these books and many others.


This year I've also signed up to be an affiliate for Bookshop.org.uk where you can shop online whilst still supporting local independent bookshops! 

And of course you can always take a note of the books titles and go to a local bookshop or place an order with them.

Happy Christmas Shopping,

Kim and the elves xx

Disclaimer: We were sent some of these books free for review purposes by the publishers. Words and opinions are my own. If you click on the affiliate linked stores above and you choose to purchase on amazon.co.uk, amazon.com or bookshop.org.uk, I will receive a small sum (around 20p-£1.50 per book) from those sites at no extra cost to you. I understand that you may not want to use an affiliate link, but if you like reading our blog please just think of it as a small tip for a tip-off to an awesome book. And know that your support means I can buy more books! For more information check out our 'For Our Readers' section.

1 comment:

  1. Gender swapped fairytales- what a great concept! Also, the Harry Potter book looks fabulous! Look forward to seeing it.