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Books given and received for Christmas, in 2018

December 26, 2018

In what is becoming a Boxing Day tradition – I have many end-of-year traditions it seems – I am doing, again, a post on the books I gave and received this Christmas. There weren’t many as it’s becoming hard to pick the right books for people, somehow, even though we are a reading family.

Robert Drewe, The true colour of the seaHere are the books I gave:

  • For Ma Gums, something different from the word and dictionary oriented books of recent years: Robert Drewe’s short story. collection, The true colour of the sea, because she enjoys a good short story.
  • For Son Gums, who likes something a bit humorous or edgy: Andrew Sean Greer’s Pulitzer prize-winner Less.
  • For new Grandson Gums, who is going to love books whether he likes it or not, a few books including Alison Lester’s Kissed by the moon.
  • For Brother Gums: Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s Friday black, because it’s hard to find something he hasn’t read and I was hoping this would be that thing!
  • For Sister-in-law Gums: Sukegawa’s Sweet bean paste, because a bit of sweetness is just what the doctor ordered.
  • For the other Sister-in-Law Gums: Sukegawa’s Sweet bean paste, because she enjoys Asian literature.
  • For Gums’ Californian friend, to whom I always like to send something Aussie: Michelle de Kretser’s The life to come (my review), because I think many of its issues are universal to other Western nations.

Deborah Hopkinson, Ordinary, extraordinary Jane AustenAs for what I received, a small but much appreciated selection:

  • From Parent Gums: Trent Dalton’s Boy swallows universe, because I put it on my list as it’s my reading group’s next read.
  • From Brother and Sister-in-law Gums: Maria Tumarkin’s Axiomatic, because my bother loved it and thinks I will too.
  • From a good friend who knows me well: Deborah Hopkinson’s gorgeous children’s picture book biography Ordinary, extraordinary Jane Austen: The story of six novels, three notebooks, a writing box, and one clever girl, because, well, that’s obvious isn’t it!

What about you? Any Christmas book news you care to report?

20 Comments leave one →
  1. December 27, 2018 01:23

    My sister-in-law and I gave each other copies of The Library Book by Susan Orlean!

  2. December 27, 2018 09:01

    I don’t know any of these books. Loved the junior JA! Can’t imagine any child in a bookish family NOT growing up loving books – and I’m sure you will read to GSG at every opportunity. If I had one charity I could contribute to it would be reading to the kids of non-reading families.

    • December 27, 2018 09:43

      That’s a great charity Bill. I do contribute to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation but that’s not quite the same.

  3. December 27, 2018 11:50

    To The Spouse, I gave a Brian Cox book because he’s a great admirer, to The Offspring I gave Michael Smith’s Voyage of the Southern Sun because The Offspring is a pilot (and it turns out, he knows Smith and even refuelled his plane on this epic trip.

    I don’t get many books (I wonder why?) but once again The Offspring and DIL came up trumps and found something I didn’t have: The Diary of a Gulag Prison Guard by Ivan Chistyakov won a PEN award. They also gave me a Foodie’s Diary, which *snap* was just what we needed… we keep a vegie patch diary (what we planted when and where, how much rain, when and how much harvest etc) and so *phew* I don’t have to go tramping among the new year sales to find one. I don’t know about you but I am going to hibernate through the summer. It’s hot today, and I don’t like it one bit.

    • December 27, 2018 12:47

      Love hearing your gift list, Lisa. I forgot to say that I got the Foodies Diary, in the same present as the Austen. My friends know me!

      I haven’t heard of the Chistyakov book.

      As for the heat, we are at Kiama waiting to meet a young couple from California. Son and DIL of my Californian friend so no hibernating today. A little bit cooler here than the ‘berra, but here just today.

      • December 27, 2018 12:55

        It’s cool today in Perth guys, and the there were only a couple of really hot days, so you should get relief by the weekend (I think it takes four days for our weather to get to you).

        • December 27, 2018 20:56

          Thankyou Bill. Much appreciated. Actually I don’t hate the heat, though I don’t love extreme heat, I prefer heat to cold.

      • December 28, 2018 10:34

        Good luck with it, let’s hope for everyone’s sake that a cool change comes soon.

        • December 28, 2018 13:54

          Maybe we need more extreme heat to hat those pollies roll take it seriously?

  4. December 27, 2018 16:08

    Great thread as always Mrs Gums

    Though I only received one book for Christmas I did give most of my relatives and friends books as follows:

    To my brother I gave the new Kate Atkinson novel “Transcription” and the first book in Mick Herron’s Slough House thriller series “Slow Horses”

    To my niece I gave “The Girl In the Tower” by Katherine Arden (fantasy)

    To my Great Nieces I gave the 11 year old the first two books in Joan Aiken’s Wolf series – “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” and “Black Hearts in Battersea” – and to the 1 year old I gave “In The Night Garden ” a picture book by local Melbourne artist Elise Hurst who kindly signed and inscribed it.

    To the 1 year old great nephew I gave “Dear Zoo” by Rod Campbell

    To my old friends D and R, I gave D the new biography of Edward Gorey titled “Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey” by Mark Dery and to R I gave “Little” (an imaginative autobiography of Madam Tussaud) by Edward Carey.

    The book I received from D was the new Haruki Murakami novel “Killing Commendatore”.

    My brother gave me an Amazon.com.au gift voucher, which I’ll use for purchasing eBooks,

  5. Moira Nolan permalink
    December 27, 2018 21:01

    I was given ‘Why women have better sex under socialism – and other arguments for economic independence’ by Kristen R. Ghodsee for Christmas. (Is this a message from my sister?!) I will report on it after I have read it if it merits comment. !!
    Taking this opportunity to thank you, Whispering Gums, for your great literary blog which I consult frequently for its broad range, clear, no-nonsense writing, and increasingly impressive referencing, ie you have become an erudite reader and reviewer (erudite in the sense of educated, knowledgeable, wise, sapient). Thanks!

    • December 27, 2018 21:10

      Thanks so much Moira. I try to be clear and analytical but worry sometimes that it’s too much so. Consequently, I really appreciate this comment. It’s encouraging.

      I’d love to hear your thoughts on Ghodsee’s book including, perhaps, why you think your sister chose it for you!

  6. December 28, 2018 01:04

    “For new Grandson Gums, who is going to love books whether he likes it or not”

    This cracked me up!

    Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas. I hope you enjoy all you new books!

    • December 28, 2018 08:28

      Glad to give you a laugh Stefanie. We had a lovely time. Hope you and Bookman did too.

  7. maamej permalink
    December 28, 2018 11:15

    Presents are not a big thing in our family but I received two cookbooks (Love a bit of food porn) and am giving the 2nd & 3rd in the Binti series (by Nnedi Okorafor) to my step-daughter. I am taking advantage of the holidays to get stuck into my TBR list though – what luxury 🙂

    • December 28, 2018 13:57

      Absolute luxury Maamej…. I love getting into the TBR.

      I used to be into food poem, but cookbooks are now part of my downsizing because I can get recipes on the net and put them in my app.

      • maamej permalink
        December 29, 2018 09:02

        Yes, I use the net a lot now too, but I’m not very organised about it – at least the books are giving me new ideas of what to cook 🙂

        • December 29, 2018 09:10

          I’m getting more organised. And have a recipe app on my iPad which enables me to keep and easily find recipes I’ve tried and like. And manually enter old favourites.

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