Santa List

Ah, the holiday season…time of looniness and mayhem… Today, being my last blog post for 2009, I’m going to channel the holiday spirit and write about conspicuous consumption (of books of course!) and my family’s current wish list for Santa.

Now first up (appropriately enough) are my parents. Notoriously hard to buy for as they devour their favorite authors’ latest books as soon as they come out, they have few books still on their list so I’m going for the audio book approach: I figure I can’t go wrong with Good Omens by Neil Gaimon and Terry Pratchett (my father is a huge fan of both) or The Screwtape Letters by C.S Lewis…only problem, not sure Santa’s up on the whole ‘bureaucracy of hell’ or ‘the end is nigh’ stuff – might dampen the ho, ho, ho…but, bah humbug, that’s what they’re getting.
My twin boys are so much easier – I’ve already indoctrinated them into loving mystery books (the old fashioned, English kind, of course). Once again, Enid Blyton rules and my boys are already obsessed by the Secret Seven mystery series (seven kids, a dog named Scamper and lots of English village mysteries to solve) and are about to discover the Adventure series (four kids, a talking parrot and mysteries in exotic locations). Santa is fully up to speed on their book requirements though (sigh), Lego is still number one on their Santa list.

My husband is always a trickier proposition, book-wise. He barely has enough time to start a book let alone finish it, but I recently introduced him to a terrific Australian thriller writer, Michael Rowbotham, so I know he’ll be trying to read him over the holidays. As for his list, well I’m going for non-fiction instead with Michael Chabon’s latest, Manhood for Amateurs. I wasn’t quite ready to put his wife’s book, Bad Mother, on my Santa list (my fragile ego couldn’t cope with unwrapping it on Christmas Day…) but I’d love to read it all the same.

I have a veritable library of titles on my list for Santa…and certainly not enough time to read them all…but my top three are: AS Byatt’s Edwardian saga, The Children’s Book; Cormac McCarthy’s post apocalyptic, The Road, and Juliet Nicholson’s non-fiction account of collective mourning in the aftermath of WW1, The Great Silence.

So what books are on your Santa list??

5 thoughts on “Santa List

  1. Books on my list? Old stuff mainly. Primarily Bernard Cornwell stuff, three different series to finish. But most importaant of all for me is to read the book I am writing, I am thinking it and it keeps running like a movie trailer in my head, but the clock always shows a time too late for it to appear on paper. Therefore I want Santa to give me some peace and quiet to get it done….or for my cousin Leonard to return in the time machine so I can have some do-overs.

  2. Hey, James, a Kindle (yikes!) might fit in your stocking, and a complete set of Dickens might fit on there!

  3. The first book I really want to read over these holidays is one you started me on : “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Now I can read it in longer bursts without having to be interrupted to pack a lunch box or sort out a lego argument, so I’m starting it from scratch!
    The other is “Walking With the Anzacs – a guide to Australian Battlefields on the Western Front” by Matt McLachlan. The Fromelles Battle in which my two great-uncles were “missing presumed dead” is described in some detail.

  4. Your boys being obsessed with The Secret Seven reminds me of my childhood when I used to read The Secret Seven and The Famous Five. in fact, when my pocket money used to be scarce, I used to sneak in the basement of the bookstore where the Secret Seven were stored and used to read them “free of charge.” Fast Foward to the present, my nostalgic remembrance of Enid Blyton and her literary works has led me to write a book on her, titled, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (
    Stephen Isabirye

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