Archive December 2015

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 12: FINAL DAY! – Feat. Ross Fraser, Two Roads’ marketing champion.

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 12Reading at Christmas is a chore.

It’s not because I’m too busy drinking with good cheer, or because I’m watching It’s a Wonderful Life for the millionth time or even because I’ve fallen asleep surrounded by the crumbs of many a fallen mince pie. Deary me no…

The reason is because the choice of exactly what to read can be too daunting. How do I choose between my personal seasonal favourites like A Child’s Christmas in Wales or Ethel and Ernest, and the new ‘good’uns’ like The Fox and the Star or The Explorer’s Guild? It’s tricky…

My solution though is simple: read them all and consume excessive amounts of Turkey and festive Toblerone to keep going – it’s the only way through!

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 11 – Feat. Gretchen Rubin, Two Roads author of international bestseller Better Than Before (find out more at http://bit.ly/betterthanbefore)

Gretchen Rubin (credit Elena Seibert) Two Roads BooksI run a monthly bookclub on my website gretchenrubin.com (you can sign up to the bookclub newsletter here) and here are my December recommendations:

An outstanding book about happiness, good habits, or human nature: Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I find Thoreau maddening; I also find myself quoting him constantly. Whether or not you agree with his ideas (and I often don’t), his work is relentlessly thought-provoking.

An outstanding children’s book: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Don’t worry about whether you liked the movies, or even saw the movies, it doesn’t matter. This is a great book. If you like dystopia, and boy I sure do love dystopia.

An eccentric pick: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Well, maybe it’s not so eccentric, given that this book has been wildly popular for more than 150 years. I was just re-reading it, for the millionth time, because I was trying to figure out if Jane Eyre is a classic Questioner (read Better Than Before and you’ll see what I mean!) – and I remembered how much I love this novel!

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 10 – Feat. Kate Miles, Editor and friend from our sister imprint Saltyard Books.

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 10I always loved colouring in as a child and I’ve enjoyed reliving the joy and satisfaction of colouring since colouring books became all the rage this year.

Parisian Street Style is the perfect book for relaxing on the sofa with a glass of wine while you watch some Christmas classics.

That is why I’m giving a copy to lots of my friends this Christmas: they’ll be able to unwind, switch off and the only challenge will be working out which colours to choose…

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 9 – Feat.Two Roads author Ruth Hogan, whose début novel The Keeper of Lost Things will be published in early 2017.

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 9I’m always dreaming of a white Christmas, but as the English climate rarely obliges, I’ll turn to The Snow Queen. This wonderful edition of Stories from Hans Christian Anderson has magical illustrations by Edmund Dulac and was given to my mum as a Christmas present in 1942. I remember it from my own childhood and I still love it today.

I’ll also be reading A Christmas Carol (again!): Charles Dickens’ prose is as rich and satisfying as a dollop of Christmas pudding and who can resist a ghost story at Christmas?

John Betjeman is my literary comfort blanket and I’ll be snuggling up with his poetry, lighting the log burner and drinking a Banana Blush cocktail. I think he would approve.

Finally, A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale is a treat I’m saving for after Christmas, when the guests have gone, the house is peaceful and the sofa beckons.

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 8 – Feat. Lyndsey Ng, one third of Two Roads’ formidable Publicity team.

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 8We don’t really do the whole turkey, crackers and carol singing at Christmas in the Ng household, so this year we’ve chosen to have a vegetarian Christmas with recipes from Prashad at Home: Everyday Indian Cooking from our Vegetarian Kitchen by Kaushy Patel.

They’re easy to make recipes with everyday ingredients, so there’ll be no slaving over a hot stove or basting a turkey at 6am in the morning, just delicious, spicy food that’ll warm the soul as well as our kitchen.

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 7 – Feat. Kirsty Wark, author of Two Roads’ classic The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle (find out more at http://bit.ly/kirstywark)

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 7There’s nowhere quite like a bookshop in the run up to Christmas.

Enticing tables of best sellers, design books, and fabulous stationery – among my purchases: The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell for Caitlin, Cicero by Robert Harris for Alan, and for James the reissued play by Gregory Burke, Blackwatch.

But my local Waterstones is too damn tempting, so I had to buy for myself too! I chose The Witches, Salem 1692 by Stacy Schiff, and I shall also be dipping into Poems by Elizabeth Bishop.

I will light the fire, put on candles (from ANTA) and immerse myself for a stolen hour on Christmas Eve.

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 6 – Feat. Two Roads’ Senior Editor Kate Hewson

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 6For me, Christmas is usually a time for rereading old children’s classics – partly for the nostalgia factor, but also partly because, let’s face it, by Christmas my brain has usually packed up for the year, and anything more complicated is a bit beyond me.

This year, however, I’m pushing out the boat with two children’s classics I have never read before –Black Beauty and Ballet Shoes. Apparently having not read these basically disbars me from working in publishing, so Publisher Lisa got me these two beautiful Puffin Classics editions for Christmas, and I’m going to have to read them while I’m off if I’m to be allowed back in January.
I’m very much looking forward to it though, and who knows, they might even be added to the list for future Christmas rereads.

Happy Bookmas everybody!

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 5 – Feat. Janet Ellis, author of the forthcoming The Butcher’s Hook (find out more at http://bit.ly/thebutchershook)

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 5The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith is the perfect Christmas book.

It’s like a selection box, full of delicious treats – and with no odd fudge-ey thing no one wants. Every diary entry is funny, every character recognisable and Mr Pooter’s pompous bossiness is a salient reminder to any control freaks (moi?) that sometimes it’s best just to let things happen.

The Pooter Christmas is a masterclass in all the expected friction and disarray and the unexpected moments of happiness and love during the Festive Season. It’s also written with great kindness.

Some sort of New Year Resolution in that, I think…

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 4 – Feat. Two Roads’ Assistant Editor Federico Andornino

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 4Christmas really is my favourite time of year: I put up the tree as soon as my flatmate will allow it, blast Christmas tunes on my way to work thanks to my fantastically diverse playlist (I’ve got everyone, from Darlene Love to Mariah Carey) and get happy with friends and mulled wine.

But the thing I love the most is spending a good amount of time looking for the perfect presents for friends and family. I am not a big fan of shopping for shopping’s sake: I believe buying a good gift for a loved one requires time and effort and a good dose of love.

It also requires a good bookshop: books are the absolute centre of my Christmas giving campaign. So here’s what I’ve been busy gift-wrapping over the past few weeks:

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in the new, brilliant edition illustrated by Jim Kay. It’s completely stunning and manages to re-imagine the magic world of Harry Potter without relying on the films;
Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend, the first of four novels by the mysterious Italian literary star. If you haven’t read it already go out and buy it now;
Coralie Bickford-Smith’s The Fox and the Star, because it wouldn’t be Christmas without a gorgeous children’s book.

Buon Natale everyone!

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 3 – Feat. Sally Magnusson, author of Two Roads bestseller Where Memories Go (find out more at http://bit.ly/sallymagnusson)

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 3I only want comfy books at Christmas, so I’ve just taken delivery of these two in the consoling certainty that I’ll be able to slip into their worlds and entirely disappear.

Robert Harris is the king of historical novelists and I’ve been waiting for Dictator, the third in his Cicero trilogy, for ages.

Christmas also requires at least one new crime book. Under the Robert Galbraith pseudonym J.K. Rowling has brought such a light touch, dark plotting and clever characterisation to her Cormoran Strike novels that I have high hopes for this third one, Career of Evil.

Off to put on the slippers and fill my glass. Cheers!

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