“♫ ♪ We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year. ♫ ♪”
I adore this time of year. It was my birthday yesterday (Christmas Eve), it’s Christmas Day today, and it’s my anniversary on New Year’s Eve. So, as well as all the other lovely things that come at this time, this is also a gift-tastic kind of week. And my favourite presents to unwrap are always the book-shaped ones. There are eleventy billion books I’m hoping to find under my Christmas tree, but the one I’m particularly hoping for is ‘The Song from Somewhere Else,’ written by A.F. Harrold and illustrated by Levi Pinfold. I loved ‘The Imaginary’ and want more of that beautiful, dark yet funny, poetic wonderfulness A.F. Harrold creates.
I asked some of my favourite authors which books they’d most like to find in their stocking this morning. Here’s what they replied:
Jo Nadin, brilliant author of ‘Joe All Alone’, says she’d like ‘Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth’ by Frank Cottrell Boyce, and gave an honorable mention to ‘Anything That Isn’t This’ by Chris Priestley and ‘Nothing Tastes as Good’ by Claire Hennessy
Tamsyn Murray, author of the magical ‘Instructions for a Second-Hand Heart’, says the book she’d most like to find in her stocking is ‘Winter Magic’ - a collection of stories by award-winning authors, curated by Abi Elphinstone
Curtis Jobling, who wrote ‘Max Helsing’ and is married to a Christmas Elf, hopes to find Joe Abercrombie’s ‘Sharp Ends’ in his stocking.
Sarah Sky, author of the great ‘Code Red Lipstick’, would love to find ‘Swan Boy’ by Nikki Sheehan under her tree.
Lovely Keris Stainton, author of ‘Starring Kitty’, is another ‘Swan Boy’ fan and also G R Gemin’s ‘Sweet Pizza‘.
Nikki Sheehan, the author of the much-coveted ‘Swan Boy’, is hoping to unwrap ‘There May be A Castle’ by Piers Torday.
Tony Bradman, author of ‘The Boy and the Globe’ and my writing hero, said he’d like the film tie-in edition of Patrick Ness’s ‘A Monster Calls’, because it’s a great film, a great book and buying it will help the Siobhan Dowd Trust. He’d also be happy with a copy of Alex Wheatle’s ‘Straight Out Of Crongton’.
Girls Heart Book’s own Jo Cotterill, author of the electrifyingly exciting ‘Electrigirl’ has asked for ‘The Girl of Ink and Stars’ by Kiran Millwood Hargrave and ‘The Secrets of Billie Bright’ by Susie Day.
The not-at-all-Strange-and-actually-spectacularly-nice Lucy Strange, author of the beautiful ’The Secret of Nightingale Wood’, cheated and asked for a book that’s not out until February – ‘Who Let the Gods Out?’ by Maz Evans. But Santa is magical so anything is possible.
Last year’s CILIP Carnegie medal winner, Tanya Landman, author of ‘Hell & High Water’, is another one hoping for a time-travelling Santa and would love to find Alex Wheatle’s ‘Straight Outta Crongton’ (due out in April) in her stocking.
The delightfully indecisive John Dougherty, author of ‘Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face the Great Kerfuffle Christmas Kidnap’ took so long to make up his mind I didn’t have time to include his choice in my exploding stocking picture, but I’m including it here because he’s lovely and so is the book – ‘The Many Worlds of Albie Bright‘ by Christopher Edge.
I’d love to hear what books you’ve found under your tree this morning.