Wednesday, December 02, 2015

#Blogcember | Christmas Gift Guide: Books

I was planning to stay away from doing gift guides this year, as there are so many out there, but the lovely team at Little, Brown Book Group decided to send me some books for a post, and I couldn't resist. I think books are always a great idea for gifts, and a lot of the time they're suitable for pretty much anyone. As well as the 6 below, they also sent me Thug Kitchen, a great vegan (and sweary) cook book, and The Very Hungover Caterpillar and The Teenager Who Came To Tea, both of which are adapted versions of my childhood favourites.

The November Criminals by Sam Munson
"What are your best and worst qualities?" This is the title of the essay Addison Schacht has to submit to gain a place at his chosen university. Straightaway, Addison sees an opportunity to tell his story-so-far: to unburden himself, so to speak. And boy is there a lot of burden. His business - dealing pot to his peers - is booming, and starting to demand increased effort. His relationship with Digger, his best friend (NOT girlfriend), is getting more and more 'complicated', as they say. His classmate Kevin was murdered point blank, and now Addison can't stop thinking about who killed him, and why? And then there's the small question of the rest of his life... Over the course of his unorthodox application, Addison confesses his triumphs, tragedies, strengths, weaknesses, blessings and curses to his academic jury.

Eren by Simon P. Clark
'Tell the story to its end,' says Eren with a grin. His yellow eyes are glowing like embers in the night.
'When I reach the end,' I say, 'what happens? You'll have the whole story.'
'Hmm,' he says, looking at me and licking his lips with a dry, grey tongue. 'What happens then? Why don't we find out?'
People are keeping secrets from Oli. His mum has brought him to stay with his aunt and uncle in the countryside, but nobody will tell him why his dad isn't with them. Where is he? Has something happened? Oli has a hundred questions, but then he finds a secret of his own: he discovers the creature that lives in the attic.
Eren. Eren is not human. Eren is hungry for stories. Eren has been waiting for him.
Sharing his stories with Eren, Oli starts to make sense of what's happening downstairs with his family. But what if it's a trap? Soon, Oli must make a choice: learn the truth - or abandon himself to Eren's world, forever.

Panther by David Owen
Life isn't going terribly well for Derrick; he's become severely overweight, his only friend has turned on him, he's hopelessly in love with a girl way out of his league, and it's all because of his sister. Her depression, and its grip on his family, is tearing his life apart. When rumours start to circulate that a panther is roaming wild in his south London suburb, Derrick resolves to turn capture it. Surely if he can find a way to tame this beast, he'll be able to stop everything at home from spiraling towards disaster?
Panther is a bold and emotionally powerful novel that deals candidly with the effects of depression on those who suffer from it, and those who suffer alongside them.

When Everything Feels Like The Movies by Raziel Reid
Everyone wanted to break me. But stars aren't broken, they explode. And I was the ultimate supernova.
My name was Jude. They called me Judy. I was beautiful either way.
School was basically a movie set. We were all just playing our parts. The Crew, the Extras, the Movie Stars. No one was ever real . . . especially me. I didn't fit any category.
All the girls watched me - I could walk so much better than them in heels, and my make-up was always flawless.
All the boys wanted to, well, you know . . . even if they didn't admit it.
They loved me, they hated me, but they could never ignore me.
I only had eyes for Luke. A red carpet rolled out from my heart towards him and this year, on Valentine'sDay, I was going to walk that carpet and find my mark next to him. It would be like a dream.
But my dream was going to turn into a nightmare.
This is my story.


Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke
In Melbourne's western suburbs, in a dilapidated block of flats overhanging the rattling Footscray train lines, a young black mother is working on a collection of stories.
The book is called Foreign Soil. Inside its covers, a desperate asylum seeker is pacing the hallways of Sydney's notorious Villawood detention centre, a seven-year-old Sudanese boy has found solace in a patchwork bike, an enraged black militant is on the warpath through the rebel squats of 1960s Brixton, a Mississippi housewife decides to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her son from small-town ignorance, a young woman leaves rural Jamaica in search of her destiny, and a Sydney schoolgirl loses her way.
The young mother keeps writing, the rejection letters keep arriving . . .

I Call Myself A Feminist: The View From Twenty-Five Women Under Thirty
So why did we title this book 'I Call Myself A Feminist'?
Because this book - for everyone, everywhere - is a statement of intent. Because the world 'feminist' remains under siege, cast aside by some for being too inclusive and broad because there are many who refuse to identify with it. Because 'I Call Myself A Feminist' is an active, personal and powerful phrase. 

Young feminists - whether you call yourself one of not - this is for you. This one's for us.

I'm honestly excited to read all of these books, and would have loved them as presents at Christmas to add to my (already full) shelf of to-be-read books! Let me know what books are on your wish lists this year!

Sophie x

Are you up-to-date with all my #Blogcember posts? You can find them here!

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