Literary treats for Christmas

By | December 15, 2010

It might nearly be Christmas but there is still time to snap up something special if you are still looking for that elusive stocking filler! From ghouls and ghosts to the more sombre tone of great Russian writers, we have books to whet most literary appetites, whatever your particular delectation may be. Below is a round-up featuring a couple of my favourite gift choices…

The Wit and Wisdom of G.K Chesterton

Wit and Wisdom of G K Chesterton Described as 'a delight to read' by The Daily Telegraph and 'both wise and witty' by The Guardian, this book recently recieved this fantastic review in The Observer. Bevis Hiller, the acclaimed biographer of John Betjeman, shines a light into the margins of Chesterton's work and the distinctive flavour of his mind. This is an ideal book for Chesterton fans everywhere!

'An engaging and illuminating introduction to this well-chosen selection' New Statesman

'I can not think of a better Christmas present for almost anybody' Standpoint

 The Novel: An Alternative History

The Novel If you are looking for something a little bit different to get stuck into over the Christmas period, then look no further. This landmark in literary criticism offers a complete reppraisal of the history of the novel – taking the reader on a tour beginning in ancient Egypt and ending in 16th century China, with many exotic ports-of-call in between (Greek Romances, Roman satires and Byzantine erotic thrillers to name but a few). This book certainly turned the critics heads (see below) and will be sure to do the same for you!

 'Moore tells his story with erudition and wit… a reader's treasure trove' The Washington Post

'Readers whose teeth are not set on edge by the sound of gridning axes will enjoy it'  New York Review of Books

'[Moore's] focus on literary experimentation is very engaging' Times Higher Education

Gothic Histories: The Taste for Terror, 1764 – present

Gothic Histories 'In this exuberant and joyously morbid book, full of generous and juicy quotations, Bloom explores the cultural persistence of Gothic on both sides of the Atlantic… a broad international and rich consideration of cruelty, violence, torture. misery, decadence, pain, pollution, corruption and decay!' Times Higher Education

Chosen as the Times Higher Education's 'Book of the Week' at the time of publication, this book takes the reader through the haunted landscapes of the Romantics, Frankenstein and Dracula, through to Hannibal Lecter, Goth Culture and Twilight. Whilst it may not be up everyone's festive street, it will cause a stir for those who are fans of everything ghost, ghoul and gothic related. An 'exhilarating grand tour of Gothic' – BBC History Magazine

Dostoevsky: Language, Faith and Fiction

Dostoevsky 'The archbishop's book is an absorbing critical account of Dostoevsky's work' AS Byatt, The Guardian

Recommended by AS Byatt as one of favourite books of 2010 in The Guardian, Dostoevsky recieved critical acclaim when published last year and continues to feature as one of our best-selling books. This extraordinary study enables us to understand the nature of God in the 21st Century through the lens of Dostoevsky's novels.

'A profound and thought-provoking book ' The Times

The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories

Seven Basic Plots To end this selection of Christmas gifts, I thought I would include another best-selling book from our Literary Studies list. The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker published in 2005 and since then has sold over 25,000 copies. Looking at story-telling over the past 200 years, Booker identifies seven archetypal themes or plots which recur throughout all genres – from ancient myths and folk tales, detective stories and works of great literature through to  TV shows and movies. This exciting book reveals the similaries between Beowulf and Jaws, illuminating our understanding of story-telling and the role it plays in our lives.

Clicking on the book titles above will take you through to our website where you can read more about our books and view their online previews. I hope that has provided some inspiration for those of you who (like me) may be stuck for ideas.

Happy reading!

Jenny Tighe,

Marketing Executive (UK)

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