I had a wonderful, successful, family-orientated Christmas period this year, in which I had two turkey dinners, six desserts, a lot of wine, champagne and malibu, and consumed at least half of my bodyweight in Lindt chocolate. Just as Christmas should be, then.
I was fortunate that everyone I gave presents to seemed to like them this year, and I was also lucky enough receive a lot of lovely presents in return. Aside from something camera-related and so exciting it deserves its own post, I unwrapped cosmetics, wooly socks, two adorable beret hats (one white, one black, both sequinned), two pairs of earrings and two necklaces, chocolate, a couple of gift vouchers... Oh yes, and a whole lot of books, including Spoken Here - Mark Abley; The Lost Continent - Bill Bryson; The Seeds of Speech - Jean Aitchison; Vanishing Voices - Romaine & Nettle and Through the Lens - a collection of some of the best-ever National Geographic photos.
And so with that, let me present you with my personalised definitive must-read list for (at least the first few months of) 2010:
- Dissolution - C. J. Samson
- The White Queen - Philippa Gregory
- The Lost Continent - Bill Bryson
- West of the Wall - Marcia Preston
- Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
- Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
- The Winter Ghosts - Kate Mosse
- The Call of the Weird - Louis Theroux
- Year of the Flood - Margaret Atwood
- Her Fearful Symmetry - Audrey Niffenegger
- Kommandant's Girl - Pam Jenoff
- Glamorous Powers - Susan Howatch
- Spoken Here - Mark Abley