Christmas 2021: The season for books and sprouts
Can you believe that Christmas is almost upon us again? Here at PA EDitorial, we’re looking forward to good company, good food, and even a few notorious Brussel sprouts.
Like us, you’ve probably spent the year with your head in journal articles, and as much as we all love our profession, sometimes we need downtime – to read something where we can let our imaginations flourish in a different way.
We’re here to help by recommending some great reads you might want to find in your Christmas stocking this year.
Shakespeare’s ‘Lady Editors’ by Molly G. Yarn
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
The works of Shakespeare are an integral part of British culture. Even now, his stories are still brought to life on stage and screen, and his name alone is enough to strike terror into A-Level students across the country.
Yet, our understanding of Shakespeare’s works has historically been defined by a very select group of male academics.
In this book, we see the work of almost 70 female editors, who have brought a new understanding and revisionist version to how we can interpret and appreciate Shakespeare.
Fry’s Ties by Stephen Fry
Do we need any more evidence that Stephen Fry is a national treasure than watching people flock to buy his book about ties? As a collector from a young age, Fry has amassed a compendium of ‘nifty neckwear’ numbering in the hundreds.
As well as a behind the scenes peek into Fry’s sartorial style choices, the book is also filled with great stories and anecdotes.
The Hidden History of Coined Words by Ralph Keyes
Publisher: Oxford University Press
We can all appreciate that words are powerful. In his latest book, Ralph Keyes takes us through some of the most commonly used terms in the English language and the stories of how they came to be. Some are humorous, some are accidental (expect to see Donald Trump’s name mentioned), and others are downright sinister.
He even has some great advice on how to coin your own phrases.
Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman
If the news and social media are anything to go by, society seems to be filled with self-absorbed and cruel individuals. Rutger Bregman dismantles this view and argues from the other side, providing the uplifting and optimistic belief that we are, in fact, capable of great acts of kindness and cooperation.
If recent events have rocked your faith in people, then definitely put this book on your Christmas list.
Private Eye: The 60 Yearbook by Adam Macqueen
Publisher: Private Eye Productions Ltd
Taking a satirical ‘eye’ to the British political system, Private Eye has been the bane of politicians’ lives for over 60 years. Corruption, intrigue, sleaze – it’s all there, like the plotline of a great political thriller, until you heave a sigh and remember it’s all true. With articles from legends of satire, including Ian Hislop, Peter Cook and Auberon Waugh, this stroll down memory lane is sure to make you chuckle.
What Cats Want by Yuki Hattori
There’s a lot of debate around cats. Are they graceful companions or evil geniuses plotting the demise of society? Truthfully, we may never find out what really drives our feline friends, but this book by Yuki Hattori is a great place to start.
It’s very informative and will probably contain a lot of information that even cat owners may never have considered. It’s a must for cat lovers.
The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed
Shortlisted for Booker Prize, The Fortune Men is based on an actual event. Mahmood Mattan, a small-time criminal of Somali heritage, is accused of murder in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, in the 1950s. Mahmood is fighting for his life against society’s prejudices, conspiracies and the threat of the noose.
These Precious Days by Ann Patchett
What do Tom Hanks and Snoopy have in common? They’re both mentioned in Ann Patchett’s collection of essays that form These Precious Days. Part memoir, part essay style musings, Patchett talks about love, family, death, failure, and success. It’s all in there and, despite some of the content, it is curiously uplifting in places.
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
Publisher: Faber and Faber
British author Ishiguro, best known for his novels Never Let Me Go and The Remain of the Day, has created another world in which to lose oneself. Klara is an AI, who waits and watches from her place in a showroom, waiting to be taken home with a new family, but is warned about placing her faith in humans.
Klara and the Sun was longlisted for a Booker Prize this year and is sure to win a host of other awards.
The Manningtree Witches by A.K. Blakemore
If historical fiction is your thing, then The Manningtree Witches is a must-read. This debut novel won the Desmond Elliot Prize and takes place during the Essex witch trials of the 1600s. As well as being a thrilling tale, the book deals with misogyny, corruption and abuses of power.
Hopefully, you’ve spotted some literary gems in our Christmas selection.
The PA EDitorial team would like to wish all of our followers, clients and partners a very happy Christmas and to thank you for all of your support over the past twelve months.