Why not support your local book shop and buy Christmas presents from Railroad. The selection is small, but, forgive the cliche, there is something for everyone. To prove this, i will outline staff recommendations for each family member below:
The Eleventh Hour – For the small child
Every Australian will remember this from their childhood, and every English child should have a copy. It is by far the most visually exciting children’s book I have ever read.
Sunset Park – For the bigger child, adolescent perhaps, or older, actually everyone should read this.
The brand new book from Paul Auster which arrived today! From my experience of reading Paul Auster, he rarely disappoints. This means that I can recommend it without reading it… right? Anyway, I’m sure it will be good Christmas reading. I plan to receive it as a present for Christmas.It may not be possible for me to plan what I will get for Christmas, but writing this will surely help me get it.
The Granta Book of Irish Stories - For dad
Short stories don’t last very long, so if your dad is a bit pissed on Christmas day, he won’t have to concentrate for very long. It is a beautiful book.
At this point I’m struggling a little because books for mum and dad are obviously inter-changable, and the idea of recommending one book for dad and one for mum is kind of impossible because I don’t know any of your mums or dads. Anyway, for the history enthusiast I recommend Engines of War, heavy reading, but only possible to do when you have time on your hands, i.e. Christmas. For the culinary enthusiast I recommend two books. The first, Stevie Parle’s My Kitchen: Food from Near and Far. You may know that Stevie is my partner Lizzie’s brother. This is obviously part of the reason why I am recommending this book. The main reason however is because it is an amazing book, beautifully illustated, and has some great recipes for the festive season (and also for the start of the new year). The second is the Whoopie Pie Book by Hackney local Claire Ptak. You will surely be the centre of attention at Christmas if you can reproduce something similar to what Claire is doing over at Violet Cakes on Wilton Way.
One final recommendation, Independent London. This book is the most definitive guide to independent London shops I have come across. Forget guides to London made by big name publications, this book is produced by local Hackney residents who have taken a do it yourself approach and made something unique and amazing, which is what this book is about really. Independent London will give you an insight from people who are genuinely passionate about independent shops.