My mother picked a bunch off of my wish list without telling me (a very safe way to give books, and much appreciated) the star of them so far is John Sutherland's 'A Little History Of Literature'. I generally enjoy Sutherland's books anyway but this one is a peach. It's a series of essays that deal with different aspects of literature, I've read about half a dozen so far and all of them have been informative and thought provoking. The book itself (published by Yale) is particularly attractive - nice paper, nice type set, and attractive decorations at the head of each chapter. It doesn't need to be read in order and where chapters relate to each other Sutherland mentions it (very handy). This book is a splendid addition to my library.
Mum also gave me the Private Eye book (entertaining) and most of the paperbacks (hours of fun ahead). 'The Prisoner of Zenda' came from my sister, I started it last night and am enjoying it immensely. So much in fact that I searched town today for 'Rupert of Hentzau' (no success which makes the free ebook version even more tempting).
'The Oxford Companion to English Literature' was the birthday book and came from my friend L who is an English teacher. I've been flicking through it with great pleasure, it's one of those books I've wanted for ages but never quite got round to getting so it was perfectly picked.
The new edition of 'The World Atlas of Wine' came from someone I worked with back in Oddbins days and is another book I wanted but hadn't bought myself pre Christmas. It's great to have it so soon and this is a particularly handsome copy (slip cover dontchaknow). It's useful for work but better yet a good read.
Perhaps the best book though came from my friend R - best because I was basically unaware of it's existence until I unwrapped it. It's 'Scottish Books The Penguin History of Scottish Literature' which makes it not just a book that I'm going to be interested in but is perfect to come from R because she's a reference book goddess.
So there you go - I had to share, I hope you all got great books for Christmas too.