the year in books December :: pyjamas and a book

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On Christmas Eve, each of my boys is each given a single present to open in front of a roaring fire. Inside is a new pair of pyjamas, to cuddle up in on the most exciting night of the year, ready to tiptoe downstairs on Christmas morning, and a book with a festive theme. Our growing collection of these, augmented by finds from charity shops throughout the year, is stored away in a box in the loft, brought down at the start of advent.

Over the last couple of years I have written about this tradition, sharing our book choices. Each time I received a truly lovely response to the post, with people commenting that they too gave pyjamas, or a book, or both on Christmas Eve, and giving me some fabulous suggestions for festive books. So once again, I am sharing with you my book choices, in the hope that they may inspire you, or that you in turn may inspire me with some suggestions of your own!

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a poem for December

‘It sifts from leaden sieves, It powders all the wood, It fills with alabaster wool The wrinkles of the road. It makes an even face Of mountain and of plain, — Unbroken forehead from the east Unto the east again. It reaches to the fence, It wraps it, rail by rail, Till it is lost

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on the November 2017 table

I am documenting the year with monthly photographs of my kitchen table. Capturing the jumble that accumulates here, at the heart of the kitchen, is also a way to record some of the domestic stories of our family life. On the November table there is tea. Always tea. Endless cups that get me through the

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the year in books :: November 2017

My last month’s read was The Mother of All Questions, a secondary collection of feminist essays by the brilliant Rebecca Solnit. This month, I’m slightly behind the curve, reading Ali Smith’s Autumn, which was released last year. I’m hoping to speed through it in order to follow it with its sequel, Winter, which has just been

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