Fairly recently I posted the first part in my Christmas Book Haul (post here). I was extremely lucky to receive 16 books for Christmas and it was just far too many to talk about in one post. Today, as you may have gathered from the title of this post, I’m bringing you the second and final installment of my Christmas Book Haul! The remaining books I’m showing you today are all non-fiction or more miscellaneous in nature compared to the fiction books of part one. I hope you enjoy!
10. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling (Illustrations by Jim Kay)
Firstly, and most obviously, I want to show you the book which I’m pretty sure was on most book lovers’ wish lists this Christmas. It is, of course, the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This is the third book in the Harry Potter series as well as the third book to have now been lovingly illustrated by Jim Kay. As you can see from some of the images below, these books are simply stunning, making a brilliant edition to any Harry Potter lovers out there. It really does bring a familiar story to light in a whole new way.
11. Lola’s: A Cake Journey Around the World
Some of you may not know that as well as being a book enthusiast, I am also a huge lover of baking. I have far too many baking books for one lifetime, but I’m still making it my mission to collect and bake out of as many of them as I can find. The latest baking book to find its way into my arms was the new release from Lola’s Bakery, a company especially famous for their lavish cupcakes. With the title Lola’s: A Cake Journey Around the World, this book pretty much does what it says on the tin. Its full of recipes from the various continents, with everything imaginable to delight your taste buds. From sticky caramel, light coconut and classic vanilla, this book has something to inspire everyone at home.
12. Dogs of Courage by Clare Campbell
As well as being the crazy book lady in my family, I am also the crazy dog lady. They are by far my favourite animal and I have the greatest respect for the incredible work both pets and service dogs do for us unworthy humans. I love reading non-fiction books about heroic animals, and this year my mum picked up three new titles to add to my collection. Firstly we have Dog’s of Courage by Clare Campbell. From what I can gather this is a collection of stories about just a few of the many dogs who were conscripted to fight for their country during the Second World War. Subtitled, When Britains Pets Went to War 1939-45, I can already tell that this is going to pull massively on my already taunt heart strings.
13. A Dog Called Hope by Jason Morgan with Damien Lewis
Secondly in the canine non-fiction category we have A Dog Called Hope by Jason Morgan with Damien Lewis. I’ve read a lot of great books focused upon animals in the war by Damien Lewis, so I was immediately reassured when I saw he had lent a hand in the making of this book. The book follows the story of Special Ops soldier Jason Morgan after he awakes from a coma lasting months to be told he’d never walk again. With terrible injuries, the physical trauma of war, and three infant sons to raise, Jason life was falling apart. The he met Napal, a handsome black Labrador provided by a special charity. The blurb alone had me practically welling up so I fear this is going to be an intensely emotional journey which we will undertake alongside both Jason and Napal.
14. Lessons From Tara by David Rosenfelt
Lastly for the non-fiction books focusing upon dogs, we have something a little bit different. Most of the books I read about dogs tend to be focused upon some sort of war of conflict. In contrast, we have Lessons from Tara. Written by David Rosenfelt, this book is essentially all of the lessons which his beloved dog Tara had imparted unto him. From funny anecdotes and emotional memories, I think this book is going to be full of heart; a must have for any dog owners out there.
15. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
The next book is a non-fiction memoir which I’ve wanted to get my hands on for months. It’s done amazing well on both literary reviews and BookTube, and I think its easy to understand why. Written by Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air is the true story of a thirty-six year old man who, on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon, is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. Transitioning from being the doctor in control to becoming the patient himself, this book chronicles the remainder of Paul’s life as he is forced to accept this cruel twist in fate. Cancer is something which is so prevalent in society, having touched the majority of our lives in some form other, so I think this is going to be a crucial read. Despite the utter sadness which we know will inevitably take place, I can’t wait to hear the words which Paul had so bravely captured for us.
16. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty
And so we come to the final book in this Christmas Haul. Yet again it’s another non-fiction, with a pretty morbid topic of conversation. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty takes a look at the idea of death, discussing the actual bodily process and the different ways in which families can react to death, as well as examining the social constructs we have created where death is concerned. It promises to be a massively informative read, punctuated with dark humour and fascinating ideas. The idea of death and what happens to us afterwards is something that has always really interested me, so I think this will be the perfect introduction to such a topic.
That’s everything! All sixteen books have been shown and now I have the mammoth task of choosing which ones to delve into first. Do you have any recommendation of where I can start? Have any of these books piqued your interest?