In June 2021 I got married (hooray!). It was actually our third attempt at getting married, after COVID-19 meant we had to cancel our plans twice.
When asked what we wanted as gifts, my husband and I asked guests, if they wished, to bring a copy of their favourite book. Well, our guests delivered – in the end we received 26 beautiful books that now live on their own shelf.
Here they are, alphabetically by author surname:
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
Arthur Dent’s hilariously surreal trip through space is kick-started when his home is destroyed to make way for a new hyperspace bypass.
Giraffes Can’t Dance, Giles Andreae
Gerald the giraffe loves to dance but his legs are too skinny and his neck is too long!
Taduno’s Song, Odafe Atogun
A man returns to Nigeria from exile, only to find his community no longer recognises him.
Mister B. Gone, Clive Barker
Jakabob Botch, a devil from the deepest region of hell, makes his diabolical way through 15th century Mainz.
Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton
A cautionary table about genetic engineering: geneticists bring dinosaurs back from extinction.
How to be a Wildflower: A Field Guide, Katy Daisy
A celebration of self-discovery filled with paintings, letting, quotes and meditations, interwoven with natural history.
Down to Earth, Monty Don
Gardening wisdom told month-by-month with reflection on nature, seasons, colour, design, pests and flowering.
Old Baggage, Lissa Evans
In 1928, a middle-aged suffragist reflects on her fight, past and present, including heckling Winston Churchill and smashing windows.
The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
Mole, Rat, Badger and Toad live quietly on the banks of the River Thames. Toad’s passions for motor cars is about to throw them all into trouble.
The White Goddess, Robert Graves
A scholarly and poetic essay on mythology, storytelling, and poetry.
The Silver Darlings, Neil M. Gunn
Herring fisheries and Highland Clearances colide in a depiction of a community fighting against nature and history.
Heimat, Nora Krug
An autobiographical graphic novel that follows one woman’s hunt for answers about her family’s potential links to the Nazi party.
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, Charlie Mackesy
A graphic novel about four unlikely friends and the lessons they learn together. Also a meditation on the joys of cake.
Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela
Mandela’s autobiography about his fight against racial oppression in South Africa.
Jane Haining: A Life of Love and Courage, Mary Miller
A biography about Jane Haining, a Church of Scotland missionary whose attempt to protect the Jewish children she taught led to her death at Auschwitz.
The Borrowers, Mary Norton
The tiny-sized Borrowers live in the secret places of old houses. When Arietty breaks the rules, she comes face-to-face with a real life giant.
The Third Policeman, Flann O’Brien
A darkly comic novel about life and death through a two-dimensional police station and atomic theory.
Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell
A novel inspired by the son of William Shakespeare, and his influence upon one of his most famous plays: “Hamlet”.
Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian), Hazel Jane Plante
A queer love letter about a trans woman’s unrequited love for her straight trans friend who has died, told through their favourite TV show.
My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
Hasidic Jew Asher Lev is conflicted between his faith and love of art.
The Chosen, Chaim Potok
After a riotous baseball game, two Jewish boys form an unlikely friendship, even after one boy follows strict faith and the other abandons it.
The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
An enchanting tale told by a little prince, featuring three volcanoes and a haughty flower.
The Wonky Donkey, Craig Smith and Katz Cowley
A cumulative rhyming song about a wonky donkey!
Beyond the Deepwoods, Paul Stewart
After being abandoned at birth, Twig Verginix is brought up by woodtrolls. One night he strays from the established path.
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, J. R. R. Tolkein
A hobbit sets out on a journey featuring a dangerous ring, a cruel dragon and a band of dwarves.
The Martian, Andy Weir
An astronaut abandoned on Mars has to use his botany and engineering skills to survive on the planet alone.
These are all the books we received! I’m delighted to have such an eclectic mixture. It’s nice to have a peer into my friend’s and families lives, whilst also having something as a memento of the day.
A huge thank you to all our loved ones!