Stocking Filler Gift Ideas for the Book Lover in Your Life

  07 Dec '22   |  Posted by: Birlinn

Although we may be biased, we think books make perfect stocking fillers, and we have selected here some of the best small-format books for every type of book lover in your life. Covering themes of food, literature, music and more, these are all ideal to flick through after a big Christmas dinner, or devour in a cosy winter evening.

In The Spirit of Spark by Ali Smith

In The Spirit of Spark is the perfect book for the fan of either Muriel Spark or Ali Smith, two of Scotland’s most illustrious female novelists. It is a lecture given by Ali Smith to the Muriel Spark Society on the enduring importance of Spark’s work, describing the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie author as ‘one of the twentieth-century’s most vitally, joyfully, seriously, philosophically, aesthetically and politically engaged with the living materials of her own history, her own time, in a way which gives back to our own time, and which will always give back to readers no matter what times they’re in, no matter when they read her.’ This book is an absolute gem, an ode to the power of words and the joy of reading itself.

Edinburgh’s Greatest Hits: A Celebration of the Capital’s Music History

Everyone has a music fanatic in their life, and Edinburgh’s Greatest Hits will hit the spot for those looking for a trip down memory lane. Written by the folk behind Edinburgh Music Tours and Edinburgh Music Lovers, this is a brilliant compendium of outrageous anecdotes, fascinating facts, and venerable venues in Edinburgh’s musical history. Ian Rankin wrote the foreword for this book and calls it ‘a celebration of the city and its enduring love affair with music and musicians, venues and shops.’

The Scottish Baking Bible by Liz Ashworth

The festive period is a time for family gatherings, and the perfect opportunity to try out some home baking on willing subjects! The Scottish Baking Bible is a bite-sized compendium of 50 recipes, showcasing the remarkable diversity of Scottish baking. It also includes a fascinating history on baking in Scotland, from the staple grain of bere dating back to the Neolithic times to the trends of modern day baking. Author Liz Ashworth is a Scottish food writer and food product developer, with a particular interest in using local products.

The Little Book of Scottish Beasties by Tim Kirby

This charming book is a particularly Scottish interpretation of a medieval bestiary, containing a mix of myth and legend about Scottish animals both real and imagined. There are some expected choices in here – midge, highland cow, haggis – and some slightly more unusual beasties – kelpie, bagpipe, even the Scotch egg! Each humorous description is accompanied by a witty illustration by Tim Kirby.

Scottish Proverbs by Colin SK Walker

Have you ever had the experience of trying to decipher a particularly unusual saying from a Scottish relative? This book, featuring over a thousand Scottish proverbs, could prove useful, as well as an informative and funny celebration of the Scots language. Scots has such a rich oral tradition and it is essential to conserve the proverbs of the past which may otherwise fall into disuse. This book certainly achieves this aim, and also helps to distil the nation’s wisdom into these pithy and colourful sayings, passed down through generations.

Words Fail Me by Teresa Monachino

For any keen linguists or language enthusiasts, Words Fail Me is a fun and irreverent tour of the English language’s many idiosyncrasies. Teresa Monachino is a graphic designer and this book makes full use of her skills, offering a visual feast of wordplay, inconsistencies and quirks that makes our language special. Divided into sections on specific elements of language inclusing Antagonyms, Oxycretins and Ambitexterity, this truly is a unique book that would be an absolute treat to find in your stocking on Christmas morning.

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