Sunday, December 13, 2009
The best books for Christmas
Boyd Tonkin introduces The Independent experts' guide to seasonal treats in print
Friday, 11 December 2009
My book of the year is also a sign of the times. If you have £325 to spend before 31 December (when the price rises to £395), blow it on Thames & Hudson's massively illustrated six-volume cased edition of the complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh. You will never find a more beautiful, scholarly or satisfying showpiece for all the arts of print.
If, however, you have nothing to spend, go to www.vangoghletters.org. There you may access the edition for free. The generous resources of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam have given an extra lease of digital life to the ultimate in high-end book-making. Look out, in future, for other such partnerships between a smaller, pricier boutique style of quality publishing and wider online distribution.
This revolution remains in its embryonic stages. Google's rights grabs, Amazon's war on high-street bookselling (with the Borders chain an Advent casualty), the snail-like progress of e-readers into consumers' hearts and purses: all advanced in 2009, while leaving the old panto punch-ups of British publishing (celebs vs literati, indies vs conglomerates, hype vs talent) still happily in place.
Link here to read the following at The Independent:
Best crime books for Christmas
Best art books for Christmas
Best food books for Christmas
Best children's books for Christmas
Best biography books for Christmas
Best memoirs for Christmas
Best general fiction books for Christmas
Best poetry books for Christmas
Best film & theatre books for Christmas
Best music books for Christmas
Best showbiz books for Christmas
Best history books for Christmas
Best sport books for Christmas
Best nature and environment books for Christmas