Whether your mum is impossible to buy for or you’ve picked someone you barely know in the office Secret Santa, we have the solution to solve your Christmas shopping panic. At around the £10 mark and with close to two hundred books to choose from, the Macmillan Collector’s Library has a classic book for everyone. Here is our edit of the best classic books for each and every person on your Christmas list.
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
My Family and Other Animals is a modern classic documenting the eccentric Durrell family’s life in Corfu. The TV series may have finished but not to fear, the original book is just as heartwarming and hilarious – a perfect gift for parents bringing up a brood.
Buy My Family and Other Animals
Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
Transport your siblings back to the days of bedtime games with this gorgeously illustrated edition of Peter Pan. The adventures of Wendy, John and Michael in Neverland is a timeless classic for any brother or sister.
Buy Peter Pan
Poems of Childhood
Full of nursery rhymes, nonsense, mermaids and more, Poems of Childhood is an ideal pocket-sized book for reading aloud to a little one. Give the gift of your favourite childhood poems from ‘The Pied Piper of Hamelin’ to ‘The Tyger’.
Buy Poems of Childhood
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Adapted for film and TV countless times over the years, A Christmas Carol is a festive staple. But how often do we think back to Charles Dickens’ original novella? This Christmassy classic is a crowd-pleaser that grandparents are sure to love.
Buy A Christmas Carol
For your partner
Poems for Happiness
Poems for Happiness is a wonderful gift for someone who brings you joy. Poets such as Walt Whitman, Christina Rossetti, Emily Dickinson and W. B Yeats explore the delights of daily life in this gorgeous anthology. Plus, who can resist the rapturous swimming nuns on the cover?
Buy Poems for Happiness
For your Secret Santa
Poems for Christmas
No idea what to buy your Secret Santa? Poems for Christmas is a gift for old and young, bookish or not. Containing traditional poems such as ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ as well as poems from the likes of Susan Coolidge and Rudyard Kipling, there’s a poem to please everyone.
Discover our selection of the best Christmas poems here.
Buy Poems for Christmas
For your friend
My Ántonia by Willa Cather
The characters in My Ántonia are a testament to true, lasting friendship. Jim and Antonia meet as children, go through hardship, part and reunite in the beautiful, rural landscape of Nebraska. A beautiful gift to cuddle up with by the fire, from one friend to another.
Buy My Ántonia
For a teacher
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
Listed as one of the BBC’s 100 Novels That Shaped Our World, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is a witty, passionate portrait of an unconventional but beloved teacher. An ideal gift for the teacher in your life who needs a good laugh.
Buy The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
For the feminist in your family
The Awakening and Other Stories by Kate Chopin
Kate Chopin is a remarkable early feminist who writes about all aspects of female life, from a guilty self-purchase of silk stockings to awakening from an unhappy family life. The Awakening & Other Stories is a collection of her best stories and an inspiring gift for any feminist.
Be inspired by our edit of the feminist books you should be reading.
Buy The Awakening and Other Stories
For a joker
The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith
The Diary of a Nobody is a satirical diary written by pompous Mr Pooter about all his middle-class woes. Dip into his awful jokes and embarrassing moments in this perfectly pitched spoof, an ideal present for someone who thinks they’re funny.
Buy The Diary of a Nobody
For a climate change warrior
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
In Walden, Henry David Thoreau imparts his wisdom of living in the woods in a handbuilt cabin, cut off from society and living off the land. His philosophical musings on being immersed in nature are an inspiring gift for those who treasure the environment.
For someone who loves travel
Poems for Travellers
Whether backpacking around the globe or jetting off to luxurious locations, we all have someone in our lives who loves to travel. Give them the gift of Poems for Travellers, the perfect pocket-sized companion to any hand luggage bag.
Discover our favourite poems about travel.
Buy Poems for Travellers
For the TV addict
Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
Poldark has dominated the period drama world since 2015, but Winston Graham’s original story has been captivating readers for 60 years prior. His original book, Ross Poldark, is a great way to lure a TV lover to books.
Discover all the Poldark books in order
Buy Ross Poldark
For a horror movie enthusiast
The Turn of the Screw and Owen Wingrave by Henry James
The Turn of the Screw is an eerily gothic novella about a governess slowly losing her mind, an ideal gift for fans of psychological thrillers and ghost stories. Keep your eyes peeled for the second series of The Haunting of Hill House which has taken inspiration from this classic tale.
Buy The Turn of the Screw and Owen Wingrave
For a theatre-goer
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Gaston Leroux’s dramatic and disturbing novel follows a mysterious phantom causing trouble backstage at the Paris Opera House. Any lover of theatre is sure to enjoy this gorgeous edition of The Phantom of the Opera.
If you love The Phantom of the Opera, don’t miss these other musical based on books.
Buy The Phantom of the Opera
For an animal lover
The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
Whether they’re a cat or dog lover, The Story of Doctor Dolittle is a gift for all animal enthusiasts. With a star-studded new adaptation coming to cinemas in January, Christmas is the perfect time to pick up Hugh Lofting’s original book.
Buy The Story of Doctor Dolittle
For a writer
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf’s declaration that women need their own money and space in order to write has become world-famous. Her A Room of One’s Own is a guidebook to all writers and would make an inspiring gift for anyone putting pen to paper this Christmas.
Buy A Room of One’s Own
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