F i r s t D a y o f C h r i s t m a s

 Hello!  I've always loved winter. All those frosty mornings and getting cosy after being outside in the cold. And when December arrives Christmas magic is in the air!   The busy bustling shops, the glitzy decorations, the waiting and then of course the big day itself! I got the idea when I was helping my niece and nephews write their letters to Father Christmas and I wondered (with a shiver) what would happen if one of the letters got waylaid? Hopefully there would be some kind of person (or in this case a mouse) to deliver it for us. And what adventures would they have?   Of course Christmas isn't just about the things you buy from the shops. I wanted to write a story about the sorts of things that are free - like bravery and kindness. I hope Winston's Christmas adventure shows you that you are never too tiny to be brave and that little acts of kindness can often make huge differences to other people.   Have a very cosy Christmas and an adventurous New Year!   Love from,   Alex  x

Hello!

I've always loved winter. All those frosty mornings and getting cosy after being outside in the cold. And when December arrives Christmas magic is in the air!


The busy bustling shops, the glitzy decorations, the waiting and then of course the big day itself!
I got the idea when I was helping my niece and nephews write their letters to Father Christmas and I wondered (with a shiver) what would happen if one of the letters got waylaid? Hopefully there would be some kind of person (or in this case a mouse) to deliver it for us. And what adventures would they have?


Of course Christmas isn't just about the things you buy from the shops. I wanted to write a story about the sorts of things that are free - like bravery and kindness. I hope Winston's Christmas adventure shows you that you are never too tiny to be brave and that little acts of kindness can often make huge differences to other people.


Have a very cosy Christmas and an adventurous New Year!


Love from,


Alex

x


Elvis' Christmas Album is the fourth studio album and first Christmas album by American singer and musician Elvis Presley on RCA Victor, LOC 1035, a deluxe limited edition, released in October 1957, and recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood. It has been reissued in numerous different formats since its first release.

S e c o n d D a y o f C h r i s t m a s

  I’ve rounded up a rowdy assembly   Of my own Consequential Dogs   As counterparts to Eliot’s mogs.   Mine are a rough and ready bunch:   You wouldn’t take them out to lunch . . .   But if they strike you as friendly, funny,   Full of bounce and fond of a romp,   Forgetful of poetic pomp,   I trust you’ll take them as you find them   And, at the very least, not mind them.

I’ve rounded up a rowdy assembly
Of my own Consequential Dogs
As counterparts to Eliot’s mogs.
Mine are a rough and ready bunch:
You wouldn’t take them out to lunch . . .
But if they strike you as friendly, funny,
Full of bounce and fond of a romp,
Forgetful of poetic pomp,
I trust you’ll take them as you find them
And, at the very least, not mind them.

T h i r d D a y o f C h r i s t m a s

  “ Today when I awoke from a nap the faceless man was there with me. He was seated on the chair across from the sofa I’d been sleeping on, staring straight at me with a pair of imaginary eyes in a face that wasn’t.”

Today when I awoke from a nap the faceless man was there with me. He was seated on the chair across from the sofa I’d been sleeping on, staring straight at me with a pair of imaginary eyes in a face that wasn’t.”


F o u r t h D a y o f C h r i s t m a s

  A MESSAGE TO HIS READERS   Well, everybody: Vietnam is done, finished, over. Now, I am just crossing my fingers that when you all get to see it in the autumn, you find the story as fascinating as I do.  I travelled exhaustingly across both the US and Vietnam, interviewing scores of both Vietnamese and American veterans. My Russian and Chinese researchers have added some fascinating stories of their countries’ roles. I have read thousands of pages of translated Vietnamese material, telling human stories from both sides.  In Boulder City, Nevada, for instance, I saw a wonderful man named Doug Ramsey- a US Foreign Service officer who spent seven years in a bamboo cage in the jungle between 1966 and 1973, as a prisoner of the Vietcong. His account of his experiences- and he describes them with a wonderful sympathy for the Vietnamese people and lack of anger towards his captors- was one of the most fascinating interviews I have ever conducted.  Likewise, in California among many Vietnamese exiles I met Kieu Chinh, once Vietnam’s most famous film star and still wonderfully beautiful, who told me the tale of her flights first, from Hanoi in 1954, then from Saigon in 1975. I met countless soldiers, of course, including former North Vietnamese soldier Bao Ninh, who wrote a deeply moving memoir of his combat time, The Sorrow of War, and also such Americans as former infantry medical corpsman Dave Rogers, whose account of his service held me gripped for three hours. Dan Hickman, once a star Huey helicopter pilot, described for me what it was like to fight and fly often at zero feet over Vietnam, aged twenty-one, while former South Vietnamese officers described not only battles but also terrible experiences in Hanoi’s re-education camps, after the 1975 communist victory.  I have never written a book for which I found so many fascinating human stories. Much of the agony of putting it all together came from having to decide what to leave out- if we had published my first uncut draft, the book would have filled about 1200 pages- as my wife said, far too many to hold up in bed ! David Elliott, an American scholar who knew Vietnam intimately in the 1960s, and has devoted much of his life- like that of his wife Mai- to writing about the war era and its aftermath, has given me extensive assistance. He is kind enough to say that he does not know a previous book on the war which has pulled together such a range of sources.  With the aid of HarperCollins’ editorial wizards in both London and New York, I shall spend the spring and summer assembling photographs and maps, massaging the text, hoping that when publication comes in the autumn we shall be able to give you one of the most comprehensive accounts of the whole war ever attempted. It will be for you, the readers who keep me in socks and shoe-leather, to judge how far I have succeeded. I shall be breathlessly awaiting your verdict- together with that of the hundreds of people who have helped write the story of one of the great tragic sagas of the 20th Century.  MAX HASTINGS, February 2018

A MESSAGE TO HIS READERS

Well, everybody: Vietnam is done, finished, over. Now, I am just crossing my fingers that when you all get to see it in the autumn, you find the story as fascinating as I do.

I travelled exhaustingly across both the US and Vietnam, interviewing scores of both Vietnamese and American veterans. My Russian and Chinese researchers have added some fascinating stories of their countries’ roles. I have read thousands of pages of translated Vietnamese material, telling human stories from both sides.

In Boulder City, Nevada, for instance, I saw a wonderful man named Doug Ramsey- a US Foreign Service officer who spent seven years in a bamboo cage in the jungle between 1966 and 1973, as a prisoner of the Vietcong. His account of his experiences- and he describes them with a wonderful sympathy for the Vietnamese people and lack of anger towards his captors- was one of the most fascinating interviews I have ever conducted.

Likewise, in California among many Vietnamese exiles I met Kieu Chinh, once Vietnam’s most famous film star and still wonderfully beautiful, who told me the tale of her flights first, from Hanoi in 1954, then from Saigon in 1975. I met countless soldiers, of course, including former North Vietnamese soldier Bao Ninh, who wrote a deeply moving memoir of his combat time, The Sorrow of War, and also such Americans as former infantry medical corpsman Dave Rogers, whose account of his service held me gripped for three hours. Dan Hickman, once a star Huey helicopter pilot, described for me what it was like to fight and fly often at zero feet over Vietnam, aged twenty-one, while former South Vietnamese officers described not only battles but also terrible experiences in Hanoi’s re-education camps, after the 1975 communist victory.

I have never written a book for which I found so many fascinating human stories. Much of the agony of putting it all together came from having to decide what to leave out- if we had published my first uncut draft, the book would have filled about 1200 pages- as my wife said, far too many to hold up in bed ! David Elliott, an American scholar who knew Vietnam intimately in the 1960s, and has devoted much of his life- like that of his wife Mai- to writing about the war era and its aftermath, has given me extensive assistance. He is kind enough to say that he does not know a previous book on the war which has pulled together such a range of sources.

With the aid of HarperCollins’ editorial wizards in both London and New York, I shall spend the spring and summer assembling photographs and maps, massaging the text, hoping that when publication comes in the autumn we shall be able to give you one of the most comprehensive accounts of the whole war ever attempted. It will be for you, the readers who keep me in socks and shoe-leather, to judge how far I have succeeded. I shall be breathlessly awaiting your verdict- together with that of the hundreds of people who have helped write the story of one of the great tragic sagas of the 20th Century.

MAX HASTINGS, February 2018


F i f t h D a y o f C h r i s t m a s

Book of the decade' Elisabeth Luard

'Astonishing and totally addictive' Brian Eno

'Lateral Cooking...uncovers the very syntax of cookery' Yotam Ottolenghi


The groundbreaking new book that reveals the principles underpinning all recipe creation, from the author of the bestselling The Flavour Thesaurus

Lateral Cooking is, in a sense, the 'method' companion to its bestselling predecessor, The Flavour Thesaurus – and is just as useful, ingeniously organised and enjoyable to read. 

The book is divided into 12 chapters, each covering a basic culinary category, such as 'Bread', 'Sauces' or 'Custard'. The recipes in each chapter are then arranged on a continuum, the transition from one recipe to another generally amounting to a tweak or two in the method or ingredients. Which is to say, one dish leads to another: once you've got the hang of flatbreads, for instance, then its neighbouring dishes on the continuum (crackers, soda bread, scones) will involve the easiest and most intuitive adjustment. The result is greater creativity in the kitchen: Lateral Cooking encourages improvisation, resourcefulness, and, ultimately, the knowledge and confidence to cook by heart. 

Lateral Cooking is essentially a practical book, but like The Flavour Thesaurus it's also a highly enjoyable read. The 'Flavours & Variations' sections, for example, draw widely on culinary science, history, ideas from professional kitchens, observations by renowned food writers and personal recollection. Entertaining, opinionated and inspirational, Lateral Cooking will have you torn between donning your apron and settling back in a comfortable chair.


S i x t h D a y o f C h r i s t m a s

 Beautifully designed with stunning photography throughout,  The Moomin Craft Book  is perfect for Moomin fans and keen creatives of all ages, featuring activities suitable for young children as well as more challenging projects for experienced adult crafters.

Beautifully designed with stunning photography throughout, The Moomin Craft Book is perfect for Moomin fans and keen creatives of all ages, featuring activities suitable for young children as well as more challenging projects for experienced adult crafters.


S e v e n t h D a y o f C h r i s t m a s

 “A powerful lament for the American dream…A crumbling house is a solid foundation for this striking, time-shifting tale of a nation adrift…Kingsolver powerfully evokes the eeriness of living through times of social turmoil…She has proved herself a supreme craftsperson…possessing a knack for ingenious metaphors that encapsulate the social questions at the heart of her stories…As a work of socially engaged fiction,  Unsheltered  makes a decent case for escapism.”-   The Guardian

“A powerful lament for the American dream…A crumbling house is a solid foundation for this striking, time-shifting tale of a nation adrift…Kingsolver powerfully evokes the eeriness of living through times of social turmoil…She has proved herself a supreme craftsperson…possessing a knack for ingenious metaphors that encapsulate the social questions at the heart of her stories…As a work of socially engaged fiction, Unsheltered makes a decent case for escapism.”- The Guardian