Staff Picks for Christmas!

David Edyvean for the blogDavid Edyvean is Sales Operations Director at Summersdale. When he’s not slaving over a hot spreadsheet, he can often be found tending to the gardens at the National Trust’s Uppark House and Garden. Here he shares his Christmas picks with us.

I’ve chosen three titles from the Summersdale bookshelf of delights which a) reflect the design-led ethos of the company b) demonstrate the original and quirky nature of our list c) strike a very personal chord with me and, most importantly d) represent the high standard of value for money and beautifully packaged quality writing and research our readers have come to expect from Summersdale. Phew, nothing beats kicking things off with a long sentence, eh?

Literary Love_RGB_smallPublished in 2013 and sporting luscious endpapers, intricate interior design and matching mauve ribbon marker, I can safely say that I’ve probably read just about every poem in Isobel Carlson’s lovely Literary Love: Great Writers on Love and Romance to my wife before she falls asleep at night (it’s such a lovely way to the end the day). There are some very well-known and arguably old-fashioned poems in here (surely only the coldest of hearts can resist Marlow’s ‘Come live with me and be my love’ or Byron’s ‘She walks in beauty, like the night’?) but some surprising short prose snippets also crop up: Written on the Body offers up a lovelorn Jeanette Winterson explaining how ‘This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it’ whilst even Dr Seuss gets in on the act (‘You know you’re in love when you can’t sleep because reality is finally better than your dreams’). Bonaparte to Josephine, Gustave Flaubert to Louise Colet, Byron to the countess Guiccioli, James Joyce to Nora Barnacle (great name!), Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf – this is a wonderfully curated selection.

Lunch in Paris_ADV_COVER.inddPicnic in Provence_COVER.inddPublished by none other than Little, Brown & Co in the US, Summersdale are proud to publish Elizabeth Bard in our markets. Following Elizabeth’s New York Times bestseller Lunch in Paris, we published the follow-up Picnic in Provence earlier this year. I remember our cover meetings as we searched out the perfect jacket design for this important book and the finished article amply illustrates what attention to detail, colour and layout can achieve. This is a sumptuous package containing some seriously delicious recipes which is likely to have you booking your 2016 French summer holiday early. Personally, it was during a southern French holiday in 2004 that I decided I would like to marry Julie; two years later we became Mr and Mrs Edyvean, I still read her bits from our bedside Literary Love and southern Europe continues to exert an irresistible pull on us both.

Radio 4_COVER_Jacket.inddFor the Love of The Archers_COVER_JACKET.inddClassical Music_COVER2.inddMy final Christmas pick is actually a three book recommendation. We are a Radio 4 household and if my lovely wife could listen in all day every day (preferably on three different radios running marginally out of sync in three different rooms) then I’m sure she would. I’m also a loyal Radio 4 fan and so for us Caroline Hodgson’s For the Love of Radio 4 is an utter godsend. Actor Charles Collingwood, known to Radio 4 listeners as Brian Aldridge in The Archers, summed up the success of our little book very succinctly: ‘If you love Radio 4 it’s impossible to turn it off. If you read this book it’s impossible to put down.’ Well said, Charles, and whilst we’re about it why don’t we follow up the 2014 success of For the Love of Radio 4 with a similar treatment of your show, The Archers? Why not indeed, so this autumn saw the publication of a companion volume, For the Love of The Archers by Beth Miller. Just for good measure, we’ve also published a third book in the series this autumn, For the Love of Classical Music by Caroline High. These three look great together and will be a beautiful addition to any culture-lover’s bookshelves.

Happy reading and happy Christmas!