THE HARE WITH AMBER EYES by EDMUND DE WAAL
There are so many books I've had to leave out of my festive countdown! I'm sorry not to have included things like the spiffing Kate Bush biography I read in august (when everyone i knew was seeing her in concert!), or the 1960s Puffins I spent July reading in the Beach House... or an amazing 1970s horror novel about a giant murderous snake at large in New York called... 'The Snake'..!
But, with one choice to go - it had to be this. Perhaps the best of the recent spate on non-fictions that I've been absorbed in. It's a book that came out a couple of years ago and had everyone hyperventilating with its brilliance back then. Well, I'm late to the party - and I loved it. Tracing the intricate life of a collection of 264 carved beasties, De Waal tells the long and complex story of his family since the mid-1800s, across continents and war zones, and right through the middle of history being made in the most hectic, baroque and destructive of fashions. Somehow we get a brilliant sense of all the characters from his family's past - they're all lovingly brought back to life.
So that's it! That's my festive countdown complete! I'll pop the whole list up tomorrow so you can see what I'm recommending that you rush out and find, so you can read them for yourselves.
Happy Christmas, all!