I was going to call this post "Give a book this Christmas" but then realised that sounded a bit too much like something else... While I'm all for witty word play, I felt it more appropriate to choose the above title because I feel like reading really is a gift. It involves time, it involves rest, it involves (ideally) getting comfortable and cosy, and it goes perfectly with warm socks, even warmer drinks and relaxing music, or the most uncommon of noises in many households... silence.
So, if you want to treat your loved ones to all the above, give them a book.
And if you're stuck for which book to give them... well, I've go three for you. Choose one of mine and I'll sign it, wrap it and post it to you with a postcard from Amsterdam. The only condition is you order it before Wednesday 14th December (next week) so that I make sure it's got a fighting chance of getting to you before 25th December. Addresses outside of Europe, order even sooner! The price, including postage and packaging is €15.00.
How do I order my signed copy, thank you please?
To order, please email bird at asthebirdfliesblog.com with your PayPal email address, your chosen book, and your postal address. Please also let me know who I should write the signed note to, and anything special I should mention. (If you would like to order more than one book, that's great! I will just have to get back to you about the additional price, but you're looking at roughly €5 extra per book).
But which book?
This is a good question. I would always say start with Shy Feet and then move on to one of the others, BUT if the reader is a seasoned consumer of the short story, then they can really dive into any of them. Needless to say, If they love travel, get Shy Feet. If they love London or cities in general, get London Eyes, and if they are female or a feminist or quite like females or believe that females are very interesting and complex and wonderful creatures, then get Nine Women.
Read on for some more info about each book...
Shy Feet: Short Stories Inspired by Travel
"This collection of stories is like a blanket woven from 100% wanderlust under which you can hide as Frances M. Thompson tucks you in with her words and keeps you warm with her descriptions of characters you'll love and places you can tell she knows by heart." Gesa Neitzel, www.bedouinwriter.com
Shy Feet: Short Stories Inspired by Travel is a collection of twelve quirky, charismatic and touching tales of travel.
The inquisitive Ruth tells the story of The Lost Children of Gatwick Airport and in Max's Holiday we learn what a seven-year-old boy considers a "proper holiday" to be. In The Flowers Sleep Tonight, we meet Thomas and Carly, two solo travellers whose paths keep crossing... because that's exactly what Thomas wants. A spontaneous plan to elope is revealed in The Runaways and Homes from Homes is about the lessons Patricia learns from the hotel bellboy she has a fling with. Oh, Henry is the story of how a dream holiday can mean two different things to two lovers and Katie's Maps is an offbeat love letter to a vast collection of maps. Extracts from a travel journal tell one woman's life story in All the Beaches are Made of Pebbles and find out what Australia and underpants have to do with Claudia wanting to leave her husband of forty years in The Road is Long.
From the unforgiving Australian Outback to the jagged beauty of the Amalfi Coast, along the pebbled beaches of Brighton & Hove and down the busy streets of late night Barcelona, this collection of short stories highlights how travel intersects and enriches all of our lives, often without us realising it...
London Eyes: Short Stories
"London Eyes Is a collection of short stories that exposeS the real London, and its quirky inhabitants; magic bartenders, eccentric single women, the elderly, taxi drivers, and even a cat. Each story showed a different angle to one of the many aspects of the bustling city, be it a new neighbourhood, the iconic red bus tours, or an out of the way pub.
Rather than writing about a tourist's London, I feel Thompson deliberately avoided any clichés, and stuck to slightly more obscure stories - perhaps at times too obscure - the finer details of which hinged on things unique to London, like the cyclists battling the congested traffic, or it's signature public transport. I think locals would enjoy reading about the neighbourhoods that don't usually feature in London stories." Annabel Krantz, www.annabelandalice.com
London Eyes is a collection of short stories set in, and inspired by, London.
Written by Guardian Top London Blogger Frances M. Thompson, London Eyes is a compilation of thought-provoking contemporary fiction inspired by the sights, sounds and souls of the world's most popular, and some say greatest, city.
Meet the Wizard of Elephant & Castle who stirs a secret ingredient into the cocktails he serves in his bar, follow newly-divorced Georgina in The Tourist as she goes on a bus tour of the city... after twenty-one years of living in London, and find out how and why one young woman uses the busy streets of the City of London to disappear in An Invisible Girl. In A to Zed two truanting teenagers find out more about a Shepherd's Bush gangster than they expect, and in Angel you begin to understand the lengths some people go to to avoid loneliness in London. Travel across the capital's vast metropolis as you learn the reasons why Mick is London's most flirtatious cabbie in Keep the Change, and discover what it is that keep The Ghosts of London Underground trapped in the abandoned Tube stations below us.
London Eyes is a collection of short stories for the Londoner, the London-obsessed, or the one time visitor who dreams of arriving or returning.
Nine Women: Short Stories
"This collection of nine stories has relatable characters and situations (many of them at least), and is an enjoyable, quick read. I'd highly suggest it. As with Thompson's other work, there are always little (or big) surprises in the stories, which make them a pleasure to read. I also find that many of the characters stay with you long after you've read the story." Elizabeth Georgian, www.insearchofs.com
This book has nine lives. Nine female lives. Nine women at various stages of their lives, facing various problems of varying descriptions and magnitudes
See what sisterhood really means to a hopefully optimistic ten-year-old in The Girl Who Would Be King. Learn just how many times the course of true love fails to run smoothly in Together, Apart, before discovering what Stephen King has to do with one young woman's passionate summer fling. In Balloons you can lie on a beach with a heavily pregnant woman who is thinking about the men she has loved and lost and in That's What I Want to Say you hear all the things one woman wants to say but rightly or wrongly, she doesn't. It's Just a Smile is all about one activity many women enjoy, people watching, and Leaving Rotterdam takes you back over 130 years to a time when women were seen and not heard... at least in public. And finally you will discover how age truly strengthens a woman as a widow's heart tries to heal in The Pink Flowers and when good and bad old memories are revisited in Tell Me a Story.
Nine Women: Short Stories is a collection of moving stories which takes a long, slow look at what it means to be born a woman, to grow up as a woman and to live a variety of lives as a woman.
THANK YOU ALWAYS FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN BUYING, READING, SHARING, REVIEWING MY BOOKS, AND FOR NOT GETTING ANNOYED BY MY AWKWARD MARKETING ATTEMPTS - HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND I WISH YOU ALL WONDERFUL THINGS FOR 2017!
Frances M. Thompson
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