My Bookshop Advent Calendar

Welcome to our biggest blog post ever!

To celebrate the Christmas countdown, we have been posting little snippets of book recommendations – one each day – as part of our own themed advent calendar on our Twitter and Instagram pages throughout December.

Now, with Christmas Day almost here, we thought what better way to share all our favourite books with you than in one place right here on our blog.

Why not sit down with a mince pie (or two) and join us as we get lost in a world of books?

Day 1: The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

Day 2: To See Clearly: Why Ruskin Matters by Suzanne Fagence Cooper

“To see clearly is Poetry, prophecy, religion all in one.”  A perfect present for art lovers and writers.

Day 3: The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

The perfect present for any child. A classic favourite.

Day 4: No Ballet Shoes in Syria by Catherine Bruton

Our resident 13 year old said it was “a really good book”. As a winner of the Books Are My Bag Reader Awards, this novel is wonderful for young teenagers.

Day 5: Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield

This beautifully written lyrical narrative is ideal for those who love a good story.

Day 6: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

One of our customers chose this book, wanting a brilliant tale from Cornwall to send as a present to her friend in America.

Day 7: The Light in the Dark by Horatio Clare

A winter journal fantastic to read at this time of year. It reveals an observation and celebration of the rhythm of the season.

Day 8: The Gifts of Reading by Rob Macfarlane

We would love to give every book by Rob Macfarlane as a gift for Christmas, but this one is truly an exquisite stocking filler.

Day 9: Book of Dust – Vol II: The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman

An amazing gift for all the fans of Philip Pullman.

Day 10 and 11: Any poetry book from the award winning publishers Guillemot Press

We are always proud to host events with Guillemot Press. They joined us for Lostwithiel’s recent Dickensian Evening, selling poetry collections in our shop.

Day 12: The Natural Home by Hans Blomquist

Our shop is full of books, plants and cosy places to hide. This book in particular is one of our favourites and a delightful gift for our customers.

Day 13: Peepo by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Another classic from Janet and Allan Ahlberg, Peepo is the perfect present for young children and our best selling baby book.

Day 14: Time and Place: A Pocket Book on the Art of Calendars by Alexandra Harris

All royalties for this book are donated to Common Ground, supporting arts and environmental projects that celebrate the seasons in our lives.

Day 15: A Single Thread by Tracey Chevalier

We have read and loved all her novels and this will definitely be one of our holiday reads.

Day 16: Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley

This is a brilliant book for all Jane Austen fans. Focusing on the places Jane lived in while she was writing, this book provides a great insight into the author’s life and the social history of her time.

Day 17: Polkerris: A History of the Village and its Pilchard Fishery by Nigel Hall

For those of us living in Cornwall, a book about our local history makes a great present at Christmas.

Day 18: Do Inhabit

Do Inhabit from the The Do Book Company is part of a series of books designed to help you learn something new and help keep you motivated when it comes to starting a new project. A fantastic gift for this time of year.

Day 19 and 20: Vintage classics Little Grey Rabbit’s Christmas by Alison Uttley and Fell Farm for Christmas by Marjorie Lloyd

Sometimes the old ones are the best!

Day 21: The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide for 2020 by Lia Leendertz

A magnificent read for all book and nature lovers.

Day 22: Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Brambly Hedge!

Day 23: The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

The perfect read if you’re looking for something absorbing, unusual and well written.

Day 24: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Our final choice for the Christmas advent calendar – a true classic!

We want to wish all our customers a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.


Dickensian Evening

Each year, our town of Lostwithiel plays host to the annual event of Dickensian Evening – a tradition which has been running for many years.

Our small antique-filled streets and shop windows delight visitors and locals with the theme of Dickens literature at its heart. Shopkeepers, choir singers and passers-by dress up in Victorian garb and welcome everybody who arrives to join in with the festivities.

This year, it was no different. Dressed up in our very best 19th century attire, we spent the night welcoming customers and celebrating all things Dickens here at Lost in Books.

With carol singers outside, we opened our doors to customers with a cheerful smile, homemade festive biscuits and a glass of mulled wine. We were gladly joined by Guillemot Press, who had a stunning array of poetry collections to purchase, hosted by poets Luke Thompson and Sarah Cave.

Needless to say, it was a wonderful evening and our doors were fit to burst much of the night – and we even sold a good few books too.

Throughout the event, stallholders were available with delicious food, Cornish alcohol and local arts and crafts displayed for passers-by to see while carol singers sang on long into the night, complete with white trimmed hats and sleeves and bells to accompany their songs. A lantern parade began the evening, with fantastic stilt walkers clad in bright colours greeting people and taking photos along the streets.

Lostwithiel Museum spent the evening welcoming people through its doors, offering an insight into the history and culture of our small antique town on a night like no other.

Shop windows created displays dedicated to Dickens literature, lit up with twinkling lights and adorned with beautiful paper decorations. Wheelbarrows full to the brim with mistletoe were pushed around by sellers offering some further festive magic to the evening, bought by many and shared between loved ones.

Father Christmas even paid a special visit to join in with all the fun. He was found sitting in his grotto dressed in true Victorian fashion in gorgeous emerald robes. You could find him inside the church with his elves and helpers, while traditional carol services were being sung surrounded by beautiful Christmas trees.

The unmistakable joy of an old fashioned fairground merry go round was also standing proud next to all the food stalls, where children could play and take in all the sights beneath the twinkling lights.

What’s more, after enjoying a ride they could happily tuck into some bright blue, or pink, candyfloss – a treat we’re sure many adults enjoyed too.

When everything began to wind down and the last of our mulled wine was sipped, the evening continued on in local pubs with live music and drinks aplenty. It seems, despite the cold weather, it was another tremendous success.

As the night drew to a close for Lost in Books, we eventually blew out the candles, untied the strings of our bonnets, and listened to the last carol before finally saying goodnight.

However, with a bright optimism and a slight thrill at what 2020 will bring, we can gladly say we’re looking forward to the next 12 months ahead and celebrating another night of Dickensian fun with the world.

“The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.” – Charles Dickens