Something to read in the bath on Boxing Day: How had I not come across E.F. Benson’s Mapp and Lucia novels before? They look incredible: two scheming provincial ladies battling over the minutiae of village politics. The omnibus edition of the first three would suit me very nicely.
Something for a New Year’s resolution: My main New Year’s resolution is to stop wasting my lunch money on inferior burritos when Wahaca is just ten minutes’ walk from the shop. But Resolution #2 is to learn German, so perhaps if someone buys me Michael Hofmann’s Günter Eich translations with the facing page originals it could count towards that.
Something to read while the turkey is broiling: J. Robert Lennon’s short story collection, Pieces for the Left Hand, none of them longer than two pages, and the three I’ve read so far have all been brilliant.
Something to stand on to get the star on top of the tree: Geoffrey Hill’s new collected poems, Broken Hierarchies: 974 pages of poetry and power. He even has a poem called ‘Christmas Trees’, though it is not very festive.