Friends of Bookends review Last Christmas

Halloween is officially over so we’ve got one thing on our minds – CHRISTMAS! Cue us mulling all drinks in a 3 mile radius, bedecking everything in sight with tinsel and fairy lights and spending every weekend practicing true winter cosiness with hot chocolate in hand and book on lap.

To accompany this dose of festive cheer, we’ve given our Friends of Bookends copies of the wonderful Last Christmas – a beautiful, soulful collection of writing on Christmases past and hopes for future ones – curated by Emma Thompson and Greg Wise. With contributions spanning the boulevards of Hollywood to the soup kitchens of Covent Garden, it’s a real gem of a book and the perfect festive gift! Including entries from Emilia Clarke, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, Deborah Frances-White, Caitlin Moran, Stephen Fry, Graham Norton and many more.

25p from each book goes to Crisis and The Refugee Council, so make your gifting this Christmas count!

See what our Friends of Bookends made of Last Christmas below…

Jen R:

I really enjoyed this Christmas compilation! The collection of reminiscences of Christmases past by a variety of different people is just the book to read in November. You can then motivate yourself to create your own or your family’s momentously memorable Christmas.

There are contributions from celebrities from the world of showbusiness and the theatre; people who have been down on their luck; people from different cultures with differing experiences and those who help others and improve their festive period as a result.

It is an entertaining easy read and a small contribution is made from the sale of the book to a worthwhile charity.

Make it part of this Christmas and your future Christmases.

There are only two things which will further improve your reading… a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie, or two. Enjoy!

Angela N:

I should begin this review by honestly stating that I am not a fan of non-fiction as a general rule. If I do read it then progress is often slow, punctuated by side-eyed glances to the fiction books winking coquettishly at me from the bookcase. Therefore I approached Last Christmas with a touch of weary skepticism. A mere 48 hours later, I can also honestly state that this is a rare thing: A non-fiction book I enjoyed reading and looked forward to returning to.

In Last Christmas people from different backgrounds give brief stories of Christmases past and will appeal to anyone who is a little bit nosy, giving a glimpse as it does through the windows of other people’s Christmases. 25p from each sale will go to Crisis and The Refugee Council and therefore voices of the homeless, refugees and volunteers are numerous. However, there are also stories from a vicar, celebrities, the elderly and many more.

At turns sentimental, haunting and raw; this book made me smile, choke up, and definitely made me appreciate my own fortune much more.

Besides being for a good cause, this would be a great gift for non-readers as the stories are short enough to read quickly and put down until the next time .

Tim S:

This is the perfect book to read on a winters Sunday afternoon in an armchair near the fire with a glass in your hand.

Sad and annoying, frustrating and poignant in equal measures the books greatest achievement was to take me back to many a family Christmas of my own, some good some not so good.

For a book celebrating a religious festival it has the happy knack of often eschewing religion and prompting love and kindness to a world too often sadly lacking in both.

“It highlights and celebrates the work of the charities Crisis and The Refugee Council and I finished the book knowing a lot more about their work and realising its importance.

Back to the armchair.

Zarina:

Everyone knows the iconic Wham! festive classic song and this year a movie inspired by the music will grace the silver screen. Co-written by husband and wife duo Greg Wise and Emma Thompson, the two famous Brits have also curated a book of essays about the festive season.

The book does not only feature stories from those tied to the movie and other celebrities reminiscing about Christmases of days gone past, but also a host of other people who have thought-provoking stories to tell.

“Some heart-breaking, others hilarious – and everything in between.”

Part of the proceeds for the book are going to Crisis and The Refugee Council and there are many essays in the book from people who’ve been homeless or refugees, and the selfless charity workers who have given up so much of their time to help others in need.

The majority of stories are truly inspiring. They will not only get you in the festive spirit but will also make you appreciate how fortunate you are in life when you have happy and carefree memories attached to this time of year, as not everyone is quite so lucky.

A truly wonderful book to read and gift this Christmas.”