As a Sunpenny author, then, which books would I recommend for my family this Christmas from the Sunpenny collection?
If I take my eldest brother first, he is a great boater and loves cruising around the UK; he's also very environmentally aware. I'd probably give him a sailing memoir to read, such as Tonia Parronchi's Whisper on the Mediterranean or Corinna Weyreter's Far Out: Sailing into a Disappearing World. They might not be about cruising, but they are about boats and he'd like that; he'd also appreciate Corinna's focus on the environmental damage being done to the oceans. As for his wife, she is a committed Christian, but also someone who enjoys traditional values, so I think she would probably enjoy William Wood's A Little Book of Pleasures or missionary Rowland Evan's My Sea is Wide.
And what about my other brother? Well, he's a lover of the Welsh hills and spends a great deal of time hiking in Wales. I might choose Julie McGowan's The Mountains Between for him. I think it is a good blend of history and fiction and I think he would love the beautiful descriptions of the Welsh scenery. I don't see his wife as a great reader, but I could be wrong, so I would suggest Julie's book of short stories Close to You. Then I have a niece living at home still, and I'd definitely go for something adventurous for her. It would have to be JS Holloway's Dance of Eagles.
Lastly, what about my sister? She likes fun books with lots of humour and great, strong female characters. I would have to give her Stephanie Parker McKean's Bridge to Nowhere, and because she's very close to me, I'd give her another book too. She loves France and cooking, so I'd also give her Blackbirds Baked in a Pie by Eugene Barker. My brother-in-law is a little more difficult to buy for, but since he loves the history, tradition and customs of mediterranean places, he would probably enjoy Fish Soup by Michelle Heatley. It has the right mix of gritty characters and lyrical magic. Yes. I think that would do for them all!
Many thanks to Val for sharing her choice of books for her family. Of course her own books, Watery Ways and the Skipper's Child would also make precious gifts for those who enjoy boating books in both fictional and memoir form.
So, if like us you love to give books as gifts, take a look at our selection above or keep an eye on our Facebook page on the run up to the festive season. We'll be sharing all our books there in the coming weeks.