Verbal Identity’s Christmas reading list for writers, thinkers and makers

If you’re looking for something to read this Christmas, or you’re looking for Christmas present ideas, here’s a few books we’d recommend:


1. The Penguin Book of the British Short Story, edited by Philip Hensher
Shorter is better. This two volume book includes over 90 stories from Ian McEwan, HG Wells, Zadie Smith and many others. You can read a whole story before breakfast.
Perfect for: people who want to start their day with a sense of achievement.

You can buy it here.
Book 1 Penguin Short stories


2. The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics, by Barton Swaim
Barton Swaim, a speechwriter for the Governor of South Carolina, presents a sharply humorous account of the absurd world of American politics.
Perfect for: anyone who has worked in a dysfunctional environment, or in communications, or both.

You can buy it here.
Book 2 The Speechwriter


3. The Bag I’m In: Underground Music and Fashion in Britain 1960-1990, by Sam Knee

A largely visual history of Britain’s youth subcultures.
Perfect for: Mods, Rockers, or anyone interested in fashion.

You can buy it here.
Book 3 The Bag I'm in


4. Heart of the Original, by Steve Aylett
Part writer’s manual, part thinker’s manual, and part mayhem. Reading this feels like you’re eating firecrackers. If you’ve never read Aylett before, read Lint first, then this.
Perfect for: cynics and artists.

You can buy it here.
Book 4 Heart of the Original


5. A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James
Winner of the Man Booker prize this year. This is a polyphonic tale centred around the night in 1976 when gunmen stormed Bob Marley’s house in Jamaica.
Perfect for: people who aren’t afraid of getting stuck in. It’s lengthy, at just under 700 pages.

You can buy it here.
book 5 sevenkillings


6. The Ladybird Books for Adults, by Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris
This is a brilliant spoof series based on the childhood favourites of yesteryear. Subjects include ‘The Hipster’, ‘The Wife’, ‘The Husband’, ‘The Mid-Life Crisis’, ‘The Hangover’, ‘Mindfulness’, and ‘Dating’.
Perfect for: Anyone over the age of 30.

You can buy it here.
Book 6 Ladybird Hipster