Horologicon tops indie Christmas tips

Mark Forsyth’s follow-up to last Christmas’ runaway hit The Etymologicon (Icon) has been picked as the top title for booksellers to champion this December.

Publishers pitched alternative Christmas hits to booksellers at the Bookseller Association’s annual conference at Warwick University in September. The retailers voted for their favourites, with Forsyth's The Horologicon (Icon) today (20th November) revealed as topping the Bookshop Originals list. 

Two titles by John Murray made the indies’ choice selection, Patrick Leigh Fermor by Artemis Cooper, also on the shortlist for Waterstones Book of the Year award, at number two, and humorous titleThe Middle Class ABC by Fi Cotter-Craig and Zebedee Helm, in third.

Christmas title Wencelas by Carol Ann Duffy (Picador) was fourth, while completing the top five is 101 Uses for a Dead Kindle by Adrian Searle (Freight Books), perhaps a tongue-in-cheek pick from independents who regard Amazon as one of their deadliest rivals.

The other titles on the 10-strong list are: First Class by Chris West (Square Peg); On the Map by Simon Garfield (Profile); Paper: An Elegy by Ian Sansom (Fourth Estate); Fir Tree by Sanna Annukka (Hutchinson); and Bring Me Sunshine by Charlie Connelly (Little, Brown).

President of the BA and co-owner of Jaffe & Neale, Patrick Neale, said: “These out of the ordinary offbeat titles were nominated during the Bookseller Association’s annual conference in September, which brought together around 200 booksellers. These were carefully selected with the imaginative book buyer in mind, who may be looking for something a little different to bestseller books.

"From the most bizarre and obscure titles to festive poems and biographical treats, these otherwise undiscovered titles offer a great selection of Christmas gifts for the whole family.”