It’s that time of year again. Christmas is creeping up on us and, for a lot of people, there’s still shopping to be done.
Books always make for a great gift, but rather than dipping into the Stephen King back catalogue or buying a hastily drafted autobiography from the latest reality TV star, why not set your sights closer to home?
Here’s five books with a Hull connection that are sure to produce a smile this Christmas:
1. Our Honest Charlie Wood
Charlie Wood is the Hull sports star you’ve never heard of. If he was around today he’d be giving Ben Stokes a run for his money for BBC Sports Personality of the Year. The Hull-born jockey won pretty much everything you could dream of winning in the world of horse racing during the latter part of the 19th century – and he did this despite determined efforts from the racing establishment to try and outcast him from the sport. The story of Charlie Wood is a true underdog story, and it’s now chronicled in a brilliant new book from author Josephine Carr.
2. Amy Johnson – A Life in Pictures
Rick Welton and Paul Gibbs
Hull Central Library
The life of one of the city’s great pioneers, Amy Johnson, is told through pictures in this book by Rick Welton and Paul Gibbs. She was the first woman to fly solo from London to Australia, and set many other long-distance records flying solo or alongside her husband, Jim Mollison.
3. Take Me Up The Lighthouse
Wrecking Ball, Princes Quay
Withernsea/Hull poet Dean Wilson’s latest gift to the world, Take Me Up The Lighthouse, is released in January and can be pre-ordered from Hull publisher Wrecking Ball Press. So for those worried about getting the post Christmas blues, here’s something to look forward to in the new year. Wrecking Ball has a store in Princess Quay, selling a range of literature, vinyl and clothing, so it’s well worth a Christmas shopping trip.
4. Spit & Hiss
J.E. Books, Hepworth’s Arcade
— J. E. Books (@JEBooksHull) December 4, 2019
Want more Hull-produced poetry? Fine, there’s loads. Spit & Hiss by Mike Watts is just one option available at J.E. Books in Hepworth’s Arcade. Here you can find work by some of the city’s finest poets such as Matt Nicholson, Peter Knaggs and the aforementioned Dean Wilson.
5. Life Is What You Make It
Hull People’s Memorial, Whitefriargate
Joyce Chatwin has released her first book, Life Is What You Make of It, at the tender age of 91. The book chronicles her family’s history, illustrated with personal photographs dating back to the 1870s and featuring three generations of her family. Her story takes us all over the world, through two world wars and into Hull’s unique fishing community. You can pick up a copy at The Hull’s People Memorial in Whitefriargate, which also stocks a wide range of other literature delving into Hull’s rich history.