May I commend to you, again, those excellent literary publications Slightly Foxed and The Good Book Guide, and suggest that a subscription to either one or both would make a lovely Christmas gift for a bookish person.
I've just been through the latest issue of the Guide and earmarked several books I'd like myself - and this from someone who is fairly well-versed on what's new in the book world ,and has an enormous library already! I never fail to discover within its pages interesting things I haven't come across before, or to find its reviews suddenly 'opening up' a book of which I was only vaguely aware. Linked to this is the breadth and depth of the Guide's range as it covers, among other subjects, cookery and gardening, natural history and science, philosophy, arts, history, children's books and travel, as well as biography, crime and thriller, and a great deal of general fiction. You'll find recently released titles there, books which have just come out in paperback, old favourites, and new names; something for all tastes. While you might accuse me of bias because I write for it, I would point out that I subscribed to it long before I ever penned my first review.
Slightly Foxed is a quarterly magazine (whereas The Good Book Guide publishes ten issues a year), and its elegant essays celebrate individual books and writers and the joy of reading itself. To mention a few from the current volume (no. 40, Winter 2013), there's Melissa Harrison (author of Clay, which is soon to be out in paperback) on Ronald Blythe, Hazel Wood, one of Slightly Foxed's founders and editors, on Gwen Raverat and her marvellous memoir Period Piece, and Linda Leatherbarrow on Tove Jansson and her tiny island in the Gulf of Finland. On through Ursula Buchan on Margery Allingham's account of an English village at war, Ysenda Maxtone Graham on reading aloud - or being read to, and Maggie Fergusson on Tom's Midnight Garden, there is so much to enjoy. Slightly Foxed also hosts events at which you can meet the magazine's staff and contributors, and talk books to your heart's content; I reported on their most recent readers' day here.
I hope I've whetted your appetite for these two; no-one has asked me to write about them, I do so simply because this site exists to help spread the word about good things, and these publications are just that.