An open book and a mug, on padded bench in front of a christmas tree

Dark Angels Note 128

Dearest Friends

Welcome back to our weekly Friday Note.



This week we are celebrating the Icelandic tradition of Jólabókaflóðið, which roughly translates as The Christmas Book Flood.

A swell of book buying starts as the festive season approaches and ends with the gifting of books on Christmas Eve. Family and friends unwrap presents and immediately settle down to read their new books, cosied up with a mug of hot chocolate.

The tradition dates back to 1944. When other gifts were in short supply, the Icelandic book trade launched its first annual ‘Book Bulletin’ catalogue in mid-November so everyone could order books for friends and family in time for Christmas.



“At least part of the satisfaction of giving books lies in at best signalling your own taste, and at worst imposing it”

Read this cautionary tale from a rare book dealer about the pitfalls of buying books as presents:

‘I thought you’d like to read this’: the etiquette of gifting books



Think back over the year to the books you’ve read and start making a list.

Are there any titles that stand out that you’d give as presents?

If so, try writing a short blurb about each one with the intended recipient in mind. How does this influence how you describe the book?

We’d love to see your reading recommendations if you’d like to share your list.



Keep sending us your poems, writings, links and writerly whatnots that you’d like to share with the wider Dark Angels family.



Hearts, Inspired, 16-21 June 2023

Join us for a 5-day writing retreat on Whidbey Island, in the US Pacific Northwest. We’ll explore writing, creativity and inspiration through guided writing, personal projects and time in nature.

Find out more here.


Weekly Tuesday Gatherings

Over the festive season, we have a few adjustments to the schedule for the weekly gatherings.

Dec 20: 7pm as normal – eve of Winter Solstice

Dec 27: No gathering

Jan 3: No gathering

Jan 10: 7pm as normal

Join us for a reflective hour of reading, writing and communing led by Neil Baker. Everyone is welcome; in fact, invite a friend along. We meet at 7pm UK time. To join us, click here on the night. There’s no need to register in advance and we’ll be using the same link every week from now on.



Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here.

From everyone at Dark Angels




Photo by Jessica Fadel on Unsplash