Buy the Book is a monthly feature where I share a gift guide inspired by something I've read. It's a little play on "by the book" since all of the gifts come directly from quotes or scenes in the book featured and, you know, since it's all stuff you can buy. I'm including a snippet from the book for each item so you'll know why I picked it!
The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
"... the official picture of Nick and me. I love that picture, which is lucky, because it's for sale the world over on thimbles, wastebaskets, tea towels, paper dolls..."
1. Prince William and Kate Royal Wedding Mug ($7.95) - You've got to love the million items commemorating the royal wedding! I can't imagine how weird it would be to see your picture on so many random items.
"Its mystery, its age, its textures... Oxford is in all ways the opposite of Muscatine, my rural Iowa hometown (or even the bucolic North Atlantic beauty of Cornell), and for me it was perfect. I didn't come to England to fall in love with anything but England."
2. Oxford Radcliffe Camera Print ($25) - Rebecca's decision to study at Oxford changes the course of her entire life. The Radcliffe Camera is an iconic landmark, so it seems only fitting to include a print of it!
"Besides, I couldn't have guessed you'd show up without an umbrella. That's like going to the Bahamas without a bathing suit."
3. Kate Spade New York "Rain Check?" Umbrella ($38) - I absolutely loved Bex and Nick's first meeting! It sets the tone for their entire relationship, and it's easy to see why Nick falls for her - and she for him.
"Night Nick and Night Bex were equal parts compatible and self-destructive. One Devour episode led to another, and one shipment of Twinkies became three (Nick liked to stick his fingers in them and eat them like corn dogs, and also prod me in the face)."
4. Hostess Twinkies ($11.95) - Watching Nick and Bex's friendship develop was absolutely adorable. I enjoyed seeing the person behind the prince, and this scene was one of the most memorable examples.
"Nick fished around in his pockets and pulled out two small enameled pins, each one depicting an American and a British flag on poles that crossed at the bottom."
5. USA Flag and UK Flag Lapel Pin ($5.70) - This pin more significant to Nick and Bex than I'm letting on, but it would spoil it if I used that quote! Instead, I'm highlighting this moment - where Nick meets Bex's twin, Lacey.
"It was a new baseball season, and Dad and I were picking one Cubs game each week and video chatting right after, when, as he put it, the agony or ecstasy was still fresh."
6. Chicago Cubs Short Sleeve Practice T-Shirt ($25.99) - Bex's family plays a big role in the book, but her relationship with her father is particularly significant. It even affects what happens in her relationship with Nick!
"So your secret perversions are crosswords and coffee," I said, settling in beside him and taking the steaming cup. "Truly depraved."
7. The Times Cryptic Crossword ($7.18) - When Bex stumbles upon Nick working on a cryptic crossword alone one morning, it marks a turning point for them. He opens up to her, and it's the beginning of their friendship.
"Nick still claims I stole the wheelbarrow by announcing, 'No fence is bigger than I am,' before hurtling over one and then running out two seconds later screaming, 'Your chariot, my lord.' But I swear that the wheelbarrow found us, proffering itself in the middle of a random driveway, practically begging us to let it cradle the Royal Carcass."
8. The Walsall Wheelbarrow Company Barrow in a Box (£47.75) - I know this seems like a random choice for my gift guide, but this moment cracked me up. Plus, something important happens on this night!
"... there's Sir John Soane's Museum, my professional home and my refuge."
9. Sir John Soane's Museum Canvas Tote Bag (£9.95) - I really enjoyed seeing Bex succeed at work, and I felt sorry for her when I realized just how much she would have to sacrifice if she wanted to be with Nick.
"In my time, a woman never wore a tiara before her wedding day, because it represented the crowning moment of committing oneself to another," she said. "Traditionally, the bride wears one from her own family that day and then one from her husband's thereafter, to signify her transition. But..." She twitched her hands slightly, as if to say, No such luck here. "It is also custom for the Queen to provide something borrowed, so without an ancestral diadem of your own, that is what I shall offer."
10. Kate Middleton Royal Wedding Tiara ($139.95) - Of course I had to include a replica of the royal wedding tiara! I loved learning about this tradition and imagining the real-life version of this moment.