To be fair, Alistair Cooke's Christmas letters from America were uniformly excellent; the BBC could have issued any of them in a box set and it would still have been worth buying. But this collection of eight broadcasts has been singled out for some pivotal moments, and it doesn't disappoint. Spanning almost five decades, his recollections are by turn witty, thought provoking, and sad - particularly his memories of two recently departed friends. The only small irritant is the link work provided by Justin Webb, one of the new breed of presenters who seems bland by comparison. Still, as something to listen to and reflect on by your fireside this christmas, this would be a great gift - it's a historical document which is accessible and fascinating.