There is nothing quite as thoughtful or personal as a gift of a book at Christmas time. Whether it’s as a surprise stocking filler or a gift for a friend, our cherry picked favourites should give you lots of inspiration. If you are looking for a nail biting psychological thriller or a feel good book to curl up in front of the fire with, there are some great newly published titles to choose from. Happy reading!
This #1 Amazon best seller has wonderfully crafted characters and a very gripping plot. When teenager Abigail Ryder gets home from school to find an empty house and her family missing she is devastated. But with the police believing she is trouble and her grandmother telling her to forget them all she is left with no other choice than to face her future alone. Fourteen years later Abi is happily married and on the verge of parenthood. But when the past comes back to haunt her the only way forward is to uncover the truth and reveal the dreadful secrets that were hidden all those years ago.
One hot summer’s day, three-year-old Jessica Preston disappears from the beach. The police are convinced she drowned, but Sandra Preston won’t give up hope that her daughter is still alive.
Twenty years later, another child goes missing and questions are raised about what really happened to Jessica all those years ago. With new revelations and secrets uncovered, this chilling page turner will make you feel the fear and second guess the outcome right to the last page.
‘ The best thriller I have read. Full stop.’ – Linda Green, Books of All Kinds.
Winner of the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2012 for Best Thriller of the Year, this book is perfect for John le Carré fans. Six weeks before she is due to become the first female head of MI6, Amelia Levene disappears without a trace.
Ex-agent Thomas Kell is brought in from the cold with orders to find her and embarks on a dangerous voyage through France & North Africa shadowed by foreign intelligence services. A Foreign Country has great pace with lots of twists and turns.
Because I Was Lonely follows four lonely people, in two unhappy marriages, and the dangerous consequences that can occur when people reconnect online. Rachel is caught in a spiral of endless crying, dirty nappies, and sleepless nights. Then there’s Adam who is suffering from the pain and trauma of a terrible accident that he blames himself for.
So when Rachel and Adam rekindle their long lost friendship online, what starts as a little harmless flirtation, soon becomes an unhealthy obsession, and slowly the threads of their lives unravel before them. Two unhappy marriages and one dangerous, but inevitable climax.
Meet Jack & Grace. The envied couple who are never apart from each other. He has wealth and good looks, she has elegance and charm. But it’s impossible to get to know Grace – she never answers the phone or meets friends alone.
And why are there bars on the windows? This chilling and sometimes unsettling thriller will keep you up late into the night.
Sophie Kinsella never fails to disappoint and her new novel ‘My not so perfect life’ your expectation is no different. Meet Katie Brenner, the girl with the perfect, glamorous life that she filters to death on her oh so fab Instagram feed. Except that her reality is nothing like her social media life. She lives in a tiny flat, has a lowly admin job with a hideous commute. Her life gets even worse when her disagreeable female boss, Demeter, fires her and she ends up crawling back to Somerset to live with her Dad. A chance encounter with Demeter fires Katie up to get even but will it all go to plan? Sophie Kinsella manages to have you laughing, cringing and crying all at once. Perfect Christmas time read.
This witty, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny book is all about taking life by the horns and getting a second chance. After 24 years and 11 months of marriage, Angie Shepherd is divorced, dejected & facing a future of cardigans and cats. But best friend Patty is having none of it, and launches Angie into a variety of crazy schemes in search of her lost mojo. Angie invests her divorce settlement into e Mercury Travel Club, a travel agency with a twist. But as the club gets going, things don’t go according to plan and a little chaos brings the recognition Angie’s been looking for.
‘A truly wonderful and exciting debut, e Mercury Travel Club is crammed full of warmth, wit and poignancy. I loved it’ – Alex Brown. Buy now
Iris has three very different daughters, all leading very separate lives following a family argument that errupted over her care after a stroke. Determined to bring her girls back together she sets out a plan to open their eyes and bring them back together once she’s passed away.
They won’t inherit anything until they have completed 6 weekends of tasks spread over the year following her death, if one fails they all do. The tasks are not what you’d expect and certainly not what they did!
With a bittersweet ending Cathy Hopkins has written a touching, funny and simply beautiful first novel.
If you are after an easy festive read to curl up with over Christmas with a mug of hot chocolate then this is the one! Professional organiser Kate has had her share of demanding clients. But Michael O’Farrell is the most obnoxious man she’s ever met. He might be gorgeous, but if he wasn’t her best friend’s brother Kate wouldn’t put up with him.
But, underneath Michael’s icy exterior, Kate’s surprised to find a man who needs to declutter his heart as well as his home. And while she’s happier fixing messy desks than broken hearts, Kate can’t help making Michael her secret Christmas project. With good balance of quick, witty, dry, verbal sparring and heartwarming emotion, you will laugh your heart out and not be able to put this one down!
A Sunday Times top ten bestseller. This is the dark and twisty psychological thriller from the No.1 bestselling author of The Woman Next Door. Neve comes across a troubled woman called Isabelle on Waterloo Bridge late one night. Isabelle forces a parcel into Neve’s hands and jumps to her death in the icy Thames below. Two weeks later, as Neve’s wreck of a life in London collapses, an unexpected lifeline falls into her lap – a charming cottage in Cornwall left to her by Isabelle. The solution to all her problems? But the house hides a twisted secret that will change Neve’s life forever.
If you loved NBCs “This is Us” (we’re big fans) then you’ll love Far From The Tree which has only just been released. This beautifully interweaved story follows three biological siblings who have just met.
This is a stunningly written, character driven story that has a real edginess to it. Following the individual stories of these three siblings, it touches on issues such as bullying, racism, adoption amongst others and how. Far from the Tree is a raw and emotional journey of family, love and finding yourself.
For a decade Simon Haines has been chasing his dream: partnership at the legendary, family-run law firm of Fiennes & Plunkett. The gruelling hours have come close to breaking him, but now within a whisker of his millions, he will soon know the outcome of the partnership vote. He spends the wait in Cuba in an attempt to rediscover his youthful enthusiasm and curiosity, and to clear his mind before the arrival of the news from London. But alone in Havana he becomes lost in nostalgia and begins to relive his past. A story of aspiration and self-doubt, conflict and love, Being Simon Haines paints a realistic, often humorous picture of a generation of young professionals in search of validation.
“If you want a book that intelligently probes the key issues preoccupying millennials in any profession, not just the law — this is it” Alex Wade, The Times Buy Now
Set in the late 1970s, eleven year old Aliya Shah struggles to make sense of the chaos around her during Pakistan’s political upheaval, where the military revolts, the embassy burns, and a terrible secret tears her world apart.
With a Pakistani father and Dutch mother Aliya has to carefully downplay her heritage in her Islamabad home. When her childhood friend is killed her conflicted loyalties are tested as never before. This novel is based on the authors own experiences growing up amidst the political turmoil of Pakistan.
Kids & Teens
We just love this Little People, Big Dreams series and will definitely be including these as stocking fillers this year. The picture book series introduces the lives of exceptional people from artists to scientists from Coco Chanel to Emmeline Pankhurst. Designed to inspire and inform little ones (suitable from age 5), this picture book biography includes a fun facts section at the back which could spark a new interest for your child. In addition to the books pictured the series also includes Marie Curie, Agatha Christie, Frida Kahlo, Audrey Hepburn, Rosa Parks and Maya Angelou.
Hot off the press, the brand new heart warming and hilariously brilliant ‘Bad Dad’ is definitely one for the stocking this year. A high-speed cops and robbers adventure with heart and soul about a father and son taking on the villainous Mr Big – and winning!
This riches-to-rags story will have you on the edge of your seat and howling with laughter!
The Foodie Teen offers nutritious, delicious meals from the inspirational, award-winning teenage blogger Alessandra Peters. Alessandra is on a mission to inspire others to embrace a healthy lifestyle.
The Foodie Teen contains over 100 naturally gluten free dishes including salted caramel brownie stacks and breakfast burrito wraps. This is a perfect go-to gift for any teen who loves messing about it in the kitchen. Her cooking centres around eating unprocessed, real ingredients and her recipes are for everyone. They not only taste wonderful, but will make you feel incredible, no matter what age you are.
Just when you thought it was safe to put down your pens, Alfie Deyes is back with everyone’s favourite journal! The Pointless Book 3 includes some brand-new challenges and activities – from Haikus to recipes and riddles to mindfulness. Alfie a.k.a @PointlessBlog is a prominent YouTube Blogger and his first Pointless Book gained him super success status. He has over 3.6 million subscribers, 2.1 million Twitter and Instagram followers, and over a 1 million Facebook likes. And if you really want them out of your hair, go for The original first Pointless Book and The Pointless Book 2!
This is the perfect stocking filler for a bit of a chuckle. It’s a year after the Brexit vote and Timmy & the four housemates visit their cousin Rupert on the Jurassic Coast. Rupert has declared his island independent from Britain. Once they arrive the five encounter all manner of expected peril and danger but can they escape to the safety of mainland Europe?
We’ve always loved Hurrah For Gin but since meeting Katie Kirby at the Henley Literary Festival last month we love her even more. If you aren’t familiar with her blog then check it out. Katie shares beautifully honest parenting anecdotes and illustrations in a stick man fashion.
It won’t tell you how to get your baby to sleep, how to deal with a two year old tantrum or how to be a good or cool parent. In fact it contains absolutely no useful advice whatsoever. However Hurrah For Gin takes you through the exciting, frustrating, infuriating and mostly wonderful whirlwind of parenthood. Hurrah For Gin offers solidarity and a friendly hug after a tough day with kids.
Best served with gin. (this book is hardback and a perfect loo book!). Buy Now
Not knowing how to follow the massive success of Hurrah For Gin, Katie Kirby went for a new insight on parenthood. Meet Achie Adams, age 2 ¼. Life is hard for him. It often feels like the world is out to get him. Adults are always telling him what to do ‘Don’t lick the bus stop Archie!’, ‘Eat your tea Archie!’. And then one day his heart is shattered when he learns that his parents are to replace him with a younger sibling – the utter bastards! The only comforts he finds are in his best friend Amelie who teaches him all the good swear words, and the sweet relief he gets from sinking his teeth into other people’s limbs. This is a no-holds-bared account of life told through Archies eyes that will have you belly laughing. Fantastic little token gift for Christmas.
Fact / Memoir
This is an excellent book on personal development and instilling positivity in your thinking. The thinking Revolution challenges the way you think and the way you live your life. It encourages you to analyse your needs in relation to your wisdom and resourcefulness, identify what makes you tick, where you want to be and how how to go about getting there.
‘A remarkable book that captures the skills of thinking we can all adopt to achieve our highest goals’ – Andy Harrington
This funny and touching book follows the life of Gus, a sweet but complicated autistic 13 year old. At the heart of the book lies Gus’s passionate friendship with Siri, Apple’s ‘intelligent personal assistant’. Unlike her human counterparts Siri always has the right answers to Gus’s incessant stream of questions and never runs out of patience. This is a warm and emotional book that shows us a new world where artificial intelligence is beginning to meet emotional intelligence.
This was the latest choice for our Jane Austin book club and it wasn’t a disappointment. It started with a headache, then, within days, journalist New Yorker Susannah Cahalan was having violent fits, hallucinating and blacking out.
This remarkable memoir follows one woman’s descent into one months terrifying insanity. Through journals, interviews and hospital notes Susannah pieces together the harrowing lost month of her life and her miraculous recovery.