The Eight Books to buy this Christmas – my ultimate literary gift guide

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, children's books, Recommended, teen book reviews, Uncategorized

Stuck for present ideas? Look no further! A book is a thoughtful, pleasingly weighty and easily wrapped gift. It says, I’ve thought about you. I’ve considered what you might like. I’ve invited you onto a journey, nay, adventure, through these pages I have purchased for you. I believe that you can read.

And here I’ve done the thought and research for you. Pick the most appropriate gift for the person you love, tolerate or are obligated to buy for and get wrapping! Plus my top book of the year is hidden in there too…

Here are my top tips for:


1. The Crowd – most people will love The House of Birds by Morgan Mccarthy

This was my first review of the year and a totally delightful book. A fantastic sense of place, compelling dual timelines, great characters and a beautiful portrait of a city and a house. Though this book is unusual I would say for readers it would be almost universally compelling.

Read my full review here.

View on Amazon: The House of Birds


2. The pre-teen – I’m still obsessed with Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

I just reviewed this book but I’ve read it twice already. It’s immensely fun, intriguing, exciting, warm and adventurous. I loved the adventure and I’m three times the suggested age range! I’ve bought this for someone already and may buy it for someone else too…

Read my full review.

View on Amazon: Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow

3. The difficult Uncle – it doesn’t get more classic that Mario Puzo’s The Godfather

Sure, you’ve seen the film, but have you read the book? A good idea to check before you buy the present, but to my great surprise this was a great read. Somehow I was sucked into this alternate Mafia world, with different morals, ideals, and almost entirely comprised of men. But I was gripped and intrigued. Perhaps I should suggest this for your aunt too? Obviously, there’s violence in sex in here, so bear that in mind when choosing a recipient.

Full review coming soon!

View on Amazon: The Godfather


4. The winter lover – on my Christmas list is wonderful fantasy The Bear and the Nightingale by Katharine Arden

This is MY TOP PICK!! My favourite book of the year! So much so that though I have the kindle version, the hardback is on my wishlist. Plus I’ve bought it for someone else already. This is a beautifully evocative tale of winter and legend, of Russia and snow, of legends and myths and belief and courage. I’ve read this and the sequel twice this year already, and I just love it. It’s a YA book really, but I’d buy it for anyone who’s not embarrassed to read YA.

Read my full review.

View on Amazon: The Bear and The Nightingale: (Winternight Series)

For bonus points you could pre-order the fantastic sequel, which is out next year:

Read my full review.

View on Amazon: The Girl in The Tower: (Winternight Series)

5. The thoughtful reader – we all loved Miss Ranskill Comes Home by Barbara Euphan Todd

Persephone Books specialise in publishing out of print books by female authors who possibly should have been included in the canon. This delightful, hilarious and poignant book charts the return of Miss Ranskill from three years stranded on a desert island to wartime England. It’s a charming study of human character and self-obsession, of Britishness and love, and generally a thoroughly good read. I leant it to my Mum who loved it and leant it to my Dad, who didn’t fall asleep reading, so it must be extremely good.

Full review coming soon.

View on Amazon: Miss Ranskill Comes Home


6. The Secret Santa – no one is unmoved by The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

This is one of those heart-warming books that people like giving as gifts. It’s great! Beautiful cover, a lovely portrait of a collection of characters brought together by stories and things. A really lovely read for just about anyone.

Read my full review.

View on Amazon: The Keeper of Lost Things: The feel-good Richard & Judy Book Club 2017 word-of-mouth hit, now a Sunday Times bestseller


7. The teenager – Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy is a masterpiece in YA fantasy

View on Amazon: Daughter of Smoke and Bone: The Sunday Times Bestseller. Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy Book 1: 1/3

8. The Nostalgic Millenial – Philip Pullman’s long awaited The Book of Dust

I’ve not delved into this yet. I’ve waiting for the right moment (though I’m a bit scared). But for anyone who read and loved the His Dark Materials series, this is a must. It’s going to be a big Christmas present this year and is a lovely big chunk of a book to receive. And Pullman is everlastingly excellent, so I am actually pretty sure it won’t disappoint.

View on Amazon: La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One (Book of Dust Series)

If you purchase items after clicking on the Amazon links I will receive a very small percentage of the cost price. This in no way affects my opinions or recommendations. 

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