December is coming! This means Christmas concerts, decorations, stockings, cookie baking, mulled wine and hot chocolate; and then there’s the issue of presents. Sure, there is the usual such as gift cards or generic tea or candles. But, as book worms, there is a MUCH BETTER alternative, of course! Christmas is the time to empty the shelves of your local bookshop or fill the shopping basket online. Christmas shopping is a great excuse to slip a few holiday reads for yourself into said basket!
How do you make sure you don’t get those bibliophiles yet another copy of Jane Austen or Charles Dickens they already have? My trick is to only get new releases, thus minimising the chance of doubles. Ideally, I choose reads published in the past six months.
So here are my favourite picks of 2014 publications:
Balancing Act by Joanna Trollop, contemporary fiction, published November 2014
Landline by Rainbow Rowell, contemporary fiction, published July 2014
Paris by Edward Rutherfurd, historical fiction, published February 2014
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson, romance, published July 2014
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami, contemporary fiction, published December 2014
Panic by Lauren Oliver, contemporary fiction, published August 2014
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor, fantasy, published April 2014
All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry, published March 2014
Some Luck by Jane Smiley, historical fiction, published November 2014
The Peripheral by William Gibson, contemporary fiction, published November 2014
The Stories by Jane Gardam, short stories, published May 2014
Crime and Thrillers
The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell, published August 2014
No Questions Asked: A Manchester Crime by David Menon, published December 2014
Defenseless by Matt Lenz, published August 2014
Afraid by Mandasue Heller, published August 2014
The Beat Goes On: the Complete Rebus Stories by Ian Rankin, published October 2014
Mindful London: How to Find Calm and Contentment in the Chaos of the City by Tessa Watt, health and wellbeing & Mind, Body, Spirit, published November 2014
The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Street-wise Cat by James Bowen, health and wellbeing, published March 2014
The Art of Thinking Clearly: Better Thinking, Better Decisions by Rolf Dobelli, health and wellbeing & psychology & management, published May 2014
Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates, Feminism, published April 2014
What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire by Daniel Berger, women studies & essays, published June 2014
The Downtown Abbey Rules for Household Staff, television humour, published October 2014
Biography and Memoirs:
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My life by Sophia Loren, published November 2014
More Fool Me by Stephen Fry, published September 2014
The Keeper by Tim Howard, published December 2014
There’s Something I’ve Been Dying To Tell You by Lynda Bellingham, published October 2014
Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris, published October 2014
Thank You For This Moment: A Story of Love, Power and Betrayal by Valerie Thierweiler, published November 2014
No Place for Nathan by Casey Watson
Two more sleeps by Rosie Lewis
On the Fence by Kasie West
I’ll give you the sun by Jandy Nelson, children’s and pre-teen, published April 2015 in UK but available through the US
Girl Online by Zoe Sugg, children’s and pre-teen, published November 2014
More Than This by Patrick Ness, children’s and pre-teen, published May 2014
Sugarlump and the Unicorn by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks, story book, published April 2014
Additionally, here are my favourites to give:
I loved reading The Search Angel by Trish Cohen last year, a great story about family, adoption and the search for ones roots. It is available as eBook or can be ordered from the US. The Dogs of Christmas came out last year for Christmas and makes a lovely read. It is the most recent animal novel by New York Times columnist W. Bruce Cameron and entertaining for any dog lover. Any human heart was first published in 2002 with a new edition in 2009. While the summary doesn’t necessarily seem enticing, it turns out to be a fascinating read, taking you the 20th century in a biography that lets you forget it is fiction. William Boyd wrote the screenplay for his novel in 2010.
And for those who don’t read novels, there are always new fun books.
My favourites this year have been Ben and David Crystal’s book on linguistics, You Say Potato: A Book About Accents.
For the real bibliophiles, Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist is the ideal cocktail book! Tim Federle put together 65 recipes from The Last of The Mojitos to Bridget Jones’ Daiquiri. The sequel came out a few months ago, Hickory Daiquiri Dock – Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist.