December is almost here!

Posted on Nov 28 2014 - 4:04pm by Claire Herbaux
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Book treeDecember 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

For children

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.


I love books

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