Christmas Book Recommendations

 

My ideal winter holiday involves long walks when the sky is a crisp blue, returning to a roaring fire, for a glass or two of prosecco and a good book. Here are my suggestions for what might make a good holiday read, and what I’m planning to read over Christmas.

 

Do Less, Get More by Sháá Wasmund

You can do anything…but you can’t do everything. At least, not at the same time.

My sister, Sheila, put me onto this book. She runs a company with her husband, and looks after three girls, so she knows a thing or two about time management. This is an excellent book, with down-to-earth tips that really work, helping you figure out how to prune, prioritise, focus, let go of perfection and do more of what you’re passionate about.

 

How Not to be a Boy by Robert Webb

RULES FOR BEING A MAN

Don’t Cry; Love Sport; Play Rough; Drink Beer; Don’t Talk About Feelings 

I’ve recommended this before, but it’s so good and would make a fantastic present for any men in your life. Both a memoir and an analysis of masculinity, the essential argument at its core is that boys are taught not to express emotions apart from socially-acceptable ones for men, such as anger. After years of learning to suppress emotions, many men are unable to detect or even label what emotion it is that they’re feeling. This book made me cry and laugh, sometimes at the same time.

Odd Child Out by Gilly Macmillan

Sometimes it’s hard not to let other people’s misery seep into your own bones.

Like me, Gilly lives in and loves Bristol, where we have set some of our novels. This is a welcome return for DI Jim Clemo and has a grittier, broader feel than her previous thrillers. The story hinges on a friendship between two boys: privileged but terminally-ill Noah Sadler, and Abdi Mahad, a second-generation Somali who has won a scholarship to one of Bristol’s prestigious private schools. After an incident in which one child fell into the canal behind Temple Meads station, one boy cannot speak and the other one won’t. Will DI Clemo find out what really happened that night, before the differences in the teenagers’ class and race threaten to upset the already fragile equilibrium in the city?

Give Me the Child by Mel McGrath

For all the advances we’ve made in understanding the human brain, there’s still no scan for the human soul.

Dr Cat Lupo, child psychologist, is woken when police bring a girl to the house she shares with her daughter, Freya, and husband Tom. Ruby Winters, who is the same age as Freya, turns out to be Tom’s illegitimate daughter, and Ruby’s mother, Lily, has just died. Cat’s work with children showing psychopathic tendencies, and her own pre-pregnancy psychotic episode, make for uncomfortable connections to her new-found situation. Set against the backdrop of a heatwave in London and race riots in Brixton, this is a tense, claustrophobic novel; for fans of Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty.

 

Over the Christmas holidays, I’m hoping to read thrillers, The Dry by Jane Harper, An Act of
Silence by Colette McBeth and I’ve pre-ordered The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn. I’d like to re-read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and on my Christmas wish list is Ballerina Body by Misty Copeland (like I said, on my wish list!).

 

What are you hoping to read over the holidays?

 

 

Summer holiday thrillers

SUMMER HOLIDAY THRILLERS

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I can’t wait to pack my bikini and my books! We’re heading to Italy for an unadulterated beach holiday. We’ve got one suitcase between three of us, so already I’m worrying which novels to take as I like to read real books in the sand!

Here are my favourite summer thriller recommendations, that will be perfect for down time, whether you’re by the sea or up a mountain

 

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My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry, published by Michael Joseph

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Lily feels unloved and unlovely. When she meets wealthy artist, Ed, she thinks it’s her one chance of marriage and she takes it, in spite of barely knowing her future husband.

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Christmas Thrillers

category_star80IMG_2913CHRISTMAS THRILLERS – If you’re looking for brilliant thrillers to thrill you over the Christmas holidays, here are my recommendations!

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

‘Hello there.’I looked at the pale, freckled hand on the back of the empty bar seat next to me in the business class lounge of Heathrow airport, then up 51xhf1bAusL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX324_SY324_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA346_SH20_OU02_into the stranger’s face.’Do I know you?

Ted Severson is having a martini in Heathrow airport when he meets Lily Kintner. Over drinks and during the long flight back to the states, he tells Lily that his wife is cheating on him. He confesses that he’d like to kill her. It’s a casual, throw-away remark; the kind of thing an angry man might say after one too many gins. But Lily takes him seriously, and by the time the plane lands, the two of them have agreed to murder Ted’s beautiful, adulterous wife.

This is a wonderfully written thriller, set against the chill sweep of Maine in winter, with compelling, ice-cold characters and plot twists that will take your breath away. Continue reading