Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing with you, my lovely readers, my books to buy this Christmas, complete with recommendations for different reading brackets.
I’m one of those people who always buys books for children at Christmas, and often for adults too. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to know where to start, especially at this time of year, when floods of special editions are on the shelves, which can make things overwhelming. There are so many books I could pick for each bracket, but I’ve kept it to four each. I hope these help for others, and maybe Santa will bring you something too….
For Young Children
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Let’s start off with a Christmasy book. This classic film is certainly one for my generation, but the recently released picture book version of this story is easily going to become one for the youngest. The illustrations are absolutely stunning, and the story… well. It’s simply brilliant.
The Ikabog is a story of legends and and monster hunting, the perfect book to read chapters per night while children are still young enough to listen on a knee. It’s filled with illustrations from children around the world who entered the competition during Lockdown.
Greg The Sausage Roll
This book has stormed to the top of the children’s Christmas charts, and even just reading the blurb is enough to see why. A sausage roll on a Christmas Eve adventure with Santa? Brilliant.
Polly Pecorino: The Girl Who Rescues Animals is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen. I’d never even heard of this book until I saw it in Waterstones the other day, and it was one of those books where I wanted to buy it and find someone to give it to, regardless of who that was! It’s one of the those books that you just feel the need to hold onto and share some of your life with.
For Older Children
Mistletoe and Murder
“Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are spending the Christmas hols in snowy Cambridge. Hazel has high hopes of its beautiful spires, cosy libraries and inviting tea-rooms – but there is danger lurking in the dark stairwells of ancient Maudlin College.
Two days before Christmas, there is a terrible accident. At least, it appears to be an accident – until the Detective Society look a little closer, and realise a murder has taken place. Faced with several irritating grown-ups and fierce competition from a rival agency, they must use all their cunning and courage to find the killer (in time for Christmas Day, of course).”
Sisters of the Lost Marsh
I was sent this book by Chicken House to read and review not too long ago, and it really is a beautiful book. You can read my full review of this lovely book for older children – or adults! – here.
Daughters of the Deep
This is one I’m including because of my son. Rick Riodan is an auto-buy author for him, so when this new twist on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea came out, I knew he’d love getting lost in it, and he very much has. He’s at a weird age for reading now, where his phone has far more appeal at times, but he’ll move away from WhatApp for a Rick Riodan book.
Amari and the Night Brothers
I gave this fantastical book five stars last December (read my full review here) and it’s still one of my favourite middle grade reads ever. The second book, Amari and the Great Game, is due out next year, and there will be at least one more to follow, so this is a great book to get an older child in your life hooked with. And hey, if you just happen to read them too, well… message me. Because this book is a triumph.
You’ll Be The Death Of Me
I was lucky enough to be sent an ARC of this latest wonder from Karen M McManus, and it’s one of those that goes in the pile of ARCs that I’ll keep forever and ever. Last year, I recommended The Cousins and I think we should just count ourselves lucky that McManus releases books – and brilliant books at that – as often as she does. I got very excited in Waterstones the other day recommending almost everything she’s ever written. Here’s my full review.
Ace of Spades
I read Ace of Spades back in June, and it’s one of those books that stays wedged in your mind for a long time after. It’s an utterly brilliant book, and there’s something in it for everyone. Even reluctant readers will be hooked with this thrilling, chilling read.
Defy the Night
For a touch of fantasy, a dash of rebellion, and a splash of romance, you can’t go wrong with Defy the Night. It’s a great book for introducing teenagers to the fantasy world, and also a great “next stage up” book for those that are reaching out into the young adult world for the first time too. There’s enough action for it to be gripping, and enough beauty in the writing for it to be stunning sentence by sentence.
Another jump into the world of fantasy, Vespertine was one of my favourite reads more recently, and I think there’s something about this book where it should be shouted from the roof tops. I’m not seeing it talked about anywhere near as much as it should be, and it’s a great book for the teenager who might want something a bit different, and who loves fierce female leads.
I read Ariadne in February (read my review here) and it has held a piece of my heart since. It’s perfect for those who love historical fiction, retellings and twists on tales, and utterly beautiful writing that you’ll fall in love with. Jennifer Saint is hugely talented, and her fresh takes on women from history will take the world by storm. It’s available in this cover (original hardback), paperback, and a special edition white cover which is stunning.
This has been one of my top reads this year (I can’t just pick one top book, but this is way, way up there!) and I’m far from alone. Since it was released in July, it’s been slowly taking over the book world in the best way. The Appeal is a brilliant crime fiction novel, but it’s also told in a non-traditional narrative, so appeals to more than just your normal crime fiction audience. Almost everybody will enjoy this.
This magical realism book is a big chunky read that will captivate you from the very first page. The unique magic storyline the runs down the center of this story is a perfect thread, linking everything together but allowing different strands to weave in and out of it. Powerful and at times a brutal hard hitting read, Threadneedle is the perfect gift.
Midnight in Everwood
Finally, what better a gift to pass on this Christmas than a beautiful retelling of The Nutcracker, found in the pages of Midnight in Everwood. It will sweep you away on sugar sleighs, and I can see this becoming one of those books that you bring out every year to read in the cold under fluffy blankets with hot chocolate. To give this as a gift at Christmas is to allow the magic to continue on past the single day itself. Whether this is for the ballet fan, the fierce feminist, or the all around book lover, this is a sure win for all.
So there we have it. I hope one, some or even all of these books will be helpful when it comes to Christmas shopping, whether it’s for others or yourself! Because if you can’t treat yourself at Christmas, when can you?
If you’re looking for a book for someone in particular and I haven’t quite hit the mark here, be sure to get in touch and I’ll help you if I can.
And just in case you don’t spin by again between now and the 25th – a very merry Christmas to you and yours. May your days be merry and bright. x