The last couple of years I’ve put together a list of books that I’d recommend as a Christmas gift for the reader in your life.
As it’s already December, I thought I’d continue the tradition this year…
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For the thrill seekers
The Silence of the Sea, by Yrsa Sigurdardottir
When a luxury yacht crashes into the harbour in Reykjavik, the police discover the crew and passengers missing. Hired to find out what happened to the young family who should have been on board, lawyer Thora is drawn into a complicated tale of deceit and paranoia.
An atmospheric crime thriller that unfolds slowly, with each chapter revealing another sinister clue to the mystery.
Career of Evil, by Robert Galbraith
When a severed leg arrives at the office, addressed to his assistant, Robin, private detective Cormoran Strike is drawn into a gruesome case involving a twisted killer from his past. The only problem is, he doesn’t know which one.
The third in the series of Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike novels is another well-written, exciting adventure that fans of crime fiction are sure to love.
White Crocodile, by K.T. Medina
In the minefields of Cambodia, a young bomb disposal expert discovers a string of sinister deaths that may be connected to the death of her husband and the maiming of a colleague, left permanently scarred in a terrible accident. Just how real is the White Crocodile who terrifies the superstitious villagers and promises death to anyone who tries to hunt him down?
This book is beautifully written and the author’s background in mine clearance gives a powerful air of authenticity to the story. An unexpected favourite.
For the young adults
Only Ever Yours, by Louise O’Neill
In a future society, girls are no longer born: they’re made. Created to be beautiful and taught to be obedient, young women are raised to fulfil the role of wife and mother, or concubine.
This is a scathing but insightful look at gender roles and our society’s obsession with appearances and status.
For the literature lovers
A Reunion of Ghosts, by Judith Claire Mitchell
The Alter sisters are cursed. Their ancestors had a habit of dying young, whether from illness, violence or suicide. Since their great-grandfather invented the gas used to exterminate millions in the Nazi death camps, the Alter family has been on the path to wilful destruction.
A blackly funny but touching portrait of family and the relationships that endure, even through the most trying circumstances.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan
A former Man Booker Prize winner, this is a harrowing tale of Australian soldiers slowly dying in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during WW2. The agonising story of war is told against the backdrop of a passionate love story, as one of the men remembers the all-consuming affair he had with his uncle’s young wife, before leaving to fight.
For the dreamers
Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
After her mother’s early death, Cheryl Strayed went off the rails: drinking, doing drugs and sleeping with a litany of unsuitable men. She knew she had to change her life, so she threw herself into the challenge of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail – a mammoth journey that spans the West coast of America, taking her through barren deserts and across brutally beautiful mountain ranges, completely alone.
Cheryl’s journey from woefully unprepared solo hiker to tough but assured woman is genuinely uplifting and inspiring.
What books would you recommend this Christmas?