Christmas gift guide: gifts for book lovers

Whether you're searching for a gift for a literature lover, a sports fan, a history buff, or anyone else on your Christmas list, we've got you covered with our selection of gift books for everyone this festive season. 

Whoever you're buying for, you can never go wrong with a good book. A thoughtfully chosen book can show that you really know a person, while a beautifully bound festive story or poetry collection is a safe but interesting alternative to a bottle of wine or box of biscuits. And, if you’ve already done all your present wrapping this year, it could be time you treated yourself.

If you’re looking for gifts for the little ones in your life, don’t miss our Christmas gift guide for kids. ​

For more bookish gifts, discover our classic books Christmas gift guide. ​

For the crime and thriller fan

The Passenger & Stella Maris: Boxed Set

by Cormac McCarthy

Book cover for The Passenger & Stella Maris: Boxed Set

The ultimate gift for McCarthy fans: a beautiful, limited edition slipcase containing his two-book masterpiece. The Passenger tells of a salvage diver terrified of water, pursued for a conspiracy beyond his understanding. Stella Maris is the story of a mathematician, twenty years old, admitted to the hospital with forty thousand dollars in a plastic bag and one request: she does not want to talk about her brother.

Picture You Dead

by Peter James

Book cover for Picture You Dead

In the eagerly awaited latest installment in the bestselling Roy Grace series, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace finds himself plunged into an unfamiliar and rarefied world of fine art; but beneath the veneer lurks greed, deception and violence . . .

Harry and Freya are an ordinary couple who dreamed for years of finding an overlooked treasure at a car boot sale, until the day they did. Behind the drab portrait they bought for a few pounds, they find a stunning landscape that might just be a long-lost masterpiece from 1770, and worth millions. One collector is certain it's genuine, and he'll stop at nothing to get what he wants.

The Rising Tide

by Ann Cleeves

Book cover for The Rising Tide

Fifty years ago, a group of teenagers spent a weekend on Holy Island and forged a bond that would last a lifetime. Now, they still return every five years to celebrate their friendship and remember a friend they once lost to the rising waters of the causeway. But when one of them is found hanged, Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope is called in. Learning that the dead man had recently been fired after misconduct allegations, Vera knows she must discover what the friends are hiding, and whether the events of many years before could have led to murder then, and now.

The Murders at Fleat House

by Lucinda Riley

Book cover for The Murders at Fleat House

When a pupil suddenly dies at an exclusive boarding school in deepest Norfolk, the headmaster is keen to brand it a tragic accident. But the local police are not so sure, and Detective Inspector Jazmine ‘Jazz’ Hunter returns to the force to investigate. Together with trusty sergeant Alastair Miles, she enters the closed universe of the school. And as Jazz begins to probe Charlie Cavendish’s unsettling demise, things take a deeply troubling turn.

The Vacation

by John Marrs

Book cover for The Vacation

How far would you go to get away from your past? Venice Beach in LA is heaven on earth, with tourists galore flocking to the ocean and Hollywood promise. But for eight strangers staying at a beach-front hostel, a holiday is not the first thing on their minds. All of them are on the run, and all have secrets they would murder to keep. The Vacation is a gripping, holiday-set thriller from John Marrs, who wrote The One, now a Netflix Original Series – it was longlisted for the 2022 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. 

The Party House

by Lin Anderson

Book cover for The Party House

Devastated by a recent pandemic brought in by outsiders, the villagers of Blackrig in the Scottish Highlands are outraged when they find that the nearby estate plans to reopen its luxury ‘party house’ to tourists. As animosity sparks amongst the locals, part of the property is damaged and, in the ensuing chaos, the remains of a young girl are found in the wreck. Seventeen-year-old Ailsa Cummings went missing five years ago, never to be seen again – until now . . .

The Cat Who Caught a Killer

by L T Shearer

Book cover for The Cat Who Caught a Killer

Essential reading for Richard Osman and S. J. Bennet fans, and all those who love their crime cosy. Follow Lulu Lewis as she seeks to resolve the suspicious death of her mother-in-law, Emily, in L T Shearer's gripping whodunit. As a former police detective fraught with grief following the death of her husband, Lulu's retirement is turned upside-down when Emily dies. However, Lulu's not alone. Amidst her quest for answers is Conrad, a remarkable cat who is with her every step of the way.

For more inspiration, don't miss our edit of the best crime books and the best thriller books. 


For the sci-fi buff

Children of Memory

by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Book cover for Children of Memory

Spanning generations, species and galaxies, best-selling author Adrian Tchaikovsky gives us the unmissable follow-up to Children of Time and Children of Ruin. Years after arkships were sent to establish new outposts following the failure of Earth, a fragile colony has managed to survive on Imir. But, existence here is a far cry from the paradise the initial mission intended. When strangers appear, society on Imir begins to fracture as neighbour turns against neighbour. But, perhaps some other intelligence is also at work, toying with colonists and space-fearing scientists alike . . .

Leech

by Hiron Ennes

Book cover for Leech

A masterpiece of gothic sci-fi, Leech is unlike anything you've read before. In an isolated chateau, the baron's doctor has committed suicide, and the Interprovincial Medical Institute sends out a replacement. But the new physician soon discovers that his predecessor was hosting a parasite, which should have been impossible, as the physician was already possessed – by the Institute. For hundreds of years, the Institute has taken root in young minds and shaped them into doctors to protect humanity from the horrors their ancestors unleashed, but now there’s competition: a parasite is spreading.

Deep Wheel Orcadia

by Harry Josephine Giles

Book cover for Deep Wheel Orcadia

Winner of the 2022 Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction Book of the Year. Deep Wheel Orcadia is a remote and failing space station that is struggling for survival as the pace of change threatens to leave the community behind. It is here that Astrid and Darling first meet – Astrid on her way home from art school on Mars and searching for inspiration, and Darling, fleeing a life that never fit, searching for somewhere to hide. The strikingly unusual sci-fi setting is mirrored in the unique form of this verse novel, which is written in the dialect of the Orkney islands, with a parallel English translation. 

Upgrade

by Blake Crouch

Book cover for Upgrade

Upgrade is the mind-bending sci-fi thriller from Blake Crouch, author of Matter and Recursion. What if you were the next step in human evolution? If your concentration was better, if you could multitask quicker, read faster, memorize more? For Logan Ramsay, it’s happening. He knows that it’s not natural, that his genes have been hacked. He has been targeted for an upgrade, and with a terrifying plan in place to replicate his upgrade throughout the world’s population, he may be the only person capable of stopping what has already been set in motion.

Sea of Tranquility

by Emily St. John Mandel

Book cover for Sea of Tranquility

The exiled son of an aristocrat driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home, and a detective in the ever-dark Night City. Three storylines entwine across centuries in the captivating worlds of Emily St John Mandel, author of award-winning Station Eleven.

Perceptive and poignant about art, and love, and what we must do to survive, Sea of Tranquility is a novel that investigates the idea of parallel worlds and possibilities, that plays with the very line along which time should run.

Discover our pick of the best sci-fi books of 2022.


For the fantasy lover

The Atlas Six

by Olivie Blake

Book cover for The Atlas Six

Bestselling fantasy sensation The Atlas Six follows six young magical practitioners as they compete to join the secretive Alexandrian Society, whose custodians guard lost knowledge from ancient civilizations. Their members enjoy a lifetime of power and prestige. Yet each decade, only six practitioners are invited – to fill five places. Following recruitment by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they travel to the Society’s London headquarters. Here, each must study and innovate within esoteric subject areas. And if they can prove themselves, over the course of a year, they’ll survive. Most of them.

The Atlas Paradox

by Olivie Blake

Book cover for The Atlas Paradox

Six magicians were offered the opportunity of a lifetime. Five are now members of the Society. And two paths lie before them.

In the second, eagerly-anticipated, installment in the Atlas Six series, the secret society of Alexandrians is unmasked. Its newest recruits realize the institute is capable of raw, world-changing power. It’s also headed by a man with plans to change life as we know it – and these are already underway. But the cost of this knowledge is as high as the price of power, and each initiate must choose which faction to follow.

A Restless Truth

by Freya Marske

Book cover for A Restless Truth

In the eagerly awaited follow-up to A Marvellous Light, Maud Blyth – longing for adventure – agrees to serve as an old lady's companion on an ocean liner, but on the very first day of the voyage her companion is found dead. Then, Maud meets Violet: a magician, an actress and a magnet for scandal. Surrounded by open sea and a ship full of suspects, Maud and Violet must work together to locate a magical object worth killing for – and unmask a murderer. All without becoming dead in the water themselves.

Wolfsong

by TJ Klune

Book cover for Wolfsong

When Ox Matheson was twelve his father taught him that he was worthless, destined to be misunderstood, and then he left him. Four years later, the energetic Bennett family moved in next door, harbouring a secret that would change his life forever: they are shapeshifters, and can transform into wolves at will. Drawn into an unimaginable new world, Ox found a friend in Joe, the youngest Bennett brother, but when the pack was pulled apart by tragedy and murder, Joe left town . But now, he has returned, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.

Unraveller

by Frances Hardinge

Book cover for Unraveller

In a world where anyone can cast a life-destroying curse, only one person has the power to unravel them. Kellen does not fully understand his unique gift, but helps those who are cursed, like his friend Nettle who was trapped in the body of a bird for years. She is now Kellen's constant companion and his closest ally. But the Unraveller carries a curse himself and, unless he and Nettle can remove it, Kellen is a danger to everything – and everyone – around him . . .

Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments

by T. L. Huchu

Book cover for Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments

Ropa Mayo finds herself embroiled in another magical crisis in T. L. Huchu's sequel to the much-loved The Library of the Dead.

Ropa thought her life would change forever after she discovered an underground occult library, in modern-day Edinburgh. But she's still unsuccessfully chasing a prized magical job with the city's secret societies, until her friend Priya offers her a job at Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments – a very specialised hospital. Here, a dangerous new illness is resisting both magical and medical remedies. If Ropa can solve this case, she might stand a chance of impressing her mentor, Sir Callander. 

Discover our pick of the best fantasy books of 2022.


Beautiful gift books

Red, White & Royal Blue

by Casey McQuiston

Book cover for Red, White & Royal Blue

A special Collector's Edition featuring illustrated endpapers, sprayed edges, an all new Henry-POV chapter, and more!

What happens when America's First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales? Alex Claremont-Diaz is handsome, charismatic, a genius – pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House ever since his mother first became President of the United States. But when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an altercation between Alex and Prince Henry, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse. Forced to stage a truce, what begins as a fake, Instagrammable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. 

Round About the Christmas Tree

by Becky Brown

Book cover for Round About the Christmas Tree

Struggling for gift ideas for a certain person on your list? This beautifully designed collection of Christmas stories is bound to appeal to any book lover. From Charles Dickens to Arthur Conan Doyle, there’s a Christmas story here for every reader. The perfect stocking filler.


For the historical fiction fan

The House of Fortune

by Jessie Burton

Book cover for The House of Fortune

A glorious, sweeping story of fate and ambition, secrets and dreams, and one young woman’s determination to rule her own destiny, The House of Fortune is the long-awaited sequel to Jessie Burton’s million-copy bestseller The Miniaturist.

Amsterdam, 1705. Thea Brandt is about to turn eighteen and she can't wait to become an adult. Walter, her true love, awaits Thea at the city's theatre. But at home on the Herengracht things are tense. Her father Otto and Aunt Nella bicker incessantly and are selling furniture so the family can eat. And, on her birthday, the day her mother Marin died, secrets from Thea's past threaten to eclipse the present.

Stone Blind

by Natalie Haynes

Book cover for Stone Blind

This retelling of the famed myth of Medusa asks who the real monsters are, after all. The sole mortal raised in a family of gods, Medusa is alone in her ability to experience change and to be hurt. Then, when the sea god Poseidon commits an unforgivable act in the temple of Athene, the goddess takes her revenge where she can – and she is changed forever. Writhing snakes replace her hair, and her gaze now turns any living creature to stone. Unable to control her new power, she is condemned to a life of shadows and darkness. Until Perseus embarks upon a quest . . .


The Four Winds

by Kristin Hannah

Book cover for The Four Winds

Texas, 1934. Elsa Martinelli finally has everything she had wished for – a family, a home and a livelihood on a farm on the Great Plains. But when drought threatens her family and community, Elsa must decide whether to stay and fight for the land she loves or flee to California in search of a better life. 

Hailing praise from Matt Haig and Delia Owens, author of Where the Crawdads Sing who called The Four Winds ‘powerful and compelling’, this is a must-read historical fiction book of the year. 

Haven

by Emma Donoghue

Book cover for Haven

What happens when you literally follow your dreams? In seventh-century Ireland, monks Trian and Cormac are led out to sea by Artt, a scholar and priest, told in a dream to leave the sinful world behind. Travelling into the Atlantic, they land at an isolated crag now known as Skellig Michael: remote, exposed, home to nothing but tens of thousands of birds. Intending to establish a monastery, they claim it for God. But can three men so detached from the rest of humanity, retain theirs? When you’re so far from others, is it possible to remain close to each other, and to God? What does survival really mean in a place like this?

Combines pressure-cooker intensity and radical isolation, to stunning effect.
Margaret Atwood

The Lamplighters

by Emma Stonex

Book cover for The Lamplighters

Cornwall, 1972. Three keepers vanish from a remote lighthouse, miles from the shore. The entrance door is locked from the inside. The clocks have stopped. The weather log describes a mighty storm, but the skies have been clear all week. Twenty years later, the women they left behind are still struggling to move on, but only in confronting their darkest fears can the truth begin to surface . . . Inspired by true events, The Lamplighters is an intoxicating mystery and an unforgettable story of love and grief.

An Ocean Apart

by Sarah Lee

Book cover for An Ocean Apart

Inspired by real-life stories of the Windrush Generation and the author's own mother’s experiences as a nurse coming to Britain from the Caribbean, Sarah Lee's moving debut is an unmissable read for historical fiction fans. In Barbados, 1954, Ruby Haynes first sees an advertisement to train as a nurse in Great Britain's new National Health Service. While her beloved sister Connie takes some convincing, they're soon on their way to a new country in search of new experiences. But when they arrive, they find that England isn't the promised land they'd been lead to believe.

A Thousand Ships

by Natalie Haynes

Book cover for A Thousand Ships

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2020, this remarkable take on the familiar Trojan tales places women, girls and goddesses at the very heart of the action, retelling the story of the Trojan War from a refreshingly all-female perspective. 

A Thousand Ships is a powerful story of powerful women, told with passion, wit, and fierce feminism.

Discover more historical fiction. 


For the one who loves to laugh

Theroux The Keyhole

by Louis Theroux

Book cover for Theroux The Keyhole

When Covid hit, Louis Theroux could no longer rely on escaping to his usual journalistic beat, interviewing oddballs and outcasts worldwide. His universe narrowed to an obsession with Joe Wicks' workouts and attempts to interact with his videogame-obsessed sons. Theroux's funny and heart-warming diary documents his attempts to readjust. It also tells how he launched the Grounded podcast as a response to long weeks of lockdown.

This is Going to Hurt

by Adam Kay

Book cover for This is Going to Hurt

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, comedian and former junior doctor Adam Kay’s This Is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking by turns, these diaries are everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn't – about life on and off the hospital ward. Now an award-winning multi-million copy bestseller, in 2022 This is Going to Hurt was adapted by the BBC into a TV series starring Ben Whishaw. 

Confessions of a Forty-Something F##k Up

by Alexandra Potter

Book cover for Confessions of a Forty-Something F##k Up

Life hasn't quite worked out for Nell. While all her friends seem to be living the Insta-perfect dream, Nell is feeling distinctly washed-up and lonesome. But then she starts a clandestine podcast and forges an unusual friendship with eighty-something widow Cricket, and things don't seem quite so bad. Laughs, a few tears, and a reminder that we are all in it together.

A Funny Life

by Michael McIntyre

Book cover for A Funny Life

Comic Michael McIntyre specialises in pin-sharp observational routines that have made him the world's bestselling funny man. But when he turns his gaze to himself and his own family, things get even funnier. This bracingly honest memoir covers the highs, lows and pratfalls of a career in comedy, as Michael climbs the greasy pole of success and desperately attempts to stay up there.


For the literature lover 

Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies

by Maddie Mortimer

Book cover for Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies

Something gleeful and malevolent is moving in Lia’s body. A shape-shifter. A disaster tourist. And it’s spreading. This dark kaleidoscope of a book renders the disorientation that comes with your mother dying, and of being that dying mother, with endless invention. It’s a moving, daring debut that forces us to stare death in the face and refuses to let us look away. 

To Paradise

by Hanya Yanagihara

Book cover for To Paradise

A number one Sunday Times bestseller and one of Barack Obama's Favourite Books of 2022, To Paradise is the eagerly awaited latest novel from author of modern-classic A Little Life, Haniya Yanagihara. Bold and brilliant, it spans three centuries and three different versions of the American experiment, and holds lovers, family, loss and the elusive promise of utopia at its heart. Following narratives set in 1893, 1993 and 2093, within an alternate America ,To Paradise is a page-turning and thought-provoking work of emotional genius. 

Shuggie Bain

by Douglas Stuart

Book cover for Shuggie Bain

Set in a poverty-stricken Glasgow in the early 1980s, Douglas Stuart’s blistering, Booker Prize-winning debut is a heartbreaking story which lays bare the ruthlessness of poverty and the limits of love. Agnes Bain has always dreamed of greater things, but when her husband abandons her she finds herself trapped in a decimated mining town with her three children, and descends deeper and deeper into drink. Her son Shuggie tries to help Agnes long after her other children have fled, but he too must abandon her to save himself. Shuggie is different, fastidious and fussy, and he is picked on by the local children and condemned by adults as ‘no’ right’. But he believes that if he tries his hardest he can be like other boys and escape this hopeless place.

Trust

by Hernan Diaz

Book cover for Trust

This literary puzzle set amongst the money and power brokers of 1930s New York asks where the truth of a person, and their story, really resides. A quartet of narratives sit in conversation with each other to slowly reveal the real woman behind the stories written about her, in this ambitious examination of manipulation, influence and wealth.

Young Mungo

by Douglas Stuart

Book cover for Young Mungo

The extraordinary, powerful second novel from the Booker prize-winning author of Shuggie BainYoung Mungo is both a vivid portrayal of working-class life and the deeply moving story of the dangerous first love of two young men: Mungo and James. Young Mungo is a gripping and revealing story about the meaning of masculinity, the push and pull of family, the violence faced by so many queer people, and the dangers of loving someone too much.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Book cover for Before the Coffee Gets Cold

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time. The journey into the past does not come without risks, however: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold.

This moving novel begins a series of three, and is followed by  Tales from the Cafe and Before Your Memory Fades.

Be inspired by the best literary fiction of 2022.


For the sports fan

Too Many Reasons to Live

by Rob Burrow

Book cover for Too Many Reasons to Live

The inspirational memoir from rugby league legend Rob Burrow on his extraordinary career and his battle with motor neurone disease.

This is the story of a tiny kid who adored rugby league but never should have made it  and ended up in the Leeds hall of fame. It's the story of a man who resolved to turn a terrible predicament into something positive  when he could have thrown the towel in. It's about the power of love, between Rob and his childhood sweetheart Lindsey; and of friendship, between Rob and his faithful team mates. Far more than a sports memoir, Too Many Reasons to Live is a story of boundless courage and infinite kindness.

You Can Do It

by Marcus Rashford

Book cover for You Can Do It

Just as Marcus uses the power of his voice to shine a light on the injustices that he cares passionately about, he wants to help kids find the power in theirs. From surrounding themselves with the right team, to showing kindness to others, to celebrating and championing difference,You Can Do It shows kids that their voice really does matter and that they can do anything they put their mind to. 

Packed with more inspiring stories from Marcus's own life, brilliant advice, and top tips from social justice educator Shannon Weber, this book will show kids how to use their voice and make a difference in this world.

Cheers, Geoff!

by Geoff Shreeves

Book cover for Cheers, Geoff!

Packed full of hilarious stories on and off the pitch – including trying to teach Sir Michael Caine how to act, a frightening encounter with Mike Tyson, as well as getting a lift home from the World Cup with Mick Jagger – Cheers, Geoff! is a must-read autobiography for any football fan. A natural storyteller, Geoff brings an astonishing catalogue of tales to life with his unique brand of experience, insight and humour.

The Inner Game of Tennis

by W Timothy Gallwey

Book cover for The Inner Game of Tennis

Recently named by Bill Gates as one of his 'all-time favourite books', and described by Billie Jean King as her 'tennis bible', this bestseller has been a must-read for tennis players of all abilities for nearly fifty years. Rather than concentrating on how to improve technique, Gallwey deals with the 'inner game' within ourselves as we try to overcome doubt and maintain clarity of mind when playing. 'It’s the best book on tennis that I have ever read,' says Gates, 'and its profound advice applies to many other parts of life.'

Groundbreaking . . . It’s the best book on tennis that I have ever read, and its profound advice applies to many other parts of life. I still give it to friends today.
Bill Gates

On Days Like These

by Martin O'Neill

Book cover for On Days Like These

With a career spanning over fifty years, Martin tells of his exhilarating highs and painful lows; from the joys of winning trophies, promotion and fighting for World Cups to being harangued by fans, boardroom drama, relegation scraps and being fired. Written with his trademark honesty and humour, On Days Like These is one of the most insightful and captivating sports autobiographies and a must-read for any fans of the beautiful game.

Looking for more gift ideas for the sports fan in your life? Don't miss the best sports books of all time. 


For the nature lover

The Wonderful World of James Herriot

by James Herriot

Book cover for The Wonderful World of James Herriot

The perfect gift for fans of All Creatures Great and Small, this is a charming collection of classic stories from James Herriot’s much-loved books with insights into his life and work from his children Rosie and Jim. At times moving and often laugh-out-loud funny, it will delight fans old and new.

Celebrating the Seasons with the Yorkshire Shepherdess

by Amanda Owen

Book cover for Celebrating the Seasons with the Yorkshire Shepherdess

Amanda Owen shares stories from Ravenseat in Swaledale, where she has nine children to raise as well as a herd of sheep. From summer haymaking to midwinter feeds, Amanda brings the landscape to life with lively prose and stunning photographs. Celebrating the Seasons includes recipes for seasonal cooking, so readers can enjoy a delicious taste of Swaledale alongside Amanda's riveting storytelling.

The Elephants of Thula Thula

by Françoise Malby-Anthony

Book cover for The Elephants of Thula Thula

Françoise Malby-Anthony is the owner of a game reserve in South Africa with a remarkable family of elephants whose adventures have touched hearts around the world. The herd’s feisty matriarch Frankie knows who’s in charge at Thula Thula, and it’s not Françoise. But when Frankie becomes ill, and the authorities threaten to remove or cull some of the herd if the reserve doesn’t expand, Françoise is in a race against time to save her beloved elephants.


For the poet

Advent Street

by Carol Ann Duffy

Book cover for Advent Street

In the enchanting pocket-sized festive poem, Carol Ann Duffy invites readers to open the windows on Advent Street. In each one is a gift. You may find yourself back-straight watching a ballerina, poised to begin, or catch your lips moving in time with a festive song that drifts out into the night. Whatever the surprise, when the curtains draw back and the lights sharpen, Duffy’s beguiling words paired with captivating illustrations from Yelena Bryksenkova, call you inside to feel the warmth.

Orlam

by PJ Harvey

Book cover for Orlam

Orlam reveals P J Harvey as not only one of the most talented songwriters of the age, but a gifted poet – whose formal skill, transforming eye and ear for the lyric line has produced a strange and moving poem like no other. 

A remarkable coming-of-age tale and the first full-length book written in the Dorset dialect for many decades, Orlam follows nine-year-old Ira who lives on a farm in the village of UNDERWHELM, next to the Gore Woods. The woods are a sanctuary for Ira, overseen by Orlam the all-seeing lamb’s eyeball – and Ira's guardian and protector.

Days Like These

by Brian Bilston

Book cover for Days Like These

Days Like These will take the blues out of Monday, flatten the Wednesday hump, and amplify that Friday feeling. In this playful, innovative collection, Brian Bilston writes a poem to accompany every day of the year. Each poem is inspired by a significant – often curious – event associated with that day: from Open an Umbrella Indoors Day to the day on which New York banned public flirting; from the launch of the Rubik’s Cube to the first appearance of the phrase, ‘the best thing since sliced bread’.

Poems for Christmas

by Gaby Morgan

Book cover for Poems for Christmas

Full of Christmas cheer, this beautiful volume brings together some of the world’s favourite festive poems in one beautiful volume, perfect for stockings or under the tree. In this Macmillan Collector’s Library edition, writers from William Shakespeare to Christina Rossetti are brought together to illuminate this most magical time of year.

Discover our favourite Christmas poems.


For the book lover

The Cat Who Saved Books

by Sosuke Natsukawa

Book cover for The Cat Who Saved Books

Rintaro Natsuki loved finding refuge in tiny secondhand Natsuki Books as an insular child. His grandfather's bookstore with its teetering volumes was a home from home. When his grandfather dies, Rintaro is in despair, thinking he must close the beloved shop. Then a talking tabby cat appears, and asks Rintaro for help. The two go on a book lovers mission to rescue abandoned books. But there is one last rescue that Rintaro must attempt on his own.


For the one already planning for 2023

The Greatest Self-Help Book (is the one written by you)

by Vex King

Book cover for The Greatest Self-Help Book (is the one written by you)

Prepare to go on a journey of self-exploration with the No.1 Sunday Times bestselling author of Good Vibes, Good Life and Healing is the New High, Vex King and social media star, Kaushal. Filled with exercises, activities and visual prompts, this journal will help you to understand and regulate your emotions, build and maintain routines and habits that work for you, shift negative mindsets and cultivate positive thought patterns, track personal growth, build self-awareness and carve out time to practise self-love and gratitude.

Thrifty Kitchen

by Jack Monroe

Book cover for Thrifty Kitchen

Number-one bestselling author and campaigner, Jack is the UK’s well-loved expert on budget cooking. Through the gorgeous recipes and straightforward advice in Thrifty Kitchen, she proves that you don’t need to sacrifice on flavour or settle for lacklustre meals when you’re spending less. Featuring everything from warming curries and a hearty pie to tasty sauces and indulgent puds, this must-have cookbook shows how easy it can be to turn basic ingredients into nourishing, mouth-watering meals that you and your wallet will love.

Jack Monroe is a force for good in the world.
Nigella Lawson

Pinch of Nom: Enjoy

by Kay Allinson

Book cover for Pinch of Nom: Enjoy

Number-one bestselling authors Kate and Kay are back with an irresistible collection of recipes that everyone will enjoy. From all-day breakfasts to cheeky fakeaways and one-pan meals to scrumptious desserts, these crowd-pleasers are so satisfying and delicious that you’d never guess they are also slimming-friendly.

Kurashi at Home

by Marie Kondo

Book cover for Kurashi at Home

Create an oasis of calm and find what sparks your joy with the first full-colour, beautifully photographed guide from Marie Kondo. Over a decade on from the launch of her bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo is back with new wisdom on how to transform your life and home into spaces of calm. This guide introduces the concept of kurashi – meaning way of life – and encourages readers to spend every day in the pursuit of joy, moving her focus from the physical act of tidying towards an even more holistic and personal approach to curating our environments.

The Marcus Rashford You Are a Champion Action Planner

by Marcus Rashford

Book cover for The Marcus Rashford You Are a Champion Action Planner

Marcus has inspired millions of children around the world in his empowering and bestselling guide for life, You Are a Champion – now, he's created a fun and engaging action planner packed with positive activities, brilliant advice and inspiring challenges that will help you reach your full potential.

DIY with Jay

by Jay Blades

Book cover for DIY with Jay

Even if you've never put up a shelf, repainted a room or fixed a dripping tap, you'll soon have the confidence and skills to tackle these DIY jobs and many more with Jay's help! With tales of his own do-it-yourself escapades and plenty of inspiration from his favourite home fixes, this accessible and entertaining guide will give you all the knowledge you need to choose the right wall plugs, revamp those old dining chairs and give your bathroom a whole new lease of life without breaking the bank.


Books to curl up under the Christmas tree with

The Christmas Postcards

by Karen Swan

Book cover for The Christmas Postcards

Natasha and her husband Rob's make or break holiday takes a turn for the worse after their daughter's beloved soft toy disappears on their journey home. After looking to social media for help, Natasha discovers Duffy who's adopted the toy as his lucky mascot as he treks across Nepal. The pair begin a correspondence that soon becomes meaningful to them both, until one day Duffy heads deeper into the mountains and the messages stop. Spanning the snowy Cotswolds to the majesty of the Himalayan foothills, The Christmas Postcards is the perfect cosy festive romance.

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

by Jenny Bayliss

Book cover for Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

In Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, Jenny Bayliss, author of The Twelve Dates of Christmas, brings us a festive romantic comedy. As the only single person at a school friend's lavish wedding, Nory seeks a moment of peace. But, this is soon interrupted as she encounters Isaac – the castle's gardener and her former school rival. Soon, an astonishing secret about Isaac's past unravels and Nory finds herself in a unique position to help right this wrong . . . 

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas

by Adam Kay

Book cover for Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas

Junior doctor turned comedian Adam Kay returns to the hospital wards he first introduced us to in This is Going to Hurt, but this time it’s the night before Christmas and the halls are full. Adam brings his own blend of sensitive humour to the incredible work of dedicated NHS staff on one of the busiest nights of the year.

Read the true stories of NHS staff at Christmas. ​

The Winter Children

by Lulu Taylor

Book cover for The Winter Children

After years of IVF, Olivia and Dan’s beloved twins are born. Overjoyed, the young family move to Renninston Hall, a huge Elizabethan house belonging to absent friends, and it would seem that Olivia and Dan are set to have a picture-perfect winter. But as they begin to enjoy the life they've always dreamed of, a secret at the heart of their family begins to unravel – one that Olivia does not yet know. And the house, too, holds dark secrets within . . . 


For the historian

The Ship Beneath the Ice

by Mensun Bound

Book cover for The Ship Beneath the Ice

On 21 November 1915, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, Endurance, sank beneath the ice of the most hostile sea on Earth. While the miraculous survival of all those on board has entered legend, the iconic ship that bore them to the brink of the Antarctic was considered forever lost . . . until March 2022.

Including countless fascinating stories of Shackleton and his ship, photographs from Shackleton's original voyage and from the legendary recovery expedition itself; in The Ship beneath the Ice, the Director of Exploration tells the story of the monumental discovery in his own words.

The Fall of Boris Johnson

by Sebastian Payne

Book cover for The Fall of Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson was touted as the saviour of the country and the Conservative Party, obtaining a huge commons majority and finally getting Brexit done. But within three short years, he was deposed in disgrace, leaving the country in crisis. Sebastian Payne, Whitehall Editor for the Financial Times, tells the essential behind-the-scenes story, charting the betrayals, rivalries and resignations that resulted in the dramatic Conservative coup and set in motion events that saw the party sink to catastrophic new lows.

Warrior Queens & Quiet Revolutionaries

by Kate Mosse

Book cover for Warrior Queens & Quiet Revolutionaries

Warrior Queens & Quiet Revolutionaries is a celebration of unheard and under-heard women’s history. Within these pages you’ll meet nearly 1000 women whose names deserve to be better known: from the Mothers of Invention and the trailblazing women at the Bar; warrior queens and pirate commanders; the women who dedicated their lives to the natural world or to medicine; those women of courage who resisted and fought for what they believed; to the unsung heroes of stage, screen and stadium. Joyous, celebratory and engaging, this is a book for everyone who has ever wondered how history is made.


Biographies and autobiographies they won’t be able to put down

Queen of Our Times

by Robert Hardman

Book cover for Queen of Our Times

This is the definitive biography of Queen Elizabeth II by one of Britain’s leading royal authorities. With original insights from those who knew her best, interviews with world leaders and access to unseen papers, bestselling author Robert Hardman explores the full, astonishing life of our longest reigning monarch in this compellingly authoritative yet intimate biography.

A Fortunate Woman

by Polly Morland

Book cover for A Fortunate Woman

Funny, emotional and imbued with great depth, A Fortunate Woman is an exploration of the life of a country doctor in a remote and wild wooded valley in the Forest of Dean. The story was sparked when writer and documentary maker Polly Morland found a photograph of the valley she lives in tucked inside a tattered copy of John Berger’s A Fortunate Man. Itself an account of the life of a country doctor, the book inspired a woman doctor to follow her vocation in the same remote place. And it is the story of this woman that Polly Morland tells, in this compelling portrait of landscape and community.

The Reluctant Carer

by The Reluctant Carer

Book cover for The Reluctant Carer

The phone rings. Your elderly father has been taken to hospital, and your even older mother is home with nobody to look after her. What do you do? Drop everything and go and help of course. But it's not that straightforward, and your own life starts to fall apart as quickly as their health. This funny, deeply honest and moving book is a love letter to family, to all carers, and to anyone who has packed a bag to help out for a few days and found they are back to stay. 

Brown Baby

by Nikesh Shukla

Book cover for Brown Baby

In Brown Baby, Nikesh Shukla, author of the bestselling The Good Immigrant, explores themes of racism, feminism, parenting and our shifting ideas of home. This memoir, by turns heartwrenching, hilariously funny and intensely relatable, is dedicated to the author’s two young daughters, and serves as an act of remembrance to the grandmother they never had a chance to meet. Through love, grief, food and fatherhood, Shukla shows how it’s possible to believe in hope.

The Accidental Duchess

by Emma Manners, Duchess of Rutland

Book cover for The Accidental Duchess

Life in a castle isn’t always a fairytale, as the Duchess of Rutland vividly illustrates in her fascinating, revealing and funny autobiography. Vividly written and bursting with insights, The Accidental Duchess will appeal to everyone who has visited a stately home and wondered what it would be like to one day find yourself not only living there, but in charge of its future.


Fascinating non-fiction

Every Good Boy Does Fine

by Jeremy Denk

Book cover for Every Good Boy Does Fine

A New York Times bestseller, this uniquely illuminating memoir is the story of the making of a musician, in which renowned pianist Jeremy Denk explores what he learned from his teachers about classical music: its forms, its power, its meaning - and what it can teach us about ourselves.

The Colour of Madness

by Samara Linton

Book cover for The Colour of Madness

The Colour of Madness brings together memoirs, essays, poetry, short fiction and artworks by people of colour who have experienced difficulties with mental health. From experiencing micro-aggressions to bias, and stigma to religious and cultural issues, people of colour have to fight harder than others to be heard and helped. Statistics show that people from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds in the UK experience poor mental health treatment in comparison to their white counterparts, and are more likely to be held under the Mental Health Act. 

Nothing But The Truth

by The Secret Barrister

Book cover for Nothing But The Truth

How do you become a barrister? Why do only 1 per cent of those who study law succeed in joining this mysterious profession? And why might a practising barrister come to feel the need to reveal the lies, secrets, failures and crises at the heart of this world of wigs and gowns?

Full of hilarious, shocking and surprising stories, Nothing But The Truth tracks the Secret Barrister’s transformation from hang ‘em and flog ‘em, austerity-supporting twenty-something to campaigning, bestselling, reforming author whose writing in defence of the law is celebrated around the globe.

Black Voices on Britain

by Hakim Adi

Book cover for Black Voices on Britain

In this compelling anthology, Professor Hakim Adi collates published works by Black voices who lived, worked, campaigned and travelled in Britain from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century. Hailing from England, America, Africa and the Caribbean, these authors each describe powerful experiences and offer a fascinating and thought-provoking portrayal of Black experiences in Britain.

A Brief History of Black Holes

by Dr Becky Smethurst

Book cover for A Brief History of Black Holes

Right now, you are orbiting a black hole. The Earth goes around the Sun, and the Sun goes around the centre of the Milky Way: a supermassive black hole – the strangest and most misunderstood phenomenon in the galaxy. 

In A Brief History of Black Holes University of Oxford astrophysicist, Dr Becky Smethurst shares why black holes aren’t really ‘black’, that you never ever want to be ‘spaghettified’, and why beyond the event horizon, the future is a direction in space rather than in time. Full of wit and learning, this captivating book explains why black holes contain the secrets to the most profound questions about our universe.

In Defence of Witches

by Mona Chollet

Book cover for In Defence of Witches

Who is a witch? In Defence of Witches recasts the term 'witch' into a powerful role model to women today, as an emblem of power free to exist beyond the narrow limits society imposes on women. 

Witches are everywhere, whether they are casting spells on Donald Trump or posting photos of their crystal-adorned altar on Instagram. But who were the predecessors of these modern witches? Historically accused of witchcraft, often meeting violent ends, many types of women have been censored, eliminated, repressed, over the centuries. Mona Chollet shows that by considering the lives of those who dared to live differently, we can learn more about the richness of roles available, just how many different things a woman can choose to be.

Discover the best non-fiction books of 2022.



For even more gift ideas, don't miss this episode of Book Break: