For the crime and thriller fan
The third book in the Atlee Pine series from bestselling thriller writer David Baldacci sees Atlee teaming up with her old friend, military investigator John Puller. As they work together to investigate Ito Vincenzo, the man responsible for kidnapping Atlee’s sister, they uncover the lies and deceit that strike at the very heart of democracy. And the truth of what happened to Atlee’s sister will shock her to her core.
Discover all of David Baldacci's books in order.
This nerve-shredding standalone thriller book is a must-read for fans of Peter James. Marcus Valentine seems like he has it all. He’s a suave, charming and confident doctor with a happy family. But something, or someone, has always been missing. Then one day, he narrowly misses hitting a jogger with his car. As she runs off, he’s sure that she’s a girl from his past. A girl he’s never been able to forget. As he is consumed by his obsession with her, events take a tragic turn.
For more inspiration, don't miss our edit of the best crime books and the best thriller books.
For the sci-fi buff
This 42nd anniversary paperback omnibus of Douglas Adams's much-loved trilogy in five parts will take pride of place on any sci-fi fan's shelf. Along with the five books which chart Arthur Dent's odyssey through space and time, there are introductions to each book, expanded material from the Douglas Adams archives plus a bonus short story, 'Young Zaphod Plays It Safe,' and a special undeleted scene . . .
This standalone sci-fi adventure from Adrian Tchaikovsky is a gift book science fiction fans are sure to love. Following an attack on a government physicist and rumours of monsters and missing people, the British security forces are sent to investigate. When they discover that there are cracks between our world and countless others it shatters everything they previously thought about the universe.
To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, follows xenobiologist Kira Navárez as she discovers an alien relic that thrusts her into the wonders and nightmares of first contact. Epic space battles for the fate of humanity ensue, taking her to the farthest reaches of the galaxy and, in the process, transform not only her – but the entire course of history. This is the perfect gift book for any sci-fi fan's book shelf. Read Christopher Paolini on why he was inspired to write about first contact.
Discover our pick of the best sci-fi books of 2020.
For the fantasy lover
Give the gift of a magical Christmas with the seventh book in Genevieve Cogman's Invisible Library series. It's hard to have a relaxing weekend when you're a Librarian spy, and despite her best hopes, Irene's trip to Guernsey is nothing of the sort. Instead of retrieving a rare book, she's almost assassinated . . . When the attacks continue in London, it's clear someone is trying to destroy the Fae-dragon peace treaty. Irene and her friends know they must save the treaty, but when an old enemy demands vengeance and a shocking secret is revealed, can Irene really succeed?
Discover more about The Invisible Library series.
was one of the most talked-about fantasy books of 2018, and at last Children of Blood and Bone Tomi Adeyemi is back with this thrilling sequel. After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji but also some nobles with magic ancestry. With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must find a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart. Children of Virtue and Vengeance is one of the best fantasy books of 2020 for young adult readers.
Imagine 19th century Britain but with sorcerers and fairies. This magical novel combines intricate world-building, fascinating characters and stunning prose. It’s set in the same world as Zen Cho’s
Sorcerer to the Crown, and readers of her previous work will enjoy this new instalment, while new readers will find it the perfect entry point into Zen’s fantastical writing.
Discover the best fantasy books of 2020.
Beautiful gift books
In her childhood, Danielle began collecting quotations that to her, carried a special meaning. This habit has stayed with her ever since. In
Expect a Miracle, Danielle has compiled some of her favourite quotations, proverbs and sayings to live and love by. These are words to comfort, move, and inspire you, and to make you laugh.
Danielle said of the book: 'The quotes in it have served me well all my life, my hope is they will do the same for you. I hope you'll keep the book close at hand, on your desk, in a drawer, where you can reach for it on a hard day. It's an antidote to discouragement, sad days and fear. It means the world to me to be able to share these quotes with you, for yourself, or to give as a gift to someone you love.'
Expect a Miracle is the perfect road map to help you navigate life with grace, courage and humour.
This beautiful Macmillan Collector’s Library edition is a thoughtful gift book to give to a treasured friend. It is an inspiring collection filled with writing which celebrates and explores all aspects of friendship, from writers including Michel de Montaigne, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Jane Austen.
This beautiful gift book takes you on a journey through classic writing which shows how the simple act of walking goes to the heart of life itself. In
The Joy of Walking you’ll find a wealth of essays, poetry and fiction celebrating and exploring the joy of walking, from E. M. Forster, William Wordsworth and Walt Whitman among many others.
A gift book for the foodie in your life,
Food for Thought is a delicious collection of writing about food. Brimming with satire on Victorian etiquette, intriguing recipes through the centuries and culinary advice from cooks and hosts, there is so much here to enjoy.
Dog lovers will be delighted to find this gift book in their stockings this Christmas. This entertaining collection dedicated to man’s best friend features stories from our most accomplished writers, including Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf, Jack London and Jerome K. Jerome.
This stunning gift book will be loved by fans of our feline friends. Here there are fairy tales and fables, comic stories and spooky tales, all of which celebrate cats and their curious ways.
For the historical fiction fan
It is the end of the Dark Ages and England is facing attack from both the Welsh and the Vikings. This is a harsh world, full of chaos and bloodshed, and the King has only a fragile grip on his country.
As the Middle Ages dawn, three very different characters will face a ruthless bishop who is desperate to increase his wealth and power. A young boatbuilder dreams of a better life for him and the woman he loves. A Norman noblewoman follows her husband across the sea to a shocking new world. A capable monk dreams of turning his humble abbey into a centre of learning admired across Europe.
This epic tale of ambition and rivalry is the prequel to Ken Follett's international bestseller
The Pillars of the Earth.
Well-loved detective/lawyer Matthew Shardlake is back in C. J. Samson’s latest Tudor mystery novel. Shardlake investigates the death of Edith Boleyn in the court of Henry the VIII in this detailed depiction of 16th century court intrigue and political uprisings.
Discover the true historical events that inspired Tombland.
Discover more historical fiction.
For the music lover
Elton John is the most enduringly successful singer/songwriter of all time, and his only official autobiography,
Me, is just as funny, scandalous, dramatic and packed with rock ‘n’ roll anecdotes as you would hope. Me is a gloriously candid and powerfully moving memoir by a living legend, documenting his childhood in Pinner and the years spent struggling to find success, to selling out stadiums as a chart-topping superstar while his drug addiction spiralled out of control. This is a gift book that will be treasured by Elton fans.
Discover seven amazing things you didn’t know about Elton John. Read Elton John on life, fate and embracing your bad side.
In this memoir, global icon Mariah Carey finally tells the unfiltered story of her life. This moving portrait of an extraordinary life is not to be missed. The Guardian called it ‘a carefully pieced together self-portrait of one of this generation’s most fascinatingly idiosyncratic, frequently misunderstood artists.’
For the one who loves to laugh
For the literature lover
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.
The highly anticipated third novel from million-copy bestselling author Jessie Burton is a powerful and deeply moving story about secrets, motherhood and friendship. In 1980 Elise meets Constance, a successful writer, and quickly falls under her spell, moving to LA to be with her. Three decades later, Rose Simmons is looking for answers about her mother, who disappeared after she was born. When she learns that reclusive novelist Constance Holden was the last person to see her mother alive, she is drawn to her door in search of a confession . . .
Read Lucy Scholes on The Confession and portrayals of motherhood in literature.
This is another beautiful, simple tale about the time-travelling customers of the Cafe Funiculi Funicula from the author of
Before the Coffee Gets Cold. Customers include a man who travels to see the girl he couldn’t marry, a son who had to miss his mother’s funeral and a man who travels back to see his friend who died twenty-two years ago.
Be inspired by the best literary fiction of 2020.
For the sports fan
Johnny Herbert and Damon Hill have competed in 261 Grand Prix between them, with twenty-five wins, forty-nine podium finishes, one World Championship, 458 championship points and a Le Mans win. Since retiring from the sport they have earned cult status as commentators and pundits.
Lights Out, Full Throttle is a tour through the world of Formula One – the oily rag for the petrolhead fan to inhale while waiting for the racers to line up on the grid.
Eddie Jones is one of the most recognisable names in rugby today. Here he takes the reader through his own life story, from a working-class childhood in Sydney to reinventing the English National Rugby Team in 2015. Any sports fan will be captivated by this account of Eddie’s journey through the world of rugby coaching from the man himself.
Read all about Eddie Jones’s rugby career highlights.
English football was well and truly shaken up when Jürgen Klopp was appointed manager of Liverpool F.C. in 2015. Bringing his own unique style of charisma to the beautiful game, watching Klopp manage on the side of the pitch has sometimes been more entertaining than watching what’s happening on it!
The Little Red Book of Klopp is packed full of his best witticisms, one-liners, and insults, making it the perfect stocking-filler for football fans and admirers of the game’s most eccentric manager.
Looking for more gift ideas for the sports fan in your life? Don't miss the best sports books of all time.
For the poet
Carol Ann Duffy’s collection of Christmas poems grows taller every year and she hasn’t let us down this time around. You may even already know someone who collects these beautifully illustrated narrative poems. Whether you give one or ten, these books make the perfect seasonal present for any poetry lover.
Discover all Carol Ann Duffy’s Christmas poems.
This beautiful collection is full of verses that will transport you to sparkling winter scenes, with poems for Christmas, New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day. The poems are selected from Allie Esiri’s bestselling poetry anthologies
A Poem for Every Day of the Year and A Poem for Every Night of the Year, including poems by Mary Oliver, Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Hardy, E. E. Cummings, Robert Burns, Joseph Coelho, George the Poet, Benjamin Zephaniah and Jackie Kay.
For the book lover
Cathy Rentzenbrink has always been a reader, from a childhood spent with a nose in a book to taking comfort in reading in times of tragedy. Her love of reading led her first to a career as a bookseller and then as a writer, and no matter what the future holds, reading will always help. This moving and joyful exploration of the impact books can have on our lives is packed with recommendations from one reader to another.
This enchanting story of a young woman finding her purpose in life is guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face. Juliette takes the métro every day to her boring office job, and her only escape is in books. One day, she meets the mysterious Soliman, who believes that books have the power to change the course of a life. He offers Juliette a job, to match books to the people who need them most. Leaving her old life behind, Juliette is about to discover the true power a book can hold . . .
For the one on a health-kick
Joe Wicks has helped millions of people keep fit and eat healthily. His 30 Day Kick Start Plan makes it easier than ever before to make healthy food, lose weight and get more active. The book features one hundred delicious, healthy recipes and six HIIT workouts to help you get in shape, but is also full of motivational tips and practical advice to help you transform your life for good. This is the perfect gift book for anyone who struggles with motivation and is looking for a book that focuses on the mental health benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Each and every hassle-free, delicious recipe in
Pinch of Nom Everyday Light is under 400 calories, and nearly half are vegetarian. From proper breakfasts to quick midweek meals and Friday night fakeaways, every recipe has been tried and tested by twenty Pinch of Nom community members.
Books to curl up under the Christmas tree with
A festive novel full of Karen Swan's trademark twists & turns,
Together by Christmas is a moving Amsterdam-set Christmas story about new beginnings, and what happens when a past you thought you'd left behind reappears in your life.
When Coco Martin suddenly loses her beloved and wealthy parents, her charmed and privileged life is shattered. Now, in her early twenties and heir to a considerable fortune, she must make her way in a world that no longer makes sense. She begins a new life in London, falling in love with a handsome but penniless aristocrat who introduces her to a glamorous world of parties and extravagance. Coco thinks she's finally found happiness but is this glittering new world blinding her to the way things really are?
The perfect gift book for Lucinda Riley fans,
The Sun Sister is the sixth book in the Seven Sisters series. Supermodel Electra D’Aplièse appears to have everything; she is beautiful, rich and famous. The death of her adoptive father, Pa Salt, has rocked her fragile state of mind, and she turns to alcohol and drugs. As those close to her worry for her health, she receives a mysterious letter from a woman who claims to be her grandmother.
As Electra learns about her family history set in the wide-open plains of Kenya, she battles her inner demons and discovers a cause bigger than herself that is truly worth fighting for . . .
Full of wit and warmth, Joanna Trollope’s
Mum & Dad explores the issues at the heart of the modern family. Twenty-five years ago, Monica and Gus left England to follow their dream of running a vineyard in Spain. Then Gus suffers a stroke and their perfect life is thrown into upheaval. Their three grown-up children in London need to step in to lend a hand, but Sebastian, Katie and Jake have complicated lives of their own . . .
For the historian
The golden age of Egyptology was undoubtedly the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a time of scholarship and adventure which began with Champollion's decipherment of hieroglyphics in 1822 and ended with the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon a hundred years later. In
A World Beneath the Sands, the acclaimed Toby Wilkinson tells the riveting stories of the men and women whose obsession with Egypt's ancient civilisation drove them to uncover its secrets. A gift book which would be welcomed by any budding Egyptologist.
When three world leaders, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin, met in Yalta, their discussions over the course of eight days would decide the course of not only the final days of WWII but what the world would look like in its aftermath. Preston’s book provides insight into the minds of three men who each saw an opportunity for a new world, and is a must-read for any and all history buffs.
Read Diana Preston on how Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin shaped the post-war world.
For history lovers and Christmas lovers alike,
Christmas: A History is a wonderful exploration of the myths, legends and traditions of the festive season. Why is turkey the dinner of choice? Exactly who was, or is, Santa Claus? Acclaimed social historian and author Judith Flanders answers these questions and many more as she gives us an insight into Christmas, from the origins of the holiday in the Roman Empire, to the popularity of decorated trees in Europe.
For the politico
Promise Me, Dad was in fact published in 2018, Joe Biden’s international #1 bestselling memoir is certainly a must-read in 2020.
For four, seemingly endless days, Joe Biden and Donald Trump’s race to the American presidency teetered on a razor’s edge while votes in so-called ‘battleground states’ were counted. With America’s fate hanging in the balance, the rest of the world stood as a captive audience until 7 November, when Joe Biden was announced as president-elect and Kamala Harris made history as the first woman of colour to be elected as US vice-president.
After four years of turmoil on America’s political stage, 7 November 2020 marked the turning point that so many had hoped for.
In a book that
The New York Times described as ‘honest, raw and rich in detail’, Biden tells the story of the twelve months that followed his son Beau’s diagnosis with a malignant brain tumour. As Biden travelled the world tackling crises in Ukraine, Central America and Iraq, Beau fought for and ultimately lost his life at the age of 46. Before he passed, Beau had said to his father 'Promise me, Dad. Give me your word that no matter what happens, you’re going to be all right.' Promise Me, Dad is a story of the endless ability of family and friendships to sustain us, and the power of hope in guiding us through loss and ultimately toward the light of new beginnings.
Edward Snowden brings us a first-hand account of one of the biggest political exposés to hit the US in recent years. Edward risked everything to reveal confidential information about the US government’s mass surveillance system he discovered during his time in the employ of the CIA. The book spans his life from a suburban childhood to life in exile, revealing how Edward helped build the system, and why he felt he had no choice but to expose it.
Read more about Edward Snowden’s memoir Permanent Record.
Biographies and autobiographies they won’t be able to put down
This heartbreaking yet hopeful memoir shows us how happiness can be found even in the darkest of times. In November 1938, Eddie Jaku was beaten, arrested and taken to a German concentration camp. He endured unimaginable horrors for the next seven years and lost family, friends and his country. But he survived. And because he survived, he vowed to smile every day. He now believes he is the ‘happiest man on earth’. This is his story.
This fantastically entertaining memoir is an enjoyable romp through an extraordinary career. From the moment David Bailey burst onto the scene in 1960 with his revolutionary photographs for Vogue, he was a true icon in the making. In
Look Again Bailey looks back on an outrageously eventful life, telling all about his East End childhood, celebrity friendships and love life.
This funny, wry and moving memoir is a joy to read, both for lifelong fans of John Cooper Clarke and for a whole new generation. From his childhood in Salford to touring the world, his struggles with addiction and his rediscovery by artists from Arctic Monkeys to Plan B, John tells his story in his unmistakable way, his own brand of slightly twisted humour never far from the surface.
This is the true story of a nurse’s life on the frontline of the Covid-19 crisis. Louise Curtis loves her challenging role as a nurse in a busy A&E department. She was newly qualified as a clinical practitioner when the unthinkable happened – the country was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. In this moving and inspiring non-fiction book Louise describes what happened next, as A&E staff were faced with both a flood of Covid-19 patients and the effects of lockdown on society. This heartbreaking yet heartwarming book shines a light on the dedication of NHS staff during this unprecedented time.
Gabriel Byrne’s stunningly evocative memoir takes the reader from his childhood growing up on the outskirts of Dublin to years of stardom in Hollywood and Broadway, via his years in an English seminary, odd jobs in Dublin and his battles with addiction. Walking With Ghosts is a lyrical homage to the people and landscapes that ultimately shape our destinies.
Humans is a beautiful gift book for fans of Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York – or indeed for anyone interested in the experiences of people around the world. This moving and compelling book is full of hundreds of photos and stories from people Brandon has met around the world, as well as several of the essays Brandon has posted online.
This timely non-fiction book on race and racism from the host of the viral video series
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man is an essential guide to systemic racism and how to address it. Emmanuel Acho takes on all the questions, large and small, insensitive and taboo, many white people are afraid to ask – yet which everyone needs the answers to, now more than ever.
In his award-winning book
Black and British, historian and broadcaster David Olusoga examines how black and white Britons have been intimately entwined for centuries. Drawing on new genetic and genealogical research, original records, expert testimony and contemporary interviews, in Black and British shows how black British history is woven into the cultural and economic histories of the nation.
The epidemic of fake news continues, with amateurs spreading ‘fake law’ through our media. Enter the Secret Barrister, to make sure readers are informed on how the British legal system really works. Revealing the truth behind many of the biggest legal stories of recent years, the Secret Barrister debunks the lies and shows us how the law touches every area of our lives.
In a project now known as the Knepp Experiment, Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell gave nature free rein and stepped back to let it take its course, whilst introducing free-roaming animals including cattle, ponies, pigs and deer. Their land is now a home to rare species such as turtle doves and purple emperor butterflies, and is a buzzing, joyful ecosystem. This book is a transformative tale of hope, determination and the magical strengthening power of nature.
Discover the best non-fiction books of 2020.
For the one who just really loves 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.
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 even more gift ideas, don't miss this episode of Book Break: The Book Break Christmas Gift Guide 2019 | #BookBreak