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Christmas Gift Guide

Fill your home with happy readers this Christmas . . .

We’ve selected the best books of the year, from critically acclaimed novels and the finest poetry, to gifts for adventurers and fierce feminists.

For the adventurers in your life, we recommend The Madonna of the Mountains, set in Northern Italy, and Craig Thompson’s graphic travel memoir Carnet de Voyage. David Peace returns to Japan in Patient X and Peter Carey explores Australian car races in A Long Way from Home.


From a look into the life of owls and cows, to exploring how birds get their names, these books would be perfect gifts for any budding naturalist: The Secret Lives of Cows, Owl Sense and Mrs Moreau’s Warbler. Plus, the long-awaited canine companion to Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats: Old Toffer’s Book of Consequential Dogs.


Beautiful books make the most special gifts: Kudos is the final book in Rachel Cusk’s Faye trilogy, Barbara Kingsolver’s Unsheltered features stunning sprayed and pattered edges, the Faber Poetry Diary is covered in Liberty’s Peacock Parade fabric and Mothers is a striking short story collection from Chris Power.


This year’s best fiction includes Sally Rooney’s Costa-shortlisted Normal People, Prix Goncourt winner Lullaby, Kate Kilalea’s debut novel OK, Mr Field and Man Booker winner Milkman.


Fierce Feminists would love What Would Boudicca Do?, life lessons from history’s most remarkable women, Who is Mary Sue?, a blistering debut poetry collection from Sophie Collins, Leila, set in future New Delhi and recommended by Margaret Atwood and Emma Brockes’ journey to motherhood An Excellent Choice.


For the kids there’s Once Upon a Snowstorm – perfect for Christmas Eve; Emma Carroll’s tale of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1920’s Egypt in Secrets of a Sun King; illustrated true stories of wartime animals in Heroes; and Matt Millz Stands Up! for any budding comedians from Harry Hill himself!


There’s a wide array of books for music lovers: How to Be Invisible, a collection of Kate Bush’s lyrics, is the ultimate gift for her fans; a monumental biography of Schumann; the ultimate coffee table book for Beastie Boys fanatics; and Viv Albertine’s heart-wrenching memoir To Throw Away Unopened.


If *the* biography of Nietzsche I Am Dynamite! does not satisfy, you could consider The Happy Brain, Walls and The Immeasurable World.


Fans of Sylvia Plath and Seamus Heaney have something to look forward to, or discover the Costa-shortlisted debut collections from Richard Scott and Hannah Sullivan.


Political reads include an investigation into Collusion between Trump and Russia, a satirical look at Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn and a not so fictional dystopian novel from Sam Byers.


Activities and amusement for the festive season come in the form of Puzzle Ninja, The Pebbles on the Beach, Wasted Calories and Ruined Nights and 2,024 QI Facts to stop you in your tracks!


As seen on stage and screen: BBC One’s The Cry starring Jenna Coleman, BAFTA-nominated The End of the F***ing World, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers starring Cillan Murphy, and soon-to-be Royal Opera House production, Francesca Simon’s The Monstrous Child.


Waterstones Thriller of the Month Sunburn would be perfect for fans of crime, as would I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, the true crime account for the Golden State Killer; Peter Swanson’s All the Beautiful Lies, and classic murder mystery Sleep No More.

With something for everyone, there’s plenty for you to choose from to fill your homes with happy readers this Christmas.

Images taken from Old Toffer’s Book of Consequential Dogs by Christopher Reid, illustrated by Elliot Elam.