I was lucky enough to get a lot of books for Christmas this year and I can’t wait to read them. Have you read any of them yet?
A Slow Burning Fire by Paula Hawkins
Laura has spent most of her life being judged. She’s seen as hot-tempered, troubled, a loner. Some even call her dangerous.
Miriam knows that just because Laura is witnessed leaving the scene of a horrific murder with blood on her clothes, that doesn’t mean she’s a killer. Bitter experience has taught her how easy it is to get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Carla is reeling from the brutal murder of her nephew. She trusts no one: good people are capable of terrible deeds. But how far will she go to find peace?
Innocent or guilty, everyone is damaged. Some are damaged enough to kill.
Look what you started.
Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
When you leave Ireland aged 22 to spend your parents’ money, it’s called a gap year. When Ava leaves Ireland aged 22 to make her own money, she’s not sure what to call it, but it involves:
– a badly-paid job in Hong Kong, teaching English grammar to rich children;
– Julian, who likes to spend money on Ava and lets her move into his guest room;
– Edith, who Ava meets while Julian is out of town and actually listens to her when she talks;
– money, love, cynicism, unspoken feelings and unlikely connections.
Exciting times ensue.
Gifts by Laura Barnett
A novel in stories about how wonderful and sad and difficult and happy and strange Christmas can be. Stories to inspire, move and comfort.
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalia Harris
Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and the micro-aggressions, she’s thrilled when Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events cause Nella to become Public Enemy Number One and Hazel, the Office Darling.
Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.
It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realises that there is a lot more at stake than her career.
Billy Summers by Stephen King
Billy Summers is a man in a room with a gun. He’s a killer for hire and the best in the business. But he’ll do the job only if the target is a truly bad guy. And now Billy wants out. But first there is one last hit. Billy is among the best snipers in the world, a decorated Iraq war vet, a Houdini when it comes to vanishing after the job is done. So what could possibly go wrong?
The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas
Catalina Martín desperately needs a date to her sister’s wedding. Especially when her little white lie about her American boyfriend has spiralled out of control. Now everyone she knows – including her ex-boyfriend and his fiancée – will be there.
She only has four weeks to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic for her and aid in her deception. NYC to Spain is no short flight and her family won’t be easy to fool. . . But even then, when Aaron Blackford – the 6’4″, blue-eyed pain in the arse – offers to step in, she’s not tempted even for a second. Never has there been a more aggravating, blood-boiling and insufferable man.
But Catalina is desperate and as the wedding gets closer the more desirable an option Aaron Blackford becomes. . .
Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey
Nothing will stop Madeline Moore from taking over her family’s independent bookstore after college. Nothing, that is—until a chain bookstore called Prologue opens across the street and threatens to shut them down.
Madeline sets out to demolish the competition, but the guy who works over at Prologue seems intent on ruining her life. Not only is he taking her customers, he has the unbelievable audacity to be… extremely cute.
But that doesn’t matter. Jasper is the enemy and he will be destroyed. After all—all’s fair in love and (book) war.
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
It’s the most wonderful time of the year . . . but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.
But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favourite place in the world – the snowy cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born. Mentally melting down as she drives away for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.
The next thing she knows, everything goes black . . . When Mae gasps awake, she’s back on an airplane, beginning the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop – and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.
You’ll Be The Death Of Me by Karen M McManus
Ivy, Mateo and Cal used to be close – best friends back in middle school.
Now all they have in common is a bad day. So for old time’s sake they skip school together – one last time.
But when the trio spot Brian ‘Boney’ Mahoney ditching class too, they follow him – right into a murder scene.
They all have a connection to the victim. And they’re ALL hiding something.
When their day of freedom turns deadly, it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out . . .
The Layover by Lacie Waldon
After ten years as a flight attendant, Ava Greene is poised to hang up her wings and finally put down roots. She’s got one trip left before she bids her old life farewell, and she plans to enjoy every second of it. But then she discovers that former pilot Jack Stone – the absurdly gorgeous, ridiculously cocky man she’s held a secret grudge against for years – is on her flight. And he has the nerve to flirt with her, as if he doesn’t remember the role he played in the most humiliating night of her life. Good thing she never has to see him again after they land.
But when their plane encounters mechanical problems, what should have been a quick stop at the Belize airport suddenly becomes a weekend layover.
When Jack dares Ava to join him on a series of tropical excursions, she reluctantly agrees to a two-day truce. Yet the more time Ava spends with him under the hot Caribbean sun, the more she begins to second-guess everything she thought she knew about him, and everything she thought she wanted from her life. And all too soon, she might have to choose between keeping her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds.
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
It’s New Year’s Eve and House Tricks estate agents are hosting an open viewing in an up-market apartment when an incompetent bank robber rushes in and politely takes everyone hostage.
For Anna-Lena and Roger, busy buying-up apartments to fill the hole in their marriage, it’s something else to talk about.
For Julia and Ro, panicky parents-to-be, it’s yet another worry.
Lonely bank manager Zara only came here for the view.
While 87-year-old grandmother Estelle seems rather pleased by the company . . .
As the police gather outside, the anxious strangers huddled within try to make the best of a very sticky situation – but could it be that they have a whole lot more in common than meets the eye?
Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley
Kara Sullivan is definitely not avoiding her deadline. After all, it’s the week of her best friend’s wedding and she’s the maid of honour, so she’s got lots of responsibilities. She’s a bestselling romance novelist with seven novels under her belt, so she’s a pro. Looming deadlines don’t scare her, and neither does writer’s block, which she most certainly does not have. She’s just eager to support Cristina as she ties the knot. Right? Right.
But then who should show up at the rehearsal dinner but Kara’s college ex-boyfriend, Ryan? Turns out he’s one of the groom’s childhood friends, and he’s in the wedding party, too. Considering neither Kara nor Ryan were prepared to see each other ever again, it’s decidedly a meet-NOT-cute. However, when Kara sits down to write again the next day, her writer’s block is suddenly gone. Are muses real? And is Kara’s muse . . . Ryan?
The Book of a Hundred Hands by George B Bridgman
The legendary Art Students League of New York teacher offers 100 fine drawings and in-depth instruction in this guide to drawing virtually every aspect and posture of the human hand. He covers it all: the back of the hand and palm, nails, bones, tendons, muscles, the arch, veins, and more.
1984 by George Orwell
Winston Smith rewrites history. It’s his job. Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, he helps the Party, and the omnipresent Big Brother, control the people of Oceania.
Winston knows what a good citizen of Oceania must do: show his devotion for Big Brother and the Party; abstain from all vices; and, most importantly, possess no critical thoughts of their own. The new notebook he’s begun to write in is definitely against the rules – in fact, the Thought Police could arrest him simply for having it. Yet, as Winston begins to write his own history, a seed of rebellion begins to grow in his heart – one that could have devastating consequences.
In George Orwell’s final and most well-known novel, he explores a dystopian future in which a totalitarian government controls the actions, thoughts and even emotions of its citizens, exercising power through control of language and history. Its lasting popularity is testament to Orwell’s powerful prose, and is a passionate political warning for today.
Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes
Meet Rachel Walsh. She’s been living it up in New York City, spending her nights talking her way into glamorous parties before heading home in the early hours to her adoring boyfriend, Luke.
But her sensible older sister showing up and sending her off to actual rehab wasn’t quite part of her plan.
She’s only agreed to her incarceration because she’s heard that rehab is wall-to-wall jacuzzis, spa treatments and celebrities going cold turkey – plus it’s about time she had a holiday.
Saying goodbye to fun and freedom will be hard – and losing the man who might just be the love of her life will be even harder.
But will hitting rock bottom help Rachel learn to love herself, at last?
Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber
For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in happily ever after. Until she learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, and her dreams are shattered.
Desperate to stop the wedding, and heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic, but wicked, Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.
But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game – and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy . . .
The Windsor Knot by S J Bennett
The morning after a dinner party at Windsor Castle, eighty-nine-year-old Queen Elizabeth is shocked to discover that one of her guests has been found murdered in his room, with a rope around his neck.
When the police begin to suspect her loyal servants, Her Majesty knows they are looking in the wrong place.
For the Queen has been living an extraordinary double life ever since her coronation. Away from the public eye, she has a brilliant knack for solving crimes.
With her household’s happiness on the line, her secret must not get out. Can the Queen and her trusted secretary Rozie catch the killer, without getting caught themselves?
Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by James Norbury
Friends Big Panda and Tiny Dragon journey through the seasons of the year together, day and night, in rain and in sun. Travelling through nature, they find hope and inspiration in the world around them, realising that even in the darkest of days, Spring will always return.
Feel the calming influence of Big Panda, who reminds us of the bigger picture while appreciating the simplicity of small moments. Explore your surroundings with the inquisitive eye of Tiny Dragon, our friend who is big in heart if not in stature.
And on their journey through the ever-changing seasons, join these two friends as they learn how to live in the moment, be at peace with uncertainty, and find the strength to overcome life’s obstacles, together.
The Appeal by Janice Hallet
There is a mystery to solve in the sleepy town of Lower Lockwood. It starts with the arrival of two secretive newcomers, and ends with a tragic death. Roderick Tanner QC has assigned law students Charlotte and Femi to the case. Someone has already been sent to prison for murder, but he suspects that they are innocent. And that far darker secrets have yet to be revealed…
Throughout the amateur dramatics society’s disastrous staging of All My Sons and the shady charity appeal for a little girl’s medical treatment, the murderer hid in plain sight. The evidence is all there, waiting to be found. But will Charlotte and Femi solve the case? Will you?
Thank You, Next by Sophie Ranald
Zoe really doesn’t want to die alone and surrounded by cats. But it’s not looking good: she’s had sex precisely twice in the last year, and her feline friend isn’t the kind of male company she wants in bed…
She’s ready to give up on the search for love, until her friend has an idea. Robbie lives by his horoscope, and he’s sure she’s got this dating stuff all wrong. He dares her to work her way through the zodiac until she finds The One.
Usually Zoe would laugh at such a suggestion, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Could love be written in the stars? Or is she destined to end up alone, eating take-out in bed and watching endless re-runs of Friends?
He’s Cancelled by Sophie Ranald
It’s normal to get cold feet, right? But what about a case of frozen get-me-the-heck-out-of-here feet?
When Natalie’s boyfriend gets down on one knee (even if it’s because he trips and drops the ring) it’s meant to be the start of their happy ever after. But planning a wedding to Archie feels like she’s competing in the Hunger Games…
No Words by Meg Cabot
Jo Wright always swore she’d never step foot on Little Bridge Island – not as long as her nemesis, bestselling author Will Price, is living there. Then Jo’s given an offer she can’t refuse: an all-expenses paid trip to speak and sign at the island’s first ever book festival. And when she finds out Will won’t even be on the island, there’s no reason to refuse.
But when she arrives on Little Bridge, Jo is in for a shock: Will is not only at the book festival, but seems genuinely sorry for his past actions – and more than willing not only to make amends, but prove to Jo that he’s a changed man.
Things seem to be looking up – until disaster strikes, causing Jo to wonder: do any of us ever really know anyone?
No Offence by Meg Cabot
Molly Montgomery couldn’t be more thrilled about starting her new job at Little Bridge Island’s library. Happy to have left her problematic ex behind on the mainland, her new life feels like heaven . . . at least until she finds a newborn baby abandoned in the library. When Sheriff John Hartwell arrives on the scene, Molly can’t help but be riled by his attitude – tall and handsome he may be, but his arrogance is almost as distracting as his blue eyes.
Recently divorced, John has been having trouble adjusting to single life, especially with a grumpy teenage daughter in tow. But as he works with Molly to track down the baby’s mother, something in the librarian’s beautiful smile gives John hope that his old life on Little Bridge might suddenly hold new promise – if only they can get over their differences . . .
Empress and Aniya by Candice Carty-Williams
When Empress starts at Aniya’s school, they’re not exactly best friends. But, when the two teenage girls accidentally cast a spell on their 16th birthday and end up switching bodies, they quickly learn that friendship is the most important magic of all. South London’s answer to ‘Freaky Friday’, Empress and Aniya is a moving portrayal of the importance of real friendship and the ups and downs of being a teenager.
It Won’t Be Christmas Without You by Beth Reekles
Eloise, a self-confessed Christmas obsessive, can’t wait for the big day. Devoted to her Michael Bublé playlist, she’s organising the school nativity play and even her gorgeous Grinch of a neighbour, James, can’t get her down.
Her workaholic twin sister, Cara, on the other hand, plans to work over the holiday – and figure out what secrets her seemingly-perfect boyfriend George might be keeping from her.
The sisters used to be close but since Cara moved to London, everything’s been different. Only, Eloise isn’t giving up just yet, and with a white Christmas on the cards, Cara can’t fail to be moved by the magic of the season … can she?
Artists: Their Lives and Works
This art book includes insightful biographies of artists accompanied with remarkable reproductions of their famous artworks. Begin with the early Renaissance and follow art movements through the centuries to some of the most well-known artists alive today.
A gorgeous exploration of the defining people of the art world including pioneers such as Giotto and Jan van Eyck, the greats like Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, and the visionaries like Frida Kahlo and Hokusai.
The large format art book is overflowing with information and pictures of your favourite classics. The full-page prints are especially spectacular, allowing you to get the full effect of the work that inspired, defined, and encapsulated art movements.
Are any of these your favourites? What should I read first? Let me know in the comments. I’m also on Instagram and Twitter – @bookwormgirl_24