Christmas Gift Guide: Books

Around this time last year, on my old blog URL, I published a bookish Christmas gift guide on a budget, mainly revolving around accessories, bookmarks, or jewellery. This year I’ve decided to recommend books to buy people based on things they’ve already loved, and I’ve tried to recommend alternatives for popular series or authors.

 

If they like Philippa Gregory, try the Outlander series1.png

Like most of Philippa Gregory’s work, the Outlander series is (for the most part) a chunky historical fiction series, with lashings of romance and engaging plot lines.

 

If they like Throne of Glass, try Three Dark Crowns

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Like the Throne of Glass, Three Dark Crowns is the beginning of a new YA series, which stars three sisters forced to attempt to assassinate the other two in order to gain the crown. It has a similar feel and is a great action packed fantasy novel.

 

If they like The Mistborn Trilogy, try Sorcerer to the Crown

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Although slightly different in tone to MistbornSorcerer to the Crown is a wonderfully original fantasy set in an alternative Victorian London. They’re both fantastic pieces of genre fiction, and Sorcerer to the Crown is something that epic fantasy fans may not have picked up themselves.

 

If they like Me Before You, try Ugly Love

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Another bittersweet romance novel, Ugly Love is great for fans of Me Before You. It’s an intense and page turning novel, although be warned: this is definitely not for younger readers due to adult content.

 

If they like The Book Thief, try All the Light We Cannot See

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Although both of these are WWII novels, they both take an original and beautifully crafted approach to an over-saturated genre. All the Light We Cannot See is similarly an emotional and personal story set against the backdrop of war torn Europe, with heartwarming but tear-jerking endings.

 

If they like Ready Player One, try Only You Can Save Mankind 

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Only You Can Save Mankind is an older novel following a plot similar to that of a stereotypical ‘fight aliens’ video game – but all is not as it seems. Thematically the same and similarly nostalgic, Pratchett’s hilarious writing is great for fans of Ready Player One.

 

If they like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, try Heartless

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What’s better for a fan of a classic than an updated retelling? Heartless tells the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland‘s Red Queen, written by the author of the Lunar Chronicles series. Set before the events of the book, it’s a fresh new take on the popular classic.

 

If they like The Inheritance Cycle, try Seraphina

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Although both of these series are aimed at a younger audience, both are great fantasy stories for all ages. Seraphina also plays on a new take of the dragon myth, combined with a brilliantly written romance, fantastic characterisation, and intimidating dragons and courtiers.

 

What do you guys think of these recommendations? Would you buy any of these for fans of the popular series mentioned?

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6 Wintery Reads

At the time of writing, England has just had its first snow this winter. After an unseasonably warm September and October, the temperature has plummeted and I can (finally) crack out the bobble hats and oversized jumpers, and I’m about two steps away from having ‘cosy’ tattooed on my forehead.

In the spirit of the cold weather – and the beginning of my favourite time of year – I thought I could share some books that I love snuggling up under a blanket with.

Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

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Not only is this a gloriously chunky and heart-warming book that’s ideal for occupying you throughout the holidays, the book also begins with one of the most beautifully described Christmas mornings I’ve ever read. Although they were a poor family, each girl received a beautifully bound book under their pillow – and I honestly think that reading this as a child is what made me so grateful for everything we tend to take for granted of Christmas day.

The Little Book of Hygge – Meik Wiking

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Hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) is an untranslatable word from Danish, which roughly means cosiness and happiness. This books summarises how Danish day to day life revolves around this concept, and how it can be into your own in order to achieve greater general happiness. It even has a whole chapter dedicated to Danish Christmas, complete with mouth-watering recipes.

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone – J K Rowling

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The winter is almost always going to make me want to re-read the entire series, but particularly the first book brings back so many memories and is rich with nostalgia at this point – and Harry’s first Christmas at Hogwarts is still so magical to me at the age of 20 as it was at 7.

A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

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Do I even need to explain? Not only (in my opinion) is this the easiest to read Dickens novel – mostly due to its length – but this is probably one of the most iconic Christmas stories in literature…other than the obvious.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas – Agatha Christie

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As always, Agatha Christie is on the top of her game with this novel that has its own seasonal twist. It’s an extremely original mystery where almost every single character has something to hid, and can also serve as a welcome break if you’ve had your fill of fluffiness from other seasonal stories. I always end up watching this adaptation around Christmas, too, which is also well worth a watch!

Twelfth Night – William Shakespeare

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The ‘Twelfth Night’ was a day, 12 days after Christmas, where the lower class citizens would swap status with the elite as part of the seasonal celebrations in Tudor England. Although the play itself isn’t set at this time of year – or even in England – Twelfth Night completely embodies this swapping and foolishness at its core, and is a genuinely hilarious script full of idiotic characters and memorable lines, that I always come back to in winter.

What are some of your favourite wintery reads?