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Christmas Gift Guide: Fiction

Charlotte Walker

By Charlotte Walker on 7th November 2018

Although it's been said, many times

Many ways, Merry Christmas to you.

Have a look at our general fiction gift selection. Whether you're looking for a new release for the avid and eager bookworm that devours everything straight after publication day, or a book that we have loved throughout 2018. Any of our selection would make perfect gifts for friends and family.


Linked by more than a world of drugs and revenge, Attend is a brilliant debut novel. Here is a snippet of Liz Robinson's view:

Oh my, I have quite fallen in love with this absolutely glorious and spellbinding tale. A wonderful infusion of themes means ‘Attend’ quite rightly, refuses to be labelled. This is West Camel’s debut, his writing is alluring and sang out to me, I simply can't wait to see what comes next. I recommend Attend with every fibre of my being, it has must-read stamped all over it.

The Lingering

Sinister, thrilling and full of unexplained events, this is what Liz thought:

A thrilling, chilling, shocking tale, perfect if you take delight in an icy shiver scuttling down your spine. As I read my reasoning teetered one way and then the other. A supernatural presence heightens the tension further and my mind and heart fairly skittered in anticipation at what was to come. The Lingering is an exquisitely eerie tale, and I loved every single word of it.


A collection of short stories from a bestselling author. Here is what Sarah Broadhurst had to say:

Thirty very different pieces about extraordinary women, keenly observed and astute. They cover the spectrum from triumphant to pathetic, sad to humerous, surprising to surreal. I would believe it to be a good bedside book, read two or three a night and take the next day pondering and digesting them before the next batch. I also believe it would make an excellent Christmas present for any woman any age.

The Year That Changed Everything

Perfectly summed up in the title, the three characters will be changed forever by the end of the year. Here's Liz's review:

Uplifting and delightful, The Year That Changed Everything is another gorgeous read from Cathy Kelly. Three women have three milestone birthdays on the same day, they don’t know each other, yet a featherlight connection binds them together. I found myself sinking into a delicious story that wrapped itself around me, and even with heart-ache along the way, The Year That Changed Everything is ultimately a captivating, enjoyable, feel-good read.

The Turn of Midnight

A thrilling historical sequel, read and loved by Liz:

Gosh, just stunning! For me, this is the very definition of a must-read… eloquent, absorbing, absolutely fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable. I thought The Last Hours (which you really do need to read first) was exquisitely engaging and satisfying, and I enjoyed The Turn of Midnight just as much, perhaps even more as the characters were known to me, beloved by me. A powerful, gripping read, and yes I am gushing most effusively over it, that’s because it really is rather wonderful and I highly recommend buying yourself a copy.

Absolute Proof

An innovative new mystery from bestselling author Peter James. What if you received definitive proof that God existed? This is exactly what happens to Investigative reporter Ross Hunter. 

But is it real? can it be true? and what are the consequences of absolute proof for the entire world? The credibility of the world's major religions, as well as the life's work of a famous atheist, so can Ross Hunter get to the bottom of the evidence put before him? A perfect Christmas gift for people who question everything and consider themselves armchair detectives. 

The Lion Tamer Who Lost

Beautifully written, Liz fell in love with this book as she read:

An absolute wow of a relationship tale, gloriously beautiful yet it may well have broken my heart. When Louise writes it feels touchable, even if I have not experienced the emotions she describes I can feel them deep inside me. I remained in every moment, moving with the words, the feelings, knowing I was heading into unchartered territory, yet unable to pause, to stop reading. This book is a relationship tale with a difference, it is tender, gripping, eloquent, and I want to shout about it from the rooftops.


Part autobiographical, part fiction - live (or relive) the dream of a generation. Victoria Goldman had this to say:

Hippie is a spiritual journey of self-discovery. This autobiographical account of Paulo Coelho’s nomadic past is written in the third person as if it’s fiction, with the author drawing upon his own experiences on the hippie trail in the 1970s. Hippie is a nostalgic look at the drug-fuelled hippie culture, but also a snapshot of past memories that have shaped the author’s writing and outlook on life. Certainly an intriguing read.

The Moscow Sleepers

This gritty, realistic crime mystery was thoroughly enjoyed by Liz:

What? You haven’t read a Stella Rimington novel! Don’t worry, nor had I… and even better The Moscow Sleepers can easily be read as a standalone novel. If you are now feeling rather smug as you are already well on board this particular series then I trust you won’t be disappointed. It isn’t sexy, fickle, excitable fantasy, instead I felt as though I was in a completely plausible world, one that particularly at the moment, feels all too heart in mouth real - highly recommended.


A dystopian world where women are silenced. An innovative twist on society akin to The Handmaid's Tale, Joanne had this to say:

Jean lives in an America in which women have been forced to surrender all freedoms and are restricted to speaking 100 words a day, for the new government has decreed that women need to be Pure. They need to learn a lesson, as do gays and lesbians, who’ve been herded into camps. Shocking, suspenseful and compulsive, this is a formidable cautionary tale for our time.

Pieces of Her

An explosion of a crime/mystery! Here is Liz's view:

This book blew me away, it’s sharp, edgy, compulsive reading. I foolishly started to read late in the evening and ended up keeping the early hours company for some time as I simply couldn’t put it down! Andy and Laura are fascinating characters, they challenged my thoughts and feelings in the best possible way. Incredibly stimulating and enthralling, it has left me on a heart-hammering reading high!

Girl, Balancing

A collection of small stories and the final work of the brilliant Helen Dunmore. This is what Joanne thought:

At once lyrical and sparse, intimate and expansive, delicate and sharp, this collection is the final work of a late, great writer who understood and articulated the subtle complexities of the human heart in each of her novels, poems and stories. While Dunmore’s devotees will adore this treasure, I’d also recommend it wholeheartedly as an introduction to her exquisite writing.


A story of survival and sisterhood. Released in March, Liz highlighted this early on as one of her favourites for 2018:

Just gorgeous… this is an emotional and quite, quite beautiful read. After a particularly traumatic time at home, 13 year old Sal and her younger sister Peppa escape into the wilds of Scotland. Sal has spent a long time preparing, the wilderness beckons them, can they survive on their own? Simple, beautiful, provocative yet touching, this is an outstanding debut, and a read I will return to again and again. Highly.


A delightful retelling of the Greek gods and goddesses by witty and eloquent Stephen Fry.

If you know the myths of the Greek gods and goddesses inside out, then this book puts the stories that you love in the Stephen Fry's masterful voice. If you are fascinated by Greek myths but remain unfamiliar with them, let Fry's soothing entertaining and enlightening retelling whisk you away to ancient greece to hear the goings-on on Olympus.


Loved Mythos and wanting more? Stephen Fry's second collection of stories from Ancient Greece covers the Greek Heroes. 

Filled with monstrous perils, wit stealth and vengeful gods, Heroes shows what mortals are capable of while at their worst and at their best. 

Sit back and enjoy tales of Oedius, Atlanta, Jason and Bellerophon. The perfect gift for young and old alike. 

Click here to check out our full Christmas Gift Guide for the perfect gift this Christmas!

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