Best books for Christmas


18 November 2020
Looking for a gift idea to buy the writer or book-lover in your life this Christmas? There’s something for everyone in our recommended reads.

The Sentinel by Lee Child

The edge-of-your-seat, heart-in-mouth new Jack Reacher thriller for 2020 - his 25th adventure. No one's bigger than Jack Reacher.


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The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The first book in the #1 bestselling Thursday murder club series is the fastest selling crime debut since records began, performing well in all this year's Book of the Year roundups.


The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa


Shortlisted for the 2020 International Booker Prize, discover a timely mystery about the loss of every day existence by one of Japan's greatest writers.


Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Countless awards including Book of the year at the British Book Awards and shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. 'Brilliant, timely, funny, heartbreaking' Jojo Moyes. 


This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens

2020's most perfect pick-me-up. Refreshingly romantic and certain to hold a special place in your heart, This Time Next Year is essential reading for fans of Jojo Moyes, Josie Silver and Lucy Diamond.


Miracle on Ebenezer Street by Catherine Doyle

An enchanting and exciting tale of Christmas magic from multi-award-winning and bestselling writer Catherine Doyle. 'Sparkles with magic . . . A wintry wonder of a book' Abi Elphinstone


My One True North by Millie Johnson

My One True North is a story of friendship and what love means, of secrets uncovered, teashops on corners and the northern lights. 'Funny, poignant and so uplifting' Sun


The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Dar​é

The New York Times and Times top ten bestseller and shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize for Fiction, at fourteen, Adunni dreams of getting an education and giving her family a more comfortable home in her small Nigerian village.


Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

'We were bowled over by this first novel, which creates an amazingly intimate, compassionate, gripping portrait of addiction, courage and love.' – The judges of the Booker Prize.


Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell

The spectacular new novel from the bestselling author of Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks, 'one of the most brilliantly inventive writers of this, or any country'. Independent


The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

An impossible murder. A remarkable detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist. 'If you read one book this year, make sure it's this one'. Daily Mail

You can read our exclusive interview with Stuart in the December 2020 issue of Writing Magazine here


Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

Hamnet is a novel inspired by the story of Shakespeare's son. It is a story of the bond between twins, and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief. Winner of the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction. 

Word Perfect by Susie Dent

Welcome to a year of wonder with Susie Dent, lexicographer, logophile, and longtime queen of Countdown's Dictionary Corner. 'Susie Dent is a one-off. She breathes life and fun into words and language' Pam Ayres


Toksvig’s Almanack by Sandi Toksvig

Let Sandi Toksvig guide you on an eclectic meander through the calendar, illuminating neglected corners of history to tell tales of the fascinating figures you didn't learn about at school. 'Fierce, funny and long overdue - I read this book out loud to anyone who'd listen.' Adam Kay


Howdunit by the members of The Detection Club

This book offers a fresh perspective on the craft of crime writing from leading exponents of the genre, past and present. It provides invaluable advice to people interested in writing crime fiction, but it also provides a fascinating picture of the way that the best crime writers have honed their skills over the years. 


Swallowed by a Whale by Huw Lewis Jones 

In this specially-commissioned anthology, sixty accomplished authors share secrets and insights into their writing lives: on their inspirations, methods, wild ideas and daily routines; on the pleasure and the pain in achieving their literary goals; on how they started out and how they hope to continue.


The Organised Writer by Antony Johnston

The Organised Writer is a practical, no-nonsense system that allows you as an author to write without worrying about administration, business affairs, or scheduling, because you know those non-writing tasks will be dealt with at the right time.


How to Grow your Own Poem by Kate Clanchy

Kate Clanchy has been teaching people to write poetry for more than twenty years. Some were old, some were young; some were fluent English speakers, some were not. None of them were confident to start with, but a surprising number went to win prizes and every one finished up with a poem they were proud of, a poem that only they could have written – their own poem.


Tomorrow Will be a Good Day by Captain Tom Moore

Sit down and enjoy the charming, uplifting and inspiring story of Captain Tom this Christmas. Now a Sunday Times #1 bestseller. 


A Promised Land by Barack Obama

A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making-from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy.



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