12 Books of Christmas

12 Books Xmas




Stuck for Christmas present ideas this year? Here are our 12 Books of Christmas - our 12 favourite books this season that we think would make the best presents. We've tried to make this list as diverse as possible, to cover every reading taste. Also, keep an eye for the 12 Books of Christmas Children's Edition, coming soon! 

If you'd like any of the books on the list, why not use our online order form? Just send us the details of the book and then pick it up in store- we can get the majority of books next day. As well as that, if you should want the whole list, our loyalty scheme offers a £5 voucher with every 10 books bought!

We hope our picks can give you some inspiration this Christmas season. And remember, they're not in any particular order; we love them all equally!

1. The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris

lost words

The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustration by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.

We have The Lost Words in the shop now for £20.00.

2. Ask An Astronaut: My Guide to a Life in Space by Tim Peake 

tim peak

Ask an Astronaut is Tim’s personal guide to life in space, based on his historic Principia mission, and the thousands of questions he has been asked since his return to Earth. Accessible, in-depth, and written with his characteristic warmth, Tim shares his thoughts on every aspect of his mission. From training to launch, from his historic spacewalk to re-entry, he reveals for readers of all ages the cutting-edge science behind his ground-breaking experiments, and the wonders of day-to-day life on board the International Space Station.

We have Ask An Astronaut in the shop now for £20.00.

3. This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

adam kay

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, comedian and former junior doctor Adam Kay's This Is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking by turns, these diaries are everything you wanted to know - and more than a few things you didn't - about life on and off the hospital ward.

We had the privilege of hosting an event with Adam Kay at the end of September, and hearing him talk personally about his own book made it all the more tempting. We currently have signed copies of This is Going to Hurt in the shop for £16.99. 

4. In the Line of Fire by Warren Gatland

warren gatland

Warren Gatland's In the Line of Fire is the ultimate chronicle of this summer's remarkable Lions tour to New Zealand - home of the fearsome All Blacks, the double world champions - which culminated in an historic and nerve-shredding series draw. The book is the Head Coach's candid record of the perspiration and inspiration, the withering ferocity, and the turbulent peaks and troughs which go hand-in-hand with one of sport's toughest challenges.

We currently have signed copies of In the Line of Fire in the shop for £20.00

5. A Maigret Christmas and Other Stories by Georges Simenon 

maigret xmas

This collection brings together three of Simenon's most enjoyable Christmas tales, newly translated, featuring Inspector Maigret and other characters from the Maigret novels. In 'A Maigret Christmas', the Inspector receives two unexpected visitors on Christmas Day, who lead him on the trail of a mysterious intruder dressed in red and white. In 'Seven Small Crosses in a Notebook', the sound of alarms over Paris send the police on a cat and mouse chase across the city. And 'The Little Restaurant in Les Ternes (A Christmas Story for Grown-Ups)' tells of a cynical woman who is moved to an unexpected act of festive charity in a nightclub - one that surprises even her.

We currently have copies of A Maigret Christmas in the shop for £9.99.

6. The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young

secret cows

Cows are as varied as people. They can be highly intelligent or slow to understand, vain, considerate, proud, shy or inventive. Although much of a cow's day is spent eating, they always find time for extra-curricular activities such as babysitting, playing hide and seek, blackberry-picking or fighting a tree. This is an affectionate record of a hitherto secret world.

The Secret Life of Cows was originally published in 2003 and then picked up for this new release by Faber and Faber after Alan Bennett mentioned it in one of his diaries. It's a quirky and interesting little book that would make a great stocking filler. We currently have it in the shop for £9.99. 

7. Sleep No More: Six Murderous Stories by P.D. James

sleep no more

Sleep No More is the companion volume to James' The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories and contains six stories that have never been published together before. As the murderous tales unfold, the dark motive of revenge is revealed at the heart of each. Bullying schoolmasters receive their comeuppance, unhappy marriages and childhoods are avenged, a murder in the small hours of Christmas Day puts an end to the vicious new lord of the manor, and, from the safety of his nursing home, an octogenarian exerts exquisite retribution. 

Sleep No More is another perfect stocking filler, and we have it in the shop for £10.00. 

8. Talking to My Daughter About the Economy: A Brief History of the Economy by Yanis Varoufakis 

talking economy

In this letter to his teenage daughter, one of the world's most famous economists uses vivid stories to explain what economics is and why it is so dangerous. Drawing on history and literature, science fiction and personal memories, this intimate and inspiring book shines a light for readers of all ages on some of the most bewildering questions and important challenges that humanity faces.

Talking to My Daughter is great for those who are economic beginners and experts alike. We currently have it in the shop for £14.99.

9. Munich by Robert Harris


Munich is set against the backdrop of mid 20th Century Europe, straight after the Munich Agreement. Harris makes an intelligent case for Neville Chamberlain; a man who desperately believed he could avoid war, and brilliantly explores a pre-war London with its anti-aircraft guns, barrage balloons and searchlight batteries. Munich itself is also depicted, horrifying with huge swastika banners on every building. 

We currently have signed copies of Munich in the shop at a discounted price of £17.00.

10. Scorn by Matthew Parris 


There's no pleasure like a perfectly-timed put-down (when it's directed at somebody else, of course) but Matthew Parris's Scorn is sharply different from the standard collections. Here are the funniest, sharpest, rudest and most devastating insults in history, from ancient Roman graffiti to the battlefields of Twitter. Drawing on bile from such masters as Dorothy Parker, Elizabeth I, Donald Trump, Groucho Marx, Princess Anne, Winston Churchill, Nigel Farage, Mae West and Alastair Campbell - which form an exchange between voices down the ages - Scorn shows that abuse can be an art form. 

The hardback of Scorn came out last year and proved incredibly popular, and the paperback has had the same response. We currently have it in the shop for £8.99. 

11. The Spice Tree by Nisha Katona

spice tree

With this cookbook, anyone can cook authentic Indian at home, easily. It just takes 4 steps and Nisha's Spice Tree, the unique infographic at the heart of this book. The Spice Tree shows you which spices and ingredients go together in the Indian kitchen while Nisha's recipes for generous, aromatic, flavoursome homecooking bring these ancient formulas to life. Everything you need to know to cook authentic Indian is found within these mouth-watering pages and explained beautifully and simply. 

We currently have The Spice Tree in the shop for £20.00. 

12. Ginspiration by Klaus Rainer


Ginspiration is here to be your guide to one of the UK's favourite drinks. Find out how to reinvent classic cocktails, like the Martini and Gin Fizz, and try spectacular recipes from the mind of award-winning mixology maestro Klaus Rainer. Whet your appetite with tasting notes on 45 of the world's best craft gins, each one accompanied by the story behind the distilleries and distillers, and guaranteed to make you want to try them all.

This is the perfect gift for any gin lover. We currently have it in the shop for £9.99.

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