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Books are for life, not just for Christmas

Ideas for Christmas shopping

Don’t you just love it when someone gives you a thoughtful book as a present? Perhaps a book that you have heard about but never got around to buying or an author you’ve never read before who turns out to be your new favourite?  I’ve been sifting through new releases and chosen some of my favourites reads from 2014 – fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. The books on this list are books I’ve read and reviewed (click on title for my review) and books I like the sound of that I’ll spend Christmas reading (click on title for newspaper reviews). There’s a lot of great reading out there waiting to be given away!

 

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He’s back!

Fantastic news here for all Jonathan Franzen fans after a five-year wait! His new novel called Purity will be out in September 2015. The author seduced both critics and the reading public with his book The Corrections in 2001, and was instantly recognised as an important new voice in American literature.

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Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery

Engrossing insight into the life of a brain surgeon

I have been completely enthralled by neurosurgeon Henry Marsh’s bestselling book Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery. Brain surgeons are awe-inspiring, almost God-like people with razor sharp minds and nerves of steel, and Marsh is one of the very best. In this book he gives a fascinating insight into his job and with moving candour describes the triumphs as well as the disasters. You’ll never think about your brain in quite the same way… Read full Review

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The Bone Clocks

Fast-paced, inventive Mitchell spins out of this world

As you’re aware, I’m a big David Mitchell fan and I know many of you out there like him too. I’ve just finished his latest book, The Bone Clocks, and I’m left with mixed feelings. The book has moments of pure Mitchellesque brilliance: fast-paced dialogue, inventive characters and addictive plots. The first four parts (there are six) were compulsive reading; the last two might delight sci-fi lovers, but sadly didn’t quite work for me.

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How To Be A Woman

Women (and men!) out there!! You have GOT to read this one!

I have no idea how I missed this book when it first came out in 2011. Thankfully, a friend suggested I read it and what a hoot! I have been snorting, screaming, squealing with laughter, while my children have been watching me with increasing concern. How To Be A Woman is part memoir, part modern feminist manifesto, written by British journalist and TV presenter Caitlin Moran and the funniest and smartest book I have read in a long time.

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All Our Names

Idi Amin's Uganda and race relations in America, beautifully interweaved

All Our Names is the story of Isaac, a young African on the run from the political chaos of Idi Amin’s Uganda, and Helen, the social worker assigned to look after him when he arrives in America. Laden with emotional baggage, they embark on a controversial love affair. All Our Names is a quietly contemplative and beautifully constructed story with a window into the brutal world of African politics and race relations in America in the 1970s.

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