Five Christmas books to read this week

Five Christmas Books To Read This Week
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By Prudence Wade, PA

This week is full of festive offerings…


1. The Christmas Book Club by Sarah Morgan is published in paperback by HQ. Available now



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Is it really Christmas without a seasonal offering from the Queen of Christmas novels, Sarah Morgan? The Christmas Book Club puts friendship and romance against the odds at the forefront of the story. Three friends, Claudia, Erica and Anna, are all approaching big changes in their lives. Claudia has lost her job, Erica is mourning the death of her mother and Anna is dreading her children leaving home for college. Friends since their college days, the three women book a trip to Maple Sugar Inn in Vermont for their annual book club catch-up. There is more than meets the eye at the picturesque hotel they’ve chosen, and owner, widow Hattie, is nursing her own broken heart while raising her boisterous daughter. Long-held secrets are shared and difficult decisions are tackled by all the characters. A rich story that is hard to put down and will warm even the coldest Grinch’s heart – it’s a delight to read.
(Review by Rachel Howdle)

2. The Christmas Appeal by Janice Hallett is published in hardback by Viper. Available now



Janice Hallett yet again returns to an amateur theatre group for a delightful and puzzling Christmas book. The novel sees her come back to the world of her debut thriller, The Appeal, and spend time again with the Fairway Players as the reader is challenged to solve the mystery by being drip-fed information. What is a true delight is seeing how through the medium of text messages and emails, this group is just as dysfunctional and full of small-town mindless as in the original, if not more so. Of particular interest to those who enjoyed the Fairway Players machinations the first time around will be how the power dynamics in the group has changed, just before a dead boy emerges from a beanstalk.
(Review by Charlotte McLaughlin)

3. Midnight At The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan is published in hardback by Sphere. Available now


A sequel to The Christmas Bookshop, we follow Carmen as she tries to raise funds to save the old-fashioned bookshop she manages in Edinburgh. A suitably Christmassy read that stays on the right side of being too sweet as Colgan makes her characters likeable but not infallible, with some slivers of reality mixed in too – plus a cheesy Netflix movie that is filming in the shop. If you have read the previous book, the characters may have more depth, although it is enjoyable enough as a standalone read with some evocative descriptions of an Edinburgh winter that will make you want to jump on the next train there.
(Review by Anita Chambers)


4. The Twelve Quizzes of Christmas by Frank Paul is published in hardback by Oneworld. Available now

If you are a fan of a quiz with a difference, and something to keep the mind busy as you lead up to the main festive event, this is the book for you. This is a must for any ardent and discerning quizzers – although it’s definitely not for the fainthearted. The 12 quizzes are placed within tales and can sometimes lose you in their complexity, meaning it requires a fair amount of perseverance. It includes – as well as the obvious 12 quizzes – a scorecard, hints and the answers, with guides throughout, as to where to look for these. There are excellent illustrations – ideal for anyone who is a serious quizzer.
(Review by Joanne Brennan)

Children’s book of the week

5. A Christmasaurus Carol by Tom Fletcher, illustrated by Shane Devries, is published in hardback by Puffin. Available now

Tom Fletcher, founding member of the band McFly and now a bestselling author, continues to fuel children’s imaginations with his latest Christmasaurus instalment. The bestselling series returns with a fabulous character from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – no other than Ebenezer Scrooge. When Scrooge leaps from the pages of the original book and starts to wreak havoc in the modern world, it is down to William Trundle and his family to take action. Scrooge is determined to spread misery and his bah humbug attitude. He seems intent on de-Christmassing everything – can William, Santa and the Christmasaurus dinosaur put this right and return the end of December to the joyous occasion it should be? With minor peril and several twists and turns, this book is a delight for younger readers.
(Review by Jane Kirby)


1. The Last Devil To Die by Richard Osman
2. The Secret by Lee Child & Andrew Child
3. Prophet Song by Paul Lynch
4. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
5. The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith
6. A Stroke Of The Pen by Terry Pratchett
7. In Memoriam by Alice Winn
8. The Winter Spirits by Bridget Collins & Imogen Hermes Gowar
9. The Christmas Appeal by Janice Hallett
10. Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. Private Eye Annual: 2023 by Ian Hislop
2. Politics On The Edge by Rory Stewart
3. Rambling Man by Billy Connolly
4. Guinness World Records 2024
5. The Woman In Me by Britney Spears
6. Friends, Lovers And The Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry
7. How They Broke Britain by James O’Brien
8. 5 Ingredients Mediterranean by Jamie Oliver
9. Unruly by David Mitchell
10. The Diary Of A CEO by Steven Bartlett
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. Friends, Lovers And The Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry
2. The Woman In Me by Britney Spears
3. Unruly by David Mitchell
4. Loosely Based On A Made-Up Story by James Blunt
5. Endgame by Omid Scobie
6. The Trial by Rob Rinder
7. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
8. Be Useful by Arnold Schwarzenegger
9. The Chimp Paradox by Prof Steve Peters
10. How They Broke Britain by James O’Brien
(Compiled by Audible)

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