5 new books to read this week

5 New Books To Read This Week
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By Prudence Wade, PA

With a retelling of A Christmas Carol and a wintry romance, get into the festive spirit with a few new reads…


1. A Christmas To Remember by Anton Du Beke is published in hardback by Zaffre, priced £18.99 (€19.96). Available now



Fans of Anton du Beke’s Buckingham Hotel series will love this third instalment. We’re reunited with familiar characters as we follow chambermaid Nancy Nettleton and ballroom dancer extraordinaire Raymond de Guise down the aisle, but there’s plenty of drama afoot before we get to the altar. On the eve of WWII, hotel manager Maynard Charles is once again called upon to help gather crucial intelligence about some of his more suspicious hotel guests.

If this wasn’t thrilling enough, other characters have their own entanglements and secrets to deal with, as lies, murder and intrigue run riot through the hotel corridors. If you’re new to the series, Du Beke offers plenty of signposting and character backgrounds to help you keep up with the pace. It’s a hefty instalment that offers a lot of bang for its buck, making for a great Christmas read.
(Review by Nicole Whitton)

2. This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens is published in paperback by Arrow, priced £7.99 (ebook 99p). Available now



Minnie and Quinn were born in the same hospital on New Year’s Eve, one minute apart. While their births are almost identical, Quinn was given a £50,000 cash prize for being the first baby born in London in 1990 – and the name Minnie was meant to have.

After 30 years of missed connections, they finally meet again on New Year’s Eve. A beautiful read, perfect for fans of One Day by David Nicholls and The Versions Of Us by Laura Barnett, with likeable and believable characters. An absorbing tale about fate, love and making your own luck.
(Review by Megan Baynes)

3. One More For Christmas by Sarah Morgan is published in paperback by HQ, priced £7.99 (ebook £2.99). Available now


For pure, unadulterated Christmas schmaltz, look no further than One More For Christmas. Sarah Morgan has written more than 80 romance novels, with a handful Christmas-themed, like A Wedding In December and The Christmas Sisters.

One More For Christmas has a classic setup: an estranged family is thrown back together and spend the holidays in a remote Scottish castle.

The setting couldn’t be more picturesque, and the drama feels relatively low stakes as the two adult daughters feel their way back into a relationship with their strict mother, who they haven’t spoken to in five years.

This is interspersed with the prospect of romance with the owner of the Scottish castle, and a lot of chat about how Christmas is the most magical time of year. Many readers will find the book too fluffy for words, but if romcoms are your bag, you’re in luck.
(Review by Prudence Wade)


4. The Last Days of John Lennon by James Patterson with Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge is published in hardback by Century, priced £20 (ebook £9.99). Available December 10

The ubiquitous James Patterson returns with this novelised biography of former Beatle John Lennon and his murderer, Mark Chapman. Lennon’s story is familiar, spanning Beatlemania, activism, the Bed-ins for Peace and his last album,

Double Fantasy. The book is informed by copious interviews – including with Paul McCartney – and carefully-cited secondary sources. It’s interspersed with scenes from Chapman’s viewpoint, which are reconstructed from available evidence, and attempt to get into the killer’s head. These parts don’t feel entirely convincing, and lend the narrative an odd asymmetry.

While this is no hagiography, no fan of Lennon’s could read this book without being aware of several other accounts that paint him as a far more complex and ambiguous character. By comparison, this formulaic true-crime version reads almost like an authorised biography – and there was surely nothing ‘authorised’ about John Lennon.
(Review by Dan Brotzel)

Children’s book of the week

5. The Miracle On Ebenezer Street by Catherine Doyle is published in hardback by Puffin, priced £12.99 (ebook £8.99). Available now

The Miracle On Ebenezer Street is a fantastical retelling of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. After the death of George’s mum on Christmas day three years ago, his father has banned all festivities. George wants to see his dad smile again – and to spend time with his mother’s family, who his father has forbidden him from seeing.

When he finds a snow globe in a pop-up Christmas shop, he sets off a chain of magical adventures that show him, his father and his nan Christmases past, present and future. Despite the sadness of George’s situation, this is an engaging, laugh-out-loud book with brilliantly rendered characters – including a purple reindeer and a plucky miracle-working elf. Doyle brings together imagination and all things Christmas, creating a real delight for readers of all ages.
(Review by Nicole Whitton)


1. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
2. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
3. Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
4. A Song For The Dark Times by Ian Rankin
5. Troy by Stephen Fry
6. The Sentinel by Lee Child & Andrew Child
7. The Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory
8. Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith
9. One August Night by Victoria Hislop
10. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. A Promised Land by Barack Obama, Barack
2. Private Eye Annual: 2020 by Ian Hislop
3. Guinness World Records 2021 by Guinness World Records
4. A Year At The Chateau by Dick Strawbridge & Angel Strawbridge
5. Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given
6. My Life In Red And White by Arsene Wenger
7. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse by Charlie Mackesy
8. Toksvig’s Almanac 2021 by Sandi Toksvig
9. How Animals Saved My Life by Professor Noel Fitzpatrick
10. 7 Ways by Jamie Oliver
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
2. A Promised Land by Barack Obama
3. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
4. Ryan’s Christmas: A DCI Ryan Mystery by L. J. Ross
5. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
6. Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
7. Agatha Raisin And The Blood Of An Englishman by M. C. Beaton
8. Capture Or Kill by Tom Marcus
9. The Mirror And The Light by Hilary Mantel
10. Troy by Stephen Fry
(Compiled by Audible)

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