5 new Christmas books to read this week

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5 New Christmas Books To Read This Week 5 New Christmas Books To Read This Week
This week’s bookcase includes reviews of Snowed In For Christmas by Sarah Morgan and Jim’s Spectacular Christmas by Emma Thompson.
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Prudence Wade, PA

From festive romances to upbeat children’s books, there are plenty of jolly Christmas releases to enjoy…

Fiction

1. Snowed In For Christmas by Sarah Morgan is published in paperback by HQ. Available now

Is it really Christmas if Sarah Morgan hasn’t released a festive novel? This year, we get to spend the holidays with the Miller clan up in rural Scotland. It’s the first time they’ve all been together in a long time, as siblings Ross, Clemmie and Alice all live down south. Ross runs a successful business, Clemmie is a nanny and Alice is a doctor – but all their parents want is for them to settle down and find love. Enter Lucy: she’s fighting to save her job, and ends up stranded at the Miller family home while on a business trip. Morgan has merged six separate stories seamlessly into this funny, and often poignant, book that will thaw even the biggest Grinch’s heart.
9/10
(Review by Rachel Howdle)

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2. Advent Street by Carol Ann Duffy, illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova, is published in hardback by Picador. Available now

Carol Ann Duffy’s unnamed subject is brought to Advent Street by bad luck, and spends December pacing its pavements: alone, unseen and silent. Drawn in by its lit windows, the heartbroken figure is comforted by the various tableaux on show – one cold, dark night after another. Each square of light unveils a different scene: a young boy waving aloft a star; an old man whistling a tune to a caged tangerine bird; lovers feeding each other with spoons. The 19 pages of festive verse are paired with beautiful but understated illustrations from Yelena Bryksenkova. It isn’t the longest of reads, but this is a poem to return to and savour. A story of acceptance and inclusion, that ends with an invitation and avoids sentimentality.
8/10
(Review by Jemma Crew)

3. A White Christmas On Winter Street by Sue Moorcroft is published in paperback by Avon. Available now

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Sue Moorcroft is the Queen of Christmas feelgood novels. This year, we are introduced to Sky Terran, a woman in flux – she’s just lost a job she loved, and has moved back to the town of Middledip, where she had happy memories as a child. Not expecting to have much to do with her nearby neighbour Daz or the community as a whole, she braces herself for a quiet Christmas on her own – until her neighbours on Winter Street cajole her into joining the street decoration competition. Watching Sky grow close to her new neighbours feels like a present in itself. The dynamics between all of the characters and their backstories stops Christmas On Winter Street from being overly sweet, and keeps it relatable. There are broken families, reunions, old loves and new loves, all of which are beautifully handled. A perfect evening read in the run up to the festive period.
8/10
(Review by Rachel Howdle)

Non-fiction

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4. Coping With Christmas – A Fabulously Festive Christmas Companion by Fanny and Johnnie Cradock is published in hardback by HarperCollins. Available now

(HarperCollins/PA)

Are you even hosting this Christmas if you haven’t already flicked through the Food Network channel for inspiration? And if you have, you’re sure to have stumbled upon festive matriarch Fanny Cradock and her myriad of seasonally instructional shows. With those eyebrows and bold fashion, there may be nobody as distinctive as Cradock in the TV chef arena, and she was the OG having started her career in the 1950s. An icon of her craft, Cradock became synonymous with Christmas cooking, due to her no-stress, cost-effective extravagance. This latest collective – with foreword by Felicity Cloake – brings together fairly handy tips (and plenty of hilariously useless tips in the modern day) with helpful diagrams. Nobody will use every recipe in the book (Nesselrode Pudding, anyone?!) but this time-capsule of hosting from a bygone era is an amusing read with some useful ideas.
7/10
(Review by Holly Cowell)

Children’s book of the week

5. Jim’s Spectacular Christmas by Emma Thompson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, is published in hardback by Puffin. Available now

Is there anything this woman cannot do? Multi-award-winning actress, writer and British legend Emma Thompson presents her latest children’s fiction work, inspired by the true story of Sir Henry Cole’s dog Jim, who lived at the South Kensington museum (now the V&A). With illustrations from Axel Scheffler (best known for his work with Julia Donaldson, including The Gruffalo), Jim’s Spectacular Christmas tells the tale of a grubby pooch who is losing his sight, and so liberates an eyeglass from a very regal acquaintance while delivering his master’s latest invention – Christmas cards. Heartfelt, witty and full of fun, this children’s picture book is a sweet festive read – but at 80 pages (far beyond the norm for fans of Scheffler’s work) and with more complex language, it might be better suited at seven to nine-year-olds, rather than the pre-schoolers its artwork might suggest.
8/10
(Review by Holly Cowell)

Book charts for the week ending December 3rd

Hardback (Fiction):
1. The Satsuma Complex by Bob Mortimer
2. The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman
3. It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover
4. Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
5. No Plan B by Lee Child & Andrew Child
6. She And Her Cat by Makoto Shinkai & Naruki Nagakawa
7. Act Of Oblivion by Robert Harris
8. The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith
9. A Heart Full Of Headstones by Ian Rankin
10. Alone With You In The Ether by Olivie Blake
(Compiled by Waterstones)

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Hardback (Non-fiction):
1. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse: The Animated Story by Charlie Mackesy
2. Private Eye Annual: 2022 by Ian Hislop
3. Guinness World Records 2023 by Guinness World Records
4. One by Jamie Oliver
5. The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama
6. The Story Of Art Without Men by Katy Hessel
7. Madly, Deeply by Alan Rickman
8. Diddly Squat by Jeremy Clarkson
9. Air-Fryer Cookbook by Jenny Tschiesche
10. Colditz by Ben MacIntyre
(Compiled by Waterstones)

Audiobooks (Fiction & non-fiction):
1. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
2. Spare by The Duke of Sussex
3. Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide To Happiness by Bill Bailey
4. Friends, Lovers And The Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry
5. Atomic Habits by James Clear
6. The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman
7. Geneva by Richard Armitage
8. The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama
9. Before & Laughter by Jimmy Carr
10. Above Suspicion by Lynda La Plante
(Compiled by Audible)

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