Christmas recommendations 2020

There are so many glorious books published this year, and here are just a few that I believe will make beautiful gifts. Do take a look at my book reviews for more ideas though, they are divided as fiction and non-fiction for adults, and children's books with recommended age range.

You can also listen here to my Christmas recommendations on Lesley Dolphin's programme on BBC Radio Suffolk in December, and also some more from our previous broadcasts in December and also November.

There are links with each title to purchase here but of course it's best to visit a high street bookshop if you are able.

December 2020


For adults

Word Perfect
by Susie Dent
A collection of intriguing words, each with a fascinating and entertaining story behind it. Something for every day of the year.
buy online (hardback edition)
by Katherine May
A fascinating and thought-provoking memoir inviting us all to take time out to regroup and recuperate.
Vesper Flights
by Helen Macdonald
Essays detailing a very personal response to the wonders of animals, plants, the natural world - this will delight time and again. A joy to read.
buy online (hardback edition)
The Thursday Murder Club
by Richard Osman
Four friends in a retirement village meet to solve a murder. It's funny and there's lots of talk of cake. Looking forward to the next instalment already!
The Stubborn Light of Things
by Melissa Harrison
Beautiful to look at and to hold, this is a fascinating and engaging diary of nature in both city and countryside from this award-winning writer.
buy online (hardback edition)
The Offing
by Benjamin Myers
An unlikely friendship between a 16-year-old miner's son and an eccentric elderly woman, set on the Yorkshire coast one summer after the second world war, this book has been described as 'full of warmth and kindness'. What will we think of it?
The Midnight Library
by Matt Haig
A clever and intriguing story which will set us all thinking. Nora is looking back on her life, full of regret, but the library offers her a chance to put things right...
buy online (hardback edition)
The Glass Hotel
by Emily St John Mandel
An intriguing, beguiling, all-engrossing tale of wealth and power, guilt and regret, fate, choice, morality, corruption, delusion...
buy online (hardback edition)
The Dutch House
by Ann Patchett
A story of family through the perspective of the house they've shared. It's about choices, mistakes and hope, viewed through time.
The Bookseller's Tale
by Martin Latham
Part cultural history, part memoir, this book is packed with information and indulgence about publishing, bookselling and reading. Not to be hurried!
buy online (hardback edition)
The Best of Matt 2020
by Matt Pritchett
A collection of the cartoons from the Daily Telegraph's 'Matt'. Surprisingly uplifting!
The Bench
by Saskia Sarginson
A chance meeting and a holiday romance - was this all they were destined to be? Or will Cat and Sam overcome all the odds and finally find a way to meet again, on their bench.
The Address Book
by Deirdre Mask
The story behind house numbers, street names, postcodes but also politics, power, kings and governments, managing disease and overcoming poverty. A great read!
buy online (hardback edition)
Sissinghurst: The Dream Garden
by Tim Richardson
Glorious pictures with a marvellous account of this famous garden, delighting in the history of its transformation by writer Vita Sackville West and diplomat Harold Nicholson in the 1930s.
buy online (hardback edition)
My Garden World
by Monty Don
The calming voice of Monty Don speaks to us through the pages of this new book with details about the wildlife he enjoys as well as the plants in his garden, through the seasons in this particularly challenging year.
Moonflower Murders
by Anthony Horowitz
A clever, addictive read about publishing, murder and Suffolk, with a book within a book. Loved it!
buy online (hardback edition)
Just Like You
by Nick Hornby
Lucy and Joseph meet across a butcher's counter. They've nothing in common... A funny and tender account highlighting the prejudices, preconceptions and expectations we can all attach to our relationships.
buy online (hardback edition)
by Rutger Bregman
Throughout history we've been taught that humans are inherently selfish and motivated by self-interest. But is it really the case?
buy online (hardback edition)
Gressingham The Recipe Book
by Katie Fisher
A collection of recipes for favourite duck dishes, as well as some surprises, and the story of the farming family behind this special breed.
buy online (hardback edition)
Dear Reader
by Cathy Rentzenbrink
A story of a life lived with and through books.
buy online (hardback edition)
A Year of Living Simply
by Kate Humble
A soothing and inspiring collection of thoughts about how to rid ourselves of some of the clutter of our lives.
buy online (hardback edition)

For children

Wild Symphony
by Dan Brown
Recommended for children age 3+
Hardback edition
What We'll Build
by Oliver Jeffers
Rich in colour, emotion and hope for the future, this is a story of a father inviting his daughter to help him build a home for their life together.
Recommended for children age 3+
Hardback edition
Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright
by Fiona Waters Britta Teckentrup
A beautiful book full of glorious poetry about animals, richly illustrated throughout.
Recommended for children age 5+
Hardback edition
The Time-travelling Caveman
by Terry Pratchett
A collection of quirky and inventive short stories from the late, great, storyteller, Terry Pratchett. Illustrated by Mark Beech.
Recommended for children age 7+
Hardback edition
The Snowflake
by Benji Davies
A magical Christmas story about finding your place in the world, told from the perspective of a snowflake!
Recommended for children age 3+
Hardback edition
The Lost Spells
by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
A book to cherish always - stunning illustrations, beautiful words to sing, recite and savour, and a gold ribbon to mark your page!
Recommended for children age 6+
Hardback edition
The Great Godden
by Meg Rosoff
The story of one family, one summer, in a holiday home by the coast. A wonderful escapist coming-of-age read.
Recommended for children age - teens
Hardback edition
The Book of Hopes
by Katherine Rundell
A collection of short stories, poems and pictures from the very best children's authors and illustrators, to bring hope and happiness, and raise funds for the NHS Charities.
Recommended for children age 5+
Hardback edition
Robin Hood: Hacking, Heists and Flaming Arrows
by Robert Muchamore
A fabulous modern interpretation of the myth of Robin Hood.
Recommended for children age 11+
Hardback edition
One Christmas Wish
by Katherine Rundell
A beautifully illustrated, charming story for all the family to enjoy at Christmas.
Recommended for children age 5-8 years
Hardback edition
Jumbo: The Most Famous Elephant Who Ever Lived
by Alexandra Stewart and Emily Sutton
Beautiful illustrations support this true story of a baby elephant who makes the journey from Africa in 1860 to delight visitors to London Zoo and wow audiences of Barnum's show in New York.
Recommended for children age 4+
Hardback edition
Inch and Grub
by Alastair Chisholm David Roberts
Quite silly and rather funny while also presenting a serious message about competition and contentment.
Recommended for children age 3+
Hardback edition
How to Be More Paddington
by Michael Bond
Wise words and beautiful pictures of the world according to Paddington Bear.
Recommended for children age - all ages
Hardback edition
Britannica All New Children's Encyclopedia
by Christopher Lloyd
Fabulous facts collected by theme and bold, lively colour illustrations and photography throughout. Brilliant!
Recommended for children age 7+
Hardback edition