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Thursday 28 November 2013

Book Gift Guide 2013

I'm sure you've realised by now that I love a good book and what's more, I love giving books as presents too. Hence what you're currently reading. I've actually picked up a few of these as gifts already this year, (although obviously I won't say which!) and I've read a few of them too so there are some good'uns in there!

  1. Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy by Helen Fielding, €11.95, HERE. One of the most anticipated books for years, the final instalment of Helen Fielding's trilogy about the hapless but lovable Bridget Jones sees her now juggling motherhood, the dating scene and a career while facing into middle-aged life. There has been a massive spoiler regarding Mark Darcy that I won't repeat but even knowing that, I'll still happily give this a read.
  2. The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin, €6.47, HERE. I personally find Toibin a bit hit and miss but he's well loved by others and this was short listed for the man Booker Prize, so what do I know! This tells the story of the Virgin Mary and her overwhelming grief at the loss of her son..cause nothing says Christmas like overwhelming grief, am I right?!
  3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, €8.38, HERE. I've had this on my shelf for years now and as the film version is out next year, now is a good time to read it. A nice option for anyone who also has failed to actually read it yet.
  4. We Are Water by Wally Lamb, €12.12, HERE. I've read a previous Wally Lamb novel "She's Come Undone" and enjoyed it. This is apparently a disquieting but ultimately uplifting novel about marriage, family and human resilience in the face of tragedy". So another slightly bleak one perhaps but Lamb writes beautifully so well worth a look. 
  5. Autobiography by Morrissey, €7.35, HERE. I've read a couple of pages of this already and it reads a bit like a song or a poem..a fairly self-indulgent one at that, but it's Morrissey so we should expect no less. A good one for music lovers (with good taste, obviously).
  6. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban by Malala Yousafzai, €13.71, HERE. I think this may well be tough enough to read but Malala is just such an inspiring young woman that her story needs to be shared. 
  7. Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg, €13.35, HERE. This is basically a blueprint for success in business for the modern woman, written by the chief operating officer of Facebook. I haven't read this one but in it she seems to be speaking to both men and women (gender equality benefits us all, y'all!) so an interesting one, I'd imagine.
  8. Lonely Planet's Best Ever Photography Tips, €5.00, HERE. Perfect for anyone new to photography, this covers a lot of the basics and gives advice on how to get the best from your smart phone camera.
  9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, €6.86, HERE. This was one of the bestsellers of the year, I wrote a review of it HERE.
  10. The Shining by Stephen King, €5.53, HERE. I'm slightly biased because I love Stephen King and particularly this book but it really is brilliant. It's infinitely more terrifying than the film version and is so very well written. I'd pair it with...
  11. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, €7.86, HERE. The sequel to the Shining! I read this last month and loved it. It follows the story of the little boy Danny from the first book, now all grown up but still troubled by his ability to see the horrifying dead folks. I haven't written a review of this yet but I highly recommend both books!
  12. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, €14.84, HERE. I love Donna Tartt so very much. I haven't read this yet but it's being hailed as an "addictive triumph", which is how I felt about her previous work. So I'm looking forward to her latest; the story of a young mans journey through the criminal underworld.
  13. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith, €7.86, HERE. This is actually J.K Rowling under a pseudonym. I wrote a review of it HERE.
  14. And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, €5.89, HERE. I've read the first few chapters of this and similar to his previous novels (a Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner), this has a way of drawing you in quickly. He tends to write quite vast, sweeping stories, over continents and generations of families but at the heart of it there's always the individual, which I think is what makes his tales so relatable.
  15. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, €6.73, HERE. I also read this bestseller this year, review HERE
  16. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes, €6.94, HERE. In this serial killer novel, the one victim who got away turns up to hunt down her would-be-killer in an interesting reversal of the norm for that genre. Also high on the best seller lists.

17. New York Cult Recipes, HERE. The secrets to all of New York's classics; bagels, cheesecake, burgers, pancakes, mac & cheese etc..nom nom nom. 
18. Mary Berry's Baking Bible, €18.65HERE. There's loads of these out; Great British Bake Off, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, it's take your pick really.
19. Grow Harvest Cook by Meredith Kirton, €15.71, HERE. For the green fingered.
20. Tequila Mockingbird by Tim Federie, €8.21, HERE. If you love a pun and...alcohol then this is for you!
21. The 30 Best Nutella Recipes, €7.00, HERE. Kind of self explanatory really but I think this would make a nice stocking filler or secret Santa gift, as would....
22. Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Dessert Book, €5.75, HERE

23. John Green: The Collection, by John Green, €28.51, HERE. I've so far only read The Fault in our Stars (review HERE) but John Green is well loved by many and this box set of his most popular books would go down well with a Young Adult audience.
24. Game of Thrones by George R.R Martin, €31.87, HERE. My husband read all of the books this year and loved them so this is really more of a recommendation from him as I've read none of them but this would make a great gift, especially for fans of the TV show. 
25. Roald Dahl Collection, HEREThe perfect gift for a younger relative who's just getting into books or indeed as nostalgia for someone a bit older; I think we all have a fondness for Dahl really.
26. Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth, €33.97, HERE. Again this is a hugely popular YA series (no.1 New York Times Bestsellers), the first of which is coming to the big screen this year. These are dystopian novels in a similar vein to The Hunger games but also completely different. Like those books, these appeal to young and old so it's a fairly safe bet to pick these up.

And that's your lot! If you stuck with me to the end, then go get yourself a stiff drink because you've earned it! While you're sipping that, let me know in the comments if any of these are making it to your own Christmas wish list this year or indeed if you've picked any up as gifts. 


  1. This is an amazing book guide really going to be writing a list off this and going down to our local bookshop. I love reading so much so really nice to see a guide like this and nothing better than receiving a book at Christmas and Birthdays. xx

    1. Aw thank you, so glad it was useful to you! I love getting books as gifts, I think it's so handy as well when you're putting a present together for someone else, it's always a wonderful thing to receive! x

  2. me before you, and the book thief are fecking amazing x

    1. oh also this is an amazing post :)

    2. Thank you Co! Looking forward to reading the Book Thief and I totally agree with you re Me Before you, so brilliant! xx

  3. Me Before You was one of my favourites this year, stunning book. Really loved The Last Letter from Your Lover too. I've actually had The Book Thief and some Game of Thrones books in a pile for AGES, must dig them out. Excellent post Chloe x

    1. Thank you! I started Last letter from your lover but then forgot to download the rest of it! Must get on to that! Will definitely be reading the book thief soon too! xx

  4. I love reading, but I'm more along the genre fiction line - cosy murder mysteries, science fiction, fantasy. I used to do historical romance and chick lit but I've pretty much lost interest.

    I've read all the Game of Thrones series and loved them (though, as usual with fantasy authors, Martin doesn't seem at all inclinded to actually finish the series, damn him).

    I want to read Lean In. One of these days I'll buy it for my Kobo e reader.

    The Roald Dahl box set would be brilliant for a primary school aged child. I loved Dahl and I'm sure kids today would too.

    1. Not a big fan of chicklit myself but I read one every so often to mix things up a bit! I actually think a lot of adults would like The Dahl collection too, like I mentioned, there is a real nostalgia factor to them, which seems to be a big seller these days.

  5. Bookworms unite!!
    This is the perfect gift guide :) I read the fault in our stars and the book thief, think i'll need to read some of the other ones you've mentioned too!

    I'd suggest a paulo coelho book or two, maybe three. Actually, while you're at it, just grab anything with his name on it!! I started reading him a few years ago and he's become a firm favorite. If you haven't read anything from him yet, I'd recommend reading ''like the flowing river'', it's a series of short stories but the book itself will give you a feel for his distinctive style. A lot of people are divided if I mention his work, some love him and others hate him (*gasp*) - though, in all honesty I'm probably biased.
    'Humans of new york' is a nice book to flick through for the occasional nugget of inspiration too! x

    1. Yay! So glad you enjoyed it! I've read the Alchemist but I haven't read anything else from Coelho so thank you for the suggestion! I actually was looking at Humans of New York to put into the list too, great minds! xx

  6. Love the post!!! I want to read book six pretty sure she won a noble prize! Saw an interview with her and she was the sweetest girl x

    1. thank you! Yeah, she comes across very well; so well spoken and intelligent. I'd say it'd be a really interesting one. xx

  7. Love this post! It's just perfect antidote to all those people who complain during the Late Late Toy Show that books are boring and crap presents, this totally proves that wrong! I've been wanting to look at the Tequilla Mockingbird book for a while, I love puns! It also won Best Food and Cookbooks title in Goodreads Best Books of 2013

    1. Thank you! I completely agree but sure we're both book nuts anyway ;)
      Totally didn't know that about Tequila mockingbird, sounds even cooler now! xx