Being a bookworm I love nothing more than unwrapping a present on Christmas Day to find an exciting new novel to get stuck into during the inevitable post-lunch coma. With so many amazing books that have been published this year, I haven’t had a chance to read even half of the ones that have caught my eye. I was spoilt for choice when it came to picking out books for my Christmas wish list and it was tough whittling it down to just 5.
From Daisy Goodwin’s telling of Queen Victoria’s early monarch to a modern interpretation of Taming of the Shrew, see below for the top 5 books on my Christmas wish list this year – you might even want to add a couple to your own!
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.
Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.
Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.
It’s on my wish list because… Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite classics so I welcome any opportunity to relive Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy’s love story with open arms.
Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern
In the south-west of Ireland, rugged mountains meet bright blue lakes and thick forests. Deep in the woods, a young woman lives alone, forever secluded from the world, her life a well-kept secret. She possesses an extraordinary talent, the likes of which no-one has seen before: a gift that will earn her the nickname Lyrebird.
When Solomon stumbles into Laura’s solitary existence, her life is turned on its head. Pulled from her peaceful landscape to the cacophony of Dublin, she is confronted by a world desperate to understand her. But while Solomon knows the world will embrace Laura, will it free her to spread her wings or will it trap her in a gilded cage? Like all wild birds, she needs to fly free.
It’s on my wish list because… I haven’t read anything by Cecelia Ahern before and this book looks too beautiful to resist, both inside and out.
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
Kate Battista is feeling stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work – her pre-school charges adore her, but the adults don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner.
Dr Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported.
When Dr Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Kate is furious: this time he’s really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to win her round?
It’s on my wish list because… as a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew I’m hoping for 10 Things I Hate About You in book form.
Victoria by Daisy Goodwin
In June 1837, the eighteen-year-old Victoria wakes up to find that she is Queen of the most powerful nation in the world. But will she be queen in her own right, or a puppet controlled by her mother and the sinister Sir John Conroy? Can this tiny girl prevail against the men who believe that women are too hysterical to rule?
Everyone wants her to get married, but Victoria has no intention of entering into a marriage of convenience with her cousin Albert, a shy bookworm who didn’t know how to dance the last time she met him. She would much rather reign alone with a little help from her Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne. He may be old enough to be her father, but he is the only man who believes that she will be a great Queen, and he knows how to make her laugh. A husband would only get in the way…
It’s on my wish list because… written by the scriptwriter of the ITV series Victoria, I’m sure I’ll enjoy reading it as much as I did watching it.
Cartes Postales from Greece by Victoria Hislop
Week after week, the postcards arrive, addressed to a name Ellie does not know, with no return address, each signed with an initial: A. With their bright skies, blue seas and alluring images of Greece, these cartes postales brighten her life. After six months, to her disappointment, they cease. But the montage she has created on the wall of her flat has cast a spell. She must see this country for herself.
On the morning Ellie leaves for Athens, a notebook arrives. Its pages tell the story of a man’s odyssey through Greece. Moving, surprising and sometimes dark, A‘s tale unfolds with the discovery not only of a culture but also of a desire to live life to the full once more.
It’s on my wish list because… I really want to go to Greece and this is the next best thing.
Let me know in the comments below if you’ve read any of these books or if you’re going to add any to your Christmas wish list.