With Christmas around the corner, the work parties over and all (well, maybe most!) of your preparations for this busy time of year sorted, now could finally be the time to relax into the holidays. And what better way to do it than to switch off from the outside world for a while with a good read.
We don’t know about you, but the thought of snuggling up on a wintry day with a tablet or a good book gets us pretty excited. With our lives being so busy during the working year, it isn’t always possible to get stuck into a really good book. So taking advantage of these precious quiet moments can help us to get in some me-time and recharge from what can sometimes be such a stressful time of year.
Aside from the enjoyability, reading also offers a number of health benefits. According to a 2009 study by researchers at the University of Sussex, reading for just six minutes can reduce stress levels by as much as 68%. And, another study which was published in Social Science and Medicine in 2016 actually found a correlation between reading and long lifespans.
So with this in mind, we have come up with our essential reading guide for these holidays to help you on your way.
As the sequel to Margaret Atwood’s ’The Handmaid’s Tale’, this deeply moving book is said to be jarring and dramatic and one that is hard to put down. Blessed be the author! Find it here>
Quichotte: A Novel
The New York Times best-selling author Salman Rushdie gives us this exquisite satire on the world we live in today. Quichotte is a metafiction that tells the story of an addled Indian American man who travels across America in pursuit of a celebrity television host with whom he has become obsessed. Find it here >
City of Girls
By the author of Eat Pray Love, this big-hearted and wise novel is set in the 1940s where frivolous and fun-loving Vivian Morris arrives in New York with the goal of “becoming someone interesting” – and in short order she is, but for all the wrong reasons. Find it here>
Although there were personal websites that came before hers, certain elements conspired to make Heather Armstrong’s Dooce one of the biggest public diaries. Armstrong became one of the first high-profile cases of somebody being fired for writing about her job. Now covering such subjects as family life, postnatal depression, motherhood, puppies and her Mormon upbringing, and with an army of personal bloggers perhaps not directly influenced by, or even aware of, her work – she represents the hundreds of thousands who decide to share part of their lives with strangers. Find it here >
Run Away – Ebook
Master of suspense Harlan Coben brings us this thriller from the view of a parent whose daughter goes missing and doesn’t want to be found. Then spotted by chance, playing the guitar in Central Park is the drug-addicted girl, leading you into a dangerous world you never knew existed. Find it here>
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse
Charlie Mackesy’s best selling book is a reminder of the most important things in life. A book of hope for uncertain times. Enter the world of Charlie’s four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most poignant life lessons. Charlie’s first book includes his most-loved illustrations and new ones too. Find it here >
Me – Elton John
In his first and only official autobiography, music icon Elton John reveals the truth about his extraordinary life, which is also the subject of the smash-hit film Rocketman. The result is Me – the joyously funny, honest and moving story of the most enduringly successful singer/songwriter of all time. Find it here >
The Beast of Buckingham Palace
Fly into a fiery and fantastical future with No. 1 bestselling author David Walliams, in an epic adventure of myth and legend, good and evil, and one small boy who must save the world. For young and old alike. Find it here >
Guido Fawkes – Blog
Guido Fawkes’ reputation has made him one of the most feared and respected names in politics, with the power to change the political landscape with a single post. Guido Fawkes is, and remains, the only place to go to stay up-to-date with everything and anything happening in Parliament. Find him here >
The Londoner – Blog
The Londoner was founded by Rosie Thomas, a roaming blogger who originally started as a way to stay in touch with friends and family. As The Londoner grew, so did her following and Rosie now considers her readers her extended friends and family all over the world. Rosie shares her life experiences on The Londoner from her adventures as a new mother to discussing how friendships change as you get older. Find her here >
Taking Up Space: The Black Girl’s Manifesto for Change – Ebook
This page-turner by Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi is a groundbreaking and essential book about how it feels to be a young black woman studying in Britain’s white academic institutions. Find it here >