Who else is super excited for Christmas? I love Christmas. I have been singing Jingle Bellsin my head – and sometimes out loud to the surprise of the people around me – all year. But now it’s finally that time of the year when all my carrol singing is acceptable and you can eat at least a Christmas sweet a day without fearing for your life because you are eating last year’s leftovers. Now, time for books!
It may be because I read Little Women when I was really young or simply because I have always loved books, but I can’t think of Christmas without books. I am very, very lucky to get many review copies for my job, and I also love browsing my local public library which obviously ends up with me taking 3 books home every time I visit. But there is something special in buying a book or having a beloved one get it for you. In my case, I usually ask my parents for one specific book in English and they get it for me. So, in the spirit of Christmas, Little Women and the tradition that I started at Books & Reviews, here some books to give or ask for this Christmas:
British Crime Fiction: The Lie by C.L Taylor
A tale about female friendship and all the issues and struggles that come with young age and all the issues that come with it and sometimes are criminal.
Perfect for: YA readers, fans of Ruth Ware.
Domestic Noir: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
After the success of Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman’s Big Little Lies adaptation, Moriarty’s latest novel will not disappoint her loyal readers, and it can be a fantastic starting point for anyone who is not familiar with her work. A page-turner with a charming set of characters who are faced with a mundane accident that will change their lives forever.
Perfect for: That friend who was obsessed with Big Little Lies.
Canadian [Historical] Crime Fiction: Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
A timeless classic, now also adapted as a TV show. My favourite Atwood and always present in my lists. Atwood achieves literary perfection with a combination of psychological thriller and historically novel with this feminist revision of one of Canada’s most famous criminals. Extra points if you get one of the beautiful editions of the novel (I own the one issued for Atwood’s 70th birthday pictured here and it’s even more gorgeous in real life – a thing from the past).
Perfect for: Historical fiction fans, anyone who enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale on TV and is not familiar with Atwood’s written work.
Classic Crime Fiction [British]: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Another classic that made it into our homes last Christmas thanks to the BBC adaptation. Even though almost everyone must know the ending now, it is easy to forget – everyone I know, including myself, forgets about it after some time – so it is always a great idea to have a copy around.
Perfect for: Readers of cosy crime fiction.
Classic Crime Fiction [American]: Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives. Stories from the Trailblazers of Domestic Suspense by Sarah Weinman
An edited collection of short stories by the very first women author who wrote domestic noir compelled by Sarah Weinman, an expert on mid-20th century American crime fiction. The length of the stories makes them perfect to read one a day before bed even if we have seen our reading time cut.
Perfect for: Busy crime fiction readers, fans of Alfred Hitchcock.
Nordic Noir: The Crow Girl by Eik Axl Sund
The most gritty and most disturbing nordic novel that I have read, this story is not for the faint of heart. With vivid descriptions of bloody attacks and violence against women, children and animals, The Crow Girl will test the most avid of nordic noir readers.
Perfect for: Fans of forensic thrillers and nordic noir literature. What a combination!
Forensic Crime Fiction: Dèja Dead by Kathy Reichs
The first novel in the Temperance Brennan series that later on inspired the TV show Bones, Dèja Dead is an interesting take on the forensic thriller. Clearly influenced by Patricia Cornwell, but with its own flavour thanks to the Québécois setting, it is a fast-paced crime story with a complex and not so young main character whose experience in life enriches a plot that has been traditionally considered shallow.
Perfect for: Fans of forensic science and anyone who misses Tempe on TV.