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READ ME: Top Ten Fiction Books for Xmas

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There are some Muddy features that I just love editing and this is one of them. The Christmas book guides, created by the best local bookshops, give a really good steer on the must-buy gifts for Crimbo.

We’ll be covering off kids, teens, coffee table books etc in the next two weeks but let’s kick off with the Top Ten Fiction Books, provided by the lovely Gerrard’s Cross Bookshop. Sink into your sofa, get a cup of tea, classical music on, and …. read.

BTW if you like these suggestions, GC Bookshop has agreed to give Muddy readers 15% off any of the books until Christmas Eve, just show them this feature on Muddy (or tell them you’ve seen it) or order by phone or email for collections up until 23 Dec.

The Children Act by Ian McEwan 


A brilliant novella from this wonderful author. It tells the story of a female High Court judge who has to decide if a 17 year old boy can be allowed to refuse live saving treatment on religious grounds. Time is running out….

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters 


Sarah Waters’ writing gives the reader the most incredible sense of time and place. Her latest book is set in 1922, the men in the family are dead, as a result, Frances and her mother are forced to take in ‘paying guests’. Things take an unexpected turn the results of which are devastating and far reaching. Passionate and full of tension, this is a wonderful page-turning novel.

The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker


This page turner translated from French is annoyingly compelling! Marcus Goldman is suffering from writer’s block following his successful first novel. Harry Quebert, his old university lecturer and mentor, is arrested for murder. The investigation is full of twists and turns. Solving the case becomes Marcus’s next bestselling book.

How to be Both by Ali Smith


Ali Smith won the Bailey’s award for Women’s Fiction with this book this year. An intriguing story, made more unusual as it’s written as two separate interlinked stories and the book is printed randomly with the stories in either order. There’s a renaissance fresco artist and a child of the 1960’s, two tales of love and injustice. A wonderful literary novel.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee


Set 20 years after Harper Lee’s Pullitzer prize winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird this book adds depth, context and new meaning to a classic. Scout, aged 26 arrives home from New York to visit her ageing father. Her visit turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family and the town she grew up in. A wonderful companion to a seminal work.

Us by David Nicholls

Us by David Nicholls

We all loved One Day didn’t we? This tells the story of Douglas whose wife Connie wants to ‘rediscover’ herself now that their teenage son is leaving home. He resolves to make their last family holiday the trip of a lifetime, win back her love and become closer to his son. The itinerary’s planned, the tickets are booked…What could possibly go wrong?

Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins


This is the most talked about book of the year, a stunning debut novel. Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning staring into the back gardens of the passing houses. She gets to know one seemingly perfect couple from a distance. One day she sees something shocking which changes everything. A wonderful thriller.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler


Rosemary is young and has decided not to tell anyone at college anything about her family, so we can’t tell you too much either! She decides to tell the reader the story in a funny, clever intimate manner with ideas and talking points. The reveal comes quite early in the book so you can find out for yourselves the secret of Rosemary’s family.

Head of State by Andrew Marr 


Andrew Marr’s debut novel imagines what really might be going on behind the door of 10 Downing Street. When a young investigative reporter is found dead on the streets of London few people notice. But when another body – minus its head and hands – is washed up on the banks of the Thames, its grisly condition arouses a little more interest. A wickedly clever thriller with Marr’s irascible black humour.

The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop

The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop

Another great ‘faction’ book from this much loved author. This time our attention turns to more recent history with the story set in Famagusta, Northern Cyprus. Two neighbouring families, the Georgious and the Ozkans, are among many who moved to Famagusta to escape the years of unrest and ethnic violence elsewhere on the island. But beneath the city’s facade of glamour and success, tension is building. When a Greek coup plunges the island into chaos, Cyprus faces a disastrous conflict.

 Gerrard’s Cross Bookshop, 12a Packhorse Road, Gerrards Cross, Bucks. Tel: 01753 885429.


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