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Secret Santa for Book Lovers

By Megan Cradock, Zalak Shah, Ana Cecilia Matute and Konstantopoulou


We know Christmas is a lovely time to enjoy with your loved ones, so we're celebrating by playing Secret Santa – but with a twist for readers. The game is simple, each person will select a preferred genre, theme and form, names are drawn and each secret Santa’s task is to recommend a book fitting that person's reading taste!


A Gift for the Romance Reader…


Genre: Contemporary romance

Theme: Work ethic

Form: Novel


You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry


Poppy Wright is stuck. She’s driven and focused and amazing at her job, writing for a prestigious travel company. Lately though, things just aren’t clicking and she has no idea why. Except she does: Alex Nilsen. Poppy and Alex are chalk and cheese but the closest of friends – or they were until two years ago when a holiday together ended with Alex walking out of her life. It’s time to fix things between them: one more chance, one more trip.


Alternating between the present and a series of holidays from the past, we learn more about Poppy and Alex and how they approach love, friendship and career ambitions. Poppy is fun and often impetuous, but she is perfectly balanced out by Alex and his quiet, organised nature. It is easy to root for two such deserving characters.


Complete with Emily Henry’s usual wit and charm, You and Me on Vacation is a must-read romance exploring self-confidence and second-chances; the perfect gift for any book lover.


A Gift for the Fantasy Lover…


Genre: Fantasy

Theme: Family

Form: Novel


The Unfortunate Side Effects of Heartbreak and Magic by Breanne Randall


Enter the magical world of Sadie Revelare where love, heartbreak and family secrets are served with a side of decadent desserts.


All Revelare magic is accompanied with a curse – Sadie’s happens to be the curse of four heartbreaks. With two heartbreaks already behind her, Sadie has tried to shield herself from any future pain as much as possible. But when she finds out that her beloved grandmother Gigi is terminally ill, her life threatens to crumble like a house of cards.


Paired with the return of her one true love Jake and her estranged brother Seth, Sadie is forced to face some hard truths. Will the long-forgotten secrets that Seth has brought with him shake the very foundation of Sadie’s family? Will she be able to forgive Jake and accept her ever-growing feelings for him? And will she be able to decide what’s more important in her life – love or magic?


Pick this one for the book lover in your life who loves to sit wrapped in a blanket, with a hot cup of tea, transported to a fantastical world of magic!


A Gift for the Fan of Literary Fiction…


Genre: Literary fiction

Theme: World War II

Form: Novel


Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky


A unique novel about World War II, where we delve into people’s lives through their thoughts, understanding that they are human under certain circumstances of their birth. This novel shows how, behind this cruel war, there were multiple stories and lives often overlooked, and there were contradictions between what one wishes and what was allowed.


Suite française by the Ukrainian writer Irène Némirovsky is an unfinished project, halted due to the writer's detention and subsequent murder in a concentration camp. This novel is intriguing as it was written about a time during which the writer herself was experiencing. Having that historical consciousness to process what was happening is a very challenging task. For this reason, we believe this novel is one of a kind, unique in literary fiction and ideal for questioning and understanding a little bit of what war does to people.


A Wrapped Surprise of Fiction Disguised as Non-fiction…


Genre: Fiction (adventure)

Theme: Cats

Form: Novella


The Last Black Cat by Eugene Trivizas


The short novel tells the tale of an adventurous world filled with mystery and question marks that are unloaded at the corner of every chapter. Despite being a children’s book, it has won the hearts of many adults who chose to give it a chance, with the cleverly humorous and diplomatic writing of Trivizas unfolding the mass of prejudices around black felines.


The storyline reaches its peak as the biased minds of a precarious guild plot several ways to get rid of the island’s black cats, excruciating them one by one, until they become extinct. As the adventures of the cat unfold, and their poor fate begins to present itself, the economic interests of the humans only intensifies and an endless cycle of greed and torment grows.


In the end, will the poor animals manage to survive and continue their species for more generations to come? By immersing yourself in these pages, you open your heart and eyes to the timeless issue of racism and pigeonholing, while finding yourself quietly laughing at Trivizas’ sense of humour, with a hot chocolate in the other hand.


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