Janet Gordon is married, retired, obsessed with her Westlake Terrier, Rollo – and books are her passion. She reads multiple books a week across all genres and reviews books for Rest Less. This month, with Christmas just around the corner, Janet has pulled together a shortlist of books that could make great gifts for the book lovers in your life.
This month’s picks are Flying Home for Christmas, The Twenty, The Armour of Light, and the Marvel: Advent Calendar Storybook Collection. Keep reading to find out how you could also win a popular free word game with The Happy Puzzle Company.
Note: Prices can change often, so you may notice some variations on the providers’ websites. Prices and availability are accurate as of the 14th of November, 2023.
Flying Home for Christmas by Helen Whitaker (Amazon £9.19, Kindle £2.99, Hodder £9.99)
There is a plethora of Christmas-type reads popping into bookstores right now and one of my favourites is Flying Home for Christmas.
We meet Thea at Portland Airport where she’s desperate to get back to the UK for Christmas with her parents and her beloved Nan. But, with a storm brewing, all flights are grounded and all hotels are booked solid.
Fishing out an emergency credit card that her Nan had foisted on her when she left for the US and which Thea had vowed never to use, she books the last remaining room at the uber-luxe 5-star hotel, just off the runway. Scruffy and wearing her worn-out travelling togs, she’s ushered into a limo to be taken to the hotel.
Collapsing onto the leather seats, she looks up to find she’s not alone. A gorgeous guy – equally as dishevelled but somehow even more gorgeous because of it, is also sprawled out in the back of the limo. And when they get to the hotel, it turns out that they both booked the same last available room. So what happens next?
Although predictably corny – this is such a gloriously schmaltzy, heartwarming read that I adored it. It’s got all the feels of Love Actually.
The Armour of Light by Ken Follett (Amazon £9.99, Kindle £12.99, Macmillan £25.00)
Ken Follett needs no introduction and for those of you who have been reading his Kingsbridge series, The Armour of Light is the very last in the series, taking us right up to the Industrial Revolution of 1792.
As we know, modernisation coupled with dangerous new machinery conspired to throw many, previously moderate, workers into debt and poverty, as the prosperous Mill owners changed over to the new ways. And with Bonaparte rising in France, the French too are on high alert.
A compulsive read!
The Twenty by Sam Holland (Amazon £8.27, Kindle £0.99, HarperCollins £16.99)
I couldn’t not review a serial killer read this issue and, oh my goodness, this is one tense serial killer read in the true sense of the word.
Gory bodies, a race against time to stop more murders, a couple of anguished cops, and an ex-wife of one of them who doesn’t realise she holds the key – until she does but of course isn’t believed – until she is, but is it too late?
This is real edge-of-the-seat, hands-to-your-mouth, don’t-read-alone-at-night stuff. And I absolutely loved it!
Marvel: Advent Calendar Storybook Collection (Amazon £14.15, Autumn Publishing £21.99)
I’ve suddenly realised that Christmas is fast creeping up on us and have I started Christmas shopping? No, I’m not that organised. But I have managed to buy – and hide – some Christmas goodies – and I’ve even checked the sell-by date – just to make sure I’m not forced to eat them well before Christmas.
Anyway, I always think it’s a cop-out to give grandchildren money – even though that’s probably what they want. But I do like to give a present – and hopefully watch their delighted faces. However, my advice is to avoid buying them clothes, even if they are quite good at putting on smiley faces!
I do think though, that, everyone – of whatever age – loves an advent calendar. I’ve been dropping enormous hints to my husband about a very expensive beauty-themed one, (“No chance”, he’s just muttered). But one I know my grandchildren will adore is the Marvel: Advent Calendar Storybook Collection.
There are 24 (obviously!) super stories to read as you join Earth’s mightiest heroes who team up to defeat the supervillains, including Captain America, The Invincible Iron Man, and Spider-Man, just to mention a few.
With all the books floating around my house, I run a sort of unofficial lending library for my neighbours in my little close. But there’s one big no, no for me, which is turning down book corners. So this takes us onto an extra book-related gift suggestion…
PU leather heart bookmarks (Amazon £4.55 for six)
Why not pop a packet of these oh-so-cute PU leather heart bookmarks into a Christmas stocking?
In six glorious colours, I just love them. And if only I was organised enough to make my own Christmas crackers, wouldn’t they make a super cracker gift too?
Enter a competition with the Happy Puzzle Company and win a free word game!
Finally, The Happy Puzzle Company is a leader in providing educational games, toys, and puzzles to all kinds of educational establishments – and that means that they have a fantastic range of over 300 award-winning puzzles, games, and challenges suitable for both families, adults, and children to play either alone or together.
My granddaughter Victoria – who is cat-mad – spends hours playing one of their multi-level cat puzzles.
Founded over 31 years ago, Gavin and his helpers are constantly devising new puzzles to tease us with, and are the recipients of countless awards.
So, exclusively for Rest Less members, we have a free Lost 4 Words game (RRP £19.99) to be won.
Lost 4 Words is a quick-fire word game where you need to pit your words and knowledge against your opponents – and the clock! There are 500 challenges included and the winner is the first player (or team) to correctly identify the connecting word on 15 different cards and reach the finish line.
My lot have tried it, and I can tell you that the shouting, screaming, and thought, which goes into playing this makes it great fun for all those of us who fancy themselves as a budding Suzy Dent.
To win, all you need to do is answer our easy-peasy question…
How many years has The Happy Puzzle Company been going?
a) 10 years
b) 25 years
c) 31 years
Please send your answer to [email protected] by 23 November 2023. A winner will be chosen at random and connected with The Happy Puzzle Company to receive their prize.