Hello! Hope you’re well!
I’m here today to quickly share with you my recommendations for last minute stocking filler and gift ideas for the book lover in your life – whether you’ve just started shopping or looking to get ‘a few last bits’, Christmas is NEXT WEEKEND!
So here’s my very quick summary of books I’ve read this year, by genre, that I loved and would recommend. I hope this helps with any last minute shopping and that you gain lots of lovely inspo!
Good Luck ;)!
URBAN FANTASY: HER MAJESTY’S ROYAL COVEN BY JUNO DAWSON
An urban fantasy means that the book is fantasy and characters will have special gifts, live in a fantasy world, but the backdrop is every day town. In this one it’s Hebden bridge, West Yorkshire! I absolutely loved this book, it’s full of sisterhood and cinematic scenes. There’s witches and warlocks and evil demons, all with the backdrop of every day Yorkshire. It’s full of cultural references from the 90s and 00s, think Spice Girls and Mean Girls. As a 32 year old this hit the nail on the head for me, but those references might not resonate with younger generations so much. Fantastic LGTBQ representation. Solid 5/5 for me – only available in Hardback, and part of a series (to follow).
ROMANTIC/SAUCY/OTHER WORLD FANTASY: A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES SERIES BY SARAH J MAAS
This series is FIRE!!! If you’ve seen posts about ‘ACOTAR’ and wondered what the heck that is, well it’s referring to this series. You’ll recognise the layout of the land and there are (for me anyway) some crossovers with Game of Thrones in terms of courts and structures, but this series is the absolute DB.
It’s got everything you’d want from a fantasy, enemies to lovers, war, danger, friendship, family, other worldly beings, magic. I LOVE that my heart and feelings towards characters changed so much from Book 1 to Book 2. Just a warning that this contains a fair bit of sex…and it’s really good sex at that! I have only read books 1 and 2 at the moment as I’m trying to pace myself, I just love this series that much. I’ll be reading the third book over Christmas. This series is complete and available to buy singularly or in a boxed set like this one. The Works Stationary and Bookstore is a good place to look at for these.
GENRE: PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER
WATCH HER FALL BY ERIN KELLY
Highly recommend ‘Watch Her Fall’ by Erin Kelly, if youre buying for a lover of Thrillers this season! It’s so cinematic I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up as series or a film on Netflix. It’s a book about a ballerina who is the star of an elite ballet company. She’s landed the coveted role of Odette and Odile in Swan Lake. She’s the daughter of the ballet company director and the must untrustworthy narrator, which is just BRILLIANT for a psychological thriller. The author put in so much work (clearly) into learning about Ballet and what it means to be in a Ballet company, so (as a non-dancer anyway) I didn’t see any plot holes or have any doubts. The ending is FANTASTIC, and dance lover or not, any thriller lover will love this one!
GENRE: GREEK MYTHOLOGY RETELLING
ARIADNE BY JENNIFER SAINT
Greek retellings are one of my favourite genres personally, and I wish there were more! That being said, they are hard to do well. I read this one at the start of this year and whilst it wasnt a 5 star review from me (3.5 this time) it’s still a very SOLID book and one that any greek retelling book lover will enjoy. It’s more YA than the likes of Circe or A Thousand Ships so may make for a less daunting read than the other two I just mentioned and I feel it’s got one of the best Dionysus portrayals I’ve encountered.
If this is a genre you or your gift recipient are interested in, search for ‘Circe’, and ‘A Thousand Ships’ in the search bar for more reviews.
GENRE: WARM AND FUNNY FICTION
YINKA WHERE IS YOUR HUZBAND? BY LIZZIE DAMILOLA BLACKBURN
If youre looking to buy a funny, uplifting read, this is perfect. It’s set in the UK, about a 30 something year old British Nigerian character by the name of Yinka, who to be honest doesn’t really feel like she’s excelling that much in life. She feels the want of expectations to be a high flyer, to make her family proud and more importantly, to be able to answer all of the auntie’s questions ‘YINKA WHERE IS YOUR HUZBAND?’ with the answer ‘OVER THERE!’.
It got a solid 4.5* from me, for being relatable, warm, nourishing and like a huge in a book. There’s topics of family, faith, and self acceptance. There some mixed media formats and fonts which keeps things interesting. I’d recommend for a late teen upwards.
GENRE: CHRISTMAS FICTION
THE CHRISTMAS BOOKSHOP BY JENNY COLGAN
If you want to buy a fiction lover some Christmas, cosy, family, three way love triangle, bookshop, Edinburgh gorgeous vibes, this is the one to get them into the festive spirit. I can’t shut up about it – it’s my last review if you want the full deets!
GENRE: NON FICTION
THE SOBER GIRL SOCIETY HANDBOOK BY MILLIE GOOCH
So at the time of writing, I’ve been sober for 2 months and 22 days – I decided to quit drinking after recognising the damage it was doing to my (otherwise very well looked after and cared for) physical body and mental health, and the Sober Girl Society was one of the first communities that I connected with to help me stick it out (these early days are TOUGH). I decided after a few Saturday morning meet ups to buy some ‘quit lit’ and decided to buy this book. It is an EYE OPENER. I’d been drinking for 18 years and didn’t know half of what I was putting myself through, not only that this book is like a cheerleader, motivating and spurring you on when society tells you otherwise.
You or the recipient do not have to be T Total to enjoy this, ‘sober curious’ (the desire to be more mindful with drinking if thats an option for you/recipient) is also covered in this book, it’s not preachy, its a toolkit to stick to your guns. Huge recommendation for anyone looking to cut down or cut out Alcohol in 2023, or perhaps already doing so.
I hope these reccos have helped give you some alternative gift ideas! I’ve only shared what I read this year and throughly enjoyed, as always try to support your local bookstores if you’re able to, and if anyone wants any more information or to chat, leave a note in the comments or get in touch on Insta at @papyrusandpeppermint .
Until the next Chapter!