It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...
Christmas is a time for giving, and for all your literary-minded friends and family, a good book is often the best place to start. So! We've put a lot of thought into what we believe are the best crowd-pleasers in stores this year, with the sole aim of inspiring you to wrap up a story for under the tree...
We've focused on newer titles and bestsellers, but don't forget there are plenty of classics out there as well! George Orwell's Nineteen-Eighty-Four is a chilling dystopian novel that's been gripping minds for decades, and there's also the always-popular Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen for a little more romance. Perhaps you've got to please someone who's more of a short story fan? Check out our top ten list of classic short stories here.
Whatever your friends' and family's tastes, the world of books always has something to offer everyone. So, here's our pick of the top five titles to give as presents this Christmas:
'The Narrow Road to The Deep North' by Richard Flanagan
Richard Flanagan has had a whirlwind success with this contemporary novel. It's a highly esteemed piece of literature that has won both the man booker prize for 2014 and the Prime Ministers literary award for fiction.
This savagely beautiful novel on love, death, war, and truth follows a young surgeon struck by the cruelty of war and the tenuousness of life. Set in August 1943 Doriggo Evans is haunted by a love affair from 2 years earlier struggling to come to terms with the brutality of the world.
In trying to escape the fatality of memory, he discovered with an immense sadness that pursuing the past inevitably only leads to greater loss.”
These words capture the very essence of Flanagan's writing, illustrating the journey Doriggo undertakes every day. It's easy to understand why this book has received so much attention. It's definitely a worthy competitor on the Christmas wish list.
'A Game of Thrones' by George R.R. Martin
George R.R. Martin has captured imaginations around the world with his bestselling Song of Ice and Fire series. Treat your book loving friends to the one that started it all: A Game of Thrones.
When you play the game of thrones, you win, or you die"
No one is safe, and everyone is in danger. Favourite characters will be lost and replaced. Queens will scheme, incest will reign, and justice is yet to prevail. The series was originally started over a decade ago but has risen to a new level of fame with the popular HBO television series, 'Game of Thrones'. With both TV and book series still ongoing, this is the gift that keeps on giving.
'Not That Kind of Girl' by Lena Dunham
Lena Dunham has proven herself a force to be reckoned with. As an actress, author, screenwriter, and producer, she's a versatile, talented woman with a story worth telling. Her collection of essays titled Not That Kind of Girl has been described as:
Hilarious, wise, and fiercely candid collection of personal essays that establish Lena Dunham—the acclaimed creator, producer, and star of HBO’s 'Girls'—as one of the most original young talents writing today."- Publisher, Random House.
Faced with the everyday struggles of falling in love, loneliness, weight problems, and fighting to be heard in a man's world, this humorous telling of a woman's personal plight can serve as an inspiration for those on the road to self-discovery.
The writing is exuberant, moving, and refreshingly honest. Readers will be taken on an emotional, witty roller coaster with a social commentary of life and love. Perfect for women and men in their early twenties.
'The Road Back' by Di Morrissey
Balm to my soul.’ Chris smiled. ‘I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I’m taking this drive along the valley rather than going up the plateau road, which can be a bit hair-raising.’ ‘Who lives around here?’ ‘All sorts; families running dairy or beef herds, hobby farmers starting up gourmet enterprises, a few old hippies, and even a few wealthy folk in their hideaway holiday homes.'”
Journalist Chris Baxter is at a crossroads. His returning to his mother's home in the beautiful township of Neverend with his teenage daughter when he discovers that sometimes the road back is the start of the journey forward. Di Morrissey weaves a tale of reconnection and new beginnings.
The passage above captures Di Morrissey's ability to insert the picturesque Australian landscapes into her writing with vivid imagery and stunning descriptions. Named as one of 'Australia's favourite storytellers' she writes about our country like only an Australian could, making her writing relatable and beloved by all Australians.
'The Rosie Effect' by Graeme Simsion
Sequel to the international bestseller The Rosie Project is Graeme Simsion's new book The Rosie Effect. Rosie and Don are now married and living in New York when Rosie drops a bombshell: "We're pregnant," she said. But Don, gets out of control, needing to be the expert on all things pregnancy. In his pursuit of knowledge and perfection will he lose Rosie?
The Rosie Effect has received praise from across the globe:
Laugh-out loud funny, poignant and so ingenious and compelling you feel as if you want to jump into the world of the novel and join in. In Don’s confessionals, there are echoes of Bridget Jones, writer Nick Hornby and Amelie in the French movie hit…but essentially Don Tillman is utterly and beautifully unique and, be warned, you will fall in love with him." - Australian Women's Weekly
This novel is a popular romantic comedy unfolding over 368 pages of delightful, witty prose that will capture the heart of any reader.
Choosing a book is incredibly personal, so we've tried to provide a list that truly has something for everyone. However, if you're still struggling for ideas, have a look at some of our book reviews from this year to help inspiration strike.