Reading lists

The feel-good must-reads of winter 2020

This promises to be a winter like no other, with more time to spend cosy indoors and curled up with a brilliant book. Who needs work parties? Who needs packed pubs and late night trains, shivering in the cold? Stay inside, throw on something comfortable and have a book party all your own with these must-read page turners of 2020. You'll regret nothing.

Image of a stack of books, surrounded by snow
Image of Just Like You by Nick Hornby

Just Like You by Nick Hornby (2020)

A new Nick Hornby novel is the best present you could wish to find under the tree. Author of the fantastic About A Boy and High Fidelity, his latest is warm, wise and completely poignant - a love story for the twenty-first century that will become a firm favourite. Lucy and Joseph are opposites, in every way. But when they meet in the butchers and their lives become entangled, they wonder what it means to fall for someone you never thought would make you happy. It's tender, funny and joyful, about crossing another's path and having your life changed forever.

Image of Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (2020)

A bright light that'll shine in those darker, gloomier days, this book is the pick-me-up we're all in need of. A group of four eighty-something friends get together to discuss unsolved crimes, until a real life murder happens close by and they find themselves in the middle of a true life case. But can the gang catch the killer before it's too late? It's charming, hilarious and delightfully cosy. The best kind of book to sink into on a long winter's night.

Image of The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes (2019)

If you need some comfort through the cold, Jojo Moyes is sure to warm your heart. With this epic whirldwind tale of adventure and female friendship, you'll be in no need of a mulled wine or log fire this winter - this is all the heartwarming joy that you'll need. Set in Depression-era America, it follows five feisty women on their journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond, with a travelling library and heads full of big ideas. Based on a true story, it's epic, it's enthralling and it touches all the right notes when you're looking for something lovely to read.

Image of This Is Me by Mrs Hinch

This Is Me by Mrs Hinch (2020)

You can always turn to Mrs Hinch for practical tips or life advice to lift your spirits! Her sparkling new memoir does just that - gives you a big, perfectly pitched dose of entertainment, as well as a wonderful insight into the life behind the mother, wife, and house-proud Instgram icon that she is. But she's more than a cleaning goddess, and more than an influencer whose life was transformed. She's Sophie Hinchliffe, and she wants to let you in on the highs and lows of all that goes with it. So put your cleaning things aside, forget the Christmas shopping for a moment, and curl up with this sensation of a book and a person. She'll inspire you all over again.

Image of One by One by Ruth Ware

One by One by Ruth Ware (2020)

Dreaming of a white Christmas? Then settle into this book, where the snow falls and the dread deepens in this wonderfully atmospheric alpine thriller. Set in an exclusive ski resort, someone goes missing after an avalanche cuts off a chalet of a high-stakes business retreat. But is that a coincidence? Or is someone prepared to go too far to get what they want? Ruth Ware is queen of the just-one-more-chapter. With a fast pace, unpredictable twists and a gorgeous snowy setting, it's the gorgeous, gripping, unmissable thriller of this winter. It'll suck you in from the get go.

Image of The Courage to Care by Chrissie Watson

The Courage to Care by Chrissie Watson (2020)

If you love medical memoirs and heart-wrenching true stories, this is the non-fiction gem you need in your life this Christmas. An account of the bravery and heroic acts of nurses, as well as the resilience of patients and their families, it's especially timely after the tough year we've all had. Shining a light on the extraordinary things that nurses must deal with, it also paints a hopeful picture of how we can all care for each other in the hardest of times. Thank goodness for nurses. Thank goodness for the NHS. Thank goodness for this book, in all its honest and uplifting glory.

Image of Us Three by Ruth Jones

Us Three by Ruth Jones (2020)

This is a book with a big heart, and three brilliant characters you'll fall head over heels for. With all the warmth and relatability from her famous Gavin & Stacey, Ruth Jones brings us the same good feelings, true-life-tears and sparkling fun in this fabulous story about female friendship. Lana, Judith and Catrin are at primary school when they swear to be best friends forever. But years later, after a whirlwind trip of a lifetime where some things can't be forgiven, their promise will be tested to its limits. It's the perfect story that's got it all - love, laughter, betrayal - and it's as entertaining as it is deeply moving.

Image of Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella (2020)

We need Sophie Kinsella in our lives as much as we need our slippers, hot chocolate and knitted throw. PURE COMFORT AND JOY is what she offers, and her latest novel is no exception. Hunker down with this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, about two people who meet on a romantic Italian retreat and pledge their commitment to each other, only to return to normal and find that their lives are completely at odds. Can they still love one another when their lives are so far apart? It's fun, it's light, and it's got the sparkle of your favourite fizz scattered throughout its pages - because it'll leave you giddy.

Image of Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell (2020)

Jojo Moyes revealed that she struggled to read in lockdown - but that she raced through this book in one weekend. High praise for this furiously twisty, fast-paced thriller about a girl who goes missing, and the man everyone accuses of having something to do with it. It'll hook you in right away and keep you up all night, racing towards the shocking and satisfying ending. Dark, delicious and addictive, this could be Lisa Jewell's best thriller yet. And that is saying something.

Image of This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens (2020)

This is the sparkling, swoon-worthing, unashamedly romantic read of the winter and we hope you ALL get a copy in your Christmas stocking - if not before, so you can re-read it over and over. An escapist read set to make your heart flutter, it follows the story of Quinn and Minnie, both born on New Year's Eve in the same hospital, one minute apart. Thirty years later they find themselves together again. It seems fate can't keep them apart... If you need a guiding light in the gloom, or just something lovely to sink into on a cold winter's night, look no further. This is the star read you should turn to.

Image of Finding Love at the Christmas Market by Jo Thomas

Fun, festive and heart-tuggingly splendid, this is the must-have Christmas story of the year that'll leave you feeling warm, fuzzy and glowing with Christmas miracles. Connie works at a care home, and has given up all hope of finding love until one of her residents sets her up on a date at the local Christmas market. There, amongst the steaming smells of mulled wine and warming wafts of gingerbread, she meets baker Henrich. And then she meets his rival, William. Which one will fulfil her Christmas wish - and lifelong dream - of finding true love? Read it for the enchanting ending you've always wanted, never more so at Christmastime.

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