Great holiday reads for book-lovers


Every year about this time I start making my list of the new books that will top my holiday reading list. Sometimes it takes into account books already on that list that just get reshuffled, but it means going through book lists, Twitter, and recommendations to find new stuff that will be saved for the holidays. I need a detective story, something deeper, something from the horror genre, a biography, something light and chick-litish, and so on and I usually make a list of about 10. Here are the first five.

My holiday chick-lit book

How to Fall in Love

Author: Cecilia Ahern Price: R279.57 I adore Irish writer Cecilia Ahern’s sweet, warm stories that have a magical touch.  My favourite one is A Place Called Here about Sandy, a girl whose classmate at school goes missing which is something she can’t forget and as an adult she starts an agency tracing missing people. While working on a case she herself goes missing and ends up in the place where missing things go, things such as single socks, stuffed toys, diaries, toys and some missing people, and she needs to find her way home again. It’s just delightful. Her new one has just gone on sale and is about Christine who stops a stranger, Adam, from jumping off a bridge and he agrees to not kill himself if she can show him life is worth living again in the two weeks before his 35th birthday; he needs to fall in love with his own life again. Buy the book here.

My holiday detective book

The Gods of Guilt Author: Michael Connelly Price: R197.95 I love Michael Connolly’s books and have pre-ordered this one which is out the first week in December. Connolly writes about two characters, detective Harry Bosch and lawyer Mickey Haller, who each have their own series but sometimes feature in each other’s books. This is a Mickey Haller. He gets a text from a former client, a prostitute who’s involved in a murder a case and Mickey seems to be the reason she’s in trouble. If you’re new to the author, start with his earlier novels, or start here; they can be read out of order but I’d suggest starting with The Lincoln Lawyer, the author’s first Mickey Haller which was turned into a movie starring Matthew McConaughey as Mickey.

My holiday horror book

The New Girl

Author: SL Grey Price: R130.79 I came across this new book which went on sale in October while looking at a friend’s reading list. But before I could start reading I realised it was the third in a trilogy called the Downside series and was pleased to see it’s by two local authors, Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg, who write as SL Grey. The three books are loosely linked and though it seems there’s no need to start with the first in the series, I’d prefer to. First up is The Mall, about a sinister underworld at a mall which Dan and Rhoda discover when the lift doesn’t stop at the bottom floor. The second one is The Ward about Lisa who’s obsessed with plastic surgery and ends up at a weird hospital, the only one that will let her have more surgery. The New Girl is about the goings-on at a private school. Tara Marais volunteers in the library. She’s desperate to fall pregnant and unable to conceive so she makes “reborns”, life-size newborn dolls; then she gets a creepy commission. Ryan is a predator working as a handyman at the school where he becomes obsessed with a strange new girl. Creepy delicious! Buy the book here.

My holiday thriller

The Silent Wife

Author: ASA Harrison

Price: R184.63 A colleague recommended this one and it sounds so good I may need to read it before the holidays! Todd and Jodie are a well-off couple who’ve been together for 20 years; he’s a serial cheater and she ignores his habits. Until he says he’s leaving her. It’s told from the perspective of “him” and “her” and how their story ends in murder. I can’t wait to get into it. Buy the book here.

My laugh-out-loud holiday book/My celebrity memoir holiday book

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And other concerns)

Author: Mindy Kaling

Price: R144.63

Actress and comedian Mindy Kaling who was in The Office and now has her own TV series, The Mindy Project, is one funny woman and I can’t wait to read more about her and her funny observations on life. I also want her to be my best friend but I will settle for reading the book. If you read Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants, then book sites always recommend this one to read next and I see people who’ve read it say it’s very hard not to burst out laughing when reading this book in public, which is exactly what I’m looking for.

Buy the book here.

For more great holiday reading options click HERE.

-Natalie Cavernelis

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