Christmas: Fiction Lovers
Once again, we've brought together all six books (in keepsake hardback) that make up the Man Booker Prize Shortlist - including George Saunders' winner, Lincoln in the Bardo. Do you agree with the judges' decision of awarding this prestigious award to a supernatural thriller that features Abraham Lincoln's son?
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Celebrating the best contemporary fiction of the past 12 months, this year's shortlist has something for everyone and with our brilliant value collection, you're bound to find something to love. This year's list has everything from thought-provoking novels from acclaimed authors including Paul Auster and Ali Smith to a simply stunning debut from Fiona Mozlet.
Among these brilliant books are an atmospheric debut about violence in contemporary society; an intelligent read about relationships, time and ageing; a love story about two people bonding in a world that is falling apart; Paul Auster's account of four parallel lives; and a novel that asks 'how far would you go to belong?'
Samantha Silva's debut novel Mr Dickens and his Carol follows Charles Dickens as he is forced by his publisher to write a festive tale...
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Dickens should be looking forward to Christmas but when Martin Chuzzlewit flops, his publisher issues an ultimatum - write a Christmas book or lose everything!
Given just a month to complete a story, Dickens finds himself propelled by self-doubt but then meets Eleanor Lovejoy and her son, Timothy. This inspires a Scrooge-like journey through Christmases past and present.
Penny Vicenzi's A Question of Trust is an intelligent, moving and thought-provoking novel that will appeal to fans of Santa Montefiore and Harriet Evans.
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Tom Knelston is a charismatic individual who has a passion for politics and reform. His wife shares his ideals and together they seem to be the perfect match. But then Tom meets an old childhood acquaintance. She's everything he stands against but he finds her irresistible...
As Tom embarks on an affair with this married fashion model - despite them both knowing it will only end with people they care about getting hurt - he receives some shocking news. A child is ill and Tom must make a decision about his principles, his career and decide who he cares about most.
Inspired by a selection of vintage photographs, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency author Alexander McCall Smith presents a selection of short stories about all kinds of love in Chance Developments.
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With a die-cut jacket and all five black-and-white photographs lovingly reproduced throughout the book, this is a gorgeous gift for any fan of the popular author. He looks at each photo and comes up with stories about the people captured in them.
From an estate in the Highlands of Scotland to a Canadian travelling circus, the stories are captivating from start to finish. They'll make you smile, laugh and cry and hope these characters find the love they're after - whether that be romantic, platonic, passionate or familial.
A set of three accomplished, heart-warming and endearing stories from the fantastic storyteller, Anne Donovan. A skilful novelist, these are humorous yet unsentimental reads that women all over the country will find both relevant and poignant.
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- Just £1.00 per book
Set in her native Glasgow and written in Scots dialect to add extra authenticity, the two full-length novels Buddha Da and Being Emily are joined by Hieroglyphics, a brilliant and beautiful collection of short stories. We highly recommend these books.
Ben Aaronovitch's Peter Grant series is a compelling combination of crime thriller and fantasy fiction. They follow a Probationary Constable in the Metropolitan Police Service who just so happens to be a trainee wizard.
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Written with a wry sense of humour and with little-known facts about London scattered throughout, Peter has to deal with a wide range of perplexing crimes throughout these page-turning novels. Broken Homes has Peter looking into the case of a mutilated body in Crawley. Could it be another killer on the loose or the work of a twisted magician known as the Faceless Man?
Foxglove Summer finds Peter heading to a small village in Herefordshire where the police are reluctant to admit there might be a supernatural element to the disappearance of local children; and The Hanging Tree follows Peter as he is plunged into the alien world of the super-rich...
This collection contains books 4-6 in Ben Aaronovitch's Peter Grant series.
Featuring summaries of the Bard's plays and characters, The Shakespeare Companion is the perfect read for anyone interested in his works, or those who are new to one of the most influential writers of all time.
- RRP £15.00
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Complete with a foreword by Dame Judi Dench, this book will enlighten you about Shakespeare's writing and help you enjoy his plays even more. It provides synopses of plays and even a resume of each performance's history.
There is also a look back at the history of Shakespearean theatre and those plays that he did not write that have been wrongly attributed to him.
Philippa Gregory, author of the Cousins' War series, is often regarded as the queen of historical fiction and this meticulously researched novel focuses on the legacy left by Lady Jane Grey, a woman who was Queen of England for nine days.
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Using her position as cousin to the deceased king, her father and his conspirators put her on the throne ahead of the king's half-sister Mary, who quickly mustered an army, claimed her crown and locked Jane in the Tower. When Jane refused to betray her Protestant faith, Mary sent her to the executioner's block... It's here where Jane turned her father's greedy grab for power into a tale of brave and tragic martyrdom.
Jane leaves all kinds of letters to her younger sister, Katherine, and they're all intended to help her enjoy her beauty, youth and to find love. Katherine's lineage makes her a threat to the insecure and infertile Queen Mary and when news of a secret marriage is revealed by her pregnancy, she is also sent to the tower. She, too, leaves the youngest Grey sister, Mary, a letter with advice.
Mary is a beautiful dwarf who has been disregarded by the court and she finds it easy to keep secrets. After watching her sisters defy the Queen, Mary knows she is a possible heir to the throne, but she's determined to stay in charge of her own destiny.
Karen Swan's frothy festive tales are always a huge hit with romantic fiction fans and this year's The Christmas Secret is no exception.
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The new novel from the author of Christmas Under the Stars is set on the island of Islay and follows Alex Hyde, an executive coach who believes she can change the way companies operate. Her waiting list is months long but she can't turn down a unorthodox and highly lucrative crisis call that comes her way just before Christmas...
She finds herself heading off to help a whisky company in Scotland and ends up fascinated by their darkly charismatic CEO, Lochlan Farquhar. However, her usual methods are not working and she soon learns that nothing and no-one is as it first seemed...
Kate Ellis' Wesley Peterson novels are perfect for fans of Barbara Cleverly, Tania Carver and Elly Griffiths. They are classic crime with an archaeological twist and could be described as 'Midsomer Murders set in Devon'.
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- Just £1.60 per book
The Flesh Tailor finds DI Peterson investigating the shooting of Dr James Dalcott. He discovers he was popular but had been harbouring strange and dramatic family secrets. Meanwhile, archaeologist Neil Watson has discovered a number of skeletons in Tailors Court that could be linked to a 16th century body-snatching physician...
The Jackal Man finds DI Peterson looking into the murder of a girl that might be related to an ancient ritual linked to Anubis, the jackal-headed Egyptian god of death and mummification; and The Shadow Collector focuses on the strange case of a mother and daughter who were rumoured to be witches.
This collection includes books 14, 15, 17, 18 and 19 in Kate Ellis' Wesley Peterson crime series
Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole is a character we've all laughed at and with over the years and this audio collection includes the first three books in the hugely entertaining and influential series.
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The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole will introduce you to a hapless teenager who provides an unabashed, pimples-and-all glimpse into adolescent life through his diary; The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole finds the teen struggling with the prospect of entering adulthood and trying to survive his family's attempts to scar him for life; and The Wilderness Years finds Adrian aged 23 and 3/4, living as a lodger in Pandora's Oxford flat, where he's barely tolerated by his childhood sweetheart.
Narrated by Nicholas Barnes, these are brilliantly funny CDs to listen to again and again.
Approximate running time: 16.5 hours
Narrated by big-name actors including Dan Stevens, Bill Nighy, Rory Kinnear and Damien Lewis, this audio collection contains the first four books in Ian Fleming's classic James Bond series.
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Featuring Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Moonraker and Diamonds are Forever, these CDs (complete with original, unabridged text) follow the spy on his various missions and are sure to keep anyone who loves all things 007 happily entertained.
Casino Royale follows Bond as he aims to neutralise the Russian operative Le Chiffre by ruining him at the baccarat table; Moonraker has him trying to stop a millionaire-backed project that could threaten Britain's defence system; Live and Let Die is a tale of terror, treachery and torture; and Diamonds are Forever finds diamonds being smuggled from Africa to America via Britain.
Approximate running time: 26 hours
A Song for Issy Bradley by debut author Carys Bray is an absolutely beautiful book that effortlessly deals with all the big subjects: faith and belief, relationships and suffering, love and loss.
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The story of a Mormon family trying to work out how to carry on when their world has fallen apart, the book expertly weaves the conflict their religion brings to each member of the household - from the devout father to Jacob, the unforgettable seven-year-old son who plans to mend his broken family with a miracle.
Thoroughly heartbreaking - so will undoubtedly make you sob - but ultimately uplifting, funny, compelling and enriching, Carys Bray's Song for Issy Bradley leaves readers with an unshakable sense of poignancy - for all the right reasons.
A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray has been shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. Other shortlisted titles include:
Academy Street, by Mary Costello - CAFRA
Chop Chop, by Simon Wroe - CAFRC
Elizabeth is Missing, by Emma Healey - CAFRD
The latest Dick Francis novel from Felix Francis once again shows that racing can be a deadly business...
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Chris Rankin is a skilled doctor but he also has mental health problems. A smartly dressed man is found unconscious at the local racecourse and dies when he arrives at the hospital. He has no form of identification and no one claims the body. This intrigues Rankin and he starts to ask questions...
However, someone does not want these questions answered and will go to any lengths to prevent it. No one believes Chris when he tells them someone tried to kill him. He will now have to do whatever it takes to identify the nameless man. Full of intrigue, this is a page-turner you'll quite literally race through.
HRYP 9 years +9 years +
If you're lucky enough to have tickets to see The Cursed Child on stage or are already excited for the next Fantastic Beasts film in 2018, then why not head back to Platform 9 3/4, climb aboard the Hogwarts Express and enjoy the Complete Harry Potter Collection for a magical price. Presented in a gorgeous slipcase, these editions of J. K. Rowling's classics come complete with stunning cover illustrations from Jonny Duddle.
- RRP £59.99
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- Just £4.28 per book
A phenomenon like no other, Harry's incredible journey begins with The Philosopher's Stone. Unhappily living in a cupboard under the stairs at his aunt's, he's visited by a giant called Rubeus Hagrid who delivers the most astonishing news - Harry's a wizard. As he heads to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry makes friends with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, meets oh-so-wise Professor Dumbledore and the complex Severus Snape and their incredible adventure begins. But evil in the shape of Lord Voldemort is getting ever closer - and the Dark Lord has his sights set firmly on Harry.
Throughout the seven books, Harry learns what it means to be a Gryffindor student and the value of friendship and trust. The eight films starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were a record-breaking success and now you can relive the stories where it all began time and time again with this amazing Harry Potter box set - Expecto Patronum!
This impeccable collection contains five novels by Elizabeth Jane Howard, the bestselling author of the Cazalet Chronicles and all the novels are funny yet touching.
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After Julius follows a family who have been brought back together, but they're finding it hard not to fall apart. Julius died 20 years ago but his last heroic action is still leaving a huge impact; Mr Wrong is a collection of short stories about dysfunctional families; and Odd Girl Out takes an eagle-eyed look at a destructive marriage.
Something in Disguise is a witty account of a post-war family who are on the cusp of change and facing a crisis; and Getting It Right is a touching comedy about a sensitive hairdresser who tries to start living life 'right' at the age of 31.
KMK2 14 years +14 years +
Harper Lee's acclaimed To Kill a Mockingbird won a Pulitzer Prize after its publication in 1960 and is hugely influential in its exposure of racial prejudice.
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Set in the American Deep South, the story is seen through the eyes of six-year-old Scout, whose lawyer father Atticus Finch defends a young black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman.
As Scout's family deals with the hostility and prejudice as a result of the case, there's a dawning realisation for Scout of all the inequality and injustice in her world.
Powerful and moving, this 'Great American Novel' is a must-have addition to every reader's bookshelf and with the publication of follow-up Go Set a Watchman already one of the biggest sellers of the year, now is the perfect time to rediscover the hugely important book.
Book People favourite Adele Parks returns with If You Go Away, a story set around the outbreak of World War I that combines glamorous debutantes with themes of heartbreak and discovering just what it is that is really worth fighting for...
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Young debutante Vivian has been hurried into a pedestrian marriage to cover up a scandal, but when her husband enlists on their wedding day she is left with no choice but to take up the management and running of his estate - despite her lack of experience in this field...
Meanwhile, young playwright Howard has rushed to the front to see the horrors of war for himself - and to observe both the best and worst of humanity. When conscription becomes law in 1916, he steadfastly refuses to join the ranks and becomes one of the most notorious conscientious objectors of all time...
Handsome, famous and seen as a threat to the government, he narrowly escapes a death sentence and agrees to work on Vivian's farm - when the two meet, they quickly form a bond...
This is a lovely slice of historical romance!
With 20 CDs adding up to over 25 hours' running time, this abridged audiobook collection contains Ken Follett's epic masterpiece Pillars of the Earth and its sequel World Without End.
- RRP £60.00
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Pillars of the Earth is a thrilling drama set in 12th century England that revolves around a family conflict surrounding the building of a cathedral. World Without End is set two centuries later in medieval Kingsbridge and it once again finds men, women and children having to grapple with the devastating sweep of historical change.
Both are read by beloved actor Richard E. Grant and provide captivating listening whether you're at home, in the car or on a longer journey.
Format: CD (abridged)
Susan Beale's debut novel The Good Guy has been shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and tells the story of a dreamer car-tyre salesman who lives in 1960s suburban New England.
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Ted craves admiration while his wife Abigail longs for a life of the mind and single girl Penny just wants to be loved. When a chance encounter brings Ted and Penny together, he begins to dream of a new life that revolves around her. However when this fantasy clashes with reality, Ted has to face up to the prospect of losing everything - and everyone - he holds dear.
This is a compelling novel about love, marriage and the contrast between good intentions and self-deception.
With six original and exciting adventures starring Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor and his ever-loyal assistant Clara (played in the show by Jenna-Louise Coleman), this collection will make the perfect gift for any fan of the BBC's long-running sci-fi show.
- RRP £41.94
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- Just 67.00p per book
The Doctor comes face to face with a murderer known only as the Governor; he has to unravel a mystery dating back to the Second World War when a giant mosquito attacks a boy on his way to school; and looks into why the Phaeron race from outer space disappeared over a million years ago.
Full of the quirks and intelligence of the hit TV show, this is a set of paperback books to keep any Whovian happily entertained as they wait patiently for the next rip-roaring series.
Now the star of her own hit Sky TV series where she's played by Ashley Jensen, this bumper 20-book collection will introduce you to Agatha Raisin, one of Book People's most popular detectives. Written by M.C. Beaton, these are whodunnits that will keep you guessing until the very last page.
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Set in a picture-perfect Cotswold village, Agatha learns her trade; finds herself accused of poisoning a judge in the local quiche-making competition; has to deal with the fallout of the murder of her ex-husband's new wife; attempts to catch a killer when jam at the village fete is laced with poison; attempts to plan the perfect Christmas, while solving the murder of a woman who has written to her from beyond the grave; wakes up next to a curiously cold corpse; and cracks many more curious cases.
Including her very first mystery The Quiche of Death, the first novel adapted into a television drama, alongside many more curious cases, this is a witty, quirky and endlessly charming collection for crime fans who prefer their murder mysteries with the blood and gore left out.
This collection contains books 1-20 in M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin series.
Full of romance and friendship, love and life, laughter and tears, this frothy three-book collection from Vanessa Greene will appeal to those who enjoy upbeat and optimistic summer reads.
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The Vintage Teacup Club follows three women as they find the perfect brew of friendship after meeting at a car boot sale in Sussex. All very different, they fall for the same vintage tea set and decide to share it. It soon plays a part in changing all their lives...
The Seafront Tea Rooms provide the perfect hideaway from the stresses of modern life and a group of women soon find what they've been searching for when they visit; The Beachside Guest House is set on a beautiful Greek island and follows Rosa and Bee as they make the plan to take over the converted windmill in which they once stayed during their younger years...
Featuring Excellent Women, Crampton Hodnet and No Fond Return of Love, this 3-book collection of Barbara Pym novels is full of witty social observations from times gone by.
- RRP £26.97
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- Just £1.33 per book
One of her most successful books, Excellent Women tells the story of Mildred Lathbury, a self-proclaimed spinster who falls in love. Crampton Hodnet focuses on Miss Doggett and her companion Miss Morrow, who take in a variety of lodgers; and No Fond Return of Love tells the story of Viola Dace and her friend Dulcie Mainwaring, who are both in love with the same man.