Christmas Shopping Ideas 2014
The faint sound of sleigh bells is getting louder and it is around now that ‘present panic’ starts to set in. What to get a loved one at Christmas? Stuck for an idea for the office Secret Santa? As a book lover I always encourage people to give a book as a gift and I have a few suggestions which may help simplify your shopping.
I will start by recommending two thrillers, both of which I have seen on supermarket shelves in the last week. Vendetta by Dreda Say Mitchell is a brilliant, fast paced story which had me hooked all the way through. The story focuses on an undercover cop in London – in the opening chapter he wakes in a strange hotel room, he has been shot and there is a dead body in the bathroom beside him yet he has no recollection of how he got there. Fans of James Paterson will enjoy the writing style which uses short chapters and constant action points.
Second recommendation is Dead Man Walking by Paul Finch. Another policeman, however, this time the action takes place in the Lake District – it is winter and heavy fog has shrouded a Cumbrian village. Hidden in the fog is a murderer who likes to stalk his victims before he pounces – the only way they know he is nearby is that he whistles ‘Strangers in the Night’ as he closes in. With the villagers trapped and isolated- they are easy prey.
For those looking for something a bit more seasonal and don’t want half the cast killed off during the story then I suggest A Christmas To Remember by Jenny Hale. This story has been receiving fantastic praise since its release and is hitting the perfect balance of romance, humour and lashings of Christmas cheer. On a similar theme Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake by Sue Watson is equally charming Christmas fare.
If fiction is not your thing then I can highly recommend Our Zoo by June Mottershead. If you remember the BBC drama of the same name then you will likely recongise June’s name – she has lived and grown up around Chester Zoo, which was originally opened by her father. Our Zoo is June’s biography and gives her unique perspective of life with the animals.
For football fans there is one stand out stocking filler: Football Clichés by Adam Hurrey. If you have ever watched a football match on television this is for you…101 ways to describe a goal? Sorted. Diagrams of a player complete with Monkey on his Back and Wise Head on his Shoulders? Hurrey has it covered. Cleverly written and laugh out loud funny.
Finally for the craft lovers I have to give special mention to WTF Knits by Gabrielle Grillo and Lucy Sweet. A fun wee book full of the weirdest knitting and crochet efforts from around the world. Another stocking filler as this is a collection of photographs. Yet who knew that so many people would want to knit alien autopsies, a variety of poo shapes or the Bee Gees (complete with knitted chest hair)?
All books listed above are easily found online and the only one you MAY struggle to find in your local shops is the knitting one (which is a shame as it is such fun).