December 21st – Advent authors reveal which books they would like to see under the Christmas tree

Here, six more authors share which books they would like to see wrapped up under their Christmas tree this year and here’s what they said. . .

 

Beth O’LEARY

Ooh, I would love a copy of JoJo Moyes’ new novel, The Giver of Stars. It’s such a stunning hardback and I just know I’m going to love that book.

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

The greatest love story is the one you least expect . . .

Alice is stifled, bored, and misunderstood. So when she meets wealthy and handsome American, Bennett Van Cleve, she is quickly swept off her feet. Marrying him and moving to America seems like a great adventure – but life as a newlywed in stuffy Baileyville, Kentucky, is not at all what she hoped for. Until, that is, she responds to a call for volunteers to start a travelling library, surprising herself by saying yes, before her husband can say no . . .

Led by feisty and rebellious Margery O’Hare, this unlikely group of women travel far and wide on their mission to bring books and reading to those that need it, and Alice finally finds the freedom, friendship and love that she’s been looking for. But not everyone approves of what they are doing, especially her new father-in-law. And when the town turns against them, will their belief in each other and their work be enough?

The Giver of Stars is a mesmerising tale of female friendship, romance, and the wonder of books and reading, inspired by a remarkable true story.

 

Victoria Connelly

The Land Gardeners: Cut Flowers – this is a gorgeous hardback by a gardening/florist team whose Instagram account is just wonderful. I’ve recently become a bit obsessed with growing my own cut flowers and I’m learning just what is possible with a few packets of seed and a bit of time and patience.


The Land Gardeners: Cut Flowers
 Hardcover by Bridget Elworthy and Henrietta Courtauld

This is the story of The Land Gardeners, creators of productive gardens and stunning bundles of cut flowers. Based in the original walled garden at Wardington Manor, The Land Gardeners have revived the tradition of working with the land to produce abundant, seasonal flowers for clients use in decoration, design and events. But for all the frivolous, bucolic beauty of the flowers, it is the productivity and the health of the soil that truly underpins The Land Gardeners philosophy.

A shared loved of learning about plants, soil and the creation of beautiful, productive, truly alive gardens inspired Elworthy and Courtauld to start The Land Gardeners in 2012. They decided to turn a neglected garden into a productive, commercial garden and in doing so learnt so much about old soil, new soil, planting, picking and potting hundreds of different flowers. This is a book about their story and a visual diary of everything they have learned.

 

Leah Mercer

I think it’d be The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read by Philippa Perry. It sounds like a wonderful, very encouraging read.

The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read by Philippa Perry

Every parent wants their child to be happy and every parent wants to avoid screwing them up. But how do you achieve that?

In this absorbing, clever and funny book, renowned psychotherapist Philippa Perry tells us what really matters and what behaviour it is important to avoid – the vital dos and don’ts of parenting. Instead of mapping out the ‘perfect’ plan, Perry offers a big-picture look at the elements that lead to good parent-child relationships. This refreshing, judgement-free book will help you to:

  • Understand how your own upbringing may affect your parenting
  • Accept that you will make mistakes and learn what you can do about them
  • Break negative cycles and patterns
  • Handle your own and your child’s feelings
  • Understand what different behaviours communicate

Full of sage and sane advice, this is the book that every parent will want to read and every child will wish their parents had.

 

Josie Silver

I’m really looking forward to Marian Keyes new book, Grown Ups, – Marian is basically my writing queen. I’m also hankering after the final instalment of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval series, Finale. It’s a magical fantasy trilogy, it’s spellbindingly good. The kind of book I couldn’t wait to get to bed early and escape into. 

Grown Ups by Marian Keyes

They’re a glamorous family, the Caseys. Johnny Casey, his two brothers Ed and Liam, their beautiful, talented wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together – birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weekends away. And they’re a happy family. Johnny’s wife, Jessie – who has the most money – insists on it.

Under the surface, though, conditions are murkier. While some people clash, other people like each other far too much. Everything stays under control until Ed’s wife Cara, gets concussion and can’t keep her thoughts to herself. One careless remark at Johnny’s birthday party, with the entire family present, starts Cara spilling out all their secrets.

In the subsequent unravelling, every one of the adults finds themselves wondering if it’s time – finally – to grow up?

 

Deborah Carr

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. I haven’t read any of the authors’ books, but this book’s blurb intrigues me and it’s one that I’m going to have to read.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Danny Conroy grows up in the Dutch House, a lavish folly in small-town Pennsylvania taken on by his property developer father. Though his father is distant and his mother is absent, Danny has his beloved sister Maeve: Maeve, with her wall of black hair, her delicacy, her brilliance. Life is comfortable and coherent, played out under the watchful eyes of the house’s former owners in the frames of their oil paintings, or under the cover of the draperies around the window seat in Maeve’s room.

Then one day their father brings Andrea home: Andrea, small and neat, a dark hat no bigger than a saucer pinned over a twist of her fair hair. Though they cannot know it, Andrea’s advent to the Dutch House sows the seed of the defining loss of Danny and Maeve’s lives. Her arrival will exact a banishment: a banishment whose reverberations will echo for the rest of their lives.

For all that the world is open to him, for all that he can accumulate, for all that life is full, Danny and his sister are drawn back time and again to the place they can never enter, knocking in vain on the locked door of the past. For behind the mystery of their own enforced exile is that of their mother’s self-imposed one: an absence more powerful than any presence they have known.

 

TRACY BLOOM

A biography of Nora Ephron if there is one. She is my hero.

Nora Ephron: The Last Interview: And Other Conversations

A hilarious and revealing look at one of America’s most cherished screenwriters. From the beginning of her career as a young journalist to her final interview – a warm, wise, heartbreaking reflection originally published in the Believer – this is a sparkling look at the life and work of a great talent.

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