Senior Commissioning Editor, Viper Books
I would love to get a copy of Alex Michaelides’ book The Silent Patient, because I’m so embarrassed, but I haven’t read it yet. It came out the day I started a new job, which meant I read nothing but submissions for two months. But everyone keeps telling me it’s a game changer, so I desperately need to find out what all the fuss is about.
ALICIA: Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain. Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.
THEO: Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.
And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?
Publisher/Editor for HarperCollins
I’d love love love to see a signed copy of The Common Years by Jilly Cooper under my tree. It’s Jilly’s diary and musings written in the 80s and it’s utterly gorgeous and a real celebration of nature and simpler times. I’d also love to finally have time to read the new Phillipa Gregory.
During the ten years she lived at the edge of Putney Common Jilly Cooper walked daily on this expanse of green. For most of the time she lived there she kept a diary, noting the effects of the changing seasons and writing about her encounters with dogs and humans.
The book is a distillation of those diaries: an affectionate and enthralling portrait – warts and all – of life on Putney Common.
Never has Jilly Cooper written more lyrically about flowers, trees, birds and the natural world; more tellingly about the sorrows – as well as the joys – of caring for dogs and children; or more outrageously about the gossip, illicit romances and jealousies of life in a small community.
Sentinel columnist, Stoke-on-Trent Live and The Sentinel
If I could find any book underneath my Christmas tree this year it would be Madame Badobedah by Sophie Dahl. Sophie Dahl has written a few books for grown-ups but this is her first children’s fiction, and I’m itching to know if she’s inherited her grandad’s magic with words. As the mum of a small child I’ve discovered that some books designed with children in mind are a wonderful read for adults too. Some of my daughter’s books have become so special to me that I know I’ll want to keep them myself if she ever grows out of them. Madame Badobedah is the story of a little girl who lives with her family in a hotel by the sea and likes to watch the comings and goings of the guests. One old lady catches her eye, and may well be a supervillain. It’s beautifully illustrated by Lauren O’Hara, and I’d love to read it curled up on the sofa with my little girl.
Mabel lives with her parents in The Mermaid Hotel, by the sea. Mabel likes to keep an eye on the comings and goings of all the guests.
Then one day a particularly in-ter-est-ing old lady comes to stay. There is something very suspicious about her, with her growly voice and her heavy trunks and her beady-eyed tortoise.
And why does no one know her REAL name? There can only be one answer, Mabel decides … this guest is a SUPERVILLAIN.
Hera Books, Co-Founder and Publishing Director
The book I’d most like to receive this Christmas is Dishoom ‘From Bombay with Love’ because I’m OBSESSED with their black daal and knowing how to make it myself would save me a lot of money!
At long last, Dishoom share the secrets to their much sought-after Bombay comfort food: the Bacon Naan Roll, Black Daal, Okra Fries, Jackfruit Biryani, Chicken Ruby and Lamb Raan, along with Masala Chai, coolers and cocktails.
As you learn to cook the Dishoom menu, you will also be taken on a day-long tour of south Bombay, peppered with much eating and drinking. You’ll discover the simple joy of early chai and omelette at Kyani and Co., of dawdling in Horniman Circle on a lazy morning, of eating your fill on Mohammed Ali Road, of strolling on the sands at Chowpatty at sunset or taking the air at Nariman Point at night.
This beautiful cookery book and its equally beautiful photography will transport you to Dishoom’s most treasured corners of an eccentric and charming Bombay. Read it, and you will find yourself replete with recipes and stories to share with all who come to your table.
Bookends, Personal Assistant/Virtual Assistant for authors and writers
I’d love to find Lies Lies Lies by Adele Parks under the tree this Christmas. She is one of my favourite authors – I loved The State We’re In and I Invited Her In – and I love the way she makes ordinary life situations into dark, creepy and thrilling stories. They are heart-wrenchingly twisty.
Daisy and Simon’s marriage is great, isn’t it?
After years together, the arrival of longed-for daughter Millie sealed everything in place. A happy little family of three.
And so what if Simon drinks a bit too much sometimes – Daisy’s used to it, she knows he’s letting off steam.
Until one night at a party things spiral horribly out of control. And that happy little family of three will never be the same again.