Books That Should be on YOUR Christmas List | Blogmas Day 4

Following on from blogmas day 2 where I told you what books were on my Christmas list this year, I thought it would also be useful to do a post where I recommend books that I’ve read that should definitely be on your Christmas list! I’ve tried to include a mixture of the books that I have read recently, as well as the some that I read a few years ago so that blogmas doesn’t get too repetitive. However, there were some books that I’ve read over the last few months that were just too good not to include so, apologises for that, but you need to hear about them again! I’ve also included a selection of novels that are aimed at adults for example, classics (though these can, of course, be read by anyone, including young adults) and more steamy romance novels, as well as those for a primary young adult audience. Although I said about classics, books don’t really have a set audience. Read whatever books you want and add whichever books to your list that tickle your fancy.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

This was one of my favourite books when I read in back in 2017 and I think it would still make the list today. It is such an atmospheric and compelling novel so please don’t base your opinions on the new Netflix adaptation. As much as I love the two main leads, it really didn’t do this incredible book justice. Rebecca follows our protagonist, who is whisked away by Maxim de Winter from Monte Carlo, where she is acting as a lady’s maid. She heads to Manderely, the large estate owned by Maxim, inheriting all the jobs that a Lady of the house must complete. However, she has large shoes to fill. The memory of Maxim’s ex-wife Rebecca haunts every decision and move she makes.

The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare

As someone who doesn’t always get along with Shakespeare, you may be surprised to see this as a recommendation. However, I know a lot of people love Shakespeare and this happens to be my favourite play of his that I have read. I read The Winter’s Tale for my degree last year, and it is a difficult synopsis to explain. It follows Leontes as he becomes convinced that his wife has had an affair with his best friend. This is one of Shakespeare’s comedies and though not the easiest of Shakespeare’s plays (Romeo and Juliet would be a great entrance point!), I recommend it nonetheless if you’re trying to decide which play to read next.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein and Dracula are probably two of my favourite classics of all time however, I went with Frankenstein for this list today. Normally people hate the books they have to read in high school, but I really enjoyed this. I’m sure most of you are familiar with the story but Victor Frankenstein is fascinated with the sciences and sets himself a task that has never been done before: to reanimate a corpse. He succeeds however, when he sees the Monster he has created he flees, leaving the creature to fend for himself. Given that there are so many references to this throughout popular culture, why not read the original?

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Moving to slightly more modern novels now with And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. Hosseini’s other novel, The Kite Runner is extremely popular however, I hear less people talking about this one and it is my favourite out of the two. It follows two siblings, Abdullah and Pari. Abdullah will do anything for his sister however, when their father takes them on a journey across the desert to Kabul, their lives change forever.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

This is one of my favourite romance novels that I have read this year…and ever really. The Kiss Quotient is an own voices story that follows Stella Lane, a woman with Asperger’s as she tries to work on her issues with intimacy. She employs a male escort but he is nothing like she is expecting. Micheal Phan is gentle and caring and slowly but surely Stella becomes more comfortable with him. Not only that, she begins to crave his touch and his love.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies is another one that I read during high school and really enjoyed. It is another classic but less popular than Frankenstein, I would argue. It follows a group of boys who crash land on an island and must learn to fend for themselves. This novel contains such interesting commentary on nature vs nurture as well as the development of civilisation. I highly recommend this one if you haven’t read it already.

From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

Back to the romance now with another one of my favourites that I read this year. I’ve talked about this book quite a lot over the last few months so I won’t spend too much time on it today but, you should definitely add this one to your Christmas list if you love a slow burn romance. Zapata is the queen of that trope! Sports romance, slow burn romance…..what more can you ask for?!

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo

I really enjoyed this one! Joint winner of the Man Booker Prize for 2020, Evaristo tells the story of many different women. It has such incredible representation with trans-rep, lesbian representation etc. Despite the many different perspectives, each is linked in some way and you get such a complete picture of each woman’s life. The prize was definitely well deserved and I think everyone should read this one at some point.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

I read The Poet X last year I believe and fell in love. I was a little apprehensive about reading a book in verse but you still get some much storytelling and character development, I don’t know how Acevedo does it. She is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. This is a beautiful story about family and a girl beginning to use her voice and stand up for what she wants, not just what her mother wants her to be. I’m sure a lot of you have read this one but, if you haven’t, add it to your Christmas list right now!

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater is one of the most original young adult fantasy novels that I have ever read. I love the characters in this series so much. It follows Blue, who comes from a family of psychic women. She was always told that she could never kiss her true love because, if she did, they would die. Blue never though it would be a problem, until she meets The Raven Boys…..There’s so much more to the story than that too with Ley lines and sleeping kings. You’re in for a real treat.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

I couldn’t not put this series on the list when I’ve been talking about it for the last year. Plus, the movie adaptation is coming out in early 2021 so now is the perfect time to read the series in anticipation. This one follows our male protagonist, Todd Hewitt, the last boy to become a man in Prentisstown. When he becomes a man, Todd will finally find out the secrets of his town. Though, it is hard to keep a secret when everyone can hear your thoughts. This series made me cry and feel all the emotions. It includes commentary on colonisation, gender, whether war and murder can ever be justified and so much more. If there is one book you pick up from this list, let it be this one. You will not be disappointed, I promise.

The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R. Pan

When I bought this book, I never thought I would enjoy it enough to place it on a list like this. But it was a very pleasant surprise. The Astonishing Colour of After is a beautiful story of grief in which our main character has lost her mother and believes she has been reincarnated as a red bird. She heads to Taiwan to find her mother as well as learn more about her heritage and history. It is just a beautiful book. (trigger warning for suicide)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Again, this is another one which I talk about all the time….and everyone else does too. But, if there is one book that deserves the hype, it is this one. The Hate U Give follows Starr who feels like she is living a double life, one in the posh prep school she attends and the other the black community where she lives. However, when her best friend is shot by the police simply because he was black, Starr cannot remain silent anymore.

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

This is the only book on this list that I gave less than four stars and it was only three! Despite that, I think a lot of you would find enjoyment in this series. It is a classic hate to love fantasy romance featuring both a witch and a witch hunter in a historical setting. I did really enjoy this one with the romance being the main selling point. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel.

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Noughts and Crosses is a bit of a throwback novel for me. I read the series quite a few years ago and even went to see a production of it with my friend as it is her favourite series of all time. That tells you how good it is and it has stuck with me all this time. Sephy is a Cross – part of the ruling class, whereas Callum is a Nought, the “colourless” lower class. They have been friends since childhood however, as they grow up, the reality of the segregated society sets in and they realise that maybe this friendship is just not meant to be. I think this series should continue to be talked about as it really is amazing. Definitely add this one to your list if you’re looking for a series to pack a punch.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

We’re going to finish with what is potentially my favourite series of all time (or at least, the first three books anyway). This is another young adult series that is unbelievably original. It follows Jacob Portman as he discovers the secret world of the Peculiar Children and he just might realise that he has a gift too. Again, this one is talked about quite a lot but rightly so. Add this one to your Christmas list now!

There are sixteen books to contend with one this list so hopefully you liked the sound of one of them. Have you added any of these books to your Christmas list?

Thank you for joining me once again for BLOGMAS DAY 4. Don’t forget to head back to my blog tomorrow for:

Books On My 2020 TBRs That I Didn’t Read

All will be explained for that one tomorrow. See you then!

Amie x

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