Maybe I’m biased, but I truly can’t think of a better gift than a book: chosen with care, inexpensive, and can be read over and over again. There’s been lots of great new releases this year, so why not give the gift of reading to someone you love (or just treat yourself)? If you’re in Stirling for the festive season, definitely shop local and check out the Book Nook.
Without further ado, here are five books from 2022 that you need to get on your Christmas wish list.
The Raptures by Jan Carson
The Raptures follows a small town in 1990s Northern Ireland as a mysterious illness sweeps through the community’s children. Post-COVID, it’s particularly haunting, told through the naivety of a child with a supernatural twist. Dealing with race, religion and a tight-knit community, Carson’s book is thought-provoking and unsettling in the best way.
Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou
Elaine Hsieh Chou’s satirical debut is an absolute triumph. To begin with, I was intimidated by how long it was, but ended up tearing through it. Ingrid Yang is a PhD student struggling with her dissertation in East Asian Studies, and in an attempt to procrastinate, she uncovers her university’s darkest secret. Ingrid’s university woes will resonate with a lot of students, and her character development was incredibly well done. The larger than life side-characters help carry the plot well too.
The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill
This one is a bit confusing because it’s a book within a book. I was sceptical, but Sulari Gentill really pulls it off. The main character is Hannah, a writer, but we never actually read anything from her perspective. The book consists of the chapters Hannah is writing for her new novel (the main character of which is also an author!), and the email replies she receives from fan and wannabe writer, Leo. It seems complicated I know, but once you’re a few chapters in you adjust pretty quickly. I won’t give anything away because it is a mystery novel, but it is so cleverly written and like nothing I’ve ever read before.
Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Taylor Jenkins Reid’s work just gets better and better with each book. Once again she tells the story of a fictional celebrity so beautifully, it hard to believe they’re not actually real people. This one focuses on tennis superstar Carrie Soto and her mission to return to competing in her 30s. If you’ve read Malibu Rising, you’ll already be familiar with her name. Jenkins Reid proves that Carrie is deserving of her own story and genuinely makes tennis fascinating.
Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
Fans of Celeste Ng will already know she writes beautifully, and Our Missing Hearts is no exception. Set in near-future America (which seems terrifyingly close to our current world), a young boy goes in search of his missing mother. It honestly reads as more realism than speculative fiction, which makes it all the more horrifying – racism, police brutality and extreme patriotism on the rise after an economic crisis. If you only read one book this year, I firmly believe this should be it.
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