The Gift of a Great Read by Kate Duggan

Stuck for the perfect present this Christmas? Or need some inspiration for your own wish list? Read on…

For historical fiction fans

Washington Black – Esi Edugyan

11-year-old slave Washington Black is taken from the sugar fields and lent to his tyrannical master’s brother, Titch, to work on a ‘cloudcutter’ hot air balloon. The duo form an unlikely friendship that, coupled with Washington’s artistic talent, could provide a way out of slavery.

For parents

Parent Alert, How To Keep Your Kids Safe Online – Nadia Sawalha, Kaye Adams and Will Geddes

Thousands of kids will be receiving new smartphones or tablets this Christmas. But how do you make sure they’re not being bullied, giving too much information away to strangers or being targeted by predators? This book gives parents lots of actionable advice on how to keep kids safe online.

For romantic fiction fans

A Miracle on Hope Street – Emma Heatherington

When she learns that one act of kindness has transformed a man’s life, Ruth decides to put her own loneliness aside and create a Christmas to remember for people in need. A heart-warming tale that’s perfect for fans of JoJo Moyes and Marian Keyes.

For history buffs

Bloody Brilliant Women – Cathy Newman

This book uncovers the ‘pioneers, revolutionaries and geniuses your history teacher forgot to mention’. Read about women such as engineer Beatrice Shilling, whose work played a role in helping RAF pilots in the Battle of Britain, and developmental biologist Anne McLaren, whose work paved the way for IVF.

For foodies

Tasty Ultimate

From quick and easy midweek dinners, to showstopping dinner party favourites, Tasty has them all. Recipes include Nashville Hot Turkey Tenders, Roast Pork Tex Mex Burritos, The Best Crispy Chicken Parmesan, Slow-Cooked Honey and Spice Lamb Shank, and Latte Coffee Cake. Recipes are simple to follow and bright photographs make every dish look mouth-wateringly tempting.

For Harry Potter Fans

The Crimes of Grindelwald – The Original Screenplay

Albus Dumbledore enlists Newt Scamander to recapture Gellert Grindelwald, who’s recently escaped and is gathering followers. This is the second in the Fantastic Beasts series. It’s a screenplay of the recently released film, rather than a traditional novel, so it’s quicker to read but no less enjoyable.

For young children

The Jolly Christmas Postman – Janet and Allan Ahlberg

This is an all-year-round favourite in our house. The Jolly Postman sets off to deliver letters and parcels to fairy-tale characters. Kids aged three and up will love opening each envelope to reveal the surprise inside – whether it’s a Christmas card for Baby Bear, a jigsaw for Humpty Dumpty or a game for Red Riding Hood.

For older children

A Boxset

Head to to pick up a boxset. When I checked there were lots to choose from, including twelve Diary of a Wimpy Kid books for £14.99, ten How to Train Your Dragon books for £17.99, fifteen Roald Dahl favourites for £21.99, and six David Walliams books for £23.99. Bargains galore.