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December Top 10 books

Published: 29 November 2019

Top 10 books to read this Christmas

Great books for all ages this December

Here are December's top ten books, available in Surrey libraries. With Christmas fast approaching it's time to pick your favourites for those cosy nights in. From Marie Kondo for children to intriguing love stories, there's so much to keep the whole family entertained this Christmas!

1) Pulitzer Prize winning author Elizabeth Strout is here with the next instalment of your favourite, contrary and contradictory character, Olive Kitteridge. Olive, Again is set during the second half of Olive's life as she adjusts to her new life with her second husband and challenges her estranged son and his family to accept him. In the small coastal town of Crosby, Maine, she finally opens herself to new life lessons.

2) Do you think your kids have a lot more toys than they need? Marie Kondo makes her children's book debut with a picture book about how tidying with friends can, apparently, spark joy in the lives of young children. Kiki & Jax: the life-changing magic of friendship follows best friends as they discover they're both very different. Jax enjoys sorting but Kiki enjoys collecting and gathers a lot of stuff. Once she and Jax have tidied up, Kiki has room in her life for those things that matter the most - especially Jax.

3) Grandmothers, from Salley Vickers, is a story of three very different women and their relationship with the younger generation. Fiercely independent Nan, who leads a secret life as an award-winning poet when she is not teaching her grandson Billy how to lie. Glamorous Blanche, deprived of the company of her granddaughter Kitty by her hostile daughter-in-law, who finds solace in drink and shop lifting. Then there's shy, bookish Minna who shares her passion for reading with her surrogate granddaughter, Rose..

4) The laugh-out-loud follow-up to the viral sensation The Wonky Donkey, is here in time for Christmas. The Dinky Donkey features playful verses by Craig Smith and illustrations by Katz Cowley and it follows the same formula that made its predecessor a worldwide hit. Readers will love the antics of this stinky punky plinky-plonky winky-tinky pinky funky blinky dinky donkey!

5) Three years before he died, David Bowie made a list of the one hundred books that had transformed his life - a list that formed something akin to an autobiography. In Bowie's Books, author John O'Connell explores this list in the form of one hundred short essays, each offering a perspective on the man, performer and creator that is Bowie, his work as an artist and the era that he lived in.

6) If you love the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, this autobiography of Flea, Acid for the children is one to pick up this Christmas. Flea's life was all very normal but his parents divorced. Flea's stepfather frequently invited musicians to his house for jam sessions which sparked Flea's interest in music. The family moved to Los Angeles, but the family soon fell apart. He was on the streets by 14 and soon after, met another social outcast and drug user named Anthony Kiedis. They formed a band that would become the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

7) Described as War and Peace meets The House of Spirits, The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischwili is a truly epic novel. At the start of the 20th century, a family prospers. It owes its success to a delicious chocolate recipe, passed down the generations with great solemnity and caution. Stasia learns the recipe from her Georgian father and takes it north, following her new husband, Simon, to his posting at the centre of the Russian Revolution in St Petersburg. Will this be a doomed and bitter end to the romance?

8) Almost 20 years after the publication of the first Artemis Fowl book, Eoin Colfer returns with the first in a brilliant new series for older children, The Fowl Twins. Myles and Beckett are eleven-year-old twins, but the two boys are wildly different. Beckett is messy and sulks, Myles is fanatically neat andhas an IQ of 170, like his older brother, Artemis Fowl. There's more than meets the eye to the twins, and this adventure is not for the faint of heart.

9) An epically funny end-of-the-world adventure read, for children who love comics. Apocalypse...and other surprising stories! by Jamie Smart follows Bunny and Monkey who would normally be fighting. But everything's gone wrong, this time the pair of them will face their greatest danger yet - the actual apocalypse!

10) A House in the Mountains by Caroline Moorehead tells the story of four young women during the late summer of 1943, when Italy changed sides in the War and the Germans. An Italian Resistance was born and Ada, Frida, Silvia and Bianca joined the Resistance, living secretively in the mountains surrounding Turin. Between 1943 and 1945, thousands of men and women throughout occupied Italy, rose up and fought to liberate their country from the German invaders and their Fascist collaborators.

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