If you’re a regular reader here you’ll probably know that I adore everything to do with books and reading. So, I thought it only natural that I put together a list of the best books to gift this Christmas.

The benefits of reading are well-known. Reading provides mental stimulation and is scientifically proven to reduce stress. It expands the vocabulary, improves memory and creates better analytical skills. Reading has also been proven to improve focus and concentration, increase intelligence and help sleep. Who wouldn’t want to give all these things to their loved one as a gift this Christmas?

As a child when I was asked what I wanted for my birthday or Christmas, one of my answers would always be ‘books please!’. I know, what a weird child. These days, with the popularity of Kindles and other e-readers, I don’t ask for books on all occasions anymore, though I kind of wish I did.

I enjoy book recommendations from other people. It saves me always sticking to the same type of books (crime thrillers, thrillers, detective novels) and gives me cause to read other things. That’s why I think getting books as gifts is so fantastic. If you’re like me, you likely won’t turn down reading a book that’s been gifted to you, so you’ll end up reading something you otherwise wouldn’t have.

Fiction novels 

The Breakdown was one of the best books I read early this year. It’s a psychological thriller and a total page-turner. Perfect for those who like to read something gripping.

 

 

 

 

Into The Water is the second novel by Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on The Train. I enjoyed this one even more and raced through it within just two days.

 

 

 

 

This was the first book by Christopher Brookmyre that I read and I found that I really enjoyed it. The main character, Jack Parlabane, is relatable and likeable and the story is intriguing enough to make you want to keep reading to find out what happens.

 

 

 

 

 

I absolutely could not put this novel down and, for me, that’s the sign of a really good book. I finished this in just over 24 hours as I couldn’t wait to see who was the one who was really crazy – the mother or the girlfriend.

 

 

 

Lies by TM Logan was recommended to me by Thomas’ father. I’ve since recommended it to about a dozen people, because it was just so good. It’s an easy to read novel that is difficult to put down, because you’re desperate to know what happens. There’s also a major twist at the end that made me gasp out loud!

 

 

 

 

Travel fiction novels 

 

A Gentleman in Moscow was one of my favourite travel-inspired novels that I read this year. I loved the descriptions of life in Moscow in the early 20th century and really warmed to the main character at times.

 

 

 

 

Reading The Tea Planter’s Daughter with its vivid and colourful descriptions of India made me yearn for the country. Anyone who loves to read about other countries is sure to love the descriptive writing and tales of India.

 

 

 

Recipe books 

One of my other big passions in life is cooking and I always enjoy trying new recipes. When I’m not travelling I love trying to make dishes I’ve tasted in other countries, and bringing a flavour of travel to my home.

 

Rick Stein’s India is one of my absolute favourite recipe books. After visiting India 3 years ago (and planning to return in 2019!) I’ve loved Indian cooking so much and the recipes contained within this book are superb. A great gift for anyone who loves creating spicy food that’s full of flavour.

 

 

 

 

Jamie Oliver’s new 5 Ingredient book is absolutely fantastic, especially for those who like cooking but are put off by extensive ingredient lists. Each of the recipes I’ve tried from this book have been simple and delicious.

 

 

 

 

I received this Nick Nairn cook book last Christmas, along with a voucher to attend a day with Nick at his cook school. We had a superb day at his Aberdeen Cook School in June and have used this recipe book countless times.

 

 

 

 

Will you be gifting any books to loved ones this Christmas? Do you have any books to recommend?