The mad rush to complete your Christmas shopping before the big day is fast approaching. If you’re still on the hunt for the perfect gift for a book-lover, here are 5 of the best books of 2017 – the perfect gifts this Christmas:
- Lincoln in The Bardo by George Saunders
George Saunders is arguably one of the greatest American writers of his generation. Over the course of his career he has published over twenty short stories, several of which have been nominated and won prizes, including a finalist for the National Book award and recipient of the Folio Prize for ‘Tenth of December’. In his highly anticipated and long-awaited first novel, Saunders delivers his most original and engaging work yet. Unfolding in a graveyard over the course of a single night in February 1862, Lincoln in the Bardo explores familial love and loss as President Lincoln deals with the death of his eleven-year-old son Willie Lincoln. The novel breaks free of its historical framework and realism into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying, employing a chorus of voices. As the winner of the Man Booker Prize 2017, Saunders finds his debut novel featured in nearly every ‘Best Books of the Year 2017’ chart, from the Sunday Times to the New Statesman. This novel is not one to be missed.
- The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman
This winter, Philip Pullman presents his long-awaited return to the world of His Dark Materials. The Book of Dust is a story in three parts, the first of which is La Belle Sauvage, set 10 years before the events of His Dark Materials. This is a story of survival, where two children find themselves pursued by a terrifying evil whilst in the care of a baby – a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua. Named as one of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945 by The Times, and winner of the Carnegie of Carnegies in 2007, Philip Pullman’s new novel is guaranteed to be a success with any family or friends who read His Dark Materials, or any younger fantasy lovers new to the trilogy.
- Adventures of a Young Naturalist: The Zoo Expeditions by Sir David Attenborough
After the BBC confirmed last year that the first three episodes of Planet Earth II attracted more viewers in the 16 to 34 age bracket than X Factor, it became common knowledge that David Attenborough is extremely popular among young people. Therefore, what better than to gift his new book this Christmas (other than the other books on this list, obviously)? Adventures of a Young Naturalist is the story of the voyages Sir David undertook in 1954 after being offered the opportunity to travel the world in search of rare and elusive animals for London Zoo’s collection and to film his journey for the BBC show Zoo Quest. Another millennial favourite, Louis Theroux, commented ‘Sir David is a wizard of television, and like Gandalf or Dumbledore, he has a near-magical gift for combining warmth and gravitas… the man who, for me, exemplifies the best in British broadcasting’. If that doesn’t make you want to read this book, then I don’t know what will.
- Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks
Not everyone has the time, or attention span, to dedicate their leisure time to reading a complete novel. Hence, a collection of short stories, Uncommon Type to be specific, is the perfect gift to give this Christmas. This collection of seventeen wonderful short stories – each featuring a typewriter – dissects, with great affection, humour and insight, the human condition and its foibles. As a two-time Oscar winning actor known for his sensitivity and honesty, Hanks brings both qualities to his prose as a new voice in contemporary fiction.
- What Happened by Hillary Clinton
The 2016 US General Election was a global turning point – in the wrong direction. As the world tries to make sense of the events that led to that shocking outcome and we enter into President Donald Trump’s second year in office, the runner-up, Hillary Clinton takes the opportunity to carry out an autopsy of sorts on one of the most controversial and unpredictable elections in US history. Whether you supported Clinton or not, this book is a fascinating insight into Clinton’s experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism and an opponent who broke all the rules. The Guardian calls the tell-all ‘highly entertaining’, whilst the Times declares ‘The writing about feminism is passionate, necessary and persuasive’.
This selection of books is guaranteed to see you or your loved ones comfortably through the festive season.