Staff Christmas Gift Guides – Jess’s picks

Seems like asking staff for “a few” gift suggestions was foolish, as Jess (like Anika) was more than happy to oblige with a range of book ideas for friends and family,  here’s what she’s recommending as the perfect bookish gifts this year:


NWOT_ClemQuoteFor everyone! (But especially my girlfriends): The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood

WHY: Because it was my favourite novel of 2015. Because it’s a perfect companion piece to my favourite movie of 2015, Mad Max: Fury Road. Because it reads like a thriller while still being packed to the gills with beautiful language and haunting questions of guilt, innocence, and complicity. Because it’s incredibly timely. Because it will inspire us all to RAGE against the man-chine!!


For anyone who enjoys well-written narrative non-fiction: Neurotribes by Steve Silberman

This is especially for those who have a ‘scientists behaving badly’ section in their home library (that is, my parents, both scientists).

WHY: Because this wonderfully researched and crafted book is a fascinating blend of history, biography, scientific research, scientific heresy, and truly enormous egos. Because human development and the human brain are so incredibly amazing. Because Steve Silberman tells this tale so well, with such compassion. Because it’s a cracking good read about an important subject.


IMG_8748For anyone who loves a bit of spec fic: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Especially for my teenage godson. His dad. My own husband.

WHY: Because this is one action-packed thrill ride! Because once our heroes get into space, there is barely room to draw breath. Because even though there are corrupt authorities, crazed AIs, secret conspiracies and space zombies, there are also incredibly well-drawn characters about whom it is impossible not to care. Because the ending is really satisfying… but will also leave you hanging for the next book.

For my fellow equestriennes, and horse-loving nieces: Valegro: Champion Horse by Carl Hester

WHY: Because Valegro is a phenomenon and this book is packed with gorgeous photos. Because it is written by the dressage legend Carl Hester, who coaches Valegro and his rider. Because, unfortunately, there’s not enough room in the back yard for a pony (aside from Noni).


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