Anti-Christmas reads for Grinches

Mince pies are on sale, fir trees are sparkling in windows, children are queuing up at shopping centres to meet Santa… The festive season is here… Is that a bah humbug we hear? Here are some of our best books for the Scrooges and grinches out there.


Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Kate Reese is a single mother fleeing an abusive relationship by starting over in a new town, with her young son Christopher. But Mill Grove, Pennsylvania, is not the safe place they thought it would be. Christopher vanishes into the woods for six days, emerging unharmed but not unchanged.

What follows is a moving, thrilling, chilling modern masterpiece. This is the perfect read for Stephen King fans who’d rather feel completely creeped out than jolly.


Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe

One night in December 1972, Jean McConville, a mother of ten, was abducted from her home in Belfast and never seen alive again. Her disappearance would haunt her orphaned children, the perpetrators of the brutal crime and a whole society in Northern Ireland for decades. Through the unsolved case of Jean McConville’s abduction, Patrick Radden Keefe tells the larger story of the Troubles.

A gripping story forensically reported, Say Nothing explores the extremes people will go to for an ideal, and the way societies mend – or don’t – after long and bloody conflict.


The New Me by Halle Butler

In a windowless office, women stand in a circle, talking. Watching them all is Millie. Thirty years old and an eternal temp, she says almost nothing, almost all of the time. But then the possibility of a permanent job arises.

Will it bring the new life Millie is envisioning – one involving a gym membership, a book club, and a lot less beer and TV – finally within reach? Or will it reveal just how hollow that vision has become?


The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff

A real life horror story, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is an examination of the threat of unprecedented power free from democratic oversight. As it explores this new capitalism’s impact on all corners of society, it exposes the struggles that will decide the next chapter of capitalism. Most critically, it shows how we can protect ourselves and our communities and ensure we are the masters of the digital rather than its slaves.


Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay

In this perfect present for anyone who has ever set foot in a hospital, Adam Kay delves back into his diaries for a hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking peek behind the blue curtain at Christmastime.

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas is a love letter to all those who spend their festive season on the front line, removing babies and baubles from the various places they get stuck, at the most wonderful time of the year.


Glory and its Litany of Horrors by Fernanda Torres (translated by Eric M. B. Becker)

This riotous tragicomedy tells the story of a famed actor’s path from national sex symbol to cult icon to raving madman after a disastrous performance as King Lear. Fernanda Torres’s Glory and its Litany of Horrors is a razor-sharp take on the uneasy marriage of Art and the marketplace, and on the profession of acting in all its horror and glory.


Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff

This Irish Zombie-dystopia thriller is a totally unique offering. Raised by her mother and Maeve on Slanbeg, an island off the west coast of Ireland, Orpen has a childhood of love and stories by the fireside. Ireland has been devoured by a ravening menace known as the skrake, and the women must always be ready to run, or to fight.

When Maeve is bitten, Orpen is faced with a dilemma: kill Maeve before her transformation is complete, or try to get help. Orpen will learn who she really is, who she really loves, and how to imagine a future in a world that ended before she was born.


You Smell! (And so does everything else) by Clive Gifford & Pete Gamlen

Here is a book for the most childish among us. This hilarious and fact-packed book will tell you everything you could ever want to know about stinks, whiffs and pongs, from the fruit so pungent it’s banned from public transport to the top-secret military programme that developed the stinkiest stink bombs.


Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

Want to read about a family falling apart in the midst of a courtroom drama? You’re in luck! In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine - a pressurised oxygen chamber that patients enter for dives, used as an alternative therapy for conditions including autism and infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos' small community.

Both a compelling page-turner and an excavation of identity and the desire for connection, Miracle Creek is a brilliant, empathetic debut from an exciting new voice.


Fake by Stephanie Wood

When Stephanie Wood meets a former architect turned farmer she embarks on an exhilarating romance with him. But increasingly beset by anxiety at his frequent cancellations, no-shows and bizarre excuses, she starts to wonder, who is this man? After ending the relationship, Stephanie embarks on an investigation, learning that the man she thought she was in love with doesn’t exist.

In this brilliantly acute and broad-ranging book, Wood, an award-winning writer and journalist, has written a riveting, important account of contemporary love, and the resilience of those who have witnessed its darkest sides.

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas

Adam Kay

$19.99Buy now

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