Joanna Nell, Karen Cole, Daniela Sacerdoti and Joanna Bolouri tell us which books they’re wishing for this Christmas!

Joanna Nell, Karen Cole, Daniela Sacerdoti and Joanna Bolouri tell us which books they’re wishing for this Christmas!

Over at Bookends HQ, we’re starting to get SERIOUSLY excited about Christmas: mince pies, trashy TV, and hopefully lots of new additions to our TBR piles! 

From feel-good romance to classic horror, four more of our wonderful authors share which books they’re hoping to find under the Christmas tree this year…

Daniela Sacerdoti, author of I Will Find You

I’m particularly book-hungry this year (for a change!), and very much in the mood for light, happy, Christmas stories. I’d love a selection of feel-good, romantic authors like Mandy Baggot, Trisha Ashley, Alicia Kingsley – anything with snow and glitter on the cover and a happy ending! I’ve gone through a bit of a witchy phase with some fantastic supernatural, dark books, so now I’m in the mood for some romance!

Joanna Nell, author of The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village

I’m putting The Cactus by Sarah Haywood at the top of my (shamefully long) Christmas book wish list this year. I’m a big fan of the “never too late”message and this book sounds like my perfect summer holiday read for January.

Karen Cole, author of Deliver Me

I want to read Wonder, by R J Palacio, about a boy with severe facial deformities, which has been recommended to me by a friend. I also think The Woman in the Window, by A.J. Finn, looks interesting.

Relight my fire

Joanna Bolouri, author of Relight My Fire

Non-fiction would have to be You Are The Placebo by Dr Joe Dispenza. Fiction wise, Elevation by Stephen King.

Who’s the trickiest person to buy for on your Christmas list? Graham Norton, Joanna Bolouri, Jo Thomas and Joanna Nell fill us in!

Who’s the trickiest person to buy for on your Christmas list? Graham Norton, Joanna Bolouri, Jo Thomas and Joanna Nell fill us in!

From difficult dads, to best friends who already have everything – we all have someone on our Christmas present list who is impossible to buy for.

Luckily, some of our fabulous authors are here to share the trickiest names on their lists… and offer up some much-needed Christmas gifting inspiration!

 

Graham Norton, author of A Keeper

Some people are truly gifted when it comes to shopping for presents. I am not. My solution is to throw money at the problem so that while the gift may be unsuitable and disliked, it will at least be expensive so I can’t be accused of being ungenerous. My mother is always a challenge because whatever good ideas I might have had were all used up years ago.

Jo Thomas, author of A Winter Beneath the Stars

Hmmm, I think maybe my Mum. She always says she doesn’t want anything! And I always want to get her something she’d really enjoy. Usually I buy her books which I know she’ll enjoy, especially armchair travel ones.

Joanna Nell, author of The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village

My husband is always tricky to buy for, especially since he stopped wearing ties to work and shaved off his beard (who knew fancy beard products were a thing?). It’s the one time of the year when I wish he wasn’t such a “low maintenance man”. When I ask for ideas (we’re fairly pragmatic in our family), he reminds me that he already has more books on famous explorers than he has time to read, owns a shirt for every day of the week and the less said about that kite-surfing lesson I bought him one Christmas the better. This year I’ve decided to give my husband a voucher for dinner for two at our favourite restaurant. That way, hopefully I get to enjoy it too.

Joanna Bolouri, author of Relight My Fire

My dad, definitely.  He doesn’t like anything ‘specific’ so inevitably he gets something sensible from Marks and Spencer.

And for a gift that’s sure to be a winner, here are some brilliant new reads courtesy of our lovely authors!

 A Keeper Graham Norton Relight my fire  

Jo Thomas, Joanna Nell, Karen Cole and Olivia Beirne share their go-to Christmas dishes!

Jo Thomas, Joanna Nell, Karen Cole and Olivia Beirne share their go-to Christmas dishes!

Here at Bookends HQ, Christmas has come early as we ask a selection of our lovely authors to fill us in on their favourite festive dishes!

From pigs in blankets to advent calendar chocolates…
Keep reading if you want to feel seriously hungry!

 

Jo Thomas, author of A Winter Beneath the Stars

I always make a big Christmas chilli con carne for Christmas Eve. That way it doesn’t matter what time people arrive, dinner is simple and ready to go when we are!

Joanna Nell, author of The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village

The sweltering Australian Christmas takes some getting used to. I’m often homesick for England at this time of the year, and especially nostalgic for my gran’s homemade Christmas puddings (complete with traditional tooth-crumbling sixpence). My rudimentary skills in the kitchen could never match my grandmother’s so I don’t even try. Each year I buy a beautiful brandy and Macadamia nut pudding from a charity that raises money for a school in Uganda. I can pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes, which leaves plenty of time to swim and sip chilled champagne, my new Christmas day traditions.

Karen Cole, author of Deliver Me

I love Christmas food and my mouth is watering just thinking about it! I make a delicious cashew nut loaf and my mother-in-law makes great veggie sausage rolls. My mum’s Christmas pudding with my aunt’s brandy butter… I could go on!

Olivia Beirne, author of The List That Changed My Life

Oh my lord pigs in blankets. I’m obsessed with them. It was a testing Christmas the first year I wasn’t living with my parents and realised that nobody could stop me from buying twelve packets and eating them all whilst watching Miranda. I also love advent calendars (obviously) and think we should have them for every day of the year. I once wanted to be grown up and sophisticated (always a terrible idea) and insisted on buying a picture calendar (urgh). I aggressively cursed my smug past self for the following 24 days. 

   

Jen

Jen

What is your all-time favourite book, and why?

I read both fiction and non-fiction voraciously. I really don’t have a favourite book and can honestly say that my favourite book is always the one I have just read and enjoyed. I gobble up fiction from authors such as Jill Mansell, Katie Fforde, Lucy Diamond, Milly Johnson, Carole Matthews, Jojo Moyes, Santa Montefiore, Anna Jacobs, Lucy Dillon and so many more!

If you could choose any book character to be friends with, who would you pick and why?

As a friend, I would always pick a heroine who has overcome the odds, acted morally and decently and triumphed. In the book I have just finished (Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard by Jo Thomas) it was hardworking, hugely likeable Beti Winter: dumped by a long-term partner with no moral compass, survivor, flamenco dancer and saviour of the farm.

Where’s your go-to location to curl up with a good read?

I can read anywhere if the book is good, but my favourite places are in my armchair or in the garden, always overlooking the beautiful Solway Firth.

Angie

Angie

What is your all-time favourite book, and why?

My Sister’s Keeper. It was the first Jodi Picoult book I had ever read and I never saw the end coming. It was the first ever book to reduce me to floods of tears, rather than a little sniffle and totally different from my usual reading material of Happy Ever Afters.

If you could choose any book character to be friends with, who would you pick and why?

Hermione Granger. This is a girl who would happily spend hours in a library or bookshop. She is also kind, loyal, brave and honest which are the greatest assets of a true friend.

Where’s your go-to location to curl up with a good read?

Usually, I do most of my reading on the train to and from work, but the most comfortable place is curled up in bed with a hot cup of tea, the duvet wrapped around me and my nice comfy Hufflepuff pillow to rest against.

Karen

Karen

What is your all-time favourite book, and why?

I have many favourite books, but my all-time favourite has to be Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.  I read it so many years ago but I’ve never forgotten the unsettling feeling as the story of Rebecca and Maxim emerges and feeling worried for the current Mrs de Winter who can never match up to the memory of Rebecca, especially to the awful Mrs Danvers. A psychological thriller of its time.

If you could choose any book character to be friends with, who would you pick and why?

I would love to be friends with Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple.  A shrewd woman who notices everything whilst hiding beyond the persona of a nondescript and totally harmless elderly lady.  Although she is decades older than me, I loved the way her mind quickly solved the most intriguing mystery.

Where is your go-to location to curl up with a good read?

On holiday, my go-to location is anywhere quiet where I can curl up with a book and be undisturbed.  At home, it’s my reclining armchair in ‘my reading corner’ complete with a table for my drink of choice and my reading light.

Tim

Tim

What is your all-time favourite book, and why?

My all-time best book has to be As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee.

If you could choose any book character to be friends with, who would you pick and why?

I’d love to be friends with Rebus invented by Ian Rankin, great character.

Where’s your go-to location to curl up with a good read?

Any pub with a real fire and a comfortable chair and decent beer… or wine!

Angela

Angela

What is your all-time favourite book, and why?

I honestly couldn’t pick an all-time favourite book. At any point in time, my favourite book is the one I’m currently reading! I could list some… Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Playing the Moldovans at Tennis, The Lovely Bones… But then I’d have to list others: To Kill A Mockingbird, all of the Ramona series and so on. You see my predicament.

If you could choose any book character to be friends with, who would you pick and why?

I would love to be friend with Anastasia Krupnik from the Anastasia series. I read and reread those books so many times as a child. I just loved that Anastasia was so feisty and clever, that her bedroom was in a tower and that she wore awesome ‘owl shaped’ glasses (something I coveted as I didn’t wear glasses at that point.) As an adult, I think Molly Weasley would be an amazing friend.

Where’s your go-to location to curl up with a good read?

My favourite place to read is in my conservatory. It’s the place I feel most peaceful and alone and I can really ‘join’ the characters in my books. However, I can (and do) read anywhere: During my lunch break, waiting for appointments, during advert breaks… never miss an opportunity to read, everyone!

Francine

Francine

What is your all-time favourite book, and why?

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks because of its realism and lasting impression on me.

If you could choose any book character to be friends with, who would you pick and why?

My friend would be Captain Dobbs in Vanity Fair. Proven to be a loyal and devoted friend putting the happiness of those around him first at the cost of his own happiness.

Where’s your go-to location to curl up with a good read?

On holiday; laying on a king size bed, after a long exhausting, pleasurable day, whilst nibbling on snacks; or, on an everyday basis, in the conservatory, whilst my husband sleeps, having been up at the crack of dawn to go to work.

Zarina

Zarina

What is your all-time favourite book, and why?

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel. It’s a highly imaginative and achingly realistic post-apocalyptic novel with a surprising grace to it despite the hardships happening within. There is a key Shakespearean thread running through it and it’s filled with fascinating concepts such as The Traveling Symphony and The Museum of Civilization, making it an incredibly unique and fascination world to explore.

If you could choose any book character to be friends with, who would you pick and why?

Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series. He’s the loveliest and most loyal friend anyone could ask for.

Where’s your go-to location to curl up with a good read?

Any comfortable lounge location, preferably snuggled under a blanket and with cup of tea at hand.