Book Club: with Anna Caig 

The new Uncanny
The new Uncanny

Christmas books wish list  

If you’re after some help choosing books as Christmas presents, here are my top five tips to please the booklovers in your life.

National Provinical by Lettice Cooper

First published in 1938, National Provincial is one of the most recent releases from the

gorgeous publisher Persephone Books. Persephone has carved out a niche for itself

reprinting neglected works and their books are beautiful objects as well as great reads, so make ideal presents. National Provincial is a social-political novel set in West Yorkshire in the 1930s. Out in the wider world Mussolini invades Abyssinia and Hitler takes over the Rhineland, but these events are peripheral as Cooper evokes Yorkshire life in all its facets, and the everyday experience of a young woman living there.

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling - copies with illustrations by Jim Kay

This illustrated series has made it to The Prisoner Of Azkaban and would make the perfect Christmas gift for any Potter lover, adult or child. Jim Kay’s pictures are stunning, and

looking at them slows the pace of reading so you appreciate the magic of Rowling’s wizarding world all over again.

August by Jim Lusby

Jim Lusby is best known for his crime series featuring DI Carl McCadden. But this newly published book from Fahrenheit Press sees Lusby writing about three dead teenagers found in the crypt of a deconsecrated church. It looks like a straightforward incident of teenage drug experimentation gone wrong, but things get very dark as Detective Sergeant Jack Mason finds himself uncovering institutional child abuse, organised crime gangs and a violent drug trade.

The New Uncanny short story collection featuring A.S. Byatt, Ramsey Campbell, Frank Cottrell Boyce and more.

First published in 2008, and now reissued in 2018, this is an anthology of short stories from

leading authors about what the word ‘uncanny’ means to them in the 21st century. Published by Comma Press, these fresh fictional interpretations update Freud’s famous checklist of what gives us the creeps. It might not be a conventional holiday read, but if Christmas starts to get a bit saccharine, this sounds like the perfect read to cut through it all.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I know this is an obvious one, as this autobiography from the spectacularly charismatic

former first lady has been launched in an unmissable blaze of publicity. But I am yet to meet

a bookworm who isn’t desperate to get their hands on this. Even those of us with houses full

of books waiting to be read would put them all aside to read the story of Obama’s journey

from the south side of Chicago to the White House.