Christmas is a extra special time of year that comes with a multitude of challenges. What to buy your nearest and dearest (whose taste you can't always second guess) is just one of those big hurdles. Giving books is giving someone the gift of time spent alone, thinking about the world from a fresh perspective - a hugely valuable experience. In this list we have curated your bookish buys. We have something for mothers who are newly single or love a strong historical heroine. We've covered stories for boyfriends who like to be spooked or fathers who dream of being spies. With our festive selection there's something for everybody even your flatmates, so there's no excuse for Christmas stockings not to be stuffed with insightful tomes and brilliant stories to get lost in.More
Played out against the backdrop of a snowy New England in the run up to Christmas, this decidedly un-festive story is told from the perspective of the disturbed anti-heroine Eileen. Eileen is stuck between her home life with an alcoholic father and her day job as a secretary at a men's prison. The arrival of a positive new friend in her life sets a twisting narrative in motion.
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh. £5.50 from A Great Read.
Victorian wallpaper was beautiful, yet deadly: it contained a pigment that was laced with arsenic. Here, samples of these sumptuous prints are collected with snippets of the history of their production.
Bitten by Witch Fever by Lucinda Hawksley. £18.55 from Wordery.