My Top 10 Bookish Recommendations for Christmas 2016

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Christmas. The time of the year where avid readers make huge lists of what new titles they hope to find under the tree, and everyone else around them questions whether they REALLY need MORE books. Well:

Alongside the flashbacks of hearing 'All I Want for Christmas is You' on repeat, it's also the busiest period the year for us booksellers. I love being able to give recommendations at work to customers looking for that perfect bookish gift for their loved ones, and also seeing how people coming into the store strike up a conversation with each other on what they've read and enjoyed. In this post I'll be sharing some of my personal top picks and favourites. 

1) For the MG reader who loves a good Australian story which will warm your heart:

The Matilda Saga by Jackie French showcases the best of the Australian spirit, from Federation and beyond.

2) For the teen who wants a realistic contemporary about friendship that's perfect for summer:

Tara Eglington's latest release is a well-written, relevant and bitter-sweet story on the evolution of a friendship and young women finding the confidence that was within them all along.

3) For the teen who wants an addictive YA series with a sci-fi edge and intense twists:

Suspense, romance, action, evil organisations and rebelling against your own special DNA. Rachael Craw's SPARK series captivates with every installment, and always leaves you wanting more. 

4) For the teen who wants an emotional read about the bonds between families, and finding your true self:

Hardcastle deserves high praise for this debut which ebbs and flows with the intricacies of healing and coming up for air after being submerged in the depths of grief.

5) For YA feminist who wants a story about girls who won't back down:

Summer Skin pushes the boundaries regarding a portrayal of the subcultures which may be present in university life, and poses a refreshing storyline that is both emotionally charged and powerful.

6) For the adult feminist who wants a powerful story about survival and seeking retribution

The Natural Way of Things was certainly deserving of the Stella Prize this year. Equally harrowing and gripping, this is a book that will stay with you long after you've finished it. 

7) For the YA readers who want a witty and accurate portrayal of the challenges which come with the final year of high school:

The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub is a brilliant novel where five different teens converge - with rather unexpected results. This is a read which is definitely relevant for the young adults of today. 

8) For the YA sci-fi fan who loves action set in space:

The Diabolic certainly doesn't shy away from the action, and is a gritty YA read which plays on the themes of manipulation and loyalty really well. Illuminae (and now Gemina) are told in such a unique way, also with bucket-loads of action to keep you hooked from start to finish. Finally, the Starbound trilogy offers three memorable novels which intertwine with different focal characters. 

9) For the pop-culture/gaming fan who wants a story filled with adventure:

Whether you're a gamer or not, I haven't come across anyone who hasn't loved this book (It definitely surprised me!). In a future where virtual reality is the norm and can be exploited, this story is one that you won't want to put down. 

10) For the bookish thrill-seekers who want to be on the edge of their seats

I've been reading more in the crime/thriller genre this year than ever before, and have come across some great reads with all the shocking situations and 'WOW' moments you could ask for. The Dry is Jane Harper's debut novel, and an impressive one which expertly depicts the impact of rumour and scandal shaking a rural Australian town. Emma Cline's first book is also a hit - beautifully written and yet haunting, a stark depiction of a loss of innocence. Girls on Fire is perhaps the most brazen of the bunch, venturing into territory you didn't think it would dare go, but it sure burns those boundaries down. Finally, Megan Abbott's works never fail to impress me, and You Will Know Me is no exception. Her prose is always on-point and whip-smart, this time unveiling the brooding malevolence in the world of elite gymnastics. 

Over to you! Have you read any of these books? What categories and novels would you suggest to add?


  1. Great recs, Eugenia! I still haven't read The Yearbook Committee, though it's on my pile :) Can't believe we finished school more than a year ago now. Absolute insanity. AND YESSSS Spark trilogy :) :)

    1. Thanks Emily! I know - it's gone by so quickly. You should definitely read TYC - if you want to go back to those high school vibes, or otherwise, it's still a fantastic read :)

  2. I literally cannot believe it's '17 ALREADY! Anyway, these are some really fantastic choices, Eugenia! I especially rec the SPARK series to everyone bc I love it so much. <3

    1. I know right! Thanks Kara, yes the SPARK series is one I can't recommend highly enough, glad to hear you're a fan too :)


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