Book Reviews: Make Someone's Christmas Perfect with a Good Read

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), December 19, 2002 | Go to article overview

Book Reviews: Make Someone's Christmas Perfect with a Good Read


Byline: Amy Caulfield

Christmas season can take its toll. From the organising to parties and generally enjoying the festivities and catching up with family and friends, it can leave you exhausted. So what better way to relax than with a good book. Books are an ideal present for all ages as with a bit of thought you can choose something really special - and it's unlikely to be that expensive. AMY CAULFIELD gives us a few ideas to fill the stockings this year

NOVELS

Guaranteed to be a cracker this Christmas is TONY PARSON'S Man And Wife (HarperCollins, pounds 16.99), the sequel to his bestselling debut Man and Boy.

With main character Harry Silver struggling to cope with the consequences of tying the knot again for the second time, the story explores the themes of love and marriage.

ZADIE SMITH's The Autograph Man (Hamish Hamilton, pounds 16.99) is the eagerly- awaited follow-up to the bestselling White Teeth.

The hero is obsessed with collecting autographs and the route he follows has much to say about celebrity in modern life.

Angels (Michael Joseph, pounds 16.99) is the fifth novel by chick lit writer Marian Keyes. She resurrects the dysfunctional Walsh family, this time concentrating on Maggie who heads off to Los Angeles looking for her first love after her marriage breaks up.

Science fiction fans will love TERRY PRATCHETT's Night Watch (Doubleday, pounds 17.99), the 27th novel in the hugely successful Discworld series while romance lovers will enjoy JACKIE COLLINS' Deadly Embrace (Simon & Schuster, pounds 16.99).

Others to watch out for on the bestsellers lists this Christmas include DONNA TARTT's The Little Friend (Bloomsbury, pounds 16.99), BEN ELTON's High Society (Bantam Press, pounds 16.99) and IAIN BANKS' Dead Air (Little, Brown, pounds 16.99).

AUTOBIOGRAPHIES

Everyone loves to read about the lives of the rich and famous and this year has some controversial offerings. ULRIKA JONSSON'S Honest (Sidgwick & Jackson, pounds 16.99) has turned out to be autumn's publishing sensation with her claim that she was the victim of a date rape.

EDWINA CURRIE'S Diaries 1987-1992 (Time Warner, pounds 18.99) also caused a sensation with her revelation that she had a four-year affair with John Major while A Prison Diary (Macmillan, pounds 14.99) by FF8282 shows that JEFFREY ARCHER seems to be able to turn any situation to his advantage.

Two other big showbiz titles are LULU'S I Don't Want To Fight (Time Warner Books, pounds 17.99) and RUBY WAX'S How Do You Want Me? (Ebury Press, pounds 17.99).

Elsewhere KATE ADIE'S The Kindness of Strangers (Headline, pounds 20.00), outlines her reporting from the world's war-torn troublespots while natural history enthusiast DAVID ATTENBOROUGH tells his life story in Life On Air (BBC Consumer Publishing (Books), pounds 18.99).

CHILDREN'S BOOKS

With no contribution from boy wizard Harry Potter this year, what else is out there to amuse the children?

A classic in a new hardback edition is JRR TOLKIEN's Bilbo's Last Song (Hutchinson Children's Books, pounds 7.99). This tale of Bilbo Baggins, the famous Hobbit adventurer is bound to be popular with massive expectations surrounding the second Lord Of The Rings film which is released for Christmas, and is suitable for readers aged 10 and over. …

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