We asked Matthew Wake from Books Books Books, Lausanne’s English bookstore, to recommend a number of books that would make great presents this Christmas… Here are his suggestions.
The Gilded Chalet: Off-Piste in Literary Switzerland by Padraig Rooney
Part detective work, part treasure chest, full of history and scandal, award-winning writer Padraig Rooney takes you on a grand tour of two centuries of great writing by both Swiss and foreign authors and shows how Switzerland has always been at the centre of literary Europe.
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: Being the Adventures of Ser Duncan the Tall, and His Squire, Egg by George R.R. Martin
A must-read for all George R. R. Martin fans, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms brings together the first three official prequel novellas to A Song of Ice and Fire. It is set in an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and the people still recall the last living dragon. Featuring more than 160 illustrations, this beautiful book will transport readers to the world of the Seven Kingdoms in an age of bygone chivalry.
Collected Stories by Clarice Lispector
For those of a more literary bent, don’t miss the greatest author you’ve never heard of. Revered in Brazil as a literary icon, Collected Stories brings together all of Clarice Lispector’s short stories, from teenagers coming into awareness of their sexual and artistic powers, to humdrum housewives whose lives are shattered by unexpected epiphanies, to old people who don’t know what to do with themselves. Lispector’s stories take us through their lives – and our own.
The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
Everyone’s favourite Anglo-American travel writer is back in the UK, to explore how the country has changed in the last 20 years. Bryson sets out to rediscover the beautiful, eccentric, endearingly unique country that he thought he knew but doesn’t altogether recognize any more. Yet, despite Britain’s occasional failings and more or less eternal bewilderments, Bill Bryson is still pleased to call our rainy island home. And not just because of the cream teas, a noble history, and an extra day off at Christmas.
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne
No one does books for teenagers that adults love to read better than John Boyne. He’s back to the Second World War with his latest book. When Pierrot becomes an orphan, he moves in with his Aunt Beatrix, a servant in a wealthy household at the top of the German mountains. But this is no ordinary time, for it is 1935 and the Second World War is fast approaching; and this is no ordinary house, for this is the Berghof, the home of Adolf Hitler.
Don’t miss these Christmas classics…
With Christmas just round the corner, a host of familiar faces are publishing their stocking fillers. Guiness World Records 2016 is now out in both the classic edition and the Gamer’s Edition. Jamie Oliver has a new book, Everyday Superfoods, which offers healthy recipes for busy people. Don’t forget to grab a copy of Purity by Jonathan Franzen, his latest take on family life in morally complex times. If you like psychological thrillers and have not yet picked up The Girl on the Train, then now is the time to do so, an exploration of how a glimpse from a train window can change a life. And finally, fans of Steig Larson shouldn’t miss the continuation of his trilogy The Girl in the Spider’s Web ghost-written, quite literally, by David Lagercrantz.
Matthew Wake is the owner of Books Books Books, an independent English Bookshop in Lausanne Switzerland, which specialises in fiction, non-fiction and school books. You can order any of these books with free delivery by emailing or find them at the local, independent bookshop in your area.