Christmas Gift Guide: Best Books for Christmas for all the Family

Welcome to the Dubray Books Christmas Gift Guide for 2012.  The staff at Dubray Books have chosen the best books for Christmas with a selection of Christmas present books for all the family from Literary Fiction to Crime Fiction to Children's Picture Books to Teen Books, you're sure to find some great Christmas books ideas!

Literary Fiction

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

With a nod to both John le Carré and Ian Fleming, Ian McEwan has written what is possibly his most autobiographical novel to date. Sweet Tooth is a finely wrought tale of love, betrayal and intrigue.


Joseph O'Connor Where have you been

Where Have You Been? by Joseph O'Connor

This collection of short stories reflects Joseph O’Connor’s broad canvas, from 19th Century Irish emigrants in New York to 21st century Dublin, culminating in the novella Where Have You Been – as fine a piece of writing as he has ever published.

Ancient Light by John Banville

From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea, this is John Banville’s most accessible novel to date. An evocation of the obsessive selfishness of young love and the awful shock of grief.


Colm Toibin The Testament of Mary

The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín

In this short powerful novel, Mary retells the story of the death of her son, Jesus, in a voice that is both tender and filled with rage. Tóibín vividly portrays the fear of living through such dangerous times.

Astray by Emma Donoghue

The bestselling author of Room and The Sealed Letter returns with a new collection of short stories. Each character in these fact-inspired fictions – emigrants, runaways, drifters – are all Astray.


NW by Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith brings North West London vividly to life in NW, the new novel by the author of the bestselling White Teeth and the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted On Beauty.

Canada by Richard Ford

“Canada is a superlatively good book, richly imagined.” (John Banville) “Richard Ford has written a great American novel. Canada is his finest work to date.” (Eileen Battersby)


Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize, making Hilary Mantel the first female author ever to win the prize twice. This is a worthy successor to Wolf Hall and is sure to be a popular choice.

Zoo Time by Howard Jacobsen

Having won the Man Booker Prize for his last novel, The Finkler Question, Howard Jacobson returns with this very funny and thoughtful novel about love, inspiration and the creative urge.


A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks

Described as ‘a novel in five parts’, each of the stories in this new book is linked across the centuries and continents, sharing the theme of those rare moments of human understanding.

a m homes may we be forgiven

May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes

If you enjoyed A.M. Homes’ This Book Will Save Your Life, you will love her new novel – a roller-coaster ride of human emotions featuring compelling characters in a relentless narrative.



Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is on many a reader’s favourite all-time list. Michael Chabon’s latest novel is probably best described as his very own Hi-Fidelity.

Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver

A new novel from the author of The Poisonwood Bible and the Orange Prize-winning The Lacuna is a literary event. A young mother seeking out an affair discovers instead a terrible marvel of nature.



The Devil I Know by Claire Kilroy

The critically-acclaimed author of Tenderwire has written an angry and yet very funny novel on the greed, corruption and arrogance of Ireland’s banking collapse.


The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan

In the aftermath of Ireland's financial collapse, dangerous tensions surface in an Irish town. Donal Ryan's brilliantly realized debut announces a stunning new voice in Irish literary fiction.


General Fiction

The Shelbourne Ultimatum by Ross O'Carroll-Kelly

Ross O’Carroll-Kelly wakes up from a coma (with all his vital organs intact) to find a country changed beyond all recognition. He’s wanted for questioning by the Gords but is still intent on sleeping with as many women as time and Sorcha will allow.


The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory

Philippa Gregory continues her series, The Cousins’ War, with more deadly intrigue at court. The dangerous mix of royalty, romance and power is perfectly captured in this gripping tale.

Citadel by Kate Mosse

Completing the trilogy Kate Mosse began with Labyrinth and then followed with Sepulchre, Citadel is a story of daring and courage amongst the French Resistance in World War II.




The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling’s first ever novel written specifically for adults is a big book about a small town and the many secrets that lie beneath the seemingly idyllic surface. A born storyteller who knows how to keep her readers glued to the page.


Oh Dear Sylvia by Dawn French

First with her autobiography Dear Fatty and then with her novel A Tiny Bit Marvellous, Dawn French has won over an army of readers who are sure to fall in love with this new comic novel.


Winter of the World by Ken Follett

The sequel to Fall of Giants is a magnificent, spellbinding epic of global conflict and personal drama. Set before and during the 2nd World War, this is ambitious storytelling of the highest order.


The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

A firm favourite with Dubray Books readers with novels such as The House at Riverton and The Forgotten Garden, Kate Morton’s new novel is a spellbinding story of mysteries and secrets, murder and enduring love.


dominion cj sansom

Dominion by C.J. Sansom

In the tradition of Robert Harris’ Fatherland, Dominion tells the alternative history of a 1950s Britain living under German Nazi occupation. As engaging and atmospheric as Winter in Madrid.

Women's Fiction


The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes

Marian is back with what many readers already regard as one of her finest novels to date. This warm and moving story features  Helen, the youngest of the Walsh sisters and every fan’s favourite.



A Week in Winter (HB) by Maeve Binchy

The world of books was left  shaken earlier this year by the sad loss of Maeve Binchy. Her warm heart and her many books and stories will live long in our memory – as will this, her final novel, A Week in Winter.


One Hundred Names by Cecilia Ahern

One hundred names on a list. Who are they and what could possibly connect them to each other? As Kitty tracks down each of the names, their ordinary stories help her to better understand her own.



I Wished for You by Amy Huberman

Hello Heartbreak was a Number 1 bestseller and won for Amy Huberman a dedicated following that will be delighted by her follow-up novel, I Wished For You.



The Bat by Jo Nesbo

The bestselling crime phenomenon of the past few years, Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole series of thrillers has taken the world by storm. The Bat is the first in the series, available now in English for the first time.



A Wanted Man (Reacher 17) by Lee Child

Jack Reacher is back ! The anti-hero that every man wants to be and every woman wants to be with. Whatever you might think of Tom Cruise being cast for the movie, Reacher’s the real deal.


Bones are Forever by Kathy Reichs

Dr Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist to the province of Quebec, is brought in to lead the investigation into the mummified remains of babies found in a rundown Montreal apartment.


john connolly wrath of angels

The Wrath of Angels by John Connolly

A brand new Charlie Parker story is always something to shout about and John Connolly’s The Wrath of Angels doesn’t in any way disappoint. As terrifyingly magnificent as ever.

dennis lehane live by night

Live by Night by Dennis Lehane

Live by Night is set in prohibition-era America and combines the harsh contemporary violence of Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone with the historical Boston of Lehane’s The Given Day.



The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell

Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta is sent evidence from  a dinosaur bone bed in the remote wilderness of Canada, but does it help solve the case of a missing woman and a gruesome murder?


The Black Box by Michael Connelly

Los Angeles, 1992. Four police officers are acquitted after the savage beating of Rodney King. The riots make it easier to get away with murder and Harry Bosch’s investigation impossible.



Merry Christmas Alex Cross by James Patterson

Christmas was never going to be easy and straightforward for Detective Alex Cross but, when a hostage situation threatens to spiral out of control, he might kill as many people as he saves.


The Jewels of Paradise by Donna Leon

The Jewels of Paradise, featuring a young Venetian musicologist, is Donna Leon’s first ever stand-alone novel. Fans of her Brunetti series will find much to enjoy and will not be disappointed.



The Racketeer (HB) by John Grisham

A lawyer is in prison, accused of murdering a judge. John Grisham returns with what he has always done best: a legal thriller with a falsely accused suspect facing a race against time.

Children's Picture Books


The Great Snortle Hunt by Claire Freedman

From the much-loved author of Aliens Love Underpants. Join the Great Snorkle Hunt – if you dare!


Matilda's Cat by Emily Gravett

Emily Gravett is one of our favourite picture book authors. Matilda’s Cat is sure to make you smile.


The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson

A stunning, rhythmical story of childhood, memory and the power of imagination from the author of The Gruffalo.


Oliver Jeffers This Moose Belongs to Me

This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers

Wilfred has a pet moose called Marcel in this wonderful new picture book from Oliver Jeffers.

Julia Donaldson Superworm

Superworm by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Superworm is super-long. Superworm is super-strong. Watch him wiggle! See him squirm!


this is not my hat jon klassen

This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

If you enjoyed I Want My Hat Back (and we all did), then you’ll love This Is Not My Hat.

how to hide a lion helen stephens

How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens

We all fell in love with this charming picture book and hope you like it as much as we do.


Children's Gift Books / Fairy Tales

if treasury of poems

If: A Children's Treasury of Poems Ed. Allie Esieri & Rachel Kelly

A favourite poem will stay with you for life, and this beautifully illustrated collection is sure to delight and entertain for years to come. 

The If Poems app is also available on App Store.


classic fairy tales of charles perrault

Classic Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault Illustrated by Harry Clarke

These beloved tales have been set alongside Clarke's beautiful illustrations to create a wonderful gift book for children young and old.

spellbound siobhan parkinson

Spellbound: Tales of Enchantment from Ancient Ireland by Siobhan Parkinson

Eight ancient legends of Ireland, told for younger children by an acclaimed Irish writer and reviewer.


illustrated nursery rhymes

Illustrated Nursery Rhymes 

Classic Nursery Rhymes in a beautiful gift book.

goldilocks allan ahlberg

Goldilocks Pop-up by Alan & Jessica Ahlberg

Exquisitely illustrated and beautifully presented, this book would make a perfect gift.


oxford treasury of fairy tales


Oxford Treasury of Fairy Tales by Geraldine McCaughrean

Retold by renowned children's writer, Geraldine McCaughrean, here are all the best-loved fairy tales and more.

Beginner Readers (for both boys and girls)

captain underpants and the terrifying return of tippy tinkletrousers

Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers by Dav Pilkey

It's up to George, Harold, and the amazing Captain Underpants to stop Tippy Tinkletrousers' reign of terror before it's too late!


genius ideas liz pichon

Genius Ideas (Mostly) by Liz Pichon

The highs and lows of Tom's life are funnier and more extreme than ever in this fourth wicked diary from the Roald Dahl Funny Prize winning series!

Books for Children 8-12 years

diary of a wimpy kids the third wheel

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney

"The Third Wheel" is the hilarious next book in the brilliant, bestselling and award-winning "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series.


John Boyne The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket

The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne

Though it’s not his fault, Barnaby is anything but normal.

jacqueline wilson emerald star

Emerald Star by Jacqueline Wilson

This is a fantastic new adventure for brave, feisty Hetty Feather – one of Jacqueline Wilson's most well-loved characters.


Lemony Snicket Who could that be at this hour

Who Could That be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket

In a fading town, far from anyone he knew or trusted, a young Lemony Snicket began his apprenticeship in an organization nobody knows about.


Skullduggery Pleasant: Kingdom of the Wicked by Derek Landy

The seventh instalment in the biggest, funniest, most thrilling comedy-horror-adventure series in the universe.


David Walliams Ratburger

Ratburger by David Walliams

The fifth screamingly funny novel from David Walliams, number one bestseller and fastest growing children's author in the country.

rick riordan the mark of athena

Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

The phenomenally successful Rick Riordan is back with the next thrilling installment of the "Heroes of Olympus series".


artemis fowl and the last guardian

Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer

This is the unbelieveable finale to the multi award-winning "Artemis Fowl" series.

jacqueline wilson four children and it

Four Children and It by Jacqueline Wilson

Echoing the classic E Nesbit novel, "Five Children and It", this new story is a brilliant read for those familiar with the original book.


judi curtin leave it to eva

Leave it to Eva by Judi Curtin

Fun, feisty Eva Gordon's never been one to shy away from helping her friends – whether they want her help or not!

the boy who swam with piranhas david almond

The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas by David Almond

Stanley Potts ups and leaves his life at 69 Fish Quay Lane when things become unbearably barmy.


arthur quinn and the fenris wolf

Arthur Quinn and the Fenris Wolf by Alan Early

Mysteries and questions arise as, once again, it's down to Arthur Quinn and his friends to save the world.

cornelia funke ghost night

Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke

A thrilling tale of bravery, friendship – and ghosts!


wolf princess catherine constable

The Wolf Princess by Catherine Constable

Alone in the world, Sophie dreams of being someone special, but she could never have imagined this.

the hobbit jrr tolkien


The Hobbit (2 volume, slipcase) by JRR Tolkien

The unforgettable story of Bilbo, a peace-loving hobbit, who embarks on a strange and magical adventure.


michael murporgo a medal for leroy

A Medal for Leroy by Michael Murporgo

The long awaited new novel of identity, loss and the lingering effects of war, from master storyteller Michael Morpurgo

Teen Fiction

darren shan zom-b

Zom-B by Darren Shan

Zom-B is a radical new series about a zombie apocalypse, told in the first person by one of its victims.


terry pratchett dodger

Dodger by Terry Pratchett

"Dodger's" tale of skulduggery, dark plans and even darker deeds begins…

the sacrifice charlie higson

The Sacrifice by Charlie Higson

All across London diseased adults are waiting, hungry predators with rotten flesh and ravaged minds.


rebeccas rules anna carey

Rebecca's Rules by Anna Carey

My name is Rebecca Rafferty, and there are lots of things wrong with my life right now.

guardian angel robert muchamore

Guardian Angel (Cherub) by Robert Muchamore

Guardian Angel is the second book in a brand-new CHERUB series from Robert Muchamore.


eve and adam michael grant

Eve and Adam by Michael Grant & Katherine Applegate

This is a stunning new mystery-thriller from the bestselling writers of "Animorphs" and "GONE".

oblivion anthony horowitz

The Power of Five: Oblivion by Anthony Horowitz

Having escaped from Hong Kong, the Five Gatekeepers are scattered in a hostile and dangerous world.


Will you be buying books this Christmas for presents? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jill is one of the co-founders of Mykidstime and a mum of 2 girls