I hope you’ve been finding these daily posts more helpful than one big monthly post and that you’ve also been able to take advantage of some of the shorter term offers. As today is Christmas Eve I’ll be closing this feature down until next week.
As well as being Christmas Eve, today marks the Icelandic tradition of Jólabókaflóð (Yule Book Flood). This tradition harks back to World War II when foreign imports were restricted, paper was cheap, and more importantly, not rationed. As the country was not large enough to support a year round publishing industry, publishers concentrated their efforts in the final months of the year. The Reykjavik Book Fair in the middle of November marks the start of the ‘book flood’ with the Icelandic book trade sending out a book bulletin or bókatíðindi (“book news”) to each household. This is then used to order books to give to friends and family on Christmas Eve, the main gift-giving day in Iceland.
When the presents are opened it’s time to grab a hot chocolate or a Jólabland (a traditional mix of brown ale and fizzy orangeade) and hunker down to spend the rest of the evening reading books. I can think of no better way of spending Christmas Eve, although my money would be on the hot chocolate, brown ale would never be my poison of choice with or without orangeade.
So whatever you’re doing this evening or over the coming days, I wish you a happy, safe and peaceful festive period with hopefully lots of books. Happy Reading!!
As my previous December ‘Kindle Steal’ posts include titles that are reduced for the month, it might be worth having a look back for any books you might have missed if you’re new to this feature.
(NB This post features Affiliate links from which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)
The Singing Trees by Boo Walker
Maine, 1969. After losing her parents in a car accident, aspiring artist Annalisa Mancuso lives with her grandmother and their large Italian family in the stifling factory town of Payton Mills. Inspired by her mother, whose own artistic dreams disappeared in a damaged marriage, Annalisa is dedicated only to painting. Closed off to love, and driven as much by her innate talent as she is the disillusionment of her past, Annalisa just wants to come into her own.
The first step is leaving Payton Mills and everything it represents. The next, the inspiring opportunities in the city of Portland and a thriving New England art scene where Annalisa hopes to find her voice. But she meets Thomas, an Ivy League student whose attentions—and troubled family—upend her pursuits in ways she never imagined possible. As their relationship deepens, Annalisa must balance her dreams against an unexpected love. Until the unraveling of an unforgivable lie.
For Annalisa, opening herself up to life and to love is a risk. It might also be the chance she needs to finally become the person and the artist she’s meant to be.
You Let Me Go by Eliza Graham
A secret family history of love, anguish and betrayal.
After her beloved grandmother Rozenn’s death, Morane is heartbroken to learn that her sister is the sole inheritor of the family home in Cornwall—while she herself has been written out of the will. With both her business and her relationship with her sister on the rocks, Morane becomes consumed by one question: what made Rozenn turn her back on her?
When she finds an old letter linking her grandmother to Brittany under German occupation, Morane escapes on the trail of her family’s past. In the coastal village where Rozenn lived in 1941, she uncovers a web of shameful secrets that haunted Rozenn to the end of her days. Was it to protect those she loved that a desperate Rozenn made a heartbreaking decision and changed the course of all their lives forever?
Morane goes in search of the truth but the truth can be painful. Can she make her peace with the past and repair her relationship with her sister?
The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan
It was supposed to be Christy Sullivan’s perfect Christmas escape – a dream trip to Lapland with her family and best friend, Alix. But facing a make-or-break marriage crisis, Christy desperately needs time alone with her husband, Seb. Her solution? Alix, along with Seb’s oldest friend, Zac, can take Christy’s daughter on the planned Lapland trip, and they will all reunite there for Christmas Day. After all, what are friends for?
There’s nothing Alix won’t do for Christy, but Christy’s plan to save Christmas is testing their friendship. Especially as Alix and Zac have a difficult history of their own.
As long-held secrets unravel, and unexpected romance shines under the Northern Lights, can Christy and Alix find the courage to fight for the relationships they really want? And could this Christmas escape save the precious gift of each other’s friendship?
Forget me Not by Claire Allan
I disappeared on a Tuesday afternoon. I was there one minute and the next I was gone. They’ve never found my body…
It’s six in the morning during the hottest summer on record when Elizabeth O’Loughlin, out walking her dog, comes across Clare, a victim of a horrific knife attack, clinging onto life at the side of the road.
Clare dies minutes later, but not before whispering her haunting last words to Elizabeth.
When it becomes clear that Clare’s killer has more than one murder on his mind, Elizabeth has to take drastic action or face losing everything.
But what if she can’t stop a killer determined never to be forgotten?
Winning at Life by Kathryn Wallace
Thank god for back to school at the end of the summer!
The kids are back at school after a long summer. Gemma and Becky can finally breathe a huge sigh of relief and reach for the gin bottle.
Except it seems that Becky is accidentally a little bit pregnant…
But that’s not the first shock for the parents in the playground. Over the summer, part of their beloved Redcoats Primary has burned down. The school needs to raise thousands of pounds to stay open – and Gemma and Becky have been forced on to the fundraising committee (just to add to the millions of messages from their online parent groups).
In year that will see new babies for Becky, new schools and a whole new business for Gemma, can they keep their heads above water and find that they’re #winningatlife?
Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier
Night Train to Lisbon tells the story of mild-mannered, middle-aged Classics scholar Raimund Gregorius. When, one afternoon, he walks out of his class while in the middle of giving a lesson, his uncharacteristic impulsiveness surprises him as much as his students. This break from his usually predictable routine is driven by two chance encounters that morning on his way to work – the first with a mysterious Portuguese woman, and the second with a book discovered in a forgotten corner of an old bookshop, the journal of an enigmatic Portuguese aristocrat. With the book as his talisman, Mundus finds himself boarding the night train to Lisbon on a journey to find out more about its author, Amadeu del Prado – who was this man whose words both haunt and compel him, seeming somehow clairvoyant?
His investigations lead him all over the city, and bring him into contact with those who were entangled in Prado’s life. Gradually, he makes unexpected friends and the picture of an extraordinary man emerges: a difficult, brilliant, charismatic man, a doctor and a poet, and a rebel against Salazar’s dictatorship. And as Prado’s story comes to light so, too, Gregorius himself begins his life anew.
These choices reflect books that I’d be tempted by and not just any books that are on offer.
The price quoted is that given at time of posting, please always check before buying as some prices can change quickly.