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Ten hefty books to delve into over the Christmas break

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It's that time of year; the fires are lit, you're stuffed full of food and all you want to do is curl up with a good book. I've put together a list of 10 books that will keep you entertained this holiday season.

1.The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan

This novel tells the story of man still haunted by his time in a Japanese Prisoner of War camp. Flanagan brutally exposes the condition these soldiers faced, while exploring the rigid ideology of the Japanese soldiers. Flanagan tackles the horrors of war and its aftermath. 

We follow the trauma of doctor Dorrigo Evans, as well as the other prisoners forced to build the Thai-Burma railway, as he grapples with the conscience and guilt of the past. Be prepared, this is not a light read.

2.Codename Villanelle, Luke Jennnings


The book that inspried the award-winning television series, Killing Eve, should definitely be on your list. This is the first in a two-book series and will give you that extra bit of Villanelle we are all craving. Jennings brilliantly narrates the story of Villanelle, a young assasin who becomes obsessed with Eve Polastri, the MI5 agent who is hunting her down.

Described by The Metro as "gloriously exciting", this is a book you do not want to miss off your list. Once you've finished this one, move onto the second installment No Tomorrow.

3.Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier

First published in 1938, Rebecca tells the story of a young bride haunted by her husband's dead wife. After moving into Manderley, the young woman becomes increasingly haunted by the presence of the former spouse, Rebecca.

Theatrical Release Poster

The novel was adpated into an Academy-Award winning film in 1940, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Image Credit: Wikipedia

The unnamed narrator becomes more and more frustrated as she feels she cannot live up to this remarkable woman who her husband seemed to cherish. However, as the novel draws on it becomes apparent that Manderley is full of mystery and lies; but will she want to find out the truth?

4.Becoming, Michelle Obama

The former First Lady's autobiography has been long awaited and is sure not to disappoint. Enter into the life of the one of the most famous families in the world.

Michelle Obama has become one of the most influential women of our age, with some people calling for her to run for president herself. Obama takes us back to her childhood and tells the story of what made her the woman she is today.

5.Exit West, Mohsin Hamid


This book is very relevant to our current climate. Although it has been forced out of the news by other issues such as Brexit (ugh), the refugee crisis is still happening and everyday there are people trying to reach safety. Here, Hamid, a Pakistani noevlist,  presents us with a world very similar to this, except doors are appearing around the world, providing asylum seekers with an escape. Through these ominous doors, Hamid relaly drives home the desepration of displaced peoples.

We follow Nadia and Saeed as they flee their home through one of these doors. Hamid succesfully banishes the impersonal labelings of refugees as statistics.

6.Normal People, Sally Rooney

Winner of 'Waterstone's Best Book of the Year', author of Conversations with Friends, has pulled out all the stops for her second book. The Independent comments, "there's an effortlessness about Sally Rooney's writing, as if the stories simply pour through her like liquid gold"

Image Credit:Read Listen Watch


Rooney explores stories of young love and relationships in an excitingly refreshing way. With the Times calling it "the best novel published this year", how could you not pick it up?

7. This Changes Everything: vs. the Climate, Naomi Klein

It is becoming more and more apparent that Capitalism is not compatible with the planet and we must chnage our very society to ensure that we save our planet. In this incredibly important text, Klein analyses and exposes the real cause of climate change. To read more on this popular opinion read the National Student article 'A Consume Conspriacy?'.

Naomi Klein. Image Peoples’ Social Forum via Flickr.

Image Credit:Flickr

Klein wishes to educate people on the real facts and spark new ideas as well as protest against our government's neverending love of money over nature.

8.Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel

It's time to tackle the huge novel that inspired the BBC series. Mantel brings Henry VIII's court to life through the infamous Thomas Cromwell and his strive for Protestantism in England. We follow Cromwell as he experiences heartbreak, trauma and fear of the unpredictable Tudor court.

Mantel has been decribed by The Guardian as "our most brilliant English writer", and this is a book you certainly don't want to miss out on.

9.This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor,  Adam Kay

Kay's non-fiction reality reveals harrowing truths about the system that junior doctors find themsleves in post-graduation. Kay does not sugarcoat, but is brutally honest about the challenges he faced. This account is sure to leave an impression, for both doctors, students and adults alike. Set over 97 weeks, Kay reveals the all-consuming life that being a junior doctor is.

The Financial Times calls it, "a heartening, laugh-out-loud confessional on the indignities and quiet joys of being a junior doctor. Kay's warts-and-all account will not only bring plenty of laughs but also delivers a moving report from the NHS's embattled frontline".

10.Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race, Renni Eddo-Lodge

Eddo-Lodge writes with honesty and simplicity as she highlights the issues that racism still poses in the UK. This book tackles the racism that has become in-built within our society and exposes it and all its ugliness. 

Reni Eddo-Longe, essay writer Why I no longer talk to white people about race ( Why I'm not talking to white people about race , Bloomsbury, London, 2017).

Image Credit: feminopraxis.com

"When I talk about white privelege , I don't mean that white people have it easy, that they've never struggled, or that they've never lived in poverty. But white privelege is that fact that if you're white , your race will almost certainly positively impact your life's trajectory in some way. And you probably won't even notice it."- Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race




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