Book influencer Sarah Gwonyoma aka @whatsarahreadnext shares her festive season stocking fillers.
Illustrations: Niki Groom (@miss_magpie_spy)
Reading is my happy place and has also saved me when life has been tough. Working in the world of books means I get to read way more than your average person and it also means I get to sniff out some of the best literature out there. My love language has always been books, so this Christmas I’m choosing to gift my loved ones with what I know best and it is such a treat to be asked by The Frugality family to share with you some of the books I’ll be gifting my friends and family this holiday season:
This is not a Pity Memoir – Abi Morgan
In addition to being an Emmy and BAFTA award-winning screenwriter, Abi Morgan has also had to navigate a marriage where her husband wakes up from a coma unable to recognise her (amidst her stage 3 cancer diagnosis). Her memoir is as real and life gets for most. A must read.
Standard Deviation – Katherine Heiny
With the world feeling heavy, this book brought so much light into my world this summer. It’s about a couple who are complete opposites, with a son who finds making friends hard, find their way through marriage and life.
Oh William – Elizabeth Strout
Not many women would say yes to go on a road trip with their ex-husband, but this is what Lucy Barton does. A story that explores the layers of feelings that build up between two people over time.
Lucy by the Sea – Elizabeth Strout
A gorgeous follow-up to ‘Oh William’ comes ‘Lucy by the Sea’ where we are with Lucy and William who are seeing out the pandemic together in Maine. Not a situation either saw coming and are once again having to sit with their complex past at a time when the world seems to be falling apart.
Cat Brushing – Jane Campbell
A provocative short story collection that explores the sensual worlds of thirteen older women. I went into this with zero expectations (having not seen or heard about it) and came away WOWED (in a good way!).
Books I will be gifting to the children in my life this Christmas
1. The Missing Piece by Jordan Stephens – A gorgeous book about a girl who goes on the hunt for a missing piece in a puzzle she’s trying to complete. The powerful message and take away for all is about empathy.
2. The Perfect Fit by Naomi and James Jones – A book about a triangle called The Triangle not knowing where she belongs. As she navigates her way through the world with circles, squares and hexagons, not seeing how she fits in, she realises by the end, despite difference, they can all live together as one.
3. The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q Raúf – A stunning book told from a child’s perspective on the refugee crisis. In a world that isn’t always kind towards ‘others’, this book really brings home the importance of friendship.
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