Is it really December already? The festive season is approaching fast and if, like us, you’re still yet to get into the festive mood, we’ve got just the ticket. Everyone knows snuggling up in a cosy chair with a brilliant book is the best part of the holiday season, so we’ve compiled a list of our top fireside reads to get you into the Christmas spirit (comedy reindeer jumper optional).

Burial Rites

by Hannah Kent

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This hauntingly beautiful novel was shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2014. If you’re feeling chilly in the UK, this will make you count your lucky stars; transporting you to the bleak and icy landscapes of nineteenth century Iceland to bear witness to the fate of Agnes Magnusdottir, awaiting the death sentence for the murder of her lover.

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

On Beauty

by Zadie Smith

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Settle down into a comfy chair and absorb this staggering family saga from Zadie Smith, which won the Orange Prize for Ficton in 2006. Each helmed by warring academics, the lives of the Belsey and Kipps families become increasingly intertwined with disasterous consequences. A meditation on beauty, academia, race and family, it’ll keep you absorbed as the nights draw in.

Room by Emma Donoghue


by Emma Donoghue

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During the festive season, sometimes all you need is a riveting read to make the outside world melt away. Shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2011, Room will grip you and not let go. Jack and his Ma are locked in a Room and don’t have the key. What will happen if they make a bid for freedom?

The Lowland

by Jhumpa Lahiri

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Need warming up? How about a wander in the sweltering heat of the suburban streets of Calcutta? Jhumpa Lahiri’s 2014 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlisted book follows two Indian brothers as politics, and eventually an ocean, divides them and challenges their bond.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Wolf Hall

by Hilary Mantel

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What better time to sink into Hilary Mantel’s Baileys Women’s Prize nominated Tudor saga than mid-winter? Make yourself a hot drink, get comfortable and immerse yourself in Mantel’s richly drawn characters as she reveals the murky underbelly of sixteenth-century life through the eyes of the low-born but wildly ambitious Thomas Cromwell.