It’s almost time to start Christmas shopping, and what better gift to get someone this year than a book? This month’s book reviews are shorter than usual, but there are more of them to allow you more chances to find the perfect stocking filler book!

Bright Lights, Big City

Jay McInerney

Genre: Fiction

For Fans Of:

Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis

What’s in the pages? This is the story of a young man living in Manhattan. Follow his journey as he tries to forget his bland life and his dull job by stripping his humanity through nightclubs, fashion shows, loft parties and lots of drugs; only to face it again in the stark dawn light of morning.

Why should you read it? The style of this book is unique; I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it. The reason for this is that the story is written in the second person, this makes you feel like the writer is writing about you because, well, he is kind of writing about you in a sense. By taking this approach with his characters and coupling it up with an amazing array of vivid imagery throughout the novel, McInerney creates quite possibly, the definitive book about New York in the 1980s.


Frank Herbert

Genre: Science-Fiction

For Fans Of: The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R.Tolkien

What’s in the pages? Set on Arrakis, Dune is about Paul Atreides who has moved there with his family to rule over the desert planet. What makes Arrakis so special is that it is the sole provider of ‘Spice’, a drug that can extend life and enhance consciousness. When his family is betrayed, Paul has to escape into the desert and confront a destiny he would never have imagined for himself.

Why should you read it? If you like any Sci-Fi movie out now (especially Star Wars) then you are going to love Dune. Although challenging to get your head around at first, since Herbert tosses you right into the centre of this world and action with very little explanation on the language or settings of the book, this serves a purpose. It’s so that you feel the same confusion that the protagonist feels throughout the book. Dune is a fantastic feat of Sci-Fi that poignantly discusses religion, imperialism and environmentalism. It’s also just really enjoyable, I highly recommend reading the book before watching the movie that’s coming out early next year.


Patricia Cornwell

Genre: Murder Mystery

For Fans Of: 1st To Die by James Patterson

What’s in the pages? When four women are murdered with nothing in common, a serial killer is moving undetected throughout Richmond leaving chaos in his wake. Kay Scarpetta, a formidable medical examiner, is determined to figure out what happened but someone is trying to stop Kay’s investigation from the inside. And what’s worse, someone wants her dead.

Why should you read it? This novel is a stunning feat of thriller, suspense and murder. What makes it unique is its pacing, unlike most murder mysteries this book runs a steady pace throughout, building anxiety for the reader slowly and succinctly. You can tell Cornwell has a passion for this genre as well as the medical profession, due to the attention to detail and the insane amount of medical jargon throughout this book. It will keep you hooked till the end.


V.E. Schwab

Genre: Fantasy

For Fans Of: A Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

What’s in the pages? In this world, in the early 1800s there are four London’s. Four cities sharing the same name and location, but all in different planes of existence. Kell is a blood magician who travels from world to world delivering messages between them. When the thief Lila Bard meets Kell and their lives become intertwined, they must thwart a plot that plans to change the very nature of their reality, forever.

Why should you read it? This book is seriously unlike anything I have ever read before. The language is teeming with imagery which allows to jump into the world the same way Kell jumps between the different realities in this novel, it’s a story full of magic; cross-dressing thieves; pirates and coasts with two sides. The fact that Schwab creates her own language in this book makes it even more appealing and the characters are just perfect. If you are looking for something to transport you away from reality for a while, this is the book!


Marjane Satrapi

Genre: Biography 

For Fans Of: V for Vendetta by Alan Moore

What’s in the pages? Persepolis tells the story of a young girl growing up in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution and the struggles that come with it.

Why should you read it? This graphic novel is a biographical masterpiece, its historical accuracy is an incredible insight into a part of history that most of us are unaware of. But it also gives a humorous view of childhood in the 80’s and the fight for independence that most of us feel during our teenage years. It really is a stunning book, and remains a story that I revisit often.


Matt Haig

Genre: Memoir/Self Help

For Fans Of: Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay

What’s in the pages? Reasons to Stay Alive is Matt’s life-changing account about how he overcame his depression with the help of books, writing and the love of the people around him.

Why should you read it? Yes, this is a self-help book, but it isn’t patronising, it’s the type of book that those with depression will read and be able to relate to. The way that Haig approaches mental illness with humour and delicacy makes this a different self-help book to any you have read before. This novel should be read by everyone who battles depression or knows someone who fights it. It will help you understand it more – this book is an absolute must-read.