If you like travel or reading, you're going to LOVE these novels -they're perfect gifts!
It isn't easy to buy Christmas gifts (or any gifts, really) for someone who loves to travel. Chances are they're very particular about their gear and, no matter what, it's hard to compete with exotic souvenirs. That's why I think books are the perfect choice.
I'm crazy about reading but even people whose interests lie elsewhere will find themselves hankering for a book to read on the train, the plane, the bus. I admit to having soft spot for real books. There's just something so comforting about the smell of paper and it's practical to have something amusing that doesn't require charging. And it's great to have something to share and swap with others on the road. But the weight of a real book isn't practical for everyone, which is why an e-reader gift card or audible book subscription work just as well. Here are a few of my favorite titles that are guaranteed crowd pleasers for the travel lover on your list.
419 by Will Ferguson
419 can be described in one word: rich. The words are lush and juicy, the narrative smooth and flowing. The descriptions of Nigeria are incredible - Ferguson does an amazing job covering the country as he covers the lives of his characters. He steers the reader from the oil rich Delta into the pale, stinging dust of the dessert, and back around to the putrid chaos of Lagos with ease. This is a proper book: great characters, vivid settings, the stories staying in your head long after you are done.
Buy it here
Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada
Inspired by the true story of Otto and Elise Hampel, the novel follows the life of Otto and Anna, a simple, unassuming, hardworking couple who live in a Berlin apartment building filled with interesting characters. The death of their only son in WWII war sets about a spiraling chain of events as Otto and Anna launch an unlikely clandestine campaign, a kind of civil disobedience, to undermine the Nazi authorities. Every Man Dies Alone was written in 24 days and published just one week before Fallada`s death.
Buy it here
The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys
This book is actually a collection of forty vignettes, each one telling a story of for every time the River Thames froze solid. Starting in 1142, under seize and on the brink of starvation, Queen Matilda escapes in the nick of time, using a freshly frozen Thames as part of her plan. Over the years, we hear the story of kings and commoners, princes and peasants whose lives are transformed when the river freezes. Everyday aspects of life -frolicking with friends, fighting the plague, grappling with the authorities - are written in detail as warm as the ice is cold. And the extraordinary events - such as Henry the VIII rushing back into London when Catherine of Aragon dies - are made even more magical when you envision the royal carriage being pulled down the middle of the frozen river.
Buy it here
The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski
Bonaventure is a charming yet mysterious child and he is at the centre of several tangled tales. The grief of his single mother. The lingering sorrow of his father’s mother, and the magnetic draw of her chapel. The once-handsome man now locked in an insane asylum. It was fascinating to learn about life in 1950's Louisiana where the characters come from different races and classes, yet it is secondary to the story of people interacting, having their lives intertwined, crossing boundaries.
Buy it here
Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin
Our central character, Angel, is a busy, mother-hen type of figure. A talented baker and cake decorator she decides the time is right to move to Kigali and set up a cakes-to-order business. She reasons that as Rwanda moves past their sad history of genocide, there will be much personal and political celebration. But as talented as she is in baking and business, Angel really shines in being a beacon for gossip and can't resist taking an interest in the concerns of her neighbours. Chauffeurs, doctors, NGO workers - no one is safe as Angel fiddles with a relationship here, tweaks an outcome there! And along the way, she faces some complex decisions that reflect the hard realities of daily life and reconciliation in Kigali.
Buy it here
Have you been naughty or nice this year? What books do you hope to find under the tree?
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