Get cosy with a Christmas read

There’s nothing better to escape from the turkey cooking, present wrapping, Christmas madness than a great book. Here’s our list of the 10 of the most popular books for adults in 2015, all available in Hampshire libraries for free, to give you a little inspiration for your Christmas distraction. So you sort the sprouts, and we’ll take care of the stories!

Girl on the train, Paula Hawkins

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see: she’s much more than just the girl on the train.

Go set a watchman, Harper Lee

Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand both her father’s attitude toward society and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.

Elizabeth is missing, Emma Healey

‘Elizabeth is missing’, reads the note in Maud’s pocket in her own handwriting. Lately, Maud’s been getting forgetful. She keeps buying peach slices when she has a cupboard full, forgets to drink the cups of tea she’s made and writes notes to remind herself of things. But Maud is determined to discover what has happened to her friend, Elizabeth, and what it has to do with the unsolved disappearance of her sister Sukey, years back, just after the war.

I let you go, Clare Mackintosh

At the scene of a tragic accident, life changes immediately for everyone involved. Finding it impossible to stay in Bristol, Jenna Gray moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast. She is desperate to escape the past, but is haunted by the accident, by the loss of her son, and by her own fears. DI Ray Stevens is determined to get to the bottom of this case. The investigation takes him away from his family and he finds himself growing closer to Kate Evans, a young and forthright detective on his team. But Jenna’s past is about to catch up with her, with devastating consequences.

Us, David Nicholls

‘I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together.’ ‘Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?’ Douglas Petersen understands his wife’s need to ‘rediscover herself’ now that their son is leaving home. He just thought they’d be doing their rediscovering together. So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again. The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed. What could possibly go wrong?

The miniaturist, Jessie Burton

On an autumn day in 1686, 18-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways. Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all.

All the light we cannot see, Anthony Doerr

Marie-Laure has been blind since the age of six. Her father builds a perfect miniature of their Paris neighbourhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. But when the Nazis invade, father and daughter flee with a dangerous secret. Werner is a German orphan, destined to labour in the same mine that claimed his father’s life, until he discovers a knack for engineering. His talent wins him a place at a brutal military academy, but his way out of obscurity is built on suffering. At the same time, far away in a walled city by the sea, an old man discovers new worlds without ever setting foot outside his home.

The bazaar of bad dreams, Stephen King

A generous collection of thrilling stories – some brand new, some published in magazines, all entirely brilliant and assembled in one book for the first time – with a wonderful bonus: in addition to his introduction to the whole collection, King gives readers a fascinating introduction to each story with autobiographical comments on their origins and motivation…

Big little lies, Liane Moriarty

Jane hasn’t lived anywhere longer than six months since her son was born five years ago. She keeps moving in an attempt to escape her past. Now the idyllic seaside town of Pirriwee has pulled her to its shores and Jane finally feels like she belongs. She has friends in the feisty Madeline and the incredibly beautiful Celeste – two women with seemingly perfect lives … and their own secrets behind closed doors. But then a small incident involving the children of all three women occurs in the playground causing a rift between them and the other parents of the school. Minor at first but escalating fast, until whispers and rumours become vicious and spiteful. It was always going to end in tears, but no one thought it would end in murder.

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