8 brilliant books for Christmas

These are the best festive reads recommended by your favourite TV and radio broadcasters


Susie Dent – Countdown’s lexicographer

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The books I want for Christmas

The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes (£13.50, incl p&p)

This is a book I’d like to tuck myself away for a day to read. It’s short in length but by all accounts big on ideas and power, and I’ve been hooked on Barnes’s writing since his 2005 novel, Arthur & George.


At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson (£8.00, plus £1.50 p&p)

Bryson always manages to present important ideas and themes with a deft lightness of touch I can only aspire to.

The book I’ll be giving

The Lost Estate by Henri Alain-Fournier (£5.99, plus £1.50 p&p)

This is a book I’ve adored for decades; it depicts the twilight world between childhood and adolescence. I love passing the magic on.

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Order Susie Dent’s Modern Tribes: The Secret Languages of Britain by Susie Dent for £13.50, incl p&p