8 brilliant books for Christmas

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

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Jenni Murray – The voice of Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour

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The book I want for Christmas

The Sellout by Paul Beatty, £12.10 (incl p&p)

The Man Booker Prize winner was described in one review as “the most lacerating American satire in years”. But it is also apparently a really funny novel and I could do with a laugh!

The books I’ll be giving

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (£13.50, incl p&p)

This is a beautifully written historical novel set in the fictional Essex village of Aldwinter in the late 19th century. It’s a tender love story, and tackles themes that are as relevant now as then: poor housing, domestic violence, the gulf between social classes.
 The historical detail is phenomenal –
it’s simply wonderful.

Girls and Sex by Peggy Orenstein (£8.80, plus £1.50 p&p)

This is a must-read for any parent of daughters. Orenstein is an American journalist who interviewed 70 young women aged between 15 and 20, and it’s distressing in its descriptions of how damaged they
 are by their ignorance of their right to 
sexual pleasure. 

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Order Jenni Murray’s A History of Britain in 21 Women for £14.85, incl p&p