From thrillers to wildlife, Jarrold head book buyer Chris Rushby suggests 12 glorious gifts, with a strong local feel
Jarrold’s expert Chris Rushby has some gift ideas
FICTION TOMBLAND BY CJ SANSOM
Readers have been waiting eagerly for the seventh in the gripping series of Tudor thrillers featuring lawyer Matthew Shardlake. For local readers the excitement is even more intense: the book brings Shardlake and his friends to Norwich where they become caught up in Kett’s Rebellion. The novel is a brilliant piece of historical fiction anyway, but the local setting makes it one of our books of the year.
Published by Mantle. Jarrold, £15
THE STRANGER DIARIES BY ELLY GRIFFITHS
Elly Griffiths is best known for her series of Norfolk-set crime mysteries featuring forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway. The combination of compelling characters, solid plotting and local scenery proves irresistible to a host of readers. Here’s a departure for Elly, though; a stand-alone thriller in the modern Gothic tradition – but we’re confident Ruth Galloway fans are going to love it.
Published by Quercus. Jarrold, £9.99
MELMOTH BY SARAH PERRY
Brilliant Norwich-based author Sarah Perry won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award for her first novel, After Me Comes The Flood. Her second, The Essex Serpent, was overall winner at the British Book of the Year Awards last year. Her latest is described by The Observer as “one of the great achievements of our century and deserves all the prizes and praise that will be heaped upon it.”
Published by Serpent’s Tail. Jarrold, £12.99
NON-FICTION IN MY LIFE BY ALAN JOHNSON
Alan Johnson might just be one of the greatest prime ministers we never had. His three volumes of memoirs have all been literary prize winners and best-sellers. Now, the ex-postman and cabinet minister looks back at his life again, this time reflecting on the musical soundtrack of his life, from Lonnie Donegan to The Beatles, from Elvis Presley to
Elvis Costello, with his customary wit and warmth.
THE PENGUIN CLASSICS BOOK BY HENRY ELIOT
This handsomely bound book is a reader’s companion to the largest library of classic literature in the world from one of the most iconic publishing imprints. From ancient Mesopotamian legends to First World War poetry, with Greek tragedies, Icelandic sagas, Japanese epics and much more in between, it takes in 500 authors and 1,200 books, bringing these to life with lively descriptions, literary connections and beautiful cover designs.
Published by Particular Books. Jarrold, £20
THIS HOLLOW LAND – ASPECTS OF NORFOLK FOLKLORE, BY PETER TOLHURST
Peter Tolhurst’s Norfolk Parish Treasures books were wonderful digests of the county’s architectural heritage. Now he turns his attention to the myths and legends permeating the county. Perhaps Black Shuck is the region’s most famous mythical beast, but he’s by no means alone, as this fascinating and comprehensive guide makes clear. Published by Black Dog Books. £25
COFFEE TABLE BIRDS IN NORFOLK BY JAMES MCCALLUM AND ANDY BROWN
This book is both beautiful and informative: local artist James McCallum’s gorgeous illustrations are accompanied by Andy Brown’s text, combining to produce a book that qualifies as the Jarrold bargain of the year at a mere £9.99 – a daft price, if we say so ourselves, for such a wonderful production focusing on the county’s avian life.
Published by Langford Press. Jarrold, £9.99
THE STORY OF THE BRITISH ISLES IN 100 PLACES BY NEIL OLIVER
Neil Oliver is probably best-known for appearances on the BBC’s popular Coast programmes, but here he produces a beautifully written, kaleidoscopic history of our islands, a very personal account of what makes these islands so special, told through the places that have witnessed the unfolding of its history. From windswept headlands to battlefields and cathedrals, each of his destinations is a place where the spirit of the past seems to linger. Published by Bantam Press. Jarrold, £15
CALL OF THE BLUE BY PHILIP HAMILTON
This book is both a thing of beauty and a call to arms. Philip Hamilton’s gorgeous, striking images of reefs and whales, crocodiles and manatees, sea lions and jellyfish, turtles and sharks, pygmy sea horses and more gives readers a glimpse of some of the world’s most stunning underwater locations and creatures, bringing into sharp focus all we are at risk of losing if the world doesn’t act with more sense. Published by Paul Holberton Publishing. Jarrold, £45
CHILDREN’S THE WINTER WASSAIL BY CHERIE CHEN
This beautiful and festive picture book is self-published by Cherie Chen, a local author and illustrator. Although the term ‘self-published’ sometimes comes with connotations of poor quality this book is in fact a lovely piece of publishing and each copy is signed by the author.
THE NIGHT I MET FATHER CHRISTMAS BY BEN MILLER AND DANIELA JAGLENKA TERRAZZINI
Actor and comedian Ben Miller is perhaps best known for The Armstrong and Miller Show on TV. Now turning his hand to writing, Ben has produced what may just be a Christmas classic in the making, in the shape of this tale proving once and for all that Father Christmas does exist…
Published by Simon & Schuster. £12.99
MUMMY TIME BY JUDITH KERR
Judith Kerr’s style is instantly recognisable: from the Mog series to The Tiger Who Came To Tea, her books have delighted generations of young readers. In her latest there’s the very gentlest of digs at parents who fall prey to the temptations of mobile communications devices when they should be paying attention to their children…
Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books. Jarrold, £9.99