What I Got For Christmas: books for the post-Christmas lull

This Christmas, like many other Christmases, I got a number of books (though this Christmas, as with others, will not beat the Christmas when I was seven and got my own copies of the Harry Potter books that existed at that point). And now, as the dinner and chocolate and alcohol settles, it is time to share some of those and perhaps inspire some use of good old gift cards. Other than the first, these are all recent books that I’ve been seeing around in 2016.

  • Disobedience by Naomi Alderman – This is the only one of my presents that I’ve read so far because I impressively held off over Christmas and did things like hang out with my family. Disobedience is about a woman living in New York who has to travel back to her old Orthodox Jewish community in North London and face up to a few things about herself and her past. This book doesn’t quite go where you might expect it to and gives a variety of characters’ viewpoints whilst offering the reader the chance to question theirs.
  • Autumn by Ali Smith – Autumn was an exciting gift to me for two reasons: one, a new Ali Smith book, and two, it’s a beautiful new hardback copy. As someone who gets mostly secondhand books, it’s good to have a few nice copies. I expect wordplay and narrative play and can’t wait to start reading it.
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – Probably one of the most recommended books of the year, but the kind of book that was suggested with a “it devastated me” kind of selling point. This is most of what I know about it, other than it featuring New York City, but I’m about to start it and find out more. Shoutout to KJ for recommending both this and Lily and the Octopus to me multiple times.
  • The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney – Another of those books that I had seen on bookshop tables throughout 2016, the kind that is nominated for and wins prizes and you pick up when you see it and read the blurb and think ‘that sounds like something I would read’ and then put it back. The copy I have – all bright orange and in your face font – looks very much like a book I would read, so again, I look forward to it.