Here it is: our December box!
What a fantastic time of year to catch up on some reading, and perfect timing for Christmas gifts!
Our book selections this month are as follows:
General Fiction: The Weekend, by Charlotte Wood
People went on about death bringing friends together, but it wasn't true. The graveyard, the stony dirt - that's what it was like now . . . Despite the three women knowing each other better than their own siblings, Sylvie's death had opened up strange caverns of distance between them.
Four older women have a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank and steadfast. But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining three. Can they survive together without her?
They are Jude, a once-famous restaurateur, Wendy, an acclaimed public intellectual, and Adele, a renowned actress now mostly out of work. Struggling to recall exactly why they've remained close all these years, the grieving women gather for Christmas at Sylvie's old beach house - not for festivities, but to clean the place out before it is sold.
Without Sylvie to maintain the group's delicate equilibrium, frustrations build and painful memories press in. Fraying tempers, an elderly dog, unwelcome guests and too much wine collide in a storm that brings long-buried hurts to the surface - and threatens to sweep away their friendship for good.
The Weekend explores growing old and growing up, and what happens when we're forced to uncover the lies we tell ourselves. Sharply observed and excruciatingly funny, this is a jewel of a book: a celebration of tenderness and friendship that is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Romance: Where There's a Will, by Beth Corby
After leaving university at the age of twenty-five with no idea what to do with her life, Hannah is stunned when she is left a mystery bequest by her rich, estranged great-uncle Donald.
But there's a catch: before she can find out what she's inherited, she must undertake a series of unknown tasks alongside Alec, Donald's reluctant (but rather gorgeous) PA.
As the tasks progress and she and Alec grow closer, Hannah begins to think that Donald's real gift might have more to do with love than money . . .
This funny, romantic and uplifting novel is perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Cathy Hopkins and Anna Bell.
Crime: Control, by Hugh Montgomery
Not all doctors are heroes . . .
Renowned surgeon Michael Trenchard locks his office door and prepares for a relaxing evening. But what follows is a living nightmare when later he is discovered in a locked-in coma, the victim of an auto-erotic asphyxiation.
It is left to Doctor Kash Devan, Trenchard's young protégé, to uncover the truth. And what he discovers is chilling . . .
In his ruthless pursuit of wealth and success, Trenchard has left a trail of wrecked lives, and angry people, behind him. Which of Trenchard's victims hated him so much that they wanted to ruin not only his reputation, but his life as well?
True Crime: Corrupt Bodies: Death and Dealing in a London Morgue, by Peter Everett
In 1985, Peter Everett landed the job as Superintendent of Southwark Mortuary. In just six years he’d gone from lowly assistant to running the UK’s busiest murder morgue. He couldn’t believe his luck.
What he didn’t know was that Southwark, operating in near-Victorian conditions, was a hotbed of corruption. Attendants stole from the dead, funeral homes paid bribes, and there was a lively trade in stolen body parts and recycled coffins.
Set in the fascinating pre-DNA and psychological profiling years of 1985–87, this memoir tells a gripping and gruesome tale, with a unique insight into a world of death most of us don’t ever see. Peter managed pathologists, oversaw post mortems and worked alongside Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad – including on the case of the serial killer, the Stockwell Strangler.
This is a thrilling tale of murder and corruption in the mid-1980s, told with insight and compassion.
Biographies/Memoirs: Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown, by Anne Glenconner
The remarkable life of Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret who was also a Maid of Honour at the Queen's Coronation - and is a character in The Crown this autumn. Anne Glenconner reveals the real events behind The Crown as well as her own life of drama, tragedy and courage, with the wonderful wit and extraordinary resilience which define her.
Anne Glenconner has been close to the Royal Family since childhood. Eldest child of the 5th Earl of Leicester, she was, as a daughter, described as 'the greatest disappointment' by her family as she was unable to inherit. Her childhood home Holkham Hall is one of the grandest estates in England. Bordering Sandringham the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret were frequent playmates.
From Maid of Honour at the Queen's Coronation to Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret, Lady Glenconner is a unique witness to royal history, as well as an extraordinary survivor of a generation of aristocratic women trapped without inheritance and burdened with social expectations.
She married the charismatic but highly volatile Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner, who became the owner of Mustique. Together they turned the island into a paradise for the rich and famous, including Mick Jagger and David Bowie, and it became a favourite retreat for Princess Margaret.
But beneath the glitz and glamour there has also lurked tragedy. On Lord Glenconner's death in 2010 he left his fortune to a former employee. And of their five children, two grown-up sons died, while a third son had to be nursed back from a coma by Anne, after having suffered a near fatal accident.
Anne Glenconner writes with extraordinary wit, generosity and courage and she exposes what life was like in her gilded cage, revealing the role of her great friendship with Princess Margaret, and the freedom she can now finally enjoy in later life. She will appear as a character in the new series of The Crown this autumn.
Fantasy: The Bone Ships, by RJ Barker
A brilliantly imagined saga of honor, glory, and warfare, The Bone Ships is the epic launch of a new fantasy from David Gemmell Award-nominated RJ Barker.
Two nations at war. One prize beyond compare.
For generations, the Hundred Isles have built their ships from the bones of ancient dragons to fight an endless war.
The dragons disappeared, but the battles for supremacy persisted.
Now the first dragon in centuries has been spotted in far-off waters, and both sides see a chance to shift the balance of power in their favour. Because whoever catches it will win not only glory, but the war.
Our featured product this month is gingerbread cookies, by Gingerbread Folk
We couldn’t go past such a traditional treat for our December box, so we teamed up with Gingerbread Folk to bring you their boxed miniature gingerbread cookies.
Each giftbox contains an assortment of lightly spiced Christmas themed gingerbread cookies. Vegan, and nut free, with no added preservatives, colours or flavours, these biscuits are practically begging to be eaten!
You can follow them at @gingerbreadfolk and shop their full range at www.gingerbreadfolk.com.au
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