Books for December as chosen by our independent booksellers

Hello and welcome to the books chosen by independent booksellers as recommended new reads. Every month we will be highlighting fifteen books hand-picked for you, and why these booksellers think you should be reading them.

Just click on any of the titles to read more and purchase from Hive, where every sale benefits your local independent bookshop.

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The Man Who Loved Dogs by Leonardo Padura

“Ignore the size of this stunning novel and just dive into what is a Spanish literary gem. Beginning in Cuba when writer Ivan Cardenas encounters a man who confesses to killing Leon Trotsky, this is a story of revolutions fought and betrayed. A monumental work, ideal for reading over the long New Year holiday.”

Chosen by: Sheila O’Reilly, bookseller at Dulwich Books

Magna Carta by Dan Jones

“2015 is the anniversary of the Magna Carta signed by King John in 1215, and Dan Jones brings to life the events that took place in a marshy meadow. Beautifully illustrated, this is a fresh look at this cornerstone of our constitutional rights and liberties.”

Chosen by: Sarah Donaldson, bookseller at Red Lion Books

En Brogue by Hannah Rochell

“Do you know anyone who loves shoes, particularly flat shoes, or are they your fetish? Here is a book to delight any shoe lover and make for an ideal gift. Pictured in glorious colour with accompanying text are some lovely and perhaps-not-so lovely shoes. If not well-heeled and this is your “sole” gift, this is for you.”

Chosen by: Richard Knowles, bookseller at Rickaro Books

Love Life and the Archers by Wendy Cope

“A delightful collection of short essays gathered together from the writings of Wendy Cope. An insight into Wendy’s world containing something for everyone, and is a book that can be purchased with confidence as a gift or personal reward.”

Chosen by: Richard Knowles, bookseller at Rickaro Books

Playing it My Way by Sachin Tendulkar

“This is bound to be an amazing autobiography from one of the world’s greatest sportsmen. Despite his celebrity status, Sachin Tendulkar has always remained a very private man, devoted to his family and his country. He is also the greatest run scorer in the history of cricket and with the backdrop of turmoil in his home country, this is a fascinating read.”

Chosen by: Sheila O’Reilly, bookseller at Dulwich Books

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The Virgin Mary’s Got Nits by Gervase Phinn

“We have had customer requests and orders for this for months. It is vintage Gervase Phinn, his much-loved charm and wit giving us lots of gentle chuckles, and a seasonal anthology to treasure.”

Chosen by: Jill Pattle, bookseller at Far From the Madding Crowd

The Hot Country by Robert Olen Butler

“The first in a three part series, this is an exciting tale of intrigue and espionage. Among the battlefield of pre-war Mexico is a story of love, secrecy and adventure. An entertaining and informative read that will leave you wanting more.”

Chosen by: Sue Kekewich, bookseller at Atkinson Pryce Books

Ridley Road by Jo Bloom

“Ridley Road is a colourful and extravagant story of a young girl’s journey into the heart of the Sixties in London. In her search for a man she met some months before, she gets swept up in the Jewish fight against fascism and uncovers the darkest secrets of those around her. Fans of Maggie O’Farrell will love this book.”

Chosen by: Sue Kekewich, bookseller at Atkinson Pryce Books

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

“This is a strange but alluring book. Libraries are not usually weird places but here we find one with odd and sinister inhabitants. Attractively produced, it should bring interest for readers who seek a book that is that bit different.”

Chosen by: Richard Knowles, bookseller at Rickaro Books

Washi Style! by Marisa Edghill

“I only recently discovered the hugely versatile Washi tape, so was delighted to find this book about it. It is an easy-to-use material, but the techniques do need a bit of explanation, especially how to personalise and decorate anything from a photo frame, to jewellery to toys. A crafter’s dream.”

Chosen by: Jill Pattle, bookseller at Far From the Madding Crowd

December-IBAP-banner-31000 Cool Stickers by Fiona Watt

“Sticker books are always a hit and this should be no exception. It is packed with wonderful colour stickers of dinosaurs, robots, aliens, sea creatures, animals, trucks, surfing penguins and more, to delight children of all ages.”

Chosen by: Richard Knowles, bookseller at Rickaro Books

The Usborne Amazing Activity Book

“There need never be a dull moment with this book to hand. Bubbling potions and green slime is just the thing for the dark days of winter. I’m not sure about the balloon rockets, they never seemed to work for our family. Maybe there are more tips in here!”

Chosen by: Sarah Donaldson, bookseller at Red Lion Books

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

“Gorgeously illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, this award-winning rendition is full of warmth and humour. The whole approach is contemporary and accessible: Alice herself is a child of today – casually dressed, personable and spirited.”

Chosen by: Sheila O’Reilly, bookseller at Dulwich Books

The Flint Heart by Katherine Paterson

“This humorous, hearty and utterly delightful reworking of a 1910 story by Eden Phillpotts is perfect for an entire family to savour together or an adventurous youngster to devour. This is a very enjoyable read and you can safely add this to the Christmas idea list for 10+.”

Chosen by: Sheila O’Reilly, bookseller at Dulwich Books

Shaun the Sheep Movie: Flock in the City – Sticker Activity Book

“Oh dear. Shaun and the sheep have lost the farmer in the city. Can they find him and get him safely home? This new movie should be a hit for all Shaun’s many small fans.”

Chosen by: Sarah Donaldson, bookseller at Red Lion Books

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