Wednesday, 23 December 2015

8 books to add to your Kindle this winter (featuring deals, award winners, and simply great reads)


You can’t beat a proper paperback, but sometimes downloading a book on your Kindle just makes more sense.

If you’re travelling, it’s silly to lug around what can only be described as a fully-fledged library. You might also want something new to read straight away, and not have time to call at a bookshop. And there’s often deals to consider too, particularly if you’re just looking for a quick read.

As you settle into a sofa for the colder weather, here are eight praiseworthy Kindle books to unwind with for 2015 and 2016.



1. A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami 

$7.51 / £4.99

I recently read A Wild Sheep Chase during a lone weekend adventure to Chamonix in France. In typical Murakami form, the novel draws upon themes of hiding away and having lots of time for contemplation (and wine). There’s snow, too.

As you might remember, I recently quoted some of my favourite lines from A Wild Sheep Chase (about packing a bag and going on a trip).

This is the book that first launched the author's international reputation, but another recent Murakami read of mine (and recommendation) is What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, his non-fiction memoir.

2. Best in Travel 2016: The Best Trends, Destinations, Journeys & Experiences for the Year Ahead

$10 / £6.64

Explore the world from your armchair with a Lonely Planet book and nurture your wanderlust for 2016. Also, if you’re in the UK, the following Lonely Planet books are on Kindle Unlimited at the moment (meaning free for Prime subscribers!)


3. Life and Other Near-Death Experiences by Camille Pagán

$6.01 / £0.00 for Kindle Unlimited UK

This wasn't a typical choice of novel for me, but it was definitely easy-going and relaxing for my trip from Switzerland to England this December.

The plot - woman spontaneously goes abroad, escapes life in Chicago - is a bit of a conscious spin on Eat, Pray, Love, but the novel's jokey and not-too-serious nature also reminded me of Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette, a book I've always said great things about.

Life and Other Near Death Experiences is a story about seizing life and ditching what others expect of you. It will make you laugh. It will make you ugly cry. And it will make you want to live your own life to its greatest potential. —HelloGiggles

4. The Girl in the Spider's Web (Millennium series Book 4) by David Lagercrantz

$10.56 / £6.99

It may not be one of the Stieg Larsson originals, but it’s hard to resist the allure of a book that continues the story of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist.

Salander and Blomkvist have survived the authorship transition intact and are just as compelling as ever . . . Fans of Stieg Larsson’s captivating odd couple of modern detective fiction will not be disappointed. —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

5. The Martian by Andy Weir

$5.25 / £4.99

If you haven’t watched the film yet, why not enjoy a few hours snuggled on the sofa with the book by Andy Weir? The same can apply if you have watched it already: Christmas can be a good time for book-movie comparison discussions!

the novel is a tightly constructed and completely believable story of a man’s ingenuity and strength in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Riveting. —David Pitt, Booklist

6. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

$9.02 / £5.99

Celeste Ng's debut novel, Everything I Never Told You, is a wonderful book. It won the Amazon Book of the Year Award in 2014, with their Senior Books Editor, Chris Schluep, sharing the following:

From the first sentence of Celeste Ng’s stunning debut, we know that the oldest daughter of the Chinese-American Lee family has died. What follows is a novel that explores alienation, achievement, race, gender, family, and identity--as the police must unravel what has happened to Lydia, the Lee family must uncover the sister and daughter that they hardly knew. There isn’t a false note in this book, and my only concern in describing my profound admiration for Everything I Never Told You is that it might raise unachievable expectations in the reader. But it’s that good. Achingly, precisely, and sensitively written.

7. The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng

$6.13 / £4.07

I love Tan Twan Eng's writing, both in The Gift of Rain and his second novel, The Garden of Evening Mists. Perhaps my favourite book on my Kindle, The Gift of Rain is an enchanting novel, right from its opening lines:

I was born with the gift of rain, an ancient soothsayer in an even more ancient temple once told me. This was back in a time when I did not believe in fortune-tellers, when the world was not yet filled with wonder and mystery...
The novel tells the story of Philip Hutton, a boy of mixed Chinese-English heritage, and his relationship with Hayato Endo, a Japanese diplomat who teaches him aikido. As war looms and the Japanese invade, both Endo and Philip find themselves torn between their loyalty to each other and their respective countries and families. It's a beautiful novel, and my Kindle edition is covered in highlights. Here's a favourite:

To have memories, happy or sorrowful, is a blessing, for it shows we have lived our lives without reservation. —The Gift of Rain


8. A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

$5.71 / £0.99
JAMAICA, 1976
Seven gunmen storm Bob Marley’s house, machine guns blazing. The reggae superstar survives, but the gunmen are never caught.

If we're going to have time to conquer the Man Booker Prize winner for 2015, it might as well be at Christmas! I love this review by The Economist: "Manages consistently to shock and mesmerise at the same time…Best of all is the dialogue …its musicality is tinged with menace…this tale of a country and its people ravaged and transformed by tragedy packs quite a punch."


What are you reading on your Kindle at the moment? Share any exciting discoveries and deals with other readers in the comments!


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