Best in Books this Christmas season

When you are stuck for Christmas (or birthday) gift ideas, books are always a safe bet. With an ever increasing choice of fiction, reference, biographies, cookery, coffee table books and more, there is something out there for absolutely any age, interest and intellect. Weekender has done the ground work for you and compiled a list of the year’s best sellers in a variety of categories:

Hardback fiction: 11/22/63 by Stephen King

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Stephen King’s heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination in a 1000-page tour de force.

A tribute to a simpler era and a devastating exercise in escalating suspense, 11/22/63 is Stephen King at his epic best.

Hardback non fiction: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues — Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionised six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

Paperback fiction: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Alternating between three narrators, maids Aibileen and Minny and an idealistic white journalist, Skeeter, Kathryn Stockett’s debut novel explores the relationship between white middle-class women and their black domestic “help” in 1960s Mississippi.

Paperback non-fiction: Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd, Sonja and Colton Burpo

Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how ‘reaaally big’ God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit ‘shoots down power’ from heaven to help us. Told by the father, but often in Colton’s own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready, there is a coming last battle.

Children: Diary of a Wimpy Kid 6: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney

Greg Heffley is in big trouble. School property has been damaged, and Greg is the prime suspect. But the crazy thing is, he’s innocent. Or at least sort of.

The authorities are closing in, but when a surprise blizzard hits, the Heffley family is trapped indoors. Greg knows that when the snow melts he’s going to have to face the music, but could any punishment be worse than being stuck inside with your family for the holidays? Suitable for readers aged 8+.

Reference: Guinness World Records 2012

It’s an Olympic year and, to celebrate, the latest incarnation of the world’s biggest selling annual unveils its most thrilling edition yet­ with a dynamic new “widescreen” design, thousands of new and classic records, never-before-seen photos and an exciting selection of new topics and features.

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