Book reviews from East Devon Resident

Grandpa Christmas by Michael Morpurgo

Grandpa Christmas by Michael Morpurgo - Credit: Archant

December is the month for giving books – and also receiving them. They make a present which endures for years. Stuck for choice? See this ‘best of 2018’ selection by Jane Corry, Sunday Times best-selling author.

The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman

The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman - Credit: Archant

OUR HOUSE by LOUISE CANDLISH. Published by Simon Schuster. £8.99

What would you do if you came home from work one day and found that someone else had bought your home – without you knowing?

Fi, wife and mother of two, thinks she must be mistaken. But it’s true. And it’s also just the beginning…

This is the psychological thriller that everyone’s been talking about. In fact, it might distract you from putting on the turkey!

Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig - Credit: Archant

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DEAR MRS BIRD by AJ PEARCE. Published by Picador £7.99

It’s 1941 in London. Best friends Emmy and Bunty are trying to keep their spirits up – and everyone else’s – despite the turmoil around them.

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Emmy has always wanted to be a lady war correspondent and thinks she’s found her perfect job after spotting a newspaper ad. But after various misunderstandings, she finds herself standing in for the agony aunt for Woman’s Friend magazine. This is a charming, heart-warming book which will lift your spirits in the chaos of Christmas.

The Lido by Libby Page

The Lido by Libby Page - Credit: Archant

THE LIDO by LIBBY PAGE. Published by Orion. £7.99

Kate is an anxious young reporter who has been sent to cover the closure of the local Lido.

There she meets Rosemary, an 86-year-old widow who met her husband George at the pool and has sought solace in the water since his death. As Kate’s investigations continue, the two women become friends and open up to each other in ways that help each of them to find their paths in life.

Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce

Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce - Credit: Archant

A wonderful uplifting tale for readers of all ages.

NOTES ON A NERVOUS PLANET by MATT HAIG. Published by Canongate. £7.99

Is it all getting too much?

Our House by Louise Candlish

Our House by Louise Candlish - Credit: Archant

This book will help you cope with modern-day stress ranging from email over-load to relationship issues.

Packed with wisdom and kindness.

A perfect gift for yourself.


Every Christmas, Mia reads a letter which her grandpa wrote to her.

He describes poignant times when they found frogs, dug for worms and planted seeds.

But he also encourages her to care for and protect this precious world. This is a timely message - by this internationally-known author from the South West - that both family relationships and the world need to be nurtured and loved.

THE BOOK OF DUST: VOLUME ONE. LA BELLE SAUVAGE by PHILIP PULLMAN published by Penguin & David Fickling Books. £7.99

11-year-old Malcolm lives with his parents near Oxford.

He loves to take his canoe on the river.

But one day, he learns that the nuns of a nearby priory have a special baby guest staying with them…

Perfect for readers who enjoy fantasy novels.

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