The best books to give to the women in your life
Make-up and clothes and spa days are all very well and good – the ideal gift, sometimes – but there’s something about the perfectly chosen book that can make for the most meaningful gift ever. It says that you understand the person, and want to give something that will make a difference to their life and the way they see the world long after a manicure has chipped or a pair of posh tights has laddered.
The correctly chosen book shows you understand your loved one’s inner workings – their interests, their beliefs, the way they see the world around them, and what they want out of life.
We’ve chosen books that have been released in the last couple of years that have either been commercial blockbusters, critically acclaimed, or something we think will make an amusing gift for someone you love. Everything we’ve chosen should move, captivate or entertain somebody in your life.
Dubbed "the new Gone Girl", Paula Hawkins' psycological thriller has hogged bestseller lists ever since it was released in February 2015. A murder brings three women together in a way they never expected after commuter Rachel sees mysterious goings-on in a window on her train journey to work.
This yeat, after 55 years of radio silence, famously reclusive author Harper Lee followed up her seminal novel To Kill A Mockingbird with Go Set A Watchman. This sequel to Kill A Mockingbird shows us righteous Scout as an adult, and it also shows a different side to TKAM's heroic lawyer Atticus, who has been a member of racist group the Klu Klux Klan.
This book is moving, clever and beautiful in turns. Half is set in Renaissance Italy, and half in modern-day Cambridge, and Ali Smith uses the very different locations to tell two intertwined stories of young girls becoming women and coping with loss in their own ways. Vivid and engrossing, How To Be Both is magic.
Starring Rosie, a 38-year-old British primary school teacher who ends up as a nanny for a frosty Manhattan family, Dawn French's latest novel According To Yes features laughs and raucous sex scenes aplenty.
Bill Bryson captivated the UK with his affectionate but not-entirely-flattering account of living in Britain with Notes From A Small Island back in 1995. Now, the Iowa man is back on our shores for another amusing look at the country he fell in love with all those years ago.
Elena Ferrante might not be the Italian author's real name, but her stories are as truthful as anything else you'll read this year. Telling the story of two women in Naples, My Brilliant Friend is an examination of female friendship will have you reaching for Ferrante's next book quick smart.
Alan Bennett's much-loved story The Lady In The Van has recently been adapted for the big screen. The film, which stars Maggie Smith as the title character, will inspire many to revisit the wonderful world of Alan Bennett.
For the person in your life who loves make-up and all things beauty, but is also in the market for sage advice and a side-helping of wisdom. Beauty columnist Sali Hughes' book Pretty Honest guides you through the often puzzling world of beauty with trademark no-nonsense warmth.
A funny stockingfiller, this parody of those old classic Ladybird books should make any women in your life giggle.