Our staff picks collection has been around for three years now, and encompassed over 350 items. These are books, games and DVDs we have loved, and decided must be highlighted to you all.
We talked to our staff about all the recommendations they had given this year, to create this list, of their best read/watch for 2017.
Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
Set in a Viking like world, where the strength of a man is based on how well he can fight. Prince Yarvi is a weakling in the eye of his father. Born with one crippled arm, he cannot fight. Left for dead after his fathers death, the prince must use the one weapon he has, his mind, to overcome his enemies and take back what is rightfully his. Full of great characters, action and plot twists.
The Power by Naomi Alderman
Women discover they now have the power to inflict pain, or even death, just through a touch. Suddenly, the power balance shifts in the world – and women become objects of fear for many men. How do the women respond to their new-found position? A prize-winning page-turning thriller that is also thoroughly thought-provoking.
Written in Red by Anne Bishop
In a world where humans exist at the sufferance of the Others, Meg is a human on the run who takes refuge within the domain of the Others. What ensues is a story full of intrigue, drama and comedy which combine to create a binge-worthy book.
Redemption at Hacksaw Ridge by Booton Herndon
He faced insults and threats because he would not carry arms in war. His faith saved lives and he became a hero.
Tiny Tabletop Gardens by Emma Hardy
Great ideas and projects for limited space. Loved all the different containers used, makes you start thinking of other things you can put plants in. Very easy to follow instructions and which plants are best to use in a small space.
The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel
In 1986, twenty year old Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, abandoned his car, and walked into the woods.For nearly three decades this man lived a solitary existence with virtually no human contact, his family assuming he was dead. Author Michael Finkel, set out to find the truth, the motivation behind Christopher Knight’s self-imposed exile – why he disappeared and what he learned in the process.
After inheriting a gift shop in Love, Alaska, single mom Maggie Richards is ready for a new beginning—while her little boy is ready for a new daddy! But Maggie has no time for love—she wants to open the shop in time for Christmas, something she'll do with help from childhood friend Finn O'Rourke. Finn's on board to help Maggie—but not with the romance rumors that swirl around them like snow. Like Maggie, he's hiding too many secrets to ever wed. So why do Maggie and her little boy make him dream of finding an unusual gift under the tree—a ready-made family?
Recently widowed, Aletta Prescott struggles to hold life together for herself and her six-year-old son. With the bank threatening to evict them, she discovers an advertisement for the Women's Relief Society auction and applies for a position--only to discover it's been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunity--and friendship. But can Aletta trust this man?
Genre: Christian Fiction
Set during London's most festive time of year and filled with delicious food Anita Hughes' Christmas in London is about love and friendship, and the season's most important lesson: learning how to ask for and give forgiveness. It's a week before Christmas and Louisa Graham is working twelve hour shifts at a bakery on Manhattan's Lower East Side. When a young cooking show assistant comes in from the rain and begs to buy all the cinnamon rolls on her tray, she doesn't know what to do. Louisa is just the baker, and they aren't hers to sell. But the show burned the rolls they were supposed to film that day; so she agrees. The next morning, Louisa finds out that her cinnamon rolls were a hit, but the star of the show was allergic, and the whole crew is supposed to leave for London that afternoon. They want Louisa to step in for their annual Christmas Eve Dinner TV special at Claridge's. It's a great opportunity, and Digby Bunting, Louisa's famous baking idol, will be there. Even if he does seem more interested in her than her food. And then there's Kate, the show's beautiful producer. On their first day in London she runs into the skinny boy she jilted at St. Andrew's in Scotland ten years ago. Now he's a handsome, brilliant mathematician, and newly divorced. Their familiar spark is still there, but so is the scar of how they left things. Kate and Louisa are busy preparing for the show, but old and new flames are complicating their work.
Genre: General Fiction
A festive Christmas package left on Mariah's doorstep contains an ominous present, sparking memories of a twenty-year-old murder that shattered her friendship with the victim's widow. Though the gift is a bitter reminder of that tragic time, in the spirit of the season Mariah travels to Surrey in hopes of reconciling with her estranged friend and solving the crime that drove them apart.
From the snowy, wind-whipped prairie to the remote Australian Outback, a cowboy’s loving kiss makes this Christmas merry and bright . . .
Hang the stockings, deck the halls, and cook up a happy holiday with Good Housekeeping !
Brimming with more than 300 celebration-worthy recipes, sparkling decorating ideas, and suggestions for homemade (and home-baked) gifts, this sumptuous, mouthwatering collection will make the season extra merry. Featuring new recipes in every chapter, as well as holiday ideas from celebrities, plus a section on gingerbread houses, The Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook offers its triple-tested holiday favorites.
A lot of home cooks come up with wondrous feasts year after year at Christmas gatherings. This cookbook will teach you all the tricks for producing just about every recipe you've ever dreamed of that's suitable for the holiday season. Included are tips, hints, accompaniments, time lines to follow with step by step photos to guide you through the many fabulous recipes.
Make the festive season really special and create these stunning step-by-step projects with a Scandinavian flavor, including cards, decorations, garlands, and cosy gifts.
It's the most wonderful time of the year--so celebrate in style with your own festive, homemade paper crafts. From wreaths and buntings to table settings, tree toppers, and ornaments, this collection of 25 projects offers a bounty of decorative items for a beautiful holiday. Created by some of the best crafters on Etsy, they all use straightforward techniques like cutting, folding, stapling, and taping, and include templates to guide you and plenty of helpful how-to illustrations.
Containing 100 projects from some of Search Press's best-selling authors. The projects cover a wide variety of crafts from including papercraft, sewing, knitting, crochet, sugarcraft, felt decorations, jewellery making, cross stitch, mosaic making, decoupage, polymer clay decorations and needlepoint. All projects are simple enough for experienced beginners and will also appeal to seasoned crafters.
When it comes to Christmas, it's the thought that counts. Homemade Christmas is the perfect source of festive inspiration for creating thoughtful, personalised gifts and decorations for your loved ones. Discover 100 simple decorations, recipes, gifts, cards, and Christmas craft projects, from garlands and gift boxes to mince pies and marzipan. Create beautiful homemade Christmas gifts using a variety of techniques from metalwork to bread making, and delight your friends and family with the personal touch. Homemade Christmas puts an individual twist on the festive season. With a focus on upcycling and natural materials, you can create eco-friendly and cherished gifts without the waste, and personalise everything from Christmas cards to Christmas pudding. Have your most creative Christmas yet with Handmade Christmas.
Ethan, Isaac and Chris have been friends since childhood, and for a decade, their yearly Christmas Eve reunion has been an annual night of debauchery and hilarity. Now that they're entering adulthood, the tradition is coming to an end, and to make it as memorable as possible, they set out to find the Nutcracka Ball; the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.
A true story of romance, secrets and terrible adventure in which Ed Preston, on his way home from rugby practice in 1940, joins the New Zealand Army to go to World War II. His new wife, Tui, is pregnant and distraught, but he tells her not to worry, he'll be home by Christmas. And so he is - four years later - after escaping from a prison camp in Italy. But while Ed is away, Tui has fallen in love with another man. A remarkable memoir of resilience, determination and love.
One of London's oldest and finest cathedral choirs performs a mix of best-loved and brand new festive carols, including the world premiere recording of Graham Jordan Ellis's captivating There Is No Rose.
A Pentatonix Christmas is the fifth studio album by American a cappella group Pentatonix. It is also their second full-length holiday album since That's Christmas to Me in 2014
With Christmas right around the corner, we have created our list of must read (and watch) items from our collection, to get you and your family in the Christmas Spirit.
In this beautiful edition of the classic festive song, a happy couple make their way to a lavish Christmas party, discovering wonderful gifts as they go. Alison Jay's signature crackle-glaze technique makes this illustrated version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" luminous and magical: animals dart across the pages, ladies dance, lords leap, and wintery landscapes sparkle against warm, cozy scenes.
Location: Children's Picture Book
This book offers a moving new perspective on the nativity story-evoking the struggle of Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus as refugees travelling in a strange land, seeking the protection and kindness of strangers.
A poetic and refreshing look at the classic Christmas story that's never been more relevant, Refuge asks readers to consider the modern day implications of being forced to flee your home country.
Location: Children's Picture Book
Nikolas has received only one toy in his life: a doll carved out of a turnip. But he’s happy with his doll, because it came from his parents, who love him. Then one day his father goes missing, and Nikolas must travel to the North Pole to save him.
Along the way, Nikolas discovers a hidden world of enchantment in the frozen village of Elfhelm. But the elves of Elfhelm have troubles of their own: Christmas spirit is at an all-time low, and Nikolas may be the only person who can fix things.
Location: Children's Fiction
Kate and Rachel both dream of being actors. The girls compete to get the lead role in a new holiday pageant. Written by their drama teacher, Mr. Piccolo, the show is called The 12 Screams of Christmas. It's about a family that spends Christmas Eve in a haunted house.
Mr. Piccolo decides to take the cast to a deserted old house where they can soak up the atmosphere and get better at their parts. Kate and Rachel soon realise the old house is actually haunted.
Location: Children's Fiction
With simple step-by-step instructions, helpful cooking tips, color photographs, and charming character art, this book is the perfect way for parents and children to make holiday magic in the kitchen! A rating system lets kids know how difficult the recipes are, and cooking tips are sprinkled throughout. Kids will enjoy making Rolly's Spotted Cranberry Pancakes, Sugar Rush Popcorn Gumdrop Garland and Anna's Frozen Ice Candy!
Location: Children's Non-Fiction
Using readily available, seasonally related materials, this series is packed full of fun crafts for special occasions. The projects are explained in easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, and are perfect for teachers looking for original ideas as well as time-poor parents. In 10 Minute Crafts: Christmas, children can learn how to make felt stockings, a Christmas wreath, a Santa tree decoration, homemade Christmas decorations and candy cane Christmas cards, along with lots of other great Christmas crafts for kids.
Location: Children's Non-Fiction
Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in a strange, spidery handwriting and a beautiful coloured drawing or some sketches.
The letters were from Father Christmas. This is the complete series of Father Christmas letters between 1920 and 1943.
Location: Children's Audiobooks
Peter Rabbit and his cousin Benjamin Bunny have a new friend, William the Turkey. The trio is excited for Christmas until they realise that William is meant to be Mr. McGregor's Christmas supper! Just in time, Peter and Benjamin hide William, and the three enjoy a lovely Christmas dinner of pickled radishes and barley cake at the Rabbit family burrow.
This story is inspired by a real turkey named William that Emma Thompson met on Beatrix Potter's farm in the Lake District.
Location: Children's Audiobooks
Location: Children's DVDS
For more Christmas book ideas be sure to check out our Christmas Book Display in the Children's Library
Remember our Summer Reading Challenge is now on. If you are aged 0-18 and read 8 books between 1 December and 30 January we will give you a free book. Be sure to pop into our Help Desks to pick your entry up.
Looking for a time out? Tired of the Christmas chaos? Need some time to rejuvenate your Christmas spirit? Well, we've got just the thing for you and your family. Come out of the shopping haze and bring your listening ears and singing voices to the Library and join us with some fun and festive Christmas stories on the 22nd of December at 11:00 am.
All ages are welcomed and participation will be encouraged. New stories, classic stories, funny stories and even a little sing along too.
Christmas is a magical time of year, and together we will create all the Christmas magic we can muster.
Warm up your voices, put on your Santa hats, reindeer horns, red noses and anything festive as we get ready for the big day together.
Cris is looking forward to seeing all your beautiful faces as our Christmas spirits are raised by lunchtime.