Relax! Santa and his Carousel team have Christmas all sorted for you this year
- they even did their job early!
Check out these amazing reads - perfect to gift to someone you love (or yourself!)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern:
The Night Circus is the most magically enchanting book I have ever had the pleasure to read. One that I make a point to read at-least once a year around this time. A stand-alone book that will give you a completely new definition on magic. Join Celia and Marco, two differently gifted individuals competing in a game of chess with the Circus as their game-board and battlegrounds. This book will push your imagination to its limits as Celia and Marco are pushed to theirs. - Nate (aka SANTA)
Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E Feist & Janny Wurts:
Set within the same world as Feist's The Magician, Mara is torn from her impending servitude to the goddess Lashima in order to lead her family's house the Acoma. Only through careful use of diplomacy and tradition can she ensure the survival of her house against ancient feuds and political ambitions. A great read for anyone who is looking for a fantasy book with a strong, intelligent, and three-dimensional female lead. - Belinda (aka RUDOLPH)
The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne:
The Cursed Child presents information about the progressions of our favourite characters that sometimes seem like they deserve to be revealed in a novel written only by J.K. Rowling herself. Despite my initial reactions to fearing what could be done to the memory of these characters and places I cherish so much, I began to open myself up to, not only the screen writing format, but also the warm and heartfelt dialogue which Jack Thorne has contributed to. His writing captures the charming and magical presence of the books that came before The Cursed Child, and though it is difficult to analyse the contributions of each creative influence, the team constructs a story, regardless of medium, that is undoubtedly Harry Potter. The screenplay format offers the communication of the narrative primarily being delivered with dialogue, and through conversation and observation, the story flourished and became visualised like any book (though the stage directions given would often allow me to also imagine it set in the theater, which I had no issue with at all). This allows for a great opportunity to explore characters through each other and not rely on heavy descriptive blocks of text or exposition which some novels fall victim too. The book flows, and is wonderfully easy to read, allowing all the focus to be put into enjoying a continuation of the Harry Potter universe, and becoming a part of again, those characters we all grew up loving. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child is a screen play meant for theater production, and though I had no chance to witness the play, I am glad I had the opportunity to imagine it all for myself and return to this world which I love so much. - Paul (aka BERNARD THE ELF)
The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson:
The Final Empire is set in a world where the Hero of Ages, the one prophesied to defeat the greatest evil ever known... failed. For a thousand years, the Lord Ruler has been a tyrant in a world of ever present ash, and that's where our underdog, Vin, lives. Every one Brandon Sanderson's books has a system of magic I've never seen before and The Final Empire is no different. Burning metals inside them to Push or Pull on objects and emotions in a diverse world of twists and intrigue, the characters are realistic and strive to do one thing above all others: Survive. - Matt (aka DASHER)
At My Table by Nigella Lawson:
Where to begin when another Nigella Lawson book graces our shelves so close to Christmas...
At My Table is not only a wonderfully thought out cook book with delectable treats waiting to be discovered within its pages, it is also a celebration of food. Nigella takes us on a journey through her latest release explaining just how important food and food culture is in a world constantly bombarded with deadlines and KPI’s. Nigella says “slow down!” and reminds us that food is to be appreciated not only for taste but also for comfort and its incredible ability to bring people together.
At My Table is not a cookbook for the Blumenthal’s of this world, but rather the home cooks who love to create fantastic food for themselves and their families. Whether it be a recipe for Nigella’s “Emergency Brownies” (I could really use one of those right about now) or something spicy like “Spanish Eggs”, Nigella has you covered. I encourage all the wonderful home cooks of this world to take a chance and explore Nigella’s latest book At My Table this Christmas, I know you won’t be disappointed! - Liam (aka COMET)
Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan:
Ruins of Gorlan is the first installment in the 12-part Ranger's Apprentice series by Australian author John Flanagan. Aimed at the teen community Ruins of Gorlan explores the adventures of Will and his mentor Halt as they strive to protect the kingdom of Araluen. John Flanagan’s Ruins of Gorlan ,while set in a fantasy universe, offers children and their parents alike opportunities to learn real life lessons. As the reader journeys with the main characters of the series they can appreciate the authors attention to detail in trying to both entertain and inform them about the trails and tribulations of growing up. This book is perfect as a stepping stone into darker themed stories and novels such as Lord of the Rings and the famous Harry Potter series. - Alex (aka BLITZEN)
Absolutely Beautiful Things by Anna Spiro:
Absolutely beautiful book for all interior design lovers this Christmas. Anna Spiro's sense of colour and her eclectic style will inspire you to create a home that tells your story. Her advice, is to collect pieces that you love and have meaning to you. Anna will show you how to develop your unique sense of style with layering of patterns, adding colour, and mixing old and new furniture with confidence. I adore this book, her gratitude to family and belief in traditions. The way she brings a room together so beautifully will keep me inspired well into the New Year! - Angela (aka DANCER)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Illustrated Ed. by J.K. Rowling:
My favourite book of this year is the beautifully illustrated release of the third book in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. With stunning and evocative pictures illustrated by Jim Kay, it brings the well known text of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban alive and will inspire new and old Harry Potter readers. This book is definitely one to be cherished and enjoyed by future generations. - Tabitha (aka VIXEN)
The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard:
Mare was an ordinary girl like any other in her world, any other “red” that is. In this world of segregation , the world is divided into two factions, that of the powerful and political ones born into the world of “silvers", armed with god-like powers and those of the lower servant class “reds". When Mare's brothers are conscripted to be soldiers she begins to orchestrate a plan to escape from the same fate and will let nothing stand in her way. After a fateful encounter one night with a strange man , her life changes and she is hurled into the silver world and soon finds herself in the silver palace, surrounded by the imperial silvers she despises most. Being cautious of Mare's inside strength, the royalty conceal her true identity and rebirths her as a lost silver child raised in the harsh environments of poverty. When Mare realises she has a chance to make a difference, she takes every opportunity she can to collapse the society that has been chosen for her and free her fellow red servants.
The Red Queen, the first book of Victoria Aveyard's racing trilogy, draws you into the story and leaves you wanting more. It is a fast paced battle for power and justice, acting on intense emotions of love and hate. With themes of romance, betrayals, adventure and lies, it is hard to put this book down. - Merrin (aka ELF)
The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm:
I've grown up seeing through Disney's rose-tinted view of the famous Brothers Grimm tales and when I read these original tales I was absolutely enchanted. There's not a story in the book that has failed to fascinate me! I would recommend this book to readers above the age of 8 as some of the stories can get a bit dark. - Sri Maha (aka CUPID)