So what’s on your Christmas reading list?

It’s that time of year when we hope that our nearest and dearest know us well enough to get us the books we want for Christmas. There is nothing nicer than spending the Christmas holidays snuggled up on the sofa with a nice pile of books that you don’t usually get the time to read.

My husband has been pointed firmly in the direction of the new Nigella book. Anything with a recipe for a chocolate and amaretto cake in it will definitely have pride of place in my Christmas reading pile. He also knows not really to bother buying me politics books because I will have bought them for myself throughout the year and failed to find time to read them.  Here are some I am looking forward to reading over the holidays:

I’m already a fair bit of the way through Hillary Rodham Clinton’s What Happened. I also have the audio book of Hillary reading. With every page there’s a huge pang of what might have been. I’ve been a huge fan of Hillary’s for half my life and I think she would have made a brilliant President. She would have done so much for young people and particularly women and girls in the most difficult places on earth to be female. Her book is candid and terrifying and it even has a chapter on love and kindness which aren’t qualities often associated with modern politics. They are always there in abundance as there are good people in all parties, but they don’t get much coverage.

Iain Dale’s Biteback Publishing is very annoyingly having a “everything at half price” sale until 31st December. Here is a selection of the Lib Dem books you might wish to buy.


David Laws’ second book on the Coalition, his diaries as he wrote them, is another interesting take on those years in Government. It’s not so neatly organised and very much in the moment.  He even included those entires which show him in an unexpectedly poor light. I’ve been an admirer of David’s ever since I realised that, despite being a bit too right wing for me on the economy, he was in favour of banning smacking. However, his rather bitter attacks on decent Lib Dem activists like Linda Jack are the polar opposite of endearing.  I’ll save that one for a day I’m angry anyway.

I loved All Out War, Tim Shipman’s book on the Brexit referendum campaigns, so I’m looking forward to Fall out: A year of Political Mayhem. Even if we might have predicted the snap general election, who would have thought that the Tories would have lost their majority.  Similarly, Tim Ross and Tom McTague’s Betting the House, the story of the 2017 election is another must-read.

Men explain things to me and other essays is feminist author Rebecca Solnit’s take on the phenomenon commonly known as mansplaining. This occurs when men tell women things that the women know already in far greater depth. She looks at why women’s knowledge and testimony is seen as less credible.

I saw Margaret Hodge talk about her book Called to account, a memoir of her time in charge of the influential Public Accounts Committee, at the Edinburgh Book Festival in the Summer. I’m looking forward to delving into the detail she talked about, including the tip off she got from David Davis to go after Vodaphone on tax.

If you are looking for something beyond politics, and you like your comedy very dark and your thrillers a bit bizarre, then C J Skuse’s Sweet Pea is a must read. It’s matter-of-fact gruesomeness and likeable characters who do awful things really mess with your head. One of my favourite books of this year.

If you want an adorably funny Christmas story to read to young children of your acquaintance, look no further than my friend Keris Stainton’s Lily the Pug and the Christmas Wish.

And if you pre-order one book for 2018, make it Jo Swinson’s Equal Power She outlines the reality of sexism and makes constructive suggestions that we can all take to bring about a more equal world.

So, that’s my nine suggestions. I could go on all day but I don’t want to bore you too much. What books would you recommend to others this Christmas?

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

Read more by or more about .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Nadiya’s British Food Adventure is my favourite cookbook this year.

  • Try to get a copy of of Gordon Brown’s new book which came out a few days ago. I am working my way through it. It is a good read.

  • Tony Greaves 13th Dec '17 - 4:18pm

    Most of my Christmas reading will be books I have bought already (some of them some time ago) and are in piles waiting to be looked at.

    But David Laws turns out to be not a very nice person really as well as being way to the right on lots of things.

  • Ruth Bright 13th Dec '17 - 6:14pm

    Janan Ganesh’s biography of George Osborne (published by Biteback) is currently available in all good poundshops! I trust our former Chief Exec’s imminent memoirs will end up in the same place.

  • Anyone who remembers Margaret Hodge from her time running Islington council would be reluctant to go anywhere near her book, let alone pay for it …

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 13th Dec '17 - 7:57pm

    Jennie, the scones with pineapple and pink peppercorn jam are quite something.

  • My main Christmas read will be Amanda Reyes’ Are You In House Alone, a history/overview of American TV movies which I’ve been saving for the holiday . I’m currently reading stuff by Will Hutton, Noam Chomsky, old Norman Mailer books (especially. the collected essays) and Hip Hop Raised Me, signed by Chuck D.

  • David Warren 13th Dec '17 - 9:42pm

    I am currently reading The Clegg Coup which I got as a second hand book via Amazon.

    Hungry for more liberal reads but not in a position to buy new and the library doesn’t have much to offer!

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • Brad Barrows
    Tokenism, I’m afraid. If we are serious, we need to call for full economic sanctions. Calling for a boycott of the Winter Olympics just means that we want ath...
  • John Marriott
    It’s funny how some people remember certain phrases in speeches. Unlike, for example, the well crafted and sincerely meant “You turn if you want to. The la...
  • Lorenzo Cherin
    As ever with many in parties, good sense with overdone elements as well. To compare the idea of the channel crossing with escape from the Taliban makes the M...
  • Mark Smulian
    This Steel speech inspired the first sketch in the first Liberal Revue, with the late Mark Tavener playing an adviser on the phone to Steel. They ended up with ...
  • Caron LindsayCaron Lindsay
    Matt I changed the wording earlier. I have just changed it again to make it even clearer. ...