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Culture, Literature

OX Reads: The Festive Issue


The wonderful Kim Harvey, owner of The Mad Hatter Bookshop in Burford (and Creative Director of The Burford Literary Festival) shares her reading suggestions on this month’s theme.

If you are struggling to immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit then switch off the TV, turn up some Michael Bublé, fill your slow cooker to the brim with red wine, oranges and cinnamon sticks, and read on because we have the perfect books to keep you warm on a winter evening and fill all your Christmas stockings.

Days at the Moriaski Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa

This book will remind you that love exists in corners where you least expect them. And, it confirms that if you are in need of comfort, pick up a book. I have pressed this book into many hands over the last few weeks and guarantee it will bring a little light into your life.

The Plight Before Christmas by Kate Stewart

Summer holidays and Christmas are both times when you should give yourself full permission to read some well written chick-lit. The Plight Before Christmas is as good as putting on your Christmas jammies and watching The Holiday. This spicy romance is a story of second chances and is packed with pages of love and laughter.

Mouse’s Wood by Alice Melvin

Mouse’s Wood is my Children’s Book of the Year – perfect for bedtime stories or for early readers. Mouse will take you on a journey through the wood to visit all his woodland friends and relish the changing of the seasons along the way. Alice Melvin’s award-winning illustrations with lift up flaps to peep into the woodland creature’s homes will bring joy to all the family as you learn about nature’s calendar.

And So This is Christmas by Brian Bilston

Christmas is not Christmas without the signature wit of our darling Brian Bilston. And So This is Christmas is his latest collection of seasonally adjusted poems. Hang your mistletoe and curl up with this heart-warming collection of Christmas crackers.

At Home, selected by Janie Hextall and Barbara McNaught

Picture the scene: you’ve just stuffed yourself and you’re thinking about opening the Quality Street when your phone pings to remind you that you are supposed to be at 122 High Street for fizz and canapes. You make a mad dash for the little black dress and some lip gloss, whizz out the door and what do you grab? This book. At Home is the perfect gift to give at parties, as well as being perfect for Great Aunt Jane or Uncle Jim. A glorious selection of prose to warm hearts and celebrate the joys of sitting around a kitchen table. Buy ten copies now and never be caught short again.

You can find all these books at The Madhatter Bookshop, Burford or order from our online shop at

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