Christmas is the perfect time to lose yourself in a book. Whether you’re dreaming of 2023, using the book as a barrier between you and your relatives or seeking some cosy Christmas relaxation (complete with tea and woolly socks), we have the right book recommendation for you.

Giles Milburn, Managing Director: Bad Actors by Mick Herron. In Jackson Lamb, Mick Herron has created a character who lingers on like the odour from an old takeaway carton. As vibrant as he is vile, Lamb is the worst kind of Christmas guest: glutinous, unpredictable and contemptuous. I can’t wait to spend it with him.

Saskia Arthur, Office Assistant: This Christmas, I’ll be reading The Appeal by Janice Hallett, a whip-smart murder mystery told in an epistolary format that feels like putting together an elaborate jigsaw puzzle piece. Fresh, original and wonderfully dark, it’s the perfect book to cosy up by the fire with this Christmas!

Madeleine Milburn, CEO: At this time of year, I love rereading Maggie O’Farrell’s heart-wrenching memoir, I Am, I Am, I Am, chronicling her seventeen brushes with death, and in doing so I reflect on my own near encounters and am filled with a heightened sense of hope and gratitude for life.

Emma Dawson, Literary Assistant & Operational Coordinator: I recently adored reading Jennette McCurdy’s darkly humorous memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died. I loved the nuanced exploration of her relationship with her mother, but unexpectedly, my favourite element was stepping into the world of child actors, particularly seeing McCurdy’s mother, who dreamed of being an actor herself, turning her reluctant child into a star.  

Emma Bal, Literary Agent: Babel by R. F. Kuang. Whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction, I thought this was one of the most powerful histories of empire I have ever read, blended with fantasy in a very natural and powerful way. A clever, timely, beautiful, masterpiece.

Maddy Belton, Associate Agent: My book recommendation is The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna.  Warm, funny and delightfully magical, this book is the perfect combination of cosy and important. It’s about two people falling in love, but it’s also about being different, making strange magic and finding the perfect home. A hug in a book form, perfect for fans of TJ Klune or Travis Baldree.

Amanda Carungi, Rights Assistant: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. A beautiful, haunting tale set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world where humans must survive an earth-shattering natural disaster referred to as a fifth season. It may be science fiction/fantasy, but it creates so many parallels to the world we live in today and the representation is second to none. As a nerdy fantasy reader, this is by far one of the greatest series I have ever read and all my friends are tired of me constantly singing its praises!

Liane-Louise Smith, International Rights Director: I recently finished Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan and wow! It’s a very short novel, but extremely moving and powerful. I’m keen to reread over the Christmas holidays to experience it all over again.

Olivia Maidment, Literary Agent: There is no better time than Christmas to curl up with a period drama or historical novel and I am so excited to be delving into Maggie O’Farrell’s The Marriage Portrait over the holidays. Everything she writes is utterly superb and I know it will be a highlight of my break!

Hannah Todd, Literary Agent: A book I loved this year was Bella Mackie’s How To Kill Your Family. I loved the twists and turns and the voice was so strong that I just want to read more of Grace’s story! It was also brilliantly performed on the audiobook, so I highly recommend.

Esmé Carter, Assistant to Madeleine Milburn: I’ve been reading Fingersmith by Sarah Waters and have been completely captivated by it. The multiple shocking twists left me reeling on my commute!

Hannah Ladds, Dramatic Rights Agent: At this time of year, I often re-read Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth. This is one of my favourite novels and I find something comforting and endlessly entertaining in the antics of The Golden Age’s New York elite as they fight waspishly to defend their social position against the upstart nouveaux riches. Wharton creates such vivid characters and her writing is witty, acerbic, powerful and, ultimately, heart-breaking.

From all of us at the MM Agency, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!