Holiday companions

After a long year, and maybe another quiet Christmas in the offing, what better way than to cherish these quieter times than settling into your favourite arm chair with a great book... wrapped in your favourite knit. 

Because while books have long been loyal companions – providing friendship, rest to the weary, and escape for the homebound adventurers, pairing one with a beautiful jumper (or blanket) - well that can feel like a real celebration.

We've curated five beautiful stories for you and the perfect knit to go with each one. Which will you dive into this holiday season?

1. Once Upon a River - Diane Setterfield

The perfect book for: those looking for a bit of magic. Set one bleak midwinters night, in an ancient inn, this book spins a magical tale of mystery. It's the perfect book to be spellbound by this winter.

Loved by: M.L. Stedman, bestselling author of The Light Between Oceans - "Diane's masterful storytelling draws you in to a beguiling tale, full of twists and turns like the river at its heart, and just as rich and intriguing. It lures you into its depths and carries you along in its vividly evoked world.

Reading companions: The PULLOVER and a mug of something hot. Set in the dead of winter on the banks of the Thames, this is a book with which to really curl up. 2. Unsettled Ground - Claire Fuller

The perfect book for: those who love a book that leaves you thinking. This novel follows the lives of two middle-aged twins living on the fringes of society - it's a heartbreaking portrait of isolation and difference, whilst also being a celebration of resilience and family ties. 

Loved by: Clare Mackintosh - "Claire Fuller strikes the perfect balance between beauty and melancholy, in this relevant and powerful exploration of isolation and life on the fringes of society."

Reading companions: The COCOON and a chair in your back garden (or the park!). Nature plays a key role in this novel - so wrap up and get out there. 3. The Man Who Died Twice - Richard Osman

The perfect book for: those in need of a laugh. These retired would-be-detectives fill us with joy and warmth. Request a copy for Christmas, as well as the sequel.

Loved by: Adam Kay - "Funny, clever and achingly British - what else would you expect from a book by Richard Osman?"

Reading companions: The BLANKET and a cup of coffee. You won't be able to put this one down, so settle in.4. How Much of These Hills Is Gold - C Pam Zhang

The perfect book for: those who love a bit of history, especially when it's told from a fresh perspective. Set just after the great American Gold Rush, Zhang follows two immigrant teenage girls after the death of their last remaining parent as they traverse an unforgiving landscape of buffalo bones and adulthood. 

Loved by: The Sunday Telegraph - "[An] arresting debut novel… has a mythic quality through which Zhang dissects history and belonging."

Reading companions: The HAND ME DOWN and a small glass of Nc'nean's whisky – you'll fit right into the story.5. Hamnet - Maggie O'Farrell

The perfect book for: those with feminist sensibilities. Maggie O'Farrell resurrects the voices of women, often excluded from history, and this book is no exception. O'Farrell takes us behind the scenes of Shakespeare's most famous play in this reimagined tale told through the eyes of his wife, Agnes.

Loved by: Sarah Moss - "Grief and loss so finely written I could hardly bear to read it."

Reading companions: The ALPACA CROPPED CARDIGAN and a scented candle. Allow the textured fibres to comfort you and the light of the flickering candle to guide you as you enter the world of Agnes.