Light the fire, draw the curtains and snuggle up with a good book! Here are some of our office recommendations for a great  read this Autumn (and not a Shade of Grey in sight…).

Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
A young married couple, desperate to have a family of their own, are manning a lighthouse off the Australian Coast when a boat is washed up on shore containing a dead man and a live baby.  This unexpected arrival sets in motion a heart-breaking chain of events that will make you sympathise in turn with all the characters caught up in this moral dilemma. Prepare to shed a few tears.

Capital by John Lancaster
As we all live in or around London, this book has a special resonance.  It is set in a London   Street and charts, with great accuracy, the changes – both economic and social, that have occurred in a relatively few years.  We get to know the characters, the lives they lead and there is also a little mystery thrown in for good measure.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I am not usually a fan of whodunnits, but this mystery really had me hooked.  It is really the story of a marriage seen through the eyes of both the husband and wife in turn.  One day the wife just vanishes.  What has happened? This novel will make your sympathies see-saw as first you empathise with the husband and then the wife.

The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
Set in Australia, a barbecue is taking place for a family and their friends.  One little boy, Hugo, behaves badly and an adult member of the family slaps him. This novel draws the characters very well and indicates how their varied  backgrounds determine their attitude towards the slap.  This event has the potential to split marriages and to ruin friendships…

David Mitchell: Back Story
I’ve been reading the hysterical autobiography by David Mitchell. He talks about his earliest memories and growing up right through to his career and success. It gives a highly amusing insight into his life and thoughts and the way he puts it together and describes situations is hilarious. As one of the UK’s most well-known stand up and TV comedians he’s incredibly shy and leads a very simple life. He lives in Kilburn, NW London which is an area Smart Teachers supplies a lot of staff to and the perception he gives of the area is definitely worth taking note of. Enjoy!

The Red House by Mark Haddon
Those of you who have read ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ will not be disappointed by the latest offering from Mark Haddon.   Set in an isolated cottage on the Wales/Herefordshire border, a brother and sister decide to spend a holiday together with their families.  Both parents have died and there has been a rift between the siblings that has meant they have had little contact. Haddon carefully unfurls the hurt and anger that has built up over the years.  Will these families be able to forgive and forget, or is the past ever-present?

We would really welcome some Christmas read recommendations from you. What have you really enjoyed recently or what is on your must-read list?