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Welcome to November & December Booktime! This edition is full of festive and wintry books, and brilliant gift ideas for Christmas. We interview Alexandra Benedict about her new Christmas mystery novel (see page 15) and bestselling crime writer Sophie Hannah about her latest book featuring Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot (see pages 4 & 5). There are further mysteries to be solved in an intriguing interactive puzzle book (see page 14) and a fun pictorial quiz book for children (see page 43). Countryfile presenter Adam Henson tells us all about the Christmasses he’s enjoyed on his farm (see page 10), and we interview editor Nancy Campbell and cover designer Helen Musselwhite about a new seasonal book of nature writing, ideal for winter nights (see pages 24 & 25). Nina Stibbe tells us more about her new book which chronicles a year living in London (see page 27), we take a look at a book from actor Nick Frost which combines memories and recipes (see page 8), and there’s a powerful new dystopian novel by Naomi Alderman examining themes of apocalypse and AI (see pages 12 & 13).

There’s a new interpretation of a classic Christmas story by Alex T. Smith (see page 36), and a chilling new YA thriller by Ravena Guron (see page 42). Joseph Coelho and Fiona Lumbers explain how they created their new Christmas-themed picture book featuring Luna (see page 45), we interview Laura Bates about her YA novel which reimagines Arthurian legend from a feminist perspective (see page 37), and we interview Abiola Bello about her new romantic novel set at Christmas in the countryside (see page 34). Maya MacGregor tells us more about her life as a non-binary author (see page 40), and Alex Norris about his new, humorous comicbook guide to love and romance for young people (see page 31). These books, and the many others we recommend in these pages, will see you through to Christmas. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all Booktime readers!

-Ruth Hunter, Editor