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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Snow and mistletoe, holly and ham (hopefully not on the same plate) … and so many books. Books for every manner of man, woman and child have found their way from the printing presses to the shelves of bookshops everywhere in time for the peak Christmas season. With just a few shopping days left, and in a festive break from format, our presenters Bob Johnson (Gutter Bookshop) and Shane Breslin (Blackbird Books) go through their picks of the year in fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. In our books of the year chat: Colum McCann, Kevin Barry, the golden wave of Irish women writers, noteworthy children’s books from O’Brien Press, a book about non-existent countries and a cheery Christmassy mention of 17th century plagues in London. Also on this month’s festive special, Bob and Shane’s favourite Christmas reads, from 19th century doorstops to 400-word newspaper editorials. It’s the Bookish podcast’s very first Christmas special – enjoy!