Say hello to Dawn McGuigan – a life-long bookworm, based in Houghton-le-Spring, and one of our newest Luxe columnists!

She studied English Literature at Northumbria University and has been running her Book and Brew book club since 2015. She has shadow judged at the Women’s Prize for Fiction and Man Booker Prize and has appeared on BBC Radio 2’s Book Club.

Here are some of Dawn’s top pick page-turners for those moments away from your home office…



‘Can You Hear Me? A Paramedic’s Encounters with Life and Death’ – by Jake Jones

Jones’s memoir is an honest and emotional portrayal of life as a paramedic. Each chapter explores the scale of the role, from dealing with vulnerable elderly people, to distressed babies and a frequent caller who dials 999 on a daily basis. His writing is incredibly descriptive – full of visceral recollections of the sights, sounds and smells paramedics deal with every day. You’ll be left with no doubt about the realities of what it takes to do this challenging, but fulfilling, job.

Published by Quercus. Available from 6 February £16.99,



‘Grown Ups’ – by Marian Keyes

Grown Ups explores the lives of the Casey brothers, their wives and children, and the secrets they keep from each other. When Cara, one of the wives, gets concussion and starts spilling those secrets, a can of worms is opened – a one that cannot be closed. Keyes’s 14th novel is packed with emotional turmoil, but is light on her trademark wry wit and acerbic humour. It’s a slow-burning musing on how to be happy while facing up to the responsibilities of adulthood.

Published by Michael Joseph. Available from 6 February £20,



‘The Hungerpots Cookbook’ – by Bethie Hungerford

Ideal for time-strapped foodies, The Hungerpots Cookbook contains 70 recipes that can be rustled up in just 20 minutes in one pot. The huge array of pasta, rice and noodle dishes combines a tasty mix of Asian and Mediterranean ingredients and there’s also a wide choice of meat and fish options, plus a dedicated section for plant and bean-based recipes.

Published by HarperCollins. Out now £12.99,