A work of fiction, with modernist architecture at its heart: we're a little late to the party with The Glass Room by Simon Mawer (it was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2009), but it is certainly worth adding to the Christmas gift list of any architecture-obsessed friend who hasn't already devoured it. Not that it's a book for architecture enthusiasts alone, as its roller-coaster plot will engage even the flightiest readers.

The book is a ripping fictional yarn set in a real house: Mies van der Rohe's Vila Tugendhat, designed and built from 1928-1930 in the Czech Republic and now recognised as a World Heritage Site.

The book captures the optimism of the times, embodied by Mies' shimmering modernist architectural creation, and follows the home's Jewish owners as they are forced to flee the chaos and bloodshed of the Nazi invasion. We highly recommend it. You can find out more about the Vila Tugendhat at the link here.