20 gift ideas under $20

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be compiling a host of gift guides to help you with your Christmas shopping.

Here are 20 gift ideas for under $20, and you can find even more budget-friendly recommendations by browsing the collections below.


The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham ($14.99)

Everyone has an idea of what their perfect life is, and for Agatha, it’s the life of Meghan Shaughnessy. These two women from vastly different backgrounds have one thing in common – a dangerous secret that could destroy everything they hold dear. Both would risk everything to hide the truth, but their worlds are about to collide in a shocking act that cannot be undone. An utterly gripping psychological thriller.


Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie ($19.99)

A contemporary reimagining of Sophocles’s Antigone, Home Fire is an urgent and fiercely compelling work of storytelling. The novel centres on the Pasha family – Muslim Brits living in the shadow of their father’s terrorism, and the politics of the powerful people who treat them with hostility and contempt. This terrific novel won the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction.


Be a Sloth by Sarah Ford & Anita Mangan ($9.99)

Sloth takes life at his own pace. He knows what makes him happy (naps, box-set binges, a good banana) and what makes him unhappy (laundry day, the gym, people who don’t recycle), and he makes sure his life is filled with more of the former than the latter. This is a cute and fun gift book to awaken your inner sloth.


If Cats Disappeared From The World by Genki Kawamura ($18.99)

This bestselling Japanese novel has only just been made available for English language speakers for the first time thanks to acclaimed translator Eric Selland. In this slim, poignant volume, the devil offers a dying man a special, and truly bizarre, deal. But how do you decide what makes life worth living? And how do you separate out what you can do without from what you hold dear?


Spitfire ($19.95, was $29.95)

Directed by David Fairhead and Ant Palmer, Spitfire is the story of an aeroplane that is widely regarded the most famous fighter aircraft ever made. The epic documentary combines breathtaking aerial footage with rare digitally re-mastered archive film from the tumultuous days of the 1940s.


Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng ($19.99)

Celeste Ng’s second novel is a richly detailed drama about motherhood and belonging, class and race. Set in the mid-1990s, the novel opens with a fire and then loops back to follow two very different families over the year leading up to this event. Little Fires Everywhere was a favourite of our booksellers last year and has only recently been released in a new, small format, ideal for beachside reading.


Deadlier by Sophie Hannah ($19.99, was $44.99, only while stocks last)

Deadlier is a beautifully packaged anthology that presents 100 of the best crime stories written by women, as selected by much-loved author Sophie Hannah. Contributing authors range from prize-winners and bestsellers to rising stars and hidden gems, and the stories themselves traverse the genre from cosy to seriously hard-boiled. This big, beautiful collection will have wide appeal.


Boys with Plants ($19.99)

Based on the phenomenally successful Instagram account of the same name, Boys with Plants showcases 50 plants and the boys who love them. Opening with a section on selecting, growing and styling plants and featuring stunning photography, each new entry profiles a new greenery-loving boy with a top plant tip.


Six Evolutions - Bach: Cello Suites by Yo-Yo Ma ($19.95)

Bach and his Cellos Suites entered Yo-Yo Ma’s life when he was four – when he learned the first measure of the Prélude to Suite No. 1 under his father’s instruction – and the cellist has never lost his initial fascination. Six Evolutions is his third and final recording of these works and would make a gorgeous gift for a classical music lover.


A Booklovers Mug ($19.95)

This mug’s design features 30 classic novels, everything from Moby Dick to The Secret Garden, from On The Road to The Canterbury Tales. You might even like to pick one of these time-honoured reads to pair with the mug, and help the giftee start their reading journey straightaway.


Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang ($19.99)

Sour Heart introduces a singular and slyly humorous new voice in literary fiction. Centred on a community of immigrants who have traded their endangered lives as artists in China and Taiwan for the constant struggle of life on the poverty line in 1990s New York City, Jenny Zhang’s stories examine the ways that family and history can weigh us down, and also lift us up.


The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters ($19.99)

Sarah Waters’s 2009 novel has recently been adapted for the big screen, and we definitely recommend people read the book first! Set in 1940s Warwickshire, England, this chilling ghost story describes a fateful visit by rural physician Dr. Faraday to the Ayres family’s decaying, but once great, Georgian house, who finds them haunted by something worse than their dying way of life.


Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe ($19.99)

Now available in a new format, Dark Emu is an incredibly important work of non-fiction which argues against the ‘hunter, gatherer’ label that so many Australians associate with the history of Aboriginal people. Author Bruce Pascoe draws on the work of Bill Gammage, R. Gerritsen and others, as well as his own research, and his findings make for a strongly persuasive case.


City Birds with illustrations by Christine Berrie ($19.99)

This is a sweet gift for the urban twitcher in your life. Christine Berrie’s colourful illustrations will inspire city dwellers to look out for their favourite species amid the bustle of urban living. The book includes 50 stickers and space for notes and observations, as well as interesting facts written by a leading ornithologist.


O is for Old School by James Tyler & Ella Cohen ($19.99)

James Tyler and illustrator Ella Cohen take readers from A-to-the-Z through the most iconic words and phrases in hip hop, demonstrating their new meanings for new parents. Now, hoods are worn on heads, peace comes at naptime, and when they’re ballin' it seems like they’ll never stop, unless you put a sucker in it…


A Readings exclusive Little Women tote bag ($19.99)

Our limited edition Readings t-shirts and totes make the perfect gift for readers and book lovers. They are designed and screenprinted locally in Melbourne on 100% cotton, and are available exclusively from our shops and online. We are particularly fond of this Little Women design, celebrating the classic novel’s 150th anniversary.


Paris by Janelle McCulloch ($19.99, was $49.99, only while stocks last)

Paris is surely one of the most enchanting locations in the world, but it also has a tendency to keep its best spots well hidden. Here, journalist and photographer Janelle McCulloch shares the city’s' secret gems – from the stylish boutiques on Champs-Elysees to the irresistible cafes, tea salons and patisseries that make up the fabric of the city. Paris is a true insider’s experience of the city of of love and light.


Sea Glass by Grand Salvo ($19.95)

Sea Glass is esteemed Melbourne artist Grand Salvo’s seventh album. This richly allegorical offering explores how a single, vivid memory can shape who we are, and was recorded using a number of non-western instruments including qanun (Persian dulcimer), kora (African harp), koto (Japanese stringed instrument) and Indian percussion.


Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward ($19.99)

Thirteen-year-old Jojo and his younger sister Kayla live with their grandparents in rural Mississippi. When their father, a white man, is released from prison, their mother Leonie packs the children into her car with a friend, and together they set off to collect the man she loves with a toxic passion. Part road novel, part ghost story, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a heartwrenching work of fiction and the 2017 winner of the National Book Award for Fiction.


Dogs: Best in Show Trump Cards ($14.99)

Does a retriever need more grooming than an Irish setter? Has a terrier got a keener nose than a German shepherd? Is a poodle faster than a spaniel? This set of trump cards, beautifully illustrated by Polly Dunbar, features six categories and 30 dogs, and promises hours of fun. A matching set of Cats: Best in Show trump cards is also available.

Dark Emu (New Edition)

Dark Emu (New Edition)

Bruce Pascoe

$19.99Buy now

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