Christmas Gift Guide: What To Buy For Hard-To-Buy-For People


For the new parent…

  • In Baby Pip Eats ($29.95), Australian food-lover Amie Harper presents a charming and accessible collection of recipes for infants.
  • Jodie Blight’s interactive cookbook is another great food-related choice for a busy parent. Each recipe in Summer Table ($34.95) is accompanied by a QR code and a quick scan will produce a shopping list, with all the items you need sorted into the supermarket sections.
  • A safe and popular choice for a new parent is a beautiful edition of a classic tale, such as The Wind in the Willows ($39.95) by Kenneth Grahame. Find more here.
  • As it’s likely that the new parent’s life will soon be enveloped by the likes of Peppa Pig, you might want to purchase them a completely un-child-friendly tv series for them to enjoy on their own. We highly recommend Borgen: Season 1-3 ($119.95) as one possible option.


For your grandparent…


For the new in-laws you haven’t met before…

  • Over their weekly conversation in an inner-city cafe, photographer Michael Wee persuaded his friend, painter and writer Tom Carment, to embark on some walks into ‘wild’ Australia. Seven Walks: Cape Leeuwin To Bundeena ($69.99) is the stunning outcome of that conversation.
  • Here at Readings it seems that Ottolenghi is the ‘chef of the hour’. Four of our staff recently tested out his new cookbook, Plenty More ($49.99 $39.99), and came back hungry for more. Read more here.
  • John Le Carré’s classic tale of espionage leaps off the page and into the guise of an epic 6-hour television miniseries with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy ($29.99).


For the friend who’s read everything…

  • Try something out of the box such as Fluid Prejudice ($20) – a compilation of comics presenting alternate stories from Australian history.
  • Or… buy something that’s only just been released such as The Strange Library ($29.99 $24.99) by Haruki Murakami, or Emmanuel Carrere’s fantastic ‘fictional biography’ Limonov: A Novel ($45).
  • Even when someone is well-read it’s still likely they have some blind spots in their reading history – there’s always a modern classic of some kind that has slipped under their radar (for example, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest) . Find that blind spot and exploit it. (If they have read David Foster Wallace already and are fans, look out for The David Foster Wallace Reader in mid-December.)


For an entire family you don’t know very well…


For your sibling’s new partner…

  • It is a truth universally acknowledged, that you simply can never read enough Nora Ephron. Thus: The Most of Nora Ephron ($35 $29.99).
  • In The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs ($39.95), Greil Marcus selects ten songs, recorded between 1956 and 2008, then proceeds to dramatize how each embodies rock ‘n’ roll.
  • For mystery lovers… Anthony Horowitz presents a new Sherlock Holmes story with Moriarty ($29.99).
  • A staff favourite this year is Adelle Waldman’s debut novel The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. ($19.99).
  • John Waters' Carsick ($24.99) is a celebration of America’s weird, astonishing, and generous citizens, as he hitchhikes across America from Baltimore to San Francisco.


For the person you’ve never met and know absolutely nothing about…


For the friend who makes double your salary…


For your frenemy, or competitive sibling…

  • A hilarious picture book about an extremely competitive dog, Number One Sam ($26.99) by Greg Pizzoli is a sweet gift for someone you’re always competing with.
  • My Brilliant Friend ($29.99) by Elena Ferrante is the first in a series of novels about two friends who our reviewer described as, ‘the most brilliant example of frenemies.’
  • Buy your frenemy a copy of The Life of I: The New Culture of Narcissism ($32.99) by Anne Manne and leave it to them to decide what the hidden subtext is…


For the office secret santa…

  • In her comic, scathing essay ‘Men Explain Things to Me’, Rebecca Solnit took on what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women. Her new collection, also called Men Explain Things to Me ($21.95) presents that essay alongside six perfect complements.
  • At last, cool robot toys that aren’t made of plastic and no batteries required! Cubebot ($24.95) will look so cute on your workmate’s desk.
  • Why not try a colouring book for grown-ups? The illustrations feature everything from Ryan Gosling, to 90s pop culture, to record sleeves. Find them all here (prices vary).
  • You might also like to browse our collection of stocking fillers for adults here, or check out our 20 books under $20 here.

If you’re looking for more gift ideas then browse our Summer Reading Guide or come visit one of our five shops and chat with a bookseller.