Our 2017 Christmas Gift Guide: What to buy your parents
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be compiling a host of gift guides to help you with your Christmas shopping.
If they’re long overdue for a rest…
- For the parent who loves nature – Dreamscapes is a stunning and inspiring collection of more than 50 of the world’s most beautiful gardens from across the globe.
- For a smart beach read try Manhattan Beach – an immersive and transformative work of historical fiction from Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan.
- Does your parent love to fish? They might be intrigued by The Catch in which author Anna Clark investigates her own enduring passion for the activity, and provides an interesting overview of its history in Australia.
- A bestseller in Japan and now internationally, The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa (translated by Philip Gabriel) is a meditative novel with a message of kindness and truth at its centre.
- Set them up in front of the TV with a glass of wine and a deliciously addictive TV show. We highly recommend Grantchester – a charming and parent-appropriate series in which a clergyman finds himself investigating a series of mysterious wrongdoings in his small village of Grantchester. If a crime-fighting priest is not your parent’s cup of tea, you’ll find other TV box-sets to browse here.
If they’re fascinated by the past…
- Dip into ancient Greek mythology with Stephen Fry in Mythos, or delve into the sagas of the Vikings with Richard Fidler and Kari Gislason in Saga Land.
- Is your parent a fan of the children’s classic, Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder? In Prairie Fires, Caroline Fraser shares fascinating insight into the author’s life.
- The acclaimed Alison Weir describes the thrilling tales of England’s medieval Queens in Queens of the Conquest, a rich portrait of English history in a time of flux.
- In 1947, Swedish journalist Elisabeth Åsbrink chronicles the creation of the world we now inhabit, as the forces that will go on to govern all our lives during the next 70 years first make themselves known.
- Crime novelists Minette Walters has turned her hand to writing historical fiction with The Last Hours – a sweeping narrative with the Black Death at its centre.
If they’re addicted to crime stories…
- Jane Harper Force of Nature looks set to become our most popular crime read of the year. The follow-up to her break-out debut of last year, The Dry, readers are once again invited to join Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk in unravelling a twisty and tense mystery.
- In The Family, Chris Johnston and Rosie Jones investigate one of the most bizarre cults in modern history – The Family and their guru, Anne Hamilton-Byrne. This is true crime at its finest.
- Two of the biggest summer blockbusters in crime fiction this year are John le Carré’s A Legacy of Spies, which sees the return of spymaster George Smiley, and Lee Child’s The Midnight Line, which is a brand-new Jack Reacher story.
- With her second novel, The Stranger, German author Melanie Raabe gifts readers another unsettling and slippery psychological thriller that keeps you guessing up the final page.
- Deadlier is a beautifully packaged anthology that presents 100 of the best crime stories written by women – as selected by bestselling author Sophie Hannah.
If they’re known for hosting fabulous events…
- The Vegetable is a stunning cookbook that will prove irresistible for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. These are sophisticated recipes with a unique touch.
- In New French Table, mother-and-daughter team Emily and Giselle Roux share a completely fresh take on classic and contemporary recipes. This is a lovely family-driven collection of recipes with plenty of style.
- A new Ottolenghi cookbook is always worth celebrating. His latest is a baking book aptly titled Sweet and it’s been co-written with Melbourne pastry chef Helen Goh.
- Interior design book New Romance presents romantic interiors that capture the raw and inviting charm of rustic farmhouses. Ideal for those undertaking their own DIY renovation projects.
- Speaking of romance… We’re now stocking two nifty devices that transform empty bottles into beautiful light features that are sure to enhance the mood at a sophisticated dinner party.
If they like to keep busy with DIY projects around the house…
- Master carpenter and builder Ole Thorstensen gives a voice to the workers who construct our living spaces and our urban environment in Making Things Right – a reflective yet matter-of-fact love letter to working with your hands.
- Another book celebrating skilled craftsmanship, Made to Last features 50 artisans from around the world and details the products the create, the tools they use and the secrets of their craft.
- In Making Concrete Pots, Bowls, and Platters, Hester Van Overbeek demonstrates how to make 35 planters, decorations and gifts – all using concrete. Intrigued?
- If your parent loves to potter around the garden, Fabian Capomolla’s Growing Food the Italian Way provides practical instructions on how to set up and maintain your own veggie patch, as well as selection of tasty recipes to put them to good use.
- We suspect it might be to your benefit to try channel parent’s DIY energies into setting up a home bar and Chad Parkhill’s Around the World in 80 Cocktails might just do the trick. This compact and delightfully engaging book features distinctive vintage-styled illustrations by Alice Oehr.
If they’re always tapping their toes to music…
- Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile have joined forces to release Lotta Sea Lice. This is a surprising album that brilliantly showcases the duo’s amazing songwriting skills.
- Björk returns with a long-awaited new album: utopia marks a new chapter in the Icelandic artist’s legacy of ethereal soundtracks.
- Lovers of ‘dad rock’ will likely be thrilled to get their hands on Sleep Well Beast, the latest album from the National. This is a melancholic, foreboding and atmospheric offering from the popular group.
- We’re loving The Sound of Indigenous Australia – Now & Before, which explores the thriving contemporary music scene in Indigenous Australia and its roots in the classic songs and artists of the recent past.
- Is your parent slightly obsessed with vinyl? Find some highlights here – including the reissue of Radiohead’s 1997 release, OK Computer, in a limited edition – or come browse our full range in-store.
If they’ve recently become grandparents…
- A picture book can make a sweet present for a first-time grandparent. How to Babysit a Grandad and How to Babysit a Grandma by Jean Reagan and Lee Wildish are favourites, and we’re also big fans of the wily grandfather in Sally Morgan’s The Perfect Thing.
- If you’re hoping to ask your parent to babysit for you, you might like to gift them something to watch while they’re helping you out. If they enjoy juicy historical dramas, we recommend Poldark, which is now available in a three season box-set.
- Grandparents are often considered to be the wisest of family members. Help your own parents reach this lofty position with The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities – a compendium of strange and forgotten words.
- Or perhaps becoming a grandparent has put your parent in a philosophical mindset. Autumn is the first of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s new seasonal quartet, and is comprised of letters to his unborn daughter, along with 60 mini-essays that range from the mundane to the abstract.
If they never miss an episode of Q&A…
- Please Explain is a compelling and insightful look at Pauline Hanson and how her politics both reflect and shape our nation.
- It’s been another chaotic year in Australian politics and so once again, Russ Radcliffe brings together a collection of the best offerings from cartoonists for Best Australian Political Cartoons 2017.
- In The First Casualty foreign correspondent Peter Greste looks at how the role of the media has changed in the global War on Terror – and what we need to do next.
- Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the most important voices to emerge in contemporary American politics. We Were Eight Years in Power brings together a collection of his eloquent and powerful writings about the Obama era.
- In A Rightful Place, leading indigenous writers and thinkers provide a road map to recognition. These essays show what constitutional recognition means, and what it could make possible: a fairer relationship and a renewed appreciation of an ancient culture.