Our 2018 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 famous for their cooking…

  • Yotam Ottolenghi has earned a dedicated following for his fresh, innovative recipes. Ottolenghi SIMPLE is his latest offering and a worthy addition to any keen home cook’s library.

  • In Eat at the Bar, Bar Lourinhã duo Matt McConnell and Jo Gamvros share their love of Europe’s bar dining culture with a collection of recipes that are perfect for entertaining.

  • Your parent is sure to impress with the guidance of SUQAR, a scrumptious new cookbook from Greg Malouf and Lucy Malouf that brings together 100 wonderful dessert treats inspired by Middle Eastern flavours.

  • For something less instructive, Mirka & Georges: A Culinary Affair is a gorgeously illustrated book that explores the lives of two of the most beloved figures in the cultural and culinary life of Australia.

  • The Getting of Garlic is a chronicle of the history and influence of this singular ingredient. Author and renowned food writer John Newton also recipes along the way, old and new, lending this fascinating book a practical element as well.


If they’re avid crime readers…

  • The ever-popular Jack Reacher has returned in Past Tense. This latest nail-biting thriller from Lee Child sees our hero attempt a classic American road trip, but instead stumbles across a mystery that’s related to his own family.

  • The Spite Game is a taut and revenge-soaked tale from Australian writer Anna Snoekstra.

  • For something charming and cheerful, The Spotted Dog is a new read from Kerry Greenwood (of Phryne Fisher fame). Set in the present-day, this story features baker extraordinaire and talented sleuth Corinna Chapman on a quest for a missing dog.

  • In Dinner with the Dissidents, barrister-turned-novelist John Tesarsch steps into the world of Soviet spies. This is an engaging depiction of a chaotic period in history, as well as a moving love story.

  • From the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries, The Stranger Diaries is an addictive contemporary Gothic thriller that’s sure to keep your parent up at night.


If they want to feel inspired…

  • Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming has been one of the most anticipated books of 2018 and it’s finally here. In warm and candid prose, she explores her childhood in Chicago, the challenges and joys of motherhood, favourite authors, and more.

  • You Daughters of Freedom is the second volume of Clare Wright’s ‘Democracy Trilogy’ and it’s another lively, inspiring work of history that sheds new light on the past.

  • Parents could spend hours dreaming over The Writer’s Map – an incredible atlas of the journeys that writers make, as well as the ones that inspire them.

  • Brené Brown invites readers to step up and lead with her empowering new book, Dare to Lead. This is a book about building up the courage to make a difference.

  • The Flame is a collection of Leonard Cohen’s last poems and writings, selected and ordered by the great lyricist himself during the final months of his life. A must-have for Cohen fans.


If they aspire be the smartest person in a room…

  • Crossword guru David Astle explores how cryptic crosswords can help keep the brain healthy in Rewording the Brain, along with 50 of his best offerings from beginner-friendly to fiendishly complicated.

  • Wide-ranging and intellectually stimulating, Brief Answers to the Big Questions is the final book from Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest minds in history.

  • In The Golden Thread, Kassia St Clair persuasively and passionately explains how fabrics – both manmade and natural – have changed and shaped the world we live in. This book encourages readers to view history through a new lens.

  • A new book from Yuval Noah Harari is always an excitement and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is as imaginative and thought-provoking as his two earlier works. In 21 bite-sized lessons, he explores what it means to be human in today’s world.

  • An investigation into jellyfish, Spineless is an enthralling blend of science writing and personal memoir from ocean scientist Juli Berwald.


If they love a good adventure tale…

  • You don’t get much more adventurous than the ancient Greeks… Stephen Fry’s Heroes is a companion to his bestselling Mythos of last year, and compiles the tales of the greatest Greek heroes.

  • In Erebus, master storyteller Michael Palin shares the mysterious story of a ship that disappeared in 1848 and was only rediscovered in 2014.

  • Another book about a ship, Preservation is the new novel from Australian writer Jock Serong and it’s a tense, menacing read. Serong uses the 1797 shipwreck of the Sydney Cove as a starting point for this gripping story of adventure and survival.

  • From New Yorker writer Paige Williams, The Dinosaur Artist dives into the surprisingly perilous world of ‘commercial palaeontology’ – a murky business populated by eccentrics and obsessives.

  • Ann Blainey recreates the thrilling and tumultuous life story of Charles Kingsford Smith in her biography, King of the Air, providing new insight into an enigmatic and towering figure.


If they enjoy pottering around the home and garden…

  • AB Bishop is a highly respected horticulturist, conservationist and writer. In the beautifully designed Habitat, she gives practical advice on how to create a wildlife-friendly Australian garden.

  • Slow Down and Grow Something is ideal for gardeners with limited space. Advocating for the good life, this book encourages everyone to slow down and make the most of your space and harvest.

  • Bees of Australia is a stunning book about the darlings of the insect world. Your parent may even be able to spot some of these native varieties in their very own garden.

  • If your parent is crafty and loves to visit op shops, Rescue, Restore, Redecorate might be just the thing. This book features all kinds of nifty furniture finishing recipes, techniques, and tips on how to restore and modernise old treasures.

  • Modern Macrame is a stylish, contemporary guide to this traditional art form. Artist and lifestyle icon Emily Katz brings a wealth of experience to the book which features 33 easy-to-follow projects for your parent to try at home.


If they sing along with the radio…

  • If your parent loves piano music then they’ve almost certainly heard of Keith Jarrett whose solo piano performances are legendary. La Fenice is the long-awaited recording of his 2006 concert at the Gran Teatro La Fenice in Venice. It’s an extraordinary music experience.

  • Earlier this year, talented young soprano Nicole Car partnered with the Australian Chamber Orchestra for a series of live performances featuring arias sung by some of music’s most iconic female characters. Heroines is a recording of these performances.

  • The Rolling Stones have long been supporters of blues music and for Confessin' The Blues, they’ve brought together a collection of tracks from some of the biggest pioneers in the genre. You can also find the album on vinyl here.

  • Wanderer is the first new music from Chan Marshall – AKA Cat Power – in six years, and it’s a confident, poignant and pared-back offering that’s perfect for the summer months. You can also find the album on vinyl here.

  • Not all parents love Michael Bublé but those who do are going to be very excited to hear he has a new album out. In Love, he breathes new life into a collection of classic songs from the Great American Songbook. Find the standard edition here, and the deluxe edition here.

Still stumped? We also sell gift vouchers which can be used in-store and online.

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Stephen Fry

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