Our 2018 Christmas Gift Guide: What to buy your siblings (and other relatives)
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be compiling a host of gift guides to help you with your Christmas shopping.
If they want summer reading recommendations…
- The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon is a darkly glittering read. A young Korean American woman at an elite American university is drawn into acts of domestic terrorism by a cult with ties to North Korea.
- Melissa Lucashenko delivers a whip-smart, funny and engaging family epic in her latest novel, Too Much Lip. This is an addictive novel about contemporary Australia, and the complexities that reside in humans.
- Set in the 90s in a small town a couple of hours south of Sydney, Cedar Valley is a quiet and satisfying mystery read from author and musician Holly Throsby.
- Haruki Murakami’s latest novel is Killing Commendatore (translated by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen) and it’s a tour de force of love and loneliness, war and art. A man must go on a mysterious journey after discovering a cursed painting in the remote mountain home of a famous artist.
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah has received rave reviews from literary luminaries such as George Saunders, Colson Whitehead and Roxanne Gay. Friday Black is his first work of fiction and compiles a collection of gripping, strange and brutal stories that paint a dark portrait of race in America.
If they’re interested with how the world works…
Co-written by two sisters, Diving for Seahorses is a dazzling mix of science and storytelling about one of human’s most amazing abilities: our memories.
Now in its eighth year, The Best Australian Science Writing 2018 presents a snapshot of the very best science writing Australia offered in 2018. Contributors include Elizabeth Finkel, Elizabeth Finkel, Andrew Leigh, Michael Slezak, and more.
Award-winning writer Tim Flannery gives an engrossing account of the natural history of Europe over a millennia in Europe: A Natural History. This is an enthralling ecological history read.
In The Fifth Risk, Michael Lewis transports readers into the engine rooms of a government under attack by its own leaders. This intelligent and exceedingly readable book demonstrates how three departments of the US government have been systematically derailed by the Trump administration.
Pulitzer Prize-winner Margo Jefferson takes on the legend and legacy of the King of Pop with On Michael Jackson, exploring his life and the enormous impact he made on the world.
If they are big animal lovers…
- In the charming and heartwarming Papa Goose, Michael Quetting shares his experience of hatching and raising a family of goslings. This work is translated from the German by Jane Billinghurst.
- If Cats Disappeared From The World is a bestselling Japanese novel that’s only recently been made available for English language speakers. In this slim, poignant volume, the devil offers a dying man a special, and truly bizarre, deal which forces him to consider what truly matters in life.
- For something rather special, Animal is a visually stunning and broad-ranging survey that explores and celebrates humankind’s ongoing fascination with animals – from cave paintings to the digital possibilities of today.
- If your sibling is a vegan, or simply trying to eat less meat and dairy products, dream duo Mo Wyse and Shannon Martinez have a delicious new cookbook. Smith & Deli-cious is certain to impress.
- From veterinary scientist Liviana Prola, Feed Me is a unique cookery book that’s dedicated to the four-legged member of your family. It is both incredibly practical, and beautifully produced with winsome illustrations from Kevin Waldron.
If they’re creative souls…
- If your sibling works from home, they may be inspired by Studio, which shares an array of creative spaces from across seven different countries. The people using these spaces range from crafters, writers, designers and artists, and demonstrate what can be achieved on every budget.
- Frida Kahlo’s husband, Diego Rivera, ordered that Kahlo’s most private possessions be locked away until 15 years after his own death. Uncovered in 2004, Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up now presents an archive of these belongings, painting an intimate portrait of this extraordinary artist.
- Loving Vincent is a remarkable documentary that brings the paintings of Vincent van Gogh to life through a combination of animation and storytelling.
- Deborah Levy’s The Cost of Living is an essential read for anyone struggling with personal and artistic freedom. This short, exhilarating memoir confronts the essential questions of modern womanhood with humour and pragmatism.
- Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Inadvertent (translated by Ingvild Burkey) is the second book in the Windham-Campbell Why I Write series and sees the writer reflect candidly and powerfully on his daily work. The first book in the series was from Patti Smith.
If they’re always planning their next getaway…
- In The Best Moment Of Your Life, people share their most remarkable, poignant and memorable experiences from the road, everything from watching a space shuttle launch to crossing the Gobi desert on foot. Your sibling will find no better validation for their wanderlust.
- If your sibling is keen to take to the road long-term, The Vanlife Companion provides plenty of advice and inspiration for those considering making a van into a home. This guide includes practical advice, some amazing itineraries and interviews with ordinary people who’ve embraced #Vanlife.
- The White Darkness tells the story of Henry Worsley’s perilous quest to cross Antarctica in the footsteps of Shackleton. Award-winning writer David Grann details this thrilling tale with his trademark intensity alongside 50 photographs from Worsley’s and Shackleton’s journeys.
- Travelling often leads to meeting new people. A set of Aussie Slang Playing Cards might prove an ideal ice-breaker, especially if your sibiling is headed overseas.
- Your sibling might also enjoy a Japanese-designed Kinto Traveller Tumbler, available in 350ml or 500ml sizes. These tumblers are vacuum-insulated to keep drinks at the perfect temperature for up to six hours.
If they’ve recently moved into a new place…
- Aimed at a new generation of indoor gardening enthusiasts, How to Raise a Plant (and Make it Love You Back) is a perfect guide for anyone keen to see their plant offspring thrive.
- River Cottage Love Your Leftovers is ideal for anyone looking to stick to a food budget. In this fresh and inviting cookbook, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall shares 100 imaginative recipes for making the most of every potential ingredient in your kitchen.
- How New York Breaks Your Heart is a gorgeous book from photographer and writer Bill Hayes that would feel at place in every home. These images and reflections reveal ordinary New Yorkers at their most peaceful, joyful, distracted, anxious, expressive – and at their most fleeting.
- If your sibiling’s move coincides with them leaving high school and ‘entering the real world’, you might like to offer them some guidance in book form. How to Be Free and How to Be a Friend are handsomely repackaged new editions of two famous texts from the Roman era.
- The comprehensive and accessible RetroSuburbia shows how Australians can downshift and retrofit their homes, gardens, communities and, above all, themselves to be more self-organised, sustainable and resilient into an uncertain future.
If they enjoy reading about other people’s lives…
- Before author Lucia Berlin died, she was working on a book of previously unpublished autobiographical sketches that stretched from 1936 in Alaska, to 1966 in southern Mexico. Welcome Home brings together those sketches with photographs and letters selected by her son.
- Miss Ex-Yugoslavia is Sofija Stefanovic’s hilarious and heartfelt coming-of-age story about growing up between war-torn Yugoslavia and suburban Australia.
- David Sedaris is one of the world’s most-loved humorists and his latest collection of stories, Calypso, is arguably this funniest yet. Many of these new pieces revolve around concepts of middle age and mortality.
- In need of a break, Abbi Jacobson (co-creator of Broad City) decided to drive across the American country alone. I Might Regret This is a collection of anecdotes, observations and reflections from this journey, complete with original illustrations by Jacobson herself.
- Footballer, music buff, Age columnist and Winnebago driver Bob Murphy reflects on the people, places and events that have shaped him in Leather Soul.