Our 2018 Christmas Gift Guide: What to buy your significant other
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be compiling a host of gift guides to help you with your Christmas shopping.
If they love to entertain…
- The Noma Guide to Fermentation shares secrets from the famed Denmark restaurant’s fermentation lab. David Zilber, who runs the lab, and Noma chef and owner René Redzepi have collated 100 recipes, all with the home chef in mind and featuring step-by-step instructions and lots of photographs.
- For the chef who loves to experiment, Lateral Cooking is a bit like a ‘choose-your'own-adventure’ cookbook. This is Niki Segnit’s follow-up to her bestselling The Flavour Thesaurus and it is equally creative and adventurous.
- The Complete Guide to Baking is a stunning large-format cookbook about the art of baking. Each recipe features a full-colour cross-section illustration, step-by-step photography and a hero image.
- In The Book of Vermouth, winemaker Gilles Lapalus and bartender Shaun Byrne explore every aspect of the drink, sharing snippets of history and recipes for drinks and even food. Learn how to enjoy vermouth on every possible occasion.
- If entertaining for your significant other (S.O.) also encompasses games nights, consider Exploding Kittens – a highly strategic kitty powered version of Russian Roulette.
If you both prefer to spend quiet evenings at home together…
- Based on the crime novels by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling), Strike makes for perfectly bingeable viewing. Tom Burke plays war-veteran-turned-private-detective Cormoran Strike and Holliday Grainger plays his detective partner Robin Ellacott.
- Patrick Melrose is another literary TV adaptation (based on Edward St Aubyn’s semi-autobiographical novels) and it’s widely considered one of the best shows of the year. Benedict Cumberbatch shines in his role as Patrick Melrose who is struggling with a drug addiction and childhood trauma.
- Icelandic multi-instrumentalist and producer Ólafur Arnalds has released another pleasurable and inventive album with re:member, once again blurring the boundaries between traditional and contemporary. Ideal for creating a dreamy atmosphere in your home.
- In his new cookbook, Gill Meller emphasises the importance of slowing down and enjoying the process of making good food. Time is a book to help you take a breath and refresh after a hectic day.
- Is your S.O. a jigsaw puzzle lover? Are they also a literary lover? If so, we have a selection of bookish puzzles that might be exactly what you’re looking for, including one that is exclusive to Readings and a range of designs featuring New Yorker covers. Find some of our favourite covers online here, or browse the full range in-store.
If they’re curious about everything…
- The Order of Time is a thought-provoking and fascinating book. With his trademark charm, Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli invites readers to imagine a world where time is in us and we are not in time.
- In The World Was Whole, Fiona Wright explores home, belonging and the physical spaces that we inhabit – our bodies and houses – in a series of personal and wide-ranging essays.
- Nancy Campbell blends memoir, cultural history, science and nature writing, and more in her new book, The Library of Ice, which ranges from the Bodleian Library archives to remote Arctic settlements. This is a fascinating and absorbing read that’s sure to help your S.O. feel cooler in these hot summer months.
- Another book that looks at a unique area, Seashaken Houses is a lyrical exploration of lighthouses, and a reflection on how humans value emblems of our history in a changing world.
- Axiomatic is one of the most exciting non-fiction books of 2018. Australian writer Maria Tumarkin unpicks five popular truisms we tell ourselves about the past to suggest new ways of thinking about our world and lives.
If they have a frightening fascination for the macabre…
- I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is a terrifying work of true crime. The haunting story of the Golden State Killer, Michelle McNamara’s obsessively researched book has been partially credited with helping police make an arrest after 30 years.
- The brazen and brutal murder of Spanish politician Isabel Carrasco in 2014 shocked the nation. Death In León is a critically-acclaimed series about this event and the ensuring investigation, which revealed an unsettling deeper story of power and deceit.
- Did your S.O. binge Killing Eve this year? Or, are do they simply have a general interest in psychopaths? If you answered yes to either of these questions, they may like to read the series that this show is based on. Find book one here, and book two here.
- Tana French’s fantastic new novel, The Wych Elm, turns the crime genre on its head in smart and sometimes caustically funny ways. A young man is traumatised by a recent event and returns to the home of his childhood to recuperate – only to discover a skull that suggests the golden years of his past are not as he remembers them.
- Lullaby by French author Leila Slimani is a chilling literary thriller about a parent-nanny co-dependency – and its devastating consequences: The baby is dead. It took only a few seconds.
If they want to change the world…
- Rise & Resist: How to Change the World is an empowering and practical call-to-action. Crossing the globe, Clare Press meets passionate change-makers working towards environmental and social justice, and shares examples from their communities.
- Jeff Sparrow’s Trigger Warnings both interrogates and challenges. Drawing from historical events and contemporary debates, this book posits the possibility of a new kind of politics.
- With What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape, Sohaila Abdulali wants to change the conversation around rape culture, question our assumptions, and look at how we want to raise the next generation.
- Seize the Fire brings together three fiery and passionate speeches by Richard Flanagan, all of which tackle big questions of our nation.
- If your S.O. is attempting to create more waste they might find Waste Not by Erin Rhoads or A Zero Waste Life by Anita Vandyke useful guides. You can find even more gift ideas for reducing, reusing and recycling here.
If they want to take a break from the world…
- If your S.O. is dreaming of going on a spiritual retreat but it’s just not possible right now – the next best thing might be Liane Moriarty’s wickedly funny new novel. In Nine Perfect Strangers, a group of strangers attend a wellness retreat where they find themselves exposed to some unusual treatment methods.
- Andrew Sean Greer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Less is a funny, tender-hearted and entirely delightful romp about a person who does indeed attempt to flee from their problems – on an ill-advised world tour. This is the kind of book that will make your S.O. laugh out loud.
- Why not help your S.O. escape from the world entirely with Red Moon? Bestselling author Kim Stanley Robinson imagines a plausible near-future in which China has established the first colony on the moon. This is a thrilling narrative about space exploration and cut-throat politics.
- Set in 1809 in the aftermath of a disastrous retreat in the Peninsula War against Napoleon’s forces, Now We Shall Be Entirely Free is an immersive work of historical fiction that has the feel of an adventure tale.
- If you think a holiday is in order, Wine Trails: Australia & New Zealand provides plenty of motivation. This Lonely Planet guide includes detailed itineraries recommending the most interesting wineries and the best places to stay and where to eat in 40 wine regions near major cities of Australian and New Zealand.
If enjoy visiting art galleries..
- Unravelled: Contemporary Knit Art is a fantastic book surveying 40 international artists who incorporate so-called ‘domestic’ practices such as knitting, crochet and more into their art. This book will make anyone think differently about knits and their place in society.
- Chromatopia is a striking work that digs into the origin stories of over 50 of history’s most extraordinary pigments. This gorgeous hardcover book will appeal widely – to art lovers as well as those with an interest in science, history, design and more.
- If your S.O. is an artist themselves, Why Art? is a wonderful and compact inquiry into art making from admired comic artist Eleanor Davis. In simple and clever illustrations, this book asks important questions like: Why do we make art? What does it mean? Can it actually change the world?
- Originally published in 2008, Annie Leibovitz at Work has now been revised and updated for a new audience. In this influential work, Leibovitz describes how her pictures were made – starting with Richard Nixon’s resignation and ending with Barack Obama’s campaign.
- McQueen is a rousing portrait of the iconic artist and fashion designer. The documentary draws from exclusive interviews with his closest friends and family and never-before-seen archives.