Our Gift Guide for Hard-To-Buy-For People

In the final part of our totally-and-completely-fail-proof-Christmas-shopping-guides-for-2013, here are our gift ideas for the people in your life who are tricky to shop for.


Your partner’s parents who you’re still getting to know

  • Jamie Durie’s Edible Garden Design ($49.99) is a classy gift book for people who like gardening, cooking, design - or all three! (The book’s design which is inspired by Florence Broadhurst fabrics.)
  • If the parents in question are culture nuts then there’s the re-released 1956 documentary, The Mystery Of Picasso ($29.95), from French director Henri-Georges Clouzot which shows Picasso in the act of creating paintings for the camera, most of which were subsequently destroyed so that they would only exist on film.
  • Another great documentary is Searching For Sugar Man ($19.95), all about Rodriguez - the greatest ‘70s US rock icon who never was.
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and editor of The New Yorker David Remnick paints a portrait of rock legend Bruce Springsteen in We are Alive: A Portrait of Bruce Springsteen ($19.95).
  • People & Planet is a social enterprise that exists to raise funds for and promote the work of more than 40 Australian charities and their 2014 diary ($22.95) is a great choice for the ethically minded.
  • If your mother-in-law is someone who doesn’t mind a laugh at her expense then How to be a Good Mother-in-Law ($13.95) might be a warm gesture on your behalf.


The friend who has everything

  • Dr. Brene Brown offers a powerful new vision in Daring Greatly ($22.99), the number 1 New York Times Bestseller, Oprah pick, and TED talk hit that encourages us to embrace vulnerability and imperfection.
  • With similar goals in mind, though taking a different route, Domestic Sluttery: Cheat Your Way to the Good Life ($32.99) offers lifestyle tips to help readers live life to the full but with permission to make mistakes, to accept that you’re not perfect.
  • Question Time! ($90) is a board game about Australian politics and political history that involves strategy, knowledge, luck, intuition and rat cunning.
  • Award-winning wine writer Max Allen’s The History of Australian Wine: Stories from the Vineyard to the Cellar Door ($16.95, was $49.99) tells the story of Australian wine during the entire twentieth century.
  • And while you might think your friend has everything we bet they don’t have a knitted doll of Elvis Presley… But thanks to Carol Meldrum’s Knitted Icons: 25 Celebrity Doll Patterns ($6.95) - they could!


The child who doesn’t read

  • An excellent real-life Australian novel for 9–12 year olds, John Marsden’s The Year My Life Broke ($12.99) is perfect for young cricket fans who normally pass books by.
  • Inspired by Japanese Shinto Kumi-ki puzzles, Cubebots ($24.95) are brilliant, moveable robots made of beech wood.
  • With easy-to-read headlines and simple explanations, It Can’t be True! ($24.99) is full of the most recent, verified facts and statistics full of facts that prove truth is stranger than fiction.
  • This very sweet Flower Pressing Kit In A Tin ($19.95) provides you with everything you need to press your own flowers.
  • A cynic meets an unlikely superhero in Kate DiCamillo’s, Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures ($19.95), a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations by artist K. G. Campbell.
  • Coral Tulloch’s The Journey ($19.95) is a unique concept of games, codes and interesting people, all combining to make a recipe to engage the imagination.
  • Enlisting some of children’s best-known and loved illustrators McSweeney’s presents The Goods ($29.99), offering readers unremitting amusement with this literary funfair of games, puzzles, comics and other diversions


Your sibling’s new love interest

  • Rock Country ($69.95, was $75) is an entertaining and revealing romp through the story of Australian rock and pop told by those that lived it, performed it, and adored it.
  • The beautifully designed A Practical Guide To Squatting ($24) from Larraine Henning shows readers how to pick locks, craft a solar oven using a pizza box, grow a community garden, build a swimming pool in an open foundatiom, and much more. For someone a bit adventurous!
  • With its hip look and durable binding, this bike journal ($12.95) celebrates the awesomeness that is cycling.
  • If you know the person you’re shopping for is a bit of a film connoisseur, Bonello Bertrand’s House of Pleasures ($34.95) is a lush, atmospheric look at the final days of an elegant, turn-of-the-century brothel. You can read more about it here.
  • Inside Llewyn Davis ($21.95) is the soundtrack for the Coen brothers’s upcoming film and their first collaboration with T Bone Burnett since the much-loved O Brother, Where Art Thou?.


Your friend’s teenage children

  • A book described as being ‘as narcissistic as it is self-loathing’, Actors Anonymous ($29.99) is written by obnoxious celebrity James Franco.
  • Jeffrey Brown’s hilarious Darth Vader and Son comics are now available as a calendar for the coming year ($19.95).
  • The Perks Of Being A Wallflower ($19.95) is a funny and touching coming-of-age story based on the beloved best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky.
  • Eri Shimatsuka’s Maija Isola: Art, Fabric, Marimekko ($45, was $49.50) is a gorgeous book, featuring textile works from the leading Finnish designer, as well as details about her life.
  • In More Than This ($27.95) the two-time Carnegie Medal winner Patrick Ness presents an enthralling and provocative new novel chronicling the story of a teen trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.
  • Let Me off at the Top!: My Classy Life and Other Musings ($32.95) is the very funny fake autobiography of fictional news reporter Ron Burgundy.


Your grandparents who have retired

  • In December the crossword turns 100 and, to celebrate, the author of the ridiculously fun Puzzled, David Astle has created Cluetopia: The Story of 100 Years of the Crossword ($29.99). Dive into the archives with him as he handpicks a crossword clue per year, from scores of dusty periodicals, and weaves a mini-chapter around each one.
  • Dog owners will likely enjoy the beautiful photography book, Beautiful Dogs ($19.99) by Caroline Coile & Andrew Perris. Other titles in this series include Beautiful Chickens, Beautiful Cows and Beautiful Horses.
  • Patricia Edgar’s inspiring and entertaining In Praise of Ageing ($32.99) tells the stories of eight people who have lived well into their nineties and beyond.
  • Set in England in the years leading up to the First World War, Downton Abbey ($24.95) is the story of the Crawley family, and their servants.
  • Amateur naturalist and nature lover, Janine Burke, shares her passion for observing birds in Nest: The Art of Birds ($24.99).
  • Umberto Eco leads us on an illustrated journey through all the invented of literature in The Book of Legendary Lands ($59.99), from Homer’s poems to contemporary science fiction.
  • In the new Kerry Greenwood, Murder and Mendelssohn ($22.99), an orchestral conductor has been found dead and the delightfully incisive and sophisticated Miss Fisher is on the job.
  • William Robinson: The Transfigured Landscape ($59.95, was $75) includes all Robinson’s most admired works along with insightful texts by some of our finest writers.

If you’re looking for more gift ideas than browse our Summer Reading Guide or our picks for best books, music and films in 2013, or come visit one of our stores to chat with us in person.