Christmas book ideas – gifts for family and friends

Deborah CookLife 18 Comments

Editor’s note: Please welcome back Deborah from Debbish dot com who’s sharing her favourite new releases with Styling You readers each month. 

Yesterday Nikki mentioned a friend called Debbie who’d done her Christmas shopping. Just in case you were wondering…. that was not me.

Sadly I wait until December rolls around to start thinking about Christmas. Fortunately however, I’m single and childless and only have one parent and one sibling, so my gift-buying commitments are limited. This year it’s just my mother I and we have an excellent routine in place: she cooks a traditional roast dinner and I consume champagne while half-heartedly offering help.

However… not everyone dislikes Christmas and I’m conscious that many peeps out there will be panicking as their kids or grandkids count-down the number of sleeps until the fat man in red arrives. So I’m here to help by offering up some not-quite-last-minute Christmas book ideas for family and friends.

1. Memoirs
It seems that every politician, actor, sportsman or D-grade celebrity feels compelled to share their stories at this time of year. Can’t they just drunk-tweet like the rest of us?! Anyhoo… here are some of my selections which will hopefully cover all of your in-laws and and other real-life-loving types.

memoirsKeating by Kerry O’Brien; A Mother’s Story by Rosie Batty with Bryce Corbett;
Phillip Hughes – Official Biography by Malcolm Knox & Peter LalorTim Cahill’s Legacy 

2. Cookbooks
As someone who cooks the same things week after week I am hardly an expert on cookbooks. However I’ve skipped over the more controversial ones featuring IQS Sarah and Paleo Pete and selected some which (even I) think look good.

Everyday Superfood by Jamie Oliver; Donna Hay’s Life in Balance;
Homemade Takeaway by Julie Goodwin;

3. Colouring Books
I recently tried to find some zen through a mandala and some colouring pencils, but all I could think was… “Am I done yet?” However, this colouring book fad is not only about patterns designed to mimic the effects of LSD. You can buy books featuring your favourite TV show or movies and the latest fashions.


Doctor WhoGame of Thrones;
VogueStar Wars (The Force Awakens)Harry Potter

4. Fantastic fiction
I’ve already shared my favourite reads here over the past few months so will not gush again about the likes of  The Lake House, Illuminae and Tennison. Instead I’m sharing a few of the more popular new releases which would be perfect for friends and family who have some free time on their hands.

fiction books

Spirits of the Ghan by Judy NunnHester and Harriet by Hilary Spiers;
Rain Music by Di MorrisseyGolden Lion by Wilbur Smith

5. Something for the kids
Andy Griffiths is still king of the kids with his 65-Storey Treehouse series and Aussie AL Tait is going great guns with her Mapmaker Chronicles series, but I was also intrigued by What Would Alice Do, which targets tween and teen girls and is filled with inspirational quotes and advice.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Book 10) is out along with a couple of popular new young adult novels, Becca Fitzpatrick’s Dangerous Lies and Clancy of the Undertow by Christopher Currie – the latter (kinda) reminding me of a teacher who had a Banjo Patterson fetish. I’ve rounded the list out with Kindy Kitchen by Jessica Rosman & Nettie Lodge which features fun fruit dishes and recipes.

kids ya

6. Weird stuff
It’s no secret I don’t really ‘do’ non-fiction. I mean, if I wanted reality I’d venture out in public more. But while I do understand the allure of the memoir or occasional self-help book, there are some publications I just don’t get.

When I received a media release for Beaut Utes by Josh Bryce I was tempted to joke about it on my FB page before remembering how passionate ute-owner friends can be. And the 2015 Ashes Diary? I’m pretty sure there’s nothing juicy in there about drunken text messages or fisticuffs in the change room?! Yet again… I realise some people DO care about weird stuff. Like cricket.

And finally, in honour of my dad who used to POUR through the Guinness Book of Records every year I’ve included the 2016 ‘Gamer’s Edition’. The usual version is still available, but if you’ve got difficult-to-buy-for minecraft lovers in your life, this one’s for you!

And that, dear readers, should cover most of your Christmas gift list. I’ll be back next month when you’re feeling all relaxed (after the stress of you-know-what is over) to share some of my favourite summer reads.

Until then… will these books satisfy anyone on your Christmas list?

* Links in the post will take you to Booktopia, but most of the books are also available via iBooks or your favourite local bookstore.

debbishDeborah blogs about books, not-dieting and life in general at Her life-long love of reading is only surpassed by her addiction to vanilla diet coke, baths, chocolate and champagne. 

Comments 18

  1. hahaha “can’t they just drunk-tweet like the rest of us?” Thanks Deb, I needed that laugh. I actually have Homemade Takeaway to review and it’s good but I wouldn’t mind getting Jamie’s Super Foods for Christmas, I’ve been watching the TV series. I’m with you on the weird stuff and I must be too uptight for the adult colouring books but I might get the new Wilbur Smith for my partner’s dad. He’s so hard to buy for. Thanks for the recommendations and the giggles 🙂

  2. Love giving books for Christmas Deborah and receiving the odd one too,have a lovely Christmas and thank you for the recommendations x

  3. I saw all those memoirs on display at Target. I didn’t end up buying any of them but did buy another popular memoir I hope my father-in-law will enjoy. That Donna Hay Life’s Balance might have just gone onto my Wishlist. X

  4. Love this Deb! My grandson aged 8 is getting the Guinness World Records Gamers book & he’s a huge Diary of A Wimpy Kid & Treehouse fan & already has the latest ones! The Ashes Diary by Michael Clark does contain some “goss” about his critics from when he announced his retirement mid-ashes tour. I read that in a review not in the book!

    1. Am sure your 8yr old grandson will love your choices and I love that you’re encouraging him to read Denyse.

      Oh, and perhaps I’ve been under-estimating the juicy-ness of the annual Ashes Diaries! 🙂

  5. Love debbish posts! Fabulous writing style and great reviews. I’ve based my holiday reading choices on her recommendations and have not been disappointed!

    1. Oh wow Suzie, thanks so much. I sometimes worry i should be a bit more objective / professional (particularly in the lengthy reviews on my own blog) but then think… nah….!

  6. I like your take on things thanks deb!
    i love different points of view!
    i love a good self help book however i’m giving them a miss at the moment! … sorry to hear your zen experience with colouring in wasn’t achieved! … maybe you’d like to draw your own pictures like me!
    i always gift myself with a cook book at xmas time and have been looking at this donna hay one! … i don’t cook much, but love looking at food and eating it! … i could be inspired!!!
    probably will get the wilbur smith for dad as he likes his books! and we are stymied! … ok enough rambling from me! … enjoy your day! love m:)X

    1. Ah yes, we all have those ‘hard to buy for’ people! I don’t think I’ve read a Wilbur Smith in years (well, possibly decades!) and chuckled when I saw this one come out. A huge blast from the past!

      PS. On the colouring front, I’ve decided I’m more of a words person. (I tend to find my zen via word puzzles. When I tried colouring I was stressing I went outside of the lines too much!)

    1. I’ve actually never read an Ashes Diary Amanda. I’m torn between wondering if it’s like… “7am Forced out of bed by a farting Merv Hughes. Had 12 weetbix. Got dressed.” Or something more interesting!

      As for the Treehouse series… the latest has been out for a few months and it’s still topping the charts, so it’s VERY popular indeed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.