It’s far and away the biggest time of year for book sales, with the four weeks before December 25 capturing 20 per cent of sales in 2018, according to Nielsen Bookscan.
But how do you choose, with so many new titles on offer?
With 17 shopping days to go, six of Australia’s top authors from different genres provide inspiration by recommending what they’ll be buying their nearest and dearest this year (spoiler alert: if you are related to any of them, look away now).
“Life-lit” fiction favourite and busy mum Rachael Johns on books for teens:
The books I’m buying my teenage son this Christmas are This Is How We Change The Ending by Vikki Wakefield and Invisible Boys by Holden Sheppard, two new release YAs by awesome Aussie authors. Both books are heartfelt stories inspiring teenage boys to be true to themselves, to live their best lives and to be unafraid of emotion and feelings, which I think is an important message for young men.
Record-breaking author of Boy Swallows Universe Trent Dalton, on books for the women in his life (plus a bonus for himself):
Rule number one: happy wife, happy Christmas. Not sure how she’ll like a 1000-page book consisting of eight seemingly endless sentences but there’s something about Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman that I think she might appreciate. I know for a fact that my thriller-loving mum will not be able to put down the powerhouse one-two punch combination of The Ruin and The Scholar by that outrageously gifted yarn spinner Dervla McTiernan.
Out of sheer open-hearted daughterly compassion my girls have shared in my love of rugby league and, in turn, have been witness to the wonders of Johnathan Thurston; so JT: The Making of a Total Legend could be a great read we can enjoy together. And, personally, there’s nothing I like to do more on Christmas night once the kids have gone to bed than pour myself a shiraz and watch my Red Hot Chili Peppers Live at Slane Castle DVD and this year I wouldn’t mind doing that while flipping through Flea’s autobiography, Acid For the Children.
She writes female fiction, but today bestseller Tricia Stringer is buying for the bloke:
I buy everyone in my family books for Christmas so it ends up being quite a list. I spend hours poring over catalogues and sifting through bookshops looking for the right book for each person. This year I’ve chosen three for my husband, Daryl. He loves his cricket and I thought Tea and scotch with Bradman by Roland Perry would be perfect. This is the story of the man behind the legend and includes rare photographs.
One of those books Daryl can dip in and out of. Then there’s the action reads which he loves. To fit the bill this year I’ve selected a thriller, The Deserter by Nelson DeMille and a gripping adventure, Cry of the Firebird by T.M. Clark. And the best part of giving books for Christmas is that they can be shared around the family through the coming year.
Top-selling kids’ comedy writer Matt Stanton on … the mother-in-law (no jokes here):
I love giving books for Christmas. They’re such a simple way to give a thoughtful gift. This year I’ll be buying my mother-in-law Dervla McTiernan’s The Scholar. I keep hearing such wonderful things about this book and my mother-in-law loves a gripping mystery! Hopefully she doesn’t read this.
Thriller writer and former model Tara Moss on gifts for the (little) girls:
This Christmas I am getting two new Rebel Girls books for my daughter Sapphira, age 8. She has been raised on the wonderful Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls — 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women, and we recently also got her the Rebel Girls journal, which is filled with wonderful activities to encourage creativity and action, with spaces for her to draw herself climbing a mountain or to write a love letter to her mind and body, and more, all featuring fun artwork by women.
The same creators have now put out Ada Lovelace Cracks the Code, exploring the life of coding pioneer Ada Lovelace, and Madam C. J. Walker Builds a Business, about the African-American entrepreneur, political and social activist. I look forward to reading them with her.
Biographer and non-fiction writer Rob Mundle on books for the (big) boys:
I’ll be giving all my mates Tea and scotch with Bradman by Roland Perry. It’s a cracking read for anyone that loves cricket or a ridiculously good biography. There’s nothing better in summer than enjoying a book while on the water and listening to the cricket. This book is perfect for that.
Author, agriculturalist and “rural lit” legend Rachael Treasure on books for everyone:
A banquet of books await under our tree! For my partner Daniel I’ve got David Pollock’s The Wooleen Way, Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu and Charles Massy’s The Call of the Reed Warbler … all books to inspire us as we regenerate our farm and droughtproof the land for the future.
We’ll bowl my son over with a signed copy of cricketer Ellyse Perry’s Perspective (I’ll be borrowing that when he’s done!) and for my daughter who idolises autistic cattle expert Temple Grandin, I’ve got her The Girl who Thought in Pictures — The Story of Dr Temple Grandin, written by Julia Finley Mosca and illustrated by Daniel Rieley. A Christmas packed with books to change our lives!
Christmas Books 2019: Kids
Despite the lure of screens, kids love books – you just have to get the right one. That’s why the Sunday Book Club’s Larissa Bricis is here to help.