Now that I am working in a bookshop, the obvious gift for every person I know is a book.
My dad is a massive fan of John Grisham, so I bought him the newest book, Gray Mountain. Luckily he knows not to buy himself anything in the lead up to Christmas!
I also got him the new Bryce Courtenay biography, The Silver Moon. Bryce used to live across the road from us and was very actively involved in the writing community in the Southern Highlands. He was a great person, as well as a great author and my family was devastated when he died. I was so excited to discover this posthumous publication just in time for my Dad’s Christmas gift!
Mum is an avid reader but she also loves a bit of pampering. Together my sister and I got her a facial with her favourite beauty therapist, but I also gave her a book on the side. One of the benefits to working in the bookshop is that I give the family catalogues to look at. Mum has mentioned Ian McEwan’s The Children Act to me a few times now and it is a book I would love to read myself as well!
My little sister isn’t a big reader, but recently I have managed to foist a number of books on her, which thankfully she loved. These included Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and anything by Rainbow Rowell. I therefore ordered the beautiful My True Love Gave To Me, a collection of short stories with some written by her favourite storytellers as well as a heap of new ones to explore! The book is not yet available in Australian bookshops so I ordered it from England online. It is a gorgeous cover, with hot pink pages! Different kind of image but I wanted one with those page edges in it! Too pretty not to include!
I also got her the new Rachel Treasure book, Cleanskin Cowgirls. Rachel Treasure was one of the only authors she read whilst at school, and is still one of her favourites! Treasure writes Australian stories set in the country – my family often jokes that my baby sister should have been a country girl, seeing as she relates so well to stories set here! While I am not a Rachel Treasure fan, I wanted to get something I knew she would enjoy and this will be a good read for her over the summer.
I did get complaints from the sister as her pile is now apparently too big – I have recommended too many books over the past few weeks and now added to them with her Christmas presents!
Every girlfriend I got a present for this year received a copy of The Night Circus. If you read my gushing review, you will know that this has been my absolute favourite book of the year and I felt a great need to pass this story on through the holiday period!
My gorgeous house-mate is a fabulously flamboyant pastry chef. While I debated getting him a cookbook, I ultimately decided on the legend… (wait for it!) -ary Neil Patrick Harris’ Choose Your Own Autobiography. Not only does it look like an adventurous, hysterical read, NPH is a fantastic person with an amazing image, both on and off the screen. I have told him to hurry up and read it as I cannot wait to borrow it!
I find buying gifts of any kind for the boyfriend absolutely torturous – he buys everything he wants for himself when he wants it! He reads a lot of fantasy, but mostly on audiobooks during long drives. I was totally stuck, until I remembered an illustrated version of the Lord of the Rings books which we had in store. I had wanted it myself from the moment I set eyes on it – the illustrations are absolutely divine and I am sure there will be a blog post (with many photos) sometime next year! While he did see through my plan (to get him a gift which I too would enjoy), I think it was a success! And if he lied and doesn’t really like it, I am super happy to stroke it every time I visit him!
MOTHER-IN-LAW (BOYRFRIEND’S MOTHER)
My boyfriend’s mother doesn’t like anything sad. She reads a lot of that vampire erotica and adored Fifty Shades of Grey, but she buys most of that on her Kindle. She is about to go on a two-week beach holiday and I wanted something appropriate as a beach read – of course, I went with The Rosie Project, a happy, upbeat, funny, romantic comedy and one of the books I find myself recommending most in my job!
SISTERS-IN-LAW (BOYFRIEND’S SISTERS)
One of my boyfriend’s sisters is newly engaged which made present hunting a little easier. I considered some books, namely poetry for weddings and that kind of jazz, but in the end I chose a beautiful wedding planner which I hope she will use in her planning process. For his other sister, a fantastic cook, I bought a copy of Pete Evans’ Family Food (which coincidentally I got from my Mum!). It went down pretty well as she has recently developed an interest in paleo cooking, as well as the fact that the book has a section on baby food, which will be great when her third baby arrives next year!
I didn’t get any fiction books from my family this year. My mum did give me some delicious looking Pete Evans cookbooks though – hopefully they will inspire me to become much better in the kitchen; the books’ recipes and photos are pretty so the chances are high!
Christmas this year seems to have been a great success. Now I need to start considering gifts for those with January birthdays!