Whether we like it or not, Christmas is around the corner. And no matter if your head’s been buried in the sand or you’ve been quietly assembling gift concepts for months, the lead-up to the holidays can be a stressful period — trying to locate the perfect present that speaks to the recipient’s spirit (and your budget).
A fail-safe option in our books is, well, books (pun definitely intended). Portable portals to other worlds, give your loved ones the gift of escapism this year and take your pick from our 2023 Christmas Book Guide.
“The Korean Cookbook”
Junghyun Park and Jungyoon Choi
For the foodie in your life, “The Korean Cookbook” (Phaidon) celebrates traditional regional dishes and everyday food found in home kitchens from Seoul to Jeju Island. Find more than 350 recipes are organised into traditional Korean meals, from pantry staples to noodles, stir-fries, soups, dumplings, rice cakes, and desserts. $74.95. phaidon.com.
Many readers are already familiar with Alderton’s work: “Everything I Know About Love”, “Ghosts” and “Dear Dolly”. Her latest novel, “Good Material” (Penguin), arrives at the perfect time for beach reads. After a sudden breakup, the book’s narrator Andy grapples with confusion and grief. Surrounded by new dad friends and facing career challenges, the story weaves humour and warmth. Brace yourself for page-turning writing and, sometimes, uncomfortable truths. $26.99. dymocks.com.
“Archive” marks the film director Sofia Coppola’s debut book, encapsulating her influential film career through a personal collection of photos, ephemera, and behind-the-scenes insights. Covering all eight of her films, from “The Virgin Suicides” to “The Beguiled” and previewing “Priscilla”, this art book, edited and annotated by Coppola, provides an intimate exploration of her cinematic legacy. Approximately $105. mackbooks.co.uk.
“Lance Franklin: My Football Journey”
“Lance Franklin: My Football Journey” is a captivating tribute to AFL legend (and former T Australia cover star) Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin. From his Hawthorn Hawks draft in 2004 to the 2022 Grand Final with the Sydney Swans, this authorised book showcases Franklin’s iconic moments. Brimming with sports photography and personal insights, it’s a must-read for footy enthusiasts everywhere. $55. shop.sydneyswans.com.au.
“Camping Around Australia”
Hardie Grant Explore
In its fifth edition, “Camping around Australia” is the essential guide for recreational campers, featuring over 3000 campsites with detailed descriptions, facility symbols, and updated information post-2019 bushfires, 2021–2022 floods, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Organised by state, it offers easy cross-referencing with atlas maps, making outdoor exploration seamless for all camping enthusiasts. $55.00. dymocks.com.au.
“Just Friends” (Ultimo Press) delves into the essence of modern friendship, celebrating its diverse forms – from workplace camaraderie to bonds forged in motherhood or neighbourhoods. Reflecting on the profound impact of friendships, the book explores what it means to be, make, and occasionally lose a friend. It’s an ode to those who shape us, a timeless read to cherish and share. $34.99. ultimopress.com.au.
“Signature Cocktails” (Phaidon) spans nearly 600 years of cocktail history, offering a uniquely focused collection. Perfect for cocktail enthusiasts, entertainers, food lovers, and industry professionals, this elegant book features 200 iconic drinks that have left an indelible mark on cocktail culture worldwide. $59.95. phaidon.com.
For fans of “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “The Lost City of Z”, pick up the bestselling author’s riveting new tale of shipwreck, mutiny, and murder, “The Wager” (Simon & Schuster UK). Set in 1742, survivors of The Wager, marooned off Patagonia, tell conflicting stories—some hailed as heroes, others labeled mutineers. A court martial ensues, unraveling a shocking truth with life-and-death consequences. $28.25. booktopia.com.au.
Sonic Youth’s founding member, Thurston Moore, crafts a passionate memoir tracing his journey from a small-town Connecticut music obsessive to the legendary rock group’s thirty years of creation. Set against New York’s vibrant No Wave scene, “Sonic Life” (Penguin Random House) offers a firsthand account of cultural evolution, alternative rock dominance, and a profound love letter to music. $35.00. penguinrandomhouse.com.