Books can be escapes, daydreams, aspirations... when choosing a book as a gift, take into mind what sort of experience you are giving. Do you want the recipient to be taken on an adventure, to be reassured, to be taught, or to be inspired?
Always remember what you know about your recipient's own life and history. A scandalous love story may not be the right choice for someone recently divorced, likewise an overly abstract narrative may not provide the relaxing experience you wanted to give to a stressed parent or co-worker.
Here are ten great reads for all ages and personalities.
Status Anxiety – Alain de Botton Great for those with a philosophical bent, this book is an examination of the phenomena of status; its history, current pervasiveness, and why we feel we must cling to it.
The Slap - Christos Tsiolkas The Slap is relentlessly modern-Melbourne from the colloquial language to the searing pavement heat. It's a hefty volume but a good read for people who enjoy tales of family, relationships, and local life.
The Fry Chronicles – Stephen Fry (An Autobiography)
Rather than focus too ardently on his own reflection, Fry tells many stories of the people he encountered both during and after his study – many of them now very successful comedians, actors and writers. This book is a charming and witty account of his college life with these larger-than-life comrades.
In Great Spirits: The WWI Diary of Archie Barwick
This gripping book brings to life daily life as a WWI soldier in a way that no other media has done. Archie's diary recounts vividly not only the many front-line battles he survived, but the daily hardships and profound mateship of this time.