For the one thinks Claudio Gatti just may be the IRL Nino Sarratore
Frantumaglia by Elena Ferrante
Pointing to this impressive volume, tell them the only “true identity” of Elena Ferrante is the one right between these covers. Listen and comfort while they fume about respect and ethical journalism.
For the cool dad
The Beach at Night by Elena Ferrante
Make them feel edgy and European by giving them a kids picturebook with the word “shit” in it; laugh when their toddler inevitably picks it as their favourite bit of the story.
For the new mum with an enviable eye for design
Elephant on the Moon by Mikołaj Pasiński and Gosia Herba
Develop their youngun’s sense of style and stargazing with this beautiful, strange picturebook that uses a limited palette to tell a boundless story of space and discovery.
For the one who was a member of The Brutalism Appreciation Society way before it kicked off
Brutal London by Simon Phipps
Confirm their excellent taste and make them fall in love with London’s best-looking concrete blocks all over again with this stonker of a hardback. Bonus points if you take them on a wintery walk around town using the book’s borough-by-borough map.
For your favourite ginge
Red Hot II by Thomas Knights
Proceeds from the sale of this book – and of lots of other Red Hot merch including a GINGER DOG CALENDAR! – go to a brilliant anti-bullying campaign run by The Diana Awards. Featuring arty shots of the world’s most beautiful red-headed men and women, this is also the perfect present for that friend with a thing for ginge.
For the one who saw Civil War but hasn’t landed on a starter comics series
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze
Black Panther is arguably the coolest cat in Civil War and this new series written by MacArthur Genius and Between the World and Me author Ta-Nehisi Coates is a perfect entry point into Marvel comics for anyone familiar with the Cinematic Universe. Look out for famous feminist essayist and novelist Roxane Gay’s sister series World of Wakanda, the first volume of which should be out next summer.
For the stocking fillers
We Go to the Gallery, We Learn at Home, and We Learn at Home by Miriam Elia and Ezra Elia
At £7.99 each for a book full of original artworks, these biting satires of the modern condition make for perfect secret santas or extra little somethings. Delivering searing hot takes on the art world, dippy ideas about “emotional education,” and consumerism respectively, these slim parodies will have your recipient bent over laughing.
For the crime fiction fan
Dodgers by Bill Beverly
Dodgers was easily our buzziest crime book of the year, wining huge praise on both sides of the Atlantic and eventually two CWA Daggers, including the Goldsboro Gold for Best Crime Novel of the Year. It’s also been compared to The Wire, if you need any more convincing.
For the one who wants to read Ulysses
Jerusalem by Alan Moore
Coming in at over 600,000 words long and amongst the top ten largest novels in the English language, Jerusalem is not for the faint-hearted. The Watchmen writer’s magnum opus has one of the best taglines going: “an opulent mythology for those without a pot to piss in.”
For the granny whose style game is stronger than yours
Advanced Style: Older and Wiser by Ari Seth Cohen and Simon Donnan
Senior street style is – and there is no debating this – the very best street style. This followup edition to the bestselling original Advanced Style now includes men as well as women. Pay your respects by gifting this to your elders.
For the one who’s not letting up on the election longreads
Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild
Among the most “WTF” moments of the year were Brexit and the election of Trump in the US. This is one for those seeking to understand why it happened. A finalist for America’s top literary prize, the National Book Award, Strangers in their Own Land explores deep political divides and asks the question: how does the world look from the heart of the right?
For the adventurous thrill-seekers
Gold Rush by Jim Richards
And you thought gold rushes were très 1800s… This is the story of former paratrooper Jim Richards who joined a modern-day gold rush with no language skills, no money and no idea. The isolation, disease, equipment disasters and violent criminals came with the territory; but when he struck gold and diamonds diving in the piranha-infested rivers of Guyana, his problems really began.
For the activist striving to make the world a better place
From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Around the world, American police killings of black citizens continue to make headlines. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s searching examination of the social, political and economic dimensions of the prevailing racial order offers important context for understanding the necessity of the emerging movement for black liberation.
For the maths genius who finds Sudoku way too easy
The Case of Alan Turing by Eric Liberge, David Homel & Arnaud Delalande
Alan Turing, subject of the Oscar-winning 2014 film The Imitation Game, was the brilliant mathematician who cracked German codes during WWII – helping the Allies to win the war. Sadly, however, Turing’s homosexuality led to his persecution by the UK authorities, eventually leading to his suicide. With Turing being formally pardoned in 2016, now is the perfect time to better understand his story – this is the first ever graphic novel biography of this heroic genius.
For the city kids who need to get outside more
A Visit to the City Farm by Verna Wilkins & Karin Littlewood
Written by Verna Wilkins along with students from Chalkhill Primary School in Wembley, this lovely, illustrated KS1 title is about a fun day out at a real London city farm near Canary Wharf. It showcases the diversity of the modern classroom while introducing farming and animals to young readers.
For the starving artist
The Artist by Anna Haifisch
Absurdly funny, this nihilistic lampoon of the art world has been on our minds all year. Packaged all together in a lush, section-sewn hardcover binding, The Artist is a shining example of what beautifully-produced comics should be.
For the emotional chef
Comfort Eating With Nick Cave & Defensive Eating With Morrissey by Joshua Ploeg & Automne Zingg
Our favourite emotional rockers adorn the pages of these witty vegan cookbooks. Each features 100+ delicious, filling, poetic recipes that will fill hungry tummies and impress even the pickiest of eaters.