This year I’m avoiding the festive-season shopping chaos and buying everyone a book and a pig (or maybe an orangutan).
Here’s what my Christmas list looks like. (Look away now if you’re hoping for a present from me.)
For my Teen Son: Legacy by Tim Cahill
Blurb: The story of one of the most admired Australian sportsmen, international football star Tim Cahill. With his trademark honesty and directness, Tim reflects on what it takes to make it to the top – the sacrifices, the physical cost, the mental stamina, the uncompromising self-belief and self-determination, the ruthlessness, but also the decency, the integrity, and the generosity. An autobiography that is more than a record of the goals and the games, Tim Cahill’s story is a universal reminder of the importance of making your moment count.
For my other Teen Son: Rich and Rare, edited by Paul Collins
Blurb: A collection of stories and artwork from Australia’s best loved writers and illustrators. With pieces by Shaun Tan, Leigh Hobbs, James Roy, Justin D’Ath, Kirsty Murray, Simon Higgins, Gary Crew, Scot Gardner, there’s something for everyone.
For my Hubbie: A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James
Blurb: A Brief History of Seven Killings chronicles the lives of a host of unforgettable characters – slum kids, one-night stands, drug lords, girlfriends, gunmen, journalists, and even the CIA. Gripping and inventive, ambitious and mesmerising, A Brief History of Seven Killings is one of the most remarkable and extraordinary novels of the twenty-first century.
For my Dad: Napoleon’s Last Island by Tom Keneally
Blurb: Betsy Balcombe as a young woman lived with her family on St Helena. They befriended, served and were ruined by their relationship with Napoleon. To redeem the family’s fortunes William Balcombe, Betsy’s father, betrays Napoleon and accepts a job as the colonial treasurer of NSW, but William never recovers from the ups and downs of association with Napoleon. Tom Keneally, with his gift for bringing historical stories to life, shares this remarkable friendship and the beginning of an Australian dynasty.
For my Mum: The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
Blurb: A unique and vivid novel that retells the story of King David’s extraordinary rise to power and fall from grace. With stunning originality, acclaimed author Geraldine Brooks offers us a compelling portrait of a morally complex hero from this strange age – part legend, part history. Full of drama and richly drawn detail, The Secret Chord is a vivid story of faith, family, desire and power that brings David magnificently alive.
For my God-daughter: The Red Queen, by Isobelle Carmody
Blurb: The time has come at last for Elspeth Gordie to leave the Land on her quest to find and stop the computermachine Sentinel from unleashing the deadly Balance of Terror arsenal. But before she can embark on her quest, she must find a lost key; and although she has long prepared for this day, nothing is as she imagined. This is the final, dramatic volume in series of books that undoubtedly shines as one of the most fantastic, and fantastical, tapestries ever woven.
For my Nephew: Two Wolves, by Tristan Bancks
Blurb: One afternoon, police officers show up at Ben Silver’s front door. Minutes after they leave, his parents arrive home. Ben and his little sister Olive are bundled into the car and told they’re going on a holiday. But are they? It doesn’t take long for Ben to realise that his parents are in trouble. Ben’s always dreamt of becoming a detective – his dad even calls him ‘Cop’. Now Ben gathers evidence and tries to uncover what his parents have done. The problem is, if he figures it out, what does he do? Tell someone? Or keep the secret and live life on the run?
For my Niece: The Call of the Wild – Choose Your Own Ever After, by Julie Fison (a very good read, even if I do say so myself)
Blurb: Phoebe Wright and her besties, Annabel and Kimmi have been invited to the coolest party of the year! But when Phoebe realises it’s on the same night as her Wild Club’s movie-night fundraiser, she’s totally torn about what to do. In this pick-a-path story, the reader gets to decide how the story goes.
And for me: (thank you for asking) I’m hoping for my friend Sherryl Caulfield’s third and final instalment in The Iceberg Trilogy – Come Full Circle.
Blurb: The story of three generations of Canadian women, each feisty in their own way, and their hopes, dreams and awakenings. It starts in 1995 when Rebecca, first introduced in Seldom Come By, is approaching 96, Gene, her daughter, is in her 62nd year and Lindsay, her granddaughter, will celebrate her 33rd birthday in Sydney.
For everyone: World Vision has an inspiring range of gift ideas for families in the developing world – including pigs, goats and llamas.
Adopt an Orangutans for Christmas to help preserve this unique and endangered species. Check out Save the Orangutan for details.
When Georgia meets Nik on her family summer holiday, she’s sure he’s too good to be true. He’s gorgeous, with god-like abs and an adorable English accent. Then Georgia discovers that he’s actually a member of an obscenely wealthy Russian family, and he wants to get to know her better. Nik catapults Georgia into a world of private yachts, fast cars and expensive jewellery. Having a billionaire for a boyfriend certainly comes with benefits, but it also comes with a price. How long will it take before life in the fast lane spins out of control?
Holidays are normally fun – right? But when Jack Wilde, his brother Ben and their friends Lachlan and Mimi visit Hazard River nothing is normal. The gang comes up agaist rogue fishermen, smugglers and dodgy developers as they explore the River. How will they survive the summer?