It seemed a few years ago that the digital revolution might have ended the custom of buying books as gifts at Christmas time. However, the paper book is on the rise again, with last year’s Christmas sales being the strongest in a decade.
Books are wonderful gifts, especially if you can match a great book with the interests of the recipient. Between now and Christmas, you’ll see mountains of books in the bookstores, with the big titles in sport, comedy, wellbeing and cooking battling it out for the #1 spot.
You might have to navigate past the big displays at the door to find some more fascinating titles that will excite the more discerning reader, and here are four suggestions for gifts that will delight your family, friends or colleagues (or best of all, yourself!) this year.
If you care about performance in sport or in the world of work, then this is the book for you. Capturing the latest science in an accessible, and more importantly, an actionable way, ‘Peak Performance’ will have you lacing up the runners before the mince pies are all eaten. Building on their fundamental equation of Growth = Stress + Recovery, the authors blend fascinating stories with recent research findings to compile a tidy list of ‘how-to’s for the active individual.
This is a gem of a book about the power of memorable experiences. Following a successful formula already used to much acclaim by the Heath brothers in producing titles such as ‘Made To Stick’, ‘Decisive’ and ‘Switch’, this easy-to-read book matches storytelling with specific advice. Those who deal with customers, or who design any form of experience, will find this book useful and are sure to be delighting (or annoying!) their colleagues with great ideas in January.
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg’s world threatened to collapse around her when her husband died suddenly. She reached out to her friend Adam Grant, an acclaimed psychologist and author, and their conversations began the process that produced the captivating book, ‘Option B’. This is about loss, and grief, and adversity. But it’s also about hope, and help, and resilience. Recommended for anyone who has suffered a loss or trauma in recent times, as well as for those who live or work with them.
Every now and again, you read a book that shakes many of your previously held beliefs. Yuval Noah Harari has written two such books, this being the sequel to the widely-read ‘Sapiens’ (get it if you haven’t already!). Harari, a historian, extrapolates his theories of human development into the future and explores human domination, artificial intelligence and a world beyond our consciousness. Endlessly fascinating.
So, impress your friends, or even yourself, by buying a thought-provoking book this Christmas. It’s still not too late to write to Santa Claus either!