Books·Holiday Gift Guide

The CBC Books 2017 holiday gift guide

Looking for the perfect present this holiday season? We've got you covered!

Looking for the perfect present this holiday season? We've got you covered! 

Sports Fans

Ken Dryden speaks at the "We Can Do Better" Governor General's Conference on Concussions in Sport in 2016. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press/Signal)

They might like: Game Change by Ken Dryden

What it's about: NHL Hall of Famer Ken Dryden investigates the serious consequences of concussions in hockey. The book tells the tragic story of enforcer Steve Montador, a former defenceman who played for the Calgary Flames and the Boston Bruins. Montador died in 2015, when he was 35 years old, and arranged to have his brain sent for examination to see if he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) from his time as a professional hockey player.

Want more sports? 8 books for the sports fan in your life

Mystery lover

Rebecca Rosenblum is the author of So Much Love. (McClelland & Stewart/Mark Raynes Roberts)

They might like: So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

What it's about: The theme of trauma is a driving force in this novel by Rebecca Rosenblum. Catherine Reindeer is abducted from the parking lot of the restaurant where she works as a waitress. After eight gruelling months in captivity, Reindeer returns to a life that is not her own, with traumatic memories that have damaged her beyond recognition.

Want more mysteries? 10 books for those mad for mysteries on your list

Political pundit

Ta-Nehisi Coates finds a resemblance between the history of the Southern United States and 21st-century politics. (Nina Subin/Penguin Random House)

They might like: We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates

​​What is it about: Ta-Nehisi Coates worries the present treads too closely to the past. In this collection of essays, he scrutinizes the parallels between the history of white supremacy in American history and the transition from the Obama to the Trump administration, considering the political movements this change engendered. 

Want more politics? 10 books for the political pundit on your list

History buff

Alison Watt is a Vancouver-based painter and author of Dazzle Patterns. (Freehand Books)

They might like: Dazzle Patterns by Alison Watt

​What it's about: Dec. 6, 2017 marked 100 years since the Halifax Explosion. British Columbia-based author, teacher and poet Alison Watt's first novel, Dazzle Patterns, is a fictionalized account of a year in the life of three young people in a love triangle trying to deal with life in the aftermath of the explosion.

Want more history? 11 books for the history buff on your list


Jan Wong is the author of the memoir Apron Strings. (Kelly Baker)

They might like: Apron Strings by Jan Wong

What it's about: In Apron Strings, Jan Wong and her son Sam embark on a tour of homecooking in France, Italy and China. While learning to cook dishes like spaghetti carbonara and scallion pancakes, Wong comes to terms with her son's growing independence and explores the unique bond between mother and son. 

Want more food? 8 books for the foodie on your list

Music lover

Reckless Daughter, written by music critic David Yaffe, is a biography of folk icon Joni Mitchell. (Nick Procaylo/Canadian Press)

They might like: Reckless Daughter by David Yaffe

What it's about: Joni Mitchell is considered one of the most distinctive voices in Canadian music. Rolling Stone called her "one of the greatest songwriters ever." Music critic and professor David Yaffe spent nearly 10 years interviewing Joni Mitchell, along with more than 60 people who knew her to produce this definitive biography.

Want more music? 10 books for the music lover on your list

Lover of laughter

Theft by Finding collects David Sedaris' diary entries from 1977 to 2002. (Ingrid Christie)

They might like: Theft by Finding by David Sedaris

What it's about: For fans of David Sedaris, whose bestselling collections include Me Talk Pretty One Day and Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls, his latest book is akin to a treasure trove. Theft by Finding is the first of two volumes that collects Sedaris' diary entries from 1977 to 2002, which range from a two-line poop joke overheard in Raleigh to a few paragraphs about being a department store elf.

Want more laughter? 11 books for the ones who love to laugh on your holiday shopping list

Science fiction & fantasy fan

Author Author N.K. Jemisin won the sci-fi Hugo Prize for the second year running for her novel The Obelisk. (Laura Hanifin)

They might like: The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

What it's about: N.K. Jemisin is a bestselling author and a sci-fi and fantasy reviewer for the New York Times. Her latest book, The Stone Sky, is the final novel in her award-winning The Broken Earth trilogy about Earth's wrath and the chosen few who can change the fate of this post-apocalyptic scenario. 

Want more science fiction and fantasy? 10 books for the science fiction and fantasy fan on your list

Science & nature enthusiast

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson breaks down the universe's big questions into accessible bursts. (Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

They might like: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

What it's about: Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and head of New York's famous Hayden Planetarium, takes on the universe's big questions and turns them into digestible, witty essays for the everyday person. Some questions include: What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe?

Want more science and nature? 12 books for the science and nature enthusiast on your list

Pop culture

Lilly Singh is a Toronto-born YouTube personality, vlogger, comedian, author, and actress. (Doubleday/Wikimedia Commons)

They might like: How to be a Bawse by Lilly Singh

What it's about: Lilly Singh isn't just a superstar. She's Superwoman — her very popular YouTube channel alter ego. How to be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life is exactly what it sounds like. It's an inspiration memoir as she reflects on her personal journey to superstardom and shares lessons she has learned on the way.