Books·Holiday Gift Guide

The CBC Books 2018 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! 

For the sports fan

Retired Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Curtis Joseph, pictured above in 2009, has written a memoir about his life. (Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

They might likeCujo by Curtis Joseph with Kirstie McLellan Day

What it's about: Curtis Joseph grew up in an institution for mentally ill patients run by his adoptive parents and then went on to spend 19 seasons playing in the NHL as a goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. He delves into how his childhood paved the way for his hockey career in his new autobiography Cujo: The Untold Story of My Life On and Off the Ice. In this revealing memoir, Joseph talks about his highly unusual upbringing and what led him to put on his first pair of skates.

For the mystery lover

Louise Penny's latest mystery is Kingdom of the Blind. (Raincoast Books, Jean-Francois Berube)

They might like: Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny

What it's about: Armand Gamache, former head of the Sûreté du Québec, has a new mystery on his hands. An elderly woman he's never met before has named him one of the executors of her will and the contents are extremely strange, eventually leading to the shocking discovery of a dead body. Meanwhile, an internal investigation into the events that led to Armand's suspension is underway and deadly opioids threaten to hit the streets of Montreal. 

For the foodie

Jackie Kai Ellis is the founder of Vancouver’s Beaucoup Bakery and author of the memoir The Measure of My Powers. (Penguin Random House Canada/Samantha Lauren)

They might likeThe Measure of My Powers by Jackie Kai Ellis

What it's about: In her memoir, The Measure of My Powers, baker Jackie Kai Ellis writes about her struggles with mental health and describes her journey to self-acceptance. The book also weaves in recipes that represent important moments in her life.

For the music lover

Buffy Sainte-Marie is a biography of the acclaimed singer-songwriter by Andrea Warner. (

They might like: Buffy Sainte-Marie ​by Andrea Warner

What it's about: Music critic and CBC Music producer Andrea Warner drew from over 60 hours of interviews with iconic Cree singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie for this authorized biography. The book goes deep into Sainte-Marie's childhood and through her storied career as a groundbreaking artist and tireless Indigenous activist who won an Oscar and was blacklisted by two U.S. presidents. 

For the science fiction & fantasy fan

Eden Robinson's sequel to Son of a Trickster, Trickster Drift, is filled with wit, witches and magic. (Laughing Red Works, Knopf Canada)

They might like: Trickster Drift by Eden Robinson

What it's aboutTrickster Drift is the follow-up to Eden Robinson's 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize-shortlisted fantasy novel Son of A Trickster. Picking up where the first book left off, Jared has sworn off drugs and alcohol in an attempt to ward off all forms of magic. While being stalked by his witch mother's violent ex David, Jared moves from Kitimat, B.C. to Vancouver in an attempt to escape all things magical — but must learn to embrace his true nature to survive.

For the pop culture guru

Suzannah Showler is a Canadian poet and the author of Most Dramatic Ever. (ECW Press,

They might like: Most Dramatic Ever by Suzannah Showler

What it's about: Suzannah Showler digs into 16 years of The Bachelor/Bachelorette in Most Dramatic Ever, exploring how the reality show became a cultural phenomenon and a Monday night staple for millions of households. Rose by rose, Showler breaks down the game show/love story formula and draws out exactly what is so compelling about the version of romance the show sells.

For the comics collector

Ho Che Anderson is a comic book creator based in Toronto. (Fantagraphics)

They might likeGodhead by Ho Che Anderson

What it's about: This gritty sci-fi graphic novel by Toronto comic creator Ho Che Anderson envisions a world where a multinational corporation has invented technology that allows them to communicate directly with God. Godhead examines the repercussions of this technology from the interpersonal all the way up to its global, scientific and religious implications. 

For the comedian

Drew Hayden Taylor is the author of the play Sir John A. (

They might likeSir John A by Drew Hayden Taylor​

What it's about: In a fit of anger and revenge Bobby Rabbit convinces his friend Hugh to accompany him on a mission. The plan is to exhume the bones of Sir John A. Macdonald and hold them for ransom in hopes of retrieving a medicine pouch that was taken from his grandfather at a residential school decades earlier and is now on display in a museum in England. This satirical play by Drew Hayden Taylor is a humorous examination of colonialism and the idea of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. 


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.