If you are ever stuck for a gift for the person who has most things, needs nothing and likes a laugh, an amusing or entertaining book could be the answer.
Around this time of year, the booksellers are full of interesting little books that you would not necessarily buy for yourself but make pleasing presents. Imagine all the family sitting down after Christmas lunch and being tested with QI facts or being thrown questions from Brain of Britain or Only Connect.
The latest QI book from Faber and Faber, 1,423 QI Facts to Bowl You Over, was published in early October and is definitely one to put on the list. Did you know that the collective noun for ladybirds is a loveliness? Equally entertaining is Very British Problems by Rob Temple from Little, Brown Book Group and is the third volume of this insight into our national behaviour, awkward moments and cultural peculiarities. Example: Informing everyone you’ve met that you had to put the heating on last night.
Puzzles and Quizzes
Quiz books are also popular and guaranteed to cause friction at parties, especially as the person holding the book thinks they are far cleverer than anyone else. For general knowledge try Brain of Britain Ultimate Quiz Book from BBC radio 4. Published by Harper Collins; or more intriguing questions from Only Connect introduced by the inquisitor, Victoria Coren Mitchell. Dare you to introduce that into the post prandial seasonal torpor.
The Penguin Book of Puzzles is a glorious compendium of conundrums from riddles of the ancients to puzzles that perplex the greatest minds of today. This should keep the greatest intellects among your guests busy.
Quercus has brought out a series of little books perfect for unusual gifts that explain how to do some of the most challenging subjects, written by experts in their field. How To Understand E=mc², How to Play the Piano, How to Land a Plane, and How to Count to Infinity, these books are part of the Little Ways to Live a Big Life series and are each priced at £9.99. A small price to pay for such a huge amount of information and that may change your life!
Enid Blyton for Grown Ups
With the popularity of this author’s Famous Five books still perennial, and following on from the spoof books of last year, Quercus have added five additional titles. Written by Bruno Vincent these satirical stories bring us up to date with the challenges of modern life. Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy Get Gran Online, Get On the Property Ladder, Escape Brexit Island, Go Bump in the Night and go to The Office Christmas Party.
Priced at £7.99 each and looking similar to the originals, give this grown up childish gift which is jolly good fun.