13 Non-Fiction Book Gift Ideas for Christmas 2019
You know the person you’re buying for reads non-fiction – so you’ve decided to get them a book!
But where do you start? Firstly, see if you can sneak a peek at their book collection: pay attention to the genre and author if you can. If you have some time, write down a few titles.
If you want to be more direct, ask them what genres and authors they like. There’s no point in taking a wild guess and getting it wrong.
But if you have to, you need to know what you’re buying. We’re going to show you a collection of good non-fiction books to get for Christmas, by genre.
13 Top Non-Fiction Book Gift Ideas for Christmas 2019
Some people don’t want to escape into a world of fiction after Christmas; they want to achieve something: dieting, mindfulness, exercise. They mean business.
Then there are the history buffs, architecture enthusiasts and animal lovers. We’ve got them all covered:
1. Best Biography – Skint Estate: A Memoir of Poverty, Motherhood and Survival
A compelling account of life in Britain, which poses the question: how do you keep a roof over your head in 21st century Britain?
Summary: Cash Carraway is a single mother living in poverty; she’s considered a stain on society and has been moving around the system since she was sixteen. This is her story of the trials and tribulations she faced living below poverty line.
File Under: Resourceful, resilient yet sad perception-altering memoir.
Also Try: Homesick: Catrina Davies
2. Best LGBTQ Book – A Wild and Precious Life: A Memoir
The U.S. Government. You’d have to be pretty brave (or stupid!) to take them on. Fortunately, for Edie Windsor, it was the former.
Summary: This account tells of Windsor’s childhood, growing up as a lesbian and leading a double life, but the leading hook is how Windsor changed the face of American culture, and beat the U.S. government to improve the lives of millions of gay people.
File Under: Gutsy, inspiring yet tragic tale of fighting for what you believe in.
Also Try: Real Queer America – Samantha Allen
3. Best Vegan Book – The Buddhist Chef: 100 Simple, Feel-Good Vegan Recipes
More people are choosing to avoid animal products and overhaul their diet to one that’s healthier and more sustainable… And all of those people need to learn how to cook vegan food! If you know someone that’s going vegan in the New Year, this book is ideal.
Summary: The book contains 100 recipes from practising Buddhist Jean-Phillipe Cyr, which he’s transferred from his popular YouTube channel. Inspired by cuisines from all around the world, his book contains recipes such as maple baked beans and beef carpaccio.
File Under: Experimental vegan cuisine.
4. Best Fitness Book – The Fitness Mindset
Know someone who keeps saying they want to burn off their Christmas calories? Exercise is a vital part of that, and you could help them get off to a great start by gifting them this fitness book.
Summary: The concept of the book is simple: do you want to get the body you’ve always wanted? A massive boost of energy? And the mindset to keep it? Most of the positive reviews mention the fluidity of the book, the simplicity and its focus on mental awareness.
File Under: Easy-to-digest blend of science and common sense.
5. Best Mindfulness Book – Meditation for Fidgety Sceptics
The popularity of meditation keeps growing, but some of us are still scared of it. We live hectic lives, and it pays to slow down and appreciate the present. If you know someone who could do with a bit of relaxation in their life, this book is ideal.
Summary: This book aims to teach people who don’t believe in meditation to believe it. As a former sceptic, Dan Harris connects with the reader on a shared belief. He debunks the myth with humour and cynicism, which will leave you wanting to buy some yoga pants and stare into space.
File Under: Practical, humorous guide for meditation sceptics.
6. Best American History Book – The Cigarette: A Political History
Cigarettes are a bit of a taboo, with only 12% of the UK population being regular smokers, times were different though.
Summary: Sarah Milov reminds us of those times in this book about cigarettes in American history. She shows us how the American government were more concerned with pleasing tobacco companies than improving the health of their citizens. She offers tremendous academic theory and insightful detail in the process.
File Under: Consumer-rights focused rise and fall.
7. Best World History Book – The Thirty-Year Genocide: Turkey’s Destruction of Its Christian Minorities
If your giftee likes nothing more than diving straight into some world history, this could be the book for them.
Summary: From the late 1800s to the late 1920s, Armenian, Greek and Assyrian Christians were the victims of a mass genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. While the events are usually split into three and authors have tackled each event separately, this book explains them in one. The book is well researched and contains accounts from several different nations.
File Under: Systematic breakdown of Turkey’s crimes against humanity.
8. Best UK History Book – The Five: The Untold Live of the Women Killed By Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper, one of the most famous serial killers in 1800s Britain, who is still talked about today thanks to TV series like Whitechapel and a general fascination with the man who barbarically killed prostitutes.
Summary: The books that talk about The Ripper’s crimes are usually about him. This book spins the tale around and focuses on his female victims. The book has been praised for its depth of research and its ability to make the victims human. It also represses some of the myths surrounding the story, such as all of the women being prostitutes when they weren’t.
File Under: Angry yet crucial historical detection.
9. Best Homemaker Book – Mrs Hinch: The Activity Journal
Cleaning. Some people love it – and you must know someone of that ilk. Presuming you do, this book is a perfect Christmas gift.
Summary: Hinch Yourself Happy was a bestseller, so this book had a lot to live up to. This book takes a different approach – it contains relaxation, goal-setting and reflection activities that’s more like an interactive journal than a book, so if the person you’re buying for isn’t much of a reader, this could work for them.
File Under: Happy home = happy mind activity book.
Also Try: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying
10. Best Music Book – Acid for the Children
Michael Peter Balzary, or Flea from Red Hot Chilli Peppers as he’s better known, shares his story in Acid for the Children.
Summary: This book chronicles flea’s journey to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and ends there. We learn about his life as his parents separate and his mum marries a maverick jazz musician. He moves to L.A. and tells us about the skirmishes he got in wandering the city streets, but it’s his relationship with Anthony Kiedis that takes centre stage in this book, showing the magnetism between the two rock stars.
File Under: Coming-of-age rock bromance.
Also Try: Scar Tissue
11. Best Philosophy Book – A Theory of Jerks & Other Philosophical Misadventures
Know someone that always asks why? Always want to delve into the subject matter of every object or theory known to man? Try this book, they’ll love it.
Summary: Have you ever wondered what a jerk is? Do you wonder if your driverless car should kill you to save others? Does anyone consider the ethics of professional ethicists? This book contains over 50 short stories aiming to answer obscure topics.
File Under: Tongue-in-cheek with a scientific edge.
Also Try: Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar…
12. Best Photography Book – On the Street: Five Decades of Iconic Photography
Some people prefer pictures, that’s a fact. So if you can’t buy someone a text-heavy book, try something picture-heavy. Everyone can appreciate a well-taken picture.
Summary: Fashion doesn’t just exist on the runway, and Bill Cunningham knows this. It’s a visual diary of Bill’s travels around New York and is an ode to everyone getting dressed in their statement gear and roaming around the city. Anyone with interest in fashion or photography will love this book.
File Under: A love letter to New York City.
13. The Best Environmental Book – Choked
Pollution is something we ignore because we can’t see it; the invisible often goes unnoticed. But pollution kills millions of people every year, and this book explores how and why.
Summary: Beth Gardiner travels to India, China, the US, Malawi, Poland and Germany, and meets some of those suffering from air pollution’s effects. She speaks to researchers, regulators and campaigners. It’s a powerful account and brings pollution into the spotlight.
File Under: Global pollution enquiry.
Also Try: Clearing the Air
Get Them the Book They Want This Christmas
Using this book gift ideas list, you’ll be able to pick up a book that’ll blow someone’s Christmas socks off. However, if we’ve missed any, please let us know, and we’ll add more non-fiction genres into this post.
Further Reading: 4 Best Christmas Books for Babies & Toddlers