Dundurn Press Gift Guide - Dundurn
Nov 01, 2021

Dundurn Press Gift Guide

🎁So you don’t know what books to gift for the holidays — that’s okay, usually we don’t either! But something that always helps us spread the cheer of the season is thinking about WHO we’re shopping for, and what they mean to us. Those special qualities that make them who they are and what gives them the most joy.

Check out our best picks for all types of people below (along with some extra book recommedations), and make sure you use code GIFTSZN for 25% off sitewide!

🚨Don’t delay — shopping early to avoid shipping delays and the dreaded paper shortage will be a great gift for your own peace of mind.

The Liquor Vicar is definitely a laugh-out-loud extravaganza of rock music, legendary scenarios, and miracle working (kind of). When failed rock-star-turned-DJ Tony Vicar is believed to be a miracle worker, his launch to fame is quick. But of course, with fame, comes a whole lot of pressure. Bonus: we created a playlist to set the right vibe when reading!

🎄If you’re on the hunt for a book that the whole family can enjoy, we highly suggest Robert’s Hill (or The Time I Pooped My Snowsuit) and Other Christmas Stories for a fun night surrounded by good food and a fire.

Massey Hall is the perfect gift of nostalgia you can give to someone who loves music (or who misses attending live concerts). The only official book of Massey Hall on the market right now, it covers both emerging artists such as Shakura S’Aida and William Prince and musical giants from Herbie Hancock to the Tragically Hip. Pairing this full-colour book with tickets to a future Massey Hall concert will automatically have you labelled as the best gift giver. Hands down.

On the other hand, Modest Hopes: Homes and Stories of Toronto's Workers from the 1820s to the 1920s gives you a timeless look at Toronto homes that are still around to this day, and the people who built them. Essentially, this book is perfect for those who love watching HGTV but aren’t afraid of the fixer-upper type of properties. Pro-tip: gift this to someone who lives in Leslieville or Corktown.

Hockey 365, The Second Period gives you ALL the hockey history for your super fan friend. From the National Hockey League’s humble beginnings to the empty seats of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Mike Commito has gone back into the vault to bring you even more hockey history.

🎄Hockey not their thing? For soccer fans, Come On You Reds takes fans behind the scenes of TFC. If you’re looking for one of the most unforgettable days in Canadian baseball history, then Blue Monday is the book for you! For the football fans, we have a touching memoir where Jael Richardson discovers herself while uncovering her father’s legendary past in football in The Stone Thrower.

Are you in on a certain little secret? The second that question is popped, you know the happy couple (or at least one of them) will be in planning mode. Giving them The New Wedding Book to empower them to plan the wedding they want, along with some great tips on budgeting, questions you should ask, and more. And yes, we already have a Pinterest board set up for them too, as well as some easy ways to save on their wedding day here.

🎄No life-changing news? Not a problem! You don’t need to get married to have an extra-special holiday. Maybe you’re looking to upgrade the style of the man in your life? Ten Garments Every Man Should Own is your guide to how an item should fit. And if a new career is on the horizon for your special someone in 2022, How to Figure Out What to Do With Your Life (Next) is essential reading.

Seven Down is the perfect mix of literary and crime fiction that you didn’t know you needed until right this second. If you’re shopping for a fan of Anxious People by Fredrik Backman or The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, you my friend have just hit the jackpot. Seven moles, waiting for years for a single code word, a trigger that will send them into action in a violent event that will end their dull lives as they know them. Pro-tip: buy this for yourself as well and buddy read it with them!

The Devil’s Choir is an intense mystery full of ghosts from Victor Lessard’s past as he tries to solve a horrific murder-suicide that doesn’t add up. If you’re looking for a book for fans of Jo Nesbo, Kathy Reichs, or Louise Penny, this has to be high on your gifting list! 

🎄Women in crime will also do the trick for this person! Starr Sign features a former hit-woman, The Devil to Pay puts the spotlight on Inspector Green’s daughter, and Why the Rock Falls has an ex-cop put on the case!

The Son of the House, shortlisted for the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize, is great for someone especially looking for a book set internationally. This novel is told against four decades of vibrant Nigeria, where the resilience of women in a man’s world is at the forefront of this novel packed with drama. (Get some discussion questions for your next book club here).

The Rebellious Tide details Sebastian’s search for the father he never knew, taking him on a cruise ship, where Sebastian poses as a member of the crew. Searching for answers is never easy, and this particular ship is harbouring a dangerous secret…

Two White Queens and the One-Eyed Jack is an intriguing literary novel with a bit of romance mixed in. Two friends, a set of twins, and a story that spans decades is the perfect book for an afternoon reading by a fire. 

Even So brings us a beautiful novel that explores the necessity of loving difficult people. Angela Morrison has it all, but she’s grown bored with her life. While volunteering at a food bank, she meets Sister Eileen, who is dealing with her own struggles. When Angela causes a terrible tragedy, she feels like she can only turn to Eileen for help.

🎄If short stories are their thing, Home of the Floating Lily is the definition of “breathtaking” in the dictionary — we checked!

Yume is an epic fantasy about demons, dreams, and a young woman teaching English in Japan. It’s heavily rooted in Japanese mythology with a great mix of social issues addressed.

🎄For a more dystopian, post–climate change setting, The Doomsday Book of Fairy Tales features a dangerous quest for the search of a sister gone missing.

Persephone’s Children is a powerful creative memoir about Rowan’s odyssey as a Black, biracial woman escaping the stranglehold of domestic abuse. Motherhood, racism, intergenerational trauma, mental illness, and resiliency are all explored in this difficult but touching book on surviving.

Nothing Will Be Different is for Millennials who are transitioning into the next phase of their lives (the dreaded 30s). When Tara discovered a lump on her breast on her twenty-seventh birthday, it served as the catalyst for a journey of rigorous self-questioning, forcing her to learn to live before getting ready to die.

🎄For more inspirational books on mental health, Love or Die Trying and Brilliance is the Clothing I Wear are incredible picks. The Sadness of Geography is a true story on escaping a country riddled with war and finding a new home.

Sisters of the Wolf is an inspiring story of two Ice Age teens who are forced to learn to work together to make it back home to their families. Adventure, history, and girl power all wrapped up in one fun read!

Lost Shadow is also a story about friendship, but make it animal-friendly! Two urban coyote friends, Pica and Scruff, are struggling to find food. When Pica tries to steal bread off a truck, she ends up being trapped inside and taken far away. She’ll have to believe in herself in order to survive the journey back home.

🎄For a hilarious adventure, Body Swap is about a teen and a senior citizen who, well, swap bodies! The Jagged Circle is a hoof-pounding story of mystery and thrills.

🎁Alright, enough gift guide reading! Shop ’til you drop with 25% off sitewide when you use code GIFTSZN during checkout from now until December 10th. If you still need (bookish) gift ideas, join us on Twitter every Tuesday starting November 9th for personalized book recs!