Books for Christmas Part 8: Inspiration and Laughter - humour and gift books

"I need a gift for someone who doesn't read". It's actually a really common question at this time of the year, because if you are a book lover, you want to give a book - but what if that person doesn't read a lot? How about a book of spectacular photographs, a quiz book or ideas to inspire parents?

So here are our picks for what we like to call 'humour and gift books' - short or smart, gorgeous or funny, these are books they can dip into when they want - for everyone to enjoy!

50 Years of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year - Rosamund Kidman Cox - £35.00
This special collection is a celebration of fifty years of the world-famous Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and of wildlife photography itself. Featuring many of the greatest nature photographs of all time, it charts the development of nature photography, from the first hand-held cameras and the colour film revolution of the 1960s, to the increasingly sophisticated photographs of wild animals and unexplored places that are taken today. An incredible variety of styles, skills and approaches are on show, reflecting the great advances in technology and the many and varied ways of viewing and interpreting the natural world.

Lonely Planet the World: A Traveller's Guide to the Planet - Lonely Planet - £22.99
The ultimate travel guide to Earth. This user-friendly A-Z gives a flavour of each country in the world, including a map, travel highlights, info on where to go and how to get around, as well as some quirkier details to bring each place to life.

Dive: The World's Best Diving Destinations - Lawson Wood - £16.99
Want to know where you can swim with turtles? The best time of year to dive with sharks in the Bahamas? Well, you can find out here. Packed with stunning pictures of marine life and ancient wrecks, insightful information about local geography and first-hand advice on unmissable dive locations, Dive fully describes over 250 sites spanning the globe - from Maria La Gorda in Cuba, to the atolls of French Polynesia.

Great British Walks: Short Walks in Beautiful Places - Jilly Macleod - £12.99
From Stonehenge to Sutton Hoo, from spooks in East England to shipwrecks in Cornwall, and from mountains to the best British beaches, this is an inspirational guide to get you outdoors and exploring the glories of the English landscape.

The Dress: 100 Ideas that Changed Fashion Forever - Marnie Fogg - £30.00
Through 100 groundbreaking dresses author and fashion historian Marnie Fogg tells the story of 'The Dress', from beaded and bias-cut to frou-frou to corseted, Chanel to Yves Saint Laurent, laced to bustled. Each dress tells a fashion story through anecdotes and analysis, with historic and cross-cultural references, beautiful imagery, and immaculate referencing.

Good Ideas: How to be Your Child's (and Your Own) Best Teacher - Michael Rosen - £16.99
Learning should be much more fun and former children's laureate, million-selling author, broadcaster, father of five and all-round national treasure, Michael Rosen wants to show you how. Forget lists, passing tests and ticking boxes, the world outside the classroom can't be contained within the limits of any kind of curriculum - and it's all the better for it. Long car journeys, poems about farting, cake baking, even shouting at the TV can teach lessons that will last a lifetime. Packed with tips, stories and games this is both inspirational and reassuring for parents who need confidence in the face of league tables, baffling technology and homework meltdowns.

I Don't Believe it! Outraged Letters from Middle England - Nigel Cawthorne - £9.99
A little book of the art of Britain's favourite pastime, grumbling. This new collection boasts the best and most amusing letters of British grouses and shows us why it is so much fun for us to complain about, well, just about everything...

Thinking About it Only Makes it Worse: And Other Lessons from Modern Life - David Mitchell - £18.99
After his recent visit to Abingdon, this is of course one of our top recommends of the year. David's collected and curated columns from six years of writing for the Guardian and Observer take many of the baffling, maddening and just plain wrong aspects of modern life. In David's hands, nobody is safe from his scrutiny as he ponders the lessons that can be learned from bankers, UKIP, Madame Tussauds and Ryanair amongst many other things. By turns  

Would they Lie To You? - Robert S. Hutton - £9.99
How do you apologise when you're not sorry? Where can you make a fortune out of pretending to know the future? What's the best way to steal credit and avoid blame? These are the vital life skills that people need if they're going to make their way in the world. And they all involve one ingredient: flannel, the art of not saying what you mean. It's not exactly lying, but it's definitely not telling the truth.

The Very Pointless Quiz Book - Alexander Armstrong & Richard Osman - £14.99
A collection of 100 of the finest Pointless questions from the hugely popular ratings-winning TV show Pointless - described as "the greatest show in the history of television" by none other than Stephen Fry! Let hosts Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman guide you through the rounds with their trademark warmth and humour and battle it out against your friends and family for Pointless glory. 

Brick Flicks - Warren Elsmore - £10.00
From Ghostbusters to The Godfather, and Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz to Norman Bates in Psycho, here is a collection of the most iconic film moments and characters of all time...expertly built from LEGO! The full-colour illustrations are accompanied by commentary on how they were made and interesting facts about the movies themselves. There are also instructions on how to replicate many of the scenes at home from your own LEGO collection!

(And if you are still looking for inspiration, take a look at our 'books throughout the year' gifts!)

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