Gifts for Philosophers

Having a crisis over what to buy for the philosophy lover who overthinks everything? Don’t despair. We have dozens of expert interviews full of philosophy book recommendations, including our philosophy editor Nigel Warburton’s selection of the best philosophy books of 2019. The novice or aspiring philosopher can find out where to begin in philosophy by reading books from this list. If your dream is for your child to be a philosopher, we even have a list for that. You’ll find recommendations for the Stoic in your life, the loved one who dreams of being an existentialist or even that friend who’s opted for an Epicurean lifestyle. HOWEVER, failing all those, here’s our hand-picked selection of gift ideas for philosophers:

Gifts for the Classicist in your life

It might seem odd to take such an interest in the events of two or more millennia ago, but we love Classics at Five Books, and have a rich store of book recommendations, from Classics books for teenagers (including two novels) to the best grammar book if you want to actually learn Latin or Greek. You can find all our book recommendations here. One book we particularly recommend for anyone interested in delving into the literature of the period is Twelve Voices, by Maria Wyke and Five Books interviewee Chris Pelling. HOWEVER, if that doesn’t satisfy the Classicist in your life, here’s our selection of non-book gifts: all designed to take them back to that idyllic era when throwing people to the lions was a spectator sport and poisoning a shortcut to political power.

Gifts for Children Who Love To Read

What to get a child who loves to read? Ideally, books. We have many kids’ book recommendations on the site, which we hope you’ll browse to find the perfect book for your child to curl up with. But should they also be interested in a non-book gift, here are some suggestions that have worked for our under-14s.

Presents for the Mathematically Minded

As Five Books, we do our best to ensure that finding a gift for that special mathematician in your life is as easy as pi! In our view, books make the best presents, and to that end here’s our list of the best mathematics books of 2019. But what’s out there beyond books? Last year, we asked Professor Nick Higham (whose interview on applied mathematics has been VERY popular on our site), for some suggestions. His recommendation: stationery. As he writes in his blog, “There is a lot to be said for writing mathematics on paper, at least for early drafts.”

Presents for Keen Cooks to Use in the Kitchen

When people visit Five Books, it’s often to read about academic subjects like history, philosophy or science. But we also have an absolutely fantastic collection of cookbook recommendations, from Nigel Slater, Yotam Ottolenghi, Ruth Rogers, Ruth Reichl and even Mary Berry, to name just a few. We really have had some of the best-known food writers in the English-speaking world recommend books for us. BUT what to give to the enthusiastic cook in your life who insists on something other than a book? Our suggestions are below: