Advised by Waterstones on gifts, Tim Hughes delights in Del Boy and wallows in Walliams

We all know books make great gifts but choosing one can be tough at the festive season.

So how do you ensure your selection of reading material is greeted with delight by the bookworm in your life and not by a fake smile and a trip to the charity shop.

We have teamed up with Waterstones, Oxford, to help you make the perfect choice – ensuring you pick a page-turner – and not just another Christmas turkey.

Best for Grandad
An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
Hutchinson £18.99

A compelling recreation of the Dreyfus Affair – one of the most famous miscarriages of justice in history – from master storyteller Robert Harris. This historical thriller set in France resonates with our modern world: an intelligence agency gone rogue, justice corrupted for national security, a newspaper witch-hunt, and the age-old instinct of those in power to cover-up their crimes. A gripping and absorbing read.

Best for Grandma
David Jason: My Life
Century £20

This is the long-awaited autobiography of one of Britain’s most-loved actors. Born the son of a market porter during the Second World War, Jason’s early life was spent dodging bombs and bullies. Giving up as an electrician, he turned to acting and, through a talent for making people laugh, worked with the leading lights of British comedy in the 1960s and 70s: Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Bob Monkhouse and Ronnie Barker. It wasn’t until 1981, kitted out with a sheepskin jacket, a flat cap, and a clapped-out car, that he found the part to capture the nation’s hearts: the beloved Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter in Only Fools and Horses. He had an award-winning spell as TV detective Jack Frost, took a country jaunt as Pop Larkin in The Darling Buds of May, and voiced a crime-fighting cartoon rodent in Danger Mouse. His is a touching, funny and warm-hearted story, which charts his five decades at the top.

Best for Mum
Bonkers by Jennifer Saunders
Viking £20

Jennifer Saunders’ brilliant comic creations have brought joy to millions for three decades. From Comic Strip to Comic Relief, from Bolly-swilling Edina in Absolutely Fabulous to Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia, her characters are household names. But it’s Jennifer herself who has a place in all our hearts. This is her funny, touching and honest memoir, filled with stories of friends, laughter and occasional heartache – but never misery. From her childhood on RAF bases, to her encounter with a young Dawn French, on to success and family, the book charts her story, including the slip ups and battles along the way. Prepare to chuckle, cry, and whoop with delight.

Best for Dad
How Did All This Happen? By John Bishop
Harpercollins £20

This is the story of how a boy who, growing up on a council estate dreaming of ousting Kenny Dalglish from Liverpool FC’s starting line-up, suddenly found himself on stage in front of thousands. Bishop guides us through his life from leaving the estate and travelling the globe on a shoestring, to marriage, kids and the split that led him to being on a stage complaining to strangers – the night that started his journey to stardom. Entertaining and packed with colourful reminiscences and comical anecdotes, this is a heart-warming, life-affirming and funny memoir from one of the nation’s greatest comedians.

Best for Uncle
Solo by William Boyd
Jonathan Cape £18.99

A brand new James Bond adventure written by one of our finest novelists William Boyd (Any Human Heart and Reckless). Solo is a stylish novel featuring 007 at 45. Bond’s new mission takes an unexpected turn while in Africa, forcing him to go ‘solo’. Boyd returns to classic, literary Bond: Bond the human being, not Bond the superagent. While there are cocktails, cars and women, Boyd reveals the man behind the icon from his quirks and flaws, to his sartorial taste.

Best for Aunty
Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy by Helen Fielding
Jonathan Cape £18.99

When Helen Fielding first wrote Bridget Jones' Diary, charting the life of a 30-something singleton in London in the 1990s, she introduced readers to one of the most popular characters in modern literature. Now she introduces us to a new phase of Bridget’s life set in today’s London, including the challenges of maintaining sex appeal as the years roll by and the nightmare of drunken texting, the disastrous email cc, and TVs that need 90 buttons and three remotes to simply turn on. An uproariously funny novel of modern life, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is the triumphant return of our favourite Everywoman.

Best for teenage daughter
One Direction Where We Are by One Direction
Harpercollins £18.99

This book charts the journey of pop icons One Direction over the last year and a half – from the places they have visited and fans they’ve met, to their thoughts and feelings. They’ve won awards. They’ve had a bigger US debut than the Beatles. They’ve sold out venues across the globe. In Where We Are, the boys offer you a chance to find out about their story, straight from the heart and in their own words. Packed with beautiful photos, backstage snapshots and hand-written annotations, Where We Are is a unique book.

Best for teenage son
Russian Roulette by Anthony Horowitz
Walker £14.99

This deadly prequel to the bestselling Alex Rider series sees the teen spy being hunted by an international contract killer. The hitman’s name is Yassen Gregorovich and the two of them share a secret from the past. As he considers his next mission, Yassen remembers the forces that turned him from a schoolboy into a assassin. What is it that makes someone choose to do evil? Perfect for Alex Rider fans and action story readers.

Best for young daughter
The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star
Puffin £9.99

One of our best loved children’s characters The Worst Witch is back in an exciting and funny adventure. Mildred, notoriously the worst witch at Miss Cackle’s Academy, makes a wish on a shooting star – and it comes true. But it also spells trouble. Mildred’s wish is a small dog but she has to keep him a secret from her friends, especially the formidable Miss Hardbroom. This book is a thoroughly enjoyable read, fantastic fun and a brilliant gift for young bookworms.

Best for young son
The Demon Dentist by David Walliams
Harpercollins £12.99

Book your appointment with the dentist – don’t worry. It won’t hurt a bit. Demon Dentist is a jaw-achingly funny and teeth-chatteringly thrilling tale about an evil dentist who has an over-the-top devotion to tooth extractions. From Walliams the comedian and the author of Gangsta Granny.

All books are available from Waterstones, Broad St, Oxford OX1 3AF. 01865 790212 Open Mon-Sat 9am-7pm, Sun Sunday 11am-5pm. Also available online at