All posts by Team Booko

Fostering adult literacy

Can you imagine not being able to help your child with their homework?  For many people in our society, reading their mail or filling out a form is a seemingly impossible task.

14% of adults (one in seven) in our community have low levels of literacy, according to the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) survey.  Many of the tasks you might take for granted like reading medicine labels, writing lists, interpreting maps, reading instruction manuals and other things that we encounter in our lives are a challenge.

If you know of a family member, friend or neighbour that could benefit from assistance, there’s a multitude of resources that can help improve their proficiency (as you might imagine).  Here are some of them:

Adult migrant English program

Eligible adult migrants and humanitarian entrants to Australia can access up to 510 hours of free English lessons.

Literacy Net

Part of the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, this site provides a range of adult literacy resources, training material and Professional Development resources for industry trainers/assessors.

National Literacy and Numeracy Week 

This occurs from 29 August – 4 September and celebrates the progress Australian schools are making in raising the literacy and numeracy levels of students.

Skills for Education and Employment 

This site provides language, literacy and numeracy training to help people improve their speaking, reading, writing or basic maths skills. The program aims to improve chances of getting and keeping a job, as well as making everyday life easier.

Bringing attention to literacy challenges is quite often met with shame and embarrassment.  What’s important to bear in mind is that people who acquire literacy skills later in life are adults; they think like adults and require resources and support tailored to them specifically.  We’ve sourced a range of resources suited to adults learning to read and write, here are some of them:

Yes We can Read by Libby Coleman

Gatehouse Books is a great source of literacy support books.  ‘Yes we can read’ is a fantastic ‘go-to’ book because it guides the coach through the entire program.  Suited towards any learners between the ages of 8 and 80, it’s a phonics-based program helping people develop reading for meaning.

The book teaches you how to help with teaching individual phonic sounds, blending sounds, building words and sentences together and reading fluently.

 

 

Teach anyone to read by Lillie Pope

If you’re not trained as a teacher and not an expert in the field, teaching an adult to read might seem like an overwhelming ask.  Pope’s books is as ‘no-nonsense’ as she claims. The techniques described in Pop’s book have been used successfully for more than 50 years and by thousands of instructors, helping thousands of students to read.

 

 

 

 

Liz and Joe go on holiday by Jennie Cole

This book is part of a series that feature the Liz and Joe characters.  Aimed at new readers, it’s targeted at those learning English as a second language (ESOL),  In short story format, the books are illustrated with colour photos and in a comic books style format.  The objective of these titles is to gradually increase your vocabulary with regards to daily life.  Other titles in the series include Joe’s Surprise, Liz and Joe Have a Day out and Liz Gets a Gas Bill.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: Level 3 by Robert Louis Stevenson

Pearson English Readers have a great reputation as a ‘go-to book’ when working with adults.  Like most readers they work in a graded system and they cover a range of titles, including Young Adult or Adult titles, making them suitable for adult literacy support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crow Girl Rises by Kate Cann

Crow Girl Rises is published by Barrington Stoke, a publishing company established by a mother-daughter team aimed at helping children and teens suffering with dyslexia.  Innovations such as dyslexia-friendly font, tinted paper and short, engaging achievable books from an amazing range of authors have helped them win a number of publishing awards.  This title is aimed at the Teen/Young Adult reader and deals with the teenage themes of love, parties and friendship (with a halloween theme).

 

 

Be savvy – purchase your children’s school books through Booko

The end of one year and the start of another are expensive times: there’s Christmas at one end and back to school at the other, with sometimes just weeks in between.  With the cost of uniforms, school fees and school books to consider, it’s handy to know that with a bit of planning, you can make some great savings on your children’s schoolbooks and not have to leave the comfort of home!

We’ve selected a few titles from the recommended reading lists for a few different VCE subjects to give you a guide of just how varied some of our books are.  Whether they are E-Books, Reference books, Fiction or Non-Fiction, you should be able to pick up the majority of your children’ book list through Booko. Make sure you search using the book’s ISBN (if you know it) to ensure you’re looking at the edition specified on your list.

To get the best price on a title, set up a Booko alert so that you’ll be notified when the book falls under a certain price range.  Setting up Booko alerts is easy – just follow our simple guide and get started.  If you are concerned about the books arriving in time, it makes sense to pay attention to the delivery timeframes provided by each book store on the Booko website.  Happy shopping!

 

Cloud street by Tim Winton

“Cloudstreet” is the undisputed classic from one of Australia’s best loved storytellers and national treasures.

From separate catastrophes, two families flee to the city and find themselves sharing this great sighing structure called Cloudstreet and beginning their lives again from scratch.

The Pickles and the Lambs share their home for 20 years and over time observe, overhear and submerge themselves in each other’s joys, fears and secrets.

‘A generous watery epic…Winton is just one of the best.” -Independent.

The Lieutenant by Kate Grenville 

A stunning follow-up to her Commonwealth Writers’ Prize-winning book, “The Secret River,” Grenville’s “The Lieutenant” is a gripping story about friendship, self-discovery, and the power of language set along the unspoiled shores of 1788 New South Wales.

As a boy, Daniel Rooke was an outsider. Ridiculed in school and misunderstood by his parents, Daniel could only hope that he would one day find his place in life.

‘It glows with life: imaginative in its recreations, respectful of what cannot be imagined, and thoughtful in its interrogation of the past…Grenville’s most intellectually sophisticated novel to date.’ – The Age (Australia)

 

No Sugar by Jack Davis

This play, commissioned for the 1985 Perth Festival, is the spirited story of the Millimurra family’s stand against racist government ‘protection’ policies in 1930’s Australia.

In depression era Australia, up to 30% of the Labour Force were unemployed with Aboriginal workers worst hit.  The Nyungar family were sent to the Moore River Native Settlement from Northam in 1931 as part of a ‘forced evacuation’.

“No Sugar” portrays Davis’ political awareness, citing the reasons for the evacuation and also the characterisation of key political figures such as Mr Neville, Chief Protector of Aboriginies in Western Australia involved in the resettlement.

 

Maths Quest VCE Foundation Maths 

This pack is specifically designed for the VCE Foundation Mathematics course, which is a one year course. Generally undertaken in Year 11 but some schools do complete it in Year 10. The workbooks also cover the required content for VCAL schools. Instead of a textbook, Maths Quest Foundation Mathematics comprises eight individual booklets, covering a range of content areas and aspects of the syllabus: Maths Skills, Finance, Sport, The house and land package, Travelling, Car Safety, Water wise and A Musical Production.

Australian Pocket Oxford Dictionary (H/B) (7th Edition) 

First published in 1976, the “Australian Pocket Oxford Dictionary” has remained Australia’s best-selling dictionary. The seventh edition retains the popular features of previous editions and adds many new Australian and international words and meanings. All Australian words and meanings are labelled with an Aust. regional marker. The seventh edition of the “Australian Pocket Oxford Dictionary” is an indispensable guide to English as it is written and spoken in Australia.

How to be the best ‘you’, you can be.

I don’t know why but part of the process of starting a new year is determining how we can be fitter, smarter and happier individuals.  A new year seems to offer opportunities and potential that the previous 9 or 10 months didn’t.  Whether you are wanting to increase your confidence or work out which career best suits your strengths, here are our recommendations for some of the most popular self help guides on the market.

Create the Style You Crave on a Budget You Can Afford: The Sweet Spot Guide to Home Decor by Desha Peacock

If you are anything like me, you have spent time in friends’ homes and thought ‘how can I get my home to look like this?’

The starting point is, as Peacock explains, understanding and exploring your own unique sense of style.  Then the fun part comes with working out how to bring it to life with a mixture of vintage, modern and op shop finds according to your budget.  This book is a little different to most decorating books – it’s not filled with multi million dollar homes and budgets, but showcases the stories of everyday women with busy lives and limited budgets who have infused personal values, meaning, and style into making their home their own.

 

The Brain Fog Fix : Reclaim Your Focus, Memory and Joy in Just 3 Weeks by Mike Dow

Ever wander into a room and forget why you went in?  No?? Lucky you!

Perhaps it’s a symptom of our lives becoming busier, more stressful and less….fun but many of us are wandering around in a ‘brain fog’.  The good news?  It’s not an irreparable condition and this book contains steps to help you reclaim your focus, memory and joy in under a month.

Want to become more ‘present’ and be able to fully participate in your life?  This is the book for you.

 

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

This book has been one of our most ‘clicked’ titles on Booko for over a month now.  It’s the output of Ferriss having interviewed nearly 200 world-class performers to determine what makes them successful.

In it, Ferriss discusses the routines, habits and tactics that have made these people so successful and shows you how you can implement these into your life to achieve success.

 

Strengths finder 2.0 by Tim Rath

If you are one of those people who are working at a job they like but don’t feel like it’s their passion or ‘calling’, this book is a great resource.

An updated version of the StrengthsFinder program developed by Gallup experts, Rath’s book helps readers to discover their distinct talents and strengths and how they can be translated into personal and career successes.

Resources include a 2.0 assessment with features that include a personalized Strengths Insight Report, an Action-Planning Guide, and a web-based Strengths Community.

The Confidence Gap by Dr Russ Harris

Sometimes all that separates us from others that are successful in their fields is the self confidence to make the most of opportunities available to us.

This is a hands-on, self-help guide to gaining long-lasting confidence and overcoming fear using mindfulness-based therapy. The author explains how many of us are playing the ‘confidence game’ using the wrong rules, and guides the reader through clear, simple exercises designed to help you manage difficult emotions such as anxiety and build genuine confidence. 

Minimalism by Joshua Fields Millburn

 

The show I have been binge-watching on Netflix has been ‘The Minimalists’.  Essentially, two guys (best friends) turned their backs on highly lucrative careers, reduced their ‘stuff’ to bare requirements and focused on what’s important.

If you find you are living pay-check to pay-check and consumed by what stuff you are going to purchase next, ‘Minimalism’ is a great read and focuses on 5 key themes that make a meaningful life: health, relationships, passion, growth and contribution.  It contains actionable tasks to start creating more meaning and less ‘stuff’ in your life.

The Booko Team’s favourite holiday reading picks

There are a fair few of us that are responsible for the day-to-day operations of Booko.  This often involves liaison with booksellers around the world, working on the Booko platform and ensuring all pricing and delivery information is accurate and up to date and responding to admin messages. The Booko team spend a reasonable time during the year doing what they love best: reading.  This might involve reviewing a book, getting an understanding of a new title or author and ensuring that our customers are given the best and most relevant information about books.

When we’re not working, we love reading just for the sake of it – just like everyone.  Here are the summer reading picks that our team are currently working through or planning to read whilst reclining on a banana lounge somewhere else:


Karen’s pick: 

Girl Stuff 8-12 by Kaz Cooke

Girl Stuff 8-12 is on my summer reading list, and I think it will make an excellent gift for both girls and their parents. Kaz Cooke’s Up the Duff was my don’t-panic-source-of-wisdom during pregnancy, so I am looking forward to her take on how to survive the pre-teen years (and my resident pre-teen has already given it the thumbs-up). Kaz Cooke’s advice is forthright, respectful, sensitive and funny all at once – and carefully researched to boot. Girl Stuff 8-12 offers advice on a range of the most important topics including body changes, healthy habits, relationships, bullying and mental health.

https-covers-booko-info300100yearmanRiina’s pick:
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

It has taken me a while to get around to reading this one, but now that I have, I can see why it became the bestseller it did. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is a heart-warming tale about that grumpy old man I’m sure we’ve all come across, and it made me laugh and cry (apologies to fellow passengers on Tram route 55!). Bit by bit, as you learn about the experiences that shaped Ove, you come to understand and even love him, no matter how little you like him at first.
Whether you’re in the Southern or Northern hemisphere, this one makes a good holiday read. It’s light enough to read on the beach, but its themes of family, honour and community bring warmth to even the whitest of Christmasses.

https-covers-booko-info300undoingMarie’s pick:

The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis

This is on my summer reading list at the recommendation of my husband who has suffered from the ‘just can’t put it down’ addiction that we have to the books we love.  I’m a big fan of non-fiction and getting a better understanding of how our minds work.

This is the story of a bromance between two Israeli psychologists which has turned our understanding of how we make decisions on it’s head.  One of the pair’s observations is that ‘no one ever made a decision because of a number – they need a story.’ On the whole, humans make decisions based on emotions rather than facts.  Their work created the field of behavioural economics and established rules for human irrationality.

https-covers-booko-info300bigmagicRenae’s Pick:

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

One of my new year resolutions is to try and be more creative.  Easier than it sounds, right?  When you come from a pretty rational way of looking at the world, creativity can be challenging!  This book was recommended to me by a friend.  It promises to unravel the mystique around the processes leading to creativity, making it seem easier and more natural.

Gilbert explains the habits and approaches we need in order to live our most creative lives and how to harness creativity in whatever project we are involved with.  Living a mindful life is one of the areas I need to focus on more.  I’m looking forward to reaping the benefits of reading this book in the new year.


Dan’s Pick
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

I’ve chosen a story of apocalypse for my holiday reading.  Already part way in and I find myself engaged enough in the story that some mornings when I wake, I look up at the sky and wonder how the people on Izzy ( International Space Station ) are holding up.  Neal Stephenson’s books seem to have that effect on me. Depictions of the near future which are well researched and realistic, characters I feel I know well enough that their predicaments generate so much tension once I’ve finished reading, I feel I need a(n other) holiday.

Great family board games to try

When it comes to spending time together as a family, the habit is often to jump in the car and get ‘out and about.’  Children want unhurried time with their family where you can just take pleasure in each other’s company.  Quite often, the actual activity isn’t that important.  Bearing that in mind, board games have come back into vogue and also have a secondary benefit of teaching social skills such as how to win, lose, take turns and comprehend rules together.  Some board games are particularly useful in boosting number, shape and letter recognition, as well as hand and eye coordination in children.

We may have been brought up on old favourites such as Monopoly, Cluedo and Scrabble as children, but there are a fantastic range of new board games on the market that you can play together, all available on Booko.  Here are some of our recommendations:

https-covers-booko-info300ticketTicket To Ride – Europe

The aim of this game is for players to claim train routes between European cities in turn-of-the-Century Europe.  There are different coloured routes linking cities such as Paris, Moscow and London .  Players must collect train cards that match the colour of the route to win it.  A light-hearted family game, this is best played with 4-5 players.  This game is fun and easy to understand for younger players.

https-covers-booko-info300hillCarcassonne Over Hill and Dale Board Game

Part of the larger series of Carcassonne games, ‘Carcassonne Over Hill and Dale’ allows players to be farmers who care for animals on their large farms and cultivate the fruits and vegetables in their fields. Players must take turns selecting tiles and fit them with the current landscape.  Players can claim control of roads or fields and win points when these are completed.  This game is more of a relaxing, thinking game than high energy.

https-covers-booko-info300pandemicPandemic Legacy

Pandemic Legacy has been reviewed against hundreds of board games and crowned ‘The Best Board Game Ever Made.’  Such an impressive title, but the subject matter is slightly depressing: the game is based on a fight between four disease specialists who travel the world trying to find a cure to four different diseases that threaten to bring the world to the brink of disaster. Each month will bring new surprises and your actions in each game will have repercussions on the next. The game is played co-op style and is won by curing diseases.  The thinking man or woman’s board game.

 

https-covers-booko-info300timelineTImeline: Music & Cinema

A card game played using 110 cards, ‘Timeline: Music and Cinema’ is based on players placing their cards in the correct chronological order of an historical event.  The winner is the person who places all of their cards in the correct date order.  Great for lovers of pop and historical culture.  Ages 8+.

 

 

https-covers-booko-info300mysteriumMysterium

Mysterium is a cooperative game involving ghosts, a psychic and a murder.  All players bar one are psychics, spending time in a haunted house after a murder has taken place.  The ghost must guide the psychics to the correct murder weapon, crime scene and culprit as quickly as possible.  The final round involves psychics deciphering a single dream to tell them who committed the murder.  This game is loads of fun and an easy to play card game.

https-covers-booko-info300dixitDixit

Dixit Memories is the latest offering from the Internationally best-selling Dixit series. A card-based game for 3-6 players, there are 84 cards to the series.  Each of the cards contains surrealist images from artists Carine Hinder and Jerome Pelissier.  The cards contain images of exotic landscapes and beautiful creatures.  The active player must provide a clue to what their chosen card is.  The remaining players must then select one of their cards that best represents the clue from their pack.  The players must then vote on what they believe the active player’s card is.  We were enchanted by the beautiful artwork on the playing cards.

For more options on the board games available through Booko, visit our Pinterest page.

 

 

 

 

 

The best mindful eating cookbooks

As we are packing more and more into each day, the act of eating is simply another task that is completed while we are online or engaged in another activity.  As a result, we’re not fully aware of what food is being consumed.

The practice of mindful eating is about focusing and minimising distractions so you are paying full attention to the foods you are eating: by taking this more slowly you can really savour the food and pay attention to how much of it you are consuming.  Reports indicate that many consumers base their food choices on taste first, followed by the price and finally the health benefits of the food.  There are many resources that can support the practice of mindful eating, including cookbooks and guides that help us slow down and engage with our food.  Here are some of our recommended reads for this genre:

https-covers-booko-info300biteEvery bite affects the world by Catherine Verrall

Every Bite Affects the World is a guide that helps connect our bodies to the external world around us.

Verrall’s book helps us to be mindful of the connections between what we eat and the health of our bodies, as well as the health of the soil, water, climate, communities and farmers both here and far away.

Featuring many vegetarian recipes, ‘Every Bite’ also contains the imperative for meat eaters to obtain their food locally and from humanely raised sources.

 

 

Mindful Eating by Jan Chozen Bays

Ever feel that you really taste the first few bites of a meal and then, seemingly on auto pilot, find that your meal has been eaten and you have not even tasted the rest?  This book is for you.

Drawing on recent research and integrating her experiences as a physician and meditation teacher, Dr. Jan Bays offers a clear presentation of what mindfulness is and how it can help with food issues.  Particularly interesting are the 7 different types of hunger and how they impact your food choices: eyes, nose, mouth, stomach, mind, heart, and cell hunger.

 

https-covers-booko-info300mindlessMindless Eating by Brian Wansink

This book is based around common sense thinking with respect to our eating but backs it up with research, which makes it a comprehensive read.

Every day, we each make around 200 decisions about eating. But studies have shown that 90% of these decisions are made without any conscious choice. Why?  Wansink explains the hidden ‘persuaders’ that are used by restaurants and supermarkets to encourage you to eat more.  Even music choice and the colour of a room can influence how much and how quickly you eat.  ‘Mindless Eating’ will change the way you think about your next meal.

 

The Alkaline Cure: The remarkable 14-day diet and anti-ageing plan by Dr Stephan Domenig

Want to lose weight, improve your health and look younger, all in 14 days?  Who doesn’t??

Our bodies function best with a pH balance of between 7.3 and 7.5.  According to Dr Domenig, our modern lifestyles upset this balance by making our bodies too acidic.  His book aims to rectify the balance.

‘The Alkaline Cure’ is a clinically tested fourteen-day plan designed to help establish acid-alkaline balance in the body.  It includes daily menus and more than 40 recipes to give your body a kick start.

The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat by Tal Ronnen

A former steak-lover himself, Chef Tal struggled for years on a vegan diet that left him filled with cravings for meat and dairy. Frustrated by the limited options available and unwilling to sacrifice the delicious flavours he associated with eating meat, he created vegan meals that could hold their own at the centre of the plate. Chef Tal found that by applying traditional French culinary techniques to meatless cuisine, he was able to create delicious meals full of rich flavour.

https-covers-booko-info300ohsheglowsThe Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon

‘Oh She Glows’ was written after Liddon struggled for over a decade with an eating disorder and ate predominantly low-calorie processed foods.  Seeing the benefits of changing her diet to whole foods, she spent time perfecting cooking and eating the right foods in the right way.

‘Oh She Glows’ contains over 100 vegan recipes that are easy to perfect.  Whether you are a vegan or you simply want to incorporate a few vegan meals into your week, Angela’s recipes are a must-have for anyone who longs to eat well, feel great, and simply glow!

 

Books to help our children slow down

I had a chat with an older lady in the supermarket today and she was telling me about her childhood.  One of eight children, they foraged or trapped their dinners most nights.  Whether it was mushrooms, blackberries or catching rabbits, they went out with dad to find their ‘tea’.  After lunch, which was a weetbix with butter, they were told to go and play, just be home by dinnertime.

If you have a think about your childhood and compare it to the children of today: what are the main differences?  My childhood was definitely slower, we just did….less.  While we didn’t trap rabbits for dinner, there was a simple mundanity: dinners were meat and 3 veg and we spent most of our days outdoors playing on our bikes.  When I was growing up, there were less activities, opportunities and sources of information.  There were far less choices when I was a child, but there was a beautiful simplicity that went with it. Many behavioural issues that children are experiencing are said to come from our modern frenetic lifestyles.  As a result, authors have penned books to help us help our children to slow down.  Here are some of our favourite titles:

https-covers-booko-info300bearA Boy and a Bear by Lori Lite

‘A Boy and a Bear’ is a very simple story that can be read to children who might find it hard getting to sleep.  Through the story, a very simple technique called ‘circular breathing is taught.  This aims to bring calmness and well-being to both the child and the parent.  It’s a nice calm read to promote an easier bed-time routine.  Lite has written a suite of stories focused on bringing calm, visualisations and affirmations to children.  There have been positive reviews from some of the children, too: ‘I liked the story because it makes you feel relaxed and sleepy.  Every muscle in my body felt still.  I felt as relaxed as I could be’.  (Mandy, aged 8).

 

https-covers-booko-info300rabbitThe Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep by Carl-Johan Foreseen Ehrlin

The groundbreaking #1 bestseller is sure to turn nightly bedtime battles into a loving and special end-of-day ritual. This child-tested, parent-approved story uses an innovative technique that brings a calm end to any child’s day. Do you struggle with getting your child to fall asleep? Join parents all over the world who have embraced ‘The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep’ as their new nightly routine.

 

https-covers-booko-info300turtleA Boy and a Turtle by Lori Lite

Children love to visualize or imagine filling their bodies with the colors of the rainbow. This effective stress-management technique also known as guided imagery is widely accepted and used by both traditional and holistic communities. These gentle but powerful visualization techniques stimulate the imagination. Visualization can have a positive impact on the health of children, improving creativity and performance. It can also lower stress and anxiety levels and is used to control anger.

https-covers-booko-info300childrenRelax Kids – How to be Happy: 52 positive activities for children by Marneta Viegas

‘Relax Kids: How to be Happy’ is packed with ideas focused on children spending quality time with their families.  At the same time, it helps children manage their worries and emotions and encourages them to grow up happy and contented.

The aim of the book is for families to spend time together completing activities and creating memories.   There is a different activity each week and each of the activities is explained with diagrams, which make it easy to follow.  Children experience confidence and increased self esteem from their ability to complete the activities.

 

https-covers-booko-info300imaginationsImaginations by Carolyn Clarke

Winner of the San Diego Book Award for Children’s Non Fiction, ‘Imaginations’ teaches children to relax and meditate as a means of slowing down their minds.  The ability to relax is an essential skill in our hectic world today.  Kids are shuttled from home to school to after school activities and home again, often without transition time or down time. ‘Imaginations’ contains stories to help children learn to calm their bodies and relax their minds.

 

https-covers-booko-info300quietA Handful of Quiet by Thich Nhat Hanh

A Handful of Quiet presents one of the best known and most innovative meditation practices developed by Thich Nhat Hanh as part of the Plum Village community’s practice with children. Pebble meditation is a playful and fun activity that parents and educators can do with their children to introduce them to meditation. It is designed to involve children in a hands-on and creative way that touches on their interconnection with nature.

The most popular audiobooks on the market

According to the Wall Street Journal, audiobooks are the fastest growing format in publishing.  We are all now conditioned to seek out entertainment when completing tasks that would normally be seen as downtime: waiting for an appointment or stuck in traffic are now opportunities to engage in the act of being read to, and and to be entertained along the way.  With each of us carrying round a pocket-sized piece of technology on which to store multiple books, this genre has really increased in popularity over the last few years.  Here are some of the most popular audiobooks on the market:

https-::covers.booko.info:300:gutGut: The Inside Story of our Body’s Most Underrated Organ by Giulia Enders

One of the most important organs we have, our stomach, are still largely understood by much of society.  A perfect book for audio purposes, ‘Gut’ is written with the average person in mind, it’s both informative and funny.  Viewed as a ‘health handbook’, Enders covers concepts such as nutrient absorption to recent ground-breaking research linking bowel bacteria to depression.  A scientist, Enders states that if we treat our gut well, it will treat us well in return.  She shows us how to do this in a way that’s easy to incorporate into our everyday lives.

 

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:buryThe Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

Considered by some to be a literary thriller, this is the story of a student who begins the modest task of completing an English assignment.  His job is to interview a person and complete a brief biography.  Heading to the local nursing home, he meets Carl Iverson, a dying Vietnam veteran and convicted murderer.  Unable to reconcile the acts of heroism with his crimes, he decides to uncover the truth.  Delving into the fragments of the crime, will he discover the truth before it’s too late?   Similar in some parts to ‘Making a Murderer’, this book is rich in its portrayals of the characters and the events leading up to the crime.

https-::covers.booko.info:300:oveA Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Ove is possibly the grumpiest man you might ever meet. Surrounded by ‘idiots’ as he calls them, he is the neighbour from hell who keeps a tight rein on the street, its inhabitants and their comings and goings.  When new ‘foreign’ neighbours move into the street and accidentally flatten his letterbox, this sets off an chain of events that result in unexpected friendships being made.  Quirky, full of comedy and incredibly heartwarming, ‘Ove’ has been a runaway hit and life-affirming modern fable.

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:amyThe Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

An uproarious collection of no-holds-barred personal essays by the Emmy Award-winning comedian reflects on her raucous childhood antics, her hard-won rise in the entertainment industry and her struggles to maintain the courage to approach the world in the refreshingly honest way that she does.  The beauty about listening to the book in audiobook format is having Schumer deliver her personal stories in her trademark funny and fantastically rude manner like no one else does.

https-covers-booko-info300teethBorn with Teeth: A Memoir by Kate Mulgrew

Known  for her mesmerising work in film, TV and the theatre, Kate Mulgrew turns her hand to writing in this unflinching memoir.  From her childhood, raised by unconventional Irish Catholics who knew “how to drink, how to dance, how to talk, and how to stir up the devil,” to studying with the legendary Stella Adler and the pain of giving up her daughter, ‘Born with Teeth’ is an exceptionally well-written autobiography from a master storyteller.

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:stingSting (Unabridged) by Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown is a Number 1 bestselling New York Times and USA Today best-selling author.  Narrated by the Author, Brown jolts the listener from the start in this story of treachery, deception, secrets and lies.

Brown is a master of writing gripping, page-turning suspense novels and ‘Sting’ contains plot twists that will keep listeners on the edge of their seats.  Tantalisingly great listening.

 

For more of our audiobook picks, head to our Pinterest board!

How to choose the right colouring book for you

Adult colouring books are now ubiquitous: you can find them everywhere from specialty bookstores to your local Coles or Kmart.  The question is: are colouring books for grown-ups a trend or have they morphed into a mechanism for adults to cope with their increasingly busy lives?  Psychologists have found that some of the qualities of adult colouring books prompt positive neurological responses in their patients: namely those of repetition, pattern and detail.  If you haven’t joined the wave of this trend yet or you’re looking for some different options, here are our recommendations for colouring books for adults:

https-::covers.booko.info:300:birdAnimal Kingdom by Millie Marotta

This is a colouring book to keep and treasure forever. The wonderful illustrations from Millie Marotta’s Animal KIngdom are reproduced here on the thickest paper yet (180 gsm) on one side only, including  five additional prints that can be pulled out of an envelope at the back of the book. This is an edition for all Millie fans and even those new to her work who want something special to record their creative outputs.

https-::blog.booko.com.au:wp-content:uploads:2016:08:https-covers.booko_.info300londonColour Me Good London by I Love Mel

Perfect for London lovers or global travellers, this colouring book captures the key landmarks and the madcap culture that is London life.  Over 16 pages, you can enjoy colouring landmarks such as Piccadilly Circus, well-known faces like Will and Kate and common sights such as a black cab and fish & chips.

 

Fill Me In by Moose Allainhttps-::covers.booko.info:300:fill

Perfect for both adults and children alike, ‘Fill Me In’ invites people to draw, imagine and complete the dense line drawings.  Why not complete your own city or draw your own comic book?  Perfect for the doodler as well as the colouring-in fan, this book is fun to share with a friend, be they big or small.

 

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:dreamDream Cities by Rosie Goodwin and Alice Chadwick

Fancy going on a journey around the world in black and white?  From the huge domes of Moscow to  the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, choose your colours, unleash your creativity and lose yourself in a wonderful coloured universe. As you focus on colouring in and forget the stresses of everyday life, you’ll find calm returning.

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:animorphiaAnimorphia by Kerby Rosanes

Welcome to this weird and wacky colouring challenge. There are pictures to colour in, drawings to complete, spaces to scribble in and lots of things to find in these super-detailed doodles by artist Kerby Rosanes. This book features unique and intricate ink drawings of incredible animals, shape-shifting aliens and breathtaking scenes. Readers will have to keep their eyes peeled for hidden treasures and creatures scattered throughout the pages.

https-::covers.booko.info:300:doodleDoodle Invasion by Zifflin and Kerby Rosanes

Described by some as a colouring book on steroids, this book is another great option for those that love doodling.  Doodle Invasion is filled with 50 unique and extremely detailed works of art by the master of doodles Kerby Rosanes.  With thick, single-sided pages perfect for markers, this book is perfect for the serious doodler.  The intricate artworks are spectacularly drawn and will keep even the most serious doodler busy for hours.

 

 

 

If you’re interested in more of our colouring-in picks, check out the Pinterest board!

A virtual tour of the world’s most beautiful bookshops

There’s a subculture of book lovers who tour the world’s most beautiful bookshops.  Who wouldn’t?  We use beautiful in the figurative sense because although some of these bookshops are breathtakingly beautiful (such as Liberia El Ateneo Grand Splendid), others like the Honesty Bookshop are striking in their simplicity.  Here are our recommendations for a virtual tour of the world’s most beautiful bookshops:

Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina

https-::covers.booko.info:300:buenosImage from m4caque’s photostream/ /CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

What’s more amazing than a bookshop built from a disused theatre?  Theatre boxes are used as reading rooms, there are comfy couches scattered throughout the area and many of the original features are intact.  We love that the red stage curtain is a centrepiece, which adds a touch of theatre to the room.  Walls feature intricate carvings and the ceiling contains beautifully painted murals.  Buenos Aires appears to be a city for bookworms with many snug cafes encouraging a love of reading.  We can’t wait to visit…

Poplar Kids Republic, Beijing, China

https-::covers.booko.info:300:poplarImage from www.designrulz.com

If you’re designing a bookstore for children, there’s a great opportunity to play with structure, design and colour.  Well, this bookshop in Beijing, China, completely nails the brief.  There are a ton of interesting areas for children to explore the wide range of books and to find a comfy spot in which to read them.  Opened by the Beijing POPLAR Culture project, the premise of the building was to encourage cultural awareness, with a focus on multicultural picture books.  Designed by SAKO Architects, this organic and maze-like bookshop turns the idea of the conventional bookstore on it’s head as it is built around the needs of it’s customers.  A+.

Cafebreria El Pendulo, Mexico City, Mexico

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Image from mnn.com

Books, coffee and gardening!  Whoever designed this bookshop certainly took into account some of my favourite things!  Named after the pendulum that hangs from the ceiling, customers are invited to give it a nudge as they pass by, which allows it to swing back and forth, making patterns in the sand as it does.  This double-level cafe houses books in both Spanish and English in shelves that are packed to the brim!  Casually laid-out, books are placed in piles on the floor, giving the cafe a lovely casual atmosphere.  Containing novelty gifts as well as books, DVD’s and CD’s, the friendly staff are on hand to offer some assistance in selecting the perfect gift.

Corso Como Bookshop, Milan, Italy

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Image from Pinterest

10 Corso Como resembles an art gallery in it’s most minimalist sense.  Designed by American artist Kris Ruhs, it’s becoming an institution with outlets now also in Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul.  A shopping and dining complex, it offers a range of shops that display works of art, fashion, food, design and other cultural elements.  Hosting a wide range of events and exhibitions, 10 Corso Como is a regular haunt of the culture vulture!

Honesty Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye

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Image from Nexxo

For some reason, the small Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye is a hub of bookshops and literature-related events.  Its literature festival was described by the then US President Bill Clinton as “the Woodstock of the mind”.  Housing over 30 bookshops in narrow streets, many tour groups offer tours to this fabulous little town.  We love the Honesty Bookshop, which is basically sets of aged shelves full of books that can be purchased with a donation.  All funds go towards the restoration of the town’s Norman castle – whose grounds house the Honesty Bookshop.  Such a beautifully simple little shop!

Shakespeare and Company, Paris

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Image from Shakespeareandcompany.com

“Be Not Inhospitable to Strangers Lest They Be Angels in Disguise,” is the theme of the bookshop; it’s written above the entrance to the reading library.  So strangers do come – some of them sleep in beds tucked behind the bookshelves, often helping out around the bookshop in place of board.  Since opening, an astounding 30,000 people have slept in the bookstore.  Quite often they are artists and aspiring writers who make Shakespeare and Co their home for a while.  For these reasons, we feel this bookshop is quite extraordinary.

Shakespeare and Company is actually the name of two different bookstores that have opened on Paris’ Left Bank.  The first one closed during WW2 but was, in its day, a gathering place for such imminent writers as Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce.  The second still operates today at 37 rue de la Bûcherie.  Operating as an antiquarian bookseller, selling new and second hand books, it also doubles as a free reading library to the public.