We wish you all a fabulously wonderful festive season. May you all get to enjoy seeing your family and friends, fill your tummies, and have a sneaky nap after lunch.
Need to organise a last minute gift? Perhaps you have missed the postal deadline, or your original gift is delayed in the post; or maybe you have an unexpected guest, or are out of ideas for someone hard-to-buy-for. Luckily, the internet has given us more options to make like we’ve had it planned all along. You can send specific eBooks, eAudiobooks, safely and almost instantaneously, with just a few clicks; to find the availability and best prices of eBooks and eAudiobooks, simply click on the “Audiobook” or “eBook” edition buttons below the book title when you are searching on Booko. (See the screenshot below)
If you have found the perfect book, but know that it won’t get to your recipient in time, you can try the eGIFT option at Boomerang Books . Their eGIFT certificate is a PDF which includes the details of the book(s) you have bought, plus you can add a personalised message. The eGift PDF will be emailed to you with your order confirmation – you can then print or forward this PDF to your recipient. This is also a great way to give a pre-order book – your loved one will become one of the first to receive it when it is released! To use this eGIFT service, search Booko as usual, click through to the Boomerang Books listing (taking note of Booko’s voucher code!):
add to cart at the Boomerang website, then select eGift during checkout:
Booko’s Guide to Gift Certificates
Booko has compiled a list of gift certificates offered by book retailers from around the world. These are a great way to buy for someone overseas, or someone who is hard to buy for. (And also great for young children, who might love the idea of choosing a book by themselves!) If you are interested in supporting local / small businesses this Christmas, many of your favourite local / indie bookstores also offer electronic gift certificates – contact them for details. Besides physical books / eBooks and eAudio, many bookstores will allow you to redeem other stock using their gift certificates. To give you some inspiration (and to shout-out to some of Team Booko’s favourite local and independent bookstores), here are some unusual and lovely gift ideas that can be redeemed using gift vouchers:
Book Bundle subscriptions
The Little Bookroom is a Melbourne icon and probably one of the best specialist children’s bookstores in Australia. They have a huge range catering to ages and stages from babies to YA; and they have super-knowledgeable staff who can offer suggestions, or even track down particular books or editions. Besides a classic gift voucher, you can also purchase subscriptions to Book Bundles, which will send your recipient three hand-picked books every three months. Six different age categories, from toddlers to teens, are available.
Limited Edition Art Prints
Alison Lester offers limited edition prints of her picture book art through her online store. The prints come from a range of her popular books, including Magic Beach and Kissed by the Moon, and depicts childhood with great humour and insight. Her store also offers signed copies of her books, t-shirts, and mugs as well children’s crockery sets. All items from Alison’s store can be redeemed using her email gift card.
eReaders offer us Booklovers new and convenient ways to read – even if we still love the feel of a physical book in our hands. They are compact and lightweight, have a huge amount of storage (most models can store thousands of titles), and can offer customisation including large font, dark mode and even Read Aloud, to help improve your reading experience. And you can get download books instantly upon purchase. The Kobo family of eReaders are particularly popular amongst those who buy eReaders for young readers – the e-Ink screen is comfortable to read; they can display eBooks from a range of stores including Google, Booktopia, and Dymocks as well as Kobo’s own store; and you can also use Kobos to access free eBooks from participating public libraries.
Yikes, it’s that time of year when we all get caught out with bonkers shipping times. thankfully this week on the blog Karen is sharing some last minute gift ideas for us all. Make sure you pop back on Thursday to have a read.
The sun is shining and it’s the weekend before the holidays. It’s time to close the laptop, head outside and enjoy the fresh air before the silly season kicks off.
It’s been a while since we have been able to celebrate with extended family and friends around our festive table. So this year why not take the opportunity to go all out and dazzle your guests with something a little special. It doesn’t have to be expensive at all, some of our favourite family recipes use the most humble ingredients, but when it’s made with love and ready to share, it is all the more delicious.
Make yourself a cup of tea, grab a piece of festive gingerbread, sit back and get ready to be inspired.
Christmas Table: all the recipes you need for the festive season by The Australian Women’s Weekly
While this beautiful book contains all the recipes you’d expect for ham, turkey, sides, desserts and puddings, this year they have taken a modern approach to the season’s fare. Christmas is a special time of year for indulging in food and fun with your loved ones. Create your own traditions, have a seafood buffet instead of a formal sit down meal or celebrate with a barbecue on the beach. How ever you choose to celebrate, the ever-helpful Women’s Weekly will help you through the festive season in style.
Feast: 100 generous dishes to share by Miguel Maestre
In Feast, Miguel shares his absolute favourite recipes to enjoy with family and friends. There are big, satisfying dinners as well as lots of smaller dishes to mix and match in classic share-plate style. Miguel’s food is a loving nod to the dishes of his Spanish heritage, but is also very firmly based in the modern Australian kitchen. Whether you’re getting together for brunch, looking for something fast on a weeknight or to try some new dishes for a family celebration, there are so many bold and exciting flavours here to discover. These are generous meals from a big-hearted chef who knows that simple, good food makes everyone smile.
Everything I Love to Cook by Neil Perry
Sixteen years since the publication of Australian national treasure Neil Perry’s groundbreaking bible for home cooks, The Food I Love, comes a bookend to that masterwork: Everything I Love to Cook. Neil’s influence on the food culture of Australia and beyond has been profound: inspiring us to try new flavours, making simple food simply brilliant, and tirelessly supporting the producers who sustainably grow the food we love to eat.
Now he revisits legendary dishes from his flagship restaurants like Rockpool Bar & Grill and modern classics from his long-running ‘Good Weekend’ column, as well as new favourites he – and we – can’t get enough of. With tips and techniques to set you up for success every time, Neil is on a mission to boost your kitchen know-how and confidence, covering everything from basic knife skills to the art of barbecuing, dressing a salad and mastering a roast dinner.
Whether you want the perfect steak sandwich or a comforting bowl of pasta, a southern Thai-style chicken curry or classic tiramisu, here are more than 230 recipes you’ll love to cook.
Home by Stephanie Alexander
Home is a collection of more than 200 original recipes by Stephanie Alexander. Each recipe is a finely crafted tribute to her passions and preferences for produce and flavour, and each reflects her consummate skill in communicating the fundamentals of technique. There are detailed recipes for the more ambitious home cook, but also simple ways to combine beautiful ingredients to make dishes for everyday eating. Essays on people, places and experiences offer inspiration to readers looking to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of food. Beautifully designed and photographed, Home is a celebration of the sensual and social delights of food and an essential addition to any kitchen shelf. The recipes – classic, masterful and delicious – will be cooked, shared and enjoyed for years to come.
Gathering: Setting the Natural Table by Gemma Ingalls, Andrew Ingalls, Kristen Caissie
Gathering showcases creative tabletop ideas and styles for all seasons. These stylish interiors feature local, artisanal floral designs and handmade objects, capturing the current trend of living and decorating more mindfully and with one-of-a-kind objects.
Exploring every aspect of tabletop design, with setting ideas for different seasons and situations, this volume presents tabletops in situ in a range of stylish spaces designed by the creatives and artists who live there (and sometimes who are the makers themselves). From rustic country living to urban eco-chic, what these beautiful interiors have in common is a desire to bring nature indoors and an intentional and personal approach to design.
Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer’s Guide by Cecily Wong, Dylan Thuras
From those ever-curious, ever-quirky minds behind the #1 New York Times bestselling Atlas Obscura comes an unputdownable guide that marries our endless appetite for travel with our insatiable interest in food. Continent by continent, country by country, Gastro Obscura takes up the mantle of Atlas Obscura to radically expand our sense of wonder about the world – in this case, what humans eat and drink, which turns out to be far more marvellous than we could ever imagine. Discover English bog butter. ‘Threads of God’ pasta (only three women know how to make it). The best black bean fritter restaurant in Brazil. The world’s largest floating restaurant. A croissant museum in Poland. Focusing as much on food’s place in our lives as well as our bellies.
Can’t remember where your soup spoon, or salad fork ought to go? Knowing how to set a traditional table can seem like antiquated etiquette but it can come in handy! Click to watch this helpful Ted Talk.
There is something magical about festive food. We love the excitement and anticipation that comes with having traditional dishes that you only eat once a year but also enjoy introducing a new dish too. What’s on the menu at your house this year?
It’s a polarising cake choice, you’re either on Team Christmas Cake or not. This on the blog we’re sharing books that offer you Christmas table inspiration…without the cake!
Charity doesn’t have a special time of year. Helping is something we do all year round. However it is the festive season which is typically associated with giving, helping and reaching out to charities. We have found six inspiring books that open our eyes and hearts, and that gently nudge us towards a more charitable approach to daily lives. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have.
A Repurposed Life by Ronni Kahn
There’s a constant sense of shame that eats away at you, making you feel that you’re just not good enough. Some people are so poor that they can’t even afford to feel shame. Ronni Kahn, through her work with OzHarvest, does the very thing that offers hope to those in the poverty trap: restore dignity and remove shame. This is her story. Life throws us mysterious ingredients. If we are brave enough to put the recipe aside and experiment, it’s right there that things get interesting. As the owner of a successful events company, throwing away huge volumes of leftover food at the end of the day came with the territory. But when Ronni Kahn hit midlife, she found herself no longer able to turn a blind eye to her food waste problem. Hand delivering the untouched food to homeless shelters around Sydney became her renegade solution. Little did she know that fixing her small problem at work would lead her to unlock a hidden purpose at the very core of her inner life. Now founder and CEO of the food rescue organisation OzHarvest, Ronni leads hundreds of staff and thousands of volunteers with the goal to nourish Australia. She serves in an advisory capacity to government and is an instrumental leader in changing federal laws to improve social justice and environmental policies. A Repurposed Life is the story of how Ronni found her voice, her heart and her deepest calling. From her early years growing up under the brutal system of apartheid South Africa, to a socialist commune in Israel, Ronni finally settled in Australia to discover a profound new way of living. Shared with the humour, warmth and energy that have made her an internationally renowned keynote speaker, this heartfelt exploration of the choices that define us will speak to anyone seeking a more passionate expression of being alive.
Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie
Blake Mycoskie is the founder of TOMS Shoes and a contestant on The Amazing Race. Mycoskie uses his experience with TOMS, as well as interviews with leaders of non-profits and corporations, to convey valuable lessons about entrepreneurship, transparency of leadership, and living by one’s values. This book displays the transformation from a businessperson to an advocate, in an account that outlines his philosophy about working in ways that both fulfils material desires and have philanthropic and social benefits.
How We Give Now: A Philanthropic Guide for the Rest of Us by Lucy Bernholz
From Go Fund Me to philanthropy – the everyday ways that we can give our money, our time, and even our data to help our communities and seek justice.
In How We Give Now, Lucy Bernholz shows that philanthropy is more than writing a cheque and claiming a tax deduction. For most of us, the non-wealthy givers, philanthropy can be a way of living our values and fully participating in society. We give in all kinds of ways; shopping at certain businesses, canvassing for candidates, donating money, and making conscious choices with our retirement funds. We give our cash, our time, and even our data to make the world a better place. Bernholz takes readers on a tour of the often-overlooked worlds of participatory philanthropy, learning from a diverse group of forty resourceful givers.
Giving is a form of participation. Philanthropy by the rest of us, across geographies and cultural traditions, begins with and builds on active commitment to our communities.
Amid political, social, and environmental anxieties, the need for humour, hope, and meaningful action has never been greater. Hope Is a Verb is the beautifully simple solution for not only how to create change but how to stay sane while doing it.
Through this creative guidebook, readers will work to live in alignment with their values, examine their relationships with the planet and their community, and be inspired to act, both in their personal life and collectively. Emily Ehlers, creator of the cult favourite Instagram account @ecowithem, offers a six-step process that reframes the current global mood as an invitation to realise change, rather than dwell in despair.
Using her experience as an environmental activist, Ehlers offers ways for readers to change their perspective as a path to overcome challenges. A light in a dark place, a friend when you’re feeling alone, a roadmap out of overwhelming situations, for those feeling less than secure and safe, Hope Is a Verb points to a world of opportunity and stability that’s achievable and surprisingly simple.
When you’re on the fringes of society, being noticed can mean everything.
In 2015, while working at a London hair salon, Joshua Coombes took to the streets with his scissors to build relationships with people sleeping rough in the capital. This inspired him to begin posting transformative images on social media to amplify their voices. These stories resonated and thousands of people got involved in their own way. #DoSomethingForNothing was born, a movement that encourages people to connect their skills and time to those who need it. Via the simple act of a haircut, readers are taken on a geographical and emotional journey into the lives of humans experiencing homelessness in different cities across the world.
Featuring never-before-seen photographs and all-new writing, Do Something for Nothing explores themes of love, acceptance, shame, and perseverance, while inviting us to see ourselves in one another and dissolve the negative stigmas surrounding homelessness.
How do we vote with our dollars, not just to make ourselves feel good, but to make a real difference?
Wallet Activism challenges you to rethink your financial power so you can feel confident spending, earning, and saving money in ways that align with your values. The greatest power we have -especially when political leaders won’t move quickly enough- is how we use our money: where we shop, what we buy, where we live, what institutions we entrust with our money, who we work for, and where we donate determines the trajectory of our society and our planet. While our votes and voices are essential, too, Wallet Activism helps you use your money for real impact.
It can feel overwhelming to determine “the right way” to spend: a choice that might seem beneficial to the environment may have unintended consequences that hurt people. And marketers are constantly lying to you, making it hard to know what choice is best. Wallet Activism empowers us to vote with our wallets by making sense of all the information coming at us, and teaching us to cultivate a more holistic mindset that considers the complex, interrelated ecosystems of people and the planet together, not as opposing forces.
Love Stories is a heartfelt, deep, funny, wise and tingly tribute to the greatest thing we will never understand and the only thing we will ever really need: love.
The perfect Summer read.