Category Archives: Gifts

Books make great gifts! Here we list some of the best to give

The Best Book Gifts for Grandads

Father’s Day is fast approaching – time to think how best to show our appreciation for the wonderful dads out there.  And let’s not forget about Grandads – they are also an important part of the village that helps our kids thrive.  Here are some wonderful book gifts for Grandads, both to enjoy on their own, and with their grandkids!
Fatherhood: Stories about Being a Dad by William McInnes
Beloved actor and author William McInnes has become the quintessential Aussie raconteur – his laconic style, understated humour and gentle wit perfectly capture moments of Australian life, both past and present.  In Fatherhood, his latest book, William McInnes reflects on what it means to be a father, through memories of his own father, as well as recollections of times with his (now grown) children.  His stories – some happy, some sad, some momentous – will bring a rush of nostalgia and stir your own memories.  Perfect for Grandads who enjoy a good yarn, and who find grandfatherhood a time of reflection about love, values and the meaning of family.
Grandpa’s Space Adventure by Paul Newman and Tom Jellett
Literature is full of grandfathers who are kind, loving and fun…. this literary grandpa shows his grandson how to have fun in the nighttime – even when he is afraid of the dark!
Grandpa’s Space Adventure uses some awesome (awful?) jokes and tall tales to emphasise that darkness can be exciting and not scary.  It is great for sharing with younger children, helping to explore fear and how to overcome it (with some added space knowledge!)  For sharing with older grandkids, the very funny and exciting Grandpa’s Great Escape by David Walliams is always a reliable option.
Barefoot Investor for Families: the Only Kids’ Money Guide You’ll Ever Need by Scott Pape
A great way for grandparents to leave a lasting legacy is to help instil good financial habits in their grandchildren – and Barefoot Investor for Families can help you do just that.  It shows children aged 3-18 (and the adults caring for them) about how money works, and how to take control of your life by becoming financially responsible.  Following the winning formula set out in the original, bestselling Barefoot Investor, the advice is upbeat, simple, well-structured and practical.  For Grandads who want some advice for themselves, an updated version of the original Barefoot Investor is also out now.
Bletchley Park Brainteasers: over 100 Puzzles, Riddles and Enigmas Inspired by the Greatest Minds of World War II by Sinclair McKay
Treat your favourite Grandad to something related to his hobbies – especially if this hobby can become precious bonding time with the grandkids!  There is a special joy in sharing and passing on a favourite hobby to a younger generation.  This Bletchley Park Brainteasers book is perfect for the Granddad in my family, who enjoys doing brain-training puzzles with the grandkids – not only are there many puzzles, ciphers and riddles to pore over, there are also anecdotes about the work done at Bletchley Park, Britain’s code-breaking hub during WWII.  Brainteasers such as these were used to identify and recruit people with potential talents for code-breaking, and they became a critical part of the war effort.
Android Phones and Tablets for Dummies by Dan Gookin
For many older people who are nervous about technology, the birth of grandchildren – and the prospect of connecting with family and friends who live far away – provides incentive to go digital.  Android Phones and Tablets for Dummies aims to ease the fear and frustration of learning to use these high-tech gadgets!  This book covers all the basics, from making calls and text messages, to using the camera, getting online and accessing social media; it also helps to explain the mysteries of settings, configurations and widgets.  The For Dummies series have provided trusted, easy-to-understand instructions on technology learning for over 25 years.  Also available is iPhones for Seniors for Dummies.
Dear Grandad: a Journal of a Lifetime by From You to Me
Dear Grandad is a beautifully and quirky journal, specially designed to help Grandad capture the memories and anecdotes of his life.  On every spread there are carefully chosen questions that encourage Grandad to reflect on his , and his family’s lives – what were his parents like, how did he and Grandma meet, what was mum / dad like when they were kids?  The completed journal will be a treasured keepsake for future generations, and the stories and tidbits inside will become the stuff of family legend!    Journals for Dad, Mum and Grandma are also available.

Best Buys for the Hipster Dad this Father’s Day

All Dads are pretty cool. But there are some that have their finger on the pulse when it comes to  music, television and movies. Some are super snappy dressers or total foodies. Some are artists at heart who would rather sit down with a good book than watch a footy game, and some might even have a few tattoos! Sound familiar? Maybe your dad is a hipster!

Because of their modern, ironic taste and awareness of street cred, they can be super hard to buy for. But fear not, we’re here to help you figure out what to buy the Hipster Dad this Father’s Day.

…and if it’s you who’s the Hipster Dad then feel free to forward this list on to your family…we’ve got your back!

The Wes Anderson Collection by Matt Zoller Seitz

Every hipster dad needs this book in his collection. It showcases behind-the-scenes images of all of Wes Andersons’ films along with plenty of artwork. Trust us, he won’t be able to put this one down. Wes Anderson is the most influential comedic voice from the past two decades of American cinema. A true auteur, his intimate involvement in each of his films – Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Moonrise Kingdom – includes scriptwriting, set design, soundtrack selections and unit photography. Anderson’s visual artistry, inimitable tone and idiosyncratic characterisations make each of his films instantly recognisable as “Andersonian.”The Wes Anderson Collection is the first in-depth overview of Anderson’s work, guiding readers through the life and career of one of the most talked-about contemporary filmmakers.

 

Dads Are the Original Hipsters by Brad Getty

They drank whiskey before you did. They wore skinny jeans before you did. They had mustaches before you did. Admit it, they were hip before you were! Based on the blog of the same name, this book celebrates dads as the original hipsters. With vintage photos of real dads back in the day paired with captions that at once tip a cap to dad and make fun of modern hipsters, this is the perfect gift for dads, and those who love to tease them.

 

 

 

 

 

I was an Awesomer Kid by Brad Getty

Face it: You were awesome when you were a kid. You feared nothing. You spoke your mind. You tried new things. You had imagination. Now you play by the rules, dress appropriately and choose politeness over self-expression. Well, life’s too short for that and this book proves it. Vintage photographs of real kids doing awesome stuff -wearing footie pj’s, eating sugar cereal, napping and showing off – accompany witty captions that poke fun at the doldrums of adult life and remind us to unleash our inner kid. With a hilarious dose of 80s and 90s nostalgia, just enough snark and an ultimately uplifting message, I Was an Awesomer Kid is a great gift for all who are young at heart …or wish they still were!

 

 

The PDT Cocktail Book by Jim Meehan

When the coolest bar in NYC creates a book about how to make the best cocktails, you *have* to buy it for the best man in your life. Beautifully illustrated, beautifully designed, and beautifully crafted, this is the ultimate bar book by NYC’s most meticulous bartender. Now, Jim Meehan, PDT’s innovative operator and mixmaster, is offering all 304 cocktail recipes available at PDT plus behind-the-scenes secrets. From his bar design, tools, and equipment to his techniques, food, and spirits, it’s all here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuff Hipsters Hate : A Field Guide to the Passionate Opinions of the Indifferent by Brenna Ehrlich

From the dive bars of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg to the dirty alleys of San Francisco’s Mission, the urban hipster has redefined American cool with a sighing disdain for everything mainstream. Hipsters are easily identified by their worn-out shoes, fixies and PBR tallboys, but until now no one had investigated beyond the hipster look to the even more hilarious hipster psyche. With personally researched articles, revealing illustrations and helpful charts and graphs, Stuff Hipsters Hate exposes the bottomless well of impassioned scorn that motivates the ever-apathetic hipster, including: buying you a drink, texting back in a timely fashion, high heels, muscles, being asked about their tattoos, full-time jobs, knowing their bank balance and enthusiasm.

 

 

Bullet Journal by Shelby Mustang

If your Dad is a Hipster Dad then he’ll be all over Bullet journalling. It’s the analog system for the digital age and boy oh boy is it life changing. Bullet Journal (or BuJo for short) was created by Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer living in Brooklyn, NY. In a nutshell, it’s a to do list planner and it is perfect for the dad that loves to jot down his ideas and plan his work schedule. A good way to look at the Bullet Journal is as a framework (told you it was perfect for the Hipster Dad). There’s a whole world of bullet journaling over on Instagram but be sure to check out the blog here.

 

 

 

Happy Father’s Day Hipster Dad!

The best board games to play this Winter

For some, the idea of playing a board game is met with thrill as the excitement of taking on an opponent is just too strong to pass up. For others, it dredges up dark memories of many a Christmas Day afternoon where monopoly got a little out of hand.

It seems the world of board games is springing back into life as there seem to be more and more games available to play and what’s more, they aren’t all competitive…in fact some of our favourites  promote collaboration amongst players.

Here are our top five picks.

 

Pandemic

Four diseases have broken out in the world and it is up to a team of specialists in various fields to find cures for these diseases before mankind is wiped out. Players must work together playing to their characters’ strengths and planning their strategy of eradication before the diseases overwhelm the world with ever-increasing outbreaks. For example the Operation Specialist can build research stations which are needed to find cures for the diseases. The Scientist needs only 4 cards of a particular disease to cure it instead of the normal 5. But the diseases are out-breaking fast and time is running out: the team must try to stem the tide of infection in diseased areas while also towards cures. A truly cooperative game where you all win or you all lose. As skilled members of a disease-fighting team you must keep four deadly diseases at bay while discovering their cures. You and your teammates will travel across the globe treating infections while finding resources for cures. The clock is ticking as outbreaks and epidemics fuel the spreading plagues and you must work as a team to succeed. Can you find all four cures in time? The fate of humanity is in your hands!

 

Power Grid

If you’re interested in board games that keep you thinking and reward strategic planning with a victory, then we highly recommend you consider Power Grid. The objective in Power Grid is to be the person who can supply power to the most cities in the network when the game ends. And the end of the game is triggered by the players. Keeping an eye on the other players, their progression, their city network, their power plants, and their resources is key to doing well in the game.

Players mark pre-existing routes between cities for connection, and then bid against each other to purchase the power plants that they use to power their cities. However, as plants are purchased, newer, more efficient plants become available, so by merely purchasing, you’re potentially allowing others access to superior equipment. Players must also acquire the raw materials (coal, oil, garbage, and uranium) needed to power their plants (except for the ‘renewable’ windfarm/ solar plants, which obviously require no fuel), making it a constant struggle to upgrade your plants for maximum efficiency while still retaining enough wealth to quickly expand your network to get the cheapest routes.

 

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle is a cooperative deck building game for 2 to 4 players that, depending on which game you’re playing, could take 30 minutes, or well over 90 minutes.

Players are taken on a journey through the seven films adapted from the books. They span the years of Harry Potter learning at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, meanwhile encountering the likes of various villains and one particular villain who-should-not-be-named. Players achieve their goals through some pretty standard deck building mechanisms and combating villains with spells, items, and companions along the way. It is a wonderful introduction to cooperative games and deck building for new gamers.

 

Terraforming Mars

Think you have what it takes to make Mars habitable? Well well have we found the game for you!

In the 2400s, mankind begins to terraform the planet Mars. Giant corporations, sponsored by the World Government on Earth, initiate huge projects to raise the temperature, the oxygen level, and the ocean coverage until the environment is habitable. In Terraforming Mars, you play one of those corporations and work together in the terraforming process, but compete for getting victory points that are awarded not only for your contribution to the terraforming, but also for advancing human infrastructure throughout the solar system, and doing other commendable things.

 

Settlers of Catan

The Settlers of Catan is a highly rated board game that has won several awards and members of the Booko online community highly recommend. Between 3 and 4 people can play the base edition, but a 5 to 6 player expansion is also available if you want to play with more people. You can use multiple strategies to win, and there are lots of variations to the rules. Picture yourself in the era of discoveries and after a long voyage of great deprivation, your ships have finally reached the coast of an uncharted island. Its name shall be Catan! But you are not the only discoverer. Other fearless seafarers have also landed on the shores of Catan and the race to settle the island begins!

 

Enjoy!

Best Books For Mother’s Day

The market for Mother’s Day books has always been very broad and a little ‘obvious’…titles promoted often range from the latest romancy-fiction through to cookbooks that you know she’ll never actually cook from…that’s why we’ve decided to change it up a little this year and share books with you that really do deserve a spot on your mum’s bookshelf…and ones you may actually want to borrow back.


The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart
by Holly Ringland

If your mum is into the latest fiction then this enchanting debut novel of 2018 is a must-read. It is a deeply moving and romantic story of a young girl who has to learn the hard way that she can break the patterns of the past, live on her own terms and find her own strength.

After her family suffers a tragedy, nine-year-old Alice Hart is forced to leave her idyllic seaside home. She is taken in by her grandmother, June, a flower farmer who raises Alice on the language of Australian native flowers, a way to say the things that are too hard to speak. Under the watchful eye of June and the women who run the farm, Alice settles, but grows up increasingly frustrated by how little she knows of her family’s story. In her early twenties, Alice’s life is thrown into upheaval again when she suffers devastating betrayal and loss. Desperate to outrun grief, Alice flees to the dramatically beautiful central Australian desert. In this otherworldly landscape Alice thinks she has found solace, until she meets a charismatic and ultimately dangerous man. Spanning two decades, set between sugar cane fields by the sea, a native Australian flower farm, and a celestial crater in the central desert, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart follows Alice’s unforgettable journey, as she learns that the most powerful story she will ever possess is her own.

 

The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey

This book is filled with meaningful conversations from Oprah’s show, Super Soul Sunday. Organised into ten chapters, each one representing a powerful step in Oprah’s own spiritual journey and introduced with an intimate, personal essay by Oprah herself. The Wisdom of Sundays features selections from the most meaningful conversations between Oprah and some of today’s most admired thought leaders. Visionaries like Tony Robbins, Arianna Huffington, and Shonda Rhimes share their lessons in finding purpose through mindfulness and intention.

 

 

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

If your mum is someone who enjoys the thriller genre, give her The Woman in the Window.

It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside. Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers. But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?

 

I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Here’s another one for the Mum that loves a thrill. When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that. Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make…

 

 

 

 

 

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

This is a charming and moving story exploring the objects that hold meaning to our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us. This book is great for the mums who have kept everything.

Anthony Peardew has spent half his life collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before. Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to fulfil his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners. But the final wishes of the ‘Keeper of Lost Things’ have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters.

 

 

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin

We went to school that Tuesday like normal. Not all of us came home…

Huddled in a cloakroom with his classmates and teacher, six-year-old Zach can hear shots ringing through the corridors of his school. A gunman has entered the building and, in a matter of minutes, will have taken nineteen lives. In the aftermath of the shooting, the close knit community and its families are devastated. Everyone deals with the tragedy differently. Zach’s father absents himself; his mother pursues a quest for justice – while Zach retreats into his super-secret hideout and loses himself in a world of books and drawing. Ultimately though, it is Zach who will show the adults in his life the way forward – as, sometimes, only a child can. If you’re looking for a book to stop and make mum think, then this is it.

 

Enjoy!

Styling your home in time for Christmas

It is fast becoming that time of year when friends and families start piling into our homes laden with goodies and treats to share and we frantically tidy the house (and pretend it always looks this good) and decorate it with baubles, fake snow (for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere) and tinsel galore. We’ve noticed that Christmas decorating can certainly divide people…some people like to go all out (especially our children), and others like to rein it in and prefer to celebrate this crazy season with just a ‘touch’ of festive cheer.

So we have scoured the literary world and have found some fabulously inspiring books that can help you style your home in a variety of ways that will both wow guests and also keep your home beautiful long after the festive season…(psst, they make terrific Chrissie pressies too).

 

The Scandinavian Home by Niki Brantmark

Scandinavia is famous for its distinctive style: homes are pared-back and simple, and form and function are combined to create aesthetically pleasing and practical interiors. Scandinavians are inspired by light, having an abundance of it in summer but so little of it in winter, and house designs tend to maximise the amount of natural light that enters the home, and allow the inhabitants to make the most of outdoor life during the summer. Similarly, nature and the weather are major influences: homes are made warm and cosy for the freezing winter months – not just literally with log burners, but also through incorporating wood and natural materials. Here Niki Brantmark, owner of the interior design blog My Scandinavian Home, presents a wide-ranging collection of these beautiful homes and explores how the Scandinavian lifestyle is reflected in them all.

 

How to Decorate by Farrow & Ball

Set to become the bible of home decoration, Farrow & Ball How to Decorate provides a highly practical and inspirational guide to the successful use of paint and paper in any home, large or small, urban or country. Published on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the iconic brand, the book brings together the expertise of Joa Studholme and Farrow & Ball’s creative team to demystify the nitty-gritty of transforming a home – from deciding which colours work best in a north-facing room to creating accents with paint and making the most of a feature wall.

 

Decorate for a Party by Holly Becker

Decorate for a Party is a stunning sourcebook packed with decorating tips and techniques that will ignite your creativity. Whether you are planning a significant celebration or a simple dinner with friends, this book delivers creative ideas for every occasion. All aspects of party planning are covered, from lighting to playlists, hostess gifts, colours and patterns, food ideas, wall decor ideas, DIY projects and hundreds of fun tips that will make your party memorable. With over 200 practical ideas including ten step-by-step projects, ten playlists and ten 6 Ways projects, Decorate for a Party is split into ten sections by theme covering a range of different colour palettes and styles, from bright to moody tones, forest and children’s parties and beautiful boho and modern styles. All themes can be mixed and matched to use for a wide variety of occasions in homes of any size from the sprawling country home to a one-room city apartment. Decorate for a Party encourages you to make the most of what you have, to make things by hand and modify store-bought party supplies, and to infuse your party with personality and style. You’ll find hundreds of quick and beautiful ways to create a party that is meaningful, memorable, budget-friendly and fun!

 

The New Bohemian’s Handbook by Justina Blakeney

The New Bohoemian’s Handbook guides readers in beautifully simple techniques for adding good vibes, and style to living spaces. Packed with hundreds of ideas for bringing positive energy to your home, the book features exercises and activities for thinking about rooms in new ways. With Justina’s expert guidance, learn how to rearrange, paint, prop, and plant your way to a home that’s fresh and inspiring. Uncover your “spirit environment” and learn how to use colour and scent to enhance mood, productivity, and relaxation. Revel in Justina’s encouraging advice, (“you got this!”) and easily and affordably turn any dwelling into a personal sanctuary.

 

It’s Beautiful Here by Megan Morton

Interior fulfilment can be fleeting. Linen cupboards crash from a ten to a two in a blink and couch cushions need to be eternally fluffed. It’s Beautiful Here attempts to capture the moments of domestic paradise without making the mistake of thinking they are permanent, but hoping hard they might be. With her trademark wit and enthusiasm Megan Morton let’s us peek into the abodes of the people who have by luck, chance or determination nailed that ever elusive interiors je na sais quoi. From Paris to New York and even Adelaide, we meet a motley crew of renters, Barbie Dreamhouse owners and accidental interior heroes and learn that a beautiful home doesn’t rest on great design alone it’s shaped by the people who live there.

 

Simple Decorating by Melissa Michaels

If you want to jump-start your style and refresh your home without needing power tools and a winning lottery ticket, make Simple Decorating your go-to resource for can-do decor. Spark your makeover momentum with 50 no-fuss tips and discover how to get unstuck by embracing a style that is your very own, transform your spaces with simple colour, window treatments, and furniture choices, Whether you start with one tip or take these on as a challenge for the month, it’s never been more fun (or possible) to create a home you can’t wait to come home to.

 

Enjoy!

The Top Ten Most Popular Books on Booko for 2017

Wowsers, we’re nearly at the end of 2017…is it just us or did it zoom by in a flash?

It’s been a wonderful year in the literary world and although we tried, the Booko team still have a few titles that we wished we’d read…and with summer fast approaching we will be tackling our reading lists with much anticipation.

Here’s the top ten books of 2017 that our Booko community have been reading.

The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape

One thing that you’ll find different between this book and any other finance book you have read is that getting on top of your finances gives you enormous freedom. Divorced? Made redundant? Want a change of career? Sort your finances by putting in place the ‘set and forget’ steps covered by Scott Pape and you’re halfway there. For many, this book has been life changing.

 

 

 

 

 

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls broke records as the most-funded original book in crowdfunding history, and has since become a bestseller in 30 languages. Challenging gender stereotypes, Good Night Stories profiles 100 women – scientists, athletes, politicians – who have contributed to public life. It further celebrates women by highlighting the work of the two authors and 60 illustrators, who produced this striking and colourful volume. Written in the style of fairytales, Good Night Stories is not just for bedtime or for girls – it is inspirational for all children. Adult readers can also enjoy it as a sampler offering ideas for further reading. Volume 2 is available here.

 

 

Wonder by R J Palacio

Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things – eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary – inside. But ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids aren’t stared at wherever they go. Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life. Now, for the first time, he’s being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted – but can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all? WONDER is a funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

 

 

 

The Subtle Art of not giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up. Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited “not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek. There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

 

 

A Season with Richmond by Konrad Marshall

A Season with Richmond reveals the intimate story of the Richmond Football Club through the highs and heartaches of the 2017 season. With unprecedented access to club officials, players and coaches, author Konrad Marshall takes the reader inside the rooms at the key moments the campaign, chronicling the Tigers’ journey towards premiership contention. This is not just a book of wins and losses, it’s the story of a professional football club and how it operates at every level: from the fitness staff, to the coaching panel, the players, and the Board. Football has changed enormously since Richmond’s last flag, in 1980, and Marshall explains in great detail the enormous amount of work and thought that goes into every decision made—on and off the field. Whether the Tigers make it to the last Saturday in September or not, their story is rich and explosive. A Season with Richmond is full of unparalleled access to all the key moments, including frank and occasionally emotional interviews with all the key figures. A Season with Richmond is a compulsory read for all football fans.

 

 

The Circle by Dave Eggers

When Mae is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. Run out of a sprawling California campus, the Circle links users’ personal emails, social media, and finances with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of transparency. Mae can’t believe her great fortune to work for them – even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public.

 

 

 

 

Tinkering: The Complete Book of John Clarke by Text Publishing

The sudden death of John Clarke in April 2017 cut short the life of a man who was not only a great and much loved entertainer and satirist but a wonderful writer.

Tinkering- The Complete Book of John Clarke represents his work from the 1970s in both Australia and New Zealand, and includes his writing for radio, television, stage and screen, as well some previously unpublished pieces. This collection includes the irresistible commentaries of Fred Dagg, the hilarious and unforgettable absurdities of farnarkeling and selections of his famous quizzes, where he gave the answers and readers had to guess the questions. There are also moving recollections of people and places, many of which he wrote towards the end of his life.

Introduced by Lorin Clarke Tinkering is the perfect way to remember the genius who made us all laugh at ourselves and our society for so many years.

 

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling

With J.K. Rowling writing the screenplay herself, and the casting of Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne in the lead role, Potterheads should be in for a treat.  Fantastic Beasts is first mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, as a textbook that Harry and his friends use at Hogwarts. It is supposedly written by Newt Scamander, a famous Magizoologist, and is a guide to the magical creatures found in the Harry Potter universe.  Sales of this book has raised millions for the charity Comic Relief.

 

 

 

 

Robert Kuok: A Memoir by Robert Kuok

Robert Kuok is one of the most highly respected businessmen in Asia. But this legendary Overseas Chinese entrepreneur, commodities trader, hotelier and property mogul has maintained a low profile and seldom shed light in public on his business empire or personal life. That is, until now. In these memoirs, the 94-year-old Kuok tells the remarkable story of how, starting in British Colonial Malaya, he built a multi-industry, multinational business group. In reflecting back on 75 years of conducting business, he offers management insights, discusses strategies and lessons learned, and relates his principles, philosophy, and moral code. Kuok has lived through fascinating and often tumultuous times in Asia – from British colonialism to Japanese military occupation to post-colonial Southeast Asia and the dramatic rise of Asian economies, including, more recently, China. From his front-row seat and as an active participant, this keen, multi-cultural observer tells nearly a century of Asian history through his life and times. Readers interested in business, management, history, politics, culture and sociology will all enjoy Robert Kuok’s unique and remarkable story.

 

Quick and Easy Food 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver

Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated – that’s why Jamie’s Quick and Easy 5-Ingredient Food is sure to become your new best friend in the kitchen. It’s all about making the journey to good food, super-simple. Every recipe uses just five key ingredients, ensuring you can get a plate of food together fast, whether it’s finished and on the table super-quickly, or after minimal hands-on prep, you’ve let the oven do the hard work for you. We’re talking quality over quantity, a little diligence on the cooking front, and in return massive flavour. Each recipe has been tried and tested (and tested again!) to ensure the book is packed with no-fuss, budget-friendly dishes that you can rustle up, any day of the week. With over 130 recipes, and chapters on Chicken, Beef, Pork, Lamb, Fish, Eggs, Veg, Salads, Pasta, Rice Noodles and Sweet Things, there’s plenty of quick and easy recipe inspiration to choose from. Think Roast tikka chicken – a whole bird rubbed with curry paste and roasted over golden potatoes and tender cauliflower, finished with fresh coriander. Or, Crazy simple fish pie – flaky smoked haddock, spring onions, spinach and melty Cheddar, all topped off with crisp, golden filo, and ready to tuck into in less than 30 minutes. With every recipe you’ll find a visual ingredient guide, serving size, timings, a short, easy-to-follow method, and quick-reference nutritional information. This is Jamie’s easiest-to-use book yet, and the perfect cookbook for busy people.

 

Enjoy!

Which was Better – the Book or the Movie?…the Great Christmas Table Debate

It’s always a dividing topic…and what better time than now to prep for one of the great debates that happen to occur around the table at Christmas lunch; Which was better, the book or the movie?

We’ve had a look into the books that have been released as movies this year so you can cram in both the reading and viewing of them all before the big day…

Wonder by R J Palacio

Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.

This one’s only in the cinemas now so you’ll need to pop along quick smart to see it.

 

 

 

 

 

The Circle by Dave Eggers

When Mae is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. Run out of a sprawling California campus, the Circle links users’ personal emails, social media, and finances with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of transparency. Mae can’t believe her great fortune to work for them – even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public.

Here’s the DVD.

 

 

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

You can order the DVD here.

 

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

A young boy wakes to find his mother missing. Their house is empty but outside in the garden he sees his mother’s favourite scarf – wrapped around the neck of a snowman.

And then he will appear again. As Harry Hole and his team begin their investigation they discover that an alarming number of wives and mothers have gone missing over the years.

When a second woman disappears it seems that Harry’s worst suspicions are confirmed – for the first time in his career Harry finds himself confronted with a serial killer operating on his home turf.

If you want to watch it, you can buy the DVD here.

 

 

The Mountain Between Us by by Professor Charles Martin

This is a captivating story where two strangers wait for a flight at the Salt Lake City airport. Ashley Knox is an attractive, successful writer, who is flying East for her much anticipated wedding. Dr Ben Payne has just wrapped up a medical conference and is also eager to return home to Jacksonville, Florida for a slate of surgeries he has scheduled for the following day. When the last outgoing flight is cancelled due to a broken de-icer and a forthcoming storm, Ben finds a charter plane that can take him around the weather front. And when the pilot says the single engine prop plane can fit one more, Ben offers the seat to Ashley.

Then the unthinkable happens. The pilot has a heart attack mid-flight and the plane crashes into the High Uintas Wilderness – one of the largest stretches of harsh and remote land in the United States. Their survival becomes increasingly perilous as they must rely on each other to survive.

The DVD is here.

Enjoy!

The Savvy Shopper’s Christmas Guide

Online shopping is a real blessing when you have family and friends scattered around the world – not only can you shop at your leisure, but the parcels can be sent directly to the recipients (giftwrapped if required), without a mad scramble to find packing materials and a trip to the post office.  But not all of your favourite stores will ship overseas that way – so how to find one that does? This is where Booko can help.  Booko can help you work out the best prices for books, eBooks, DVDs and games for delivery in 17 different countries – here’s how:

• When you visit the Booko website at www.booko.com.au, the region is set to Australia. This is indicated by the Aussie flag in the top-right corner of the webpage:
• Click on the flag and it will reveal all the countries/regions available – which includes Japan, China, Spain as well as NZ, US and the UK..
• Click on the flag for the destination country you require. The new flag is now displayed in the top corner. Now search for your preferred book / eBook / DVD as usual, and Booko will calculate and rank prices based on shipping to your new destination country.

So easy!

Here are a few book and DVD goodies that I’m earmarking for friends overseas…

Kedi [DVD]

Kedi proves that, yes, everyone loves watching cat videos.  This feel-good success of 2017 is a documentary about the street cats of Istanbul – they have been an inextricable part of the cityscape since first arriving in trading ships centuries ago. They are free to roam and are often fed and cared for by their human neighbours. Kedi focusses on seven cats with different personalities and stories full of humour and drama.  The camerawork offers a cats-eye view of beautiful chaotic Istanbul and encourages us to reflect upon our notions of community, of progress, and of the relationship between animals and people.

 

A Die Hard Christmas by Doogie Horner

Die Hard is widely regarded as one of the Best Christmas Movies ever – and now comedian Doogie Horner has amped up the festive feel and made the Die Hard story fun for the whole family! A Die Hard Christmas is a beautifully illustrated picture book set to the rhythms of Twas the Night Before Christmas.  The violence has been toned down but is still present – so best to share with older kids – that is, if you can prise it from the fingers of the grownups!

 

Twilight Zone – The Original Series Season 1 [DVD – NTSC Region 0]

The Christmas Break is perfect for binge-watching, with many DVD sets released in time for the gifting season.  This Twilight Zone Season 1 box set allows you to revisit this classic series that has remained fresh, relevant and chilling for over 55 years.  Its mixing of science-fiction, fantasy and horror themes, its famous twist endings and use of speculative fiction as a vehicle for social and political commentary is groundbreaking and has influenced generations of Creatives.  This is a 6-disc set offering all 36 episodes of Season 1.

 

 

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Already a bestseller beloved for its authentic voices and gripping story, Wonder has now become a major film starring Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay.  10 year-old Auggie has facial deformities that make him look different, but he loves Minecraft, Star Wars, and ice cream just like any other kid.  Auggie had been home-schooled, but he and his parents decide that he is now ready to re-join the wider world. Wonder tells the story of Auggie’s first year at school; it shines through its cast of complex characters and its deft handling of sentimentality.  A fabulous conversation-starter about empathy, differences and bullying.