Category Archives: Gifts

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

The newest fiction hitting the market

While in lockdown many of us took up new hobbies, such as bread making, knitting, puzzle building, yoga with Adrienne, or podcasting, some of the clever clogs around the world wrote new books – and gosh are we thankful for that! There are so many new books hitting the market that we know you are going to love. This week we’re sharing new fiction titles and have chosen six that are highly likely to make your Christmas wishlist (is it too early to mention Christmas?). So sit back, and get ready to get clicking to let everyone know whether you want an audio, electronic or actual paper version. 

Cracked Pots by Heather Tucker

Cracked Pots s the much-anticipated follow-up novel from the author of The Clay Girl. The perfect girl, from the nicest family, vanishes. For once in Ari Appleton’s life, the mayhem is not the fault of her twisted mother or dead father – or is it? The tragedy unfolds, revelations surface, then one misstep cracks everything open, leaving 16-year-old Ari with terrifying questions. Are Appletons the root of all evil? From the waning flower-power ’60s in Toronto, through her East Coast university years, Ari fights to discover who she is and what it means to be the child of an addicted mother and depraved father. With wit, tenacity, and the incessant meddling of Jasper the seahorse in her head Ari rides turbulent waves of devilry and discovery, calamity and creation, abandonment and atonement on a journey to find her true self, and to find Natasha.

Cracked Pots is a story about a girl broken by both cruelty and truth. It is a revelation: that destiny is shaped in clay, not stone. It is also a celebration of rising after the blows, gathering the fragments, and piecing together a remarkable life through creativity, kindness, and belonging.

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a distribution warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend Eileen is getting over a break-up, and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood. Alice, Felix, Eileen and Simon are still young-but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world? You can find Sally Rooney’s other books here.

Freckles by Cecelia Ahern

Freckles is the brand new novel from million-copy bestselling author Cecelia Ahern. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. When a stranger utters these words to Allegra Bird, nicknamed Freckles, it turns her highly ordered life upside down. In her current life as a parking warden, she has left her eccentric father and unconventional childhood behind for a bold new life in the city. But a single encounter leads her to ask the question she’s been avoiding for so long: who are the people who made her the way she is? And who are the five people who can shape and determine her future? Just as she once joined the freckles on her skin to mirror the constellations in the night sky, she must once again look for connections. Told in Allegra’s vivid, original voice, moving from Dublin to the fierce Atlantic coast, this is an unforgettable story of human connection, of friendship, and growing into your own skin. Five people. Five stars. Freckle to freckle. Star to star.

After Story by Larissa Behrendt

When Indigenous lawyer Jasmine decides to take her mother Della on a tour of England’s most revered literary sites, Jasmine hopes it will bring them closer together and help them reconcile the past. Twenty-five years earlier the disappearance of Jasmine’s older sister devastated their tight-knit community. This tragedy returns to haunt Jasmine and Della when another child mysteriously goes missing on Hampstead Heath. As Jasmine immerses herself in the world of her literary idols – including Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters and Virginia Woolf – Della is inspired to rediscover the wisdom of her own culture and storytelling. But sometimes the stories that are not told can become too great to bear.

Ambitious and engrossing, After Story celebrates the extraordinary power of words and the quiet spaces between. We can be ready to listen, but are we ready to hear?

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

The Paper Palace is a magnificent literary debut about the myriad loves that make up a life. Before anyone else is awake, on a perfect August morning, Elle Bishop heads out for a swim in the glorious fresh water pond below The Paper Palace, the gently decaying summer camp in the back woods of Cape Cod where her family has spent every summer for generations. As she passes the house, Elle glances through the screen porch at the uncleared table from a dinner party the previous evening; empty wine glasses, candle wax on the table cloth, echoes of laughter of family and friends. Then she dives beneath the surface of the freezing water to the shocking memory of the sudden passionate encounter she had the night before, up against the wall outside the house, as her husband and mother chatted to the dinner guests inside. So begins a story that unfolds over 24 hours and across 50 years, as decades of family legacies, love, lies, secrets, and one unspeakable incident in her childhood lead Elle to the precipice of a life-changing decision. Over the next 24 hours, Elle will have to decide between the life she has made with her much-loved husband, Peter, and the life she imagined would be hers with her childhood love, Jonas, if a tragic event hadn’t forever changed the course of their lives.

Plum by Brendan Cowell

Plum is the wildly impressive, raucously funny and deeply moving second novel from award-winning writer, actor and director for television, theatre and film, Brendan Cowell. Peter ‘The Plum’ Lum is a 48-year-old ex-star NRL player, living with his son and girlfriend in Cronulla. He’s living a pretty cruisey life until one day he suffers an epileptic fit and discovers that he has a brain disorder as a result of the thousand-odd head knocks he took on the footy field in his twenty-year-career. According to his neurologist, Plum has to make some changes, right now, or it’s dementia, or even death. Reluctantly, Plum embarks on a journey of self-care and self-discovery, which is not so easy when all you’ve ever known is to go full tilt at everything. On top of this, he’s being haunted by dead poets, and, unable to stop crying, discovers he has a special gift for the spoken word. With spectral visits from Bukowski and Plath, the friendship of local misfits, and the prospect of new love, Plum might just save his own life. Plum is a powerfully moving, authentic, big-hearted, angry and joyous novel of men, their inarticulate pain and what it takes for them to save themselves – from themselves. It’s got a roaring energy, a raucous humour, a heart of gold and a poetic soul.

Enjoy!

Last minute book ideas for Dad

This year has whizzed by which means you can be completely forgiven for not realising that Father’s Day is this Sunday. Fear not, Team Booko is here to help take any last-minute-gift-panic away as we have rounded up some fantastic books to give Dad. Last week on the blog Karen shared six of the top selling books this Father’s Day (click here to read the blog post) and this week we have rustled up a further six titles that we know Dad would be happy to read. 

Be sure to double check the postage times, if it’s looking unlikely for your gift to be delivered in time, then you can always opt for the ebook version (who doesn’t love an instant download) or perhaps a gift voucher. Click here for the gift voucher options. 

CSI Told You Lies by Meshel Laurie

Meshel Laurie, host of the incredibly successful Australian True Crime podcast speaks to the forensic pathologists, homicide detectives, defence barristers and victims’ families in this moving and gripping study of violent crime and large scale natural disaster. CSI Told You Lies is a surprisingly moving account of the real forensic pathologists at the frontline of Australia’s major crime and disaster investigations. These are the men and women whose post-mortem examinations help the dead to speak. All of the forensic pathologists involved in the book are part of the team at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, (VIFM), a state-of-the-art facility in Melbourne created in the wake of the Lindy Chamberlain case. After reading CSI Told You Lies you’ll never read another homicide headline without thinking about the forensic pathologist who happened to be on call. You’ll never read another story about a murder trial or an inquest without acknowledging the forensic evidence and considering the brilliance and the sacrifice of the person who submitted it. You’ll never hear the terrible news of a disaster without imagining one of the characters in this book pulling a suitcase down from on top of a wardrobe and bidding farewell to their own family for who-knows-how-long.

You can buy the ebook version here

Pure Narco by Jesse Fink and Luis Navia

Careers in the cocaine-trafficking business are usually short. It’s not only a highly risky profession, fraught with the possibility of long jail sentences, but it can be deadly if the cartels get to you first. Not for Luis Antonio Navia. For 25 years the Cuban-American smuggled hundreds of tons of white powder for the biggest cartels in Colombia and Mexico, including Pablo Escobar’s Medellin Cartel. What made him good at his dangerous job was amassing trusted contacts, losing very few shipments of coke, and maintaining a low profile. He refused to carry a weapon. 

He also maintained a normal family life with a Colombian wife and two young children. But he was never far removed from the most brutal violence imaginable. One friend got his head cut off. Another was hit over the head, stuffed in a 55-gallon drum full of cement and dumped in a canal. Navia himself was kidnapped three times and went close to being fed alive to crocodiles. Somehow through it all he managed to survive and spent two decades fooling law-enforcement agencies until he came under the radar of Robert Harley, a tenacious US Customs special agent in Key West, Florida, who was determined to bring him to justice. What followed was an international game of cat-and-mouse that culminated in Navia’s 2000 capture in Venezuela in one of the biggest anti-narcotics takedowns of all time, the 12-nation Operation Journey. Spanning decades, continents and featuring a who’s who of the drug trade, Pure Narco is a fast-paced adventure ride into the dark underworld of cocaine trafficking, written with the cooperation of a dozen law-enforcement agents from the world’s top anti-narcotics forces in the United States and Great Britain.

Navia served his time in jail and is now free to tell his tale. His is the rare perspective of someone who has worked on both sides of that war: as a cocaine trafficker and US Government consultant. This book is a redemption story. Luis Navia, the pure narco, has gone full circle.

You can buy the ebook version here.

The Tribute by John Byron

A serial killer is stalking through Sydney, hell-bent on recreating scenes from the Fabrica, the 16th-century foundation text of modern European anatomy. The spate of cold, methodical attacks has the city on edge, but the serial killer may not even be the darkest player in this story. Desperate for a breakthrough, decorated homicide detective David Murphy draws into the case his art historian sister, Joanna, and his wife, Sylvia. Unravelling the mystery of who is behind the killings pushes each beyond the limits of what they thought possible. The Tribute is a subversive take on modern masculinity and misogyny told through an irresistible crime narrative. Dark and unpredictable, chilling but sympathetic, it weaves a tapestry of narrative threads towards a mesmerising climax that will challenge the way you think about everyone you meet. Meticulously researched, hugely ambitious and superbly crafted, The Tribute is one of the most outstanding crime novels of 2021.

You can buy the ebook version here.

Steve Hansen The Legacy by Gregor Paul

This one is for all our New Zealand Dadsand those who love rugby. 

The making of a New Zealand coaching great Steve Hansen: The Legacy delves into the highs and the lows that earned the New Zealand rugby knight a place in the pantheon of world rugby coaching greats. After 15 years in the All Blacks coaching team and 210 tests, he lost just 25 times. Of the 107 tests he served as head coach, Sir Steve accumulated a record four world rugby coach of the year awards and orchestrated 93 victories – a winning percentage of 87 per cent, the highest of any All Blacks coach. This revealing and insightful book delves into how Hansen dealt with the immeasurable pressure of leading the world’s most famous rugby team; the tension created by being re-appointed specifically to win the Rugby World Cup; how he dealt with high-profile athletes and an exodus of New Zealand’s all-time greats; how he transitioned away from the boarding-school culture of the Graham Henry era; the tug-of-war between commercialism and high performance; the increasing influence of referees on the game; the power battle between the northern and southern hemispheres; and how he eventually learnt to understand his weaknesses and use them to his advantage. In Steve Hansen: The Legacy, award-winning writer Gregor Paul tells the story of the former policeman from Mosgiel’s journey to greatness and his quest for world rugby dominance.

You can buy the ebook version here.

The Cellist by Daniel Silva

Master of international intrigue Daniel Silva follows up his acclaimed #1 New York Times bestsellers The Order, The New Girl, and The Other Woman with this riveting, action-packed tale of espionage and suspense featuring art restorer and spy Gabriel Allon. The fatal poisoning of a Russian billionaire sends Gabriel Allon on a dangerous journey across Europe and into the orbit of a musical virtuoso who may hold the key to the truth about his friend’s death. Allon uncovers leads to secret channels of money and influence that go to the very heart of Western democracy and threaten the stability of the global order. The Cellist is a breathtaking entry in Daniel Silva’s ‘outstanding series’ and reveals once more his superb artistry and genius for invention-and demonstrates why he belongs firmly alongside le Carre and Forsyth as one of the greatest spy novelists of all time.

You can buy the ebook version here.

The Ferals that Ate Australia by Guy Hull

Dangerous predators and ravenous herbivores: the story of Australia’s feral nightmare.

Isolation was once the impenetrable barrier that protected Australia and its unique fauna. But a little over two hundred years ago a foreign power took possession and brought with it the foreign animals that now dominate the country’s ecosystem. They are the enemy within. Since that time, around 10 per cent of Australia’s endemic terrestrial mammalian species have become extinct. Today Australia is dealing with the damage caused by all hard-hoofed animals, domestic and feral. Yet the bigger feral story is the ravages of acclimatisation, as new settlers tried to make the colony more like their homeland and released the rabbit, the fox, the hare, feral cats, common mynahs, starlings, sparrows, redfin perch, and the many other invasive species that have brought natural Australia to its knees. In this book, Guy Hull details the history and toll of the 45-odd foreign animal species that have contributed to the decimation of Australian species, their assault on land and agriculture, and the modern strategies that are, hopefully, reclaiming the country for our native fauna and all Australians.

You can buy the ebook version here.

Enjoy!

The Booko Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day is fast approaching – and, for those of us who cannot celebrate with our father-figures in person, what better way to show our appreciation than through a well-chosen book? Easy to buy and send for the giver, and hours of enjoyment for the receiver! Here are some Booko favourites for Father’s Day gifting:

Blessed: The Breakout Year of Rampaging Roy Slaven by John Doyle

It seems entirely appropriate that the launch of Rampaging Roy Slaven’s memoirs coincides with this year’s Olympic Games – after all, Roy and his partner HG Nelson are two of Australia’s best Olympics commentators. Blessed is the coming-of-age story of this Australian icon, raconteur, and athlete of “unsurpassable sporting feats” – a record of Roy’s “breakout” year as a 15 year-old in Lithgow, rural NSW in 1967. Blessed is a tender and insightful depiction of a community on the cusp of great change -it handles some difficult issues with a light but respectful touch. With additional tantalising hints of the life of John Doyle, the fictional Roy’s creator, this intriguing fictional memoir is a must-read.

We Were Not Men by Campbell Mattinson

Looking for a big, emotional story after finishing Boy Swallows Universe or Bridge of Clay? We Were Not Men may just do the trick (praised by Trent Dalton himself as “gut-punching” and “soul-restoring” ). We Were Not Men is a powerful, moving and ultimately uplifting story of twin brothers, Jon and Eden, and their grandmother Bobbie. Thrown together as the remnants of a family fractured by a shocking accident, we see the effort and bravery it takes to heal from unspeakable tragedy, and we also see the ebb and flow of the twins’ bond as they grow up, compete against each other, leave each other behind and catch up with each other again. Campbell Mattinson’s debut novel has been 30 years in the making – and is absolutely worth the wait.

Take One Fish: the New School of Scale-to-Tail Cooking and Eating by Josh Niland

Josh Niland is so respected that his masterclasses pack out concert halls. He is particularly known for “Scale-to-Tail” eating and cooking, adapting this sustainable and respectful approach from meat cookery. Take One Fish offers recipes for 15 global species of fish – from cheap and accessible sardines and herrings, to luxe coral trout and groper. These recipes utilise as much as 90% of each fish (nearly double of regular recipes) through innovative cutting and cooking techniques. Look out for his surprising and perfect recipes of fish versions of classic dishes, including Peking coral trout, swordfish schnitzel and John Dory liver terrine – terrific inspiration, especially for Foodies and pescatarians!

Halliday Wine Companion 2022 by James Halliday

Every year, the wine industry awaits the latest edition of the Halliday Wine Companion as eagerly as wine lovers. This bestseller is widely recognised as the go-to guide to Australian wine, with comprehensive reviews by a trusted team of critics. There’s information on wine ratings, alcohol content, best by drinking, regions, winery reviews and varietals, and it also highlights the best of the year’s output with its prestigious awards for wines, winemakers as well as for wineries. Halliday Wine Companion has all you need to know about wine buying and collecting, plus it makes a great guidebook for wine tourism!

Tales From The Perilous Realm by J. R. R. Tolkien

For father-figures who love fantasy, here is a beautifully-illustrated volume that collects Tolkien’s five novellas for the first time. Tales From the Perilous Realm contains Farmer Giles of Ham, Roverandom, The Tale of Tom Bombadil, Leaf by Niggle, and Smith of Wootton Major – these are Tolkien’s take on fairy tales, and they are as full of magic, adventure and charm as his longer works. Their shorter lengths also make them great read-alouds! The delicate and detailed illustrations are by Alan Lee, who has a deep connection to Tolkien’s worlds through previously illustrating editions of The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit, as well as working on concept art for both film series.

How We Became Human: and Why We Need to Change by Tim Dean

Philosopher and journalist Tim Dean tries to make sense of our current social flashpoints – including racism, sexism, religious conflict and partisan politics – in his first book, How We Became Human. Tim suggests that, over thousands of years, humans have developed morality, and associated “moral emotions” (such as empathy, guilt and outrage), to differentiate between friend and foe. These are powerful tools that have helped humans co-exist in ever-larger, more productive societies. However, our morals have fallen out of step with our increasingly diverse world; so we will need to separate what’s natural from what’s right, in order to reframe morality for the modern world. How to Be Human is a compelling read for those who love to ponder life’s big questions.

Indulge yourself with the yummiest dessert books on the market

Ohhh, how exciting is this week’s blog post? We have had a blast scouring the globe for the newest, yummiest, books hitting the market in our favourite culinary course – dessert! It’s been a tough task, but someone had to do it and we have found six of what we think are the best dessert books to indulge in. Apologies if this blog post makes you hungry but we hope it will inspire you to whip up something super sweet and tasty in the kitchen this weekend. 

Settle in, make yourself a cup of tea and prepare to get a little peckish. 

A Year in Cake by Peggy Porschen

With its fairytale pink façade and picture-perfect cupcakes, the Peggy Porschen Parlour has become a destination bakery for Londoners and tourists since it first opened ten years ago. Half a million people follow Peggy’s creations and seasonal floral displays on Instagram and her customers include celebrities, global fans and influencers who come, often dressed in ‘Peggy pink’, for an exquisite sweet treat, as well as to take selfies in the always-beautiful floral archway entrances of the parlours in Belgravia and Chelsea. 

This book pays tribute to the magic Peggy weaves with her bakes through every season. Going through the year and punctuated by special occasions, the recipes will cover cakes, iced cookies and cupcakes and will reflect the changing seasons. Peggy will also share some of her unique style secrets so that fans can recreate the lifestyle at home.

La Vita e Dolce: Italian-Inspired Desserts by Letitia Clark

La Vita è Dolce is an exciting take on Italian baking by food writer and trained pastry chef, Letitia Clark. Featuring over 80 Italian desserts, the book showcases Letitia’s favourite puddings inspired by her time living in Sardinia. Whether you’re looking for something fruity, nutty, creamy, chocolatey or boozy, you will be seduced by the sweet aromas of every bake. Complete with anecdotes and beautiful location photography throughout, each recipe will be authentic in taste but with a delicious, contemporary twist. 

From a joyful Caramelised Citrus Tart to a classic Torta Caprese, this is a stunning celebration of the sweet things in life, and is guaranteed to bring a slice of Italy into your home. 

Gelupo Gelato by Jacob Kenedy

Gelupo Gelato presents a rainbow spectrum of simple, sophisticated gelato recipes from tangy Lime Sherbet to fruity Peach & Blood Orange, creamy Marron Glacé, and decadent Chocolate & Whisky. And that’s not all! There are definitive recipes for a classic granita (like grown-up slushie), barely-melting semifreddo, ice cream cake, profiteroles, ice cream cones and brioche buns as well as the only chocolate sauce you’ll ever need and a tip sheet for pairing flavours.

Crazy Sweet Creations by Ann Reardon

Join food scientist Ann Reardon, host of the award-winning YouTube series How to Cook That, as she explores Crazy Sweet Creations. An accomplished pastry chef, Reardon draws millions of baking fans together each week, eager to learn the secrets of her extravagant cakes, chocolates and eye-popping desserts. Her warmth and sense of fun in the kitchen shines through on every page as she reveals the science behind recreating your own culinary masterpieces.

For home cooks and fans who love their desserts, cakes and ice creams to look amazing and taste even better. Take your culinary creations to influencer status, you’ll also learn to make treats that get the whole family cooking, create baked goods that tap into beloved pop culture trends and impress guests with beautiful desserts.

Crave by Ed Smith

Why do we choose to cook the things we do, when we do? Most of the time, it is simply so we can eat what we really fancy; a subconscious response to a constantly fluctuating state of mind and appetite that’s influenced by mood, season, weather, memory, occasion, outside events and internal feelings. Ed Smith helps readers hone in on their cravings (whatever the reason for them) by organising his recipes within six cleverly conceived flavour profiles: fresh and fragrant; chilli and heat; tart and sour; curried and spiced; rich and savoury; and (best of all) cheesy and creamy. There’s also a directory of alternative cravings at the back, providing additional ways in. All bases are covered, from snacks through sides, to main courses and puddings. 

Baked to Perfection: Delicious gluten-free recipes, with a pinch of science by
Katarina Cermelj

This is the only gluten-free baking book you’ll ever need, with delicious recipes that work perfectly every time. From proper crusty bread, pillowy soft cinnamon rolls and glorious layered cakes to fudgy brownies, incredibly flaky rough puff pastry and delicate patisserie everything that once seemed impossible to make gluten-free can now be baked by you.

Baked to Perfection begins with a thorough look at the gluten-free baking basics: how different gluten-free flours behave, which store-bought blends work best, and how to mix your own to suit your needs. Covering cakes, brownies, cookies, pastry and bread in turn, Katarina shares the best techniques for the recipes in that chapter, and each recipe is accompanied by expert tips, useful scientific explanations and occasional step-by-step photography to help you achieve gluten-free perfection.

Enjoy!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide – 6 books for her coffee table

It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday and if you’re living in New Zealand or Australia, it’s likely you’re one of the lucky few that will be able to visit mum in person this year. After the year that we have all had, let’s all celebrate our Mums in style. Be sure to arrive on her door step with baked goods, flowers, heart felt cards and hugs galore. To help with gift ideas we have rounded up our favourite newly released, beautiful, coffee table books that we know would make a fabulous present. 

If you are in a country that is still needing to keep distance to remain safe, calling mum for a chat, or sending her a little something online are beautiful gestures. 

For all the new mums, we hope you have a fabulous First Mother’s Day. 

Still Life; Contemporary Australian Painters by Amber Creswell Bell

Still Life explores the diverse practices of more than forty contemporary Australian artists and documents a repertoire of styles, subjects, visions and philosophies. Alongside flowers and food, mainstays of the genre, the works within these pages also incorporate objects such as books and beer cans, birds and balloons, adding energy and intrigue to both the composition and the story revealed. This book captures the inanimate beauty of the everyday in a distinctly Australian context, and offers a meditation on human experience and the brevity of life.

Utsuwa; Japanese Objects for Everyday Use by Kylie Johnson, Tiffany Johnson

A piece must be practical enough to be used every day. It must be crafted at its place of origin, using traditional techniques and materials. And it must be handmade. Japanese craft has long been revered for its quality and beauty, and skilled craftwork remains an important part of Japanese life. ‘Utsuwa’, meaning ‘for everyday use’, embodies the ethos of hand-making in Japan, where handcrafted wares must be as practical as they are beautiful. This book takes us behind the scenes into the private studios of some of Japan’s most exciting artisans to reveal stories of material, method, place and culture. It guides us through quiet galleries and colourful marketplaces, where the provenance of a piece is central to its story. Utsuwa is a love letter to the makers and sellers, and to all those who share the Japanese reverence for tradition and beauty.

A Room of Her Own: Inside the Homes and Lives of Creative Women by Robyn Lea

A Room of Her Own features the dazzling homes of twenty extraordinary women around the globe. Across sitting rooms and studios, salon-style hangs and table settings, this is a book of daring inspiration. In this new Renaissance period, a time of artistic, cultural and intellectual rebirth, these women have chosen to carve out their own space to live creatively. Artists, designers, makers and curators invite us into their domestic and professional domains to reveal a world of meaning and purpose beyond status and consumerism. Now, more than ever, we are searching for new ways of thinking, new ways of living. These pages are filled with beautiful rooms, but Robyn Lea’s gorgeous photography and evocative texts look beyond the aesthetics to explore the ideals and practices of these women and guide us all on a new and exciting path forward. A Room of Her Own is a manifesto for the 21st century.

Design Lives Here: Australian interiors, furniture and lighting by Penny Craswell

Australian design has forged its own unique trajectory, influenced by geographic isolation, a distinctive natural environment and a modern sensibility. Design Lives Here showcases the best of Australian residential architecture and interiors, and pays homage to the local designers and makers who have crafted bespoke pieces of furniture and lighting for these homes, whether large or small. From a reimagined Californian bungalow with a dining table inspired by the humble HB pencil to a monumental inner-city residence furnished with more than 100 custom pieces, these houses, and the objects that reside within, offer a compelling snapshot of contemporary Australian design through the lens of materiality, utility, site and place.

Ken Done; Art Design Life by Amber Creswell Bell, Ken Done

Ken Done has achieved what few others have. His signature style has graced ad campaigns and art cars, magazine covers and doona covers, public spaces and landmark cultural events, but it is his unabating passion for painting that sustains him. For more than forty years, Done has chronicled the Australian way, documenting how it feels to be Australian with an exuberance that is immediately recognisable. Ken Done: Art Design Life documents Done’s expansive art and design practice over four decades and provides a fascinating insight into the artist and his oeuvre. The book features both early and lesser-known works, as well as the iconic paintings of Sydney Harbour, the Outback and the reef. It opens an extensive archive, providing readers in-depth access to the catalogue of fashion and homewares, and the designs that came to define an era. This book celebrates the man, his work and his enduring legacy, which has captured hearts around the world.

Joy in the Little Things: Finding Happiness in Style, Home, and the Everyday by Kerrie Hess

The beloved fashion and lifestyle illustrator celebrates the best, most important joys of all – the little pleasures. The Joy in the Little Things is a guide full of ideas and inspiration for tapping into your own happiness and creativity. This delicious book begins with an invitation to discover joy every day, just as Kerrie Hess does. Her fabulously creative life has turned her into one of the most eagerly-watched influencers on Instagram. Kerrie’s secret is that she’s discovered the little things that make her heart sing, and now she wants to help you do the same. From the very first sparkling words to the charming illustrations of macarons, peonies, teacups, and jewellery to the images of strong, chic women who grace its pages, this book is a love letter and guide to what makes us truly happy. Weaving through pleasures, including relaxation, creative pursuits, time with family and friends, in person or virtually, as well as fashion, beauty, home, and travel, Kerrie shares her favourite joy-givers and her tips for bringing sparkling moments into each day. Brimming with Kerrie’s signature original watercolour illustrations and photo vignettes, and beautifully evocative text written with Paris Dreaming author Katrina Lawrence, this book is an unquestionable object of desire.


Enjoy and Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is just around the corner – here are our top gift ideas for new mothers

Mother’s Day is next weekend here in Australia and we have been scouring the internet for goodies to wrap and gift mum. For many, next Sunday will mark their first Mother’s Day so we thought we’d offer some suggestions to give the sleep deprived, I’m-still-getting-used-to-this, did-I-mention-I-was-tired new mum. 

Sit back and get ready to click because these books offer kind advice, laughs and much needed insights and are way better than any soap or candle though may come in second to catching up on sleep. 

Letters on Motherhood by Giovanna Fletcher

From the author of the number 1 bestseller Happy Mum, Happy Baby, and the chart-topping podcast of the same name, comes a beautiful collection of heartfelt letters written to her three young sons, her husband and the family and friends who have inspired and supported her to become the mother she is today. In this beautiful book Giovanna shares touching personal tales of her own family life whilst also reflecting on deeper universal truths of parenting, from coping with mum guilt and finding a work / life balance to positive body image and a parent’s hopes for their child’s future.

#IMomSoHard by Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley

Has it been months since you’ve read a book with actual adult words that had nothing to do with farm animals or superheroes or going potty? Well then, it’s time to take a break. Pour yourself some wine. Put on your comfy pants. All good? Ok, welcome to the party.

Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley, the creators of #IMOMSOHARD, know that you probably didn’t get to shower today and that the last thing you need is more advice on how to be a better parent. Instead, they invite you to join their laugh-out-loud, best friend banter on the eighty bajillion ways moms give their all every day. Come for the laughs, stay for the kinship with two friends who are just getting it right, getting it wrong, and leaning on each other for a laugh at the end of the day. They don’t care if your house is a mess and they won’t judge you if you pee a little when you sneeze. So kick back, relax, and enjoy. You deserve it.

Mama Rising: Discovering the New You Through Motherhood by Amy Taylor-
Kabbaz

Are you struggling to figure out who you are now that you’re a mama? Do you feel like you’re coming last in your own life? Do you feel guilty for not loving every moment of this motherhood gig? As someone who used to put themselves last, doing everything she thought was ‘right’ for her children and family, but not really listening to what her body and her spirit was begging for, Amy understands first-hand the overwhelm and complex range of emotions that mothers face. Amy’s background as a journalist set her on the path to uncover all that she could about the latest research on matrescence, the transition a woman undergoes when she becomes a mother. She now shares what she’s learned in the hope that it will help you navigate this stage of your life. Mama Rising includes interviews with experts, case studies and Amy’s own tried-and-tested advice on how to reconnect with the woman you are underneath all that washing, cleaning and caring. Full of useful and empowering insights that will help you change the way you feel about motherhood, and yourself, so you and your whole family can flourish.

Grace Mothers: Letters to Our Children by Georgie Abay, Julie Adams, Claire
Brayford

This beautiful coffee table book is both an intimate insight into the joys and tribulations of motherhood and a celebration of mothers and their children everywhere. Some 60 eminent women, from Australia and around the world, have written heartfelt letters to their children. Inspiring, occasionally surprising, often funny and frequently poignant, they capture the essence of what motherhood means for each writer. Brought to you by Georgie Abay, former Australian Vogue deputy editor and founder of go-to website for style-conscious mothers and renowned fashion and portrait photographer Julie Adams, The Grace Tales, Grace Mothers features such luminaries as Australian actress Teresa Palmer, British journalist Pandora Sykes, Australian designer Collette Dinnigan, US journalist, author and advocate Gretchen Carlson, and UK financier and campaigner Dame Helena Morrissey. With a foreword by Australia’s former Governor-General, Dame Quentin Bryce, and gorgeously evocative photographs throughout, Grace Mothers is a book to cherish forever.

The Little Book of Mum Hacks by Kate Murnane

Packed with over 150 life-changing tips, tricks and hacks, this little book will help make your home happier and your life easier. Whether you’re a mum-to-be or have children already, this practical guide contains everything you need to know about savvy parenting (and will wish someone had told you sooner!). From tips on cleaning and tidying to cooking and playing, plus with a section dedicated to those first few months taking care of a newborn, these small everyday changes will help keep you sane and your children happy, calm and healthy. Illustrated with cute line drawings throughout and a beautiful gold foiled hardcover, this is a lovely gift for all mums.

The Motherhood: Australian Women Share What They Wish They’d Known
About Life With A Newborn
by Jamila Rizvi

‘Welcome to The Motherhood, my dear.’ After her son was born, Jamila Rizvi felt isolated, exhausted and confused. While desperately in love with her new baby, the world she’d known had disappeared overnight and so had her sense of self. Jamila’s salvation came in the form of a letter. A dear friend, Clare Bowditch – who had been there herself – wrote to tell Jamila she would get through this. Her comforting words reassured Jamila that she was seen, that she was supported and that she was not alone. Now Jamila wants to pay it forward to the next generation of new mothers. The Motherhood is a collection of letters from some of Australia’s favourite women, sharing what they wish they’d known about life with a newborn. Coming from writers with a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, no two stories are alike, but all are generous, compassionate and deeply honest. As the old adage goes, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ and it also takes a village to properly support a new mother. Here is your village. These sisters (with babes) in arms are here to share the joy, the fear, the love, the laughter, the tears and the frustration, and to hold your hand in the dark. Together, they will give you the strength and courage to find your feet as a new mum.

Enjoy!