Category Archives: Gifts

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

The best way to use Booko… a guide for clever people

We’re not really ones to blow our own trumpet but you guys have been telling us that the best way to buy cheap books online is to search through Booko – we’re rapt, of course, and couldn’t agree more. Thousands of people a day are using Booko to find the best price for books and DVDs – and that’s just here in Australia, not even counting the other 22 countries we are in.

In its infancy, Booko was just a web page with a series of small programs collecting prices and calculating delivery costs for a handful of online book shops, to find the cheapest supplier of books. The overarching objective was to find both new and second hand books online as cheaply as possible and when shops which offered free shipping could be added, it made the page even better.

Fast forward 10 years and we now have people in 23 countries using Booko every day to find the best price for new and used books, DVDs and board games. That’s a lot of clever people. 

Here are the best ways to use Booko to make sure you remain one of those clever people. 

Create an account 

We treat data very seriously at Booko and want to give you ultimate control of all of your data too. Creating an account allows you to make wish lists, set price alerts and view your search history along with deleting said history, and disabling Booko from keeping track of your history altogether. Just so you know, we don’t actually use your history for anything at all; it’s housed just for your entertainment and reading pleasure.

We have just tweaked the account function to give you more control. You can now export your data or delete your account and data altogether. Just click on the user icon in the top left of the screen when you have logged into Booko.

Make Lists

Once you have a Booko account, you can set up lists to keep track of books or DVDs you’re interested in. 

Want to know how much the 5 books you’re buying as Christmas presents will cost? Booko will take your list, find the shop that sells the whole lot for the best price and calculate shipping for the entire list.

What’s best is you can have multiple lists and even download and email them to people. There’s nothing like giving someone a nudge as to what they may like to buy you for your birthday, or Christmas…or ‘just because’.

The list feature allows you to check the prices for used books as well as new, if you wish. 

Set Price Alerts

Booko has a price alert feature (which is a super handy set-and-forget tool) that emails you as soon as the price of a book falls below the current price, or a price specified by you.

To set an alert, you need to be logged into your account (because we need to know which email to send the notifications to). Just click the ‘Add an Alert’ button directly below the book’s cover image on the left side of the page. Nominate a price you are happy to pay, type in your email and the Alert is set. Now all you need to do is wait for the Good News email!

The Booko alert function is really handy when you are shopping and have a little extra time up your sleeve (like getting on top of Christmas shopping early, or buying textbooks for courses next semester). You can have multiple alerts on books too. 

With our latest round of updates, you can also now specify a separate price alert for new and used books. This function is loved by many of the students that use Booko…because let’s be honest, not all courses ask for a brand new textbook…nor do they need one. Academic textbooks can be breathtakingly expensive – a single title can be over a hundred dollars, so imagine how much your entire reading list will cost! Booko is great for searching for specialist or academic texts. All you need to do is type a book’s ISBN into the main search box (this ensures you are searching for the correct edition) and away you go. Booko can find most books, whether they are e-Books, Reference books, Fiction or Non-Fiction. And since Booko can locate used copies, you may be able to save even more by buying second-hand!

If you fancy a little more detail have a look at this blog post.

Buy for friends and family overseas

If you want to purchase a book or DVD as a gift, Booko has some clever functionality where you can purchase in the local currency and the gift gets shipped directly to the recipient…saving you on both gift wrapping and postage! 

Here’s what you do: Jump online to Booko. In the top right hand corner, there will be a flag (it’s usually your local country flag). Click on this and all the countries that Booko works with will appear. Simply select the country that you want to send a book to and then keep using Booko the way you normally do. When you choose a different country, both the shipping charges and times are specific to that country (so it’s easy to make sure your gift will make it in time). 

Click here for a detailed How-To guide.

Finally, shopping clever means being one step ahead. Did you know we now have a newsletter? It’s super low volume and we don’t email you every week, or even every month, just when we have something exciting to share. You can click here to subscribe (oh and you can unsubscribe at any time, it’s okay we won’t bug you or make you feel guilty, we know inboxes can get a little overwhelming). 

You can also follow us on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Enjoy!

Top 10 Books to Pre Order Now

We love the anticipation of a book finally being launched…but sometimes the wait can be excruciating and the fear of missing out is too much. But fear not, we are here to help you stock your shelves as our team has scoured the internet and compiled a list of the Top Ten books to pre order now. 

Barefoot Investor for Families by Scott Pape

It’s simple, funny and practical. And it has changed people’s lives. The eagerly anticipated follow-up, The Barefoot Investor for Families, sticks to the same script as Pape’s first book. It’s aimed fairly and squarely at parents, grandparents, and basically anyone who read that book and said: ‘Why the hell wasn’t I taught this years ago?’ Scott lays out ten money milestones kids need to have nailed before they leave home, and it’s all structured around one family ‘money meal’ each week (so roughly 20 minutes). If you follow the roadmap, with tailor-made lessons for each age group, your kids will know how to do things like learn the life-changing value of hard work, set up a fee-free bank account (or jam jars!), go on a Treasure Hunt around the house, and sell some of their ‘stuff’ second-hand. Pape’s mission is to make sure your kids are financially strong so they never, ever get sucked into the traps that middle-aged bankers have devised to rob them of their money and their confidence. There are only ten things every kid needs to know about money, and you can teach them over dinner, once a week. It’s that simple.

 

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of the Upper Thames. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins. Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river. Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets? Told by multiple voices across time, The Clockmaker’s Daughter is a story of murder, mystery and thievery, of art, love and loss. And flowing through its pages like a river, is the voice of a woman who stands outside time, whose name has been forgotten by history, but who has watched it all unfold: Birdie Bell, the clockmaker’s daughter.

 

War of the Wolf by Bernard Cornwell

The master storyteller is back. 

At the fortress of the eagles, three kings will fight. Uhtred of Bebbanburg has won back his ancestral home but, threatened from all sides by enemies both old and new, he doesn’t have long to enjoy the victory. In Mercia, rebellion is in the air as King Edward tries to seize control. In Wessex, rival parties scramble to settle on the identity of the next king. And across the country invading Norsemen continue their relentless incursion, ever hungry for land. Uhtred, a legendary warrior, admired and sought as an ally, and feared as an enemy is once again torn between his two heritages. But when he finds himself fighting on what he considers the wrong side, facing one of his most fearsome enemies and cursed by misfortune and tragedy, only the most astute cunning, the greatest loyalty and the most spectacular courage can save him.

 

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult 

When Vonita opened the doors of the Center that morning, she had no idea that it would be for the last time. Wren has missed school to come to the Center, the sole surviving women’s reproductive health clinic in the state, chaperoned by her aunt, Bex. Olive told Peg she was just coming for a check-up. Janine is undercover, a pro-life protester disguised as a patient. Joy needs to terminate her pregnancy. Louie is there to perform a service for these women, not in spite of his faith, but because of it. When a desperate and distraught gunman bursts into the Center, opening fire and taking everyone hostage, Hugh McElroy is the police negotiator called to the scene. He has no idea that his fifteen-year-old daughter is inside. Told in a daring and enthralling narrative structure that counts backward through the hours of the standoff, this is a story that traces its way back to what brought each of these very different individuals to the same place on this fateful day. Jodi Picoult tackles a complicated issue in this gripping and nuanced novel. How do we balance the rights of pregnant women with the rights of the unborn they carry? What does it mean to be a good parent? A Spark of Light will inspire debate, conversation and, hopefully, understanding.

 

Cordially Invited by Zoe Sugg

For as long as Zoe Sugg can remember she has loved welcoming friends & family into her home, whether it’s to celebrate someone else’s big day or just being with friends, there is nothing she enjoys more than putting her energy into making any occasion special. In Zoe’s eyes the best thing about getting people together is there really is no right or wrong way, maybe you want to plan a throw-everything-at-it shindig, or simply make a special effort for one guest. Mostly it’s about how people feel when they’re in your company. How the smallest of gatherings can feel momentous, and the biggest of parties can feel intimate. Over the years Zoe has shared glimpses of this side to her in her videos, with millions of viewers taking daily inspiration from her life. In Cordially Invited she shares her best and never seen before ideas in print. Divided into seasons, and woven through with Zoe’s own stories and memories, this book reveals her favourite events – big or small – throughout the year and how to celebrate them in style. From practical ideas for how to feed your guests and hacks for unexpected get-togethers to simple but impressive DIYs and those personal touches people will remember, Cordially Invited is Zoe’s blueprint for making an event and a memory out of each day.

 

Becoming by Michelle Obama

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America, the first African-American to serve in that role, she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerising storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her, from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it, in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations and whose story inspires us to do the same.

 

Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin 

From the masterly imagination behind A Game of Thrones comes a definitive history of Westeros’s past as told by Archmaester Gyldayn. Unravelling events that led to A Song of Ice and Fire, Fire and Blood is the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens in Westeros. Revealing long-buried secrets and untold lasting enmity, it sets the scene for the heart-stopping series conclusion, The Winds of Winter. 300 years before the events of A Song of Ice and Fire, long before the schism that set the houses of Westeros at each other’s throats, one house ruled supreme and indomitable. House Targaryen, the house of the last remaining dragonlords. After surviving the Doom of Valyria the Targaryen’s established themselves on Dragonstone. This volume traces their legendary lineage from Aegon the Conqueror to the bloody Dance of Dragons; a civil war that pitted Aegon II and his half-sister Rhaenyra in a bitter conflict for the throne of their father, nearly wiping out the Targaryen dynasty forever. What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why did it become so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What is the origin of Daenerys’s three dragon eggs? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel. 

 

The Reckoning by John Grisham 

John Grisham returns to Clanton, Mississippi, to tell the story of an unthinkable murder, the bizarre trial that followed it, and its profound and lasting effect on the people of Ford County. Pete Banning was Clanton’s favourite son, a returning war hero, the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, father, neighbour, and a faithful member of the Methodist Church. Then one cool October morning in 1946. he rose early, drove into town, walked into the church, and calmly shot and killed the Reverend Dexter Bell. As if the murder wasn’t shocking enough, it was even more baffling that Pete’s only statement about it – to the sheriff, to his defense attorney, to the judge, to his family and friends, and to the people of Clanton – was ‘I have nothing to say’. And so the murder of the esteemed Reverend Bell became the most mysterious and unforgettable crime Ford County had ever known.

 

The Girl on the Page by John Purcell

Two women, two great betrayals, one path to redemption. A punchy, powerful and page-turning novel about the redemptive power of great literature, from industry insider, John Purcell. Amy Winston is a hard-drinking, bed-hopping, hot-shot young book editor on a downward spiral. Having made her name and fortune by turning an average thriller writer into a Lee Child, Amy is given the unenviable task of steering literary great Helen Owen back to publication. When Amy knocks on the door of their beautiful townhouse in north west London, Helen and her husband, the novelist Malcolm Taylor, are conducting a silent war of attrition. The townhouse was paid for with the enormous seven figure advance Helen was given for the novel she wrote to end fifty years of making ends meets on critical acclaim alone. The novel Malcolm thinks unworthy of her. The novel Helen has yet to deliver. The novel Amy has come to collect. Amy has never faced a challenge like this one. Helen and Malcolm are brilliant, complicated writers who unsettle Amy into asking questions of herself – questions about what she values, her principles, whether she has integrity, whether she is authentic. Before she knows it, answering these questions becomes a matter of life or death. From ultimate book industry insider, John Purcell, comes a literary page-turner, a ferocious and fast-paced novel that cuts to the core of what it means to balance ambition and integrity, and the redemptive power of great literature.’

 

Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon

Academy Award-winning actress, producer, and entrepreneur Reese Witherspoon invites you into her world, where she infuses the southern style, parties, and traditions she loves with contemporary flair and charm. Reese Witherspoon’s grandmother Dorothea always said that a combination of beauty and strength made southern women “whiskey in a teacup.” We may be delicate and ornamental on the outside, she said, but inside we’re strong and fiery. Reese’s southern heritage informs her whole life, and she loves sharing the joys of southern living with practically everyone she meets. She takes the South wherever she goes with bluegrass, big holiday parties, and plenty of Dorothea’s fried chicken. It’s reflected in how she entertains, decorates her home, and makes holidays special for her kids, not to mention how she talks, dances, and does her hair (in these pages, you will learn Reese’s fail-proof, only slightly insane hot-roller technique). Reese loves sharing Dorothea’s most delicious recipes as well as her favourite southern traditions, from midnight barn parties to backyard bridal showers, magical Christmas mornings to rollicking honky-tonks. It’s easy to bring a little bit of Reese’s world into your home, no matter where you live. After all, there’s a southern side to every place in the world, right?

 

Enjoy!

Last Minute Gift Ideas for Dad

Father’s Day is just a few sleeps away and along with spending the day hanging out with a top guy, we also like to give him a treasure or two just to thank him for being awesome.

Here are our top picks for last minute Father’s Day gifts…oh and don’t forget to have a look at the shipping times for the books…if you want to be able to wrap it and hand it to Dad in person you may need to click on Amazon Australia (they ship within 24 hours) or Booktopia or Readings…otherwise there is the option of buying a kindle version or a gift voucher.

 

Far From The Tree by Andrew Solomon

This one is for Dads who like to remind you that you are just like them. Sometimes your child – the most familiar person of all – is radically different from you. The saying goes that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But what happens when it does? Drawing on interviews with over three hundred families, covering subjects including deafness, dwarfs, Down’s Syndrome, Autism, Schizophrenia, disability, prodigies, children born of rape, children convicted of crime and transgender people, Andrew Solomon documents ordinary people making courageous choices. Difference is potentially isolating, but Far from the Tree celebrates repeated triumphs of human love and compassion to show that the shared experience of difference is what unites us.

 

Calypso by David Sedaris

This is great for the Dad who loves a good chuckle. If you’ve ever laughed your way through David Sedaris’ cheerfully misanthropic stories you might think you know what you’re getting with Calypso. But you’d be wrong. When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And life at the Sea Section, as he names the vacation home, is exactly as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realisation: it’s impossible to take a vacation from yourself. With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. Make no mistake: these stories are very, very funny as it’s a book that can make you laugh ’til you snort, the way only family can. This is beach reading for people who detest beaches, required reading for those who loathe small talk and love a good tumour joke.

 

The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli

For the Dad who loves physics and space, this book will be a winner. The bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and Reality is Not What it Seems takes us on an enchanting, consoling journey to discover the meaning of time. Time is a mystery that does not cease to puzzle us. Philosophers, artists and poets have long explored its meaning while scientists have found that its structure is different from the simple intuition we have of it. From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Time flows at a different speed in different places, the past and the future differ far less than we might think, and the very notion of the present evaporates in the vast universe. With his extraordinary charm and sense of wonder, bringing together science, philosophy and art, Carlo Rovelli unravels this mystery. The Order of Time shows that to understand ourselves we need to reflect on time – and to understand time we need to reflect on ourselves.

 

The Seven Good Years by Etgar Keret

A brilliant, life-affirming, and hilarious memoir from a master storyteller. The seven years between the birth of Etgar Keret’s son and the death of his father were good years, though still full of reasons to worry. Lev is born in the midst of a terrorist attack. Etgar’s father gets cancer. The threat of constant war looms over their home and permeates daily life. What emerges from this dark reality is a series of sublimely absurd ruminations on everything from Etgar’s three-year-old son’s impending military service to the terrorist mind-set behind Angry Birds. There’s Lev’s insistence that he is a cat, releasing him from any human responsibilities or rules. Etgar’s siblings, all very different people who have chosen radically divergent paths in life, come together after his father’s shivah to experience the grief and love that tie a family together forever. This wise, witty memoir is full of wonder and life and love, poignant insights, and irrepressible humour.

 

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

This novel is for Dads who like to get lost in a book. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead won the National Book Award 2016 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2017. Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. All the slaves lead a hellish existence, but Cora has it worse than most; she is an outcast even among her fellow Africans and she is approaching womanhood, where it is clear even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a slave recently arrived from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they take the perilous decision to escape to the North. In Whitehead’s razor-sharp imagining of the antebellum South, the Underground Railroad has assumed a physical form: a dilapidated box car pulled along subterranean tracks by a steam locomotive, picking up fugitives wherever it can. The Underground Railroad is at once the story of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shatteringly powerful meditation on history.

 

Enjoy your Father’s Day!

The Best Books for First Time Dads this Father’s Day

In the lead-up to Fathers Day, we are celebrating Dads of all ages and levels of experience.  If you know a First Time Dad, here’s how to help them celebrate their first Father’s Day – they need all the laughs, encouragement and sympathy they can get!

 

How to Dad: Volume 2 by Jordan Watson

Once upon a time, Jordan Watson made a spoof video teaching his mate How to Hold a Baby. That video went viral, and a new YouTube-and-Facebook star was born.  How to Dad now offers advice and solidarity in hundreds of “instructional” videos and two How to Dad books.  How to Dad is great because he’s so ordinary – experienced parents will recognise all his tips and tricks – and his deadpan goofiness will make you snort with laughter.  Lots of reassurance and inspiration for newbie dads who want to be hands-on but don’t know how.

The Lost Dads Home by Eric Veille and Pauline Martin

The creative team of Eric Veille and Pauline Martin also excel in deadpan humour.   Team Booko loves their take on Mums, and now they turn their attention to Dads.  When a little boy accidentally loses track of his dad, he heads to the Lost Dads Home to try to find him. Here he finds dads of all shapes and sizes – but will he find the right one?  The Lost Dads Home celebrates dads in all their weird and wonderful glory.

Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different by Ben Brooks

You don’t have to be the biggest or strongest or smartest to be amazing. In Stories for Boys who Dare to be Different, Ben Brooks challenges gender stereotypes by profiling 100 boys and men who have made important contributions to society, despite not being “prince charming, dragon slayers or mischievous pranksters”.  The subjects came from many different countries and eras; some are famous, such as Roald Dahl, Barack Obama and John Lennon, while the lesser-known are no-less impressive for their selflessness, perseverance and sense of humanity. Stories for Boys who Dare to be Different is a powerful read-aloud for Dads to share with their children.

Family: New Vegetable Classics to Comfort and Nourish by Hetty McKinnon

Foodie Dads can show their culinary flair – and their love for their families – by cooking some delicious, family- friendly meals; and Hetty McKinnon’s latest book is here to offer some fresh inspiration.  Through her previous bestsellers Community and Neighbourhood, Hetty has become known for vegetable-based salads and meals that are hearty, flavourful and great for sharing; now she puts her own spin on a multicultural range of comfort foods. If you love foods that are simple but generous, and if you love the idea of creating family rituals, then Family is definitely a book for you.

A Life Less Stressed: the Five Pillars of Health and Wellness by Dr Ron Ehrlich

Now that you are responsible for a tiny, vulnerable human being, maintaining your health (both mental and physical) is more important than ever.  Dr Ron Ehrlich, a dentist and holistic health advocate, sets out to understand what stress means and how it impacts our health and wellbeing.  Based on his holistic outlook, Dr Ron argues that problems in one area will have repercussions over our entire body.  He shows how we can take control of our health by strengthening the “five pillars” of sleep, breathing, nutrition, movement, and thought – which will help us become more resilient, and able to be the best selves and parents we can be.

Illuminae (audiobook on CD) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Parenting a newborn involves spending a lot of time holding the baby – and sitting around. Make the most of that downtime by listening to an audiobook.  Catch up on a recent release, such as the Illuminae trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – it is a huge, magnificent and acclaimed space opera.  The audiobook version has appeared on many “Best Of” lists – with a cast of twenty narrators, this is more a performance than a simple read-aloud. Illuminae is also available for instant download from Audible. Volume 2, Gemina, is also available as an audiobook.  Alternatively, rediscover a classic, such as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone as read by Stephen Fry.

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!