Category Archives: New authors

Posts about emerging authors, new releases

The Newest Arts and Entertainment Biographies

Inspiring people come into our lives at all different times, some are there from the beginning guiding us with their values, others are friends during our schooling years holding our hands through challenging times, and some are fleeting interactions where someone offers us words of wisdom when we needed it most.

It it with the memory of these amazing people that we are looking into the world of biographies this month. There are so many people who we can learn from, be inspired by and propelled forward by. This week we are exploring art and entertainment biographies. We have found six of our favourite stories but hold on tight because they are a mixture of amusement, heartache and devastatingly honest views of the world and each offers us a little nugget of inspiration to take away.

Only Wanna Be with You: The Inside Story of Hootie & the Blowfish by Tim Sommer

In 1985, Mark Bryan heard Darius Rucker singing in a dorm shower at the University of South Carolina and asked him to form a band. For the next eight years, Hootie & the Blowfish, completed by bassist Dean Felber and drummer Soni Sonefeld, played every frat house, roadhouse, and rock club in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast, becoming one of the biggest independent acts in the region. In Only Wanna Be with You, Tim Sommer, the ultimate insider who signed Hootie to Atlantic Records, pulls back the curtain on a band that defied record-industry odds to break into the mainstream by playing hacky sack music in the age of grunge. He chronicles the band’s indie days, their chart-topping success and near-cancelation of their major-label debut along with when the band inspired a plotline on the TV show Friends, also the lean years from the late 1990s through the early 2000s and one of the most remarkable comeback stories of the century. Featuring extensive new interviews with the band members, some of their most famous fans, and stories from the recording studio, tour bus, and golf course, this book is essential reading for Hootie lovers and music buffs.

Finding Me: A Memoir by Viola Davis

In this book, you will meet a little girl named Viola who ran from her past until she made a life changing decision to stop running forever. This is Viola’s story, from a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to the stage in New York City, and beyond. This is the path she took to finding her purpose and her strength, but also to finding her voice in a world that didn’t always see her. 

In her words: As I wrote Finding Me, my eyes were open to the truth of how our stories are often not given close examination. They are bogarted, reinvented to fit into a crazy, competitive, judgmental world. So I wrote this for anyone who is searching for a way to understand and overcome a complicated past, let go of shame, and find acceptance. For anyone who needs reminding that a life worth living can only be born from radical honesty and the courage to shed facades and be…you. Finding Me is a deep reflection on my past and a promise for my future. My hope is that my story will inspire you to light up your own life with creative expression and rediscover who you were before the world put a label on you.

A Funny Life by Michael McIntyre

Laugh along with Michael McIntyre as he lifts the curtain on his life in his long-awaited new autobiography. Michael’s first book ended with his big break at the 2006 Royal Variety Performance. Waking up the next morning in the tiny rented flat he shared with his wife Kitty and their one-year-old son, he was beyond excited about the new glamorous world of show business. Unfortunately, he was also clueless . . . In A Funny Life, Michael honestly and hilariously shares the highs and the lows of his rise to the top and desperate attempts to stay there. It’s all here, from his disastrous panel show appearances to his hit TV shows, from mistakenly thinking he’d be a good chat show host and talent judge, to finding fame and fortune beyond his wildest dreams and becoming the biggest-selling comedian in the world. Along the way he opens his man drawer, narrowly avoids disaster when his trousers fall down in front of three policemen and learns the hard way why he should always listen to his wife. Michael has had a silly life, a stressful life, sometimes a moving and touching life, but always A Funny Life.

Spinning Plates by Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s kitchen discos became a source of much needed escapism, catharsis and sequinned joy for a swathe of the population during lockdown. From knackered mothers and fed up fathers, to cooped up partiers with nowhere to go, Sophie’s gloriously chaotic Friday kitchen performances have cheered and revived us. Now Sophie is bringing that same mixture of down to earth candour and optimistic sparkle to her first book. Part memoir, part musings, Sophie writes about the conjuring act of adulthood and motherhood and how her experience of working while raising her five sons has given her the inescapable lesson of how to navigate life in the face of failure and imperfection. 

Covering relationships, good enough parenting, the importance of delusion and dancing, Sophie writes about the things that take on greater importance as life becomes more complicated. From the non negotiables (solitude, music, glitter) to the unimportant (clean hair, deadlines, appropriate behaviour), this is a book about learning from our experiences and not being afraid to smash a few plates for the sake of what we actually need want and value. 

The Hockneys: Never Worry What the Neighbours Think by John Hockney

Technically this book isn’t a new release, but it’s a goodie. The Hockneys is a never before seen insight into the lives of one of the world’s most famous artists and his family by youngest brother John, from growing up in the Second World War in Bradford through to their diverse lives across three continents. Hardship, successes as well as close and complex relationships are poignantly illustrated by both famous and private pictures and paintings from David Hockney. With a rare and spirited look into the lives of an ordinary family with extraordinary stories, we begin to understand the creative freedom that led to their successful careers and the launchpad for an artist’s work that has inspired and continues to inspire generations across the world.

To the End of the World by Rupert Everett

Okay, so this isn’t totally new…but it is a new paperback version, and also a great read. Rupert Everett tells the story of how he set out to make a film of Oscar Wilde’s last days, and how that ten-year quest almost destroyed him. (And everyone else). Travelling across Europe for the film, he weaves in extraordinary tales from his past, remembering wild times, freak encounters and lost friends. 

There are celebrities, of course. But we also meet glamorous but doomed Aunt Peta, who introduces Rupert (aged three) to the joys of make-up. In ’90s Paris, his great friend Lychee burns bright, and is gone. While in ’70s London, a ‘weirdly tall, beyond size zero’ teenage Rupert is expelled from the Central School of Speech and Drama. Unflinchingly honest and hugely entertaining, To the End of the World offers a unique insight into the ‘snakes and ladders’ of filmmaking. It is also a soulful and thought-provoking autobiography from one of our best-loved and most talented actors and writers. 

Enjoy!

World Book Day Celebration: Our favourite 6 books on the market now

We love a good World Celebration Day; International Ice Cream Day (17 July), International Hot Chocolate Day (28 January), International Star Wars Day (4 May), World Gin Day (12 June), World Pizza Day (9 February), International Cookie Day (4 December). It will be of no surprise that we also love World Book Day… which just happened to be last Saturday (23 April). 

So while we like to throw ourselves into the various festivities (usually tasting and drinking all of the delights) we also dove into the world of literature and found six of our favourite books that have recently hit the bookstores. 

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

Every mother has a bad day… Frida Liu is a struggling mother. She remembers taking Harriet from her cot and changing her nappy. She remembers giving her a morning bottle. They’d been up since four am. Frida just had to finish the article in front of her. But she’d left a file on her desk at work. What would happen if she retrieved it and came back in an hour? She was so sure it would be okay. Now, the state has decided that Frida is not fit to care for her daughter. That she must be re-educated. Can this mistake cost her everything? The School For Good Mothers is an explosive and thrilling novel about the pressures of perfectionism, parenthood and privilege.

Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown

This major new work from the international bestselling author of Gifts of Imperfection and Dare to Lead examines the 87 emotions and experiences that define us, and provides a compelling framework to help us all become more emotionally fluent and connected. In her latest book, five-time #1 New York Times bestselling author Dr Brene Brown, writes, “If we want to find the way back to ourselves and each other, we need language and the grounded confidence to both tell our stories, and to be stewards of the stories that we hear. This is the framework for meaningful connection.” In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through 87 of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and lays out an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances – a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heart-breaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection. Over the past two decades, Brown’s extensive research into the experiences that make us who we are has shaped the cultural conversation and helped define what it means to be courageous with our lives. Atlas of the Heart draws on this research, as well as Brown’s singular skills as a researcher/storyteller, to lay out an invaluable, research-based framework that shows us that naming an experience doesn’t give the experience more power, it gives us the power of understanding, meaning and choice.

Ten Steps to Nanette by Hannah Gadsby

Multi-awardwinning Hannah Gadsby transformed comedy with her show Nanette, even as she declared that she was quitting stand-up. Now, she takes us through the defining moments in her life that led to the creation of Nanette and her powerful decision to tell the truth – no matter the cost. Gadsby’s unique stand-up special Nanette was a viral success that left audiences captivated by her blistering honesty and her ability to create both tension and laughter in a single moment. But while her worldwide fame might have looked like an overnight sensation, her path from open mic to the global stage was hard-fought and anything but linear. Ten Steps to Nanette traces Gadsby’s growth as a queer person from Tasmania – where homosexuality was illegal until 1997 – to her ever-evolving relationship with comedy, to her struggle with adult diagnoses of autism and ADHD, and finally to the backbone of Nanette – the renouncement of self-deprecation, the rejection of misogyny, and the moral significance of truth-telling. Equal parts harrowing and hilarious, Ten Steps to Nanette continues Gadsby’s tradition of confounding expectations and norms, properly introducing us to one of the most explosive, formative voices of our time.

A Good Day to Bake by Benjamina Ebuehi

Going through the ritual of bringing out the measuring scales, pouring out flour, whipping up the eggs, stirring the batter and impatiently slicing up warm cake is a beautiful thing that deserves to be enjoyed all year round no matter the day, season or occasion. This is a cookbook that embraces simplicity, mindfulness and the therapeutic comforts of baking. The Great British Bake Off‘s 2016 contestant Benjamina writes so warmly about cakes and her recipes speak to a natural, seasonal and down-to-earth way of baking. Chapters include Herbs Tea, Stone Fruit, Berries, Vegetables, Best of Beige, Spice Cupboard, and Chocolate. Because every day is a good day to bake.

Pink House Living For People Cheating on Fashion with Furniture by Emily Murray 

Pink House Living is a beautiful, practical guide to decorating with pink by Emily Murray of the award-winning The Pink House blog. Emily draws on her recent interiors projects to guide the reader through their own rose-tinted renovations and includes case studies on well-known interiors experts that reveal their use of pink, their go-to paint shades and where they glean ‘pinkspiration’. Pink House Living is not about decorating your home in pink from rooftop to rugs, but a look at how the colour can be used alongside other hues – sometimes sparingly, sometimes in spades. Divided up by room, the book uses the colour pink and its history as a starting point from which to discuss the decorating process. Readers will be entertained by Emilys interiors insights and witty turn of phrase while gaining invaluable advice on adding pink (and colour in general) to their homes.

Megan Hess: The Little Black Dress by Megan Hess

The Little Black Dress is an illustrated love story about fashion’s most enduring and chic uniform, celebrating the designers, the women and of course the dresses. A piece of fashion is so much more than an object. To the designer who created it, the muse who inspired it, the fashion lover who lusts after it, the stylist who is lucky enough to own it, or the star who made it iconic; that fashion piece is part of a story. Introduced by Coco Chanel and made famous by Audrey Hepburn, the little black dress redefined how women dress and remains one of the most elegant and versatile pieces in any wardrobe. Vogue said it would become ‘a sort of uniform for all women of taste’, a prophecy that has more than come true. And this little book is the perfect accessory. Filled with fascinating information and stunning illustrations from Megan Hess, and packaged up in a beautiful hardback, Megan Hess: The Little Black Dress is a timeless love story, and the first in Megan Hess’ new Ultimate Fashion Wardrobe series.

Enjoy!

Boredom Busters: The Best Picture Books to Read These School Holidays

While the school holidays are almost over here in Victoria we know they are just beginning in other parts of the world. One of our favourite Winter school holiday activities was finding (or making) a spot to curl up in and read all day long. We’ve currently having a cold snap here in Melbourne so it’s the perfect reading weather. We’ve also found 6 super fun picture books that we know your little ones are going to love spending the day reading in a fort made of all of the couch cushions and blankets. 

A Sprinkle of Sadie by Lana Spasevski

Say hello to Sadie … a superstar baker with a big heart! In this book, Sadie needs to throw a surprise birthday for her mum, help out at the Cookgrove fundraising day, and welcome someone new to her class. But Sadie’s sweet intentions do not always go to plan! Her vanilla ice-cream cake for Mum is as flat as a pancake. Her cupcake stall has tough competition. And her welcome treat is not welcomed! Can Sadie find a way to save the day? In these three sprinkle-filled stories (complete with recipes!) the unstoppable Sadie shows that any problem can be solved with generosity, kindness and, of course, a delicious baked treat.

Water: Protect Freshwater to Save Life on Earth by Catherine Barr

Water is a ground-breaking global introduction to water that includes sharing and protecting freshwater worldwide. Water is life! Freshwater bubbles, flows and floods with the most wonderful life on Earth – and all of us rely on it to stay alive. BUT today, because of pollution and climate change, it is becoming more and more difficult for people and animals to find the clean freshwater they need to survive. It’s time to act! Water tells the story of freshwater around the world. Discover the history of water, how the water cycle works, learn about the different kinds of water and about the amazing variety of wildlife that freshwater is home to. Then find out what happens to water because of climate change and global heating; the importance of clean water for health; the worldwide problem of water pollution and the devastating impact of water shortage on children’s lives and education. Catherine Barr challenges us to take action, to use water wisely and protect freshwater to save our planet.

Building a Home by Polly Faber

Building a Home is a beautifully illustrated picture book guide to exactly how an old building can become a brand-new home. With action-packed artwork from Klas Fahlen and a gentle narrative text by Polly Faber, find out all about the people, machines, processes and tools involved in breathing new life into an old building. Packed with builders, cranes, diggers, cement mixers and a host of other exciting tools and machinery, follow a crumbling old factory on the edge of town as it goes from being an empty shell to something entirely new… a home.

The Book Family Robinson by Jonathan Emmett

A bookish family shipwrecked on a treasure island faces off against a fearsome pirate crew. The keen-reading Robinsons set out to sea, their boat barely afloat with all their books, until a storm strikes down their holiday plans. Shipwrecked on a mysterious island, they gather their soggy books up and research how to survive – completely missing the treasure littered all around them! But the Bloodbucket pirates remember it all too well, and when they find the Robinsons have taken their turf, it’s time to walk the plank. With only Silly Monkey Goes to the Toilet left to hand, can the Robinsons read themselves free from a watery doom?

Maybe… by Chris Haughton

From Chris Haughton comes a funny, suspenseful and keenly observed cautionary tale about pushing boundaries and indulging your more mischievous, cheeky side (when nobody is looking). Three little monkeys, and their big monkey, are sat high up on their branch in the forest canopy. “Ok, monkeys! I’m off,” says the big monkey. “Now remember. Whatever you do, do NOT go down to the mango tree. There are tigers down there.” Mmm . mangos! think the little monkeys. They LOVE mangos. Hmm … maybe . maybe they could just look at the mangos? That’d be ok, right?

Amazing Activists Who Are Changing Our World by Rebecca Schiller

Discover the stories of 20 amazing activists who are caring for our planet and its people. Fascinating facts about each activist’s life and times are accompanied by bright and accessible illustrations, making this book ideal for young children wanting to learn about incredible people who through their brave actions have changed the world for the better. Positive, uplifting and packed full of information, this book will show children that no one is too small to make a difference. Activists featured: Sonita Alizdeh; Rachel Carson; Favio Chavez; Mahatma Gandhi; Jane Goodall; Helen Keller; Martin Luther King Jr; Nelson Mandela; Wangari Maathai; Aditya Mukarji; Emmeline Pankhurst; Autumn Peltier; Boyan Slat; Gareth Thomas; Greta Thunberg; Harriet Tubman; William Wilberforce; Ai Weiwei Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah; Malala Yousafzai.

Enjoy!

Setting Goals in 2022

It’s the start of a new year when we usually dive in with blind optimism with lists of things we dream of doing and challenging ourselves with for the year ahead. However, in these uncertain times, we face the start of another new year with a little trepidation, wondering if we will be able to actually get out and about to attempt to achieve these activities we have set ourselves. 

Fear not, we have rustled up a few great books that will give you the nudge you may need to give things a go; whether it is to expand your business, challenge your mind, learn to be less ’online’ or accept that you don’t have to ‘achieve’ things everyday. 

Have you got any favourite books that help you reset each new year? Let us know in the comments below and we will compile them into a recommended list. 

Million Dollar Micro Business by Tina Tower

Tina Tower delivers a new and smarter way to do business that avoids huge overheads and large capital investments. Fuelled by recent innovations in technology and shifts in consumer behaviour, Tina shows you a new way to have a big impact with few resources. You’ll learn how to create a digital course based on expertise you’ve gained through your life, business, academic work, and career. The book is a practical and tangible guide to getting started and offers a proven framework and case studies of people who have scaled courses into seven-figure ventures and is perfect for entrepreneurs, seasoned professionals, educated experts, and anyone else interested in sharing their knowledge with the world around them.

Let Go by Hugh van Cuylenburg

From the bestselling author of The Resilience Project comes this deeply personal book about the power of letting go. If ever there was a time for us to be resilient it was when a deadly virus engulfed the planet. As death rates soared and crippling lockdowns kicked in, the Resilience Project founder Hugh Van Cuylenburg was one of the people Australia turned to in order to find out how to cope. Under pressure to deliver good news in a historic crisis, it didn’t take long for the Melbourne-based educator to realise he wasn’t coping. Like millions of people around the world, Hugh was forced to reassess life during the 2020-21 pandemic as Covid undermined our sense of safety, strangled our personal connections and saw levels of happiness plunge. After taking the time to address his own problems, Hugh recognised he was being hamstrung by the same powerful issues that undermine the lives of many- our feelings of shame, our quest for perfection and the toxicity of social media. In this follow-up to the best-selling The Resilience Project- Finding Happiness through Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness, Hugh combines powerful insight with research and his own disarming and candid storytelling to show how it is possible to let go of the things that are stopping us from feeling connected, safe and happy.

You’re Doing It Wrong by Kaz Cooke

You’re Doing it Wrong is an outrageous tour through the centuries of bonkers and bad advice handed down and foisted upon women, told as only Kaz Cooke can – with humour and rage, intelligence and wit. A fresh, funny and furious look at the terrible advice women have been told for centuries. Stroll with bestselling author Kaz Cooke through instructions on how to day-drink, wear a dress made of arsenic, pretend you’re an idiot, have sex with a billionaire biker, curtsey, get properly harassed at work, exercise your nose, oppress other women and frighten your uterus. Using hundreds of amazing photos and illustrations, and the experiences of generations of women in her own family, You’re Doing It Wrong shows how advice has been a weapon against us – and how by recognising it, we can ignore it. And totally cheer up. Warning- contains unbridled swearing about famous philosophers.

Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown

This major new work from the international bestselling author of Gifts of Imperfection and Dare to Lead examines the 87 emotions and experiences that define us, and provides a compelling framework to help us all become more emotionally fluent and connected. In her latest book Dr Brene Brown writes, “If we want to find the way back to ourselves and each other, we need language and the grounded confidence to both tell our stories, and to be stewards of the stories that we hear. This is the framework for meaningful connection.” In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and lays out an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances – a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heart-breaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection. Over the past two decades, Brown’s extensive research into the experiences that make us who we are has shaped the cultural conversation and helped define what it means to be courageous with our lives.

Cain’s Jawbone by Edward Powys Mathers

If James Joyce and Agatha Christie had a literary lovechild, this would be it. Cain’s Jawbone is a 100-page whodunnit in which six people die. 

In 1934, the Observer’s cryptic crossword compiler, Edward Powys Mathers (aka Torquemada), released a novel that was simultaneously a murder mystery and the most fiendishly difficult literary puzzle ever written. To find out who killed them, the reader must re-order the book’s pages. There is only one correct solution. To date, only three people have ever found it. The pages have been printed in an entirely haphazard order, but it is possible – through logic and intelligent reading – to sort the pages into the only correct order, revealing six murder victims and their respective murderers.

Please note: this puzzle is extremely difficult and not for the faint-hearted. Be sure to let us know on any of Booko’s social media channels if you attempt to take this challenge on and how you go. 

I Didn’t Do The Thing Today by Madeleine Dore

An antidote to our obsession with busyness, author Madeleine Dore explores the joys of releasing ourselves from the burden of productivity guilt. Curious about how people navigate their days, Madeleine Dore turned to interviewing hundreds of creative thinkers and experts to find the secret to productivity. What she discovered instead was far more enriching: there is more to value in each day than what we do – or don’t do. I Didn’t Do the Thing Today is the antidote to our doing-obsession. Madeleine explores the stumbles of productivity guilt, including comparison, perfectionism and indecision, and encourages us to focus less on our ‘to do’ list and more on stepping fully into every moment of our lives. For anyone who has ever thought they had to do more to do better, be better, be enough, I Didn’t Do the Thing Today is an inspiring call to take productivity off its pedestal and find more connection, creativity, and contentment in its place.

Enjoy!

Winding down with Booko : great books to read on the beach this Summer

Summer holidays are a time many of us look forward to. It’s that post-festive season quiet time where we find a quiet spot to sit on the beach, picnic rug or hammock and loose ourselves in a fabulous new book. We have scoured the internet and rustled up six great books that are sure to be popular this summer. Make sure you leave a comment below to let us know what you have been reading over the break. 

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

Fern Castle works in her local library. She has dinner with her twin sister Rose three nights a week. And she avoids crowds, bright lights and loud noises as much as possible. Fern has a carefully structured life and disrupting her routine can be … dangerous. When Rose discovers that she cannot fall pregnant, Fern sees her chance to pay her sister back for everything Rose has done for her. Fern can have a baby for Rose. She just needs to find a father. Simple. Fern’s mission will shake the foundations of the life she has carefully built for herself and stir up dark secrets from the past, in this quirky, rich and shocking story of unexpected love.

Fancy Meeting You Here by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus

Evie Berry is a thirty-year-old wannabe screenwriter who spends her days managing a London cinema bar and making the podcast Pasta La Vista with her best friend Ben. She’s also obsessed with Hugo Hearst. Have you heard of him? Of course you have. He’s only one of the most influential and not to mention swoon-worthy bestselling writers of his generation. When Evie’s not hooking up with her on-again, off-again booty call ‘Ever-Ready Freddy’ (and sometimes even when she is), she fantasises about what might have been if she’d met Hugo years ago, when he was just a struggling writer. After Evie interviews a psychic to the stars on her podcast, her life is catapulted ten years into the past. But the grass isn’t quite as green as she remembers. Fancy Meeting You Here is a hilarious and heartwarming love story about reliving your early twenties and testing out that old saying: be careful what you wish for.

Two for Joy by Zoe Sugg and Amy McCulloch

Two for Joy is the chilling sequel to the #1 YA bestseller The Magpie Society  – One For Sorrow. Audrey and Ivy, determined to bring their fellow student Lola Radcliffe’s killer to justice, find themselves in the middle of another mystery when a friend disappears in suspicious circumstances. Their only clue is a mysterious card left by the enigmatic Magpie Society. With time running out and the police baffled, Audrey and Ivy must delve deeper than ever into the dark secrets that their school is hiding. But someone is playing a deadly game. And to beat them, Audrey and Ivy have to start rewriting the rules.

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

When Jane, a broke dog-walker newly arrived in town, meets Eddie Rochester, she can’t believe her luck. Eddie is handsome, rich and lives alone in a beautiful mansion since the tragic death of his beloved wife a year ago.

A man who seems perfect, Eddie can give Jane everything she’s always wanted: stability, acceptance, and a picture-perfect life. But what Jane doesn’t know is that Eddie is keeping a secret, a big secret. And when the truth comes out, the consequences are far more deadly than anyone could ever have imagined.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardised when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.

Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate and not everyone will survive.

With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time.

Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz

This is not just another novel about a dead girl. When she arrived in New York on her 18th birthday carrying nothing but $600 cash and a stolen camera, Alice Lee was looking for a fresh start. Now, just one month later, she is the city’s latest Jane Doe, an unidentified murder victim. Ruby Jones is also trying to start over; she travelled halfway around the world only to find herself lonelier than ever. Until she finds Alice’s body by the Hudson River. From this first, devastating encounter, the two women form an unbreakable bond. Alice is sure that Ruby is the key to solving the mystery of her life and death. And Ruby, struggling to forget what she saw that morning, finds herself unable to let Alice go. Not until she is given the ending she deserves. Before You Knew My Name doesn’t ask whodunnit. Instead, this powerful, hopeful novel asks: Who was she? And what did she leave behind? 

Enjoy!

Christmas Gift Guides: Gift Guide for Your Best Friend

It’s inching closer to Christmas and Team Booko is here to help with six suggestions of which books to gift your style-loving Bestie this festive season. We have scoured the best of the best home decorating and style guides and we know the books below are going to be enjoyed by anyone who is lucky enough to unwrap them this December. 

Sit back and get clicking. Also, just a little reminder that this is the time of year that posties get a little inundated so it may be worthwhile ordering sooner rather than later and allowing a little longer for delivery. 

How We Love: Notes on a life by Clementine Ford

How We Love is a deeply personal exploration of love in all its forms from a feminist icon and bestselling author of Fight Like a Girl and Boys Will Be Boys. Clementine Ford is a person who has loved deeply, strangely and with curiosity. She is fascinated by love and the multiple ways it makes its home in our hearts and believes that the way we continue to surrender ourselves to love is an act of great faith and bravery. This tender and lyrical memoir explores love in its many forms through Clementine’s own experiences. With clear eyes and an open heart, she writes about losing her adored mother far too young, about the pain and confusion of first love (both platonic and romantic) and the joy and heartache of adult love. She writes movingly about the transcendent and transformative journey to motherhood and the similarly monumental path to self-love. How We Love is heartfelt, funny, confessional, revelatory, compassionate, and essential reading. It shows us to ourselves in moments of unwavering truth and undeniable joy.

Three Birds Renovations Dream Home How-To by Bonnie Hindmarsh, Erin
Cayless, Lana Taylor

The long-awaited next instalment from the authors of Australia’s number 1 home improvement book (you can see that here) Australia’s favourite Birds are back with bigger home transformations, bolder extensions, breathtaking new builds and hundreds of new tips. Jam-packed with reno goodness, this book is a visual feast overflowing with ideas and inspiration from Three Birds projects in glorious detail, including their most ambitious new build to date: a family home that channels an idyllic island getaway (year-round staycation, anyone?). Go behind the scenes to see how the Birds make over their own spaces for work and play. First up, a tour of Three Birds HQ guaranteed to spark ideas and help you turn a humble home office into boss-worthy territory. Next, their spin on Christmas decorating, stuffed full of frugal and festive DIY hacks, will come in handy every year whether you rent, own or live in a caravan. The cherry on top of this inspiration smorgasbord comes courtesy of their very own savvy students! In a bonus chapter, graduates of the Birds’ super-popular online Reno School share images and advice from their own incredible projects, dream spaces created using tips and money-saving tricks learned from the Three Birds. Proving, once again, that anyone can make reno magic with the right know-how.

A Year at the Chateau by Dick and Angel Strawbridge

Like many couples, Dick and Angel had long dreamed of living in France, but where others might settle for a modest bolthole in the French countryside, the Strawbridges fell in love with a 19th-century fairytale chateau, complete with 45 rooms, seven outbuildings, 12 acres of land and its own moat. Throwing caution to the wind, Dick and Angel swapped their two-bedroom flat in East London for an abandoned and derelict castle in the heart of the Loire valley and embarked on the adventure of a lifetime with their two young children Arthur and Dorothy. Sharing their full journey for the first time, A Year at the Chateau follows Dick and Angel from when they first moved to France in the depths of winter and found bedrooms infested with flies, turrets inhabited by bats, the wind rattling through cracked windows, and just one working toilet, which flushed into the moat, through to the monumental efforts that went into readying the chateau for their unforgettable wedding and their incredibly special first Christmas. Along the way we’ll read glorious descriptions of rural life in France, with charming characters, delicious food and wonderful seasonal produce, together with the extraordinary list of renovations and restorations Dick and Angel completed, many of which were never shown on TV. As warm and entertaining as their much-loved show, A Year at the Chateau is a truly irresistible story of adventure and heart, epic ambitions and a huge amount of hard graft.

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.

Principles of Style by Sarah Andrews

In Principles of Style, Sarah Andrews presents her unique take on teaching design, drawing on her experience of working in the industry and as a teacher in her school, which has reached cult status around the world. Importantly, Principles of Style aims to be a timeless learning tool for readers, no matter their own personal style, with Sarah revealing many of the ideas, tips and skills she has accumulated along the way. She does this by examining some of her key projects and favourite rooms, as well as by focusing on her ten rules of styling, formulated both through hands-on experience and studies in the science of design. Sarah believes that everyone has the ability to create interiors that are right for them; in this inspiring and eminently practical book, she aims to demonstrate just how to do so.

Nature Style: Cultivating Wellbeing at Home with Plants by Alana Langan,
Jacqui Vidal

It’s no secret that time spent in nature is good for us. Nature helps us thrive, improves our health and wellbeing, decreases stress and increases happiness. But if you don’t have the luxury of a forest at your doorstep, bringing the outside in can provide an immediate connection to the natural world and the many benefits that come with it. From the founders of the botanical emporium Ivy Muse comes a practical guide to styling the home for health and harmony, using nature as a blueprint. With expert advice on houseplants and how to style them, as well as pro-tips on the choice of decor and materials, finishes and furnishings, this book shows how natural elements can be incorporated into almost every room in the house – both effectively and affordably. Nature Style is for all those who seek to restore body and mind in a natural and nurturing home environment where houseplants are the heroes.

Enjoy!