Category Archives: New authors

Posts about emerging authors, new releases

Dreaming of your own business? The best books to help with your business plan

For many February is the month when side hustles that were dreamed up over the summer holidays start to become a reality. Could it be that the novelty of returning to work and sharing holiday stories with colleagues has begun to wear off, or the idea of being in an office for 40 hours a week isn’t what you really dreamt of? Nevertheless, Team Booko has scoured the globe to bring you the best titles that will inspire you and help you to write a killer business plan and take that nerve-wracking leap. 

Passion Purpose Profit: Sidestep the #hustle and build a business you love by Fiona Killackey

It’s one thing to have a business idea, or even to start a creative business. It’s quite another to scale it sustainably without increasing your financial and emotional stress. For most small business owners, what starts as something energising quickly turns into something overwhelming and energy depleting. You spend so much time in your business, it’s hard to find any time to work on your business. In this practical guide, experienced business coach and creative consultant Fiona Killackey shows you how to scale the business without scaling the stress. From validating your business idea (whatever stage in its development), mapping out your money and specifying your business goals, through to hiring staff and defining your marketing plan. Passion Purpose Profit gives you a clear understanding of where you’re going and exactly how you’ll get there. Complete with step-by-step tips and templates, as well as case studies of successful creative business owners, Passion Purpose Profit will have you empowered and excited about business again.

Fashion Entrepreneurship: Retail Business Planning by Michele M Granger, Tina M Sterling, and Ann Cantrell

Written by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, the book explains management, market segmentation, financial statements, cash flow, accessing capital, e-commerce, and omni-channel retailing. A hypothetical business plan that builds with each chapter and examples of business models from Warby Parker, Birchbox, and Etsy, give you a framework for building a successful fashion company. Profiles of entrepreneurs and exercises in a book illustrated with 130 images show you how to apply the process to your own ideas.

The Multi-Hyphen Method: Work Less, Create More : How to Make Your Side Hustle Work for You by Emma Gannon

The world of work is changing so how do you keep up? You have the ability to make money on our own terms, when and where you want but where do you start? If you’ve been itching to convert your craft into a career, or your side-hustle into a start up, then The Multi-Hyphen Method is for you. In The Multi-Hyphen Method award-winning blogger/social media editor/podcast creator, Emma Gannon, teaches that it doesn’t matter if you’re a part-time PA with a blog, or a nurse who runs an online store in the evenings – whatever your ratio, whatever your mixture, we can all channel our own entrepreneurial spirit to live more fulfilled and financially healthy lives. The internet and our phones mean we can work wherever, whenever and allows us to design our own working lives. Forget the outdated stigma of being a jack of all trades, because having many strings to your bow is essential to get ahead in the modern working world. We all have the skills necessary to work less and create more, and The Multi-Hyphen Method s the source of inspiration you need to help you navigate your way towards your own definition of success.

Out of Office: Ditch the 9-5 and Be Your Own Boss by Fiona Thomas

Whether you are flirting with the idea of going freelance, just starting out or a few years down the line, this no-nonsense guide addresses all the questions you might have about working for yourself and making the most of life when you do. Fiona covers topics such as how to raise an invoice, submit a tax return, claim expenses and network, as well as why working from home is proven to have a positive impact on productivity and mental health. With a focus on understanding the ‘whys?’ just as much as the ‘hows?’, Fiona helps you dive into freelance life and pushes you to the next level, making sure you’re taking time to reflect on your business and your state of mind.

Move the Needle: Yarns from an Unlikely Entrepreneur by Shelley Brander

Shelley Brander was no stranger to the word “can’t.” You can’t be an athlete, you have asthma. You can’t be a successful copywriter, you’re a girl. Your son has autism, he can’t be cured. You can’t make a living with yarn. But she proved all her detractors wrong when she opened Loops, a local yarn store in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1994. Since then, Loops has thrived, expanding from a single storefront to a global creative brand with a passionate and active membership community of knitters, crocheters, and makers of all ages.

This book is about harnessing “the power of can’t” to pursue your life’s passions -both personal and professional- no matter how weird or impossible they may seem. We’re still living in a time where the entrepreneurial creative is too often told, “You can’t make a business out of that,” but in this book you will learn how to turn your can’ts into cans and make your creative side hustle your main gig, celebrate creativity and experimentation, accept failure as a part of the process, have hope against the odds, surround yourself with supportive people, cut ties with those who weigh you down, and believe in you and your weird, impossible dream!

Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0: Turning Your Business Into an Enduring Great Company by Jim Collins and Bill Lazier

From Jim Collins, the most influential business thinker of our era, comes an ambitious upgrade of his classic, Beyond Entrepreneurship, that includes all-new findings and world-changing insights. What’s the roadmap to create a company that not only survives its infancy but thrives, changing the world for decades to come? Nine years before the publication of his epochal bestseller Good to Great, Jim Collins and his mentor, Bill Lazier, answered this question in their bestselling book, Beyond Entrepreneurship. Beyond Entrepreneurship left a definitive mark on the business community, influencing the young pioneers who were, at that time, creating the technology revolution that was birthing in Silicon Valley. Decades later, successive generations of entrepreneurs still turn to the strategies outlined in Beyond Entrepreneurship to answer the most pressing business questions. Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0 is a new and improved version of the book that Jim Collins and Bill Lazier wrote years ago. In this upgraded edition, Jim Collins honours his mentor, Bill Lazier, who passed away in 2004, and re-examines the original text of Beyond Entrepreneurship with his 2020 perspective. The book includes the original text of Beyond Entrepreneurship, as well as four new chapters and fifteen new essays. Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0 pulls together the key concepts across Collins’ thirty years of research into one integrated framework called The Map. The result is a singular reading experience, which presents a unified vision of company creation that will fascinate not only Jim’s millions of dedicated readers worldwide, but also introduce a new generation to his remarkable work.

Enjoy!

Getting motivated with business leaders. The newest biographies on the market

February – it can be a hard month to get into the swing of work. It’s still summer and the sunny days can make sitting down to the laptop a little harder than usual. Maybe it’s returning from summer holidays with days spent at the beach or around the pool that make zoom meetings a little less enticing. Fear not, we have gathered six of the hottest titles on the market that will inspire you to dust off the brain cells and get back to work. A common thread in each of these books is that to live your dream life and have a career you really want, you have to work very hard for it. It’s not going to be the easiest of rides, nor will it be handed to you. It’s not a new concept, but these business leaders are proof that hard work pays off. 

This Is Me by Mrs Hinch

Have you met Mrs Hinch? Mrs Hinch took the UK by storm with her infectiously addictive charm, clever cleaning hacks and her passionate belief in the life-changing magic of tidying. Following Mrs Hinch’s huge success with her first two books Hinch Yourself Happy, the cleaning guide and The Activity Journal, this is the stand-alone memoir every hincher has been waiting for. Readers will discover the story of becoming Mrs Hinch- her journey to becoming the Instagram star she is today, overcoming anxiety, how cleaning has got her through her toughest moments, getting married to Jamie, her close friendships, her relationship with her dorgeous dog Henry Hinch, and becoming a mother to her beautiful son, Ronnie.

Make Life Beautiful by Syd McGee, Shea McGee

Okay, so I have read this book twice already, and binged the Netflix special (both seasons). For the one million-plus followers who turn to Syd and Shea McGee for advice on building a beautiful home and life, Make Life Beautiful is a behind-the-scenes look into how the couple transformed Shea’s small room of fabric samples and big dream of becoming a designer into one of the most successful and fastest-growing interior design businesses in the US. Both long-time and new fans will not only gain insight into how the McGees built such a successful company but also be inspired to apply design principles to their lives.

The Rip Curl Story: 50 Years Of Perfect Surf, International Business, Wild Characters And The Search For The Ultimate Ride by Tim Baker

The Rip Curl Story is the remarkable tale of two young surfers Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick and Brian Singer who pursued an audacious dream to make a living in pursuit of the ultimate ride. The brand they built, Rip Curl, not only satisfied their own surf wanderlust, but also inspired countless others, riding the wave of the global youth revolution of the late ’60s. Rip Curl’s mantra became ‘the Search’: the pursuit of new waves on distant shores, new thrills – skiing, snowboarding, windsurfing – and better equipment to elevate the experience. Along the way they supported the careers of many of the world’s great surfers from Midget Farrelly to Michael Peterson, Tom Curren to Damien Hardman, Pam Burridge to Stephanie Gilmore, and of course Tyler Wright and Mick Fanning. Bestselling surf writer Tim Baker tells this implausible story in an irresistible series of ripping yarns, offering rich life lessons, a maverick business primer and a wild ride of adventure, good times and outlandish ambitions spectacularly realised. The Rip Curl Story will make you want to surf more, travel further, follow through on that great business idea and pursue your own search.

Don’t Push Too Many Trolleys And Other Tips from Navigating Life and Business by Ying Tan

Don’t Push Too Many Trolleys teaches readers ten crucial principles required to succeed in life and business. Written by Ying Tan, Founder and CEO of a multimillion pound financial services company, Don’t Push Too Many Trolleys imparts sage advice suitable for anyone, at any stage of their life.

The author describes the attitudes, lessons, and traits that allowed him to become one of the youngest Vice Presidents ever at Goldman Sachs. He shows readers how he built a company from the ground up to create one of the most influential and powerful financial services companies in the UK. Full of concrete strategies and practical advice, this book provides a deeply personal and humble perspective on success in life and business with actionable advice that makes a real difference in the pursuit of happiness and wealth. Written for entrepreneurs, business people, financial professionals, and anyone else with an interest in improving their personal and professional life by taking full responsibility for their choices and actions, Don’t Push Too Many Trolleys is an indispensable addition to the libraries of people across the world.

Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos by Jeff Bezos

Invent and Wander is the core principles and philosophy that have guided Jeff Bezos in creating, building, and leading Amazon and Blue Origin. In this collection of writings including his unique and strikingly original annual shareholder letters, plus numerous speeches and interviews that provide insight into his background, his work, and the evolution of his ideas, you’ll gain an insider’s view of the why and how of his success. Spanning a range of topics across business and public policy, from innovation and customer obsession to climate change and outer space, this book provides a rare glimpse into how Bezos thinks about the world and where the future might take us. Written in a direct, down-to-earth style, Invent and Wander offers readers a master class in business values, strategy, and execution. 

Each insight offers new ways of thinking through today’s challenges and more importantly, tomorrow’s.

Family Business Success Stories: How Australia’s iconic family brands have stood the test of time by Graeme Lofts

Family Business Success Stories tells the stories of eight of Australia’s oldest and best-known family-owned businesses in Australia, all of them more than one hundred years old. The stories illustrate the passion within each generation and demonstrate the influence of individuals in the families on the evolution of a successful business against a background of the social and economic history of Australia. Each chapter tells the story of how the business started, the hopes and dreams of the founders, the colourful characters, humour, setbacks and tragedies along the way. The author also shares the triumphs of the family business, including landmark products or services and awards. For fellow family-business owners there are lessons to learn about innovation, collaboration, conflict resolution, resilience and transfer of leadership. Family Business Success Stories is readable and engaging. It will appeal to both the business community and consumers of these eight iconic brands. This book will send a strong message to Australian consumers about the social, cultural and economic value of family owned businesses. Although not a ‘How to . . .’ book in name, it is a must-read for anyone contemplating starting a small business or any family business in its first or second generation.

Enjoy!

The newest motivational titles on the market for business

February is typically when we are all back in the office and into the swing of the 9-5 work day. However this year things are a little different. COVID-19 has meant that many of us are working from home and our office hours have become more flexible. While having the coffee machine and fridge close by and a non-existent commute are all wonderful upsides to working from the home office, there are days when motivation is seriously lacking. The good news is, that it’s okay to feel unmotivated from time to time, but for those days when you just can’t seem to get inspired we have rounded up a few books that could help. Self-help is a hugely popular genre and we are super happy that there is a continual stream of new titles being released, but it’s these ones below that we think will help you on a rather -ahem- unproductive day at work. 

Make yourself a cuppa and settle in for a bit of a read… it’s okay, it’s ‘kind of’ work related. 

How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices by Annie Duke

What do you do when you’re faced with a big decision? If you’re like most people, you probably make a pro and con list, spend a lot of time obsessing about decisions that didn’t work out, get caught in analysis paralysis, or endlessly seek other people’s opinions to find just that little bit of extra information that might make you sure. Or, you might take pride in your gut instincts and go with that. What if there was a better way to make quality decisions so you can think clearly, feel more confident, second-guess yourself less, and ultimately be more decisive and be more productive? Making good decisions doesn’t have to be a series of endless guesswork. Rather, it’s a teachable skill that anyone can sharpen. In How to Decide, bestselling author Annie Duke and former professional poker player lays out a series of tools anyone can use to make better decisions.

Out of My Skull: The Psychology of Boredom by James Danckert, John D. Eastwood

No one likes to be bored. We avoid boredom at all costs. It makes us feel restless and agitated. Desperate for something to do, we play games on our phones, retie our shoes, or even count ceiling tiles. And if we escape it this time, eventually it will strike again. But what if we listened to boredom instead of banishing it?

Psychologists James Danckert and John Eastwood contend that boredom isn’t bad for us. It’s just that we do a bad job of heeding its guidance. When we’re bored, our minds are telling us that whatever we are doing isn’t working, we’re failing to satisfy our basic psychological need to be engaged and effective. Too many of us respond poorly. We become prone to accidents, risky activities, loneliness and we waste ever more time on technological distractions. But, Danckert and Eastwood argue, we can let boredom have the opposite effect, motivating the change we need. The latest research suggests that an adaptive approach to boredom will help us avoid its troubling effects and, through its reminder to become aware and involved, might lead us to live fuller lives. Out of My Skull combines scientific findings with everyday observations to explain an experience we’d like to ignore, but from which we have a lot to learn. Boredom evolved to help us. It’s time we gave it a chance.

The Times Great Quotations: Famous Quotes to Inform, Motivate and Inspire by Times Books

Be inspired and moved by the words of Malala Yousafzai, Amelia Earhart, Michelle Obama and Banksy in a collection of great and memorable quotations from across the centuries. Thematically-arranged quotes from the most notable minds, orators, celebrities, writers and politicians that ever lived. Struggling to recall those elusive quotes and sayings? With this thematic approach, The Times has the answer with a selection of the best one-liners across multiple topics and including a people index to help you find who and what you are looking for. This is one of our favourites: No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.

The Quokka’s Guide to Happiness by Alex Cearns

Meet the Quokka. Miniature marsupial, tourist attraction and the happiest animal on the planet. Unique to Rottnest Island and small areas of the West Australian coast, these cute little critters have featured in more selfies than the Kardashians – no pouting necessary, just an adorable smile! Featuring stunning photography from award-winning Alex Cearns, and uplifting quotes, The Quokka’s Guide to Happiness is a gorgeous compilation sure to bring a cheeky little grin to anyone’s face and anyone wanting to break away from watching cat videos on Youtube. 

How to Thrive at Work: Mindfulness, Motivation and Productivity by Stephen J Mordue

This is an essential read for anyone experiencing low level anxiety or stress, this book pulls together the various individual strands of business logic, scientific research, self-care, spirituality and common sense to provide a one-stop guide to thriving at work. The widespread ‘more for less’ attitude is creating a dramatic rise in work-related stress and a higher ratio of staff sickness. Not only does this create a fiscal impact upon the organisation and the broader economy but it has the potential to create significant long-term mental health issues for employees. You cannot always alter the demands of your professional or personal lives but, by understanding more about how your brain functions and by actively pursuing well-being techniques, you can enhance the skills that help you manage and succeed at the challenges thrown at you and reduce the risks associated with burnout. With a focus on improving mindfulness, motivation and productivity, this book offers sound, practical advice and strategies for self-care whatever your working environment and whatever stage you are at in your career.

The Demotivated Employee: Helping Leaders Solve the Motivation Crisis That Is Plaguing Business by Cathy Bush, Tara Peters

This one is for those of you that have a team to guide. Do you ever wonder why employees are not as motivated and productive as you would like for them to be? Do you find yourself thinking that some employees are just “lazy slackers”? You may be surprised to learn that there are other explanations for employee demotivation that you may not be thinking about when you are leading people. Authors Tara Peters and Cathy Bush have worked with thousands of leaders who are shocked to learn that managers and leaders play a significant role in causing employees to lose motivation. Without even realising it, we take all sorts of actions during the process of leading people and organisations, and many of these actions actually deflate the motivation that people bring with them to work. In The Demotivated Employee, readers will learn what leadership behaviours they are engaging in that might demotivate their employees; how to better communicate with employees so this doesn’t happen; and how to work within the constraints of organisational culture to help employees thrive.

Enjoy!

Soak up the Bestsellers List this Summer

What does “holiday reading” mean to you? Does the slower pace of summer make you reach for light, breezy reads; or is this the time when you can finally commit to that big, substantial book? I do a bit of both – my Holiday Brain craves cheerful reads, but I always pack a variety just in case. I hope you can find YOUR perfect holiday read from this selection of recent bestsellers:

The Grand Tour by Olivia Wearne

When longtime friendly-neighbours Ruby and Angela set off for Adelaide in their campervan, little did they know what’s in store. These Grey Nomads became unwitting kidnappers when they discovered a little stowaway, and they also crossed paths with Angela’s estranged brother Bernard, a C-list celeb with his own troubles. Not only is The Grand Tour a quirky and very Aussie adventure, it is also a story about families – the ones you have and the ones you make. The laughter and heart just draws you in. The Grand Tour is Olivia Wearne’s debut novel, but she has a background in screenwriting and it shows – her descriptions are cinematic, the characters are well-developed, and the dialogue zings.

Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory

If you like holiday reads that sweep you off to a different time and place, then Dark Tides is for you. This atmospheric tale, set in London in the 1670s, is the sequel to Tidelands. We meet again with Alinor, a poor, hardworking woman who now owns a warehouse on the Thames riverbank. On Midsummer Eve, she receives two unexpected visitors, who set off a chain of events amidst the poverty of early Restoration London, the splendour of Venice as well as the wild frontiers of colonial America. Philippa Gregory is best known for her novels about Tudor royalty; her assured writing has translated equally well to this immersive series about a commoner family in a later era. 

All Adults Here by Emma Straub

All Adults Here is the ironic title of this gentle black comedy about an extended family from upstate New York – think Something’s Gotta Give crossed with The Royal Tenanbaums. The most grownup member of the Strick clan is probably 13-year-old granddaughter Cecelia – her parents, aunts and uncles, and even her grandmother still struggle with insecurity and adulting from time to time. Emma Straub writes affectionately about her cast of flawed characters, creates much humour from their interactions, and grounds their personal challenges in current issues including abortion, bullying, IVF, gender identity and sexual predators.

Because of You by Dawn French

On New Year’s Eve, as a new millenium arrives, two women are in the same hospital, giving birth. Only one of them will bring a baby home. Seventeen years later, the consequences of what happened that night slowly unravel, with surprising and poignant results. Five long years after her last novel, Dawn French has given birth to her latest hit, Because of You. This is a story about mothers and daughters, nature and nurture, mistakes and regret. Dawn French’s wit adds richness and lightness to an emotional and thought-provoking story; the rich characterisation and multiple points-of-view will draw you in and keep you hooked till the last page.

Lucky’s by Andrew Pippos

Another strong literary debut rewarded by bestselling status. Lucky’s is a big, multigenerational family saga about the rise and fall of Lucky Mallios, a Greek-American who settled in postwar Australia, and his eponymous chain of cafes. Sharp, vivid vignettes tell a story that spans almost a century, across several continents; yet this vastness telescopes into a finely interwoven web, where each character’s actions affect others in unforeseen and pernicious ways. Informed by Andrew Pippos’ personal history, the post-war migrant experience, and the iconic Greek-Australian cafe scene, both play important roles in this immersive story.


The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Richard Osman joins a long list of successful comedians-turned-authors – but he stands out by debuting with a murder mystery. The Thursday Murder Club is a quartet of residents in an upmarket retirement village, who meet weekly to pore over unsolved crimes. This seems a fun but academic pastime – until the day a murder happens close to home. Richard Osman’s clever, deadpan personality, as seen in TV shows such as Taskmaster and QI, also shines through in his writing. He skilfully balances distinctive and recognisable characterisation with a pinch of Miss Marple, a smidge of the Ealing comedies, and balances everything with poignant asides on ageing and the end of life. No wonder that The Thursday Murder Club has become the fastest-selling adult crime debut ever in the UK.

Monday Inspo

It’s the start of another week and the weather is meant to be glorious. To help you keep the holiday vibes going we are sharing the best summer reads on the blog later this week. Be sure to check it out.

Getting motivated in 2021; The best self-help books on the market

2021 is a year that comes with big expectations and even bigger dreams. After the whirlwind year that was 2020 everyone is banking on this year being so much brighter. While the start was a bit rocky here in Australia with new outbreaks of Covid we are still gearing up for a year where we get to take charge and dream big. The motivational and self-help genres are hugely popular and we have chosen a few of our favourites to help you get motivated to hit your 2021 goals. 

The Right-brain Workout 2 by Russel Howcroft and Alex Wadelton

Are you out of ideas? Feel your creativity drying up? Is brain fog taking over your life? Give your right brain a workout with the experts. In just ten weeks, you can reignite your imagination and tap into the creative potential inside you. Following on from the highly successful Right-brain Workout Vol 1, here are seventy more questions posed by some of Australia’s most innovative individuals – creatives from the world of comedy, film, literature, art, photography and advertising – designed to help you to think outside the box to unleash your inner genius. You wanted more, and Russel Howcroft and Alex Wadelton have delivered.

Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight 

From the author of the bestselling book everyone is talking about, The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F%*k. The no-fks-given, no-holds-barred guide to living your best life. Ever find yourself snowed under at the office, or even just glued to the sofa, when you really want to get out (for once), get to the gym (at last), and get started on that daunting dream project you’re always putting off? Then it’s time to get your sh*t together. In The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F%*k, ‘anti-guru’ Sarah Knight introduced the joys of mental decluttering. Get Your Sh*t Together takes you one stop further – organising the f*cks you want and need to give to help you quit your day job and move abroad, balance work and fun, and save money while you’re at it, or simply get out of the door for happy hour, every day.

The Now of Work by Lisa Messenger

For more than 19 years Lisa Messenger has had the absolute pleasure of inspiring game-changers, thought-leaders, stylemakers, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs across the world. After the crisis of COVID-19 the world was suddenly faced with a new way of working, people felt, and are still feeling overwhelmed and lost. The Now of Work takes you through all the steps needed to be able to thrive in a work from home environment. It covers practical, actionable ways for creating location freedom, as a solopreneur, entrepreneur or intrapreneur. You can see Lisa’s other books here.

Speak Your Truth by Fearne Cotton

Fearne Cotton’s voice is familiar to millions, whether that’s through television, radio or on her hugely successful Happy Place podcast. Her voice is her career, her livelihood and the way she communicates with her audience and her loved ones. So, when Fearne’s doctor told her she was at risk of needing a throat operation followed by two weeks of being unable to speak, she found herself facing a period of unexpected contemplation. As she considered what silence would mean, Fearne began to think about other times her voice had gone unheard as a young woman, as ‘just the talent’, as the foil to louder, more dominant figures. She found herself wondering, at what point do we internalise this message, and start silencing ourselves? When do we swallow down our authentic words to become pleasers and compromisers at the cost of our own happiness or wellbeing? Speak Your Truth dives into all the ways we learn to stay quiet for the wrong reasons, and explores how to find your voice, assert yourself and speak out with confidence. Brave, vulnerable and deeply personal, Speak Your Truth shares Fearne’s compelling story and helps you to shape your own.

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell

The routine traffic stop that ends in tragedy. The spy who spends years undetected at the highest levels of the Pentagon. The false conviction of Amanda Knox. Why do we so often get other people wrong? Why is it so hard to detect a lie, read a face or judge a stranger’s motives? Through a series of encounters and misunderstandings, from history, psychology and infamous legal cases, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual adventure into the darker side of human nature, where strangers are never simple and misreading them can have disastrous consequences. No one challenges our shared assumptions like Malcolm Gladwell. Here he uses stories of deceit and fatal errors to cast doubt on our strategies for dealing with the unknown, inviting us to rethink our thinking in these troubled times. You can see Malcolm’s other books here.

The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to be Calm in a Busy World by Haemin Sunim

The world moves fast, but that doesn’t mean we have to. In this timely guide to mindfulness, Haemin Sunim, a Buddhist monk born in Korea and educated in the United States, offers advice on everything from handling setbacks to dealing with rest and relationships, in a beautiful book combining his teachings with calming full-colour illustrations. Haemin Sunim’s simple messages, which he first wrote when he responded to requests for advice on social media, speak directly to the anxieties that have become part of modern life and remind us of the strength and joy that come from slowing down. Hugely popular in Korea, Haemin Sunim is a Zen meditation teacher whose teachings transcend religion, borders and ages. With insight and compassion drawn from a life full of change, the bestselling monk succeeds at encouraging all of us to notice that when you slow down, the world slows down with you.

Enjoy. 

Loading your e-reader for Summer holiday reading: the best summer books

The sun is shining and the beach is beckoning us to enjoy the warm Australian summer. While 2020 was a year like no other, some of us are now able to head out (safely) and enjoy the outdoors. Summer has always been the perfect time to catch up on some reading, whether it’s book recommendations we have received from friends throughout the year, the lure of a new release in a bookstore or a bookclub read we are behind on. If you’re anything like us, Summer sees us fly through books at a record pace so instead of carrying around a pile of physical books this summer how about you load up an e-reader with your entire reading list? We’re heading off on a road trip and with the dog in the back so space will be limited making it an e-reader library for us this summer. 

Here are our top picks: 

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Vivid, visceral, utterly compelling, American Dirt is the first novel to explore the experience of attempting to illegally cross the US-Mexico border. Described as ‘A Grapes of Wrath for our times’ it is a story that will leave you utterly changed. Yesterday, Lydia had a bookshop. Yesterday, Lydia was married to a journalist. Yesterday, she was with everyone she loved most in the world. Today, her eight-year-old son Luca is all she has left. For him, she will carry a machete strapped to her leg. For him, she will leap onto the roof of a high speed train. For him, she will find the strength to keep running.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Who said old age has to be dull? In a peaceful retirement village off the A21 in Kent, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved killings. But when a local property developer shows up dead, ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ find themselves in the middle of their first live case. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be octogenarians, but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late? A page-turning murder mystery in the tradition of Christie, and a joyful, laugh-out-loud celebration of modern Britishness and the power of friendship, The Thursday Murder Club is a true classic in the making.

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.

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

Amanda and Clay head to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a holiday, a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But with a late-night knock on the door, the spell is broken. Ruth and G. H., an older couple who claim to own the home, have arrived there in a panic. These strangers say that a sudden power outage has swept the city, and with nowhere else to turn they have come to the country in search of shelter. But with the TV and internet down, and no phone service, the facts are unknowable. Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple and vice versa? What has happened back in New York? Is the holiday home, isolated from civilisation, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one another? An impossibly compelling literary thriller about the world we live in now, Rumaan Alam’s novel is keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race and class. Leave the World Behind explores how our closest bonds are reshaped in moments of crisis  and how the most terrifying situations are never far from reality.

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

This is a whopper of a book and you’ll be happy to buy it as an ebook rather than a hardback! This is a riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy. Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency. Obama takes us on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office. Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings us inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorises Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden. A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective, the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organiser tested on the world stage.

The Handbag of Happiness by Alannah Hill

The Handbag of Happiness (and other misunderstandings, misdemeanours and misadventures) is a collection of rollicking, defiant, punked-up real-life stories where life-changing moments are found in the absurd, and self-improvement is inconvenient and unpleasant. From The Bathing Costume of Calamity to The Apron Strings of Lament and The Brassiere of Lovelessness, Alannah Hill shares hard-won wisdom from a career in the fashion world, and tells us, in her own imperfect way, how she overcame adversity and sometimes didn’t, despite her best intentions. A breath of fresh air in a world full of self-improvement courses, wellness retreats and oppressive rules, Alannah flouts convention. She’s irreverent, ironic and self-deprecating. She’s upbeat and fearlessly frank. She says out loud what other women are thinking. She flirts with trouble and finds the black humour in modern-day chaos and, in doing so, lets readers see that being a bit wrong can sometimes be right.

Enjoy!

The very best last-minute gift guide for Christmas

With just one sleep to go until Christmas it is absolutely fine to feel a tad panicked if you have yet to start your Christmas shopping. Thankfully Team Booko has rustled up a knock-out last minute Christmas shopping list that will make you look like you had planned gifts long ago along with a few ways of ensuring their gift arrives before Christmas lunch. 

Audio books, e-books and vouchers can all be sent immediately so if you fancy opting for the fastest gifts then you can just alter the version of the book by clicking on the little blue edition button below the title. Here’s a handy little pic for you where we have circled the other editions available. 

If the idea of choosing is all too much, or the recipient is slightly tricky to buy for, then a gift voucher is a fabulous option. Click through here for our guide to gift vouchers – they also make lovely gifts for those hosting the festive meal (especially when you send them on Boxing Day as a Thank You). 

These are our top picks that are sure to delight this Christmas. 

The Chiffon Trenches by Andre Leon Talley

Discover what truly happens behind the scenes in the world of high fashion in this detailed, storied memoir from fashion icon and former Vogue creative director André Leon Talley. During André Leon Talley’s first magazine job assisting Andy Warhol at Interview, a fateful meeting with Karl Lagerfeld began a decade’s long friendship with the enigmatic, often caustic designer. Propelled into the upper echelons by his knowledge and adoration of fashion, Talley moved to Paris as bureau chief of John Fairchild’s Women’s Wear Daily, befriending fashion’s most important designers. But as Talley made friends, he also made enemies. A racially tinged encounter with a member of the house of Yves Saint Laurent sent him back to New York and into the offices of Vogue under Grace Mirabella. There, he developed an unlikely but intimate friendship with Anna Wintour, and as she rose to the top of Vogue’s masthead, Talley became the most influential man in fashion. The Chiffon Trenches is a candid look at the who’s who of the last fifty years of fashion, and proof that fact is always devilishly more fascinating than fiction. André Leon Talley’s engaging and detailed memoir is his story of surviving and thriving in the notoriously cutthroat fashion industry amidst racism, homophobia, other challenges to become one of the most legendary voices and faces in fashion journalism.

The Kinfolk Garden by John Burns

Since the launch of its magazine in 2011, Kinfolk has grown into an internationally recognised brand known for its minimalist aesthetic and strong community of inspiring and influential creatives. Kinfolk have applied this lens to cooking, home design, and work. Now, in The Kinfolk Garden, the team turns its eye to outdoor spaces and the many ways they enhance our lives and help us foster community. With a focus on spaces that bring the outdoors in and the indoors out and people who have found ways to expertly incorporate the natural world into their lives, the book explores the garden as a place for work, play, entertaining, and inspiration. Featuring 30 homeowners and their spaces in locations around the globe, The Kinfolk Garden offers an easy approach to bringing nature home.

Live Beautiful by Athena Calderone

From celebrated design expert and interior designer Athena Calderone, a look into how creatives decorate their spaces. Beautiful design isn’t just pleasant to look at; it improves the quality of our lives. In Live Beautiful, the highly anticipated design book by Athena Calderone, the EyeSwoon creator taps into her international network of interior decorators, fashion designers, and tastemakers to reveal how carefully crafted interiors come together. She also opens the doors to two of her own residences. With each homeowner, Calderone explores the initial spark of inspiration that incited their design journey. She then breaks down the details of the rooms-like layered textures and patterns, collected pieces, and customised vignettes, and offers helpful tips on how to bring these elevated elements into your own space. Filled with gorgeous photography by Nicole Franzen, Live Beautiful is both a showpiece of exquisite design and a guide to creating a home that’s thoughtfully put together.

Make Life Beautiful by Syd and Shea McGee

Who doesn’t want to live a beautiful life? For the one million-plus followers who turn to Syd and Shea McGee for advice on building a beautiful home and life, Make Life Beautiful is a behind-the-scenes look into how the couple transformed Shea’s small room of fabric samples and big dream of becoming a designer into one of the most successful and fastest-growing interior design businesses in America. Both long-time and new fans will not only gain insight into how the McGees built such a successful company but also be inspired to apply design principles to their lives. Inspirational topics to help readers build an authentic life include, renovate your life, visualise the outcome, listen to your gut and elevate the everyday. It’s a wonderfully friendly read packed with helpful information for the budding designer. 

The Home Edit Life by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin

Buying a gift for someone who is house-proud? Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin are back again to bring both function and beauty to your everyday life. In The Home Edit Life they show you how to contain the chaos when it comes to absolutely everything: your work, travel, kids, pets and more. Because the truth is, you don’t have to live like a minimalist to feel happy and calm. The Home Edit mentality is all about embracing your life, whether you’re a busy person, a jetsetter – or both! You simply need to know how to set up a system that works for you so you’ll maintain it for the long run. Get to know your organising style, learn how to tailor it to your habits and, best of all, leave the guilt behind when it comes to owning things.

The Naked House by Mollie Player

This one is for the minimalists you know. The solution is almost always fewer things. That’s the Naked House philosophy in a nutshell, though the importance of top-notch organisation (“a place for everything and everything in its place”), design unity, cleanliness and quality round out this book’s description of the most desirable, peaceful home in which to live. With a tongue-in-cheek, personal style, The Naked House is an inspiring but not-too-serious primer on cleaning, organising and reducing clutter-and on changing the way you view the purpose and soul of your home.

Enjoy and we wish you all a very safe holiday season!