Category Archives: Non-fiction

Posts about non-fiction titles

Books for Those Who Are Going Out on their Own in Business

Perhaps it’s the recent taste of Working from Home; or perhaps you want to diversify your income stream; perhaps you’ve retired, but don’t want to feel idle; or perhaps you want work that fits better with your lifestyle choices. There are lots of good reasons to start your own business, and there are more tools and support for budding entrepreneurs than ever before.  So if you think that now is the time to work on that business idea, we have the right guides to inspire you to stop dreaming and start doing!

Side Hustle: Build a Side Business and Make Extra Money without Quitting your Day Job by Chris Guillebeau

The author of the New York Times bestseller The $100 Startup shows you how to launch a profitable side hustle in just 27 days. Side hustles are income streams that supplement your regular paychecks – it may be your first taste of starting your own business, or you may simply want to diversify your income in these uncertain times.  In Side Hustle, Chris Guillebeau presents a framework for effectively starting your mini-business – from how to generate and select ideas, through development to launch, with the steps broken down into approachable daily tasks.
Peppered with anecdotes and tips from his own extensive experience, Side Hustle shows that you don’t need an MBA or lots of capital to get started.  If you’ve been thinking about turning your passions or talents into profit, Side Hustle is the motivation you’ve been waiting for.

How To Build an Online Business: Australia’s Top Digital Disruptors Reveal Their Secrets for Launching and Growing an Online Business by Bernadette Schwerdt

As a TEDx speaker and award-winning business leader, Bernadette Schwerdt has access to top business leaders from around the world – and she has interviewed many of them in order to create her insightful business books. How to Build an Online Business is a follow-up to her successful Secret of Online Entrepreneurs, which identified strategies and insights through in-depth interviews with e-business leaders. This update features top digital disruptors including Uber, Booktopia, and Catch of the Day. The “warts and all” stories of these companies, plus Bernadette Schwerdt’s in-depth analysis of the strategies, tech tools and leadership principles they used to grow their business, reveal the underlying patterns common to all successful online businesses – what they did right, what they did wrong, what they would do differently and the strategies they used to build an online business.

Company of One: Why Staying Small is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis

Small is beautiful according to Paul Jarvis. In Company of One, he encourages us to redefine what business success means, by suggesting that, for many solo and small businesses, it is smarter, more profitable and more enjoyable to stay small rather than expand.  Paul argues that blind growth is the main cause of business problems, and leads to more time, more stress, more responsibilities, and more expenses; instead he suggests that success can come from developing richer relationships with existing customers, based on trust, humanity, and empathy.  For entrepreneurs wondering about your next steps, this innovative, contrarian book may be just what you need.

Start Before You’re Ready: the Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Extraordinary Success in Work and Life by Mick Spencer

Part memoir and part business manual, Mick Spencer wrote Start Before You’re Ready to encourage and help young people chase their entrepreneurial dreams.  His is not a conventional success story – he managed to develop a sense of adventure and an entrepreneurial spirit, despite chronic health issues and learning disabilities.  By starting his business ONTHEGO (OTG) in his early twenties, and growing it into the international success it is today, he has defied the bullies and naysayers, and achieved success on his own terms.  With plentiful tips on resilience and overcoming adversity, Start Before You’re Ready challenges you to get outside your comfort zone and encourages you to learn ‘on the go’, focussing on what you can do rather than what you can’t. 

The 1 Minute Commute: Turn your Skills into a Business You’ll Love, Be your Own Boss, Work from Home by Robert Gerrish

For many of us, the pandemic has offered a taste of a 1-minute commute (aka Working at/from Home); if this has strengthened your resolve to strike out on your own, then Robert Gerrish should be your go-to guide.  Robert Gerrish has spent over 20 years helping Australians succeed in solo businesses, including as co-founder of Flying Solo, Australia’s largest online community of solopreneurs. His special interest is in developing lifestyle-friendly businesses, helping business owners live they lives they want. The 1 Minute Commute collects his most up-to-date advice, on how to take creative charge of your career and be your own boss.  From freelancers and soloists to entrepreneurs and micro-business owners, this book will give you the knowledge and skills to shape your professional life to fit your lifestyle.

What if it Does Work Out? How a Side Hustle can Change your Life by Susie Moore

Many of us dream of monetising our skills with side hustles – and there are more opportunities to do this than ever – but hesitate out of fear of failure.  Susie Moore’s guide to side hustles focusses on overcoming those fears – as the title suggests, visualising your business Working Out rather than Not Working Out.  Using her skills as both a life coach and business coach, she shows how recognizing your skills, understanding your potential, and knowing your purpose in life can lead you to living a life of full satisfaction. Having helped over 500 clients develop successful businesses, Susie Moore has packed this book with useful advice, tips and resources- the perfect motivational and practical injection you need to get started.

Download of the Day: No Such Thing As A Fish Podcast

We have found a way to increase your quiz skills with today’s download: listen to the There’s No Such Thing As A Fish podcast made by the QI elves!


The best books to buy Dad this Father’s Day

With so many amazing new books being released it can be daunting choosing one to buy Dad for Father’s Day. But fear not, we have had a poke around the literary world and have rounded up the hottest titles to buy Dad this September. So get your bookmark button ready and prepare to shop for Dad.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Elwood Curtis has taken the words of Dr Martin Luther King to heart: he is as good as anyone. Abandoned by his parents, brought up by his loving, strict and clearsighted grandmother, Elwood is about to enrol in the local black college. But given the time and the place, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy his future, and so Elwood arrives at The Nickel Academy, which claims to provide ‘physical, intellectual and moral training’ which will equip its inmates to become ‘honorable and honest men’. In reality, the Nickel Academy is a chamber of horrors, where physical, emotional and sexual abuse is rife, where corrupt officials and tradesmen do a brisk trade in supplies intended for the school, and where any boy who resists is likely to disappear ‘out back’. Stunned to find himself in this vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr King’s ringing assertion, ‘Throw us in jail, and we will still love you.’ But Elwood’s fellow inmate and new friend Turner thinks Elwood is naive and worse; the world is crooked, and the only way to survive is to emulate the cruelty and cynicism of their oppressors. The tension between Elwood’s idealism and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision which will have decades-long repercussions. Based on the history of a real reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped and destroyed the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative by a great American novelist whose work is essential to understanding the current reality of the United States.

Brabham by Tony Davis

This is the story of Australia’s greatest motoring hero, and the dynasty he founded. Sir Jack Brabham was unique in the world of motor racing. He was the boy from Sydney who took on the elite of motor racing and won – not only three major F1 championships but the last one in a car he had built in his home country to his own specifications. To those who saw him on the podium, Jack Brabham might have seemed glorious and triumphant, but his story is full of pain, risk, snubs, endurance, wins, and losses. And only now is he gaining the recognition he deserves as someone who revolutionised Formula One. In 2017 he was inducted into the F1 Hall of Fame. Racing with greats including Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart and Bernie Ecclestone, he not only revolutionised Formula One he also encouraged others, such as Bruce McLaren. But he remained an outsider – a colonial. Now his sons want to revive the Brabham name and the Brabham brand. With interviews from those who raced with and against ‘Black Jack’, those who built cars with him, those who loved him, and those who crossed him, this is a brilliant and vivid portrait of a motor genius and the racing dynasty he founded.

Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe

Dark Emu puts forward an argument for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. The evidence insists that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating, and storing; behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag. Gerritsen and Gammage in their latest books support this premise but Pascoe takes this further and challenges the hunter-gatherer tag as a convenient lie. Almost all the evidence in Dark Emu comes from the records and diaries of the Australian explorers, impeccable sources. Dark Emu is a must read for anyone who wants to understand what Australia once was, or what it might yet be if we heed the lessons of long and sophisticated human occupation.

Bowraville by Dan Box

A true crime story cannot often be believed, at least at the beginning. In Bowraville, all three of the victims were Aboriginal. All three were killed within five months, between 1990 and 1991. The same white man was linked to each, but nobody was convicted. More than two decades later, homicide detective Gary Jubelin contacted Dan Box, asking him to pursue this serial killing. At that time, few others in the justice system seemed to know, or care, about the murders in Bowraville. Dan spoke to the families of the victims, Colleen Walker-Craig, Evelyn Greenup and Clinton Speedy-Duroux, as well as the lawyers, police officers and even the suspect involved in what had happened. His investigation, as well as the families’ own determined campaigning, forced the authorities to reconsider the killings. This account asks painful questions about what ‘justice’ means and how it is delivered, as well as describing Dan’s own shifting, uncomfortable realisation that he was a reporter who crossed the line.

Good Girl Bad Girl by Michael Robotham

Six years ago, Evie Cormac was discovered, filthy and half-starved, hiding in a secret room in the aftermath of a shocking crime. Now approaching adulthood, Evie is damaged, self-destructive and has never revealed her true identity. Forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven, a man haunted by his own past, is investigating the death of champion figure-skater Jodie Sheehan. When Cyrus is called upon to assess Evie, she threatens to disrupt the case and destroy his ordered life. Because Evie has a unique and dangerous gift – she knows when someone is lying. And nobody is telling the truth. Good Girl Bad Girl is an unnerving psychological thriller from one of the greatest crime writers of today, Michael Robotham, bestselling author of The Other Wife and The Secret She Keeps.

The Yield by Tara June Winch

The yield in English is the reaping, the things that man can take from the land. In the language of the Wiradjuri yield is the things you give to, the movement, the space between things- baayanha. Knowing that he will soon die, Albert ‘Poppy’ Gondiwindi takes pen to paper. His life has been spent on the banks of the Murrumby River at Prosperous House, on Massacre Plains. Albert is determined to pass on the language of his people and everything that was ever remembered. He finds the words on the wind. August Gondiwindi has been living on the other side of the world for ten years when she learns of her grandfather’s death. She returns home for his burial, wracked with grief and burdened with all she tried to leave behind. Her homecoming is bittersweet as she confronts the love of her kin and news that Prosperous is to be repossessed by a mining company. Determined to make amends she endeavours to save their land – a quest that leads her to the voice of her grandfather and into the past, the stories of her people, the secrets of the river. Profoundly moving and exquisitely written, Tara June Winch’s The Yield is the story of a people and a culture dispossessed. But it is as much a celebration of what was and what endures, and a powerful reclaiming of Indigenous language, storytelling and identity.

Enjoy!

First-hand Tips from Top Leaders We Want to Learn From

Why do we love to read the memoirs of business leaders? The best ones are often a mix of relatable life stories, of the drama of persistent struggles, and of the excitement of eventual success.  This month we have been offering ideas around starting your own business – so for those of you on that career / business journey, here are some great stories about business leaders that offer a great balance of entertainment, education and inspiration.

Herding Tigers: Be the Leader that Creative People Need by Todd Henry


Todd Henry compares managing creatives to herding tigers – these brilliant, driven people are powerful beings who cannot be corralled but must be carefully, individually, and strategically led.  Creatives are usually valued for their individuality, originality, unconventional thinking – traits that may seem ‘difficult’ in more conventional teams.Herding Tigers shows that, by carefully balancing three key conditions – stability, challenge and freedom – managers can create a work environment that allows creatives to flourish, both individually and as a team.  While Herding Tigers is aimed at managers of creative teams – and is particularly useful for creatives-turned-managers – it offers thoughtful advice for anyone needing to manage a variety of personalities and working styles.

#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso 


Sophia Amoruso’s journey, from school dropout and shoplifter to successful entrepreneur, is so resonant that it has inspired a cultural movement and a Netflix show.  Being a #girlboss is about being in charge of your own life, and this memoir / business guide offers ideas on how to achieve this regardless of your talents and interests.  Luck and timing does play a part in Sophia’s success, but kudos to her for not shying away from the hard stuff – she clearly emphasises the importance of personal responsibility, vision, grit and patience.  #Girlboss is a fun, sassy read, with pithy advice grounded in good sense.  Great for young women looking for moral support as they enter the grownup world of work and business.  And if you are ready to put Sophia’s ideas into practice, there’s The Girlboss Workbook, packed with exercises, lists, ideas, and scribble room, to help you turn dreams into goals and plans.

Everything I Know about Love by Dolly Alderton

 
Once you’ve read this, you will want to share it with all your girlfriends and all the younger women you know.  Everything I Know About Love is the story of Dolly Alderton’s life as a twenty-something – hilarious, moving, and  unapologetically messy; and not just about romantic love, but about grief and the life-saving power of friendship too.  Dolly writes with an honesty that makes it super-relatable, yet better – because the clarity of her prose expresses everything better than you or I ever could. This new edition of Everything I Know About Love, published this year, contains a new chapter capturing Dolly’s thoughts on turning 30.

The Big Life: Embrace the Mess, Work your Side Hustle, Find a Monumental Relationship, and Become the Badass Babe You Were Meant to Be by Ann Shoket


Who wouldn’t want to be a Badass Babe?  Ann Shoket has written The Big Life for millenial women, but her book offers value to smart and ambitious women of any age.  Being the former editor-in-chief of Seventeen magazine, Ann Shoket has spent years understanding what matters to Millenials; she understands that the definition of success is changing, and is more likely to be about having passion for your work, and control over your career direction, rather than about high status or income.  Ann also offers valuable insights into the thoughts and attitudes of Gen X / Baby Boomer bosses, helping Millenials manage upwards, and dispel negative assumptions about their working style.  Packed with actionable, personal advice from Ann and her group of Badass Babes – a networking community of high-profile, successful young women, The Big Life is like having your own big sister cheer squad.

The Glitter Plan: How We Started Juicy Couture for $200 and Turned it into a Global Brand by Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor


The Glitter Plan shares some similarities with #Girlboss – both offer a mix of memoir and business advice, sharing the stories of resourceful and determined women who grew small ideas into successful fashion brands.  Being the origin story of Juicy Couture, The Glitter Plan is also full of fun and glamour, celebrating its status as a celebrity favourite. Pamela and Gela’s friendship adds an interesting dimension to their success story – they work closely, as true equals, and their respect and regard for each other underpins their business decisions.  A good balance of entertaining biography and practical business tips, The Glitter Plan is a must-read for anyone dreaming of starting their own fashion label.

Radical Candor: How to Get What you Want by Saying What you Mean by Kim Scott


Criticism is hard to both give and take – culturally we associate it with aggression and humiliation, even if it’s well-meaning.  However, this is something a good leader and boss must learn to do – appropriate criticism can be essential  to achieving good results and maintaining a cohesive team.  Radical Candour is a framework for creating a safe and respectful environment to encourage constructive criticism.  Kim Scott, a former executive at Google and at Apple, first experienced Radical Candour when she was given some harsh-but-enlightening feedback by her then-boss, Sheryl Sandberg.  The key is for leaders to “Care Personally” – show that the criticism is to help the other person grow and improve – and “Challenge Directly” – be specific, focussing on behaviours rather than personality traits. More than just a guide on how to critique, Radical Candour helps to create a frank and positive culture that allows entire teams to thrive.