Category Archives: Lifestyle

Lifestyle-related posts

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!

Inspiration for Festive Food with Booko

It’s been a while since we have been able to celebrate with extended family and friends around our festive table. So this year why not take the opportunity to go all out and dazzle your guests with something a little special. It doesn’t have to be expensive at all, some of our favourite family recipes use the most humble ingredients, but when it’s made with love and ready to share, it is all the more delicious. 

Make yourself a cup of tea, grab a piece of festive gingerbread, sit back and get ready to be inspired. 

Christmas Table: all the recipes you need for the festive season by The Australian Women’s Weekly

While this beautiful book contains all the recipes you’d expect for ham, turkey, sides, desserts and puddings, this year they have taken a modern approach to the season’s fare. Christmas is a special time of year for indulging in food and fun with your loved ones. Create your own traditions, have a seafood buffet instead of a formal sit down meal or celebrate with a barbecue on the beach. How ever you choose to celebrate, the ever-helpful Women’s Weekly will help you through the festive season in style.

Feast: 100 generous dishes to share by Miguel Maestre

In Feast, Miguel shares his absolute favourite recipes to enjoy with family and friends. There are big, satisfying dinners as well as lots of smaller dishes to mix and match in classic share-plate style. Miguel’s food is a loving nod to the dishes of his Spanish heritage, but is also very firmly based in the modern Australian kitchen. Whether you’re getting together for brunch, looking for something fast on a weeknight or to try some new dishes for a family celebration, there are so many bold and exciting flavours here to discover. These are generous meals from a big-hearted chef who knows that simple, good food makes everyone smile.

Everything I Love to Cook by Neil Perry

Sixteen years since the publication of Australian national treasure Neil Perry’s groundbreaking bible for home cooks, The Food I Love, comes a bookend to that masterwork: Everything I Love to Cook. Neil’s influence on the food culture of Australia and beyond has been profound: inspiring us to try new flavours, making simple food simply brilliant, and tirelessly supporting the producers who sustainably grow the food we love to eat.

Now he revisits legendary dishes from his flagship restaurants like Rockpool Bar & Grill and modern classics from his long-running ‘Good Weekend’ column, as well as new favourites he – and we – can’t get enough of. With tips and techniques to set you up for success every time, Neil is on a mission to boost your kitchen know-how and confidence, covering everything from basic knife skills to the art of barbecuing, dressing a salad and mastering a roast dinner.

Whether you want the perfect steak sandwich or a comforting bowl of pasta, a southern Thai-style chicken curry or classic tiramisu, here are more than 230 recipes you’ll love to cook.

Home by Stephanie Alexander

Home is a collection of more than 200 original recipes by Stephanie Alexander. Each recipe is a finely crafted tribute to her passions and preferences for produce and flavour, and each reflects her consummate skill in communicating the fundamentals of technique. There are detailed recipes for the more ambitious home cook, but also simple ways to combine beautiful ingredients to make dishes for everyday eating. Essays on people, places and experiences offer inspiration to readers looking to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of food. Beautifully designed and photographed, Home is a celebration of the sensual and social delights of food and an essential addition to any kitchen shelf. The recipes – classic, masterful and delicious – will be cooked, shared and enjoyed for years to come.

Gathering: Setting the Natural Table by Gemma Ingalls, Andrew Ingalls, Kristen Caissie

Gathering showcases creative tabletop ideas and styles for all seasons. These stylish interiors feature local, artisanal floral designs and handmade objects, capturing the current trend of living and decorating more mindfully and with one-of-a-kind objects.

Exploring every aspect of tabletop design, with setting ideas for different seasons and situations, this volume presents tabletops in situ in a range of stylish spaces designed by the creatives and artists who live there (and sometimes who are the makers themselves). From rustic country living to urban eco-chic, what these beautiful interiors have in common is a desire to bring nature indoors and an intentional and personal approach to design.

Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer’s Guide by Cecily Wong, Dylan Thuras

From those ever-curious, ever-quirky minds behind the #1 New York Times bestselling Atlas Obscura comes an unputdownable guide that marries our endless appetite for travel with our insatiable interest in food. Continent by continent, country by country, Gastro Obscura takes up the mantle of Atlas Obscura to radically expand our sense of wonder about the world – in this case, what humans eat and drink, which turns out to be far more marvellous than we could ever imagine. Discover English bog butter. ‘Threads of God’ pasta (only three women know how to make it). The best black bean fritter restaurant in Brazil. The world’s largest floating restaurant. A croissant museum in Poland. Focusing as much on food’s place in our lives as well as our bellies. 

Enjoy!

Have a Charitable Christmas

Charity doesn’t have a special time of year. Helping is something we do all year round. However it is the festive season which is typically associated with giving, helping and reaching out to charities. We have found six inspiring books that open our eyes and hearts, and that gently nudge us towards a more charitable approach to daily lives. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have.

A Repurposed Life by Ronni Kahn

There’s a constant sense of shame that eats away at you, making you feel that you’re just not good enough. Some people are so poor that they can’t even afford to feel shame. Ronni Kahn, through her work with OzHarvest, does the very thing that offers hope to those in the poverty trap: restore dignity and remove shame. This is her story. Life throws us mysterious ingredients. If we are brave enough to put the recipe aside and experiment, it’s right there that things get interesting. As the owner of a successful events company, throwing away huge volumes of leftover food at the end of the day came with the territory. But when Ronni Kahn hit midlife, she found herself no longer able to turn a blind eye to her food waste problem. Hand delivering the untouched food to homeless shelters around Sydney became her renegade solution. Little did she know that fixing her small problem at work would lead her to unlock a hidden purpose at the very core of her inner life. Now founder and CEO of the food rescue organisation OzHarvest, Ronni leads hundreds of staff and thousands of volunteers with the goal to nourish Australia. She serves in an advisory capacity to government and is an instrumental leader in changing federal laws to improve social justice and environmental policies. A Repurposed Life is the story of how Ronni found her voice, her heart and her deepest calling. From her early years growing up under the brutal system of apartheid South Africa, to a socialist commune in Israel, Ronni finally settled in Australia to discover a profound new way of living. Shared with the humour, warmth and energy that have made her an internationally renowned keynote speaker, this heartfelt exploration of the choices that define us will speak to anyone seeking a more passionate expression of being alive.

Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie

Blake Mycoskie is the founder of TOMS Shoes and a contestant on The Amazing Race. Mycoskie uses his experience with TOMS, as well as interviews with leaders of non-profits and corporations, to convey valuable lessons about entrepreneurship, transparency of leadership, and living by one’s values. This book displays the transformation from a businessperson to an advocate, in an account that outlines his philosophy about working in ways that both fulfils material desires and have philanthropic and social benefits.

How We Give Now: A Philanthropic Guide for the Rest of Us by Lucy Bernholz

From Go Fund Me to philanthropy – the everyday ways that we can give our money, our time, and even our data to help our communities and seek justice.

In How We Give Now, Lucy Bernholz shows that philanthropy is more than writing a cheque and claiming a tax deduction. For most of us, the non-wealthy givers, philanthropy can be a way of living our values and fully participating in society. We give in all kinds of ways; shopping at certain businesses, canvassing for candidates, donating money, and making conscious choices with our retirement funds. We give our cash, our time, and even our data to make the world a better place. Bernholz takes readers on a tour of the often-overlooked worlds of participatory philanthropy, learning from a diverse group of forty resourceful givers.

Giving is a form of participation. Philanthropy by the rest of us, across geographies and cultural traditions, begins with and builds on active commitment to our communities.

Hope is a Verb: Six steps to radical optimism when the world seems broken by Emily Ehlers

Amid political, social, and environmental anxieties, the need for humour, hope, and meaningful action has never been greater. Hope Is a Verb is the beautifully simple solution for not only how to create change but how to stay sane while doing it.

Through this creative guidebook, readers will work to live in alignment with their values, examine their relationships with the planet and their community, and be inspired to act, both in their personal life and collectively. Emily Ehlers, creator of the cult favourite Instagram account @ecowithem, offers a six-step process that reframes the current global mood as an invitation to realise change, rather than dwell in despair.

Using her experience as an environmental activist, Ehlers offers ways for readers to change their perspective as a path to overcome challenges. A light in a dark place, a friend when you’re feeling alone, a roadmap out of overwhelming situations, for those feeling less than secure and safe, Hope Is a Verb points to a world of opportunity and stability that’s achievable and surprisingly simple.

Do Something for Nothing; Seeing beneath the surface of homelessness, through the simple act of a haircut by Joshua Coombes

When you’re on the fringes of society, being noticed can mean everything.

In 2015, while working at a London hair salon, Joshua Coombes took to the streets with his scissors to build relationships with people sleeping rough in the capital. This inspired him to begin posting transformative images on social media to amplify their voices. These stories resonated and thousands of people got involved in their own way. #DoSomethingForNothing was born, a movement that encourages people to connect their skills and time to those who need it. Via the simple act of a haircut, readers are taken on a geographical and emotional journey into the lives of humans experiencing homelessness in different cities across the world.

Featuring never-before-seen photographs and all-new writing, Do Something for Nothing explores themes of love, acceptance, shame, and perseverance, while inviting us to see ourselves in one another and dissolve the negative stigmas surrounding homelessness.

Wallet Activism: How to Use Every Dollar You Spend, Earn, and Save As a Force for Change by Tanja Hester

How do we vote with our dollars, not just to make ourselves feel good, but to make a real difference?

Wallet Activism challenges you to rethink your financial power so you can feel confident spending, earning, and saving money in ways that align with your values. The greatest power we have -especially when political leaders won’t move quickly enough- is how we use our money: where we shop, what we buy, where we live, what institutions we entrust with our money, who we work for, and where we donate determines the trajectory of our society and our planet. While our votes and voices are essential, too, Wallet Activism helps you use your money for real impact.

It can feel overwhelming to determine “the right way” to spend: a choice that might seem beneficial to the environment may have unintended consequences that hurt people. And marketers are constantly lying to you, making it hard to know what choice is best. Wallet Activism empowers us to vote with our wallets by making sense of all the information coming at us, and teaching us to cultivate a more holistic mindset that considers the complex, interrelated ecosystems of people and the planet together, not as opposing forces.

Enjoy!

Booko’s Gift Guide for Yourself this Christmas

There are a number of different ways that people shop for Christmas; some wait until the last minute, others buy well ahead of time, some take their time shopping for the perfect gift for each special person in their lives. Then there’s that group of special individuals (just like a few Booko team members) that are brilliant, in fact masters, at shopping for themselves and love to reward their Christmas shopping capabilities with a ‘one for you and one for me’ gifting approach.

Today’s post is for all of you that love to wrap a little something to yourself and pop it under the tree. Top tip – you can keep this up for years if you say it’s from the family pet.  

Taste – My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci

From award-winning actor and food obsessive Stanley Tucci comes an intimate and irresistible memoir of life in and out of the kitchen. Before Stanley Tucci became a household name with The Devil Wears Prada, The Hunger Games, and the perfect Negroni, he grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the table. Taste is an intimate reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about growing up in Westchester, New York, preparing for and filming the foodie films Big Night and Julie Julia, falling in love over dinner, and teaming up with his wife to create conversation-starting meals for their children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burnt dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last. Written with Stanley’s signature wry humour and nostalgia, Taste is a heartwarming read for anyone who knows the power of a home-cooked meal.

Why Did I Buy That? Fashion mistakes, life lessons by Kirstie Clements

Musings, style tips and thoughts on being a woman from Australia’s leading fashion insider, internationally-bestselling author and former editor of Vogue, Kirstie Clements – all delivered with a good dose of wit, common sense and chutzpah. Kirstie Clements has seen trends come and go, from the sublime to the ridiculous, but she knows real style when she sees it. This is about how to spot those wardrobe gems, from a classic loafer that makes you feel comfortable in your own skin, to a beautiful winter coat to take you through more than one season. Why Did I Buy That? is for those with an interest in style and fashion who want to know what to wear, what to buy and how to age stylishly in these changing times. Sharing personal stories, musings on fashion trends and thoughts on everything from gender to selfies, Why Did I Buy That? is about how to successfully edit your wardrobe and lifestyle, how to live decadently on a budget and how to spend your money more wisely. Oh, and how to kick ass in your career with a well-chosen blazer. It’s also for those of us who want to look good in our thirties and beyond without becoming a slave to fashion (or the surgeon’s knife). Including loads of clever style hints and tips and a foreword by Brooke Boney, Why Did I Buy That? will take you by the hand and help you confidently navigate the often-challenging world of fashion trends and impulse buys. Seasonal updates allowed.

Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Yotam Ottolenghi

This is Ottolenghi, unplugged. The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen team takes you on a journey through your kitchen cupboards, creating inspired recipes using humble ingredients. Relaxed, flexible home cooking from Yotam Ottolenghi and his superteam. Whether they’re conjuring up new recipes or cooking for themselves at home, the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen team do what we all do – they raid their kitchens. But then, they turn whatever they find into approachable creations with an ‘Ottolenghi’ twist. This instinct is in perfect sync with recent times, when we’ve all been standing in front of our kitchen shelves, our cupboards and our fridges, wondering what to cook with what we’ve got; how to put a can of chickpeas or a bag of frozen peas to good use, instead of taking an extra trip to the shops. For the first time, the team welcome us into their creative space. These dishes pack all the punch and edge we expect from Ottolenghi, but offer more flexibility to make them our own, using what we’ve got to hand. There’s the ultimate guide to creamy dreamy hummus, a one-pan route to confit tandoori chickpeas and a tomato salad that rules them all. This book is all about feeding ourselves and our families with less stress and less fuss, but with all the ‘wow’ of an Ottolenghi meal. It’s a notebook to scribble on and add to, to take its ethos and absolutely make it your own.

The Flower Hunter: Seasonal flowers inspired by nature and gathered from the garden by Lucy Hunter

Lucy’s evocative, gently humorous words accompany her glorious photographs and exquisite floral arrangements, as she encourages the reader to marvel at the intricate cycles of the natural world, develop their own innate creativity and to look for beauty in the everyday. Her garden provides the raw materials for Lucy’s floral artistry; breathtaking naturalistic arrangements with the painterly beauty and flourish of a Dutch still life. Simple projects accompany Lucy’s text, from drying garden flowers for an autumnal wreath to making your own journals and natural dyes to assembling lavish arrangements that showcase the voluptuous beauty of garden roses. Lucy believes that we all have a creative voice buried deep within. The Flower Hunter will encourage you to find your own creativity and help it to blossom.

The New Hustle: Don’t work harder, just work better by Emma Isaacs 

What if we’ve been served a big, fat lie about what it takes to be successful at work? Pro-hustlers will tell you living in a work-more, sleep-less world is how we get ahead. But on the back of the pandemic, entrepreneur and Business Chicks founder Emma Isaacs believes the hustle is now dead. Moreover, traditional ways of working – long commutes, unproductive meetings and outdated systems of bureaucracy – actually don’t work at all. Emma believes we don’t have to work harder; we just need to work better. In fact, we can slash our hours, take shortcuts and still get more done – without feeling depleted. In The New Hustle, Emma condenses her wisdom into 77 anti-rules for maximum efficiency. Drawing inspiration from her team, Business Chicks members and the many entrepreneurs and leaders who have graced the Business Chicks stage, she will teach us to embrace radical flexibility, make quick decisions, work smarter and say no to the things that don’t matter, so we can say yes to the things that do. Written with humour, insight and a serving of tough love, The New Hustle is your go-to for more productive, creative and meaningful work by one of Australia’s most unconventional and effective entrepreneurs: a best-selling author, mum of six – and a woman determined to start an anti-hustle revolution.

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl

So, Dave Grohl wrote a book! Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities (‘It’s a piece of cake! Just do four hours of interviews, find someone else to write it, put your face on the cover, and voila!’), He decided to write stories just as he has always done, in his own hand.

“The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I’ve recorded and can’t wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or even hearing my voice bounce between the Kiss posters on my wall as a child. This certainly doesn’t mean that I’m quitting my day job, but it does give me a place to shed a little light on what it’s like to be a kid from Springfield, Virginia, walking through life while living out the crazy dreams I had as young musician. From hitting the road with Scream at 18 years old, to my time in Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, jamming with Iggy Pop or playing at the Academy Awards or dancing with AC/DC and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, drumming for Tom Petty or meeting Sir Paul McCartney at Royal Albert Hall, bedtime stories with Joan Jett or a chance meeting with Little Richard, to flying halfway around the world for one epic night with my daughtersthe list goes on. I look forward to focusing the lens through which I see these memories a little sharper for you with much excitement”.

Enjoy!