Category Archives: Top Tips

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The best comedic books in 2019…so far

This month we’re working on broadening our horizons and with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in full swing we are going to start by diving into comedy and see how it teaches us about our lives and sheds light on the human psyche.

Let’s dive in…

I can’t remember the title but the cover is blue by Elias Greig

As any retail or service worker will tell you, customers can be irrational, demanding, abusive, and brain-scramblingly, mind-bendingly strange. They can also be kind, thoughtful, funny, and full of pathos. Something about the often-fraught interaction between customer and worker – with the dividing line of the counter between them, and the commercial imperative, with its curious etiquette and toleration of all kinds of suspect behaviour brooding above – dims down certain inhibitions, and has a kind of hot-house effect on eccentricity. In I Can’t Remember the Title But the Cover is Blue, veteran bookseller Elias Greig collects the best, worst and most interesting customer encounters from his years at Berkelouw Balgowlah. From ill-behaved children to nostalgia seniors and everything in between, this hilarious and unpredictable book is the perfect gift for anyone who’s ever been on the wrong side of a store counter.

The book of the year 2018 by No Such Thing As A Fish

In a year dominated by Russian collusion and Brexit confusion, The Book of the Year returns with another dose of barely believable yet wholly unimpeachable facts and stories from the past twelve months. Every week for the past four years, Dan, James, Anna and Andy – the creators of the award-winning, chart-topping comedy podcast No Such Thing As A Fish – have wowed each other and millions of their listeners with the most astonishing trivia they have learned over the previous seven days. Now, once again, they have put down the microphones, picked up their pencils, and transformed a year’s worth of weird and wonderful happenings into one uplifting book that you won’t be able to put down. Discover how Peruvian mummies affected the World Cup, and why Love Island contestants are experts in game theory – as well as hundreds of stories that may have passed you by entirely, including the news that:
– NASA sent a man with a fear of heights to the International Space Station.
– An ice hotel in Canada caught fire.
– Mark Zuckerberg’s private data was compromised while he was talking to Congress about compromised data.
From Kim Jong Un’s personal potty to Jeremy Corbyn’s valuable vegetables, The Book of the Year 2018 is an eye-opening tour of yet another incredible year you didn’t know you’d lived through.

I built no schools in Kenya by Kirsten Drysdale

In September 2010, Kirsten Drysdale was tricked. Her friend called with a job offer too curious to refuse; a cruisey-gig as a dementia carer for a rich old man in Kenya. All expenses-paid, plenty of free time to travel or do some freelance reporting. There seemed no good reason to say no so she got on a plane. Only Kirsten’s friend hadn’t given her the full story. It was only on arrival in Nairobi that she discovered the rich old man’s family was fighting a war around him, and that she would be on the front line. Caught in the crossfire of all kinds of wild accusations, she also had to spy on his wife, keep his daughter placated, rebuff his marriage proposals, hide the car keys and clip his toenails, all while trying to retain her own sanity in the colonial time warp of his home. Meanwhile, the Kenyan army was invading Somalia, Al-Shabaab was threatening terror attacks, the East African bodybuilding scene beckoned, and Kirsten discovered she had long-lost cousins running a bar on the other side of the city. I Built No Schools in Kenya is a travelogue-tragedy-farce about race, wealth, love, death, family, nationhood, sanity, benzodiazepines, monkeys and whisky. It is almost entirely true.

Born a crime by Trevor Noah

One of the comedy world’s brightest voices, Trevor Noah is a light-footed but sharp-minded observer of the absurdities of politics, race and identity, sharing jokes and insights drawn from the wealth of experience acquired in his relatively young life. As host of the US hit show The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, he provides viewers around the globe with their nightly dose of biting satire, but here Noah turns his focus inward, giving readers a deeply personal, heartfelt and humorous look at the world that shaped him. Noah was born a crime, son of a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother, at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the first years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, take him away. A collection of eighteen personal stories, Born a Crime tells the story of a mischievous young boy growing into a restless young man as he struggles to find his place in a world where he was never supposed to exist. Born a Crime is equally the story of that young man’s fearless, rebellious and fervently religious mother – a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence and abuse that ultimately threatens her own life. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Noah illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and an unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a personal portrait of an unlikely childhood in a dangerous time, as moving and unforgettable as the very best memoirs and as funny as Noah’s own hilarious stand-up. Born a Crime is a must read.

GuRu By Ru Paul

A timeless collection of philosophies from renaissance performer and the world’s most famous shape-shifter RuPaul, whose sage outlook has created an unprecedented career for more than thirty-five years. GuRu is packed with more than 80 beautiful photographs that illustrate the concept of building the life you want from the outside in and the inside out. ‘You’re born naked and the rest is drag.’ As someone who has deconstructed life’s hilarious facade, RuPaul has broken ‘the fourth wall’ to expand on the concept of mind, body, and spirit. This unique perspective has allowed RuPaul to break the shackles of self-imposed limitations, but reader beware, this is a daily practice that requires diligence and touchstones to keep you walking in the sunshine of the spirit. Once you’re willing to look beyond the identity that was given to you, a hidden world of possibilities will open its doors. Throughout the history of humans on this planet, there’ve always been shaman, seers, and mediums who are able to interpret both high and low frequencies and remind humans to look beyond the surface for the truth of who we really are. And who we really are is an extension of the power that created the universe (aka: God in drag). FYI: most people are not willing to hear or accept that. That is RuPaul’s secret for success, not only in show business, but in all aspects of life, especially in navigating the emotional landmines that inhibit most sweet, sensitive souls. If you think this book is just about ‘doing drag’, you are sorely mistaken because for RuPaul, drag is merely a device to deactivate the identity-based ego and allow space for the unlimited.

The Uncollected plays of Shaun Micallef by Shaun Micallef

Shaun Micallef is without doubt one of Australia’s premier comedians, writer, producer, presenter, host, actor, author, broadcaster, bon vivant, gadfly, troubadour, dancer, impresario, trick-cyclist, acrobat, lion tamer, poet and elite sportsman. But did you know that he is also an internationally renowned playwright? No? Typical. It’s a stain on our national character that this doyen of theatre does not get anywhere near the credit he deserves or attention he craves in this country; mute testimony to Australia’s cultural cringe and inveterate dumbness. From Broadway to the West End, his name is mentioned in the same breath as Mamet and Ray Cooney; and in the salons of Paris he is worshipped as a God. His plays, uncollected until now, are irrefutable proof that when it comes to listing the world’s greatest dramatists, the name Micallef should be inserted in there somewhere. Even if you have never been to the theatre before, just holding this book in your hands as you are now will change your life forever. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, your body will spasm convulsively – you may even be so moved that you will open the book and read it.

Enjoy!

Growing your side business with Youtube

More and more people are carving out their own little corner of the internet to launch their side hustle. Video is the most powerful content on social media. It can stop us in our (scrolling) tracks and demand our attention with FOMO viral clips. Video also allows brands to show snippets of life behind the scenes of a business which is a  technique used to build trust with customers. 

If you’re thinking of utilising youtube for your side hustle read on. Our team has trailed the internet and has found the top titles for using youtube for business. 

Really professional internet person by Jenn McAlister

Jenn McAllister, better known as JennxPenn, has been obsessed with making videos since she found her parents video camera at the age of eight. A shy child, Jenn turned to film because, unlike with life, you can always have a do-over. Really Professional Internet Person offers both an insider’s guide to building a successful YouTube channel and an intimate portrait of the surreality of insta-fame and the harsh reality of high school. Brimming with honesty, heart and Jenn’s patented sense of humour, Really Professional Internet Person features top ten lists, photos, screenshots, social media posts and never-before-posted stories chronicling Jenn’s journey from an anxious middle-schooler just trying to fit in, to a YouTube sensation unafraid to stand out.

So you want to blog by Andrea Valeria 

So, you’re an aspiring vlogger? Your new favourite content creator, Andrea Valeria of “It’s a Travel O.D.,” has broken down the vlogging process for you, without taking herself too seriously or getting overly technical. From naming your vlog, refining your style, and advancing your skills—to the satisfaction of publishing your very first video — you now have a vlogging mentor (and maybe your first viewer!). 

I, Justine by Justine Ezarik

A one-woman media phenomenon and a leading YouTube influencer takes readers behind the camera, and deep inside her world. Justine Ezarik has been tech-obsessed since unboxing her family s first Apple computer. By sixth grade she had built her first website. A decade later, she became one of the Internet s first and most popular lifecasters, inviting people around the world to watch her every move, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. But it was a one-minute video about an itemised AT&T bill that gave Justine her first taste of viral success: Within ten days of release, her 300-page iPhone bill had garnered more than 3 million views and international media attention. These days, iJustine is a one-woman new media phenomenon: The popular techie, gamer, vlogger, and digital influencer has an army of nearly 3.5 million subscribers across multiple YouTube channels, with total views approaching half a billion. Now, Justine is giving friends and fans a look behind the scenes, sharing never-before-told stories about the hilarious (and sometimes heartbreaking) reality of sharing your life online. With her trademark wit and delightfully weird sense of humor, Justine delivers an inspirational message in support of creativity, entrepreneurship, and the power of staying true to yourself, while reminding readers that the Internet is a very small world you just never know who you re going to meet.

The Amazing Book is not on fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester

Dan and Phil are youtube sensations who just about broke the internet when they announced they were releasing a board game back in 2017. You can check it out here. But back in 2015 they released a book offering helpful advice on how to make successful videos. Using themselves as object lessons, they start with short but thorough autobiographies that provide insight into their childhood, teen, and early vlogging years. They then move into talking about their creative processes, a little bit about their setups, and a lot of helpful advice, including what not to do, to make entertaining videos.

Vlog like a Boss by Amy Schmittauer

Vlog Like a Boss is the complete guide to video blogging.

Amy Schmittauer is the Vlog Boss. As a new media triple threat; a YouTuber, keynote speaker and author and all the while she coaches people to go after what they want in life and leverage online video to make it happen. Creator of the popular YouTube series Savvy Sexy Social, her channel boasts a global community and millions of views. Now, in her first book, she will show you how to Vlog Like a Boss and get the attention you deserve. The book is a collection of strategies and tactics from years of experience in online video, Schmittauer shares time-tested, proven methods to creating brand awareness with vlogging that will build a loyal community for years to come. 

Enjoy. 

Best Books to help grow your side business with Instagram

This month we are stepping into the world of side hustles. Last week we showcased a number of top books focussing on your business making the transition from side hustle to real life business. You can read that here

Today, we are diving into the world of Instagram. Instagram is a super efficient marketing tool especially when have a side businesses to launch, or if you have made the decision to amp up your marketing game. 

Here’s our top picks for the titles that will offer you guidance. 

Capture your style by Aimee Song

With 3 million Instagram fans and counting, Aimee Song knows a thing or two about taking the perfect Instagram photo. In Capture Your Style, Song reveals the secrets behind creating the ultimate feed and breaks down the technical and editorial essentials for creating an account that will draw thousands of followers to earn you likes and brand attention. Organised by lifestyle categories, including fashion, travel, food, decor and more, the book presents the best apps and filters for processing photos, improving your voice and capturing your story on Instagram. There is also how-to information for propping and styling food and fashion photos. Whether you’re launching a career or simply sharing a gorgeous meal with your friends, Capture Your Style empowers you to become a master mobile photographer and shows you how to turn everyday moments into Instagold.

Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk

In his 2009 international bestseller, Crush It!, Gary insisted that a vibrant personal brand was one of the primary paths to entrepreneurial success. In Crushing It!, Gary explains why that’s even more true today, offering his unique perspective on what has changed and what remains timeless. He also shares stories from other entrepreneurs who have grown wealthier, and not just financially, than they ever imagined possible by following Crush It! principles. The secret to their success (and Gary’s) has everything to do with their understanding of social media platforms and their willingness to do whatever it takes to make these tools work to their utmost potential. Crushing It! is a state-of-the-art guide to building your own path to professional and financial success, but it’s not about getting rich. It’s a blueprint for living life on your own terms.

Styling for Instagram by Leela Cyd

Instagram is a rich source of inspiration and aspiration. It’s easy to set up an account, but to really master it, and gain a significant following, you need two things: a strong personal brand and an aspirational style that people will want to emulate. This book will help you achieve both. Written by renowned Instagram expert and photographer Leela Cyd, this book is packed with beautiful images as well as her sage advice for certain Instagram success. With sections on creating the perfect composition, finding the unique angle, and capturing scenes and places, this book covers all you need to know about getting the shots that work.

Instastyle by Tessa Barton

Instagram is the place where trends break, tastes are made, and brands are launched. Plus it’s packed with insightful analytics and handy business tools to help you elevate your social media presence to the next level. Create, connect with others, and share the way you see the world! Whether your passion is fitness, fashion, food, or anything in between, you can turn that passion into a business, inspire others, and meet amazing people. Learn from Tezza and her friends how to tell compelling visual stories on the fastest growing social media platform, with topics including photography tips, brand engagement strategies, and advice for finding management. InstaStyle is a must-have guide for a booming industry, full of beautiful imagery and easily understood guides to help you achieve your Instagram goals. You’ll learn how you can create an immediately recognisable grid aesthetic and showcase your life while remaining true to your personal brand. With contributions from successful influencers, you’ll be inspired to curate category-specific content to share with the Insta-universe.

Read this if you want to be instagram famous by Henry Carroll

So you’ve got an Instagram account, you’re posting pictures, but your follower count has flatlined. Read This If You Want to Be Instagram Famous holds the answers to fixing up your feed and finding thousands of new followers. Packed with the essential secrets of the hottest Instagrammers around, the book features tips covering photographic techniques, captioning, codes of conduct, kit and managing your account. Put the advice into practice and soon you too will be hailed as an Instagram icon.

Let us know in the comments if you have any other titles you think we should share. Nest week we’re sharing our top picks when using youtube for business.

Enjoy!

Need Textbooks?

Everyone needs a little life hack…especially if it can save you money. This article is an oldie but a goodie and still super relevant to uni students. Did you know you can buy both new and second hand books through booko? Click here for details.

https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2014/03/how-to-buy-university-textbooks-in-australia-for-less/