Category Archives: Top Tips

Collection of our best tips and tricks

What’s for dinner?

What’s your favourite dish to cook? At the moment in our house it’s grilled fish and salads (especially when the sun is shining), that said, we’re a little partial to something sweet too. And if you’re stuck for dinner ideas, then be sure to read tomorrow’s blog which covers our fav new cookbooks that have just been released.

How we can eat our landscapes

What should a community do with its unused land?

Perhaps plant food.

With energy and humour, Pam Warhurst shares the story of how she and a growing team of volunteers came together to turn plots of unused land into communal vegetable gardens, and to change the narrative of food in their community.

Top selling professional development books for 2019

Continuing to develop your career can not only invigorate your passion for your chosen field but also help you get ahead if you are intending to climb the corporate ladder (or want to build your own ladder to climb). Sometimes to get ahead you need to extend and invest in yourself. Thankfully there are a plethora of books being released that all aim to help you extend yourself. 

Make yourself a cup of something tasty and get comfy, these titles are bound to inspire you to take the next steps for your career. 

The Third Door by Alex Banayan

The Third Door takes readers on an unprecedented adventure; from hacking Warren Buffett’s shareholders meeting to chasing Larry King through a grocery store to celebrating in a nightclub with Lady Gaga, as Alex Banayan travels from icon to icon, decoding their success. After remarkable one-on-one interviews with Bill Gates, Maya Angelou, Steve Wozniak, Jane Goodall, Larry King, Jessica Alba, Pitbull, Tim Ferriss, Quincy Jones, and many more, Alex discovered the one key they have in common – they all took the Third Door. Life, business, success is just like a nightclub. There are always three ways in. There’s the First Door – the main entrance, where ninety-nine percent of people wait in line, hoping to get in. The Second Door – the VIP entrance, where the billionaires and celebrities slip through. But what no one tells you is that there is always, always a the Third Door. It’s the entrance where you have to jump out of line, run down the alley, bang on the door a hundred times, climb over the dumpster, crack open the window, sneak through the kitchen – there’s always a way in. Whether it’s how Bill Gates sold his first piece of software or how Steven Spielberg became the youngest studio director in Hollywood history, they all took the Third Door.

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.

Willpower Doesn’t Work by Benjamin Hardy 

If you’re relying on willpower alone to help you lose weight, improve your relationships or achieve more at work, you’re doomed to fail. The environment around us is far too powerful, stimulating, addicting and stressful to overcome it through sheer determination. Willpower, grit, being positive – basically, all the tools you’ve been told are the keys to creating lasting change in your life – are insufficient in this high-paced, information-overloaded world we live in. The only way to stop just surviving and learn to truly thrive in today’s world is to proactively shape your environment. That’s the premise of Willpower Doesn’t Work, by organisational psychologist and Medium’s most-read self-help guru Benjamin Hardy. Building on copious existing research, as well as his own experience of growing up in a broken family afflicted by addiction and drug use, Hardy explains how people can change their lives on every level by making small, impactful changes in your environment. 

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink

Daniel H. Pink, is the bestselling author of Drive and To Sell Is Human, and is aiming to unlock the scientific secrets to good timing to help you flourish at work, at school, and at home.

Everyone knows that timing is everything. But we don’t know much about timing itself. Our lives are a never-ending stream of “when” decisions: when to start a business, schedule a class, get serious about a person. Yet we make those decisions based on intuition and guesswork.

Timing, it’s often assumed, is an art. In When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Pink shows that timing is really a science.

Drawing on a rich trove of research from psychology, biology, and economics, Pink reveals how best to live, work, and succeed. How can we use the hidden patterns of the day to build the ideal schedule? Why do certain breaks dramatically improve student test scores? How can we turn a stumbling beginning into a fresh start? Why should we avoid going to the hospital in the afternoon? Why is singing in time with other people as good for you as exercise? And what is the ideal time to quit a job, switch careers, or get married? In When, Pink distills cutting-edge research and data on timing and synthesises them into a fascinating, readable narrative packed with irresistible stories and practical takeaways that give readers compelling insights into how we can live richer, more engaged lives.

The Alter Ego Effect by Todd Herman

There’s only one person in the way of you un-tapping your potential: You. There’s also one person who can move you out of the way so you can perform at your peak. That person is already inside you. You just need to unlock them. This other part of you is your Alter Ego. After twenty-one years of working with elite athletes, performers and leaders, Todd Herman has discovered how you can use your alter ego to achieve the seemingly impossible. It all clicked for Todd when he met Bo Jackson. When Herman met Bo Jackson, the professional athlete told him, “Bo Jackson never played a down of football in his entire life.” Bo explained that when he was young, he’d get into trouble because chaos caused by his anger issues. Then, he saw Friday the 13th and became fascinated by the cold, calculating nature of Jason Vorhees. In that moment, he resolved to stop being Bo Jackson, and start being Jason the moment he stepped on the field. In this transformative guide, Herman teaches you how to create and control an Alter Ego like Bo-and the thousands of other athletes, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and entertainers who have used this simple tool to change their lives. Herman also shares his own story: he knew that inside was a confident, self-assured, intelligent person who could help others get better results in their lives. When he started using superman’s classic trick-putting on a pair of glasses he learned to trigger the specific traits he needed to achieve his goals. The Alter Ego Effect is not about creating a false mask – it’s about finding the hero already inside you. It’s a proven way of overcoming the self-doubt, negativity, and insecurity that hold you back, and empowering you to ultimately become your best self.

Atomic Habits by James Clear

People think when you want to change your life, you need to think big. But world-renowned habits expert James Clear has discovered another way. He knows that real change comes from the compound effect of hundreds of small decisions – doing two push-ups a day, waking up five minutes early, or holding a single short phone call. He calls them atomic habits. In this ground-breaking book, Clears reveals exactly how these minuscule changes can grow into such life-altering outcomes. He uncovers a handful of simple life hacks (the forgotten art of Habit Stacking, the unexpected power of the Two Minute Rule, or the trick to entering the Goldilocks Zone), and delves into cutting-edge psychology and neuroscience to explain why they matter. Along the way, he tells inspiring stories of Olympic gold medalists, leading CEOs, and distinguished scientists who have used the science of tiny habits to stay productive, motivated, and happy. These small changes will have a revolutionary effect on your career, your relationships, and your life.

Enjoy!

How to buy cheap textbooks for uni

It’s Back to School and Back to Uni for many students around the world and with that comes a new list of specified books for course reading. A reading list can be pretty expensive, so we thought we’d focus this week’s blog on how Booko can help find the cheapest version of your textbooks. 

Booko is great for searching for specialist or academic texts. All you need to do is type a book’s ISBN into the main search box (this ensures you are searching for the correct edition) and away you go. Booko can find most books, whether they are e-Books, Reference books, Fiction or Non-Fiction. And since Booko can locate used copies, you may be able to save even more by buying second-hand!

Booko’s standard search finds you the best prices for right now in both new and used condition. We recommend this for anyone who needs their book sooner rather than later. But if you happen to know ahead of time what books you need then we’d definitely point you in the direction of our handy alert function. 

Set Price Alerts

Booko’s price alert feature (which is a super handy set-and-forget tool) emails you as soon as the price of a book falls below the current price, or a price specified by you. Oh yes, you read that right, the alert function not only lets you know when a book you want is on sale, but you can also set the price you want to pay for a book. 

To set an alert, you need to be logged into your account (because we need to know which email to send the notifications to). Just click the ‘Add an Alert’ button directly below the book’s cover image on the left side of the page. Nominate a price you are happy to pay, type in your email and the Alert is set. Now all you need to do is wait for the Good News email!

Great thing to note is that you can have multiple alerts on books too. 

With our latest round of updates, you can also now specify a separate price alert for new and used books. This function is loved by many of the students that use Booko… because let’s be honest, not all courses ask for a brand new textbook… nor do they need one. Academic textbooks can be breathtakingly expensive – a single title can be over a hundred dollars, so imagine how much your entire reading list will cost! 

If you fancy a little more detail have a look at this blog post.

Here are a few of the most clicked on University textbooks here in Melbourne. 

Financial Accounting: Accounting, Reporting, Analysis and Decision Making, 6th Edition by Shirley Carlon et al.

Financial Accounting, 6th Edition presents accounting in a cutting-edge interactive digital format designed to motivate students by taking the road blocks out of self-study and to facilitate mastery though drill-and-skill practice. Available as a full-colour printed textbook with an interactive eBook code, this text enables every student to master concepts and succeed in assessment, and supports lecturers with an extensive and easy-to-use teaching and learning package.

First Principles of Business Law 10th Edition by Michael Lambiris and Laura Griffin

The First Principles of Business Law 10th edition textbook and eStudy modules offer a blend of technologies and resources to help students learn business law. This new edition has been fully updated to reflect relevant changes to the law, including coverage of the Australian Consumer Law provisions in relation to small businesses, and also includes a new section on the importance of ethics in business law. The textbook contains clear, authoritative and concise statements of the law, amplified and illustrated by over 200 summaries of decided cases and selected extracts from legislation. The law is arranged in logical sequence under descriptive headings. The updated eStudy modules provide an additional opportunity for students to enhance their learning. The modules are designed to help students gain a proper understanding of how the law applies in everyday situations, and to develop their ability to apply the law realistically and appropriately.

Biology: An Australian Focus, 5th Edition by Bruce Knox et al.

Biology: An Australian focus reflects on worldwide biological research and knowledge to provide a global outlook with Australian examples and cases woven throughout. Students are able to connect with what they’re learning and better understand Australian flora/fauna and most importantly ecology and ecosystems, using this accessible and engaging learning resource. 

Integrated Marketing Communication: A balanced approach by Maxwell Winchester et al.

Integrated Marketing Communication: A Balanced Approach is your students’ guide to integrated marketing communication (IMC), introducing them to the principles that underpin its practice. This text considers the different theories of how IMC works, taking the empirical evidence available into account, and illustrating its real-world application with relevant industry examples.With expert commentary supported by contemporary case studies, this text explores communication theory, strategy and planning, and develops your students’ understanding of consumer behaviour. Equipped with this knowledge, your students will learn how they can balance IMC strategies with marketing needs in order to change attitudes and reinforce behaviour

Management, 6th Edition (with Student Resource Access 12 Months) by Danny Samson et al.

Management is a robust foundation text providing a balance of broad, theoretical content with an engaging, easy-to-understand writing style. It covers the four key management functions – planning, organising, leading and controlling – conveying to students the elements of a manager’s working day. Along with current management theory and practice, the authors integrate coverage of innovation, entrepreneurship, agile workplaces, social media and new technology throughout. This sixth edition features a new author on the team and contains updates to content based on recent research. Real-life local and international examples showcase the ongoing changes in the management world. Focusing on a ‘skills approach’, they bring concepts to life for students, supporting motivation, confidence and mastery. Each part concludes with a contemporary continuing case study, focusing on car company Toyota as it faces managerial challenges and opportunities in the region.

Project Management: The Managerial Process by Erik W. Larson et al.

As the market-leading textbook on the subject, Project Management: The Managerial Process is distinguished by its balanced treatment of both the technical and behavioural issues in project management as well as by its coverage of a broad range of industries to which project management principles can be applied. It focuses on how project management is integral to the organisation as a whole. The text not only delivers the tools and processes is essential to successful project management but also an understanding that the effectiveness of these tools and methods are shaped and determined by the prevailing culture of the organisation and interpersonal dynamics of the people involved.

Statistics for Behavioural Sciences, 10th Edition by Frederick J. Gravetter and Larry B. Wallnau

This field-leading introduction to statistics text for students in the behavioural and social sciences continues to offer straightforward instruction, accuracy, built-in learning aids, and real-world examples. The goals are to teach the methods of statistics and convey the basic principles of objectivity and logic that are essential for science and valuable in everyday life. Authors Frederick Gravetter and Larry Wallnau help students understand statistical procedures through a conceptual context that explains why the procedures were developed and when they should be used. Students have numerous opportunities to practice statistical techniques through learning checks, examples, step-by-step demonstrations, and problems.

Happy reading!

Five Things Librarian School Taught Me About Raising Young Readers

I have been a bookworm since childhood, and when I started my own family, I really wanted my kids to develop the same love of reading as I did.  But I knew there’s no guarantee it would happen (kids really do have their own minds!), and I wasn’t always sure how to achieve this goal.  One unexpected source of inspiration came from my librarianship studies, which I undertook when my children were still quite young.  What I was learning about literacy, and library trends, really opened my mind about why and how we read. So here are some of the most important things that Librarian School taught me about how to encourage and support children to become happy, confident readers:

  • There are different types of literacies.  


Picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, non-fiction… they all challenge our comprehension in different ways.  Literacy is not just about being able to read big words and long books. Don’t despair if your child prefers pictures to words – they are still gaining useful interpretation skills.  Try reading a wordless picture book (such as Shaun Tan’s The Arrival), and you’ll see what I mean!

  • Every person their book.


In the library world, this is about offering a variety of materials to suit the diverse needs of library users.  I also like to think of it as an encouragement to the parents of reluctant readers – that one day, the Right Book will come along, grab their child’s interest and kickstart that lifelong love of reading.

  • Make reading fun.  


It’s all about fostering a lifelong love of reading – which supports all types of learning, helps to develop intellectual curiosity, as well as entertain and offer comfort throughout life.  It doesn’t have to be about reading stories from a page – chat about your favourite characters, make up alternative endings for stories, do quizzes and puzzles, or make yummy treats by following a recipe.

  • Use your child’s interests as the starting point.  


This ties in with the previous points – get your child’s attention by offering materials that match their interests.  This could be the novels of their favourite movies, comic books, car magazines, newspapers or even recipe books.  Just keep them reading! And if they won’t take on your book suggestions, or if they just want to read the same thing over and over – have a variety of reading materials on hand, and one day they might just discover it all by themselves.     

  • Embrace social media.  


Besides talking to your friendly librarians and booksellers, you can find many reading-related resources on social media.  Facebook, Goodreads, blogs and websites (including Booko’s own blog and Facebook feed!) offer everything from book suggestions and literacy activities, to moral support from like-minded parents, to opportunities to interact with your favourite authors.

Here’s a handy little booklist to help you foster the love of reading in your home.


Raising Readers: How to Nurture a Child’s Love of Books by Megan Daley

Some kids refuse to read, others won’t stop, not even at the dinner table! Either way, many parents question the best way to support their child’s literacy journey. When can you start reading to your child? How do you find that special book to inspire a reluctant reader? How can you tell if a book is age appropriate? What can you do to keep your tween reading into their adolescent years? Award-winning teacher librarian Megan Daley has the answers to all these questions and more. She unpacks her fifteen years of experience into this personable and accessible guide, enhanced with up-to-date research and first-hand accounts from well-known Australian children’s authors. It also contains practical tips, such as suggested reading lists and instructions on how to run book-themed activities. Raising Readers is a must have guide for parents and educators to help the children in their lives fall in love with books.

The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie

Connecting deeply with our kids can be difficult in our busy, technology-driven lives. Reading aloud offers us a chance to be fully present with our children. It also increases our kids’ academic success, inspires compassion, and fortifies them with the inner strength they need to face life’s challenges. As Sarah Mackenzie has found with her own six children, reading aloud long after kids are able to read to themselves can deepen relationships in a powerful way. Founder of the immensely popular Read-Aloud Revival podcast, Sarah knows first-hand how reading can change a child’s life. In The Read-Aloud Family, she offers the inspiration and age-appropriate book lists you need to start a read-aloud movement in your own home. From a toddler’s wonder to a teenager’s resistance, Sarah details practical strategies to make reading aloud a meaningful family ritual. Reading aloud not only has the power to change a family, it has the power to change the world.

Bookworm: a Memoir of Childhood Reading by Lucy Mangan

The Cat in the Hat? Barbar? The Very Hungry Caterpillar? Whoever it was for you, it’s very hard to forget the intensity of your first encounter with a book. As a bespectacled child, Lucy Mangan devoured stories: from early picture books to Swallows and Amazons, Enid Blyton to Little Women, trashy teen romances to those first ‘grown-up’ novels. In Bookworm, she revisits this early enthusiasm; celebrating the enduring classics, and disinterring some forgotten treasures. A love letter to the joys of childhood reading, full of enthusiasm and wit, Bookworm tells the stories of our best-loved books, their extraordinary creators, and the thousand subtle ways they shape our lives. It also comes packed with brilliant recommendations to inspire the next generation of bookworms and set them on their way. This impassioned book will bring the unforgettable characters of our collective childhoods back to life – prompting endless re-readings, rediscoveries, and, inevitably, fierce debate. It will also act as an invaluable guide to anyone looking to build a children’s library and wondering where to start, or where to go next.

Just Jaime by Terri Libenson

Another spot-on story of middle school drama and friendship from Terri Libenson, national bestselling author of Invisible Emmie and Positively Izzy.

Friends. Frenemies. Middle school…

The last day of seventh grade has Jaime and Maya wondering who their real friends are. Jaime knows something is off with her friend group. They’ve started to exclude her and make fun of the way she dresses and the things she likes. At least she can count on her BFF, Maya, to have her back . . . right? Maya feels more and more annoyed with Jaime, who seems babyish compared to the other girls in their popular group. It’s like she has nothing in common with Jai anymore. Are their days as BFFs numbered . . . ?

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Haunting, original and told entirely through exquisitely imagined black, white and sepia pictures, The Arrival is the story of one man’s encounter with life in a strange new world. It’s a timeless, universal story that will resonate with anyone, anywhere who has struggled to start again in a place that is different to the one they have always known. Much loved around the world. The Arrival has also won numerous awards including the CBCA Book of the Year and ‘Best Album’ at the Augouleme Festival in France.

Science You Can Eat: Putting What We Eat Under the Microscope by Stefan Gates

Discover the seriously impressive science that goes on every time you cook or eat. This children’s book explores the science of food by asking questions you’re hungry to know the answers to, and putting them to the test through fun experiments. Science You Can Eat will transform your kitchen into a lab through fun food experiments. Cooking is chemistry, and the fun science experiments – such as tricking your taste buds, making slime taste delicious, and investigating some of the strangest flavours around will prove it. This exciting kid’s book tackles all the tasty science questions you have about food, plus plenty more that you hadn’t thought of! Once you understand science, you understand food, so find out why popcorn go “pop” as you test it out for yourself, explore how taste is affected by smell, then discover whether eating insects is the future of food. Examining interesting ingredients and exciting eating, as well as peeking into the future of food, Science You Can Eat helps you understand what’s happening with our food and why. Each page is guaranteed to leave you hungry for more.

How to design a library that makes kids want to read

When Michael Bierut was tapped to design a logo for public school libraries, he had no idea that he was embarking on a year long passion project. In this often hilarious talk, he recalls his obsessive quest to bring energy, learning, art and graphics into these magical spaces where school librarians can inspire new generations of readers and thinkers. We love this Ted Talk.

3 steps to turn everyday get togethers into transformative gatherings

We’ve been talking about book clubs this week and gathering with friends to chat, in this Ted Talk author Priya Parker shares three easy steps to turn your parties, dinners, meetings and holidays into meaningful, transformative gatherings. It’s a must watch.