Tag Archives: #christmas #topbooks #gifts

The very best last-minute gift guide for Christmas

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

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

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

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

The Chiffon Trenches by Andre Leon Talley

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

The Kinfolk Garden by John Burns

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

Live Beautiful by Athena Calderone

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

Make Life Beautiful by Syd and Shea McGee

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

The Home Edit Life by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin

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

The Naked House by Mollie Player

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

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

How to have a clever Christmas online (and how to shop local both here and overseas)

It’s that time of year with just over two weeks left to frantically wrap parcels and pop them under the tree. This year has been somewhat bonkers and so we thought we would show you how to have a Clever Christmas shopping from your sofa and let the postie wrestle with your gift delivery instead…no matter where in the world you’re shipping to.

Here’s a little table we whipped up for you to remind you when the postie will be making his final rounds.

Handy Hint: If you are sending parcels overseas and have missed the dreaded cut off dates, fear not! You can simply change the location setting at the top right hand corner on the Booko website and shop like a local in that country. 

We have made you a clever guide stepping you through the process which you can read here

Stuck for gift ideas? Not to worry, the Booko team has been keeping an eye on which books have been popular this festive season for all ages. Sit back, have a read and then get clicking. 

Mary Berry’s Simple Comforts by Mary Berry

Mary is always a crowd pleaser and her baked creations never fail to delight. While you may want to keep this for yourself, if you do gift it, then there is always a chance that the recipient will invite you back for dinner! Win win.

Mary Berry shares over 120 of her ultimate food recipes, all made simply and guaranteed to get smiles around your kitchen table in her new cookbook. Mary’s utterly reliable recipes are perfect for days when you want tasty and dependable food. Come home to the delicious simplicity of a Whole Roasted Squash with Garlic and Chilli Butter, or a warming Spicy Sausage and Red Pepper Hot Pot. Treat your family to Slow Roast French Lamb with Ratatouille, and spoil everyone with a decadent Frangipane Apple and Brioche Pudding. Featuring all the recipes from Mary’s new series, plus many more fresh from Mary’s kitchen, every single dish is accompanied by a photography of the finished food, so you know exactly what you’re making. Each recipe includes Mary’s trademark no-nonsense tips and techniques for getting ahead, and has been rigorously tested to make your cooking stress-free.

Nadiya Bakes by Nadiya Hussain

Here’s another gift that may offer you a dinner (or possibly dessert) invitation. Nadiya Bakes is one series on Netflix that our family binged during our first lockdown and inspired the children to hop into the kitchen and whip up a storm.

At last, Nadiya returns to baking. This is her long-awaited reunion with her true love incredible cakes and bakes that we can all achieve at home. It’s a fact that baking makes us happier and this book is bursting with recipes that will bring a little sunshine into your world and the lives of your friends, family and neighbours. Nadiya explores all areas of baking, conquering cakes and tray-bakes, no-bake bakes, tarts and pies, desserts, celebration bakes, biscuits and buns as well as breads and savouries. Recipes include Money-Can’t-Buy-You-Happiness Brownies, Baked Chilli Churros, a beautiful Baked Rhubarb, Rosemary and Olive Oil Polenta Cake and a wow-factor Layered Honey and Soured Cream Cake. Yummo!

Guinness World Records 2021 by Guinness World Records

All aboard Guinness World Records 2021 for a life-changing journey of discovery! This year, there is a chapter devoted to the history of exploration, starting with the story of the very first circumnavigation, along with a “History of Adventure” timeline, featuring a host of remarkable achievements. The fully revised and updated best-seller is packed with thousands of incredible new feats across the widest spectrum of topics, providing a whistle-stop tour of our superlative universe. Travel through the Solar System and see the planets come to life with a free augmented-reality feature. Encounter the cutest, weirdest, most dangerous and exotic creatures on our home planet. Meet the world’s tallest, shortest, hairiest and heaviest humans. Marvel at the latest high scores, speed runs and players at the top of their game in eSports and beyond. Get the lowdown on the world’s most successful and prolific actors, musicians, TV stars and influencers. Review the greatest sports achievements from the past year and celebrate today’s top athletes.

Code Name Bananas by David Walliams

David Walliams’ stories are a delight to read, and always make us giggle. Code Name Bananas is his newest book and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Eleven-year-old Eric spends his days at the place that makes him most happy: London Zoo. And there’s one animal in particular he loves: Gertrude the gorilla. With bombs falling all over London, Eric must rescue Gertrude. Together with his Uncle Sid, a keeper at the zoo, the three go on the run. But while hiding out at the seaside they uncover a top-secret Nazi plot… Join David Walliams on this action-packed, laugh-out-loud adventure for all the family!

Brickman’s Family Challenge Book by Ryan McNaught

We’re slightly biased with this book (ahem…Booko has a new website in the family www.bricko.info in case you need to buy for a LEGO fanatic). 

Challenge each member of your household to a building competition that is the brainchild of Brickman himself, star judge of smash hit TV show LEGO® Masters and a LEGO Certified Professional. Each of the 30 challenges can be attempted at beginner, intermediate or advanced levels. So whether you’re 5 or 105, an infrequent brick builder or a huge LEGO fan, these challenges will get you off your screens and get your creative juices flowing with even the most basic of LEGO collections. Including: Maze runner: build a maze with obstacles and design themes, Get crazy: roll a die to determine which hybrid model you need to build in under 2 hours – a Supersonic Banana Plane, anyone? Self-portrait: one of the hardest things to build with LEGO is curves, but Brickman helps you crack the techniques for building a recognisable 3D portrait of yourself. Packed with pro tips and suggestions on how to take your builds to the next level, as well as a ‘know your bricks’ glossary, this book will turn you into a Master LEGO Builder in no time. Do you know someone up to the challenge?

Stuff You Should Know: An Incomplete Compendium of Mostly Interesting Things by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant

From the duo behind the massively successful and award-winning podcast Stuff You Should Know comes an unexpected look at things you thought you knew. Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant started the podcast Stuff You Should Know back in 2008 because they were curious. Curious about the world around them, curious about what they might have missed in their formal educations, and curious to dig deeper on stuff they thought they understood. As it turns out, they aren’t the only curious ones. They’ve since amassed a rabid fan base, making Stuff You Should Know one of the most popular podcasts in the world. Armed with their inquisitive natures and a passion for sharing, they uncover the weird, fascinating, delightful, or unexpected elements of a wide variety of topics. The pair have now taken their near-boundless “whys” and “hows” from your earbuds to the pages of a book for the first time. Featuring a completely new array of subjects that they’ve long wondered about and wanted to explore. Each chapter is further embellished with snappy visual material to allow for rabbit-hole tangents and digressions, including charts, illustrations, sidebars, and footnotes. Follow along as the two dig into the underlying stories of everything from the origin of Murphy beds, to the history of facial hair, to the psychology of being lost.

Enjoy!

The Ultimate Kris Kringle Gift Guide

It is that time of year when the tinsel is glistening, carols can be heard everywhere and the Christmas cheer is a welcome sight. While our working life has been rather different this year and the tradition of the office Kris Kringle may take a slightly different approach, it’s always fun to give a little gift that brings a smile to a friend’s face.

We have rounded up six of our favourites from the three Booko family websites. Oh yes, you read that right, THREE. Dan has had the busiest of lockdowns where he not only baked sourdough and pieced together thousands of puzzle pieces, he has also made shopping that little more clever for everyone. We now have Bricko and Popz.deals. They both work in the same vein as Booko; scouring the world for the best prices on LEGO and Pop Vinyls, showing shipping prices and converting it all into your local currency. You can even make lists and set price alerts on each site. Pretty clever really.

Here are our picks to make your Kris Kringle smile this year.

From Booko

Pizza: History, recipes, stories, people, places, love by Thom Elliot and James Elliot

Everyone loves pizza, right? Saver of parties, empty fridges and hangovers the world over – pizza has come to the rescue of the human race more times than is worth counting. So, if your Kris Kringle can’t imagine your world without dough, cheese and tomato, then this is the book for them. All things pizza are here, from its history and family tree, to world famous pizzerias and even an exploration into the pizza variants we love to hate (hamburger crust pizza anyone?). The Pizza Pilgrims, Thom and James Elliot, have spent years researching the best pizza that the world has to offer, and producing their own pizzas across 16 restaurants in the UK (and counting). Alongside pizza maps of their favourite global pizza cities the book is also packed with over 30 recipes to make sure you finally delete your local takeaway from speed dial #1. From an NY slice, to true Neapolitan pizza made in a frying pan, Pizza offers classic and new creations, including guest chefs’ signature takes, and the Pilgrims’ very own Nutella pizza ring! Oven fresh and packed with interviews, pizza facts, movie scenes, world records and even pizza tattoos, Pizza is illustrated with all manner of pie-based fun and written with a hearty dose of humour. The perfect companion for the pizza lover in your life. Fact.

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

From the Academy Award-winning actor comes an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction. “I’ve been in this life for fifty years, been trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last thirty-five. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me. Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries. I found stories I experienced, lessons I learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know how, and when, to deal with life’s challenges, how to get relative with the inevitable, you can enjoy a state of success I call ‘catching greenlights’. So I took a one-way ticket to the desert and wrote this book: an album, a record, a story of my life so far. This is fifty years of my sights and seens, felts and figured-outs, cools and shamefuls. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caughts, and getting wets while trying to dance between the raindrops. Hopefully, it’s medicine that tastes good, a couple of aspirin instead of the infirmary, a spaceship to Mars without needing your pilot’s license, going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears. It’s a love letter. To life. It’s also a guide to catching more greenlights-and to realising that the yellows and reds eventually turn green too. Good luck.”

From Popz.deals

Star Wars: The Mandalorian The Child Baby Yoda

It’s the series that’s taking the galaxy by storm. Set five years after the fall of the Empire as depicted in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, and before the emergence of the First Order, Star Wars: The Mandalorian follows an independent Mandalorian bounty hunter “in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic”. In Chapter 1, the Mandalorian takes a job to collect a 50 year-old bounty, which is actually “The Child”, or as he’s commonly referred to as “Baby Yoda” (even though we all know it’s not actually Yoda). You can now gift your Kris Kringle the cutest star wars character ever in a pop vinyl format.

Elf Movie: Buddy Collectable Vinyl Figure

Buddy was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa’s elves. Unable to shake the feeling that he doesn’t fit in, the adult Buddy travels to New York, in full elf uniform, in search of his real father. As it happens, this is Walter Hobbs, a cynical businessman. After a DNA test proves this, Walter reluctantly attempts to start a relationship with the childlike Buddy with increasingly chaotic results. It’s a great feel-good movie with a delightful character…this Pop Vinyl will remind your Kris Kringle about the joy of Christmas.

From Bricko

Super Mario Adventures with Super Mario Starter Course Building Kit

For the past 35 years, Super Mario has been running, jumping, and saving the Mushroom Kingdom from bad guys. Now you can give the gift of Mario to your Kris Kringle this Christmas with this great starter course kit.

Star Wars Resistance Y-Wing Starfighter Set

Inspire your Kris Kringle with this LEGO Star Wars Resistance Y-Wing Starfighter model. This updated version of the classic fighter-bomber, a.k.a. wishbone, featured in the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker movie, has a new colour scheme, open cockpit with space for a minifigure inside. This starship playset makes a great addition to any fan’s collection.

Enjoy!

Christmas Delivery Dates 2020

2020 has been a year of ups and downs and with COVID restrictions changing all over the world, postage and deliveries have taken a little longer than usual. It’s with this in mind that we have had a little dig around the internet and have rustled up this little delivery date table to help you with your festive shopping. 

We’ll keep an eye on key delivery dates and update the table when stores share their final dates. 

Luckily we can make the festive season even easier and with a few clicks you can have your parcels delivered directly to friends and family overseas so you don’t have to wrestle with ribbons and sticky tape. Some stores even offer the option of free gift wrapping (Readings is one store offering this). You can read through the step by step guide for buying for friends and family overseas here

There are three top tips to keep in mind this festive season. 

  1. Make sure you order early to avoid unnecessary postage delays
  2. Check the stock levels before purchasing if you can (many websites have some fine print underneath the price to let you know if the item is in stock) 
  3. and finally double check the delivery details for the recipient – just in case you’ve sent your parcel to the neighbours instead! 

While we were clicking we found six great titles that would make fabulous pressies this Christmas. 

Code Name Bananas by David Walliams

Go back in time with bestselling author David Walliams for a whizz-bang epic adventure of action, laughter and secret plots along with the extraordinary friendship between a little boy and a huge gorilla that just might save the day… 

1940. Britain is at war with Nazi Germany. Eleven-year-old Eric spends his days at the place that makes him most happy: London Zoo. And there’s one animal in particular he loves: Gertrude the gorilla. With bombs falling all over London, Eric must rescue Gertrude. Together with his Uncle Sid, a keeper at the zoo, the three go on the run. But while hiding out at the seaside they uncover a top-secret Nazi plot… Join David Walliams on this action-packed, laugh-out-loud adventure for all the family! 

Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Something wicked is taking hold of Nevermoor. In Morrigan Crow’s third Wundrous adventure, she faces her most dangerous challenge yet. Morrigan Crow and her friends have survived their first year as proud scholars of the elite Wundrous Society, helped bring down the nefarious Ghastly Market, and proven themselves loyal to Unit 919. Now Morrigan faces a new, exciting challenge: to master the mysterious Wretched Arts of the Accomplished Wundersmith, and control the power that threatens to consume her. Meanwhile, a strange and frightening illness has taken hold of Nevermoor, turning infected Wunimals into mindless, vicious Unnimals on the hunt. As victims of the Hollowpox multiply, panic spreads. There are whispers, growing louder every day, that this catastrophe can only be the work of the Wundersmith, Ezra Squall. But inside the walls of Wunsoc, everyone knows there is a new Wundersmith – one who’s much closer to home. With Nevermoor in a state of fear and the truth about Morrigan threatening to get out, the city she loves becomes the most perilous place in the world. Morrigan must try to find a cure for the Hollowpox, but it will put her – and everyone in Nevermoor – in more danger than she could have imagined.

The Magpie Society: One for Sorrow by Zoe Sugg and Amy McCulloch

Illumen Hall is a boarding school of tradition and achievement. But tragedy strikes when the body of a girl, a student, is discovered – on her back is an elaborate tattoo of a magpie. For new student Audrey, it is just another strange and unsettling thing about her new surroundings. And for her roommate Ivy, well, she’s just annoyed she has to share with the new girl from America. As an unlikely friendship develops, the two are drawn deeper into the mystery of this strange and terrible murder. They will discover that something dangerous is at the heart of their school. Welcome to The Magpie Society.

Gary Ablett: An Autobiography by Gary Ablett

Reliving key moments and events in his life, this memoir not only explores Gary’s great success at the very top of the AFL, but also his journey to get there. Drafted in 2001, Gary’s incredible career has spanned two great clubs, two Grand Finals and two Brownlow medals among many other accolades. In his book, Gary takes readers through the trials and triumphs of his life: his close bonds with his family; his famous father Gary Ablett Senior’s influence on his life; joining Geelong Football Club along with his brother Nathan; becoming a star player and the pressure that brings from the media; taking on new challenges when he left his home town to join the newly minted Suns football team on the Gold Coast; becoming a captain and leading the Suns; dealing with injury and the pressure that you come under then; the joy of returning home to Geelong Football Club even though it was accompanied by a tragic family event; settling back in Victoria with his wife Jordan and baby Levi and a future that will no doubt always have football somewhere in it. Illustrated with many never-before-seen photographs from private collections, and including contributions from Joel Selwood, Mark Thompson, Gary’s mum, Sue, and Gary Ablett Snr, this book is packed with images and stories that will bring the book to life and remind the reader of the many great moments in Gary’s career. From childhood to his zenith as a player, Gary’s story will be a book to read and re-read about a player without equal.

Speedy Bosh! by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby

BOSH! are back with over 100 mouthwatering plant-based dishes you can get on the table in 20 minutes or less The fourth cookery book from Sunday Times No.1 bestselling authors Henry and Ian, aka ‘the vegan Jamie Olivers’, packed with outrageously tasty, super speedy dishes made without meat, eggs or dairy, perfect for weeknight dinners after a long day, fast breakfasts to supercharge the family, or Sunday meal prep for the week ahead. In just 20 minutes flat, you’ll be creating fragrant curries, hearty stews, comfort food for cold nights, indulgent puds, delicious tasty rice and noodle dishes, and one-pan wonders. No fancy kit, no out-there ingredients. You’ll be able to get all the bits and pieces you need from your nearest major supermarket. Everything has been tried and tested and is bursting with flavour. Let vegan food never be called bland, because – honestly? – this might just be their tastiest collection of recipes yet as well as their quickest.

Skate Like A Girl by Carolina Amell

In ever-increasing numbers, girls and women are gathering at skate parks and competing in skateboarding events on nearly every continent. Filled with stunning full-colour photographs of 40 remarkable female skaters in action, this book pays homage to the incredible range of styles, ethnicities, and ages that make up a rapidly growing community. There’s Emily Pross, one of the top downhill skaters in the world, who is known as the “fastest woman on four wheels,” Lucy Osinski and Danielle Francine, cofounders of GRLSWIRL, a grassroots all-female skate community, and Bunga Nyimas Cinta, the youngest ever medalist at age 12 in the Asian Games in women’s street. There are skate coaches, longboard dancers, skate filmmakers, and skateboard makers. You’ll meet skaters who are mums, artists, models, surfers, and architects. What they all have in common is that skating is their way of life. Each profile offers its subject’s own words of wisdom about going after your dreams, falling hard, and getting right back up. The book also includes pages of practical information on everything from skateboarding organisations that champion women, to crews, schools, and camps for girls all over the world. Filled with empowering images and inspiring words, this book will encourage girls and women of every age to get on a board and shred! 

Enjoy!

Top picks from the global best seller lists

Christmas is inching closer and we’ve begun to think about presents for friends and family so we thought we would explore the best seller lists that are making waves around the world. Books are a great present, not only are they super easy to wrap but they also give the receiver a reason to step away from the, sometimes bonkers, festive celebrations to loose themselves in a new novel. 

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing the Christmas postage times (in case you are sending parcels overseas), books that we are eagerly awaiting the launch of and then we’ll share an even bigger raft of present ideas to satisfy the whole family. We will also be sending out our Christmas email with a ton of tips and tricks for having a smooth festive shopping season. Make sure you have subscribed here to receive the email. 

Here are our favourites from the best seller lists around the world.

My Life in Red and White by Arsene Wenger

For the very first time, world-renowned and revolutionary football manager Arsene Wenger tells his own story. He opens up about his life, sharing principles for success on and off the field with lessons on leadership, and vivid tales of his 22 years managing Arsenal to unprecedented success. There, Wenger won multiple Premier League championships and a record number of FA Cups, and his teams included the Invincibles of 2003-2004 and a record-breaking undefeated 49-match run. He popularised an attacking approach and belief that the game should be entertaining but he also changed the attitudes of British football fans towards players’ diet, fitness and coaching methods and towards foreign managers too. In My Life in Red and White, Wenger charts his extraordinary career, including his rise in France and Japan where he managed Nancy, Monaco and Nagoya Grampus Eight (clubs that also play in red-and-white, like Arsenal!) to his 22 years at the helm of an internationally renowned club from 1996 onwards. He describes the unrest that led to his resignation in 2018, and his current role as Chief of Global Football Development for FIFA. He offers studious reflections on the game and his groundbreaking approach to motivation, mindset, fitness and football that was often beautiful to watch. This book is a must-read for not only Arsenal fans but football fans everywhere, for management and business leaders, and anyone seeking the tools for success in work and life. It will illuminate the mystique surrounding one of the most revered and successful manager’s life story, strategy and vision in the world’s most popular sport.

Life’s What you Make It by Phillip Schofield

We love the blurb for this book so much that we are just going to let Phillip Schofield’s tell you about his book himself

For a long time, I felt that I couldn’t write this book. At first, I didn’t think I’d lived enough, then life got busy and filled with distractions. In more recent years, there was always a very painful consideration – I knew where it would eventually have to go. I have recently decided that the truth is the only thing that can set me free. The truth has taken a long time to make itself clear to me, but now is the right time to share it, all of it. Television and broadcasting has been a part of my DNA for as long as I can remember. As a young boy I would make model TV sets out of cardboard boxes, while spending long summers at home, barefoot on Cornwall’s golden beaches. Landing a job at the ice-cream kiosk, I would enviously look on as my presenting heroes took to the stage of Radio 1’s Roadshow, an unforgettable event when it came to town. In Life’s What You Make It I look back with nostalgic delight on my life, from being a young boy endlessly writing letters to the BBC in pursuit of a job in broadcasting, to making it on to the Broom Cupboard, with my infamous sidekick Gordon the Gopher, to being on Going Live and starring as the lead in Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. It has taken four decades to get here but I feel lucky to have called the sets of Talking Telephone Numbers, The Cube, Dancing on Ice and of course, This Morning, home. I’m going to take you behind the scenes of my television home at ITV, into my career and my dangerously funny relationship with Holly Willoughby. I’m going to introduce you to my loving and remarkable family, and I hope most of all to tell you that life, it seems, is what you make it. Take it from someone who has sat on the very edge and looked over, it’s all about the people that love you, and after that anything is possible. So, finally, here we go, this is the real me.

War Lord by Bernard Cornwell

This is the epic conclusion to the globally bestselling historical series; The Last Kingdom. In the middle years of the ninth century, the fierce Danes stormed onto British soil, hungry for spoils and conquest. Kingdom after kingdom fell to the ruthless invaders until but one realm remained. And suddenly the fate of all England, and the course of history, depended upon one man, one king. Bernard Cornwell writes a rousing epic adventure of courage, treachery, duty, devotion, majesty, love, and battle as seen through the eyes of a young warrior who straddled two worlds.

England is under attack. Chaos reigns. Northumbria, the last kingdom, is threatened by armies from all sides, by land and sea and only one man stands in their way. Torn between loyalty and sworn oaths, the warrior king Lord Uhtred of Bebbanburg faces his greatest ever battle and prepares for his ultimate fate. You can view the 12 other books in the series here

Violet Bent Backward Over The Grass by Lana Del Rey

”Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass is the title poem of the book and the first poem I wrote of many. Some of which came to me in their entirety, which I dictated and then typed out, and some that I worked laboriously picking apart each word to make the perfect poem. They are eclectic and honest and not trying to be anything other than what they are and for that reason I’m proud of them, especially because the spirit in which they were written was very authentic.” – Lana Del Rey 

Lana Del Ray’s breathtaking first book solidifies her further as the essential writer of her times. This is a collection of more than thirty poems, many exclusive to the book: Never to Heaven, The Land of 1,000 Fires, Past the Bushes Cypress Thriving, LA Who Am I to Love You?, Tessa DiPietro, Happy, Paradise Is Very Fragile, Bare Feet on Linoleum and many more. This beautiful hardcover edition showcases Lana’s typewritten manuscript pages alongside her original photography. The result is an extraordinary poetic landscape that reflects the unguarded spirit of its creator.

All Our Shimmering Skies by Trent Dalton

The bestselling author of Boy Swallows Universe, Trent Dalton, returns with All Our Shimmering Skies; a glorious novel destined to become another Australian classic. Darwin, 1942, and as Japanese bombs rain overhead, motherless Molly Hook, the gravedigger’s daughter, turns once again to the sky for guidance. She carries a stone heart inside a duffel bag next to the map that leads to Longcoat Bob, the deep country sorcerer who put a curse on her family. By her side are the most unlikely travelling companions: a razor-tongued actress named Greta and a fallen Japanese fighter pilot named Yukio. All Our Shimmering Skies is a story about gifts that fall from the sky, curses we dig from the earth and the secrets we bury inside ourselves. It is an odyssey of true love and grave danger; of the darkness and the light; of bones and blue skies. A buoyant, beautiful and magical novel abrim with warmth, wit and wonder, a love letter to Australia and the art of looking up.

The Survivors by Jane Harper

This is the compelling new novel from Jane Harper, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry. Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home. Kieran’s parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn. When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away.

Enjoy!

The Most Popular Books to Give This Christmas

Books are a great Christmas present because they not only show that you have thought about the person you are giving them to but they also offer a chance for the reader to disappear into a world of their own…oh and they are super easy to wrap!

In an effort to help you out with your Christmas shopping we have clicked around the internet and found some of the most popular books being gifted this festive season. 

 

How to be Famous by Caitlin Moran

Johanna Morrigan lives in London in 1995, at the epicentre of Britpop. She might only be nineteen, but she’s wise enough to know that everyone around her is handling fame very, very badly. Her unrequited love, John Kite, has scored an unexpected Number One album, then exploded into a Booze And Drugs Hell™ – as rockstars do. And her new best friend – the maverick feminist Suzanne Banks, of The Branks – has amazing hair, but writer’s block and a rampant pill problem. So Johanna’s decided she should become a Fame Doctor. Using her new monthly column for The Face to write about every ridiculous, surreal, amazing aspect of a million people knowing your name. But when her two-night-stand with edgy comedian Jerry Sharp goes wrong, people start to know her name for all the wrong reasons. ‘He’s a vampire. He destroys bright young girls. Also, he’s a total dick’ Suzanne warned her. But by that point, Johanna’s already had sex with him. Bad sex. Now she’s one of the girls he’s trying to destroy. He needs to be stopped. But how can one woman stop a bad, famous, powerful man?

 

The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker

Ohh this one is going to be a hot ‘gift voucher’ book for sure…mainly because it doesn’t come out until January and secondly because it is from the super popular Minimalist Josh Becker. In this new book, Josh shows you how to methodically turn your home into a place of peace, contentment, and purposeful living. He both offers practical guidelines for simplifying our lifestyle at home and addresses underlying issues that contribute to over-accumulation in the first place. The purpose is not just to create a more inviting living space. It’s also to turn our life’s HQ, our home, into a launching pad for a more fulfilling and productive life in the world.

 

 

 

 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald by J K Rowling

At the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was captured in New York with the help of Newt Scamander. But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escapes custody and sets about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings. In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists Newt, his former Hogwarts student, who agrees to help once again, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world. This second original screenplay from J.K. Rowling, illustrated with stunning line art from MinaLima, expands on earlier events that helped shaped the wizarding world, with some surprising nods to the Harry Potter stories that will delight fans of both the books and films. 

 

 

P is for Pterodactyl by Raj Haldar

From wacky words to peculiar pronunciations, get kids excited about language with this unconventional alphabet book from Raj Haldar (aka Lushlife) Turning the traditional idea of an alphabet book on its head, P is for Pterodactyl is perfect for anyone who has ever been stumped by silent letters or confused by absurd homophones. This whimsical, unique book takes silent letter entries like “K is for Knight” a step further with “The noble knight’s knife nicked the knave’s knee.” Lively illustrations provide context clues, and alliterative words help readers navigate text like “a bright white gnat is gnawing on my gnocchi” with ease. Everyone from early learners to grown-up grammarians will love this wacky book where “A is for Aisle” but “Y is definitely not for Why.”

 

 

The Land Before Avocado by Richard Glower

The new book from the bestselling author of Flesh Wounds. A funny and frank look at the way Australia used to be and just how far we have come. ‘It was a simpler time’. We had more fun back then’. ‘Everyone could afford a house’. There’s plenty of nostalgia right now for the Australia of the past, but what was it really like? In The Land Before Avocado, Richard Glover takes a journey to an almost unrecognisable Australia. It’s a vivid portrait of a quite peculiar land: a place that is scary and weird, dangerous and incomprehensible, and, now and then, surprisingly appealing. It’s the Australia of his childhood. The Australia of the late ’60s and early ‘70s. Let’s break the news now: they didn’t have avocado. It’s a place of funny clothing and food that was appalling, but amusingly so. It’s also the land of staggeringly awful attitudes – often enshrined in law – towards anybody who didn’t fit in. The Land Before Avocado will make you laugh and cry, be angry and inspired. And leave you wondering how bizarre things were, not so long ago. Most of all it will make you realise how far we’ve come – and how much further we can go.

 

 

Feel Free by Zadie Smith 

The one and only Zadie Smith, prize-winning, bestselling author of Swing Time and White Teeth, is back with a second unmissable collection of essays. No subject is too fringe or too mainstream for the unstoppable Zadie Smith. From social media to the environment, from Jay-Z to Karl Ove Knausgaard, she has boundless curiosity and the boundless wit to match. In Feel Free, pop culture, high culture, social change and political debate all get the Zadie Smith treatment, dissected with razor-sharp intellect, set brilliantly against the context of the utterly contemporary, and considered with a deep humanity and compassion. This electrifying new collection showcases its author as a true literary powerhouse, demonstrating once again her credentials as an essential voice of her generation.

 

 

Milkman by Anna Burns

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2018: Milkman is extraordinary. In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes ‘interesting’. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous. Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.

 

 

 

Enjoy!