It’s a modern classic and universally admired. Today’s Book of the World is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I think I have read this about 12 times, how about you?
There are about 7,000 languages spoken around the world and they all have different sounds, vocabularies and structures. But do they shape the way we think? Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky shares examples of language that suggest the answer is a resounding yes.
Sarah Lebner’s 101 Things I didn’t Learn At Architecture School was the book that prompted this blog post. How many of us have found ourselves wondering ‘why didn’t someone tell me it was going to be like this’ at work? Often the reality of having that ‘dream job’ or even climbing the ladder of your chosen profession would be much easier if someone had let us know a few key tips and tricks that we could carry with us in our mental toolbox. So we have scanned the hottest new releases from this year (and last) and have rounded up six fabulous books that are definitely worth a read.
101 Things I Didn’t Learn in Architecture School by Sarah Lebner
Your first architecture job can involve a very steep learning curve. This book helps students and graduates of architecture kick-start their career and shave months off their professional development. This book will help you: Understand construction basics so you can avoid embarrassing situations and quickly understand instructions. Grasp an overview of the industry and business of architecture so that you don’t feel kept in the dark. Gain personal tips and helpful resources for an enjoyable and successful work life.
Young architects are expected to learn much of their trade on the job, in an industry that often treats them poorly and stunts their professional development. The profession is crying out for a resource like this that can provide introductions, insight, perspective and mentor-style advice for young architects in the first five years of their career.
Readers are invited to understand concepts through 25 simple diagrams, and language that assumes no prior learning. Throughout the book, further resources are provided as a mind-map of industry information.
Work Like A Woman by Mary Portas
A force for good, for change. This book will make you change the way you think. Packed with advice, tips and decades of business experience from Mary Portas, this is a book for every one of us: whatever level you are, wherever you work. It’s about calling time on alpha culture and helping every one of us to be happier, more productive and collaborative.
Taking us through her working life, Mary addresses a range of topics from workplace bullying and accessing promotion, to combining a career with children and the affect that getting divorced and becoming a single parent had on her professional life. Speaking candidly about the traps she fell into, from aping the behaviour seen in aggressive corporate environments to recreating a male working culture within her own business, Mary explodes the myth of women ‘having it all’. She will also track her evolution as a business leader and the decision to rebuild her company from the ground up on a model that today embraces female values. Arguing for a revolution in the way in which we work, Work Like A Woman is a manifesto for all: from young women entering the workforce and older women trying to integrate professional and family ambitions, to executives running businesses and creating best practice and the businesses that employ them. Honest, accessible and entertaining, it is a bold and inspiring vision of the future world of work.
In-distract-able by Nir Eyal
A former Stanford lecturer and behavioural designer, Nir Eyal spent over a decade researching the psychology behind habit-forming products. The result was his international bestseller, Hooked. Now, the man who identified the habit has delivered the cure. Eyal describes how to manage the discomfort that drives distraction, and explains why solving the problem is not as simple as swearing off your devices. With a four-step, research-backed model, Indistractable lays bare the secret to getting the best out of technology, without letting it get the best of you. Empowering and optimistic, this is the book that will allow you to control your time and attention and live the life you really want.
Loonshots by Safi Bahcall
What do James Bond and Lipitor have in common? Why do traffic jams appear out of nowhere on highways? What can we learn about innovation from a glass of water? In Loonshots, physicist and entrepreneur Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behaviour and the challenges of nurturing radical breakthroughs. Drawing on the science of phase transitions, Bahcall shows why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing wild new ideas to rigidly rejecting them, just as flowing water will suddenly change into brittle ice. Oceans of print have been written about culture. Loonshots identifies the small shifts in structure that control this transition, the same way that temperature controls the change from water to ice. Using examples that range from the spread of fires in forests to the hunt for terrorists online, and stories of thieves and geniuses and kings, Bahcall shows how this new kind of science helps us understand the fate of companies and empires. Loonshots distills these insights into lessons for creatives, entrepreneurs, and visionaries everywhere. Over the past decade, researchers have been applying the tools and techniques of phase transitions to understand how birds flock, fish swim, brains work, people vote, criminals behave, ideas spread, diseases erupt, and ecosystems collapse. If twentieth-century science was shaped by the search for fundamental laws, like quantum mechanics and gravity, the twenty-first will be shaped by this new kind of science. Loonshots is the first to apply this science to help all of us unlock our potential to create and nurture the crazy ideas that change the world.
Roxy’s Little Black Book of Tips and Tricks by Roxy Jacenko
When the totally tenacious PR and brand-building expert delivers her industry-insider advice, you listen. If you’re growing your own brand, or you’re a budding PR dynamo, Roxy’s Little Black Book of Tips & Tricks is invaluable.
‘The fact that I’m sitting here writing a business book when, at school, I was the student who read the crib notes rather than the actual books is rather ironic. However, if I’ve proved anything over the years, it’s that you needn’t be the smartest girl in the room or get the highest marks (heck, I didn’t even go to uni!) to succeed in PR or business. If I can do it, anyone can. The trick is to be willing to give up your excuses and consistently put in the work’. Roxy Jacenko built a PR empire on intuition, common sense and an unbreakable work ethic. Now she’s passing on her best business advice, tips and tricks in a handsome handbag-sized volume that’s perfectly sized for the millennial worker on the run. From writing a stand-out application to building your brand to generating killer social media buzz, Roxy’s Little Black Book of Hints & Tips is a must-read resource for aspiring publicists and business builders, and for anyone already in the PR industry.
Brave New Work by Aaron Dignan
The way we work is broken. It takes forever to get anything done. Meetings and emails are incessant. Bureaucracy stifles talent and creativity. After decades of management theory and multiple waves of technological and societal change, is this really the best we can do? Aaron Dignan teaches companies how to eliminate red tape, tap into collective intelligence, and rethink long-held traditions that no longer make sense. In Brave New Work, he shows you how to revolutionise the way your company works forever. Using stories from companies at the cutting edge of organisational transformation, Brave New Work will show you how to transform your team, department and business from the inside-out-making work more adaptable, abundant and human. It is packed with new tactics and tips for updating your company’s operating system: the simple rules and assumptions so deeply embedded that you don’t even think to question them. Learn how to reignite passion and energy throughout your organisation. Build a company that runs itself.
We have an inspiring Ted Talk for you today. Gever Tulley uses engaging photos and footage to demonstrate the valuable lessons kids learn at his Tinkering School. When given tools, materials and guidance, these young imaginations run wild and creative problem-solving takes over to build unique boats, bridges and even a roller coaster! It’s a short, but great talk.
While we are all staying safe at home, the art world has gone into a bit if a spiral. Museums and galleries have been closed to the public and these spaces which are so reliant on people visiting them to admire and learn from their vast collections have had to reinvent themselves. Many galleries have thankfully turned to the digital space and offer a range of tours and experiences that you can enjoy from the safety of your home. We’ve had a look around and they are amazing. Sit back and enjoy a tour of some of our most favourite galleries and museums along with books that accompany the artists on show.
From the National Gallery of Victoria
KAWS by Monica Ramirez-Montagut
Mónica Ramírez-Montagut is a curator at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and has compiled the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s body of work in this amazing book. This book is a vibrant look at the celebrated artist and designer KAWS. KAWS is a multidisciplinary artist who was first known for his work as a graffiti artist and his subversive approach to popular imagery on bus shelter and phone booth advertisements. It is an amazing book with stunning photography and storytelling.
You can visit the NGV and take part in virtual exhibitions here.
From the TATE Modern
Keith Haring by Darren Pih
Keith Haring is widely recognised for his colourful paintings, drawings, sculptures and murals. Haring exploded onto the early 1980s New York art scene with his vivid graffiti-inspired drawings, many of which found exposure in the public realm, such as the Times Square billboard broadcast of his famous Radiant Child in 1982. Haring’s instantly recognisable `cartoon-like’ imagery not only drew on the iconography of contemporary pop and club culture but also looked back to the patterns and rhythms of Islamic and Japanese art, and primitive wall-paintings. Furthermore his work also reflected a profound commitment to social justice and activism, and raised numerous issues that remain relevant today, including the AIDS crisis, the Cold War and fear of nuclear attack, racism, the excesses of capitalism and environmental degradation. Featuring around fifty works supported by rarely seen photography, film and archival documents from the Keith Haring Foundation, this accessible book will not only introduce Haring to a new audience but also throw fresh light on an artist whose work remains symptomatic of the subcultural and creative energy of 1980s New York. The publication also aims to include select and unpublished reminiscences from those who collaborated and interacted with Haring, including performers such as Madonna and Grace Jones and artists Jenny Holzer and Yoko Ono.
You can visit the TATE Modern and look closer at their online displays here.
The Artist Project by Phaidon
The Artist Project is the latest step among The Met’s recent strides to better integrate contemporary art into its historical pantheon. Artists have long been stimulated and motivated by the work of those who came before them, sometimes, centuries before them. Interviews with 120 international contemporary artists discussing works from The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection that spark their imagination shed new light on art-making, museums, and the creative process. Images of the artworks appear alongside images of the contemporary artists’ work, allowing readers to discover a rich web of visual connections that spans cultures and millennia.
MOMA Now by Quentin Bajac
MoMA Highlights celebrates the 90th anniversary of the Museum MoMA with a chronological overview of some of the most significant modern and contemporary artworks through superb high-resolution images and short texts by MoMA curators. MoMA Highlights interweaves works from each of the Museum’s curatorial departments, painting and sculpture, drawings, prints and illustrated books, photography, architecture and design, film, and media and performance art to provide a look at one of the premiere art collections in the world.
You can visit MOMA and take part in their virtual exhibitions and free art classes here.
From the Guggenheim in Bilbao
Mark Rothko Toward Clarity by Sabine Haag
Mark Rothko has long been considered a preeminent figure in 20th-century art, and few publications have examined his work within the broader context of Western art, even though Rothko himself continuously sought it out as inspiration. Rothko had a profound interest in history and art history including Greek and Roman mythology, Egyptian fables, Byzantine and early Italian gold-ground paintings, and masterworks of the Renaissance and Dutch Golden Age. He first traveled to Europe in 1950, starting in Paris and winding through Venice, Arezzo, Siena, Florence, and Rome; along the way, he admired frescoes by Fra Angelico and architecture by Michelangelo. This beautiful book examines the influence of the artist’s travels on his oeuvre. It presents Rothko’s engagement with important classical and Old Master works, highlighting older techniques and ideas that the artist may have sought to emulate. Works representative of Rothko’s entire corpus are beautifully illustrated with full-page colour plates. The book also contains writings by the artist selected for publication by his son that document his appreciation of art history in his own words.
You can visit the Guggenheim and their online Guggenheim at Large activities here.
and for all art lovers…
The Art Museum by Phaidon (2018)
This book is one of the finest art collections ever assembled, offering the museum experience without the boundaries of space and time, taking readers on a tour around the world and through the ages, presenting the finest examples of visual creativity. Its rooms and galleries display some 1,600 artworks, selected from the original collection, including paintings, sculpture, photographs, textiles, installations, performances, videos, prints, ceramics, manuscripts, metalwork, and jewel-work. It’s a book to be treasured.
Enjoy and stay safe!
While we are all staying safe at home, many of us have been working on our hobbies. At Booko HQ we really enjoy taking photos. Thankfully there are a number of great tools available online to help you take your photography skills to the next level. But if you are looking for a little more inspiration, or want to take some time to flick through an actual book then look no further. We have rounded up some of the greatest books on photography to inspire you.
Studio Anywhere by Nick Fancher
What’s your definition of a photo studio? Is it a room with a white seamless backdrop? Maybe it’s simply anywhere you’re in control of the lighting. But the reality is that you may have an outdated DSLR with two decent lenses (which took you several years to save up for), and all you have at your disposal is an unfinished basement, your garage, or the empty conference room at your office. That’s where Studio Anywhere comes in. With photographer Nick Fancher as your guide, you’ll learn how to get portfolio-ready photos while working in some of the most problematic scenarios imaginable. Whether shooting a corporate portrait, a test shoot with a model, or a promo shoot with a band, you’ll discover that most of the time, there’s no need for an expensive studio, you just have to get creative. Studio Anywhere is a resource for photographers to learn through behind-the-scenes photos and lighting diagrams from a range of photo shoots but it doesn’t stop there. Because directing a photo shoot involves more than simply knowing how to wield a camera or process a raw file, Nick also lets you in on the aesthetic decisions he makes in his signature photos, inspiring you to develop your own vision.
Photographers on Photography by Henry Carroll
Think you know photography? Think again. Through a carefully curated selection of quotes and images, this book reveals what matters most to the masters of photography. With accompanying text by Henry Carroll, author of the internationally bestselling Read This If You Want To Take Great Photographs series, you’ll learn what photography actually means to the giants of the genres and how they developed their distinctive visual styles. Divided into clear sections, quotes offer intimate insights into “the camera”, “the photograph”, “taking pictures”, “style, subject matter and technique” and ultimately answer that all-important question-“what exactly is photography?”.
Zen Camera by David Ulrich
Zen Camera is a photography and mindfulness program that guides you to the creativity at your fingertips, literally, requiring nothing more than your smartphone or any other type of camera. Over the course of six lessons gleaned from the author’s 40 years of teaching photography, you’ll learn how to use the camera in your pocket to explore self-expression as a photographer and produce photographs that are both wildly beautiful and uniquely your own. Gorgeously illustrated with 60-75 full-colour photographs, David Ulrich’s lessons combine mindfulness principles with concrete exercises and the basic mechanics of taking a good photograph. He guides you through a program of taking photos every day (called your Daily Record), similar to a journaling practice. He also offers profound insight into the nature of seeing, art, and attention, pushing you to live more authentically.
The Social Photo by Nathan Jurgenson
With the rise of the smart phone and social media, cameras have become ubiquitous, infiltrating nearly every aspect of social life. The glowing camera screen is the lens by which many of us apprehend and communicate our experience. But our thinking about photography has been slow to catch up; this major fixture of everyday life is still often treated in the terms of art or journalism. In The Social Photo, social theorist Nathan Jurgenson develops bold new ways of understanding the transformations wrought by these image-making and sharing technologies and the cultural objects they have ushered in the selfie, the faux-vintage photo, the self-destructing image, and the food photo. Jurgenson shows how these devices and platforms have re-made the world and our understanding of ourselves within it.
Annie Leibovitz at Work by Annie Leibovitz
Leibovitz addresses young photographers and readers interested in what photographers do, but any reader interested in contemporary history will be fascinated by her account of one of the richest bodies of work in the photographic canon. The subjects include photojournalism, studio work, photographing dancers and athletes, working with writers, and making the transition from shooting with film to working with digital cameras. Originally published in 2008, this revised and updated edition brings Leibovitz’s bestselling book back into print.
Midlife by Elinor Carucci
From acclaimed photographer Elinor Carucci, Midlife is a vivid chronicle of one woman’s passage through aging, family, illness, and intimacy. It is a period in life that is universal, at some point, to everyone, yet in our day-to-day and cultural dialogue, nearly invisible. Midlife is a moving and empathetic portrait of an artist at the point in her life when inexorable change is more apparent than ever. Elinor Carucci, continues her immersive and close-up examination of her own life in this volume, portraying this moment in vibrant detail. As one of the most autobiographically rigorous photographers of her generation, Carucci recruits and revisits the same members of her family that we have seen since her work gained prominence two decades ago. Even as we observe telling details, graying hair, the pressures and joys of marriage, episodes of pronounced illness, the evolution of her aging parents’ roles as grandparents, her children’s increasing independence, we are invited to reflect on the experiences that we all share contending with the challenges of life, love, and change.
Erik Johansson creates realistic photos of impossible scenes and aims to capture ideas, not moments. In this witty how-to, the Photoshop wizard describes the principles he uses to make these fantastical scenarios come to life, while keeping them visually plausible.
In this fiery and funny talk, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman weighs in on what’s wrong with the way we eat now (too much meat, too few plants; too much fast food, too little home cooking), and why it’s putting the entire planet at risk.
Sloths have been on this planet for more than 40 million years. What’s the secret to their success? In a hilarious talk, zoologist Lucy Cooke takes us inside the strange life of the world’s slowest mammal and shows what we can learn from their ingenious adaptations.
It’s January, the traditional time of year where we all vouch to become a little more organised and mentally prepared than the year before. And because it’s 2020, the start of a brand spanking new decade, the desire to do so is even more heightened. You’re in luck, we have found some fabulous new titles on the market that all aim to get our diaries, lives and minds in order. To be fair, a few of these titles are a bit older than the last month (but their lessons are so en pointe that we just had to include them). Righto, get yourself comfy, pop the kettle on for a cup of tea because these books are about to really challenge you to make the best of 2020.
Get Remarkably Organised by Lorraine Murphy
Lorraine Murphy is one of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs and founder of The Remarkables Group and in this books she asks some pretty straight-shooting questions: Is your life chaotic? Are you hungry for advice on how to live calmly, happily and productively? The cornerstone of success at work and at home is being organised and, with Lorraine’s help, you can achieve this by forming excellent habits in a way that’s easy and fun, not stressful. This book is an inspiring look at the organisational lessons Lorraine has learned during her entrepreneurship journey through study, trial and error; the strategies she has developed and the habits she religiously follows. As well as coaching you through specific challenges, you’ll discover 14 informative and approachable chapters with guidance on: The value of routine and habits, easy decluttering, tips for planning your week and managing your day, conquering distractions, the joy of hassle-free outsourcing, overcoming procrastination and even harmony at home. If you fancy giving this book a read this summer, be sure to check out Remarkability (I just finished that one and my copy now has yellow highlighter in each chapter as I devour her lessons).
The Feel Good Guide by Matilda Green
When Matilda Green, bestselling author of The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Living a Beautiful Life, found herself facing some hard times, she knew she needed to do something to boost her happiness and her self-esteem. But what? So she set out on a journey of discovery, embracing gratitude, mindfulness and meditation techniques, and learning how to be kind to others and to herself. In The Feel Good Guide Matilda pulls together everything she has learnt and shares her own experiences, in the hope that it will help others too. This practical resource, full of helpful tips and real talk, comes complete with an action plan in every chapter to get your own journey kick-started. As Matilda says, this isn’t so much about changing who you are as it is about loving who you are. It’s about celebrating yourself, embracing and being proud of the person you have grown to be, and finding the right tools to help you remember just how awesome you really are.
Things No One Else Can Teach Us by Humble the Poet
The rapper, spoken word artist, poet, blogger, social media influencer, and international bestselling author of Unlearn delivers unorthodox lessons for shifting our perceptions and learning to create silver linings from our most difficult moments. Every one of us endures setbacks, disappointments, and failures that can incapacitate us. But we don’t have to let them. Instead, we can use these events as opportunities for growth. In Things No One Else Can Teach Us, Humble the Poet flips the conventional script for happiness and success, showing us how our most painful experiences can be our greatest teachers. Humble shares raw, honest stories from his own life – from his rocky start becoming a rapper, to nearly going broke, to being the victim of racial prejudice – to demonstrate how a change in mindset can radically alter our outlook. This shift in perspective, one that stops seeing the negative and starts seeing the lesson or positive spin, is what no one else can teach us. We must figure things out on our own, often through difficult and heartbreaking experiences. Humble inspires us to create these silver linings ourselves, preparing us to better handle any challenges that may arise. From a breakup to going broke to losing a loved one, our hardest moments can help us flourish, but only if we recognise and seize the opportunity. By doing so, we will become more self-aware, grateful, and empowered. Simple yet profound, Humble’s message is clear. While we can’t control the vagaries of life, we have the power to control how we react to them. Things No One Else Can Teach Us reminds us all that we have the power within us to transform the way we respond to everyday challenges and ultimately be our best selves.
488 Rules for Life by Kitty Flanagan
488 Rules for Life is Kitty Flanagan’s way of making the world a more pleasant place to live. Providing you with the antidote to every annoying little thing, these rules are not made to be broken. 488 Rules for Life is not a self-help book, because it’s not you who needs help, it’s other people. Whether they’re walking and texting, asphyxiating you on public transport with their noxious perfume cloud, or leaving one useless square of toilet paper on the roll, a lot of people just don’t know the rules. But thanks to Kitty Flanagan’s comprehensive guide to modern behaviour, our world will soon be a much better place. A place where people don’t ruin the fruit salad by putting banana in it … where your co-workers respect your olfactory system and don’t reheat their fish curry in the office microwave … where middle aged men don’t have ponytails … Other rules to live by include: Men must wear shorts over leggings. The gym is no place for people to discover whether or not you are circumcised. That’s a private discussion for another place and time. Team bonding activities should be optional. Some people love it when management decides that an afternoon of bowling or paint-balling or (god forbid) karaoke will help everyone work better as a team. Others would rather be dead. Don’t ever mention your ‘happy place’. To me, this sounds less like a pleasant, fun state of mind and more like some kind of utopian wank palace you’ve had built in the basement.
What started as a personal joke is now a quintessential reference book with the power to change society. (Or, at least, make it a bit less irritating.) What people are (Kitty Flanagan is) saying about this book: ‘You’re welcome everyone.’ ‘Thank god for me.’ ‘I’d rather be sad and lonely, but right.’ ‘There’s not actually 488 rules in here but it sure feels like it’.
F**k No! by Sarah Knight
The latest no-fks-given guide from New York Times bestselling author of the international sensations The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K, Get Your S**T Together, You Do You, and Calm The F**K Down. How to stop saying yes when you can’t, you shouldn’t, or you just don’t want to With 2 million copies sold worldwide, Sarah Knight’s bestselling No F*cks Given Guides prove that she’s the Queen of No: no to a single extraneous f*ck given, to unwanted obligations, overcommitting, and overcomplicating her life. For Sarah, saying no is easy. For the rest of us, it’s stress-inducing, blood pressure-raising, teeth-grinding hard. But it doesn’t have to be. F**K No! is filled with tips, techniques, and practical strategies that will arm you with not only permission to decline, but plenty of ammunition for doing so. An encyclopaedia of examples, a cornucopia of comebacks, a plethora of polite replies: if you’re looking to say no (and without being selfish, unlikeable, or mired in missing out), you’ve come to the right place.
Becoming – A Guided Journal by Michelle Obama
What’s your journey of becoming? Based on Michelle Obama’s bestselling memoir, this gorgeous journal features an intimate and inspiring introduction by the former First Lady and thought-provoking questions and prompts to help you discover, and rediscover, your story.
‘It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.’ – Michelle Obama