The Summer holidays are a perfect time to grab your beach towel and head to the beach or curl up for a lazy afternoon and get lost in a great book or podcasts to relax, find mindfulness, find your purpose and inspiration for the year ahead. Here our teams top picks for your summertime fun!
FINDING YOUR PURPOSE – SETTING GOALS
Purpose – Lisa Messenger
As the founder of Collective Hub, a multimedia platform that aims to help people unleash their full potential, Lisa Messenger has turned her passion into a profession – and now she’s on a mission to help millions of people across the world find a career with meaning. Her secret? Instead of settling for a play-it-safe career, she delved deep, thought big and disrupted an entire industry.
And all because she discovered the magical feeling, the vital reason, the one powerful sentence that made her work-life worth living. Now, it’s your turn. In this soul-searching book Lisa discusses her own path to purpose, mixed with guidance and interviews from inspiring entrepreneurs and creatives who have followed their ‘why’ to a place of joy and fulfillment. Drawing on her own experiences and ground-breaking research that shows a sense of purpose makes us happier, healthier and even live longer, Lisa guides readers to find the illusive ‘why’ in their lives, so they can reinvigorate their ambition, unleash their inner rebel and make a real impact in the world.
Whether you’re a new graduate, a veteran entrepreneur, a parent making a career comeback or an employee tired of working on autopilot, this book is a must-read for anyone who spends their lives making excuses, blaming others or wishing they could have a career that makes a difference. The average person spends over 90,000 hours at work in their lifetime.
Do you want to get to the end of your work-life and wonder why?
Me . You A Diary – Dawn French
This is Dawn French’s fabulous new non-fiction book for 2017, and it’s totally interactive: take a lovely ramble through the year together with Dawn. Think of it as Dawn’s diary, personalized by you . . . perfection.
I can’t count the amount of diaries I have crammed full with entries in January, that then fizzle out as the other months pile in. One of my teenage diaries has fulsome fizzing reports of every single conversation, thought and feeling about every friend, every crush, every meal, every argument until mid-March, when the entry on the 18th simply reads, ‘Washed hair.’
Thank god, this isn’t that. This book is a way for us to tell the story of a year together. Feel free to write your appointments in it, lists, thoughts and reminders of, say, who to kill, and when, and in what order. But I’ve also written about age and life as I see it, through the seasons and the months, and I’ve added some places for you to join me in some fun and some thinking. By the end of the year, I am hoping you will have a fatter, scruffier book that is written by me but totally personalized by you.
Come on in. The paper is lovely . . . AND . . . importantly, Me. You: A Diary comes with a practical elastic strap to keep all of your papers safe, with a pocket in the back for storing those special momentoes.
Remarkability – Lorraine Murphy
Be so good they can’t ignore you. How to succeed at business and life by one of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs and founder of The Remarkables Group. Success isn’t made up of huge leaps forward, but instead small repetitive actions completed each day. These small steps eventually lead to great achievements in the pursuit of your goals.
This book is an inspiring look at the lessons Lorraine has learned during her entrepreneurship journey – through study, trial and error; the strategies she has developed and the habits she religiously follows. Be remarkable in work and life, following the advice of one of Australia’s most exciting thought leaders.
About the Author – Lorraine Murphy is Founder and Head of Relationships at The Remarkables Group – the first dedicated blogger talent agency in Australia, which launched in May 2012 and now represents 26 leading influencers who have a combined monthly reach of 8 million people. Prior to starting The Remarkables Group, Lorraine created and managed campaigns in an eight-year PR career that began in Dublin, moved to London and ended up in Sydney where she now lives and works.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck – Mark Manson
For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. Mark Manson, however, doesn’t sugar-coat or equivocate: “F**k positivity,” he says in his wildly popular internet blog. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.”
Backed by both academic research and well-timed poop jokes, Manson makes the argument that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. It’s time to recalibrate what it means to be happy: there are only so many things we can give a f**k about, so we need to figure out which ones really matter.
An antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society, and filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humour, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap in the face for a generation spoiled by being rewarded with gold medals just for showing up.
SUMMER HOLIDAY READING
Nomad – James Swallow
Someone has betrayed your country and murdered your friends. You’re the only suspect. And the only one who can stop them striking again…
Find the truth before they find you…
Marc Dane is a MI6 field agent at home behind a computer screen, one step away from the action. But when a brutal attack on his team leaves Marc as the only survivor – and with the shocking knowledge that there are traitors inside MI6 – he’s forced into the front line.
However, the evidence seems to point towards Marc as the perpetrator of the attack. Accused of betraying his country, he must race against time to clear his name.
The Midnight Line – Lee Child
Jack Reacher takes an aimless stroll past a pawn shop in a small Midwestern town. In the window he sees a West Point class ring from 2005. It’s tiny. It’s a woman cadet’s graduation present to herself. Why would she give it up? Reacher’s a West Pointer too, and he knows what she went through to get it.
Reacher tracks the ring back to its owner, step by step, down a criminal trail leading west. Like Big Foot come out of the forest, he arrives in the deserted wilds of Wyoming. All he wants is to find the woman. If she’s OK, he’ll walk away. If she’s not … he’ll stop at nothing.
The Rooster Bar – John Grisham
Law students Mark, Todd and Zola wanted to change the world – to make it a better place. But these days these three disillusioned friends spend a lot of time hanging out in The Rooster Bar, the place where Todd serves drinks. As third-year students, they realise they have been duped. They all borrowed heavily to attend a law school so mediocre that its graduates rarely pass the bar exam, let alone get good jobs. And when they learn that their school is one of a chain owned by a shady New York hedge-fund operator who also happens to own a bank specialising in student loans, the three realise they have been caught up in The Great Law School Scam.So they begin plotting a way out. Maybe there’s a way to escape their crushing debt, expose the bank and the scam, and make a few bucks in the process. But to do so, they have to leave law school, pretend they are qualified and go into battle with a billionaire and the FBI . . .Ingenious, immersive and page-turning, The Rooster Bar is a John Grisham legal thriller bar none
The Stranger – Melanie Raabe
Philip Petersen, a wealthy businessman, disappears without trace on a trip to South America. His wife, Sarah, is left to bring up their son on her own. Seven years later, out of the blue, Sarah receives news that Philip is still alive. But the man who greets her before a crowd of journalists at the airport is a stranger—and he threatens Sarah. If she exposes him, she will lose everything: her house, her job, her son…her whole beautiful life.
Adventurous Spirit – Heather Hawkins
An incredible journey from an ordinary life to one of extraordinary adventure – a book that will inspire you to believe and challenge yourself in 2018.
At 41 – with two teenagers and a contentedly unadventurous life – Heather Hawkins made a doctor’s appointment. Diagnosed with stage one ovarian cancer, within nine days she had surgery to remove an 18cm tumour, and a full hysterectomy. Instead of chemotherapy, she chose a non-invasive surveillance treatment.
The experience reignited Heather’s adventurous and invincible spirit. At 47 she pulled on an old pair of shorts and runners and struggled to the end of a 4km mothers’ day fun run with her kids. Five years later she has 17 marathons and 3 ultra marathons under her belt, including the North Pole Marathon and the extraordinary World Marathon Challenge – a gruelling seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. She topped that off by trekking 1700km in the thin air of Nepal’s Great Himalaya Trail.
About the Author – In 2007 Heather Hawkins was diagnosed with Stage One Ovarian Cancer. Surgery to remove the 18 cm tumour and perform a complete hysterectomy was performed nine days after diagnosis. Heather was spared extreme chemotherapy, instead choosing to follow a relatively new non-invasive surveillance treatment for post Stage One ovarian cancer surgery. Now, 10 years later, Heather is in remission.
Heather’s journey though cancer ignited her hunger for physical challenges. After successfully completing her SLS Bronze Medal two years after diagnosis, Heather competed in her first running event, The Mothers’ Day Classic. She was 47 years old and it was 2012. Now, just a few short years later she has now completed 6 x half marathons, 18 x full marathons and 3 x ultra marathons. These included the 2015 North Pole Marathon in which she won the women’s division and was 8th across the finish line (beating 27 men), and then took on the incredible 2016 World Marathon Challenge, covering 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents.
In February 2016 Heather commenced the world’s longest trek, the Great Himalaya Trail. A 152 day journey of 1,700kms, crossing the top of Nepal from East to West. Heather will return to Nepal in October 2107 to revisit the magnificent Himalayas raising funds for cancer research. This will be shortly followed by the Volcano Marathon in the Atacama Desert in Chile in November 2017.
Uncommon Type – Tom Hanks
A collection of seventeen wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor.
A hectic, funny sexual affair between two best friends. A World War II veteran dealing with his emotional and physical scars. A second-rate actor plunged into sudden stardom and a whirlwind press junket. A small-town newspaper columnist with old-fashioned views of the modern world. A woman adjusting to life in a new neighborhood after her divorce. Four friends going to the moon and back in a rocket ship constructed in the backyard. A teenage surfer stumbling into his father’s secret life.
These are just some of the people and situations that Tom Hanks explores in his first work of fiction, a collection of stories that dissects, with great affection, humour, and insight, the human condition and all its foibles. The stories are linked by one thing- in each of them, a typewriter plays a part, sometimes minor, sometimes central. To many, typewriters represent a level of craftsmanship, beauty and individuality that is harder and harder to find in the modern world. In his stories, Mr Hanks gracefully reaches that typewriter-worthy level.
Known for his honesty and sensitivity as an actor, Mr Hanks brings both those characteristics to his writing. Alternatingly whimsical, moving and occasionally melancholy, Uncommon Type is a book that will delight as well as surprise his millions of fans. It also establishes him as a welcome and wonderful new voice in contemporary fiction, a voice that perceptively delves beneath the surface of friendships, families, love and normal, everyday behaviour.
Obama – An Intimate Portrait – Pete Souza
The definitive visual biography of Barack Obama’s historic presidency, captured in unprecedented detail by his Chief White House photographer. Pete Souza was with President Obama during more crucial moments than anyone else and he photographed them all – from the highly classified to the disarmingly candid. Obama: An Intimate Portrait reproduces more than three hundred of Souza’s most iconic photographs in exquisite detail, some of which have never been published before. Souza’s photographs, with the behind-the-scenes captions and stories that accompany them, document the most consequential hours of the Presidency alongside unguarded moments with the President’s family, his encounters with children, interactions with world leaders and cultural figures, and more. These images communicate the pace and power of America’s highest office and reveal the spirit of the extraordinary man who became President.
The Journey Steve Smith
The fascinating and revealing inside account of Steve Smith’s journey from cricket-mad kid to Australian Captain.
In this fascinating inside account, Steve takes us through his cricketing journey from the early days of backyard cricket and net practice with his dad, to the highs and lows of Test cricket as Australian captain.
Whether it’s recounting the key moments in his career that saw him progress from talented young player to the pinnacle of his sport, or taking us step-by-step through his most memorable Test century, or giving us the real inside account of what it’s like to play through the great series losses and wins of recent years, or giving us a unique examination of his technique, The Journey is a fascinating and revealing insight into one of the world’s greatest cricketers.
A Long Way from Home – Peter Carey
Australia’s master novelist takes us on the journey of a lifetime. Irene Bobs loves fast driving. Her husband is the best car salesman in western Victoria. Together they enter the Redex Trial, a brutal race around the ancient continent over roads no car will ever quite survive.
With them is their lanky fair-haired navigator, Willie Bachhuber, a quiz show champion and failed schoolteacher whose job it is to call out the turns, the grids, the creek crossings on a map that will finally remove them, without warning, from the lily-white Australia they know so well.
This thrilling, high-speed story starts in one way and then takes you someplace else. It is often funny, the more so as the world gets stranger, and always a page-turner, even as you learn a history these characters never knew themselves. Set in the 1950s amid the consequences of the age of empires, this brilliantly vivid and lively novel reminds us how Europeans took possession of a timeless culture – the high purpose they invented and the crimes they committed along the way.
Peter Carey has twice won the Booker Prize for his explorations of Australian history. A Long Way from Homeis his late-style masterpiece.
The Passage – Justin Cronin
First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.
As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he’s done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey—spanning miles and decades—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.
With The Passage, award-winning author Justin Cronin has written both a relentlessly suspenseful adventure and an epic chronicle of human endurance in the face of unprecedented catastrophe and unimaginable danger. Its inventive storytelling, masterful prose, and depth of human insight mark it as a crucial and transcendent work of modern fiction.
Finding My Virginity – Richard Branson
50 years ago, Sir Richard Branson started his first business. In his new autobiography, Finding My Virginity: Or the rest of the story, the Virgin Founder shares his personal, intimate thoughts on five decades as the world’s ultimate entrepreneur.
In Finding My Virginity: Or the rest of the story, Sir Richard Branson shares the secrets that have seen his family business grow from a student magazine into a global brand, his dreams of private citizens flying to space develop from a childhood fantasy to the brink of reality, and his focus shift from battling bigger rivals to changing business for good. Following on from where bestselling Finding My Virginity: Or the rest of the story left off at the dawn of the new millennium, Finding My Virginity: Or the rest of the story takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride with the enigmatic entrepreneur.
Learn how Branson created 10 different billion dollar businesses and hundreds more companies across dozens of sectors, going from a houseboat to his own private island. But this book goes far beyond the numbers – it is a journey into the heart and mind of Britain’s best-loved businessman.
Join Sir Richard as he juggles working life with raising his children Holly and Sam, building a marriage with his wife Joan and creating a unique company culture. Discover how he created a new life on Necker Island, while continuing to grow the Virgin brand into all corners of the world. Get the real story behind adventures and run-ins with everyone from Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch to Nelson Mandela and Beyonce.
Go behind the scenes as Sir Richard Branson creates the world’s first commercial spaceline, Virgin Galactic, and handles the biggest crisis he has ever faced. Get under the skin of world record attempts on land, sea and air, and see how the original business hippy adapted to becoming a doting ‘grand-dude’ to his three grandchildren, Eva-Deia, Etta and Artie.
This is the true account of how the Virgin Founder reinvented himself and his brand for the 21st Century, while continuing to push boundaries, break rules and reach for the stars in more ways than one. This is the story of the man behind the beard, the business, the bravado and the brand. Find out how the ultimate entrepreneur did it for the first time – all over again.
Sweetbitter – Stephanie Danler
A thrilling novel of the senses and a coming-of-age tale, following a small-town girl into the electrifying world of New York City and the education of a lifetime at one of the most exclusive restaurants in Manhattan. Perfect for readers of Kitchen Confidential and Blood, Bones and Butter.
Twenty-two, and knowing no one, Tess leaves home to begin her adult life in New York City. Thus begins a year that is both enchanting and punishing, in a low-level job at “the best restaurant in New York City.” Grueling hours and a steep culinary learning curve awaken her to the beauty of oysters, the finest Champagnes, the appellations of Burgundy. At the same time, she opens herself to friendships–and love–set against the backdrop of dive bars and late nights. As her appetites sharpen–for food and wine, but also for knowledge, experience, and belonging–Tess is drawn into a darkly alluring love triangle that will prove to be her most exhilarating and painful lesson of all.
Stephanie Danler deftly conjures the nonstop and purely adrenalized world of the restaurant–conversations interrupted, phrases overheard, and suggestions below the surface. Evoking the infinite possibility of being young in New York with heart-stopping accuracy, Sweetbitter is ultimately about the power of what remains after disillusionment, and the wisdom that comes from experience, sweet and bitter.
The Break – Marian Keyes
A hilarious and insightful tale about a runaway husband from the internationally bestselling writer of smart, funny fiction. At 44 Amy O’Connell thinks she’s seen, heard or done it all. Until her husband Hugh announces he needs a break – from her. He is going backpacking for six months round Asia where he can do what he wants – and this is the scary bit – with anyone he wants.
‘WTAF?’ thinks Amy. What’s she to do? Stay loyal to disloyal Hugh? Allow her ex-husband back into her life? Run away herself? And what about the children? A lot can happen in six months, will Hugh return as the same man? And will she still be the same woman there waiting for him?
Manhattan Beach – Jennifer Egan
The long-awaited novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, Manhattan Beach opens in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Anna observes the uniformed servants, the lavishing of toys on the children, and some secret pact between her father and Dexter Styles.
Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that had always belonged to men. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. She is the sole provider for her mother, a farm girl who had a brief and glamorous career as a Ziegfield folly, and her lovely, severely disabled sister. At a night club, she chances to meet Styles, the man she visited with her father before he vanished, and she begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life, the reasons he might have been murdered.
Mesmerizing, hauntingly beautiful, with the pace and atmosphere of a noir thriller and a wealth of detail about organized crime, the merchant marine and the clash of classes in New York, Egan’s first historical novel is a masterpiece, a deft, startling, intimate exploration of a transformative moment in the lives of women and men, America and the world. Manhattan Beach is a magnificent novel by one of the greatest writers of our time.
Unbreakable Jelena Dokic with Jessica Halloran
This is a story of Jelena Dokic’s survival. How she survived as a refugee, twice. How she survived on the tennis court to become world No. 4. But, most importantly, how she survived her father, Damir Dokic, the tennis dad from hell.
Jelena was a prodigious talent, heralded as Australia’s greatest tennis hope since Evonne Goolagong. She had exceptional skills, a steely nerve and an extraordinary ability to fight on the court. Off it she endured huge challenges; being an ‘outsider’ in her new country, poverty and racism. Still she starred on the tennis court. By 18, she was in the world’s top 10. By 19, she was No. 4. The world was charmed by her and her story – a refugee whose family had made Australia home when she was eleven years old.
Jelena has not told a soul her incredible, explosive story in full – until now. From war-torn Yugoslavia to Sydney to Wimbledon, she narrates her hellish ascent to becoming one of the best tennis players in the women’s game, and her heart-breaking fall from the top. Her gutsy honesty will leave you in awe. Her fight back from darkness will uplift you. Most of all, Jelena’s will to survive will inspire you.
About Last Night by Catherine Alliott
Molly has moved from London to rural Herefordshire chasing ‘The Good Life’. Swapping the tube for horseback, she is living the country dream. Apart from it isn’t really her dream. It is her husband David’s. And David is, well, rather dead now.
Then a distant relative of her late husband kicks the bucket, leaving a London townhouse in her possession, and Molly dares to consider chucking it all in. Quitting ‘The Good Life’ and going back to her good life. But there’s a problem. A rather tall, handsome problem. Because there is already a man living in Molly’s new house. And when a face appears from her past, Molly is more confused than ever.
Will Molly’s London dream replace her muddy reality? Do any of the men in her life really have honourable intentions? And has she said goodbye to country life too soon?
The Scent of You by Maggie Alderson
On New Year’s Eve, Polly Mackay is contemplating her life. She had been happily married with two grown-up children, a thriving business as a perfume blogger, and a glamorous, ageing, ex-model mother who keeps things … interesting. But when her husband announced that he needed time away from her and promptly vanished, everything she took for granted was thrown into disarray.
As Polly grapples with David’s disappearance she clings to a few new friends to keep her going. Shirlee, the loud-mouthed yoga student; Guy, the mysterious, infuriating and hugely talented perfumer; and Edward, an old friend from university, who sparks a new sense of possibility..
But while she distracts herself with the heady world of luxury perfume, she can’t keep reality at bay forever, and eventually she is forced to confront some difficult truths – about her husband, about herself, and about who she really wants to be.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriaty
Pirriwee Public is a beautiful little beachside primary school where children are taught that ‘sharing is caring’. So how has the annual School Trivia Night ended in full-blown riot? Sirens are wailing. People are screaming. The principal is mortified. And one parent is dead. Was it a murder, a tragic accident or just good parents gone bad?
As the parents at Pirriwee Public are about to discover, sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, school-yard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.
Still Me by Jojo Moyes (available 25 January)
The third Lou Clark novel, following the number one international bestsellers Me Before You and After You.
Lou Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She is hurled into the world of the super-rich Gopniks: Leonard and his much younger second wife, Agnes, and a never-ending array of household staff and hangers-on. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her job and New York life within this privileged world.
Before she knows what’s happening, Lou is mixing in New York high society, where she meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past.
In Still Me, as Lou tries to keep the two sides of her world together, she finds herself carrying secrets – not all her own – that cause a catastrophic change in her circumstances. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself: Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places?
PODCASTS for lazy days, driving adventures or your daily stroll
How Being a Single Mum Helped Juanita Phillips To Stop Worrying
The Pass – Australia’s newest food podcast
Meditation in the City
Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert
#GirlBoss Radio with Sophia Amoruso
Women of the Hour with Lena Dunham
TED Radio Hour Podcast
Brene Brown: On Gratitude, Vulnerability and Courage
Oprah’s Supersoul Conversatons by Oprah
WTF with Marc Maron
For the family car trip Short and Curly answers all the tough questions such as when is it ok to dob, what sort of life does an elephant have, should pugs exists! Another family one we love (sometimes you do have to monitor it) is This Glorious Mess – laugh out loud with other Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo and realise you are not alone on this parenting journey.
Conversations with Richard Fidler will open your mind with his amazing guests and his calm voice will sooth your soul.
Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations will provide uplifting advise from her guests and hearing Oprah’s voice again takes me a few decades back in time!
Mamamia Outloud is an entertaining podcast by three women, Mia Freedman, Holly Wainwright and Jesse Stephens talking about current affairs – as they say a podcast by women for women.