Ho Jiak: A Taste of Malaysia

$55 Ho Jiak: A Taste of Malaysia In his debut cookbook, chef Junda Khoo tells a story of family and flavour. Teenage memories of his amah (grandma) visiting his new home in Sydney before farewelling him with a fridge full of sambal; street vendors in Kuala Lumpur dishing out fluffy coffee buns and crisp golden roti; a punchy laksa lemak, perfected for his dad. These 100 recipes are as vibrant as they are love-filled – all of them “good eats”, living up to their namesake restaurant.

Escape to Nature

$50 Escape to Nature Complete with info on 75 national parks around Australia, this visual guide comes to you from the expert team at Australian Geographic and is loaded with inspiration from Alps to ocean. A worthy companion for those planning getaways based on national parks, it’s also a great read for armchair travellers, with a focus on conservation and Indigenous knowledge of the land. Set plans not your thing? This guide will still have you adding some incredible spots to your next trip.

The Family Law

$29.99 The Family Law In his memoir The Family Law – the book behind the hit SBS series of the same name – journalist, author and occasional actor Benjamin Law will have you cackling, crying and nodding along to his eccentric but often relatable stories – from family escapades to his own experiences of growing up gay and Asian in coastal Queensland. This updated edition of the candid (and sometimes heartbreaking) 2010 book has a new introduction, plus a bonus chapter recounting family antics from the past decade.

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Kate Tucker – A Community of Parts

$59 Kate Tucker – A Community of Parts It’s somehow surprising to see Melbourne-based artist Kate Tucker’s works captured in a book, since most of the time her paintings refuse to stay in their frames. Instead, they morph and blur the lines between what’s on show (painting, sculpture) and what’s merely support (frame, easel, plinth). The pages chart the evolution of Tucker’s practice over the past decade, showing works rendered in a fascinating mixed bag of mediums, including acrylic, canvas, linen, Chux, cardboard, earthenware and ceramic.

Creative First Aid

$39.99 Creative First Aid According to Pablo Picasso, “Every child is born an artist. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.” In this quietly radical book by Caitlin Marshall and Lizzie Rose, the founders of Wollongong/Dharawal-based resilience program Makeshift, you’ll find 50 different ways to make lemonade when life gives you those proverbial lemons. From writing exercises to recipes and more hands-on activities, these “prescriptions” will help you reconnect with your creativity and jam more joy into your day.

Corners of Melbourne

$35 Corners of Melbourne The slapstick dangers of banana peel are well established. But in 1860s Melbourne, it was perilous orange peel that stirred panic. Author and historian Robyn Annear’s book unearths the quirkier anecdotes from Melbourne streets we walk today. These tales – collated from old newspapers and contemporary accounts – include incidents of sailors swimming breast-stroke in horse troughs, flying cheeses and the decades – yes, decades – when tossed orange peel caused enough injuries (and sensational headlines) to prompt moral outrage and legal intervention.

What Can I Bring?

$49.99 What Can I Bring? Some cookbooks are to be studiously admired and left pristine like a lovely work of art. This gloriously useful one from country food writer Sophie Hansen will probably be covered in batter and fingerprints within a week. Hansen’s bring-a-plate recipes are simple but impressive, with meals designed to be transported and shared with friends and family. Suggested menus are grouped by season and include handy sections on some of life’s trickier collective culinary moments, like cake stalls, camping trips and potluck dinners.

Just Friends

$34.99 Just Friends Writer and editor Gyan Yankovich celebrates friendship in all its forms in her debut non-fiction title. An ode to the people who Yankovich thinks shape us most, this book explores how friends – big and small – feed into our day-to-day lives. It also acknowledges that we don’t have the same vocabulary when it comes to friends as we do with intimate partners and romantic relationships, but that we should. It’s the perfect pick for book clubs or just-because gifts for your BFF(s).

Little People, Big Dreams: Kylie Minogue

$19.99 Little People, Big Dreams: Kylie Minogue If you’ve been to a bookstore in the past decade, you’ll be familiar with Little People, Big Dreams. The brightly hued books chronicle key figures in fashion, sport, science and entertainment. And now our very own Kylie has a dedicated edition. It traces Minogue’s story from her childhood in Melbourne to her stint on Ramsay Street to her days as a Locomotion-doing pop princess. The perfect gift for Kylie fanatics big or small, it’ll have the kids singing Padam Padam in no time.

Creating Effective Spaces

$39.99 Creating Effective Spaces Australia-based decluttering maven Natasha Swingler is dedicated to tidying up all those slightly difficult things around the house. Her Instagram account (@effectivespaces) soothes 5.8 million followers with instructional storage and folding tips that feel almost as good as doing your own ignored chores. Creating Effective Spaces is her new manual for perfecting your home, with tips for folding fitted sheets, arranging the fridge and setting storage boundaries. It’s a practical handbook for parents and home dwellers looking to neaten up their habitat.

Reporting by Lucy Bell Bird, Dan Cunningham, Alice Jeffery, Grace Mackenzie, Shannon Valentine, Jo Walker and James Williams.

This article first appeared in Domain Review, in partnership with Broadsheet.

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