What We’re Reading: Book Week 2021

Since 1945, the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Week has brought children (and adults) and books together across Australia. As grownups, most of us don’t get to dress up as our favourite book characters anymore, but we can still celebrate our love of books and reading.

Running from 21–27 August, Book Week 2021’s theme is Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds, which works for those of us looking for worlds to escape to during the ongoing lockdown. In that spirit, here’s what we’ve been reading recently at The Being Group. Hopefully there’s a little something for everyone.

For Kids

The Danger series by Lindsay Holliday

Genre: Adventure

What it’s all about: The publishing project of author and illustrator Lindsay Holliday, the Danger series inspires children to be brave, resourceful, inclusive and to stand up for what is fair.

Why we like it: These books are such a fun read with delightful illustrations. We might be a bit biased, as we were lucky enough to work on the brand and cover designs, and we love seeing these great books out in the world. You can buy the series directly from Danger Media.

Read by: The Being Group

Fiction

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Genre: Historical Fiction

What it’s all about: When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors.

Why we like it: Sophisticated and clever, Towles is one of those authors that packs in one paragraph what others would need a whole page for. There are layers of narrative, plot, characterisation, context and emotion in every passage.

Read by: Siebert, CEO and Co-Founder

Dune by Frank Herbert

Genre: Science Fiction

What it’s all about: The spice Melange is the rarest and most valuable element in the universe. It does everything from increasing a person’s lifespan to making interstellar travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world Arrakis.

Why we like it: The complexity of the fictional interstellar universe and the political and religious overtones that eb and flow throughout. One of the best-selling science fiction novels of all time, Dune’s influence can be felt across other media more than 55 years after its release (you can definitely see the influence in Star Wars)!

Read by: Yasmin, Design Lead

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Genre: Romance, New Adult, LGBT, Science Fiction

What it’s all about: Cynical 23-year-old August moves to New York and meets the dazzling and charming Jane on the train. Immediately crushing on Jane’s old school punk rocker vibes, August soon discovers that Jane is literally displaced in time from the 1970s and stuck on the subway.

Why we like it: What’s not to love about a contemporary Kate and Leopold romance with a rich and diverse cast of supporting characters?

Read by: Leisha, Senior Copywriter

Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter

Genre: Magical Realism

What it’s all about: First published in 1984, Nights at the Circus dissects the traditional fairy tale structure to tell the story of Sophie Fevvers — an aerialist who is part woman, part swan. The plot is divided into three segments of a magical, 19th century circus tour across London, St Petersburg and Siberia.

Why we like it: Angela Carter was an English novelist, short story writer, poet and journalist. She’s best known for her feminist and magical realism works, which often draw from fairy tales and mythology.

Read by: Emily, Copy Lead

Non-fiction

The Power of Intention by Dr Wayne W Dyer

Genre: Self Help, Spirituality

What it’s all about: The power of intention is the energy that surrounds us all and allows us to accomplish our life’s goal. This title tells us how we can train ourselves to tune into this source energy and step beyond our minds and egos.

Why we like it: Beautiful illustrations and a very spiritual read that is feel-good and empowering.

Read by: Alex, Relationship Manager

Blowout by Rachel Maddow

Genre: Politics, History, Economics

What it’s all about: Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth uncovers corruption in the oil and gas industry and the political flow-on effects of that corruption.

Why we like it: Touched with Maddow’s trademark black humour, this is a great read for when you’re wanting to be inspired to be a part of change for the better.

Read by: Stefan, Consultant

The Art of Making Memories by Meik Wiking

Genre: Self Help, Psychology

What it’s all about: Combining Meik Wiking’s signature charm with Scandinavian forthrightness, The Art of Making Memories is an inspiration meditation and practical handbook filled with ideas to help us make the memories that will bring us joy throughout our lives.

Why we like it: It’s nice to stop, breathe and take some time to think about memory making. Life is normally so frantic (outside of lockdown), and this book allows you to think about mindful ways to make memories and create life markers that matter.

Read by: Kerry, Principal and Co-Founder

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Genre: Self Help, Psychology

What it’s all about: “An easy and proven way to build good habits and break bad ones.”

Why we like it: A great read that really illustrates the compounding effect good habits have. Habits are the systems put in place that enable you to progress towards a goal. These systems can be distilled down to a simple two-minute first step. Just aiming for a daily one per cent improvement leads to dramatic impacts down the road.

Read by: Ian, Senior Videographer

Being Better by The Being Group

Genre: Self Help, Humour

What it’s all about: Originally written for Senior Videographer Ian’s birthday, Being Better shares advice, recommendations, and wisdom — some sillier than others — from the minds of the team at The Being Group.

Why we like it: It was a really fun group activity to put this together and it turned into a sweet and insightful read. (And we’re biased.)

And three quick running books from Josh, our Visual Media Director.

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself by Rich Roll

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall

The Lost Art of Running: A Journey to Rediscover the Forgotten Essence of Human Movement by Shane Benzie and Tim Major

If these or any other books have inspired your creative mind and you need help with editing or design for your great writing debut, we’d love to hear from you.


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