Oxford Festive Gift Guide for Kids

The festive season is fast approaching – have you organised your Christmas gifts yet? If not, don’t fret, we’ve got you covered! We have a range of wonderful books for kids, from beautiful picture books to award-winning literary fiction. We’ve handpicked some gift books that will capture the imagination of young boys and girls, and will inspire a lifelong love of reading. Don’t miss the special Christmas offer below!

Pugs of the Frozen North9780192734570
Hardback | RRP $17.95
For the pug-lovers, Pugs of the Frozen North is the exciting new adventure from Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre featuring Snow Trolls, Hungry Yetis and 66 pugs pulling a sled to the top of the world.



What a Wonderful World 9780192736918
Paperback | RRP $15.95
Inspired by one of the greatest songs of all time . . .
Follow one little boy on a wondrous journey through our beautiful world. A truly special book featuring the lyrics from What a Wonderful World, accompanied by a CD and beautiful illustrations from Tim Hopgood.

Short Christmas Stories
Paperback | RRP $11.95
Featuring over 40 short (very short!) Christmas tales drawn from gift-givers, folk tales and narrative jokes around the world; Short Christmas Stories is perfect for Advent bedtime stories and classroom activities.



9780192742957Super Happy Magic Forest

Paperback | RRP $13.95
The hilarious and epic journey of five brave heroes – a fairy, a unicorn, a faun, a gnome, and a mushroom – who must go on an epic quest to reclaim the Mystical Crystals of Life and save their home.


The Wind in the Willows
Paperback | RRP $17.95
Take to the road with Mr Toad!
With stunning illustrations from David Roberts, this is a glorious picture book edition of The Wind in the Willows. This is the perfect book to introduce a really young audience to Mole, Ratty, Badger and, of course, Mr Toad.


Special offer for Christmas
20% off and free delivery*
Discount code: xmas15
To take advantage of this special offer, visit the Oxford University Press website and enter the discount code xmas15 at the checkout.

*Online offer only available to Australian customers. New Zealand customers free call 0800 442 502 or email cs.au@oup.com to receive the same discount on the NZ price. Offer only on selected titles above. The discount cannot be combined with any other offers. Offer expires 31st December 2015.

Oxford Festive Gift Guide for Adults

Need some help with your Christmas shopping this year? We’ve got you covered.

‘Tis the season for gift guides, so we have selected a variety of titles to help you buy for all of the foodies, history buffs, marketers and word nerds in your life. Books make the best gifts so take advantage of our special offer for Christmas below.

Oxford Companion to Wine9780198705383 Wine
Hardback | RRP $81.95
Illustrated with maps of every important wine region in the world, and featuring charts, diagrams and stunning colour photographs, this Companion will give provide wine lovers with everything they needs to show off a little while enjoying a glass of wine.


Oxford Companion to Beer Oxford Companion, Beer, father's day, gift for dad
Hardback | RRP $78.95
Know someone who loves beer? If the answer is yes, then we recommend the most comprehensive reference book ever published on the most popular drink in the world (after water and tea). From the brewing process to beer history, from beer styles, food paring, this book will satisfy beer fans whether they are a brewer, food and beverage professional, or just an enthusiast.

H9780195596267ow Brands Grow: Part 2
Hardback | RRP $39.95
For the business professional, How Brands Grow: Part 2 will change the way they think about marketing forever. Following the success of international bestseller, How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don’t Know, comes a new book that takes readers further on a journey to smarter, evidence-based marketing.


The War at Home: Volume IV9780195576788
Hardback | RRP $59.95
The latest volume in The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War series will help history buffs understand the experience of the Australian people during the Great War in Australia itself, in the politics of war, its economic and social effects, and in the experience of war.



Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations
Paperback | RRP $22.95
We all know someone who loves being the centre of attention, dominating Christmas dinner with terrible jokes. The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations will lend some sparkle to their speeches and hopefully provide them with some new material for the next family gathering.


Special offer for Christmas
20% off and free delivery*
Discount code: xmas15
To take advantage of this special offer, visit the Oxford University Press website and enter the discount code xmas15 at the checkout.

*Online offer only available to Australian customers. New Zealand customers free call 0800 442 502 or email cs.au@oup.com to receive the same discount on the NZ price. Offer only on selected titles above. The discount cannot be combined with any other offers. Offer expires 31st December 2015.

Spotlight On: Troy Alexander, Territory Manager

We’re very proud of our books here at Oxford Australia, and we’re even more proud of the hard work that goes into creating the perfect textbook or digital product. There are a lot of different people involved in getting a book from conception to consumer; today in Spotlight On we introduce you to Troy Alexander, a Territory Manager with our Higher Education division.

TROY1Name: Troy Alexander
Title: Territory Manager (Higher Education)
When did you start at Oxford: April 2005
Sum up your job in 3 words: Selling university textbooks

What are your day-to-day tasks?  
Meeting with university lecturers to discuss new and forthcoming titles.  Building relationships and growing the Oxford brand at university faculty level.  Working with campus bookshops regarding ordering and the maximising of sales.  Responding to lecturer inquiries and generally sorting out any issues that might arise.

What product or project are you most proud of working on?
Helping to put together a customised text for a Health subject at Curtin University with 2500 students.  Also finally winning the first year Chemistry adoption at Melbourne University with 1200 students – the result of five years’ work.

What is your favourite thing about working in publishing?
Meeting and talking with a wide variety of interesting people who all share a passion for books and education.

What advice would you give to someone interested in a role like yours? 
Make sure you are self-disciplined and enjoy working autonomously.  You can spend a lot of time by yourself in this role – on campus during the day, travelling interstate, and working from home.  Some people enjoy that but it’s not for everyone.

What are you reading right now?
Journal articles on positive psychology and boys’ literacy for a uni assignment.  For fun I’m reading “The Watch Tower” by a great but under-read Australian author, Elizabeth Harrower.

Communication skills: Tips for exam preparation

While some people flourish in exams, completing their best work under stressful conditions, others need to work hard and prepare themselves in order to perform well during the exam period. Here are five tips for effective exam preparation:

  1. Review during the semester. Start reviewing course material after the first class by rewriting lecture notes or taking notes from the weekly assigned readings. This will help you remember the material during the exam while also making it easier to understand the lecture material as it is presented through the semester.
  2. Find out about the exam. Ask your teacher or lecturer what to expect from the exam. What topics will be covered, what kind of questions will be asked and how long is the exam? Make sure you have all the details and make a note of any exam tips your teacher gives through the semester. Go through past exams and ask for practice questions to prepare for the exam.
  3. Create a study schedule. Find out the dates and times of your exams and prepare a study schedule. Your schedule should allocate specific days to the revision of each topic. Try and allocate revision time during the periods when you concentrate best. If you are a morning person, spend some time studying in the morning and save your social coffee or an exercise break for the time of day when you feel flat or distracted.
  4. Maintain your usual routine. If you start drinking an extra coffee or two, working well into the night or give up workouts to devote yourself to study, you are more likely to increase your stress levels and adversely affect your exam performance. Maintain your regular diet, sleep and exercise patterns to stay healthy and alert during your exam.
  5. Pack your bag. Make sure you have everything you need for the exam from your student ID to pen, paper and calculator. For open book exams, make sure you bring the relevant notes and textbooks for this exam. Don’t forget to pack a clear water bottle and stay hydrated during your exam.

communication-skills-guidebookThis extract is taken from the Communication Skills Guidebook. This book is designed to equip students with the essential communications skills they need to succeed at university, including: essay writing, researching, referencing your work, public speaking and working in a group. It is easy to navigate, with lots of tips and examples, and will be students’ trusted resource throughout their entire degree.
9780190302450 | AU$39.95

Oxford Word of the Month – November: Schmick up

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verb: to smarten (something) up; to renovate (something); to improve (something)

Six years ago in a Word of the Month we reported on our research into the word
schmick, an adjective meaning ‘stylish, excellent’. At the time we noted it had
become very common in Australian English in the previous five years, and could
be applied to all sorts of things, including people, vehicles, and restaurants. Its
origin was a puzzle to us. We determined that it was probably Australian and likely to be modelled on the structure of various Yiddish words borrowed into English, such as schlock ‘cheap goods; trash’, and schmuck ‘a foolish person’.

This month we are updating you on schmick developments. Time has confirmed
our initial assumption about its Australian origin and provided more evidence. We have pushed back the date of the first written evidence to the 1970s, and found that the earliest form of the word is smick, in this classified advertisement: ‘Panel vans, super paint, super cond., super smick, mag wheels.’ (Sydney Morning Herald, 28 July 1972) We now think it may be a blend of the words sm(art) and
(sl)ick, with the initial sound later modified to schm-, following the model of
Yiddish borrowings. This is now the most common form of the word found in the

New terms have developed from schmick. Schmick up is a verb describing the
process of making something schmick, and the first evidence appears in the
mid-1990s. Again, it can apply to many different things (although restaurants,
houses, cars, and people feature strongly):

Schmicked-up politicians, frocked-up wives and the top dogs of the
business world let loose on their annual night of immunity from the
Australian media.
(Sydney Daily Telegraph, 19 June 2003)

The shire council took the place over in the Seventies and shmicked it up with toilets and barbecues and garbage bins, and called it Bochow Park.(G. Greer, White Beech 2014)

There is some recent evidence of a noun developing from the verb. A schmick-up
is the act of smartening something up:

The groomsmen and the groom are coming in for the morning and they have the run of Barberista. … They can get a nice schmick-up before the big day. (Illawarra Mercury, 16 November 2011)

Interestingly, in the evidence for the new verb and noun we found examples of the
form smick up, recalling the early smick form of the adjective, in the same
Tasmanian newspaper article:

If you are a seller, take my tip and spend a couple of days at least smicking
your place up.

One of Tony’s smick-ups was to render, or at least stucco, the block walls in
the big room he loosely describes as his studio. (Hobart Mercury, 14
October 2008)

However the evidence shows that this variant form is very rare, and that schmick up is the form in common usage.

Schmick up (verb), schmick-up (noun), and schmick are all included in the
forthcoming second edition of the Australian National Dictionary (2016).

Subscribe to Oxford Word of the Month.

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