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Tag: books

Esther Campion x T(O)NM

Esther Campion x T(O)NM

Delighted to be asked to share some of my writing experience on this blog. To be honest, I’m a little jealous of The (Oblivious) New Mama when I see those gorgeous Instagram pictures of her lovely son, but then I remember the twenty-four-seven job that […]

Do Something

Do Something

I recently read Mark Manson’s book The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck. It should be noted that this is the first non-fiction book that I have ever completed. When I eventually get around to typing up all of my book reviews, this one […]

A Simple Favour by Darcey Bell

A Simple Favour by Darcey Bell

The collected works of Liane Moriarty, Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl;it seems as though the past few years the genre of domestic thrillers was born thanks to some truly epic female authors. I don’t quite know what it is about these types of books, but there is something about them that I simply cannot go past when it comes time for me to buy a whole new haul of books. There is something so deliciously erotic about this new sub-genre that has captured a huge audience over the past few years and, whatever the formula is for these stories, it is a winner.

I hadn’t heard of A Simple Favour before interviews with Anna Kendricks and Blake Lively started popping up all over the internet as they kicked off the press run for their movie of the same name. I love both of those actresses and the trailer was good and then I learned that it was a novel before a movie (of course it was) and that was it, I knew I had to read it.

Overall, I did enjoy this book, yes, however there were a few things that I felt a tad underwhelmed by. But more on that in a bit.

She’s your best friend.
She knows all your secrets.
That’s why she’s so dangerous.

A single mother’s life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller. It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time. 

But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over.

Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems.”

From the blurb, A Simple Favour has all the promise of a truly gripping mystery/thriller and it is what made me want to dive into this book immediately. What I liked about this book is that I had no idea what to expect. The disappearance of Emily was sudden and unexplained and left me conjuring so many possibilities as to what could have made her run away from her life. I also appreciated that the ‘action’ started almost immediately – the disappearance takes place quite early on in the book and the remaining characters are left scrambling to figure things out.

What I found though was that the blurb offered more bark than bite. And, although I loved that we were thrown into disarray with Emily’s disappearance so early on, it meant that the characters were (extremely) undercooked. Yes, we are given shallow insights into their pasts and all of their secrets but there isn’t enough time in the book before everything kicks off to develop any real emotional connections with any of the characters. I can’t say too much without spoiling some of the story, but the secrets that each of them have weren’t that shocking to me either. Maybe my resolve has become hardened by all of the books of this genre that I have read, or maybe I am just used to all the awful shit that happens in real life that I read or hear about on the news – but what the two main characters claim to be their darkest secrets weren’t all that shocking to me. At all.

I am also someone who loves being kept guessing until the very end, until the very most absolute last moment. I felt that the explanation of Emily’s disappearance came too quickly in the story and found that after it was uncovered, I found myself far less interested in the characters and the story itself. When the main elements of the mystery were revealed I found that I was able to predict and piece together the rest pretty easily and quickly.

It was a simple read and much like books of the same vein, even though the characters lacked for me, there is still that mysterious, dark element that keeps you turning every page. A Simple Favour is one of those books that you enjoy while you are reading it and would probably recommend to a friend because it is entertaining and easy to dive into. I haven’t seen the movie yet but I really want to because, maybe for the first time ever, I think you could do a lot more with the story than with what is written in the book.

River Run by Nicole Alexander

River Run by Nicole Alexander

Nicole Alexander will always hold a special place in my heart. Not only is she a phenomenal author, but she was the first woman to feature as a #WCW of mine on my old site, Don’t Ask Leah. She didn’t know me at all, but from just […]

My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen

My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen

I was insanely excited to read this book; as soon as I learned of its existence, I was intrigued. Non-fiction, autobiographies and memoirs are not something that I read often, nor are they what I enjoy reading (which sometimes I think is a bit strange […]

Day Six: Best Christmas Reads for Kids and Adults

Day Six: Best Christmas Reads for Kids and Adults

Christmas and books and books about Christmas – THIS POST HAS IT ALL. I have always wanted to have a tradition where I read Christmas books throughout December. Until now, this has remained but a thought and a wish.. this year however, I plan on changing that. As well as that, for the years to come, I want our little man to get excited for Christmas – just like his Mama – and I want him to have Christmas books surrounding him to get him in the festive spirit!

Adults

The Harry Potter Series

This probably wouldn’t be your first guess or go-to for a Christmas read, but for me, the Harry Potter series holds a special place in my happy little Christmas heart.

This could definitely go in the kid’s section as well, but I am including it in the adult section because just a few years ago at Christmas time, I bought myself the entire Harry Potter collection (the editions picture – SO PRETTY) and it got me through a terrible breakup. I churned through the entire series in a matter of days. Much like the movies, the magic, whimsy and wonder of the wizarding world that J.K. Rowling has created absolutely screams Christmas to me. The rugs in the Gryffindor common room and the log fire and the Christmas feast that Dumbledore makes appear is everything I want for Christmas and more. I am of the firm belief that the Harry Potter series are the most immersive books I have ever read. I lost myself in the world of Hogwarts and, at a time where I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere, especially around Christmas time, it felt like the huge, festive, end-of-year hug that I needed.

A Christmas Carol

Possibly the most well-known, influential Christmas stories of our time. First published in 1843, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a man who has no time for festivities, who is cruel and selfish, who is only interested in his own wealth and who detests Christmas. On the night of Christmas Eve, Scrooge’s life is changed by a series of ghostly visitations that show him the bitter truth about his choices and his life. This is an absolute classic; a funny, heartwarming and beautifully told story about the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas Days: Twelve Stories and Twelve Feasts for Twelve Days

This book really intrigued me when I first heard about it. I don’t know how I hadn’t heard of Jeanette Winterson – a New York Times best-selling author – before, but I am glad I know of her now. Christmas Days: Twelve Stories and Twelve Feasts for Twelve Days is a festive season must-have as far as I am concerned. Winterson brings together twelve of her brilliantly imaginative, funny and bold tales as well as a personal and incredibly introspective story of her own Christmas memories. These tales give the reader a portal into the spirit of the season, where time slows down and magic starts to happen – and seriously, what more could you want from a Christmas book, or any book really?! What’s more is that to accompany the twelve Christmas tales, Winterson has included twelve festive recipes including some traditional Yuletide favourites: red cabbage, gravlax, turkey biryani, sherry trifle, Winterson’s own mince pies and more.

Buy. It. Now.

Bridget Jones’s Diary

Whenever the subject of Bridget Jones comes up (which happens more than you may think, in my world), the first thing I think of her mum’s annual Christmas turkey curry buffet. What even is that?! Anyway, I digress. Much like the movie, Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding is a standard, reliable go-to for Christmas. It is a light, humorous and fun read that you will churn through quickly, but with the undercurrent of Pride & Prejudice and the backdrop of cold, white London in December, you will always finish this book feeling entertained, romanced and Christmas-sy.

Letters from Father Christmas

Most famously known for The Lord of the Rings series and The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien is a worldwide literary favourite. It was only when I started doing a bit of further research for this post that I discovered he wrote Letters from Father Christmas, and, when I learned what it was about my heart completely swelled in adoration for the late writer. Get this, every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in a strange, spidery handwriting and a beautiful coloured drawing or painting – the letters were from Father Christmas. (SWOON, RIGHT? I am definitely doing this for my little man. Cheers, Tolkien).

The letters told wonderful stories about life in the North Pole such as how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place, how the accident-prone North Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining room or how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house, and many more. The book includes photographs of Tolkien’s original letters to his children and it is all very charming and lovely and heartwarming and oh-so-Christmas.

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus is the story of Santa Claus, from boy to jolly old fellow, as imagined by L. Frank Baum, the creator of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Every one of us has, at some point in our lives, wondered about the man in the big red suit – why does Santa travel via reindeer? How does he fit through the chimney? How does he deliver all those toys in one single night? First published in 1902, Baum creates a world full of charm and whimsy as we are taken deep into the forest where a wood nymph discovers an abandoned baby. Raised among mythical forest creatures, the child learns to outwit evil as he grows towards adulthood and must discover how to re-enter the human world, which leaves him determined to share gifts and spread love to his fellow man. SO. GOOD.

Kids

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

From the master of children’s books, Dr. Seuss introduced us to the Grinch in his Christmas classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This book has gone on to be made into two movies (the Jim Carrey one being the obvious superior film), as well as the name Grinch now being used to describe anyone who is a bit of a grump around the holiday season. With a heart two sizes too small, the Grinch is the meanest creature you’ll ever meet. He hates Christmas and the whole festive season. But when he hatches a dastardly plot to steal Christmas, he’s in for a big surprise! The story’s heart and soul lies in its catchy, sing-songy rhyming text which takes readers on a journey, watching the Grinch’s heart grow a few sizes just in time for Christmas.

The Jolly Christmas Postman

I remember picking this book up from my primary school library and absolutely falling in love with it. From the award-winning husband and wife team of Janet and Allan Ahlberg comes the Christmas favourite The Jolly Christmas Postman. It’s Christmas Eve and the Jolly Postman is hand-delivering letters and cards to all of our favourite fairy tale characters – there’s a card for Baby Bear, a game appropriately called ‘Beware’ for Red Riding Hood from Mr Wolf, a get-well jigsaw for hospitalised Humpty Dumpty and three more surprise envelopes! The magic of this book lies in it’s removable and completely interactive cards, letters and games. It is the perfect read-aloud book that marries great children’s fiction writing, Christmas AND fairy tales.

Merry Christmas, Mary Christmas!

I can’t remember where I picked this book up from, but the moment that I flicked through it’s pages I loved it. The illustrations are the absolute winner for me when it comes to Merry Christmas, Mary Christmas! The spreads are bold and bright in colour and I have always loved a picture book where there are multiple things to look at, point out and discoverMary Christmas’ family goes above and beyond for Christmas – they always have the biggest tree, the brightest lights and the most amount of presents. Mary Christmas wishes that her family celebrated a little bit differently. When Mary confides in Santa about her feelings, he suggests that maybe she can find a way to embrace (and spread) her family’s enthusiasm. She does so by persuading them to share their celebration with the larger community in the local park—tree, gifts, and all.

Madeline’s Christmas

I have always been a big fan of Ludwig Bemelman’s Madeline. Always. I loved the television series and every single one of the books. Madeline was the curious, adventurous and inquisitive girl that I always wanted to be. Madeline’s Christmas was actually the authors sixth and last book that he wrote, illustrated and published before his passing in 1962. It’s the night before Christmas and everyone is sick in bed. All except brave Madeline, who is up and about and feeling just fine. Taking care of eleven little girls and Miss Clavel is hard work, but Madeline finds help from a magical merchant peddling flying carpet door-to-door. Now the girls are going on a Christmas journey that will surely make them forget all about their sniffles and sneezes.

Dear Santa

With hard-wearing, durable lift-the-flap pages, Rod Campbell’s Dear Santa is the perfect book to share with your little one this Christmas. With big, bold illustrations and minimal text it is ideal for a read-aloud where parents can add their own spin to the simple story. A letter to Santa asking for a Christmas present starts off a merry chain of gift-wrapping, but nothing seems quite right and each time he thinks better of his choice. Get your tiny human to lift the flaps to unwrap a present and find out how Santa chooses the perfect gift. There’s a special surprise at the end!

Babar and Father Christmas 

Much like MadelineBabar was a HUGE part of my childhood. I used to surround myself with the books while I watched the animated version on television. Not your average Christmas story, Babar and Father Christmas is a unique and imaginative story from Jean de Brunhoff. Babar’s children have caught wind of a fellow in Man’s country named Father Christmas who brings joy and toys to little children. “If only we could bring him here,” they wish. So they write the Christmas saint a letter inviting him to visit them. When they get no reply, Babar, ever the good father, rushes out to find the red-suited one. After much searching, and with the help of a dog named Duck, Babar reaches Father Christmas’s workshop in the snow. Can Babar find a way to bring him to Elephants’ country?

Maisy’s Christmas Collection – Maisy’s Christmas Presents, Maisy’s Christmas Day, Maisy’s Christmas Tree, Maisy’s Christmas Eve

From setting up a Christmas tree to Christmas Eve celebrations, from preparing a Christmas dinner and buying presents for your friends the collection of Maisy Christmas stories is a must-have for parents of little ones everywhere. There are lift-the-flap pages and tabs that your children can pull to reveal surprises as well as Lucy Cousins signature bold illustrations and simple, fun text. The board books are hard-wearing so that you can be sure that these will last you one Christmas after another, after another.

The Smallest Gift of Christmas

Peter H. Reynolds’ The Smallest Gift of Christmas is an incredibly sweet tale about a little boy called Roland who, after waiting ALL YEAR for a Christmas present, discovered that his was very, very small. TOO SMALL. It had to be the smallest gift he had ever seen! So Roland wishes for something bigger, and bigger, and bigger. But he’s still convinced there must be a bigger gift somewhere in the universe. Will he know it when he sees it? The illustrations are beautiful (especially the shade of green he uses – STUNNING) and the premise is utterly heartwarming.

Dear Father Christmas

Dear Father Christmas by Alan Durant is another touching and delightful lift-the-flap book FULL of letters and a surprise gift at the end! When Holly sees a man who looks like Father Christmas, she decides to write him a letter: “Dear Father Christmas – is it snowing in Lapland? Please answer. Love Holly.” And so begins the start of a touching pen pal friendship with Father Christmas himself in which Holly learns about the magic of elves, reindeer and life in Lapland, as well as getting some very special Christmas surprises.

The illustrations and edge-to-edge spreads make me so freaking happy. The colours are so festive and fun and, once again, there is so much to look at and discover and discuss on each page. Dear Father Christmas includes so much more than removable letters! You’ll discover an advent calendar, a Santa Claus ornament, a foldout reindeer guide (with answers to common questions, plus favourite reindeer jokes), and one last, special treasure that Holly finally dares to wish for.

 Christmas Cookies! A Holiday Cookbook

Christmas? Yes. Baking? Yes. Baking Christmas themed treats? Yes. Baking Christmas themed treats with my little man? Yes. Baking Christmas themed treats with my little man with this cute book that includes Christmas stories? YES. This very sweetly illustrated cookbook is the perfect way to get your kids involved in preparing Christmas treats and getting into holiday mode! Clearly presented, these seventeen recipes — from shortbread to snickerdoodles to stained-glass Christmas trees — are accented with useful tips and intriguing bits of Christmas lore!

The Cult on Fog Island by Mariette Lindstein

The Cult on Fog Island by Mariette Lindstein

Swedish authors are incredible. If you haven’t read a book by a Swedish author, do yourself a favour – buy one and read it immediately. I was first introduced to Swedish authors when I read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. It took […]

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

I am a huge Jane Harper fan. Huge. Sitting alongside Kate Morton, Holly Ringland and Liane Moriarty, Jane Harper is not only one of my favourite authors, but she is one of my favourite Australian female authors. These women are who I look up to, […]

Summer Reading List – so far..

Summer Reading List – so far..

Where do I even begin?! Seriously. This year may have been hard, and challenging, and completely gut-wrenching at times, but it has also been rewarding and the most life-changing, transformative period of my life. And, I do feel that Summer 2018-19 is going to be a damn goodun’.

I know I should probably wait to post this when the list is complete (but it will never be complete, let’s be honest), but I am so excited for the weeks I have off in the lead up to my due date that I couldn’t help myself this kinda’ dreary Thursday afternoon! I was scrolling through my instagram feed the other day for some reason that I can’t remember, and I got so far down my post history that I landed back in the summer of 2017. I remember that summer possibly better than any other one that preceded it, but not for the reasons that you may think. I was deeply unhappy, but it was the kind of unhappiness that became so ingrained in me that I accepted it and almost treated it as a friend. I was staying in the suburb of Cremorne a lot and found myself so comfortable in my loneliness which, looking back on now is equal parts devastating and heartbreaking but I remember it feeling so freeing. I wasn’t fighting against my pain, I instead made friends with it.

What that meant for me was a lot of walks to and from the shops early in the morning to pick up a coffee and the newspaper for myself. I had time off from the cafe where I was still working, while those around me were still at their jobs after Christmas so I had nothing to do except fill my days however I wanted to. I had been dealing with my anxiety which always flared up when I ventured into areas of Sydney or did activities that I didn’t normally do, however I think the deep and enveloping melancholy nature of how I was feeling made me look past the point of my anxiety. I didn’t care. This worked in an odd way for me. I didn’t care how sad or anxious I felt that I would numbly drive myself to Balmoral Beach before seven in the morning, set my towel up and plunge into the cold water for hours on end. Then I walked to The Boat House and bought myself breakfast and a coffee and sat watching the water. I also took myself on a lot of picnics, surrounding myself with punnets of berries, my notebook and whatever book I was reading.

All those days and hours that I spent alone, I spent reading. I churned through more books that summer than I ever had before. I was averaging almost two books a day, and had to buy new books every week to see me through those hot months. It didn’t matter where I was, I was reading. I found solace in the books’ pages and familiarised myself with the characters I was getting to know everyday. I had company when I was reading and I think that the loneliness I felt actually showed me a completely new way to read. Never before had I immerse myself in literature like I did that summer.

Whenever I think about maternity leave, I find my mind wandering to what books I will read in the lead up to our son being born. I get giddy when I think about it and yesterday found myself wanting to reread some of the books I read that summer. I wandered around my house when I got home from work yesterday and pulled titles from my shelves – some that I have already read and others that I have been meaning to read for years. I don’t doubt that I will add to this pile (I will have to, my initial picks will nowhere near see me through summer), but for now I am allowing myself to feel that indescribable excitement one has at the prospect of a ‘to be read’ pile just waiting to be devoured.

 

My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen

This is the only new release in my pile at the moment. I wrote a blog piece about this book and I am so incredibly keen to read it. I have never been one for biographies or autobiographies, but when news of this book and the stories it contains hit my news feed I knew I wanted in. Lily Allen has never been someone I have kept track of although over the years, I have enjoyed listening to her music when it pops up. When the news started reporting on the content of My Thoughts Exactly, I was immediately intrigued. I have often been told that the amount of stories and ‘life experience’ that I have had in my short twenty-seven years on this earth is almost unbelievable, and I don’t know – I guess I just felt that maybe I am not the only one who feels this way, who feels as though their person is but a tapestry of events and experiences and unbelievable happenings. Keen. To. Read.

 

A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay

At work, we have a shelf in the kitchen where people leave books they don’t want or ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies) that they have received from other publishers. I picked up A Noise Downstairs, drawn to it because I am absolutely loving the thriller genre at the moment. I had never heard of this book before, but once I read the back and a couple of reviews online, I was anxious to finish the book I am reading at the moment just so I could start this one.. read the blurb online. Do it. Do it.

 

River Run by Nicole Alexander

Nicole Alexander holds a special place in my heart. She was the first person to accept my invitation to be a #WCW when I founded The #WCW Project through my old blog, Don’t Ask Leah. Nicole had no idea who I was, but when I contacted her out of the blue and requested an interview she immediately accepted and we had an amazing, long and incredibly humbling phone conversation. I didn’t feel as though I was interviewing her, instead I felt as though I was talking to an old friend. I hadn’t read any of her work cover to cover before then, however had flicked through all of her backlist during my time at Angus and Robertson. River Run is her most recent book and I bought it as soon as it came out and it has remained on my ‘to be read’ pile ever since. This summer, it’s happening; and summer really is the perfect time to read a Nicole Alexander book because her description of the Australian landscape and climate and smells and sounds are just impeccable.

 

Still Summer by Jacqueline Mitchard

This is another one that I grabbed from work the other day. I skim-read the back and it sounded like the perfect, light, drama-filled read that every summer reading list needs and deserves. Much like when I read Candace Bushnell’s Killing Monica, I go into books like this not expecting to be blown away by keen literary skill or turn of phrase, I go into them expecting to be entertained and not have to think too much. I think the blurb speaks for itself and I do love a good simple read so this is another one I am excited to devour (easily).

“In high school, Olivia, Tracy and Holly had been known as The Godmothers, and their friendship has endured throughout the ensuing decades. Now, with the death of Olivia’s husband, a wealthy Italian Count, and her return to America, the friends decide to reunite on a luxury cruise in the Caribbean. Along with Tracy’s college-aged daughter and a two-man crew, they begin their journey uneventfully, enjoying the sun and the warm, clear waters of the Caribbean.

Then, a series of devastating events unfolds, leaving the women crewless, starving and terrified. Almost overnight, what was meant to be a blissful vacation devolves into a desperate fight for survival, as they soon find themselves battling the elements, a horrifying attack by drug traffickers, and their own frailties. It is at once a story about the bonds of friendship, the love between mothers and their children, and the strengths we don’t know we possess until we are faced with our own mortality.”

YAS.

 

To The Sea by Christine Dibley

This was one of the highlights of the summer I spent the first few paragraphs rambling about. The way the Dibley described the Tasmanian coastline and the natural elements that the story worked around was nothing short of genius. I absolutely loved every single moment of this book and was utterly devastated when I was nearing the end of the book, and even more so when I completed it. This is also possibly the book I am looking forward to (re)reading most this summer. It is a family drama/crime/thriller which delivers on all fronts; not only is it suspenseful, but the twist and conclusion of the story certainly delivered AND the writing was absolutely beautiful. If you haven’t heard of this one, do yourself a favour and purchase immediately (if not sooner). A beautiful, haunting read. Literally cannot say enough good things about it. For real. So good. AMAZING.

 

Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey

This book I found when I was on my lunchtime walk down King Street in Newtown and wound up at Vinnies. I always keep an eye on the new releases and when this one appeared on my radar, it stayed there. The books you find at Vinnies are normally from years and years past but there, on the bookshelf sat a next-to-new copy of Whistle in the Dark for four dollars. FOUR DOLLARS for a new release?! How could I not buy it?

“Jen’s fifteen-year-old daughter goes missing for four agonizing days.
When Lana is found, unharmed, in the middle of the desolate countryside, everyone thinks the worst is over. But Lana refuses to tell anyone what happened, and police draw a blank. The once-happy, loving family return to London where things start to fall apart. Lana begins acting strangely: making secretive phone calls, hiding books under her bed, sleeping with the light on.As Lana stays stubbornly silent, Jen sets out to solve the mystery behind her daughter’s disappearance herself…”

 

The Witches by Roald Dahl

This may seem like a bit of a weird addition to a pregnant twenty-seven year old’s summer reading list, I assure you it is anything but. I was talking to my friend about that old 80s movie Return to Oz.. which, if you haven’t seen it you should, but for some reason it also made me think of the film adaptation of The Witches. And then I realised that I haven’t read it in almost two decades and then I thought about how magical and amazing and creative and wondrous Dahl’s mind was and I think everyone’s summer could do with a bit of whimsy (albeit creepy whimsy).

 

A Little Change of Face by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

So – I read this when I was about fifteen on one of our family trips to Perth when we went to visit one of my godmothers. It was the first ‘older’ book that I bought myself and when I read the (rather juvenile) blurb, I thought that the protagonist sounded fabulous and the storyline sounded sexy and intriguing. I don’t remember anything about this book at all, having read it almost thirteen years ago now. But every time I have moved house and had to pack everything up, I have held this book in my hands and never wanted to part with it, promising myself that I would read it again one day soon.

 

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

I will admit that I hadn’t heard of this book before I was sick at home one day and the movie adaptation as on Foxtel during the day. I absolutely fell in love with the characters and the whole idea behind the book club and, in fact, this film/book was one of the main inspirations when it came to me creating the Cliterature Club. I loved that they wanted to celebrate Jane Austen, who is of course an absolute pioneer of women and literature, but also that each of them were able to draw comparisons with the novels and their own life. I mean, that is one of the absolute beauties of reading, right? We are able to feel less alone, we find different parts of ourselves in the stories of others. I vowed that after watching the film I would read the book, because if I felt that strongly towards each of the characters on a screen, imagine how I will feel when I read them on the page..

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

I first came across The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society  when I was working in Angus & Robertson in Chatswood. It was a new release and I remember reading the back of it and feeling immediately drawn to the main character, Juliet Ashton. She […]