Books · reviews

Six Degrees of Separation: Freebie – from Zusak to Higgins

I’ve managed a bit of a reading spree in the last few weeks and in order to share my thoughts I’ve ingeniously decided to use the Six Degrees of Separation meme. This meme is hosted by booksaremyfavouriteandbest,  and gets you to take one title, and link through five other titles to see where you end up.

August’s starting point was a wild card – start with the book you ended with in July. It’s been six month since I last completed this meme, when I ended on For the Term of his Natural Life. The one before that was twelve months ago, The Light Between Oceans. Following some inner debate I’ve decided to start with my July’s bookclub read, Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak. This book started slowly and I was all set to appreciate it but not love it except Markus has a way with words, and characters. Although not completely satisfied with what was found at the end, the process of peeling away the layers of this book became truly mesmerising.

Markus seems to really like his young Australian male protagonists. Another Australian author I’ve loved recently is Jane Harper, with all three of her novels set in unique Australian environments. I really enjoy how her settings are so integral to the mysteries she writes. I hope there will be a novel soon following her latest The Lost Man.

jane harper.JPG

Harper’s book also touched on an issue so pertinent to Australia right now – that of domestic violence, which leads me to my next author Cathy Glass. Where Has Mummy Gone was the second of her books that I’ve read. Cathy Glass is the pseudonym for an UK foster carer who shares stories of children she has cared for and helpful information I believe about the world of fostering. However although I appreciate that she brings to light stories of childhood abuse and neglect, I can’t help wonder about the children she writes about, if they have given consent?

Needing a bit of a break from the hurt in this world I’m going to flip to the Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke. These christian novels sometimes feel a bit simplistic, set in Canada in years gone by, but the overall message is timeless, with the last two (4 and 5 of 8) really hitting the spot nicely for me. The love of family and God is wonderful.

janette oke.JPG

Moving from the comfort of that series, I turn to a novel,  much more realistic and personal to me, The Mothers Group by Fiona Higgins. At times this book felt almost too real, so that although it was a fantastic read and true to life of a mother’s group, the reader knew we were heading to a defining moment and as a mother I didn’t want to know what it was. Out of the ashes [of the phoenix] comes the message that also got me through my early parenting days, ‘it takes a village’ and we mothers need to stick together and support each other.

I’m going to end on an anti-climax now with the other of Fiona Higgins books I’ve read, Love in the Age of Drought. This memoir was nice and an interesting perspective on a farming community from a city slicker but it didn’t ring true to my own experiences as a farmer’s wife. I’ve still added another of her books to my to-read-list, so it can’t have been too bad!

mgtd.JPG

And now please excuse me as I cheat and add one more link – I’ve just checked out my bookclub’s September read – Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton, another Australian story, very popular by the looks as I’m over one hundredth on the hold wait-list, exciting!

Happy reading 🙂

Advertisements
Books · life · movies

Feelings about The Public and life

Things weren’t going right last Wednesday – just little things – like not getting my preferred parking spots on the main drag in my small country town. Cos you know it meant I had walk a few extra metres….

And then this week I was just tired (it has been rather cold). Monday started out good, I had a cancellation = time to get ahead which surely would mean a head-start for Tuesday. Maybe if I’d had some motivation…

I still got through things. It just feels like whenever I’m close to getting on top with potential to get to the extra things i.e. cleaning out the darned spare room, things fall apart.

In all this I have finished a book AND saw an awesome movie today. So of course I can’t really complain.

THE BOOK:

Bridge of Clay – Markus Zusak

It was another big book which took awhile to suck me in. And if I’m being honest despite reading and enjoying all of Zusak’s books his writing style is not really for me. But his characters – oh how I love his characters. Five brothers…”their mother is dead, their father has fled” and a vast array of stories, including a peg.

THE MOVIE:

The Public

This movie had everything I love – books, libraries, humour, social action and love.

Starting with black and white footage of books and librarians and then opening into credits with song/rap lyrics ‘burn the books’ it had me right from word go (or perhaps from lights, camera, action)

The screening I saw was to raise funds for a local organisation that works with homeless, in this Homelessness Week. The movie itself was about an ‘occupation’ of a Cincinnati library due to freezing weather. It was poignant and meaningful. (Not to mention full of some well-known names)

maxresdefault.jpg

I’m beginning to learn to appreciate mindfulness and the above quote is helpful. Except….when it comes to things like homelessness….shouldn’t we do something with the feelings? Along with mindfulness I’m trying really hard to practice kindness to myself, I know telling myself off for not doing more won’t help, and after all my children are fed….

65392191_2290151577743033_6019082286622834688_n

So yes I definitely recommend The Public and Bridge of Clay is Markus Zusak special. I hope my energy lifts (more nutrition shakes?!) but if it doesn’t straight away I also know I will survive. Amongst it all there are moments of gratitude.

Wishing you all a blessed new week ahead

GJ

life · mental health

Weekend Check-in

66031163_2290122637745927_4596695379973505024_n

I feel…. accomplished, I got through quite a bit of my to-do list this week and even better have felt happy and balanced 🤗

I need… family and rest time this weekend, maybe even a book?!

I forgive…the multitude of things I didn’t get to. I feel I prioritised well, still there’s important stuff I still didn’t get to…but I will 💪

I celebrate…reviving catch ups with friends and connections with those I love (yep Bookclub that includes you!)

I release….I’d love to release my shoulders and back somehow… but today I’m hoping to release myself and kick up my heels a bit at a lady’s event, I think I also release myself to give it a miss if it causes more stress than relaxation 👠💃🏼 or ☕️🛋

…I also wonder about releasing my guilt at the numerous blessings in my life that allow me to enjoy regular such releases (saw an amazing musical last weekend with friends), staying home doesn’t help those without such good support…

I trust…that I am working towards helping those less fortunate than me, as above, guilt and self-punishment doesn’t help in this process. Awareness and not taking for granted my blessings, while not the be all, is okay to start with.

🌤🌤🌤

… thank you Mentally Fit EP and @heyamberrae

 

Please feel free to join us in the reflection process 🙂 and have an awesome weekend

 

GJ

blogging · life

A Quick Hello

Just to prove I was thinking of you all during my hiatus, somehow this blog didn’t quite make it to click publish button!

Hello

Life is good at the moment, and busy. I am continuing my study, placement, looking after the kids and indulging in games, tv and at the moment just the occasional book.

It’s lovely to see people continue to visit my blog-home despite my inactivity here. Despite my goal to write once a month, I think I’ll be missing for awhile yet as I finish off my degree – the end is in sight and almost touchable!!

A few topics worthy of mentioning before I go to bed ready for the start of another week….

  1. The drought 😦
  2. The election 😐
  3. The shave 😀 we raised nearly $2000 for the Leukaemia Foundation this weekend

Happy Mother’s Day….Hmmm Happy we’re over Halfway through School Holidays Day??

Further Updates:

  • Placement hours slowly getting ticked off, not in any real rush though
  • Have enjoyed reading Jane Harper’s character Aaron Falk
  • We have had rain!! Indeed it’s been sprinkling the last few days (probably not a lot worth measuring but still wet)
  • A lot of un-edited posts were published recently I think when I accidentally deleted the WP app from my phone, oops and oh-well.