Books

WWW Wednesday 10th July 2018

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Now I’m back, I’ve been waiting all week to update this meme! Our host is Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s fun and simple, with just three W questions to answer: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next? You can also join by answering and linking your blog post back on Sam’s post here.  

What did you recently finish reading:

The Household Guide to Dying by Debra Adelaide 

Whilst last week I was a bit unsure about this book, I ended up loving it. From Goodreads

Delia has made a living writing an acerbic advice column and a series of wildly successful modern household guides. As the book opens, she is barely 40 but has only a short time to live. The novel charts her preoccupation with two things: how to make provision for her husband and daughters – and how to make her peace with her past.

I think it was a bit slow starting but in reflection, considering the topic I believe it probably needed to be. The time shifts weren’t smooth but the overall pacing and characterisation were great. I have an interest in palliative care and it was from this perspective I read the book and it delivered. From blood sausages to messages left in the lawn, it was quirky and meaningful and I gave it 5/5.

My only other complaint comes from my christian perspective which didn’t quite fit with the ending but I can cope with that.*

What are you currently reading:

I have quite literally just read the first page of The Break by Katherena Vermette so I could tell the truth in this section! One of it’s opening quotes is, “the most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any” by Alice Walker, which rings truth to me and reminds me of a clip I saw on my facebook feed today of a graduation speech:

 

What do you think you’ll read next:

I’ve added a few books to my Goodreads list this last week but it’s Windfall by Penny Vincenzi I’ve requested from the library. I was on a bit of a doctor theme a few weeks back.

High-five to the reading Wolfpack 🙂

 

* I’m just not sure the world can in times to come – a post for another day (or a question to be asked)

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blogging · Books · mental health

June: Six degrees of WWW

I’ve been wondering how to bring myself back into the blogging world after somewhat of a hiatus (just one post since end of March). There are a few drafts sitting around, most of which would take a lot of effort to get back to where I was when I started them.

Today though I finished a great book (not the first since March!) and it may just be my Tipping Point – this months chosen starting title for the meme, Six Degrees of Separation  hosted by booksaremyfavouriteandbest. The meme gets you to take one title, and link through six other titles to see where you end up.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell sounds like my kind of book. I’m a big believer in small acts of kindness and my big ambition in life is to make a difference. His focus however it seems is in how products sell so perhaps not so much my thing.

My most recent depressive experience has turned into quite a tipping point for me – I’ve quite my job, not completed one uni subject and extended another. These are pretty big changes and I wouldn’t normally advocate for making such decisions as a result of depression but after good discussions with my hubby, various friends and lots of prayer I’m feeling pretty comfortable.

Alright, now how I am going to link this to my next book….

Yeah I’m not, instead here’s the list of awesome books I’ve recently read:

  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  • The Kite Runner by Hosseini, Khaled
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • The Very Grumpy Day by Stella Jones

Also for your enjoyment here’s a bit of a review from a WWW Wednesday I attempted rather awhile back

What did you recently finish reading: Tell Me Your Here by Anne Deveson this last (haha) weekend. I really like Deveson’s writing style which in this autobiography (much like her book Resilience)  shares a lot of information and personal story. It showed a harrowing image of mental health care particularly for schizophrenia and around homelessness which thankfully in her Afterword suggested improvement although I’m sure not enough.

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What do you think you’ll read next:

I have Anthony Lehman’s (an Australian comedian) book This Shirt Won’t Iron Itself which I’m looking forward to having a read of – in fact I finished it last week. There was a bit about country living and families I could relate to, especially the bar man brother but the author and I are very different people so majority of the book was really not my thing.

Thanks for having me back WP, hope you readers are all doing well, I’d love to hear about some of your recent reads or maybe a tipping point in your life.

God bless

GJ

 

Books · Uncategorized

March: Six Degrees of Separation

Getting this one in at the last minute – feminism, bookclub and a bit of religion!

Six Degrees of Separation is hosted by booksaremyfavouriteandbest,  and gets you to take one title, and link through six other titles to see where you end up.

The book for March was The Beauty Myth by Naomi Watts. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump, adding lots to my TBR but not making much progress with my current book. I checked this title out on Goodreads, and while the plot summary had me interested the mixed reviews turned me off. In some ways I believe reading books about beauty buys into the cultural myth.

One book I added to my TBR this month was Alias Grace by Margaret Attwood, another author who writes feminist texts. Fran L wrote a great review for this book in her Top Ten Tuesday: Best Dual Timeline Novels. Having read Margaret Attwood before I was more than happy to add another of her titles to my reading list.

Her other title I’ve read is A Handmaids Tale for bookclub a few years ago. I gave it 4/5 at the time and it was a big winner in our group, even with the member who hadn’t read the postlude/notes at the end! Last month I hosted bookclub and my choice wasn’t such a hit.

I chose Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom and had to do a post about my totally awesome hosting skills (ha!) but doubt it will happen. I did cook a few Jewish dishes though which were a hit. The idea of faith and the blurb put a few readers off but they then found the book ok. We talked about how you don’t have to be a Christian to be a good person which of course is totally true. The big difference to me then is where you end up in the afterlife? (or your beliefs of is there an after life or not). Unfortunately believing in God doesn’t make Christians better people (bugger), but despite our imperfections in this life we are forgiven.

One day I would like to get my bookclub to read my all time favourite Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, but although we agree a benefit of bookclub is reading books we wouldn’t normally read I don’t think a specifically Christian novel would go down well.

This months bookclub read was The Bells by Richard Harvel but unfortunately I couldn’t attend (school mum duties drew priority) and I didn’t get a chance to have a look at it. Have you read it, or any of these other reads? Do you choose books for a bookclub?

Hope March has been a good month of reading (or whatever your preferred leisure acitvity is) for you.

blogging · Books · Uncategorized

Six degrees of separation: a new meme!

Special thanks to Luvtoread for choosing to follow me this week and introducing me to this meme – Six Degrees of Separation hosted by booksaremyfavouriteandbest, where you take one title, and link through six other titles to see where you end up.

The book for February is Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. I haven’t read this book or even a full synopsis. In fact the main reason I’m doing this meme today is to talk about a book I’ve almost finished, so I was super glad to read Amazon describe it as ‘a moving and original father-son story’ because the book I want to discuss is a mother-daughter(s) story which is a good enough connection for me!

Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly caught me by surprise. I picked it up from the library without thinking too much about it, just to have an audiobook available for some long drives. I wasn’t overly drawn into the first half, enjoying the characters but finding some details (clothing descriptions) and writing styles (so many character perspectives) not up my alley but the second half proved to be much more than fluff listening with deeper emotional issues addressed which really impacted me. One of the topics was schizophrenia which is making me especially keen to start reading a library book I already have out –

Tell Me I’m Here by Anne Deveson. Anne writes this as mother of a son with schizophrenia and having already read her book,

Resilience (again by Anne Deveson) I trust it will be an interesting and informative read. A book I saw on another of Luvtoread posts was

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl which from my understanding also addresses resilience and which I’m also very keen to read, particularly having had studied a bit about Frankl in my counselling studies. Another book on my tbr list which came to my attention through study is

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks which conicidentally was again in one of luvtoreads posts on an Amazon ‘100 books to read in a lifetime’ list no. 78.

Man that was quick, six books already – I really do love this concept! From Lincoln to a hat….well fancy that :p

Lincoln's+hat

I would like to include another special thanks and shout out to Luvtoread. She’s likely to think I’m a stalker after this post, so Ami, I’d love to direct you back to my blogging resolutions from earlier this  year here and here and welcome you to your spotlight!

Ami lives in California and loves to read and enjoy life. She’s part of a bookclub and as a fellow bookclubber that automatically means she’s amazing! Not to mention she listed one of my favourite authors series in her top ten list 🙂

In her about section she writes – ‘That is what reading is about – discovering something new…Books always teach me something new. ‘ So very very true not only of books but blogs and any reading. She’s a great reviewer so be sure to check her out.

Ami, if I havn’t scared you for life with my stalkerish ways I’d love to know how you found me…I have a theory but I would love to hear from you or anyone, if you/they can remember! Thank you for visiting my blog ❤

 

Books · reviews

WWW Wednesday 7th February 2018

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This is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s fun and simple, you just have to answer the three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next? You can also join by answering and linking your blog post back on Sam’s post here

I think this is my first for the year and I certainly wasn’t planning to write a blog today! After a busy start to the week (read tiring!) I’m now refreshed from watching an episode of a new tv favourite and happily sitting next to hubby while he’s taken over the tv for the cricket leaving me free to share –

What did you recently finish reading:

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry, the second novel in The Giver quartet. I read the first in the series at the end of last year for my Future requirement in the When Are You Reading challenge and my interest was piqued. It was a short book which created another new dystopian world which ended with so much story left to tell. I’m so funny about YA dystopian books. I’m never a big fan but as soon as I see a movie or read a book and get just a bit of a taste I do want to find out as much as possible about the worlds the author creates. I was hoping to find out what happened next in Gathering Blue but instead was given a new world to discover. Sadly I wasn’t really taken with this book except for of course the ending which after a slow book again built pace and interest so yes I will read the third book, which from other reviews seems more well liked.

 

What are you currently reading:

For anyone who met me here last year I’m still reading Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert, well it’s still sitting on my bed side table, not sure reading is an accurate description. I did read another chapter in the summer holidays but can’t imagine getting back to it again until perhaps the next summer holidays!

After Gathering Blue I thought I was going to get myself more thoroughly into My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier. I am loving the writing style of this book and want to read more but at the same time it’s not a complete page turner, hence I was happy enough yesterday to also start Have A Little Faith by Mitch Albom which is my choice for this months bookclub. I have already made notes of a few gems I want to remember. I’m confident in my decision as Albom is a reliably good read.

I also started an audiobook this week for my 6hr plus round study trip – Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly. I’m enjoying it but getting frustrated each time the author introduces a new character narrator!

What do you think you’ll read next:

If I get through my current books it’ll be a true achievement! Next bookclub is The Bells by Richard Harvell but I have until March. I also have Tell Me I’m Here by Anne Deveson out from the library which I really want to get to having read Resilience by the same author.

 

Challenge Progress Tracker

 

1940-1959 – Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez,

The Future – Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

 

Any bloggers out there that can help me with spacing in my blogs? Ie between paragraphs I just can’t figure it out!

blogging · Books · reviews

Holiday Reading

I was so excited about the interactions on my last post I forgot to get writing again…oops, and suddenly a fortnight has almost passed!

Truth is I’ve been busy spending time with the fam bam – we got back yesterday from a week interstate with friends. Lots of fun, laughs, tears and tantrums – don’t you just love holidaying with kids :p All in all however it was a great time away and we kept very busy, in fact I only finished my holiday book last night back at home! Indeed 20 days into January I have only finished 2 books (oh wait 3 – bcb*). I normally go into a reading frenzy during the summer holidays but this year I’ve been spreading my spare time between books, puzzles and tv. I’m finding lately after working on a computer, studying on a computer and catching up on so many awesome blogs my eyes have had enough reading. Anyone else have trouble balancing their reading choices?!

That said the two books I have finished are well worth sharing about:

Wish You Were Here by Sheridan Jobbins –

I loved that the author was Australian. I loved her honesty and reflections (even if at times they seemed to go round and around in circles), I enjoyed her adventures, I loved her car and the new man. In some ways a bit of a cliche post divorce memoir in others completely unique. I loved learning more about America and the life of this interesting woman.

The author herself described it as “basically a rom-com memoir” about how she met her husband. “After leaving my first marriage, I decided to buy a big red car and drive around America, I would spend six weeks driving one way, and six weeks driving back,” she said. “Halfway through I did a stopover in London to visit a friend whose husband had been sick. My friend was studying with this boy and we started to have a fling. It ended up in a bit of a misunderstanding, I thought I was saying ‘I like you’ and he thought I was saying ‘join the trip’. So our third date was four weeks in a Chevy Camaro and a tent arguing across America and that is the bulk of the story.”

Definitely a good holiday read.

Secondly, The End of the Road: Becoming a Mallee Wife by Deborah Hyde –

As a fellow farmer’s wife I really enjoyed relating to much of this memoir and recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about this way of life!

I’ve also watched Big Little Lies the HBO tv series which unfortunately was a bit disappointing. It wasn’t the bits cut or added, I think it worked quite well. I don’t even really care about the ending. It just all seemed so slow to me, a lot of angst and not much action. I think having read the book ruined the build up of tension for me. Good news is that hubby enjoyed it, yay for a accurate recommendation for him!

We have one more week until school goes back but with work, meetings and school book pick up it feels like things will be back into at least half swing. Fortunately I have book club this week reviewing Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a novella (*bcb).

Before I sign off I would like to say a  big special thanks to the FOUR beautiful bloggers who commented on my last post. Even without new content in the last 2 weeks I’ve been feeling super connected. My Spotlight Blogger for today is for “Bryce Warden” who was the first to comment last time. You can find her at  https://wasthatmyoutloudvoice.com – be ready to laugh out loud and experience some warm fuzzies too. She is a busy Mum of teens, business owner, hospice and charity volunteer. She likes mystery novels and lives in the USA experiencing the cold while I am once again sweltering in 40+ degree weather. She’s been a recent find for me but I am very much in love.

I’d love for Bryce (and YOU!) to share, if you wish, about your favourite things to do in your spare time?

Happy Reading!

Books

When Are You Reading 2017 review

According to Goodreads I read 23 books this year and 8,807 pages.

2017

I officially completed the When Are You Reading Challenge, hooray!!

Challenge Progress Tracker

Pre 1500 – The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

1500-1599 – Kitty, My Rib by E.Jane Mall

1600-1699 – Silence by Shūsaku Endō

1700-1799 – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, also An Almond for a Parrot by Wray Delaney

1800-1899  The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton

1900-1919 – Their Sacrifice: the brave and their Bibles by John Harris

1920-1939 – The Small Woman by Alan Burgess

1940-1959 – The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve

1960-1979 – Exposure by Helen Dunmore

1980-1999 – Attachments by Rainbow Rowel

2000-Present – Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

The Future – The Giver by Lois Lowry

 

Onwards and upwards in 2018!!