Books

Six degrees of Separation – Wonder to Wicked

This wonderful meme is hosted by booksaremyfavouriteandbest,  alice-in-wonderland-4413732_960_720and asks you to take one title, and link through five other titles to see where you end up. Our starting point this month is Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll a well-known classic, I wasn’t a fan of this story as a child growing up with the Disney movie, too scary and fantastical for me, but I did read the book for bookclub and learnt to like it a bit better.

 

My favourite Disney movie was Beauty and the Beast and I only had to go through three pages of versions to find my childhood book written by Jan Carr and illustrated by Katy Bratun, which still sits on the bookshelf at my parents house.

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One of the bloggers I follow has also written a version of this tale Beautiful by Fran Laniado. I havn’t read it yet but I sincerely hope to, especially after reading this goodreads review

[This] felt more like a tale than a novel, a tale where we are told what the characters feel and do the way the writer might in an old fashioned fairytale. The result is the reader turns the pages with great anticipation waiting for the storyteller to give us more and she does. No spoilers but there are beasts and there are beauties and it is the readers job to know the difference.

I find myself still reflecting on Alice and Disney and movies and confess I have been known to mistake an Alice costume for a Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum another classic this one probably more well known for its movie starring Judy Garland. d and a

(Image from an article about ‘Netflix scooping up this franchise potential!)

I just discovered from my reliable goodreads that there is a series of Oz books. While I havn’t read any of them I was inspired to read Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years, #1) by Gregory Maguire after seeing the theatrical production. I believe I may even have given the second in this four part series a go but am still none the wiser how such an amazing musical came from such a …..long book :p

https://youtu.be/_wU3Mw_0rt8

Sorry not sure to add a video to my post!

 

Loved this journey from Alice in Wonderland to the Wicked Witches from Oz.

Happy Reading 🙂

 

 

Books · faith · reviews

Six Degrees of Separation from Three Women to…Redeeming Love

Once again I’m going use this wonderful prompt the Six Degrees of Separation to share some of my recent, let’s call it holiday time, reads. This meme hosted by booksaremyfavouriteandbest,  gets you to take one title, and link through five other titles to see where you end up.

This month we are starting with Three Women by Lisa Taddeo a book i hadn’t heard about prior to the prompt. Goodreads starts with ‘Desire as we’ve never seen it before: a riveting true story about the sex lives of three real American women, based on nearly a decade of reporting.’ My first impression was that it sounded interesting, reviews left me a bit conflicted and I’ve yet to add to my TBR list. I do believe the world needs more frank and honest discussion about sex and this book could possibly be part of that discussion. My chain however takes the topic of sex to it’s evil sister rape in the form of…

Sadie by Courtney Summers. I can’t remember who but one of the bloggers I read has been raving about this book all year and it certainly lived up to its hype for me. From the blurb… “Alternating between Sadie’s unflinching voice as she hunts the [her sisters] killer and the podcast transcripts tracking the clues she’s left behind, Sadie is a breathless thriller.” The story covers Sadie and her sisters childhood in a remote town, with their drug-addicted mother and one (over?) caring neighbour….Sadie is a story about childhood trauma which has been a common theme in my recent reads…

Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton also had the commonality of drugs with two boy lives swiftly changed when their step-fathers drug boss comes to visit. Again from goodreads

‘A novel of love, crime, magic, fate and coming of age, set in Brisbane’s violent working class suburban fringe – A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter. It’s not as if Eli’s life isn’t complicated enough already. He’s just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life just keeps throwing obstacles in the way – not least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary Brisbane drug dealer…A story of brotherhood, true love and the most unlikely of friendships.’

The two books above also included mutism and stuttering, which along with childhood trauma link in with the title of my next chain The Words that Fly Between Us by Sarah Carroll. The blurb read, ” From the outside, it looks like Lucy has the perfect life. She has everything. Everything that money can buy. But money can’t buy Lucy the words she needs to stand up to her bully of a father, the words to escape her suffocating family life, the words to become the person she wants to be.” Again I really enjoyed this book  (perhaps a bit lighter than the two above) including it’s interspersing of texts and blogs.

The book I just finished also covered childhood trauma but unlike the three above written primarily from the perspective of the young adults, this book,  the latest release from my all-time favourite author, The Masterpiece by Francine Riverscovered the effects of trauma on the two main characters lives in adulthood. This ultimate romance, although predictable in it’s ending had so much depth in the journey, I was not disappointed. We are all God’s masterpieces and this book was full of christian grace and wisdom.

It seems fitting for me to end on another Francine Rivers book her classic, my favourite Redeeming Love which like the first book in this chain covers sex with a prostititute for the main character, along with sadly childhood trauma (all these books cover this real and ever present issue in our society well, but I confess it does seem somewhat wrong to follow this as a theme) and the all-important and powerful Redeeming Love of God.

Happy Reading All 🙂

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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 🙂

Books

Six degrees of separation from the French man’s wife to the Australian convict

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

January’s starting point is The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles. I was randomly gifted this book at our annual bookclub Christmas bookswap however never finished it.

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Another older book I recieved at this annual event was Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert. It appears unread in my Goodreads account but I’m sure I finished this thanks to it also being a bookclub read. I seem to remember an interesting feminist discussion was had.

Madame Bovary’s title characters first name was Emma which takes me to another more classical book Emma by Jane Austen. I don’t believe I’ve read this book nor seen the complete movie however I do know I have watched the complete series of Pride And Prejudice along with reading the book which I seem to remember enjoying.

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Another classic I’m sure I’ve read and enjoyed was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte when I was a teenager living at home. It sounds like I need to re-read a few of these to refresh my memory. Another book I read from the shelves at home was For the Term of his Natural Life by Marcus Clarke which for a long time I’ve wanted to re-read to see if it still as good as I remember.

Well I didn’t mean to take a classical theme but there you have it.

Do you have any thoughts on these links/books? Happy Reading 🙂

Books

6 degrees of separation – from Atonement to …the Light Between Oceans

Six Degrees of Separation 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 is Atonement by Ian McEwan. Although I’ve heard about this book and it is generally highly rated I’m not compelled to read it because….

…the only Ian McEwan book I’ve read is The Children Act which I won at a joint bookclub meeting. I only gave it 2/5 and it won’t entice me to read any more of his books in a hurry. Although I did enjoy learning about the antagonist’s perspective as a judge.  This novel reminds me of another book with children in the title…

The Children of Men by P.D James. This was a fairly unsuccessful bookclub pick although again generally highly regarded. It was a suspenseful science-fiction novel with the one lasting image for me of prams with dolls. Goodreads synopsis sets the scene as ‘the human race has become infertile, and the last generation to be born is now adult. Civilization itself is crumbling as suicide and despair become commonplace.’blogAgain the theme of children reminds me of another thriller science-fiction book I read and unfortunately rated lowly, Perfect People by Peter James, again only 2/5.  John and Naomi lose a child and then get the chance to have another baby  guaranteed to have none of the genetic illnesses  passed from the parents. It doesn’t quite go to plan when they end up expecting twins who very quickly show signs of extreme intelligence.

I think I read all of these books around the same time, one of life’s funny coincidences, however to get away from my bad reviews lets move to…

…Claiming Noah by Amanda Ortlepp again covering the issue of infertility except this one I liked :p I guess I’m just not a sci-fi girl (even if I do find the plot-lines very interesting). This book was much more focused on the stories of two mothers whose lives become intertwined.

This leads me to my to-read list with The Light Between Oceans by M.L Stedman which I keep reading great reviews about. Again based on consequences from decisions surrounding fertility, I can’t wait to read it and think I will make it my next choice!

This link certainly stuck to a theme! Hope you all enjoy your August reading 🙂           What books have you been reading lately, heard of any of these?

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

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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 ❤