It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The Its Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey.

Life…

The past week has been a complete write off. I don’t even have any excuses, I just lacked the energy or enthusiasm to do much of anything which is reflected below. This week I have to make the effort though, I’m falling behind too quickly.

Thankfully it will be at least in part a peaceful week. My boys left for their school camp this morning and will be back Wednesday, and my daughter leaves for her camp tomorrow – she is off to Canberra,  our nation’s capital – until Friday. My oldest is still at home but she spends 99% of her time in her room so I can pretend she is isn’t here:)

 

 What I Read Last Week

Cooper Bartholomew is Dead by Rebecca James

Half The World in Winter by Maggie Joel

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Home Baking by Jo Wheatley

 

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Cooper Bartholomew is Dead by Rebecca James ★★★★

Review: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters ★★★1/2

Review: Half the World in Winter by Maggie Joel ★★★

About: A Sudden Light by Garth Stein

Weekend Cooking: Chutney and Cheddar Palmiers from Home Baking by Jo Wheatley

 

What I Am Reading Today

It had been Mother’s secret and mine, one passed down through the de Winter women for generations. I would ensure it was kept that way, until I was ready to pass it on. When Anneke Sheldrake is forced to find a way to support her family after her father is lost at sea, she turns to the business by which her mother’s family once prospered: brewing ale.  Armed with her Dutch mother’s recipes and a belief that anything would be better than the life her vindictive cousin has offered her, she makes a deal with her father’s aristocratic employer: Anneke has six months to succeed or not only will she lose the house but her family as well.  Through her enterprise and determination, she inadvertently earns herself a deadly enemy. Threatened and held in contempt by those she once called friends, Anneke nonetheless thrives. But on the tail of success, tragedy follows and those closest to her pay the greatest price for her daring.  Ashamed, grieving, and bearing a terrible secret, Anneke flees to London, determined to forge her own destiny. Will she be able to escape her past, and those whose only desire is to see her fail? A compelling insight into the brewer’s craft, the strength of women, and the myriad forms love can take.

What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

 

Ella, sweet Ella, you were meant to be mine. You can’t begin to imagine all the things I want to do to you. When the time is right, I will come for you . . . A series of hand-delivered letters leaves Ella scared for her life. Someone is watching her. Wanting her. Someone promising revenge. Desperate for the nightmare to end, Ella will do anything to discover the truth. Even join forces with a man who comes with his own danger warning . .

In the latest thriller by the Edgar-nominated author of Joe Victim, someone is helping rape victims exact revenge on their attackers, prompting an edge-of-your-seat, cat-and-mouse chase between old friends, detectives Theodore Tate and Carl Schroder. Carl Schroder and Theodore Tate, labeled “The Coma Cops” by the media, are finally getting their lives back into shape. Tate has returned to the police force and is grateful to be back at home with his wife, Bridget. For Schroder, things are neither good nor bad. The bullet lodged in his head from a shooting six months ago hasn’t killed him, but, almost as deadly, it’s switched off his emotions. When the body of a convicted rapist is found, obliterated by an oncoming train, Tate works the case, trying to determine if this is murder or suicide. The following night, the bodies of two more rapists surface. It’s hard to investigate when everyone on the police force seems to be rooting for the killer. There’s a common plea detectives get from the loved ones of victims: When you find the man who did this, give me five minutes alone with him. And that’s exactly what someone is doing. Someone is helping these victims get their five minutes alone. But when innocent people start to die, Tate and Schroder find themselves with different objectives, and soon they’re battling something they never would’ve expected: each other.

‘Love comes out of nowhere for most of us, when we least expect it . . . this young man has flown into your heart and made a nest.’ Amidst the carnage of Gallipoli, British nurse Claire Nightingale meets Australian Light Horseman Jamie Wren. Despite all odds, they fall deeply in love. Their flame burns bright and carries them through their darkest hours, even when war tears them apart. Jamie’s chance meeting with Turkish soldier Açar Shahin on the blood-stained battlefield forges an unforgettable bond between the men. It also leaves a precious clue to Jamie’s whereabouts for Claire to follow. Come peacetime, Claire’s desperate search to find Jamie takes her all the way to Istanbul, and deep into the heart of Açar’s family, where she attracts the unexpected attention of a charismatic and brooding scholar. In the name of forgiveness, cultures come together, enemies embrace and forbidden passions ignite – but by the breathtaking conclusion, who will be left standing to capture Nurse Nightingale’s heart? A heart-soaring novel of heartbreak and heroism, love and longing by a powerhouse Australian storyteller

Love hurts… When aspiring writer Guinevere Beck strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe works, he’s instantly smitten. Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: She’s gorgeous, tough, razor-smart, and as sexy as his wildest dreams. Beck doesn’t know it yet, but she’s perfect for him, and soon she can’t resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom made for her. But there’s more to Joe than Beck realizes, and much more to Beck than her oh-so-perfect façade. Their mutual obsession quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences . . . A chilling account of unrelenting passion, Caroline Kepnes’s You is a perversely romantic thriller that’s more dangerously clever than any you’ve read before.

A rare, beguiling and brilliant ghost story from the Miles Franklin Award winning author. Picking up her pace, Frances saw a woman in the leaf-hung depths of the garden. She wore a long pink dress and a wide hat, and her skin was a creamy white. There came upon Frances a sensation that sometimes overtook her when she was looking at a painting: space was foreshortened, time stood still. When Frances met Charlie at a party in Melbourne he was married with a young son. Now she and Charlie live in Sydney with her rescue dog Rod and an unshakeable sense that they have tipped the world on its axis. They are still getting their bearings – of each other and of their adopted city. Everything is alien, unfamiliar, exotic: haunting, even. Worlds of meaning spin out of perfectly chosen words in this rare, beguiling and brilliant ghost story by Miles Franklin Literary Award-winning writer Michelle de Kretser

I

n A Fig at the Gate, author Kate Llewellyn, now in her seventies, embraces a new phase in her life, asking the question, ‘How does one live well?’ Following the joyful crafting of her gardens in the Blue Mountains (The Waterlily) and north of Wollongong (Playing with Water), Kate creates a new garden near the sea in Adelaide, planting olives, plums, limes and blood oranges, learning how to keep poultry, setting a duck on eggs. Delight and enrichment come with the learning of new skills, being close to family and old friends, long companionable beach walks, rediscovering old recipes, food and wine. Wise and joyful, accepting what she cannot change while relishing what she has, Kate shares the beauties and frailties of the human condition and shows us what the gifts of ageing can bring.

Thanks for stopping by!

Weekend Cooking: Chutney and Cheddar Palmiers from Home Baking by Jo Wheatley

wkendcooking

I’ve decided to make the Weekend Cooking meme, hosted by Beth Fish Reads  a regular monthly post at Book’d Out. Cooking is something I enjoy and I have been making more of an effort again lately, so I am looking forward to sharing some of my culinary adventures.

**********************

Title: Home Baking

Author: Jo Wheatley

Published: Constable and Robinson: Allen and Unwin October 2014

My Thoughts:

Jo Wheatley was the 2011 winner of The Great British Bake Off, a television series pitting amateur bakers against one another to win the title of Britain’s best home baker. Home Baking is her second cookbook and includes 100 recipes.

The recipes range from the simple to the sublime and the sweet to the savoury. Home Baking includes recipes for classic treats such as Shortbread, Pretzels, Cornish pastries, Chicken and Leek pie, Salmon En Croute,  Rocky Road and Rasberry Red Velvet Cake as well as those a little more exotic like Parmesan and Pesto Fantail Loaf, Apple, Gooseberry and Elderflower Crumble, Goat’s Cheese and Fig Gougeres, and a Toffee Apple Croquembouche. There is a section devoted to cooking with kids which includes tasty recipes like Lemon and White Chocolate Muffins, Cheesy Mini Ketchup Scones and a Sweetie Spectacular Tray Bake.

This is a large format hardback with matte pages  with full page colour photo’s of the dishes. The recipes are well presented with a short comment to introduce the dish, often offering a tip or two, a bolded list of ingredients and clear prep and cooking instructions. Missing from most recipes however is a an indicator of serving size.

I have marked several recipes I would like to try including the Lemon, White Chocolate and Macadamia Bombs, Easy Italian Soda Bread, Chicken, Chorizo and Potato Frittata, and Portuguese Tarts. During the week I was in need of something to share at a committee meeting and didn’t have a lot of time, so I decided to try Wheatley’s Chutney and Cheddar Palmiers. They were quick to prepare, baked in 15 minutes and were absolutely delicious.

palmiers1

Chutney and Cheddar Palmiers

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets of puff pastry (I used frozen Pampas pastry -mine weren’t shaped quite as well as hers because I let it thaw a little too long.)
  • 1/2 cup grated tasty cheese  (I used Pizza Cheese which combines cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan)
  • 1/2 cup caramelised onion chutney (you can buy this in a jar in the condiment section of your supermarket or it’s simple to make your own)

Method

  • Heat oven to 190C/370F and line 2 shallow baking trays with baking paper
  • Lay out puff pastry and spread chutney over the surface, leaving a small margin around the edges, and then sprinkle with the grated cheese.
  • Starting from two opposite ends, roll pastry to enclose filling until both ends meet in the middle. Use a small, sharp knife to cut into 1.5cm (1/2 inch) slices. Place, cut-side down, on the lined trays.  Press slices gently with palm to flatten slightly.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden brown.
  • Makes 20-24.

You can find more recipes from Jo Wheatley on her blog Jo’s Blue Aga

Home Cooking is available to purchase from

Allen and Unwin Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I Bookworld I via Booko

and all good bookstores.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The Its Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey.

Life…

So much for best laid plains. I got so little done this past week and I’m not even entirely sure why! It was a short week, with last Monday having been a public holiday, but with the kids back at school I expected time to get on top of things, instead it seems the week was eaten up by committee meetings, school stuff and the launch of basketball season. I’m coaching two teams this season – a grade 6 girls team and a grade 3/4 mixed team (both won their respective games on the weekend!).

I’m willing to take some of the blame –  I’m watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. I hadn’t seen even an episode before now but I’ve been curious since reading Lauren Graham’s debut novel, Someday, Someday, Maybe and also because I’m a fan of Parenthood, in which she stars. I didn’t expect to find it so addictive and instead of reading til 2 or 3 in the morning, I’m watching Gilmore Girls episodes instead (I’ve just started Season 4)!

 

What I Read Last Week

 

The Night Garden by Lisa Van Allen

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

Love Me or Leave Me by Claudia Carroll

Nora Webster by Colm Toibin

 

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Outback Ghost by Rachael Johns ★★★★1/2

Review: Killing Adonis by J.M. Donellan ★★★1/2

Review: The Night Garden by Lisa Van Allen ★★★

Review: Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher ★★★1/2

Review: Love Me or Leave Me by Claudia Carroll ★★★

Review: Bite Harder by Anonymous-9 ★★★

About: Nora Webster by Colm Toibin

 

What I Am Reading Today

Cooper Bartholomew’s body is found at the foot of a cliff.  Suicide. That’s the official finding, that’s what everyone believes. Cooper’s girlfriend, Libby, has her doubts. They’d been happy, in love. Why would he take his own life? As Libby searches for answers, and probes more deeply into what really happened the day Cooper died, she and her friends unravel a web of deception and betrayal.  Are those friends – and enemies – what they seem?  Who is hiding a dangerous secret? And will the truth set them all free?

 

What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

 

It is London, 1880, and Lucas Jarmyn struggles to make sense of the death of his beloved youngest daughter; his wife, Aurora, seeks solace in rigid social routines; and eighteen-year-old Dinah looks for fulfilment in unusual places. Only the housekeeper, the estimable Mrs Logan, seems able to carry on. A train accident in a provincial town on the railway Lucas owns claims the life of nine-year-old Alice Brinklow and, amid the public outcry, Alice’s father, Thomas, journeys to London demanding justice. As he arrives in the Capital on a frozen January morning his fate, and that of the entire Jarmyn family, will hinge on such strange things as an ill-fated visit to a spiritualist, an errant chicken bone and a single vote cast at a board room meeting. Written with charm, humour and rich period detail, Maggie Joel has created an intriguing novel of a Victorian family adrift in their rapidly changing world.

 

It had been Mother’s secret and mine, one passed down through the de Winter women for generations. I would ensure it was kept that way, until I was ready to pass it on. When Anneke Sheldrake is forced to find a way to support her family after her father is lost at sea, she turns to the business by which her mother’s family once prospered: brewing ale.  Armed with her Dutch mother’s recipes and a belief that anything would be better than the life her vindictive cousin has offered her, she makes a deal with her father’s aristocratic employer: Anneke has six months to succeed or not only will she lose the house but her family as well.  Through her enterprise and determination, she inadvertently earns herself a deadly enemy. Threatened and held in contempt by those she once called friends, Anneke nonetheless thrives. But on the tail of success, tragedy follows and those closest to her pay the greatest price for her daring.  Ashamed, grieving, and bearing a terrible secret, Anneke flees to London, determined to forge her own destiny. Will she be able to escape her past, and those whose only desire is to see her fail? A compelling insight into the brewer’s craft, the strength of women, and the myriad forms love can take.

Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.

Ella, sweet Ella, you were meant to be mine. You can’t begin to imagine all the things I want to do to you. When the time is right, I will come for you . . . A series of hand-delivered letters leaves Ella scared for her life. Someone is watching her. Wanting her. Someone promising revenge. Desperate for the nightmare to end, Ella will do anything to discover the truth. Even join forces with a man who comes with his own danger warning . .

Jo Wheatley, winner of the Great British Bake Off 2011, shares a new collection of the hearty food she brought her three hungry boys up on, the fool proof recipes handed down to her by her Nan, and the treats she delights her extended family and friends with. All of the 100 recipes featured have been taste tested and enjoyed by generations of Jo’s family, and are now ready to be enjoyed by yours. Easy recipes for little ones, tasty pies and tarts, delicious pastries and sumptuous cakes all fill the pages of Home Baking, and all will make you want to roll up your sleeves and turn on the oven. Jo’s recipes are refreshingly simple and honest, and all made regularly for her family. From a classic focaccia, to delicious chocolate and honeycomb bars, perfect American pancakes and a spectacular croquembouche, Home Baking will fill your home with fantastic homemade food all year round.

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The Its Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey.

Life…

I feel a bit guilty about how little I accomplished this week but the lure of beautiful weather and fun days out with the kids and friends proved too strong. Thankfully, the children return to school tomorrow and I will maybe have a chance to catch up.

It’s the first Monday of the month so here is a quick update on my challenge progress so far…

SNAG-0207

The Eclectic Reader Challenge 11/12

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 82/50 – Completed!

Aussie Author Challenge 12/12 – Completed!

Around the World in 12 Books Challenge 11/12

What I Read Last Week

 

 Can Anybody Help Me? by Sinead Crowley

The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott

Reluctantly Charmed by Ellie O’Neill

Outback Ghost by Rachael Johns

Cook Book by Matt Preston

Killing Adonis by J.L. Donnellan

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Hello from the Gillespies by Monica McIerney ★★★★

Review:: The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott   ★★★

Reluctantly Charmed Blog Tour: Ellie O’Neill on Irish Folklore

Review: Reluctantly Charmed by Ellie O’Neill ★★★★

Review: Can Anybody Help Me? by Sinead Crowley ★★★1/2

Weekend Cooking: Cook Book by Matt Preston

*Australian Women Writers Blog : September 2014: General Fiction*

** Book’d Out was featured at : Wonderlust Adventures**

What I Am Reading Today

 

Nestled in the bucolic town of Green Valley in upstate New York, the Pennywort farm appears ordinary, yet at its center lies something remarkable: a wild maze of colorful gardens that reaches beyond the imagination. Local legend says that a visitor can gain answers to life’s most difficult problems simply by walking through its lush corridors. Yet the labyrinth has never helped Olivia Pennywort, the garden’s beautiful and enigmatic caretaker. She has spent her entire life on her family’s land, harboring a secret that forces her to keep everyone at arm’s length. But when her childhood best friend, Sam Van Winkle, returns to the valley, Olivia begins to question her safe, isolated world and wonders if she at last has the courage to let someone in. As she and Sam reconnect, Olivia faces a difficult question: Is the garden maze that she has nurtured all of her life a safe haven or a prison?

What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled offices. His once-promising writing career is in the doldrums, as is his romantic life, in part as the result of his unwise use of his private affairs for his novels. His star (he thinks) student can’t catch a break with his brilliant (he thinks) work Accountant in a Bordello, based on Melville’s Bartleby. In short, his life is a tale of woe, and the vehicle this droll and inventive novel uses to tell that tale is a series of hilarious letters of recommendation that Fitger is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce, each one of which is a small masterpiece of high dudgeon, low spirits, and passive-aggressive strategies. We recommend Dear Committee Members to you in the strongest possible terms.

Cooper Bartholomew’s body is found at the foot of a cliff.  Suicide. That’s the official finding, that’s what everyone believes. Cooper’s girlfriend, Libby, has her doubts. They’d been happy, in love. Why would he take his own life? As Libby searches for answers, and probes more deeply into what really happened the day Cooper died, she and her friends unravel a web of deception and betrayal.  Are those friends – and enemies – what they seem?  Who is hiding a dangerous secret? And will the truth set them all free?

It is the late 1960s in Ireland. Nora Webster is living in a small town, looking after her four children, trying to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. She is fiercely intelligent, at times difficult and impatient, at times kind, but she is trapped by her circumstances, and waiting for any chance which will lift her beyond them. Slowly, through the gift of music and the power of friendship, she finds a glimmer of hope and a way of starting again. As the dynamic of the family changes, she seems both fiercely self-possessed but also a figure of great moral ambiguity, making her one of the most memorable heroines in contemporary fiction. The portrait that is painted in the years that follow is harrowing, piercingly insightful, always tender and deeply true.

It is London, 1880, and Lucas Jarmyn struggles to make sense of the death of his beloved youngest daughter; his wife, Aurora, seeks solace in rigid social routines; and eighteen-year-old Dinah looks for fulfilment in unusual places. Only the housekeeper, the estimable Mrs Logan, seems able to carry on. A train accident in a provincial town on the railway Lucas owns claims the life of nine-year-old Alice Brinklow and, amid the public outcry, Alice’s father, Thomas, journeys to London demanding justice. As he arrives in the Capital on a frozen January morning his fate, and that of the entire Jarmyn family, will hinge on such strange things as an ill-fated visit to a spiritualist, an errant chicken bone and a single vote cast at a board room meeting. Written with charm, humour and rich period detail, Maggie Joel has created an intriguing novel of a Victorian family adrift in their rapidly changing world.

Chloe Townsend was dumped at the altar. But now she’s landed an incredible job, running a brand new boutique hotel with a difference. It’s a pioneering ‘divorce hotel’, designed to make every aspect of breaking-up pain free – all in a single weekend. No one is better qualified than Chloe to deal with relationships at crisis point, but, with three unhappy couples needing her help, she’s forced to tackle her own secret heartbreak. Can she hold it together and prove that she’s up for the job? The hotel’s opening weekend brings troubles and surprises, and it soon becomes clear that some endings can be very exciting new beginnings…

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Weekend Cooking: Cook Book by Matt Preston

wkendcooking

I’ve decided to make the Weekend Cooking meme, hosted by Beth Fish Reads  a regular monthly post at Book’d Out. Cooking is something I enjoy and I have been making more of an effort again lately, so I am looking forward to sharing some of my culinary adventures.

**********************

Title: Cook Book

Author: Matt Preston

Published: Plum: Pan Macmillan October 2014

My Thoughts:

Matt Preston is a food critic and an editor for Taste Magazine but is best known as the chin stroking, cravat wearing co-host on the popular Australian television series of Master Chef.

The Cook Book is Matt’s second published recipe collection boasting ‘187 recipes that will make you incredibly popular’ and ‘Amazing cheats and food hacks’ with a centerfold to boot. It’s a large format softback with matte pages where the recipe faces an attractive full page colour photo of the dish.

Matt begins with a fairly standard introduction before offering advice on being a good guest, and a long list of rules for hosting the perfect dinner with friends. To be fair his guidance is sensible and useful including tips such as – ‘When you are planning the menu, serve as many things as possible that can be prepped ahead. You want to spend time with your guests, not alone in the kitchen.’ and ‘Don’t forget to put BBQ gas, booze and other drinks, too much ice and good toilet paper on the shopping list.’

Preston states that he has three firm rules when he writes a cookbook
1. The recipes must be simple
2. The ingredients in the vast majority must be available from a local supermarket
3. There can never be a pasta salad in the book.

The recipes are well presented with a short comment to introduce the dish, often offering a tip or two, a bolded list of ingredients and clear prep and cooking instructions. The Cook Book includes recipes for Breakfasts, Soups, Salads and Vegetables, Ubersalads, Snacks, Pasta, Seafood, Chicken and Duck, Meat, Desserts, and Afternoon Tea.

As promised, some recipes are very simple, for example Ice Cream Bread, Idiot Cake and Pizza Dough each have only two ingredients. Preston also builds on some of his basic recipes suggesting ‘4 ways with burgers’, ‘3 ways with flatbread’ ‘3 ways with kale’ and ’30 other things to do with chicken mince’.

Preston takes inspiration from a range of cultures for his presented dishes that include Middle Eastern Rice Pudding, Thai Pumpkin Soup, Spanakopita Filo Triangles, Blackened Lamb Backstraps with Turkish Muhammara and Ice Cream Peanut Butter Sandwiches. He also offers recipes for classic dishes such as Meatloaf, Potato Salad and Quiche Lorraine, with his own twist.

I’ve used his recipes to make Sticky Chicken Drummies and Thai Chicken Sausage Rolls {but I lost both photo’s with the iOS 8 upgrade}. They were, however, delicious and I still have a few recipes bookmarked to try including Chicken Loaf with Onion Jam, Pain Roules, Smoky Corn Macherony and Butternut Snap Tarts.

You can find a selection of recipes from Matt Preston – though not those found in this book, at Master Chef Australia and Taste.com.au

Cook Book is available to purchase from

Pan Macmilan Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I Bookworld I via Booko

and all good bookstores.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The Its Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey.

Life…

  meme3_zpse7a85ffe

What I Read Last Week

 

 Rachael’s Gift by Alexandra Cameron

The Sunnyvale Girls by Fiona Palmer

The Hawley Book of the Dead by Chrysler Szarlon

Rain Dance by Karen Wood

Hello From the Gillespies by Monica McIerney

Bite Harder by Anonymous 9

 

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

AWW Feature: Visiting Italy with Fiona Palmer and The Sunnyvale Girls

Review: The Sunnyvale Girls by Fiona Palmer ★★★★

Review: Lyrebird Hill by Anna Romer ★★★★

Review: The Hawley Book of the Dead by Chrysler Szarlon ★★1/2

Review: Rachael’s Gift by Alexandra Cameron ★★★★1/2

Review: Rain Dance by Karen Wood ★★★1/2

Stuff On Sundays: The Most Well-Read Cities in Australia

What I Am Reading Today

 

It was crazy really, she had never met the woman, had no idea of her real name but she thought of her as a friend. Or, at least, the closest thing she had to a friend in Dublin. Struggling with a new baby, Yvonne turns to netmammy, an online forum for mothers, for support. Drawn into a world of new friends, she spends increasing amounts of time online and volunteers more and more information about herself. When one of her new friends goes offline, Yvonne thinks something is wrong, but dismisses her fears. After all, does she really know this woman? But when the body of a young woman with striking similarities to Yvonne’s missing friend is found, Yvonne realises that they’re all in terrifying danger. Can she persuade Sergeant Claire Boyle, herself about to go on maternity leave, to take her fears seriously?

What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

On an ordinary day, at an air show like that in any small town across the country, a plane crashes into a crowd of spectators, killing and injuring dozens. But when the dust clears, a thirteen-year-old girl named Ava is found huddled beneath a pocket of rubble with her best friend, Wash. He is injured and bleeding, and when Ava places her hands over him, his wounds miraculously disappear. Ava has a unique gift: she can heal others of their physical ailments. Until the air show tragedy, her gift was a secret. But now the whole world knows, and suddenly Ava is thrust into the spotlight. People from all over the globe begin flocking to her small town, looking for healing and eager to glimpse the wonder of a miracle. But Ava’s unusual ability comes at a great cost, her own health, and as she grows weaker with each healing, Ava begins searching for an escape. Wash agrees to help Ava, but little does she know he has his own secret he’s been harboring, and soon Ava finds herself having to decide just how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to save the one she loves most.

 

Stella only wanted a holiday… the last thing she expected was a love interest and a possible ghost. Third-generation farmer Adam Burton has always tried to keep his family together, but twenty years after his little sister went missing from the family farm he’s losing hope. His dad has walked out, his mum is as reclusive as ever and he still blames himself for his sister’s disappearance. When Stella Reynolds and her young daughter arrive from the big smoke to stay at the holiday cottage on their farm for the summer, Adam is immediately attracted to the beautiful single mum. Although he’s always steered clear of children and doesn’t believe he deserves love or a family of his own, he finds himself spending time with Stella and her young daughter, Heidi, and enjoying it. As the twenty-year old mystery begins to unravel, Stella wonders if she should take her daughter and run. But doing so is easier said than done, because Stella just might be falling in love with Bunyip Bay and a gorgeous, but hurting, farmer.

Kate McDaid is listing her new-year’s resolutions hoping to kick-start her rather stagnant love life and career when she gets some very strange news. To her surprise, she is the sole benefactor of a great great-great-great aunt and self-proclaimed witch also called Kate McDaid, who died over 130 years ago. As if that isn’t strange enough, the will instructs that, in order to receive the inheritance, Kate must publish seven letters, one by one, week by week. Burning with curiosity, Kate agrees and opens the first letter – and finds that it’s a passionate plea to reconnect with the long-forgotten fairies of Irish folklore. Almost instantaneously, Kate’s life is turned upside down. Her romantic life takes a surprising turn and she is catapulted into the public eye. As events become stranger and stranger – and she discovers things about herself she’s never known before – Kate must decide whether she can fulfil her great-aunt’s final, devastating request … and whether she can face the consequences if she doesn’t. Witty, enchanting and utterly addictive, Reluctantly Charmed is about what happens when life in the fast lane collides with the legacy of family, love and its possibilities … and a little bit of magic.

LIGHT DUTIES, LARGE PAY, NO QUESTIONS ASKED … OR ANSWERED After seeing a curious flyer, Freya takes a job caring for Elijah, the comatose son of the eccentric Vincetti family. She soon discovers that the Vincetti’s labyrinthine mansion hides a wealth of secrets, their corporate rivals have a nasty habit of being extravagantly executed, and Elijah is not the saint they portray him to be. As well, Marilyn Monroe keeps showing up, unaware she’s very much deceased. And there’s something very strange about the story that Elijah’s brother Jack is writing … Killing Adonis is a tragicomic tale about love, delusion, corporate greed and the hazards of using pineapple cutters while hallucinating

Chloe Townsend was dumped at the altar. But now she’s landed an incredible job, running a brand new boutique hotel with a difference. It’s a pioneering ‘divorce hotel’, designed to make every aspect of breaking-up pain free – all in a single weekend. No one is better qualified than Chloe to deal with relationships at crisis point, but, with three unhappy couples needing her help, she’s forced to tackle her own secret heartbreak. Can she hold it together and prove that she’s up for the job? The hotel’s opening weekend brings troubles and surprises, and it soon becomes clear that some endings can be very exciting new beginnings…

Matt Preston’s simple, hearty recipes have been finding their way into family repertoires for more than a decade now. This latest collection brings together nearly 200 of his favourite dishes, from slow-cooked roasts and tasty braises to mouth-watering desserts and tea-time treats. But it’s not all twice-cooked sticky ribs and croissant bread and butter puddings; within these pages you’ll also find killer kale recipes, fresh, Asian-inspired starters and more delicious salads than you can shake a stick at! Scattered throughout are handfuls of food ‘hacks': 2-ingredient cakes, sneaky cheats’ tips and tricks to make everyday cooking even faster.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The Its Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey.

Life…

 With the start of school holidays I won’t have a lot of time in front of the computer.  In order to keep the kids entertained I am planning trips to the beach, the cycle park, the aquatic center plus we have some scouting activities to attend and we are thinking of going camping for the weekend.

Meanwhile, my parents are on a 10 day cruise to Vanuatu!

 

What I Read Last Week

 Best to Laugh by Lorna Landvik

Tumbledown Manor by Helen brown

One Kick by Chelsea Cain

Lyrebird Hill by Anna Romer

The Book of Days by K.A. Barker

 

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts ★★★★1/2

Review: Best to Laugh by Lorna Landvik ★★★

Review: Tumbledown Manor by Helen Brown ★★1/2

Review: One Kick by Chelsea Cain ★★★★

About: The Book of Days by K.A. Barker

Stuff On Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

What I Am Reading Today

 

Rachael is a child prodigy, a talented artist whose maturity and eloquence is far beyond her fourteen years. She’s also energetic, charming and beautiful, beguiling everyone around her. To her mother, Camille, she is perfect. But perfection requires work, as Camille knows all too well. For Rachael has another extraordinary gift: a murky one that rears its head from time to time, threatening to unbalance all the family has been working towards. When Rachael accuses her art teacher of sexual misconduct, Wolfe and Camille are drawn into a complex web of secrets and lies that pit husband against wife, and have the power to destroy all their lives. Set in contrasting worlds of Australia and Paris, told from the perspective of husband and wife, Rachael’s Gift is a detective story of the heart, about a mother’s uncompromising love for her daughter and a father’s quest for the truth

What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Three generations of Stewart women share a deep connection to their family farm, but a secret from the past threatens to tear them apart. Widowed matriarch Maggie remembers a time when the Italian prisoners of war came to work on their land, changing her heart and her home forever. Single mum Toni has been tied to the place for as long as she can recall, although farming was never her dream. And Flick is as passionate about the farm as a young girl could be, despite the limited opportunities for love. When a letter from 1946 is unearthed in an old cottage on the property, the Sunnyvale girls find themselves on a journey deep into their own hearts and all the way across the world to Italy. Their quest to solve a mystery leads to incredible discoveries about each other, and about themselves.

Revelation “Reve” Dyer grew up with her grandmother’s family stories, stretching back centuries to Reve’s ancestors, who founded the town of Hawley Five Corners, Massachusetts. Their history is steeped in secrets, for few outsiders know that an ancient magic runs in the Dyer women’s blood, and that Reve is a magician whose powers are all too real. Reve and her husband are world-famous Las Vegas illusionists. They have three lovely young daughters, a beautiful home, and what seems like a charmed life. But Reve’s world is shattered when an intruder alters her trick pistol and she accidentally shoots and kills her beloved husband onstage. Fearing for her daughters’ lives, Reve flees with them to the place she has always felt safest—an antiquated farmhouse in the forest of Hawley Five Corners, where the magic of her ancestors reigns, and her oldest friend—and first love—is the town’s chief of police. Here, in the forest, with its undeniable air of enchantment, Reve hopes she and her girls will be protected. Delving into the past for answers, Reve is drawn deeper into her family’s legends. What she discovers is The Hawley Book of the Dead, an ancient leather-bound journal holding mysterious mythic power. As she pieces together the truth behind the book, Reve will have to shield herself and her daughters against an uncertain, increasingly dangerous fate. For soon it becomes clear that the stranger who upended Reve’s life in Las Vegas has followed her to Hawley—and that she has something he desperately wants.

For the past thirty-three years, Angela Gillespie has sent to friends and family around the world an end-of-the-year letter titled “Hello from the Gillespies.” It’s always been cheery and full of good news. This year, Angela surprises herself–she tells the truth….  The Gillespies are far from the perfect family that Angela has made them out to be. Her husband is coping badly with retirement. Her thirty-two-year-old twins are having career meltdowns. Her third daughter, badly in debt, can’t stop crying. And her ten-year-old son spends more time talking to his imaginary friend than to real ones.  Without Angela, the family would fall apart. But when Angela is taken away from them in a most unexpected manner, the Gillespies pull together–and pull themselves together–in wonderfully surprising ways…  From the bestselling author of The House of Memories comes a funny and heartfelt novel about miscommunication and mayhem in a family like no other.

 

You should come to the drought-relief fundraiser,’ Kaydon said to Holly. ‘It’s a big fancy ball, heaps of fun.’ Boy, could this girl use some fun. And some rump steak. Holly shook her head. Kaydon gave up. Trying to make her smile was like doing a rain dance. There were clouds and rumblings, and a sprinkle here and there. But no amount of fancy footwork was going to make it happen for real. Holly Harvey doesn’t want to move to Gunnedah, far from her friends and her home near the beach. And she’s a vegetarian, so living on a beef property, with cattle yards, polo ponies and pig-shooting, makes it even worse. She and Kaydon are worlds apart – until a fight breaks out at the fundraising ball.

It was crazy really, she had never met the woman, had no idea of her real name but she thought of her as a friend. Or, at least, the closest thing she had to a friend in Dublin. Struggling with a new baby, Yvonne turns to netmammy, an online forum for mothers, for support. Drawn into a world of new friends, she spends increasing amounts of time online and volunteers more and more information about herself. When one of her new friends goes offline, Yvonne thinks something is wrong, but dismisses her fears. After all, does she really know this woman? But when the body of a young woman with striking similarities to Yvonne’s missing friend is found, Yvonne realises that they’re all in terrifying danger. Can she persuade Sergeant Claire Boyle, herself about to go on maternity leave, to take her fears seriously?

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The Its Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey.

Life…

I have had a particularly hectic past week leading up to and including the weekend. I spent ten hours (two consecutive three hour shows) behind the scenes of my daughter’s annual gymnastic concerts on Saturday wrangling 200+ kids aged between 3 and 22, ensuring that everybody made it on stage when they were supposed to, and then all day Sunday at my children’s school’s annual Fete. I am quite frankly exhausted!

Next week the usually daily chaos multiples as it is school holidays so my kids will be home 24/7

What I Read Last Week

 

 Already Dead by Jaye Ford

Can You Keep a Secret? by Caroline Overington

The French Prize by Cathryn Hein

Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts

 

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: The Moment of Everything by Shelly King ★★★★1/2

Review: Already Dead by Jaye Ford ★★★★1/2

Review: The French Prize by Cathryn Hein ★★★

Review: Can You Keep a Secret? by Caroline Overington

Review: The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg ★★★★1/2

Stuff On Sundays: What My Kids are Reading…

What I Am Reading Today

 

No one steps up to life’s banquet, holds out her tray, and orders, “Grief, please!” But as a child, Candy Pekkala was served a heaping helping of it. Every buffet line has a dessert section, however, and when a cousin calls with a Hollywood apartment to sublet, it seems as though Candy is finally offered something sweet. It’s good-bye to Minnesota and hello to California, where a girl who has always lived by her wits has a real chance of making a living with them. With that, the irrepressible Lorna Landvik launches her latest irresistible character onto the world stage—or at least onto the dimly lit small stage where stand-up comedy gets its start. Herself a comic performer, Landvik taps her own adventurous past and Minnesota roots to conjure Candy’s life in this strange new Technicolor home. Her fellow tenants at Peyton Hall include a female bodybuilder, a ruined nightclub impresario, and a well-connected old Romanian fortune-teller. There are game show appearances and temp jobs at a record company and an establishment suspiciously like the Playboy Mansion, and of course the alluring but not always welcoming stage of stand-up comedy. As she hones her act, Candy is tested by humiliation, hecklers, and the inherent sexism that insists “chicks aren’t funny.” Written with the light touch and quiet wisdom that have made her works so popular, this is classic Lorna Landvik—sometimes so funny, you’ll cry; sometimes so sad, you might as well laugh; and always impossible to put down.

What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Life’s going down the gurgler for romance writer Lisa Trumperton. The deadline for her next novel is looming, her daughter won’t eat but has a new tattoo each week, and now her Wall Street trader husband has run off with a woman at work. Lisa makes a quick escape, home to Australia, where at least her girl-magnet son seems to be making hay. Determined to grow older disgracefully, she turns her back on a trim and tidy townhouse that is close to shops, aged-care providers and her bossy older sister, instead buying a grand old house in the country that once belonged to her great-grandfather. But like its new owner, Trumperton Manor has seen better days. Crumbling, filthy and possibly haunted, the old house defies Lisa’s attempts to restore it. Add flood, fire and family secrets, plus a stray cat with attitude and an overly familiar handyman, and the cracks begin to show. . . Richly observed and laugh-out-loud funny, Tumbledown Manor is for anyone who believes it’s never too late for a makeover.

When all that you know comes crashing down, do you run? Or face the truth? Ruby Cardel has the semblance of a normal life – a loving boyfriend, a fulfilling career – but in one terrible moment, her life unravels. The discovery that the death of her sister, Jamie, was not an accident makes her question all she’s known about herself and her past. Travelling back home to Lyrebird Hill, Ruby begins to remember the year that has been forever blocked in her memory . . . Snatches of her childhood with beautiful Jamie, and Ruby’s only friendship with the boy from the next property, a troubled foster kid. Then Ruby uncovers a cache of ancient letters from a long-lost relative, Brenna Magavin, written from her cell in a Tasmanian gaol where she is imprisoned for murder. As she reads, Ruby discovers that her family line is littered with tragedy and violence. Slowly, the gaps in Ruby’s memory come to her. And as she pieces together the shards of truth, what she finally discovers will shock her to the core – about what happened to Jamie that fateful day, and how she died. A thrilling tale about family secrets and trusting yourself…

 

Kick Lannigan, 21, is a survivor. Abducted at age six in broad daylight, the police, the public, perhaps even her family assumed the worst had occurred. And then Kathleen Lannigan was found, alive, six years later. In the early months following her freedom, as Kick struggled with PTSD, her parents put her through a litany of therapies, but nothing helped until the detective who rescued her suggested Kick learn to fight. Before she was thirteen, Kick learned marksmanship, martial arts, boxing, archery, and knife throwing. She excelled at every one, vowing she would never be victimized again. But when two children in the Portland area go missing in the same month, Kick goes into a tailspin. Then an enigmatic man Bishop approaches her with a proposition: he is convinced Kick’s experiences and expertise can be used to help rescue the abductees. Little does Kick know the case will lead directly into her terrifying past…

Rachael is a child prodigy, a talented artist whose maturity and eloquence is far beyond her fourteen years. She’s also energetic, charming and beautiful, beguiling everyone around her. To her mother, Camille, she is perfect. But perfection requires work, as Camille knows all too well. For Rachael has another extraordinary gift: a murky one that rears its head from time to time, threatening to unbalance all the family has been working towards. When Rachael accuses her art teacher of sexual misconduct, Wolfe and Camille are drawn into a complex web of secrets and lies that pit husband against wife, and have the power to destroy all their lives. Set in contrasting worlds of Australia and Paris, told from the perspective of husband and wife, Rachael’s Gift is a detective story of the heart, about a mother’s uncompromising love for her daughter and a father’s quest for the truth

 

Most people believe the best way to forget someone is to throw them down a well. Or lock them in a room with eight keys, or bury them at a crossroad in the thirteenth hour. But they’re wrong. The best way to forget someone is for them never to have existed in the first place. When sixteen-year-old Tuesday wakes from sleep for the first time, she opens her eyes to a world filled with wonder – and peril. Left only with a letter from the person she once was, Tuesday sets out to discover her past with the help of her charming and self-serving guide, Quintalion. Along the way she runs into mercenaries, flying cities, airships, and a blind librarian. But what is her connection with the mysterious Book of Days – a book that holds untold power..

 

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The Its Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey.

Life…

Yesterday we celebrated Father’s Day in Australia. My oldest daughter was performing in a fundraiser event one town over so we all went along and met my parents there for lunch. It has been raining for days here but the sun finally came out so we all enjoyed a lovely afternoon by the lake.

The first photo is of my husband with our children, the second is of my dad.

fathersday_2014fathersday_2014-wdad

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Thank you again to all those who stopped by to celebrate Book’d Out’s 4th birthday and leave me messages of congratulations. I am truly grateful and humbled by your kind words and support.

I am thrilled to announce the winners of my 4th blog birthday celebrations

Kathryn T has won the $25 gift certificate to Gone Reading

Winners of the Amazon/Book Depository gift certificates are:

Helen B; Carol M and Tracey S

{Winners will be contacted via email}

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What I Read Last Week

 

Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan

Mothers and Daughters by Kylie Ladd

Craven by Melanie Casey

Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

The Moment of Everything by Shelly King

 

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Mothers and Daughters by Kylie Ladd ★★★★

Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas ★★★★1/2

Review: Craven by Melanie Casey ★★★

Review: Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan ★★★1/2

Review: The Children Act by Ian McEwan ★★★1/2

Weekend Cooking: Tacolicious by Sara Deseran et al

*At the AWWC Blog: General Fiction: August 2014*

What I Am Reading Today

 

Miranda shrank away from him, arm pressed to the driver’s door. ‘What’s your name?’ ‘I’m already dead. That’s my name now. That’s what they called me. I’m Already Dead.’
Journalist Miranda Jack is finally attempting to move on from the death of her husband by relocating up the coast with her young daughter, Zoe. Then a single event changes everything. On a Monday afternoon as she waits at traffic lights, a stranger jumps into her car and points a gun at her chest. Forced to drive at high speed up the motorway, Miranda listens to the frantic, paranoid rants of Brendan Walsh, a man who claims he’s being chased and that they’re both now running for their lives. Two hours later her ordeal is over in the most shocking fashion. Miranda is safe but she can’t simply walk away – not without knowing the truth about that terrifying drive. As a journalist Miranda has always asked questions. But this time the questions are dangerous – and the answers might get her killed . .

What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

An ancient riddle, a broken vow – a modern-day quest for a medieval treasure. Australian-born Dr. Olivia Walker is an Oxford academic with a reputation as one of the world’s leading Crusade historians and she’s risked everything on finding one of the most famous swords in history – Durendal. Shrouded in myth and mystery, the sword is fabled to have belonged to the warrior Roland, a champion of Charlemagne’s court, and Olivia is determined to prove to her detractors that the legend is real. Her dream is almost within reach when she discovers the long-lost key to its location in Provence, but her benefactor – Raimund Blancard – has other ideas. For more than a millennium, the Blancard family have protected the sword. When his brother is tortured and killed by a man who believes he is Roland’s rightful heir, Raimund vows to end the bloodshed forever. He will find Durendal and destroy it, but to do that he needs Olivia’s help. Now Olivia is torn between finding the treasure for which she has hunted all her life and helping the man she has fallen in love with destroy her dream. And all the while, Raimund’s murderous nemesis is on their trail, and he will stop at nothing to claim his birthright.

How well do you really know the one you love?  With her customary page-turning style and potent themes, this is Caroline Overington at her thought-provoking best.  ‘Why do some people decide to get married when everyone around them would seem to agree that marriage, at least for the two people in question, is a terrifically bad idea?’ The year is 1999, and Lachlan Colbert – Colby – has the world at his feet. He’s got a big job on Wall Street and a sleek bachelor pad in the heart of Manhattan. With money no object, he and his friends take a trip to Australia to see in the new millennium. And it’s there, on a hired yacht sailing the Whitsundays, that he meets Caitlin.  Caitlin Hourigan has got wild hair and torn shorts – and has barely ever left the small patch of Queensland where she grew up. But Colby is smitten and for Caitlin, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, a blissful future awaits – marriage, a big house, a beautiful little boy. But nothing is ever as perfect as it seems. And for Lachlan and Caitlin the nightmare is only just beginning.

“When I was little I believed in Jesus and Santa, spontaneous combustion, and the Loch Ness monster. Now I believe in science, statistics, and antibiotics.” So says seventeen-year-old Zac Meier during a long, grueling leukemia treatment in Perth, Australia. A loud blast of Lady Gaga alerts him to the presence of Mia, the angry, not-at-all-stoic cancer patient in the room next door. Once released, the two near-strangers can’t forget each other, even as they desperately try to resume normal lives. The story of their mysterious connection drives this unflinchingly tough, tender novel told in two voices.

No one steps up to life’s banquet, holds out her tray, and orders, “Grief, please!” But as a child, Candy Pekkala was served a heaping helping of it. Every buffet line has a dessert section, however, and when a cousin calls with a Hollywood apartment to sublet, it seems as though Candy is finally offered something sweet. It’s good-bye to Minnesota and hello to California, where a girl who has always lived by her wits has a real chance of making a living with them. With that, the irrepressible Lorna Landvik launches her latest irresistible character onto the world stage—or at least onto the dimly lit small stage where stand-up comedy gets its start. Herself a comic performer, Landvik taps her own adventurous past and Minnesota roots to conjure Candy’s life in this strange new Technicolor home. Her fellow tenants at Peyton Hall include a female bodybuilder, a ruined nightclub impresario, and a well-connected old Romanian fortune-teller. There are game show appearances and temp jobs at a record company and an establishment suspiciously like the Playboy Mansion, and of course the alluring but not always welcoming stage of stand-up comedy. As she hones her act, Candy is tested by humiliation, hecklers, and the inherent sexism that insists “chicks aren’t funny.” Written with the light touch and quiet wisdom that have made her works so popular, this is classic Lorna Landvik—sometimes so funny, you’ll cry; sometimes so sad, you might as well laugh; and always impossible to put down.

 

 While you are here…

 

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The Its Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey.

Life…

It has been a busy week, though for no special reason, just the usual chaotic schedule of school and after school activities to contend with.

It’s the first Monday of the month so here is a quick update on my challenge progress so far…

SNAG-0206

The Eclectic Reader Challenge 10/12

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 65/50 – Completed!

Aussie Author Challenge 12/12 – Completed

Around the World in 12 Books Challenge 11/12

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I want to thank all of you who have stopped by to celebrate Book’d Out’s 4th birthday and leave me messages of congratulations. I am truly grateful and humbled by your kind words and support.

You still have a week to enter to win one of the four great prizes I am giving away – make sure you enter!

bookdout4_500

 

What I Read Last Week

 Moonlight Plains by Barbara Hannay

When the Night Comes by Favel Parrett

Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett

Craven by Melanie Casey

Murder 101 by Faye Kellerman

Tacolicious by Sara Desern

 

 

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Moonlight Plains by Barbara Hannay ★★★★

Book’d Out celebrates 4 years!

Review: When The Night Comes by Favel Parrett ★★★1/2

Review: Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett ★★★1/2

Review: Murder 101 by Faye Kellerman ★★★

Stuff On Sundays: 18 Books for Aussie Dads this Fathers Day

What I Am Reading Today

When Apple’s mother returns after eleven years of absence, Apple feels whole again. She will have an answer to her burning question – why did you go? And she will have someone who understands what it means to be a teenager – unlike Nana. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bitter sweet, and Apple wonders who is really looking after whom. It’s only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is, that she begins to see things as they really are.

 

What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

 Four mothers. Four teenage daughters. An isolated tropical paradise with no internet or mobile phone reception. What could possibly go wrong? There’s tension, bitchiness, bullying, sex, drunken confessions, bad behaviour and breakdowns – and wait till you see what the teenagers get up to… How can we let our daughters go to forge lives of their own when what we most want to do is hold them close and never let them go? How do we let them grow and keep them protected from the dark things in the world at the same time? And how can mothers and daughters navigate the troubled, stormy waters of adolescence without hurting themselves and each other? A clear-eyed, insightful and wildly entertaining look into the complicated, emotional world of mothers and daughters by the acclaimed author of Into My Arms, Last Summer and After the Fall.

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.  While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court. She is fiercely intelligent, well respected, and deeply immersed in the nuances of her particular field of law. Often the outcome of a case seems simple from the outside, the course of action to ensure a child’s welfare obvious. But the law requires more rigor than mere pragmatism, and Fiona is expert in considering the sensitivities of culture and religion when handing down her verdicts.
But Fiona’s professional success belies domestic strife. Her husband, Jack, asks her to consider an open marriage and, after an argument, moves out of their house. His departure leaves her adrift, wondering whether it was not love she had lost so much as a modern form of respectability; whether it was not contempt and ostracism she really fears. She decides to throw herself into her work, especially a complex case involving a seventeen-year-old boy whose parents will not permit a lifesaving blood transfusion because it conflicts with their beliefs as Jehovah’s Witnesses. But Jack doesn’t leave her thoughts, and the pressure to resolve the case—as well as her crumbling marriage—tests Fiona in ways that will keep readers thoroughly enthralled until the last stunning page.

“When I was little I believed in Jesus and Santa, spontaneous combustion, and the Loch Ness monster. Now I believe in science, statistics, and antibiotics.” So says seventeen-year-old Zac Meier during a long, grueling leukemia treatment in Perth, Australia. A loud blast of Lady Gaga alerts him to the presence of Mia, the angry, not-at-all-stoic cancer patient in the room next door. Once released, the two near-strangers can’t forget each other, even as they desperately try to resume normal lives. The story of their mysterious connection drives this unflinchingly tough, tender novel told in two voices

In the tradition of The Cookbook Collector comes a funny, romantic novel about a young woman finding her calling while saving a used bookstore. Maggie Duprès, recently “involuntarily separated from payroll” at a Silicon Valley start-up, is whiling away her days in The Dragonfly’s Used Books, a Mountain View institution, waiting for the Next Big Thing to come along. When the opportunity arises for her to network at a Bay Area book club, she jumps at the chance — even if it means having to read Lady Chatterley’s Lover, a book she hasn’t encountered since college, in an evening. But the edition she finds at the bookstore is no Penguin Classics Chatterley — it’s an ancient hardcover with notes in the margins between two besotted lovers of long ago. What Maggie finds in her search for the lovers and their fate, and what she learns about herself in the process, will surprise and move readers. Witty and sharp-eyed in its treatment of tech world excesses, but with real warmth at its core, The Moment of Everything is a wonderful read.

 While you are here…

WINNER of Quick by Steve Worland. : Aaron C

Enter to WIN in the Book’d Out Birthday celebrations

Thanks for stopping by!

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