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

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Bookworld, Australia’s biggest bookstore, has released the annual list of the most well-read cities in Australia for 2013-14, with some interesting results.

Canberra topped the list for the second year in a row, with Melbourne, a UNESCO City of Literature, making the most movement from last year jumping from #7 to #2. New additions to the Top 10 list, which is compiled using sales data of over 500,000 Australian customers over the past year, include Newcastle and Sydney.

Australia’s most well-read cities, in the correct order, are:
1. Canberra – Queanbeyan
2. Melbourne
3. Geelong
4. Newcastle – Maitland
5. Brisbane
6. Toowoomba
7. Sunshine Coast
8. Sydney
9. Adelaide
10. Hobart

Some quick and interesting facts from our research:

* Canberra was again the literary capital of the year, as the only city to have 4 literary titles making the top 10, with Eyrie by Tim Winton topping the sales list.
* Perth and Darwin dropped out of the Top 10 to #13 and #17 respectively
* In a marked departure from last year’s trends, the only city still reading 50 Shades of Grey is Brisbane…
* The Sunshine Coast was the most interested in health and food books – with The Fast Diet and Make Peace with Your Plate the two bestselling books
* Toowoomba proves its family focus with the most kids book sales for any of the cities
* Newcastle-Maitland debuted onto the list at #4 with sales of Boganaire: The Rise and Fall of Nathan  Tinkler, about the Hunter Valley Region self-made billionaire, boosting their position
* Geelong moved up one position to #3 thanks to Hold the Line: My Story by Matthew Scarlett, local Geelong Cats superstar
* Save with Jamie was the number one book overall, appearing in the Top 10 for every city and topping the list in 5 cities
* A Game Of Thrones Box Set and The Fast Diet were the only other books to make it onto all lists The most popular kids book was Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 8: Hard Luck, following by YA novel The Fault in our Stars.
* Canberra was also the most fond of eBooks, topping the list for eBook sales with Burial Rites and The Cuckoo’s Calling the most popular downloads
* Burial Rites was the clear superstar in ebooks, coming in as the most downloaded eBook ebook in 7 out of the 10 cities.

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The ranking was based on sales data from Bookworld in eBook and physical book format, from July 2013 – July 2014, on a per capita basis of Australian cities with a population of over 100,000. About Bookworld: Bookworld is Australia’s fastest growing online bookstore with over 500,000 existing customers. It offers books, eBooks, CDs, DVDs and gifts at low prices, giving Australians a viable local option to the major international companies. It offers free delivery on all orders, an Amazon Price Guarantee and is a local Australian company. Bookworld also owns the Angus & Robertson online store.

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Stuff on Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

It’s that time of the month or near enough,  so here is what I have added to my shelves recently.

Click on the cover images to view at Goodreads

For Review (print)

 

 

 

For Review (ebook)

 

 

 

Bought or otherwise acquired (giveaways, gifts etc)

I picked up a handful of books from the school fete this year finding some real bargains including some almost brand new releases

 

A friend gave me these…

These I downloaded from the Australian iBookstore which offered a vast amount of freebies this month. Several I have read or own in print but I figure it doesn’t hurt to have an e-copy as well

 

A 15 book set of Roald Dahl’s stories

roalddahl_collection

There were over 30 Nora Roberts titles – here are just a few

Six  titles by Stephen King including…

Five by Dean Koontz including…

And a couple from Harlan Coben…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuff On Sundays: What My Kids Are Reading…

Regular visitors will be aware I am a mother of four children who I hope will enjoy reading as much as I do as they grow up. My husband doesn’t read at all – not even the newspaper – so  it’s up to me to set a good example. We go to the library every couple of weeks so they can choose what to read, they also bring home books from the school library. However, of the four, I have one non reader, 2 readers and 1 reluctant reader.

Simariah, who is 18, doesn’t read anything longer than Facebook status updates and text messages despite my best efforts.

text

Aleah, who is eleven, is an eager reader. She is just starting to show an interest in more YA rather than MG titles.
She has just finished Fool Me Twice and Wish You Were Italian from the If Only series published by Bloomsbury

 

And is currently reading Nowhere Boys by Elise McCredie

Makyah, ten, likes to read before bed. He has recently worked his way through Robert Muchamore’s Cherub series

muchamore

And I just bought him the first book in the Skullduggery Pleasant series to try.

Skulduggery-Pleasant-series-reading-24113663-1487-904

Jasiah, eight, will only read when there is absolutely nothing better to do or if it is related to whatever his current gaming obsession is.
I’ve recently bought him the Minecraft Handbooks which he refers to over and over again. At least he is reading something!

egmont-minecraft-books

What are your kids reading?

Stuff on Sunday: 18 Books for Aussie Dads this Fathers Day

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September 7th is Father’s Day in Australia, here are my recommendations from my reading so far this year., just follow the links to learn more…

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For the adrenaline junkie…

 

Quick by Steve Worland: Steve Worland’s newest novel, Quick, is a fast paced, octane fueled thrill ride set in the exciting world of international motor sport.

Skinjob by Bruce McCabe: Skinjob is an entertaining techno-action thriller written by Australian author Bruce McCabe.

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For the armchair detective…

Hades by Candice Fox: Broadly crime fiction, but also combining elements of a police procedural and psychological thriller, it delves into the seething mind of a serial killer and the lives of the detectives, Frank and Eden, who are pursuing him.

The Train Rider by Tony Cavanaugh: Darian Richards was once Melbourne’s top homicide cop but he walked away at the pinnacle of his career, retiring to the Queensland coast. It wasn’t the bullet to the head that broke him, but his inability to capture the man dubbed The Train Rider.

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For the history buff…


A Fatal Tide by Steve Sailah: Exploring the themes of duty, honour, mateship and humanity, Sailah weaves together a compelling story of war, friendship and murder in A Fatal Tide. It offers both an interesting mystery, and fascinating insight into the experiences of our Australian diggers in Gallipoli’s trenches.

The Luck of the Irish by Babette Smith: A fascinating portrait of colonial life in the mid-19th century, which reveals how the Irish helped lay the foundations of the Australia we know today

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For the sensitive dad…


A Man Callled Ove by Fredrik Backman: Simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting, this is a story about love, grief, life, death and Saab’s. Told with heartfelt emotion, wry insight and a sense of humour, Backman has created an endearing character, few will be able to dismiss.

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler: Set in rural Wisconsin, Shotgun Lovesongs tells the story of four men, and one woman, renegotiating the meaning of friendship, love and home.

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For the workaholic…

Martin Harbottle’s Appreciation of Time by Dominic Utton: Martin Harbottle’s Appreciation of Time is a funny and engaging novel, written in epistolary format, consisting of emails between Dan, a frustrated commuter, and Martin Harbottle, Managing Director of Premier Westward Trains.

Terms & Conditions by Robert Glancy: Terms & Conditions is a quirky*, black humoured story of a man** who lost his mind***, then regained his soul.****

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For the stay at home dad…

Reservoir Dad by Clint Greagan: In 2008, Clint Greagen resigned from his job as a youth worker to care for his first born child. Nine years later Clint is a stay at home dad of four young boys, Archie, Lewis, Tyson and Maki, and the author of Reservoir Dad, about his adventures in full-time parenting, first chronicled on his popular blog of the same name.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: Part noir suburban mystery, part domestic drama, Big Little Lies is compulsive reading. Thought provoking, clever, witty and wonderful, this is another wickedly brilliant novel from best selling Australian author Liane Moriarty.

****

For the thinker…


Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the story of a man who has never really recovered from being inexplicably exiled by a group of close friends he met in high school. Drifting through his life, engineer Tsukuru is now in his mid thirties, single and largely friendless, until he meets a woman who encourages him to confront his painful past.

The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon: Set in New York in 2016, just weeks before the publication of the third and final printed North American Dictionary of the English Language(NADEL), its curator, Doug disappears leaving behind a cryptic message for his daughter, Anana. Concerned and confused, Anana, with the support of a colleague, Bart, begins to search for her father, and stumbles upon a shocking conspiracy that threatens to destroy the very foundation of civilisation – language.

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For the game player…

Chasing the Ace by Nicholas J Johnston: Told from dual first person narratives, Chasing The Ace introduces Richard, an ageing, world-weary con ‘artiste’ and Joel, a young, wannabe grifter who meet on the streets of Melbourne. Richard, contemplating retirement, decides to take Joel under his wing and the pair form a profitable alliance. Joel is eager to learn all he can, and is thrilled when the money starts rolling in, but when they accidentally scam an off duty cop, neither man is sure if they will be able to con their way out of trouble.

Games Creatures Play by Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner et al: In Games Creatures Play you will find witches, monster stompers, faeries, Gods, ghosts and more, all playing to win and even though I have very little interest in sport in general, I really enjoyed this anthology. Get ready, get set and go… pick up a copy today.

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For the dad with a social conscience…

Through the Cracks by Honey Brown: After enduring years of confinement and abuse at the hands of his father, Joe, Adam finally pushes back, but having secured his freedom he has no idea what to do with it…until Billy finds him. Placing his trust in the streetwise teen, Adam tentatively ventures beyond his suburban prison for the first time in years, but no matter the direction the pair take to escape, their past refuses to let them go.

Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink: Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, an investigative piece written by Sheri Fink, is a vivid portrait of tragedy that occurred in New Orleans when it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

****

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Stuff on Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

It’s that time of the month or near enough,  so here is what I have added to my shelves recently.

Click on the cover images to view at Goodreads

For Review (print)

 

 

For Review (ebook)

 

 

Bought or otherwise acquired (giveaways, gifts etc)

 

Weekend Cooking: Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan

 

9781402281839

Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan

Rosie Hopkins’s life is…comfortable. She has a steady nursing job, a nice apartment, and Gerard, her loyal (if a bit boring) boyfriend. And even though she might like to pursue a more rewarding career, and Gerard doesn’t seem to have any plans to propose, Rosie’s not complaining. Things could be worse. Right?

Life gets a bit more interesting when Rosie’s mother sends her out to the country to care for her ailing great aunt Lilian, who owns an old-fashioned sweetshop. But as Rosie gets Lilian back on her feet, breathes a new life into the candy shop, and gets to know the mysterious and solitary Stephen—whose family seems to own the entire town—she starts to think that settling for what’s comfortable might not be so great after all.

Recipe for Tablet (Scottish Fudge) from Jenny Colgan

Tablet The Fudge House

Ingredients:

1 stick butter
4 cups white sugar
1 small tin condensed milk
I cup milk.

Method:

• Melt butter slowly. Stir sugar in slowly, if it burns it’s done for.
• When melted in, add milk & condensed milk. Bring to boil, then back to a simmer, and keep stirring for about 45 minutes!!!
• When it goes brown, drop a bit off a metal spoon into a cup of cold water- it should form into a soft ball. Then it’s ready.
• Take off heat, scrape sugar off sides, STIR VIGOROUSLY for a few minutes until you feel the mixture start to thicken and granulate a bit.
• Pour into buttered tins. Will set like concrete in about 3 hours.
• Don’t then do what I did last night and eat so much you think you’re going to spew :) . You can add vanilla flavoring, or nuts and things, but I like it the traditional way.

 

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A former columnist for The Guardian, Jenny Colgan contributes regularly to national BBC radio and is the author of more than eleven bestselling novels, including her recent international bestsellers The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris published in 2014 and Welcome To Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams, which won the 2013 Romantic Novel of the Year award from the Romantic Novelists Association. She is married with three children and lives in London and France.

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Read my review of Sweetshop of Dreams by clicking HERE

9781402281839

Sweetshop of Dreams is available to purchase from

Amazon I BAM I B&N I Indiebound I Indigo I Kobo

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wkendcooking

Stuff on Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

It’s that time of the month or near enough,  so here is what I have added to my shelves recently.

Click on the cover images to view at Goodreads

For Review (print)

For Review (ebook)

Bought or otherwise acquired (giveaways, gifts etc)

Weekend Cooking: Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves by Dave Lowry

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.

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Title: Chinese Cooking For Diamond Thieves

Author: Dave Lowry

Published:  Mariner Books: Haughton Mifflin Harcourt July 2014

Status: Read from July 09 to 10, 2014 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher/netgalley}

My Thoughts:

I’m not sure exactly why I decided to take a chance on this novel but I am so glad I did. Funny, clever and fresh, Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves by Dave Lowry is a fabulously entertaining blend of mystery, action, a touch of awkward romance, and Chinese cooking.

Having been kicked out of college just before graduation, Tucker is heading home to Missouri in his aging Toyota when he crosses paths with the attractive and enigmatic Corrine Chang, making her way from Canada to Buffalo, NY, at a deserted rest stop. In the absence of any real goal, Tucker offers Corrine a ride, surprising her with his ability to speak Mandarin, and being surprised in turn when he intercepts a threatening phone call. Corrine, it seems, is on the run from a Chinese gang convinced she has $15 million dollars worth of diamonds missing from her employer’s store. Despite her protestations of innocence, the gang follows them all the way to St Louis, as intent on capturing Corinne, as Tucker, with a little help from the FBI, is at stopping them.

Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves is fast paced with plenty of action and intrigue, and just enough exaggeration to entertain. Snappy dialogue, liberally laced with sarcasm, is delivered with expert timing.

Lowry’s protagonist is an unusual guy. The son of white upper middle class parents (his father a retired agent of some description), Tucker practices xing-i, speaks Mandarin (and a little Cantonese) and cooks Chinese food, real Chinese food, with the skill of a native. He is simultaneously a tough guy capable of crippling an enemy with an economy of movement, and achingly vulnerable and self deprecating. The contradiction works perfectly to create a charming, quirky hero, who is supported by an equally appealing cast.

For foodies, there are plenty of tips for cooking authentic Chinese food, and a glimpse into the inner workings of a Chinese restaurant kitchen.

Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves is probably best described as a crime caper given the elements of humour, adventure and the offbeat characters. I thought it was witty, clever and interesting and recommend it without hesitation.

Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves is available to purchase from

Haughton Mifflin Harcourt I AmazonUS I BookDepository I Indiebound

via Booko

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The few Chinese dishes I cook are unapologetically westernised versions and fairly simple ones at that. Today I thought I’d share one of my favourites, with apologies to Tucker, and Dave Lowry.

Oven Baked Chicken Spring Rolls

 

Ingredients

1 kg barbecued or roast chicken, finely shredded
1 large can of corn kernels
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp finely grated ginger
2 tsp sesame oil
5 tbs soy sauce
1 pkt frozen spring roll wrappers
1/4 cup (60ml) peanut oil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 200°C.

In a bowl combine shredded chicken, corn kernels, onions, ginger, sesame oil and soy sauce

Lay out a spring roll wrapper with a point facing towards you. Place 2 tablespoonfuls of chicken mixture on pastry then fold pastry over filling once. Fold in side corners. Brush far corner with water then roll up tightly. Repeat with remaining filling and pastry.

Place spring rolls on an oven tray. Brush with peanut oil then bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp and golden.

Serve with fried rice and/or a dipping sauce of your choice

spring rolls

Stuff on Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

It’s that time of the month or near enough,  so here is what I have added to my shelves recently.

Click on the cover images to view at Goodreads

For Review (print)









 

 

For Review (ebook)


 

Bought or otherwise acquired (giveaways, gifts etc)

Stuff on Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

It’s that time of the month or near enough,  so here is what I have added to my shelves recently.

Click on the cover images to view at Goodreads

For Review (print)





 

 

For Review (ebook)


 

Bought or otherwise acquired (giveaways, gifts etc)

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