It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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


It’s been a busy week here, between school holidays and public holidays, my time has not been my own. I’ve taken the children variously  to the park, an entire day swimming at the local aquatic center, shopping, bike riding, gymnastics and marching in the ANZAC parade while my husband has mainly spent this long weekend watching Ghost Adventures and motor racing from the comfort of his lounge chair.

On Thursday night I made my presentation to an audience of about 80 women at the ManningNet, which went well I think. I made a little power point presentation and handed out bookmarks, flyers and lucky door prizes. They certainly had a lot of questions and I hope they enjoyed it.

I was really excited to share my secret this week about the inaugural  Random House Penguin National Bloggers Forum in Sydney. If you can make it, I urge you to register and come along!

The children finally go back to school on Tuesday, so I am looking forward to some much needed reading time, Ive gotten so behind this month! I only managed to read 4 1/2 books this week (I’m halfway through Frog Music) which is probably the least I have read so far this year.

What I Read Last Week


The Furies by Mark Alpert

Through the Cracks by Honey Brown

Rocking Horse Hill by Cathryn Hein

Mr Harbottle’s Appreciation of Time by Dominic Utton


New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Through the Cracks by Honey Brown ★★★★

Special Announcement: The Penguin Random House National Bloggers Forum 2014

AWW Feature: Q&A with Cathryn Hein

Review: Rocking Horse Hill by Cathryn Hein ★★★★

Review: The Man Who Couldn’t Stopby David Adam ★★★

Review: Martin Harbottle’s Appreciation of Time by Dominic Utton ★★★★1/2

What I Am Reading Today


Summer of 1876: San Francisco is in the fierce grip of a record-breaking heat wave and a smallpox epidemic. Through the window of a railroad saloon, a young woman called Jenny Bonnet is shot dead. The survivor, her friend Blanche Beunon, is a French burlesque dancer. Over the next three days, she will risk everything to bring Jenny’s murderer to justice – if he doesn’t track her down first. The story Blanche struggles to piece together is one of free-love bohemians, desperate paupers and arrogant millionaires; of jealous men, icy women and damaged children. It’s the secret life of Jenny herself, a notorious character who breaks the law every morning by getting dressed: a charmer as slippery as the frogs she hunts. In thrilling, cinematic style, FROG MUSIC digs up a long-forgotten, never-solved crime. Full of songs that migrated across the world, Emma Donoghue’s lyrical tale of love and bloodshed among lowlifes captures the pulse of a boom town like no other.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)


 Sometimes being happily married and completely content is not at all what it seems. That is what 35 year old, happily married mother of two, Alexis Summers finds out when she decides it is time to return to work. After being a stay-at-home Mum for the past nine years, Alexis now realises a complete career change is just what she needs. She becomes a Concierge Attendant in a prestigious hotel in Melbourne working for the owner of the hotel, Bryce Clark. He resides in the penthouse, is extremely hot, and is a man who always gets what he wants and what he wants is Alexis.  She does a relatively good job resisting Bryce at first, but the undeniable chemistry, sexual tension, and playfulness between the two of them is intense.  Bryce has copious amounts of money, sex appeal, and above all else, is a genuinely nice guy. Bryce has been waiting for his one true love to come along, and he is positive that one true love is Alexis. There is one problem, she is happily married to Rick. And, no matter how strong her feelings for Bryce are, she is adamant she will not cheat. She draws a line in the sand but finds it increasingly hard not to cross. Will she succumb to Temptation?

On the faded Island Books sign hanging over the porch of the Victorian cottage is the motto “No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World.” A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means. A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island-from Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward Fikry; from Ismay, his sister-in-law who is hell-bent on saving him from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who keeps on taking the ferry over to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.’s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly. And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, but large in weight. It’s that unexpected arrival that gives A. J. Fikry the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J.; or for that determined sales rep, Amelia, to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light; or for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.’s world; or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming. As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.

The heartfelt and uplifting story of how a project to scatter 60 Postcards in memory of her mother helped a young girl come to terms with her loss.
On 11 February 2012 Rachael Chadwick lost her Mother to cancer, just sixteen days after first being diagnosed, and her world shattered right in front of her. Utterly fed up of the milestones and reminders, in December of that year she decided she would do something different and created a project based around her Mum’s approaching 60th Birthday. Desperate to spread the word about the wonderful person she had lost, Rachael had the brainwave of leaving notes around a city in her memory. Deciding she would take it a step further she wondered what would happen if she could ask people to respond to her? Full of hope and energy she hand-wrote sixty postcards, each with her email address at the bottom asking the finder to get in touch. But one question remained, where should she go? Knowing how much she longed to visit Paris, the last gift that Rachael’s mum had given her was Eurostar vouchers, and so it seemed fitting that this would be her chosen city. So off she went with a group of friends to celebrate, discover, and to scatter her memories. Filling their time in Paris with sight-seeing, food and drink, laughter, and of course postcards.
When Rachael returned to her London home, she desperately tried to switch off, switch off from the wondering (and hoping) whether she might actually hear from a postcard finder. And then, they started flowing in.

Ruby wasn’t looking for love, Drew wasn’t looking to stay…until they found each other. Can their fling survive the darkness of Ruby’s past and Drew’s desire to move on? Ruby Jones was always an optimist, but the trauma of her past had made her wary. So when she flees to the small rural community of Bunyip Bay to start afresh, she has her sights firmly set on establishing her horse-riding business and rebuilding her life. The last thing Ruby wants is a romance. In fact, after all she has been through, she can’t imagine she will ever believe in love again. Police officer Drew Noble has no intention of staying in Bunyip Bay — he is just an outsider seeking temporary refuge. But as the charm of the town sways him, Drew finds himself increasingly drawn to the community and its inhabitants, as well as another newcomer, the lovely Ruby Jones. When Drew investigates a suspicious fire at Ruby’s parents’ business, he finds himself feeling strangely protective of the girl with the flowers in her hair. As the details of Ruby’s past emerge and she comes once more under threat, Drew realises he will do all in his power to save her. Soon these outsiders discover they have both lost their hearts — not only to the town but to each other.

In this poignant and breathtaking debut, one man searches for meaning in the wake of incomparable tragedy… Karom Seth should have been in the Twin Towers on the morning of 9/11, and on the Indian shores in 2004, when the tsunami swept his entire family into the ocean. Whether it’s a curse or a blessing, Karom can’t be sure, but his absence from these disasters has left him with crushing guilt—and a belief that fate has singled him out for invincibility. Karom’s affliction consumes everyone around him, from his best friend, Lloyd, to his girlfriend, Gita, who hopes that a trip to India will help him find peace. It is in Delhi that he meets Gita’s grandmother, Kamini—a quirky but wise woman with secrets of her own. At first Karom dismisses Kamini, but little does he realize that she will ultimately lead him to the clarity he’s been looking for. Spanning the globe from New York to India, Where Earth Meets Water is a stunning portrait of a quest for human understanding, and a wise exploration of grief, survival and love in all its forms.

In the tradition of Mountains Beyond Mountains and The Spirit Catches You, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of the doctors and nurses who struggled to preserve life amidst chaos.  After Katrina destroyed the generators that make twenty-first century medicine possible, to be a patient at Memorial meant you were wholly at the mercy of caregivers forced to make a cascade of decisions about whose lives could be preserved and who would most likely die in the face of serious illness and limited medical care. The result was an almost unthinkable tragedy: several health professionals deliberately injected severely ill patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. In an engrossing narrative that exposes the human drama that fuels medicine and the unchartered territory of end-of-life care, Fink brings the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about just how ill-prepared we are as Americans for the impact of large-scale disasters on the most vulnerable among us

While you are here…


Vote for Book’d Out in the Best Australian Blog Awards. Click the image below and look for Book’d Out (listed alphabetically). I’d appreciate your support!

Thanks for stopping by, I’ll try to be along to visit you shortly!


32 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. readingwritingandriesling
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:38:57

    I think this is the first time we do not have books in common 🙂 Enjoy your week Shelleyrae.



  2. Michael @ Literary Exploration
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 11:26:47

    I’ve still got to read Frog Music sometime. I hope you enjoy your reading week and end up reading the non US version of Zevin’s novel (The Collected Works of A. K. Fikey) it’s a nice cute and fun book.



  3. laurelrainsnow
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 11:28:24

    I’ve heard good things about The Storied Life…enjoy your week!



  4. Nise' (Under the Boardwalk)
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:25:14

    Looking forward to Frog Music and The Storied Life. Have a great week.



  5. Greg
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 13:21:39

    Wow, you’ve been busy. Hope the coming week is a good one for reading and relaxing. Frog Music does sound interesting…



  6. thebookdate
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 13:55:16

    Your review of Rocking Horse Hill encouraged me to keep an eye out for it and put it on my TBR list. The conference sounds great, will be looking forward to your thoughts about it.
    Glad your presentation went well. You had them hooked in I bet.
    Enjoy the week of reading, sounds like hubby needs to be on duty for this week!!



  7. herschelian
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 14:31:32

    I’ve got three books on the go at the moment:

    ‘Peas and Queues’ by Sandi Tosvig – non-fiction about manners (Kindle)
    ‘Waiting for Wednesday: a Frieda Klein novel’ by Nicci French (Kindle)
    ‘Map Addict’ by Mike Parker – non-fiction about obsession with maps (paperback)

    I plan to read ‘Frog Music’ when I finish the Nicci French novel which is absolutely gripping. Her Frieda Klein series just gets better and better.

    Have a good week 🙂



  8. Teddyree
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 14:48:52

    You are a reading machine even on your ‘bad’ weeks lol. Lucky you with a copy of Outback Blaze, one I want to read! My review for Through the Cracks goes up this week, wasn’t up there with Dark Horse but still …
    Have a great week and happy reading 🙂



  9. glambooklounge
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 16:50:00

    Sounds like a busy week! You are so awesome that you gave a presentation to 80 people. Where Earth Meets Water sounds quite interesting. Take good care!



  10. readerbuzz
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 21:07:45

    Sold me on Storied Life! Off to see if I can find a copy!

    Here’s my It’s Monday!



  11. Kathy Martin
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 23:25:57

    Frog Music sounds really good. Come see my week here. Happy reading!



  12. mpartyka
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 23:37:36

    You made me laugh with your statement of being behind, “I only managed to read 4 1/2 books this week”. More than I read in a month 😉

    Glad to hear the children return to school this week, always a good thing right? if only to bring structure to life. Have a great week!



  13. Mystica
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 01:14:39

    Your week has been busy. Mine too. Am hoping Tuesday and Wednesday are going to be easier



  14. Lindsey
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 02:22:30

    Why won’t our children just sit quietly and let us read?!?

    I hope you enjoy The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry as much as I did. 🙂



  15. yvonne473
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 05:21:20

    Outback Blaze looks really good. A few of the books on your list look good. Have a great week!



  16. Sharon @ Faith Hope & Cherrytea
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 05:37:06

    60 postcards looks and sounds great!
    nice add to your week ahead .. hapPy reading thoughts to you !



  17. MarthaE
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:10:44

    Funny how life can intrude on reading. LOL. You have a good variety this week. Enjoy!



  18. The Australian Bookshelf
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 22:42:58

    Congrats on the success of your presentation Shelleyrae. 80 people is a good turnout!

    Where Earth Meets Water looks like an interesting read… Look forward to ur review on that one!



  19. Elizabeth P. (Silver's Reviews)
    May 02, 2014 @ 04:21:53

    I am laughing about your comment of only reading 4 1/2 books in one week. I am lucky if I get that many books read in one month. You are doing a terrific job.

    Congrats on your presentation. I am sure it was wonderful.

    THANKS for sharing.

    Silver’s Reviews
    My It’s Monday, What Are You Reading



  20. gill edwards
    May 06, 2014 @ 05:38:46

    I love the sound of 60 postcards too, ive read a small excerpt on Amazon.
    Gill x



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