First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday – Hungry, The Stars and Everything by Emma Jane Unsworth

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Last week I reviewed Emma Jane Unsworth’s Animals. It’s been one of my favourite books this year (up there with We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma and The Goldfinch). However, Unsworth’s debut novel was Hungry, The Stars and Everything and it has a food theme – I know, right? How did it escape my attention until now?!

Here’s how it begins – Continue reading

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday – Berlin: Imagine a City by Rory MacLean

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Earlier this year I visited Berlin. I’ve been to Germany a number of times but it was my first trip to Berlin. Within three days, it was love. In fact, Berlin has bumped New York from the number one spot on the list of my favourite cities. I’m already thinking about my next trip.

So I pounced on Rory MacLean’s Berlin: Imagine a City. The book is described as a “…biography of one of the world’s most volatile and creative cities”, charting its highs and lows through a “…dazzlingly eclectic cast of Berliners…”, from Marlene Dietrich and Goebbels to medieval balladeers and the time when David Bowie recorded ‘Heroes’. It begins – Continue reading

Lost and Found by Brooke Davis

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I’m torn by this book. Had I read it knowing nothing about the author, I probably would have thought “Odd…some bits good, some a bit ridiculous….”. But that’s not the way it worked out. A few weeks ago, I watched Australian Story. For my overseas readers, Australian Story is a weekly half-hour doco, featuring a story about an Australian – sometimes unsung heroes, sometimes ordinary people dealing with extraordinary issues. My husband loves this show. I don’t. The reason I don’t is because 95% of time it’s about people dying, usually children or parents. My husband disputes this but nonetheless, a few minutes into watching each week, I wander into the living room and ask “Who died this time?”. And he usually answers.

Then a fortnight ago my husband says “You should watch Australian Story this week, it’s about an author.” Excellent! *remembering the Australian Story episode about Hannah Kent*

So I watch.

The author’s mother was killed in a terrible, freak accident. *Australian Story theory upheld*

Lost and Found is her tribute to her mother, her way of grieving. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

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1. Christine, the lovely host of this meme, mentioned some books she was planning on buying for her baby. On that list was a book by Oliver Jeffers. Have I mentioned my thing for Oliver Jeffers before? No? Honestly, it’s got nothing to do with the devastating piercing blue eyes/dark hair combination. With an Irish accent. It’s all about the fact that he is a brilliant artist, who writes funny yet meaningful books for kids. Truly.
Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from The Goldfinch to Playing Beatie Bow

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It’s time again for my favourite meme! Based on the concept of six degrees of separation, Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith have created #6DEGREES, where bloggers share links between books in six moves. Check out the rules if you want to play along.

This month’s starting point is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I only have good things to say about this book and at the end of the year it will, without doubt, be on my list of the best books I read in 2014. Continue reading

Five Men Who Broke My Heart by Susan Shapiro

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I’d earmarked Susan Shapiro’s Five Men Who Broke My Heart as holiday reading and it was a great choice. And I’ve tagged this post with ‘book review’. That’s a blatant lie. I’m not reviewing this book. Instead, I’ll share my own heart breaks – far more interesting, right?

1. I’m 14. The boy I fancied tells me that he prefers my friend. His exact words were “It’s like choosing between chocolate and vanilla ice cream, they’re both good.” My thoughts at that moment: What the fuck? Am I the vanilla in this scenario? What the fuck?! I don’t think I’m really that interested anyway… Continue reading