100 RPM – One Hundred Stories Inspired By Music by Caroline Smailes

Any book that begins with a playlist and an introduction by Nik Kershaw is obviously going on my reading list.

A quick Nik Kershaw refresher before I get into the nitty-gritty of 100 RPM – One Hundred Stories Inspired By Music, edited by Caroline Smailes –

And a little reminder of when I met him… Continue reading

20 Books of Summer (except that it’s winter)

Cathy at 746 Books is hosting the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge again this year. I’m joining in, with a particular effort to read from my stacks of hard copies. The challenge is straightforward – read twenty books between June 1st and September 3rd. Continue reading

Quick! I need to read a whole book.

Sometimes a very, very short book is just the ticket – reading slump, testing a new genre, choosing something for your book group (because you know they don’t have the stamina for anything over 200 pages), a long train ride…

Here’s a list of my favourite very short books. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close to Royal Lists

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It’s Grand Final day in Melbourne but it’s also #6Degrees day (am I stretching the friendship, saying that they compare?!). Anyway, three cheers for reading great books and three cheers for joining in!

We begin this month’s chain with Jonathan Safran Foer’s best-seller, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I was totally immersed in this book, to the detriment of what was going on around me… Which happened to be a holiday in Palm Cove. Continue reading

Just quietly, this is a great bunch of books

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday focuses on books that have received fewer than 2000 ratings on Goodreads. Hmmm… Clearly I’m hanging out with the unpopular kids because LOTS of the books I’ve read in the last few years fit into this category. Here are some favourites – Continue reading

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times – read these books

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I’m as tight as all-get-out when it comes to handing out five stars. Do I even have enough (after four and a half years of blogging) to put together a list of ten? Just.

It’s Top Ten Tuesday and the topic is ‘Ten of My Most Recent Five Star Reads’ (there’s no legitimate reason for the gratuitous Paul Newman pic, I just felt like it).

So, in case you missed me banging on about these books the first time, here are my most recent winners – Continue reading

Disraeli Avenue by Caroline Smailes

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I read 99 Reasons Why by Caroline Smailes over two years ago and the character of Kat still hurts my heart. After finishing that book I bought others by Smailes but just haven’t got to reading them all as yet – maybe because I was a little bruised after Kat’s story. Smailes spares no punches – her stories are gritty and real and you might need to look away.

Looking away… it’s why the concept for Smailes’s Disraeli Avenue is clever. It’s a collection of short stories – snippets, really – about what goes on behind the closed doors of each house on a single street, Disraeli Avenue. Like walking by an open window, you can’t help but glance in. What you see varies wildly – stories told through the eyes of a child, through number patterns, through piano practice notes, through memories. They’re told as gossip, as truth, as wishes, as speculation. The observant reader will appreciate the details that link each chapter, as sweet as a mother’s pride and as horrifying as the words in a suicide note. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from The Signature of All Things to Disraeli Avenue

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It’s six degrees of separation for books. Created by Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith. Check out the rules if you want to play along.

We begin with Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things. Apparently it’s a very different book to her first one, Eat, Pray, Love. Which is good, because Eat was self-indulgent twaddle.

Another book that is supposedly quite different to previous work is Judy Blume’s latest, In the Unlikely Event. Continue reading

20 books of Summer (except that it’s Winter)

20-books-of-summer-master-imageIn light of my post about my Netgalley habit and the fact that after June 19th I’ll have oodles of reading time (because exams will be over), I’ve decided to join Cathy’s 20 Books of Summer reading challenge. Except that it’s winter here. And therein lies the really ace thing about reading – it’s suited to #ALLTHESEASONS. Yes, there’s nothing better than having sand in the crack of your paperback (you thought I was going to say something else, didn’t you?) but it’s equally lovely to burrow under the doona, warm and toasty, and kill an hour with a book. Continue reading