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

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Seems I missed that one…

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Top 10 Tuesday (this week I’ve done a bad-ass top 15) is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke & the Bookish and featuring a different book-related theme each week. I was a bit of a TTT-slacker last year, even though I generally love a list. Anyways, this week’s topic is ‘2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn’t Get To’. Continue reading

The Top 22 from the Best Books of 2014 – A List of Lists

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So before someone yells at me “Enough with the lists!”, I took that list of Best Books of 2014 – A List of Lists and I made another list – the books that appear most frequently on all of those lists.

Trawl through all the lists or save time by simply adding the 2014 Commonly-Agreed-by-the-People-Who-Publish-Best-of-2014-Book-Lists-in-November top 22 books to your To-Be-Read stack. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

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It’s more on the ‘bookish’ side of things this week…

1. It’s almost time for the Melbourne Writers Festival. I’ve got tickets for Sonya Hartnett, Dave Eggers and some stuff for the kids. My wishlist is also eleventy billion miles long, so I’m just working out how I can put life on hold for two weeks while I go to #ALLTHEEVENTS.

2. The Man Booker Prize Longlist 2014 has been announced. There’s a couple on the list that I intend to read (the Hustvedt and the Nicholls) but I already know what I’m cheering for. Continue reading

Starter for Ten by David Nicholls

*sigh* I picked up Starter for Ten by David Nicholls because I loved One Day. Wrong move I’m afraid. It wasn’t a bad book, it was just quite ordinary.

If you want the nitty-gritty, you can read the book blurb here or you can simply accept my summary: nerdy, somewhat gauche boy with bad skin falls in love with the most-popular-girl and meanwhile less-popular-but-lovely-on-the-inside-girl is waiting in the wings. I think you know what happens.

Nicholls adds some nice details to set the scene, notably 1985 (lots of references to Kate Bush and mix-tapes); the main characters appearing on British TV quiz show University Challenge; and the experiences that go with first year university (if I put my ordinary mattress on the ground, does that make it a futon? No. And is a home brew kit a good investment? Depends). Continue reading

Book Q & A

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Australian author and book blogger Annabel Smith tagged me in a fun (quick) meme last week. Yes, it’s taken me a few days to get to it but that’s because I was busy testing my nerves on roller coasters and ridiculous water-slides with the kids on the Gold Coast. I’m still recovering.

Book Q&A Rules

1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of your favourite book cover
3. Answer the questions below
4. Tag a few people to answer them too
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. Make sure you tell the person who tagged you that you’ve taken part! Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – Books to Make You Cry

Arm yourself with a king-sized box of tissues.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new ‘top ten’ challenge is posted – anyone can join in. This week’s topic is a freebie, so I’ve picked the Top Ten Books to Make You Cry…. Nothing like a depressing start to November, hey?!

I read Jonathan Tropper’s latest release (One Last Thing Before I Go) through tears (of sadness and laughter). I happened to mention on Twitter that I had to stop reading the book a number of times because I was making a spectacle of myself whilst waiting for my son’s guitar lesson to finish (sobbing, there was snot and no tissue).

My sister-in-law revealed that she had never cried reading a book. Ever. I fired off some titles that had me bawling like a baby. Nope, has never cried. Which made me wonder, am I overly emotional? Do I get too caught up in what I’m reading?

So this list is really for my sister-in-law – I need to find the book that will move her to tears!

1. Of a Boy by Sonya Hartnett – without question the saddest, most heartbreaking book I have ever read. When I lent it to a friend she asked “Will I need counselling?”. “Yes,” I said, handing her a box of tissues. Get it on Kindle here. Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – ‘Lad Lit’ for readers who love Nick Hornby

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new ‘top ten’ challenge is posted – anyone can join in. This week’s topic is a ‘read alike’ – in other words, pick a book and then suggest ten similar books that readers might also enjoy.

The book I have selected is Nick Hornby’s About a Boy. Hornby is perhaps the godfather of ‘lad lit’ (also known as ‘dick-lit’) – whilst I don’t ever imagine my husband would be tempted by my bookshelf full of Candace Bushnell, Sophie Kinsella and Jennifer Weiner, I often stray into ‘lad lit’ – basically they’re still stories about relationships (from a male perspective) and they’re usually very funny. So the same as chick-lit, without the hot pink cover!

If you haven’t read any Nick Hornby, start with that (and no, seeing the movie of About a Boy starring Hugh Grant doesn’t count). Here are ten more lad-lit titles to check out: Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – Beach Reads

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new ‘top ten’ challenge is posted. I haven’t participated until now but this week’s topic – Top 10 Books I’d Recommend As Great Beach Reads – reeled me in simply because I have a bit of checklist for beach reads.

Specifically, I like them to be light and easy-to-read (so that I can read a little, doze in the sun, read some more, have a swim…). That said, I don’t want complete trash! I want a book that is well written and with a decent plot (this rules out lots of chick-lit which you can pick up for a couple of dollars from the bargain bin at the newsagent of your holiday destination). So here’s my list (in no particular order) – Continue reading