Nonfiction November – Book Pairings

It’s Nonfiction November, this week hosted by Sarah’s Book Shelves. The task? Pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title.

I had so much fun with this topic last year and although I feared I’d exhausted my ideas, I’ve managed a few more pairings –

Ireland divided – Lost Lives by David McKittrick / Across the Barricades by Joan Lingard Continue reading

You make me feel like dancing…(and reading)

Okay, that’s a Leo Sayer song but this post is all about the Gibbs.


I felt it was time for a Bee Gees literary mix tape (mainly because I’m still sulking about Barry’s cancelled Melbourne tour).

Marvel at the lustrous hair (chest and other) and the magnificent use of solid gold.

01. You Should Be Dancing / Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead Continue reading

2014 Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop


I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.

I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

These words never date as far as I’m concerned (for non-Aussies, it’s an extract from Dorothea Mackellar’s poem, My Country). I particularly love the bits about jewel-seas and far horizons (to prove it, see my last post). And of course, my professional life has been dominated by ‘droughts and flooding rains’ (I worked in catchment management and hydrology for more than a decade).

So when it came to putting together this post for the 2014 Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop, hosted by Shelleyrae at Book’d Out, my immediate thoughts turned to books that really told a story about the Australian landscape. Here are my five favourites: Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – Australian Modern Literature

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‘ – book bloggers can go crazy on their pet topic.

I tossed around a few ideas for a theme – I love all things Art Deco and 1920s and I’m also always drawn to stories set in New York or New England – strong possibilities for my top ten. However, from my observation, most of the bloggers participating in Top Ten Tuesday live in the US so I figured this week’s ‘freebie’ was the perfect opportunity to wave the flag for some talented Australian authors (with a particular focus on books that have been published in recent years). Here’s my top ten: Continue reading

‘Eucalyptus’ by Murray Bail

Eucalyptus by Murray Bail won the Miles Franklin Prize in 1999 and I’ve been meaning to read it ever since. I wish I hadn’t waited so long – it’s an extraordinarily beautiful story.

Eucalyptus is the story of a widower, Holland, who moves to a large property in rural New South Wales with his astoundingly beautiful daughter, Ellen. Holland has an obsession – eucalypt trees. He makes it his mission to plant every species (over five hundred, with some so rare that they are only found on a rocky ledge in the Blue Mountains) on his sprawling, riverfront property. In doing so, he creates an “outdoor museum of trees”. Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – TBR List

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 Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR List. So although it’s not very summery in Melbourne at present (in fact, it’s darn cold), I still have a staggeringly long TBR list. Picking just ten will barely scrap the surface, but here it is: Continue reading