This Week In Books (Spring)

The old bod is a little under the weather with all the Spring Cleaning taking place. Simply crashing when I hit the sack. The pile of books beside my bed just continues to grow……. ( Note that the wretched Hilary Mantel just keeps moving to the bottom of the pile. I tell you : it’s killing me). This one was gifted to me by a girlfriend from the other side of the country.

Thank you Teneille. Next on the list.

A few months back my daughter in Canberra visited the Australian War Memorial as she is want to do regularly as it is near her favourite *cough* wine bar. Yeah, ok, her mother’s daughter. ….She sent me some Poppy Seeds for planting, both Red and Purple (for the animals). No success with the red as per usual though signs of a good showing of the purple for Remembrance Day.

Thanks Cat Balou

Year 12 Exams have finished, there is an abundance of Driving Schools on the road with their pimpley clientele, and the young things are a tad hormonal with the freedom and spring weather. It appears they had a wild night at the Local Community Library as I spotted half a dozen novels in the creek. Literally. I have taken to making my visits armed with a gold club – to fight off the swooping magpies of course.

Spring also means Spiders. What I think about spiders cannot be repeated here.

Not into Romance Novels or Chook Lit ( Aussie romance in a rural setting generally including chickens ) though have read my fair share lately thanks to Covid Brain. Thought this map was a clever marketing strategy combining books with travel. What do you think?

Happy Weekend Peeps. Queenslanders, remember to vote, and the rest of my mob, watch out for those ghastly arachnids. Everyone else, remember:

This Week In Books

Just for fun played this with family and friends over Messenger late one night when we were all suffering from insomnia. Name the book and the author. ( Courtesy of Australian Writers Centre Newsletter)

Have a go ( or as we Aussies say ‘avago).

  1. TCP by AW (1982)
  2. DC by CD (1850)
  3. TCITR by JDS (1951)
  4. JE by CB (1848)
  5. HPATPS by JKR (1997)
  6. AK by LT (1878)
  7. APTI by EMF (1924)
  8. BSU by TD (2018)
  9. DQ by MdC (1615)
  10. U by JJ (1922)
  11. THG by SC (2008)

The local Rotary Cub Redlands Sunrise ( because they hold breakfast meetings as opposed to dinner) held a Bookfest over the weekend to raise funds for local, national, and international projects.

I came away with two Mystery Boxes for $2 a box which will keep the Little Community Library going for quite some time. Only issue was that it required a major rearrangement of the She-Shack. A five hour task. You see, books in boxes in garages during a Qld summer tend to attract cockroaches. Have I told you that Qld cockies are amongst the biggest in the world?

And this is the Little Library spotted in the main street of Kalbar where all the Hay Bale Sculptures were located over the weekend.


  1. TCP by AW (1982) The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
  2. DC by CD (1850) David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  3. TCITR by JDS (1951) The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
  4. JE by CB (1848) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  5. HPATPS by JKR (1997) Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
  6. AK by LT (1878) Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  7. APTI by EMF (1924) A Passage to India by EM Forster
  8. BSU by TD (2018) Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton
  9. DQ by MdC (1615) Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  10. U by JJ (1922) Ulysses by James Joyce
  11. THG by SC (2008) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Happy Weekend, Peeps!

This Week In Books

Firstly, my fave : A beautiful friend from the other side of the country sent me through the post a May Gibbs Gumnut Babies cardboard book, Goodnight Gumnuts to share with Harrison Miles ( born on October 7th) when he visits his Meemaw. You are one of the world’s sweethearts, Tenielle.

Peter Corris, Australian crime writer’s Lugarno. My home town and birth place of both daughters. Ok, not one of Corris’ best efforts and just 103 pages in length. Only one decent description of the suburb I felt with “ it was elevated and leafy, without any through traffic. Nice place if you had a good car and a swimming pool and didn’t mind being that far from the CBD. It looked like everyone living there would be much the same – comfortable and conservative -but I knew that wasn’t true ; there’d be secret drinkers and crossdressers and One Nation voters”.      

Cecila Ahern’s sequel to PS I Love You. Hated the original – loved the movie. Gerard Butler, Harry Connick Jnr and Jeffrey Dean Morgan – what’s not to love? Enjoyed this novel about adjusting to loss but not sure if it was because of the author’s story telling ability or more that my thoughts kept returning to the previously mentioned boyos. Probably the latter……

Had wanted to read Where The Crawdads Sing for months if only to learn more about crawdads. Imagined them to be like a yabbie. Bzzzzzzz. Wrong. I enjoyed this novel  though the American colloquialisms, especially about food, had me baffled. A good read.

Another good week for the Little Community Library with one of the local mummas painting and hiding rocks around the park for the Little People.

And great news! Further easing of COVID restrictions mean that Author Talks at my local library are recommencing. These are fantastic opportunities to learn what motivates writers and what makes them tick. Haven’t been disappointed yet.

Yee Haa!

This Week In Books

September 27 – October 3, 2020, is Banned Books Week, an annual awareness campaign promoted by the American Library Association and Amnesty International, that celebrates the freedom to read, draws attention to banned and challenged books, and highlights persecuted individuals.

I particularly enjoyed reading about Goodwin’s childhood during the Depression which catapulted him to the other side of the world as a young man to fly in the skies over Germany.

Based on the true story of Grace Darling, and featuring the flavour of the month Mary Anning, I consumed this in a single sitting. An easy and enjoyable read that made me want to go to the beach to collect shells.

Donations for the Little Community Library. I bags the Willie Nelson!

How I Know Life Is On The Improve

Yes, I have enjoyed a Chicken Schnitzel at the local pub, and yes, I’ve finally had a hair cut.

But here’s the biggie. The Real M’Coy. The Cat’s Pyjamas. The BIGGIE that makes things feel like we are at last getting back on an even keel after bushfire, drought and a pandemic. Or at the very least to some semblance of normality……

The local Rotary Club is holding a sale of preloved books as a fundraiser for both national and international projects. It’s not the usual version with books laid out for your selection but more of a Pot Luck affair because of limited numbers and self distancing rules. No matter ; a box of adult fiction for $20 or a bundle of kids books for $10 reminds me of fossicking through a show-bag from the Royal Easter Show in Sydney when I was a child many, many moons ago. ( My personal favourite was always the Liquorice Bag).

Anything SciFi , Dystopian or with a Dragon on the cover will be shared amongst friends or end up at the Little Community Library. Afterall the one thing this pandemic has achieved is to remind us to be a little kinder to each other. Touch wood.

These were a recent donation to the Little Library by a local pensioner.

Two Things : Magabala Books and the Little Library.

It was recently announced that Magabala Books won the Australian Book Industry Small Publisher of the Year Award.

Based in Broome, Western Australia, Magabala publish Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors, artists and illustrators from all over Australia. An independent, not-for-profit Indigenous Corporation, Magabala is governed by a dedicated Board of Kimberley Aboriginal cultural leaders, educators, business professionals and creative practitioners.

Magabala publishes up to 15 new titles annually across a range of genres: children’s picture books, memoir, fiction (junior, YA and adult), non-fiction, graphic novels, social history and poetry.

What I found interesting was that Magabala also delivers a range of social and cultural initiatives, including providing books to parents in correctional centres so that they can record the stories for their children whilst in isolation. What a wonderful concept!

Restrictions were eased last weekend allowing parks and playground equipment to reopen. This called for a dose of disinfectant to the Little Community Library located in our local parkland which has been much utilised over the past months with our Council Libraries closed and only re-opening last week (for ten people at a time).

Many thanks to the Rotary Club of Capalaba who came to the rescue with much needed children’s books to restock our Library in the park. Little People aren’t fond of ebooks or kindles……as it should be…..

The Tin Man, Cujo and Sue Grafton.

I’ve just finished The Wizard Of Oz jigsaw that I actually bought to gift to my youngest and I’m preparing to hang it in the She-Shack. Cat Balou hates this movie, as in DETESTS. Which is why over the years I have sent socks and stationary and anything else remotely TWOO to her through the post. It’s called Mother’s Payback.

When she was visiting recently she saw me working on it and despite now being in her thirties she insisted on covering the Tin Man’s face with a cloth. Six months living and eating in China, six months living and eating in India, and she can’t manage the Tin Man. Odd.

My nephew nearing 40 hasn’t forgiven me for putting him in front of the movie, Cujo, before he was school age. A nice little movie about a dog. What kid doesn’t like dogs?

These young things are a bit of a worry. Need a little more concrete in their diet.

So I’ve started a Sue Grafton puzzle whereby you also have to solve the crime. I always liked reading about the exploits of PI Kinsey Millhone, but not so any more. This is a tough one with no illustration for guidance.

Visited the Little Library today and was rather taken by the newly donated book with the yellow cover. Didn’t look between the covers just in case.

Oh, and a book review.

Somebody That I Used To Know by Bunkie King.

I’ve only ever thrown one book into the bin – a tasteless biography that detailed having to break the bones of a dead Mario Lanza to fit him into his coffin.

This was my second.

It is just so wrong. So wrong on so many levels.

Bunkie King is the sister of Leona King and together they shared a relationship with Australian actor, Jack Thompson for 15 years. “Nothing kinky” as they never all shared a bed.

This raised too many questions that I just didn’t need to ponder. Oh, and although she denies being a druggie having hash oil on toast for breakfast kind of says something, doesn’t it?

I’m sorry she suffered a failed marriage and a breakdown. If this was her idea of superannuation she failed that too.

Dorothea Mackeller Got It Right.

In good news the Currowan Fire burning in the Shoalhaven for 74 days was set to “out” by the NSW Rural Fire Service on Saturday. In Qld’s South East corner, and much of the eastern coastline, I came out of the theatre to wade through foot high rain water surging across the lawn. Not an elegant exit and I expect that I’ll be up for a new pair of shoes. *

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! 

Dot Mackeller certainly nailed it, didn’t she ?

Perfect weather for the flicks so saw the 2019 remake of Midway. Quite enjoyable except that I kept looking for Robert Mitchum as General Halsey confined to his hospital bed with shingles. The visuals literally had me on the edge of my seat though the aerial attacks on the Japanese ships in the last battle were way too Star Warsey.

Being stuck indoors made for crafty activities. Easter treats prepared for the kiddies who use the Little Community Library- forward planning is a positive, right? – and pots painted and planted as fund raisers.

Regardless of weather the house requires a major tidy. Child home midweek and she is a neat freak. Hope she remembers how to cope when I hand her a golf club and send her out into the garden to do battle with the cane toads that abound in this big wet………..

* Thoughts with the daughter and a girlfriend on cyclone watch.

The Daughter, Books and Jaipur.

I’m looking forward to having my youngest daughter home for a few days following her five month work stint in India.

Means I have to stock up on bubble bath, cab sav, and errrr……blue vein cheese ( which I detest and refuse to keep in the food fridge in case it contaminates anything). And yes, with a good book in hand she will require all of the above for recuperative purposes and all at the same time!

Cat Balou attended the Jaipur Literature Festival last month. The JLF is the largest free literary festival in the world which takes place in Jaipur, India, with the Diggi Palace Hotel and surrounding gardens serving as the main venue of the festival. I’m so looking forward to hearing about her adventures. I know she’s posted a box of books to her home address.

She tells me she also splurged on a scarf made from the same material as one of the tents at the festival. Now thats clever marketing.

Works as a scarf too

I’ve been boringly good and not spent a penny on books this year. I’m thinking of talking to my local councillor about adding one of these up next to the Little Community Library. What do you think?

Ooooops, sorry. I lied. I did buy some books.

Jack Reacher and Mickey Mouse

These books were left in a bundle by my front door during the week, a donation for the Little Community Library.

Naturally, I thought it prudent to read the Jack Reacher books before passing them on. Jack and I go back a long way. Great escapism and I’ve always had a soft spot for the lump of a man. Or thug if you prefer. (And that does not include the Tom Cruise version. What a crock!)

Sadly, I confess to breaking up with Jack. There is an issue when a girl wants to send Jack Reacher a Red Cross parcel. Or buy him a dog. Jack sorely needs a dog to call his own.

Someone please let me know when Lee Childs gives Jack a white picket fence or a share portfolio. Or a basset hound. I’ll read all about him again then.

Monash and Chauvel will be undertaken on those long hot days under the ceiling fans when all the guests have departed.

Same with Mickey Mouse.

And thanks from my neighbourhood. Much appreciated 🙂