Review: Heal – Pete Evans

101 Simple Ways to Improve Your Health in a Modern World

Pete Evans

Pan Macmillan Australia

Plum

ISBN: 9781760782627

 

Description:

So many of us are looking for practical changes we can make to nourish our body, be more active and find meaningful connection – ways to be stronger, happier and healthier, in a fast-paced world.

 

Pete begins with what he knows best – food – and offers suggestions on how to eat and drink in ways that will support your wellbeing. Next, he explores different ways to move and play that are known to positively influence physical and mental health. There are ideas on how to relax your body and mind, including massage and meditation, as well as the best strategies for restorative sleep. Finally, Pete explores activities that promote creativity, self-awareness and connection with other people, which are all essential to emotional wellbeing.

 

With ideas to inspire everyone to make a change in their lives – no matter how big or small – Heal will help you to find the path to your healthiest self.

 

 

My View:

This is Pete Evan being the best person he can be and sharing with you how he does this.

I loved the soft bound cover, the gloriously peaceful images (in fact all the photography here is outstanding) and the joy reading this creates.  This book is full of positive vibes, uplifting.

 

 

Heal – Peter Evan

 Photograph courtesy Ant Ong.

 

Review: The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone – Felicity McLean

The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone

Felicity McLean

Harper Collins Publishers Australia

Fourth Estate

ISBN: 9781460755068

 

Description:

We lost all three girls that summer. Let them slip away like the words of some half-remembered song and when one came back, she wasn’t the one we were trying to recall to begin with.’

 

So begins Tikka Molloy’s recounting of the summer of 1992 – the summer the Van Apfel sisters, Hannah, the beautiful Cordelia and Ruth – disappear.

 

Eleven and one-sixth years old, Tikka is the precocious narrator of this fabulously endearing coming-of-age story, set in an eerie Australian river valley suburb with an unexplained stench. The Van Apfel girls vanish from the valley during the school’s ‘Showstopper’ concert, held at the outdoor amphitheatre by the river. While the search for the sisters unites the small community on Sydney’s urban fringe, the mystery of their disappearance remains unsolved forever.

 

Brilliantly observed, sharp, lively, funny and entirely endearing, this novel is part mystery, part coming-of-age story – and quintessentially Australian. Think The Virgin Suicides meets Jasper Jones meets Picnic at Hanging Rock.

 

 

My View:

Outstanding!

 

If evocative, tension packed mysteries are your thing than don’t miss reading this book.

 

Felicity McLean captures the age of the characters, the idiom and the culture of the 90’s effortlessly – or makes it seem effortlessly.

I was glued to the pages, holding my breath, hoping for a positive outcome. There is so much tension packed into every observation, every comment, and every moment.

 

This is compelling, haunting and thought provoking. I loved every minute of this read.  Is this the best read of the year? I think so. It is a book that will stay with me for a long time.

 

Review: Good Girl, Bad Girl – Michael Robotham

Good Girl, Bad Girl

Michael Robotham

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780733638053

RRP$32.99

 

Description:

From the bestselling author of The Secrets She Keeps, the writer Stephen King calls “an absolute master…with heart and soul,” a fiendishly clever suspense novel about a dangerous young woman with a special ability to know when someone is lying—and the criminal psychologist who must outwit her to survive.

 

A girl is found hiding in a secret room in a house being renovated after a terrible crime. For weeks she has survived by sneaking out at night, stealing food for herself and two dogs that are kept in the garden. The nurses at the hospital where she is taken call her “Angel Face” because she won’t tell anyone her name, or her age, or where she came from. Maybe she is twelve, maybe fifteen, or somewhere in between. She doesn’t appear on any missing person’s file, or match the DNA of any murder victim.

 

Six years later, still unidentified, the same girl is living in a secure children’s home with a new name, Evie Cormac, when she initiates a court case demanding the right to be released as an adult. Psychologist Cyrus Haven is sent to interview Evie and decide if she’s ready to go free, but Evie Cormac is unlike he’s anyone he’s ever met. She’s damaged, destructive, and self-hating, yet possessed of a gift, or a curse, that makes her both fascinating and dangerous to be with—the ability to tell when someone is lying. Soon he is embroiled in her unique and dangerous world, his life in utmost peril.

 

Cleverly constructed, swiftly paced, and emotionally explosive, Good Girl, Bad Girl is the perfect thrilling summer read from the internationally bestselling author David Baldacci called “the real deal.”

 

 

My View:

This is very much a character based narrative and Michael Robotham has provided us with two more wonderful protagonists to follow, Cyrus Haven and Evie.

 

Steadily paced with interesting back stories (and more to be revealed) about both leads this is a book that will leave you wanting more. More back stories, more about the mystery, more about the relationships, more about Cyrus and Evie’s future…just more please 🙂

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Crumble: Lunch at 10 Pomegranate St – Felicita Sala

 

Author and Illustrator: Felicita Sala

Publisher: Scribble 

Piccolo Angelo Photography (@piccolo_angelo_photography)

3 punnets of strawberries

1 tbsp lemon juice

200 g flour

1/2 cup slivered almonds

80g sugar

100g butter

creme fraiche to serve

 

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Cut strawberries in half and place in a small oven tin with lemon juice and a spoonful of sugar.

Cut butter into small cubes and mix with flour and sugar in a bowl . Rub the mixture with your fingers until you have a crumbly mix, like wet sand.

Cover strawberries with the crumble mix, sprinkle almond son top.

Bake 40 minutes until golden.

 

Serve with creme fraiche or vanilla ice cream.

 

 

 

Review:The Burnt Country – Joy Rhoades

The Burnt Country

The Woolgrowers Companion #2

Joy Rhoades

Penguin Random House

Bantam

ISBN: 9780143793724

RRP$ 32.99

 

Description:

A scandalous secret. A deadly bushfire. An agonizing choice.

 

Australia 1948. As a young woman single-handedly running Amiens, a sizeable sheep station in New South Wales, Kate Dowd is expected to fail. In fact the local graziers are doing their best to ensure she does.

 

However Kate cannot risk losing Amiens, or give in to her estranged husband Jack’s demands to sell. Because the farm is the only protection she can offer her half-sister Pearl, as the Aborigines Welfare Board calls for her forced adoption.

 

Ostracised by the local community for even acknowledging Pearl, Kate cannot risk another scandal. Which means turning her back on her wartime lover, Luca Canali . . .

 

Then Jack drops a bombshell. He wants a divorce. He’ll protect what’s left of Kate’s reputation, and keep Luca out of it – but at an extortionate price.

 

Soon Kate is putting out fires on all fronts to save her farm, keep her family together and protect the man she loves. Until a catastrophic real fire threatens everything . . .

 

 

My View:

This was not the booked I expected to read!

 

Firstly I did not realise that this was the second in a series until I looked up the book details for my review. But don’t worry this reads perfectly as a stand a one.

 

Second – this is not the rural romance I thought it was going to be. There are relationships – but that is what life is about; the complex nature of our emotional resilience.

 

Thirdly – whilst this is a “historical” fiction the times are not that far away (late 1940s early 50’s). I found the social issues intriguing; women’s’ rights – financial, social, family, legal, work, domestic violence, the war, detention, The Stolen Generation… so so interesting and engaging.

 

This narrative packs a big punch – so many social issues, a tense engaging plot, relationships that felt real, I loved the way women supported each other and help raise each other up. The theme of fire was constant and added a cohesion to the overall plot and an uneasiness that anyone living in a dry, remote countryside will understand.

 

This read was surprising and amazing! I loved it and I hope you do too.

 

And I see a book to film in the future….

 

PS

I enjoyed the bonus recipes supplied at the end of the book.

 

 

 

Review: The Day The Lies Began – Kylie Kaden

The Day the Lies Began

Kylie Kaden

Pantera Press

ISBN: 9781925700381

 

Description:

‘Big Little Lies’ meets ‘The Party’

 

“It seemed simple at first – folding one lie over the next. She had become expert at feathering over the cracks to ensure her life appeared the same. But inside, it didn’t feel fixed.”

 

It happened the day of the Moon Festival. It could have been left behind, they all could have moved on with their lives. But secrets have a habit of rising to the surface, especially in small towns.

 

Two couples, four ironclad friendships, the perfect coastal holiday town. With salt-stung houses perched like lifeguards overlooking the shore, Lago Point is the scene of postcards, not crime scenes. Wife and mother Abbi, town cop Blake, schoolteacher Hannah and local doctor Will are caught in their own tangled webs of deceit.

 

When the truth washes in to their beachside community, so do the judgements: victim, or vigilante, who will forgive, who will betray? Not all relationships survive. Nor do all residents.

 

Sometimes, doing wrong can feel completely right…

 

 

My View:

A great exploration of relationships and the truths and half-truths we tell ourselves/our partners when faced with tough decisions, thankfully most of us will never need to discuss the type of incidents that these conversations revolve around.

 

Twisty and complex, this is a slow burning type read where you really get to understand the main characters. I really loved the growth of the relationship between the angst filled teen and the older woman and the big reveals, most I had not guessed.

 

This is a read that asks the big questions, ‘how well do you know your partner?’ and “how well do you know yourself?’ Isn’t it interesting how people’s reactions/personality changes when they are in very difficult, emotional situations?

I think this would make great tv.

 

 

 

 

 

Black Bean Soup: Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street- Felicita Sala

Author and Illustrator: Felicita Sala

Publisher: Scribble 

Piccolo Angelo Photography (@piccolo_angelo_photography) 

 

Black Bean Soup

3 cans of Black Beans ( or 750 grams cooked and drained)

2 garlic cloves minced

1 red onion

1 tsp crushed cumin

1/2 green bell pepper (capsicum)

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp oregano

500ml stock (or bean cooking liquid)

4 strips of bacon chopped

juice of 2 limes

 

Finely chop onion and bell pepper. Heat up a large pot. Add some olive oil and fry bacon for 2 minutes, until brown.

Add onion and bell pepper and cook on gentle heat for 5 minutes.

Now add garlic, cumin, oregano and tomato paste. Stir and cook another minute.

Add the beans and the stock and season with salt. Simmer for 1/2 an hour stirring occasionally.

Add lime juice at the end and serve with rice and some coriander (optional).

 

Serves 4-6