Review: What Do You Call Your Grandpa? Ashleigh Barton & Martina Heiduezek

What Do You Call Your Grandpa

Ashleigh Burton

Illustrated by Martina Heiduezek

HarperCollins Publishing

ABC Books

ISBN: 9780733340864

RRP$17.99

Ages 4+

 

Description:

An inclusive picture book for grandparents everywhere.

 

In every country around the world are grandpas short and tall.

 

Though they go by different names, we love them one and all.

 

From brilliant new talents Ashleigh Barton and Martina Heiduczek, comes a charming and heart-warming book that celebrates the many different ways we say grandpa.

 

What Do You Call Your Grandpa? is a love letter to grandfathers and families from every corner of the globe.

 

My View:

A celebration of all names for grandpa – with images of traditional elements of the culture being explored in each page, this book is a delight to read with your pre-schooler.  Caregivers, pre-schoolers and teachers alike will find this a useful resource when discussing inclusivity in the global community of contemporary Australia. And a great gift idea for the upcoming (grand) fathers’ days 😊

 

 

 

Review: Pink! – Margaret Wild and Judith Rossell

Pink!

Margaret Wild and Judith Rossell

HarperCollins Children’s Books

ISBN: 9781460757499

RRP$24.99

Ages 2-5 years

 

Description:

Pink was born to stand out Pink is a small dinosaur who stands out from the crowd. Hide-and-seek is her favourite game, but her colour means she’s always the first one to be found. She doesn’t want to be pink anymore … until her difference helps her friends find their way home again.

 

An adorable new picture book about accepting yourself and finding your strengths, from award-winning author Margaret Wild and award-winning illustrator Judith Rossell.

 

My View:

A delightful narrative about difference, acceptance and being you.

 

And who doesn’t love dinosaur stories? This is sure to be a hit with all pre-schoolers and their care givers alike; beautifully illustrated, with a narrative that has lot of discussion to offer re acceptance of who we are, of our strengths, of being different or simply a story about a dinosaur helping her friends, you chose how you navigate this narrative with your pre-schooler.

 

 

Review: The Question of Love – Hugh Mackay

The Question of Love

Hugh Mackay

Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781760787752

RRP $32.99

 

Description:

What really goes on in a marriage?

 

Richard and Freya are, on the surface, a perfect couple. He has a thriving architectural practice; she plays the violin like an angel. They live in a beautiful home. They seem respectful and caring of one another.

 

They should be happier than they are.

 

In The Question of Love, Hugh Mackay has constructed a novel of stunning originality – both a sympathetic examination of a marriage and a nuanced exposition of the complexities and contradictions of human love.

 

Starkly observed, beautifully written and intricately plotted, The Question of Love explores the myriad ways we resist the terrible beauty of true intimacy.

 

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Hugh Mackay is a social researcher and bestselling author of 21 books, including What Makes Us Tick, The Good Life and Australia Reimagined. His latest non-fiction book is The Inner Self, published in May 2020 concurrently with his eighth novel, The Question of Love.

 

He has had a 60-year career in social research, and was a weekly newspaper columnist for over 25 years. Among many honorary appointments, he has been deputy chairman of the Australia Council for the Arts, chairman of trustees of Sydney Grammar School, the inaugural chairman of the ACT government’s Community Inclusion Board and an honorary professor at Macquarie, Wollongong and Charles Sturt universities. He is currently a patron of the Asylum Seekers Centre. Hugh is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and the Royal Society of NSW. In recognition of his pioneering work in social research, he has been awarded honorary doctorates by Charles Sturt, Macquarie, NSW, Western Sydney and Wollongong universities. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2015.

 

My View:

A quirky narrative that looks at the minutiae of relationships.

 

This was an interesting “study” in how we tell the truth, how we tell ourselves a version of the truth, how we manage relationships and the “small things” that can make or break a relationship

 

Mackay employs a “ground hog day” type scenario where we explore the same situation with many what ifs and perspectives. By the time you have completed this read you will be demanding the characters sit down together and air their small grievances, air their truths and really listen to one another. Or is it too late? The characters chose to keep silent for many years, is it now to late to undo the damage the silence created?  Read and decide for yourself.

 

 

 

#FridayFreebie The Last Lighthouse Keeper – John Cook, Jon Bauer

The Last Lighthouse Keeper

John Cook with Jon Bauer

Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781760875381

Description:

A beautiful memoir from John Cook, one of Tasmania’s last kerosene lighthouse keepers. A story about madness and wilderness, shining a light onto the vicissitudes of love and nature.

‘John Cook’s ripping life story exposes Tasmania’s old kero-fuelled lighthouses: relentless physically and emotionally demanding labour, done under the often cruel vagaries of nature. Noble work that can ultimately redeem a lost soul. Or break them.’ – Matthew Evans

I loved the life of the island, because I knew my body was more alive than it was on the mainland. People asked how we stood the isolation and boredom, but in some ways, it was more stimulating to have your senses turned up.

In Tasmania, John Cook is known as ‘The Keeper of the Flame’. As one of Australia’s longest-serving lighthouse keepers, John spent 26 years tending Tasmania’s well-known kerosene ‘lights’ at Tasman Island, Maatsuyker Island and Bruny Island.

From sleepless nights keeping the lights alive, battling the wind and sea as they ripped at gutters and flooded stores, raising a joey, tending sheep and keeping ducks and chickens, the life of a keeper was one of unexpected joy and heartbreak. But for John, nothing was more heartbreaking than the introduction of electric lights, and the lighthouses that were left empty forever.

Evocatively told, The Last Lighthouse Keeper is a love story between a man and a dying way of life, as well as a celebration of wilderness and solitude.

 

**What an incredible life story unfolds in these pages! Today, thanks to the generous people at Allen & Unwin I have 3 copies of The Last Lighthouse Keeper to giveaway ( toAustralian residents only)  in the comments answer me this: where did the Keeper of the Flame work? Entries close 15th September 2020**

#FridayFreebie – Wasp Season – Jennifer Scoullar

Wasp Season

Jennifer Scoullar

Pilyara Press

ISBN: 9780648308942

 

Description:

You’ll never see a wasp in the same way again …

When Beth’s marriage ends, she’s determined to build a new life in the country for herself and her children. A quiet life lived closer to nature. She thinks she’s achieved the impossible – a civilised separation, a happy home and a cordial relationship with her estranged husband, Mark. There’s even the promise of new love on the horizon. But when Mark tries to change the rules, Beth’s peaceful world is turned upside down.

Disturbingly, she also discovers that European wasps have invaded her garden. Beth’s obsession with them and their queen holds up a distorted mirror to the human drama. As the chaos in Beth’s life gathers momentum, connections between the two worlds come sharply into focus. The lives of Beth and the others are neither separate to, nor safe from, the natural world.

AUTHOR’S NOTE
In this series of Wild Australia Stories I tell tales of the people, wildlife and land that I love. But there is more to wild Australia than brumbies, dingoes, dolphins and the magnificent outback.

As a passionate conservationist and amateur naturalist, I’m interested in all aspects of nature. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s not always about the big things. Little creatures have a surprising impact on our lives. If you’re squeamish about insects, look away now. If you’re fascinated by the Australian bush and the way all creatures great and small are connected, then Beth’s story is for you.

– Praise for Wasp Season –

-There is an ironic twist to this tale, a violent and sudden twist that will leave the reader gasping. Wasp Season is a fascinating study of nature and humans.– Wendy O’Hanlon, Acres Australia

– ‘A thrilling story that describes both human and insect life in detail as they become intertwined … an unforgettable, unputdownable trip into a garden that, on the surface, seems like a quiet refuge.’ – John Morrow, World of Books and Music

– ‘Scoullar, it turns out, is a writer of documentary calibre.’ Australian Literary Review

 

** I have one copy of Wasp Season, courtesy of the author,  available to an Australian resident to win – it’s simple – in the comments name one other book Jennifer has written.  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4428836.Jennifer_Scoullar
Competition closes  8th August 2020. Good luck **

Review: There’s a Zoo In my Poo – Professor Felice Jacka and Rob Craw

There’s a Zoo In my Poo

Professor Felice Jacka and Rob Craw,  

Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781760783044

 

Description:

 

There’s a Zoo in your Poo!

It needs a Zookeeper

And that Keeper is YOU!

 

Did you know that trillions of tiny bugs live in and on all of us? And there’s a Zoo of bugs in our poo. But which are the good bugs and which are the bad? What should we eat to keep our good bugs happy and our body strong?

 

Get to the guts of what you need to know about you and your poo.

 

Professor Felice Jacka is a world expert in the field of Nutritional Psychiatry and gut health. Teacher and musician Rob Craw is a world expert at drawing bugs!

 

They want kids to know all about the amazing stuff going on in their bodies.

 

Get ready for a journey inside the most exciting of places … YOU!

 

 

My View:

Brilliant!

 

This book is the new #1 on my 4-year-old grandson’s reading list.  We have read over and over and over. He even took it in the car with him, to read on a short holiday.  He loves this book and I must say I agree with his view. It is brilliant! It is the perfect book to start a dialogue with your pre-schooler about gut health, healthy food choices, digestion etc.

 

This book is packed with easily transferable knowledge – one page reads “factorially” – with information that a parent/guardian or teacher will find useful, the opposite page is filled with images and fun facts that are attention grabbing and keep your pre schooler entertained. And the best page of all? The poo chart 😊  ( https://continence.org.au/bristol-stool-chart )  What is it with pre-schoolers and poo? Yes my grandson joyfully shares with us the number on the chart that matches his poo. Too much information you may ask? Well, a little gross but not really; he is at a great age to start healthy lifestyle conversations😊 and this book does a fabulous job of starting these conversations.

 

This book is a must have resource for every school and library.

 

 

Review: Living on Stolen Land -Ambelin_Kwaymullina

Living on Stolen Land

Ambelin Kwaymullina

Magabala Books

ISBN: 9781925936247

 

Description:

Living on Stolen Land is a prose-styled look at our colonial-settler ‘present’. This book is the first of its kind to address and educate a broad audience about the colonial contextual history of Australia, in a highly original way. It pulls apart the myths at the heart of our nationhood, and challenges Australia to come to terms with its own past and its place within and on ‘Indigenous Countries’.

 

This title speaks to many First Nations’ truths; stolen lands, sovereignties, time, decolonisation, First Nations perspectives, systemic bias and other constructs that inform our present discussions and ever-expanding understanding. This title is a timely, thought-provoking and accessible read.

 

There is no part of this place

that was not

is not

cared for

loved

by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander nation

There are no trees

rivers

hills

stars

that were not

are not

someone’s kin

 

 

My View:

This is a timely and significant read.  Ambelin Kwaymullina offers the reader a chance to “walk in someone else’s shoes,” to hear views and perspectives that are not often heard in the dominant Settler culture. It is a moving read in a stream of conscientiousness style prose that has a voice that demands to be heard, to be listened to.

 

“Ask How Not What” (p58)

Many Settlers

ask what can be done

to support Indigenous peoples

But there are many “whats”

Many initiatives

Ideas

The only people who can can tell you

Which ones are right

For which homelands

Are the sovereign Indigenous peoples

It is for them to say

What’s right for them

What’s right for their Country…..

 

 

Review: The Silent Wife – Karin Slaughter

The Silent Wife

Will Trent #10

Karin Slaughter

Harper Collins Australia

ISBN: 9781460757048

 

Description:

He watches.

 

A woman runs alone in the woods. She convinces herself she has no reason to be afraid, but she’s wrong. A predator is stalking the women of Grant County. He lingers in the shadows, until the time is just right to snatch his victim.

He waits.

A decade later, the case has been closed. The killer is behind bars. But then another young woman is brutally attacked and left for dead, and the MO is identical.

He takes.

Although the original trail has gone cold — memories have faded, witnesses have disappeared — agent Will Trent and forensic pathologist Sara Linton must re-open the cold case. But the clock is ticking, and the killer is determined to find his perfect silent wife …

 

My View:

I really enjoyed this dual time line narrative that brings back characters from the start of the Grant Country series, characters that provide a tension in the protagonist relationship and spotlights crime scenes and policing from that earlier period – Slaughter weaves this complex narrative together seamlessly.  As always, this a stunning read.

 

In the final pages of the book Karin Slaughter addresses the reader, don’t be tempted to read this first up, there are spoilers, but do read. Karin makes some significant  points: “In the beginning of my career…I made the decision that what I was writing would matter from one book to the next…that’s why I decided to write frankly about violence against women…it was important to openly describe what that violence actually looks like, and to explore the long-lasting effects of trauma in as realistic way as possible. If I’ve done anything with these two series, I hope that people will look at them as an honest telling of stories we do not often hear about survivors, fighters, mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, friends, and rogues. “

 

I think Karin Slaughter has succeeded.

 

A thought that remains me after reading this book, listen to your intuition.

 

** This is a stunning and at times hilarious interview with Karin Slaughter by Dervla McTiernan  https://www.facebook.com/50377417167/videos/622600778612826 

 

#FridayFreebie Face Value – Ian Andrew

Face Value

Wright & Tran #1

Ian Andrew

ISBN: 978-0992464127 Trade Paperback: 314 pages Trim: 13.3 x 2.0 x 20.3 cm

Publisher: The Book Reality Experience

Published: 11 May 2015

Winner of the Publishers Weekly Booklife Prize for Fiction, FACE VALUE by Ian Andrew, is the opening salvo in the detective thriller series that follows Kara Wright and Tien Tran, veterans of UK Military Intelligence, now trying to scrape by as Private Investigators.

 

With taut writing, bone-crushing action, and a pace that never relents, this was a difficult read to put down and a worthy winner.
Mark Dawson, USA Today bestselling author.

Featuring gripping action and tight plotting, this supercharged novel keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

Publishers Weekly

 

Description:

When ex-intelligence operative Tien Tran finds civilian life lacking, she teams up with her hot-headed fellow vet Kara to become private investigators. Even with her hard-as-nails partner by her side, Tran struggles to afford the London rent on their office. The computer genius agrees to take on a well-paying case of two clients’ missing parents to keep the lights on. But when the rookie PIs learn the siblings’ father is ex-intelligence too, they suspect the questions of his disappearance may lead to sinister answers.

 

Kara Wright has no problem taking her combat skills to the streets, but her lack of empathy tends to get her in deep trouble. When she takes one counterattack too far, Wright’s aggression puts her and her partner at risk in the middle of their investigation. As they follow the case of violence and abuse to the heart of the criminal underworld, the Metropolitan Police may put a stop to their search before it starts.

Can Tran keep Wright in check long enough to close the case, or will the pair of PIs fall victim to a dark and deadly game?

 

Face Value is the gripping first book in the Wright & Tran crime thriller series. If you like electrifying action, breathless pacing, and three-dimensional characters, then you’ll love Ian Andrew’s award-winning special ops detective novel.

 

 

**This week I have 5 Ebooks of  Face Value the first book in the Wright and Tran series – a book I highly recommend. In the comments tell me which city this book is set in.  5 Winners will be randomly selected on 25 July 2020. Good luck. **

New Release Book Review: The Bluffs by Kyle Perry

New Release Book Review: The Bluffs by Kyle Perry

Thanks Mrs B for the is great review of The Bluffs – last chance to enter my giveaway for this title is today.

Mrs B's Book Reviews

Title: The Bluffsthe bluffs smallAuthor: Kyle Perry

Published: July 2nd 2020

Publisher: Penguin Books Australia

Pages: 432

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Crime, Thriller

RRP: $32.99

Rating: 4 stars

I won’t walk alone by the mountain trees, or the hungry man will come for me . . .

‘Tense, atmospheric and unsettling, this book will stay with you long after you turn the last page, and long after you turn out the lights.’ – Christian White
At the bottom of the world, there is an island. It is a land of rugged wilderness, of ice and snow and blistering heat, of the oldest trees on earth . . . They say tigers still roam there. They say other things roam, too.

When a school group of teenage girls goes missing in the remote wilderness of Tasmania’s Great Western Tiers, the people of Limestone Creek are immediately on alert. Three decades ago, five…

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