Review: You Will Rise – Sjana Elise Earp

You Will Rise

Sjana Elise Earp

Ebury Illustrated

Penguin Teen

ISBN: 9781760897864

RRP$32.99

 

Description:

The debut collection from nature-loving yogi and Instagram phenomenon Sjana Elise Earp, featuring 150 of her uplifting poems.

 

For the light seekers and the love givers. This one is for you.

 

For anyone who has ever loved and lost. This one is for you.

 

For the sensitive souls, the magic makers, the time takers. This one is for you.

 

May this book brighten your shadows, illuminate your path and walk you home to yourself.

 

Sjana Elise Earp inspires thousands of people around the world with her infectiously joyful approach to life. But happiness hasn’t always come easily. During her recovery from her experiences of anxiety and depression, writing has been Sjana’s tool to reflect, find gratitude and grow through her emotions. Now, she’s ready to share her vulnerability in her first published collection of poems and photography, and help lift up her sisters too.

 

Dip in during moments when inspiration or comfort is needed, or take a cover-to-cover journey through Sjana’s tender words and beautiful images of nature’s wonders. Either way, you’ll feel grounded, calmer and more connected to the unique power within you. And you, too, will rise.

 

 

My View:

This is a beautifully produced, photographed and moving read. Inspirational, meditative and calming…I am sure there is something here for most people.

 

This is my favourite quote from the book:

 

“Whatever you do, do it with your whole heart. Do it with your

whole soul. Do it with meaning. Do it with intention. Do it

with grace. Do it with lightness and do it with love. Do it with

thought. Do it with compassion and do it with kindness.” P 47

 

This will make a fabulous Christmas gift for someone you love.

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Eddie Woo’s Magical Maths 2 – Eddie Woo

Eddie Woo’s Magical Maths 2

Eddie Woo

Pan Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781760981976

RRP $19.99

 

Description:

A bumper book of maths fun stuffed with things to draw, puzzle, invent, order, unscramble, code, decode for kids aged 7+ years from Australia’s best known maths man. There’s magic in maths – if you know where to look…

 

 

AUTHOR Eddie:

Eddie Woo teaches mathematics at Cherrybrook Technology High School, Sydney. He has been teaching maths for more than ten years.

 

In 2012, Eddie started recording his lessons and uploading them to Youtube – creating ‘Wootube’. Since then, he has amassed a following of more than 1 million subscribers and his videos have been viewed more than 60 million times.

 

In 2018, Eddie was named Australia’s Local Hero of the Year and shortlisted as one of the top ten teachers in the world.

 

 

My View:
This is the perfect book for your school aged child to engage them with the fun world of maths – and yes maths can be fun.  There are puzzles, word hunts, games, colouring in, “spot the differences” to name just a few of the fun exercises here …I think some of these can be played with younger kids if they are supervised/assisted by an adult.  My grandson (4 ½ years) and I will enjoy playing “sprouts” pps 158- 160 – a game about connecting dots. Because maths is all about patterns, and our universe is extraordinarily patterned, you will find something  here that can interest everyone. I learned my art practice is about fractals, so much fun to be had they won’t even know it maths they are learning 😊

 

 

Thanks, Eddie, for a fabulous fun and entertaining book.  I am glad I have discovered you and your maths books, now to discover your YouTube videos.

 

PS – this will make a great Christmas present for someone you know.

#FridayFreebie : Max – Alex Miller

#FridayFreebie : Max – Alex Miller

Max

Alex Miller

Allen & UNwin

ISBN: 9781760878160

RRP $29.99

Description:

An astonishing, moving tribute to Alex’s friend, Max Blatt, that is at once a meditation on memory itself, on friendship and a reminder to the reader that history belongs to humanity.

‘Max tells of Alex Miller’s search — in turns fearful and elated — for the elusive past of Max Blatt, a man he loves, who loved him and who taught him that he must write with love. Miller discovers that he is also searching for a defining part of himself, formed by his relation to Max Blatt, but whose significance will remain obscure until he finds Max, complete, in his history. With Max, Miller the novelist has written a wonderful work of non-fiction, as fine as the best of his novels. Always a truth-seeker, he has rendered himself vulnerable, unprotected by the liberties permitted to fiction. Max is perhaps his most moving book, a poignant expression of piety, true to his mentor’s injunction to write with love.’ Raimond Gaita, award-winning author of Romulus, My Father

I began to see that whatever I might write about Max, discover about him, piece together with those old shards of memory, it would be his influence on the friendships of the living that would frame his story in the present.

According to your 1939 Gestapo file, you adopted the cover names Landau and Maxim. The name your mother and father gave you was Moses. We knew you as Max. You had worked in secret. From an early age you concealed yourself – like the grey box beetle in the final country of your exile, maturing on its journey out of sight beneath the bark of the tree.

You risked death every day. And when at last the struggle became hopeless, you escaped the hell and found a haven in China first, and then Australia, where you became one of those refugees who, in their final place of exile, chose not death but silence and obscurity.

Alex Miller followed the faint trail of Max Blatt’s early life for five years. Max’s story unfolded, slowly at first, from the Melbourne Holocaust Centre’s records then to Berlin’s Federal Archives. From Berlin, Miller travelled to Max’s old home town of Wroclaw in Poland. And finally in Israel with Max’s niece, Liat Shoham, and her brother Yossi Blatt, at Liat’s home in the moshav Shadmot Dvora in the Lower Galilee, the circle of friendship was closed and the mystery of Max’s legendary silence was unmasked.

Max is an astonishing and moving tribute to friendship, a meditation on memory itself, and a reminder to the reader that history belongs to humanity.

 ** Today I have 3 copies of this moving tribute to friendship. If you would like a chance to read this book by the remarkable Alex Miller  simple comment with a title of one of Alex Miler’s previous book.  Australians residents only. I will randomly select winners on 10/10/020   https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/other-books/Max-Alex-Miller-9781760878160  

 

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: Parlour Games for Modern Families – Myfanwy Jones and Spiri Tsintziras

Parlour Games for Modern Families

Myfanwy Jones & Spiri Tsintziras

Scribe Publications

ISBN: 9781921844416

RRP$ 24.99

 

Description:

Reviving the tradition of indoor family games, this guide invites mental stimulation, silliness, and laughter back into the household. From games of logic, memory, and wordplay to rough-and-tumble activities and even simple recipes, this collection takes the environment into consideration, only requiring items easily found around the home, such as a deck of cards, a dictionary, an hour glass, dice, or paper and pen. The featured games are organized thematically and cross-referenced for age-appropriateness. Concise rules and instructions are included, outlining games that will challenge and stimulate, last all night, or fill the empty half-hour before dinner. Ideal for a wide age range, this guide brings back long-forgotten pastimes, guaranteeing entertainment for all.

 

My View:

What a lovely trip down memory lane revisiting so may childhood games. In particular I liked the section on card games – it has been so long since I have played cards that I am a bit fuzzy on the rules and it is so helpful to have something “concrete” in front of you when playing. Now if this had only included a “How to Play Mah-jong” it would be perfect! 😊

 

#Meatless Monday: Cauliflower Soup – Dinner in 5 – Pete Evans

**If you swap out the chicken bone broth in this recipe with vegetable stock you have the perfect autumn vegetarian soup.**

Dinner in 5

Pete Evans

Plum

Pan Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781760559168

RRP$39.99

 

 

Cauliflower Soup 

SERVES 4

cauliflower 1 head (about 1 kg), broken into florets

onion 1, chopped

garlic cloves 4,

chopped chicken bone broth 1.25 litres (page 231) **or vegetable stock**

+ coconut oil or good-quality animal fat 3 tablespoons, melted

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

“When cauliflower is abundant and cheap, I love to eat it in as many ways as possible. I roast, fry, pickle and use it raw in salads. One of the easiest and most satisfying ways to prepare cauliflower when you have a glut is to make a delicious soup. This one is really versatile, so use whatever seasonings take your fancy.” p 194

Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).

Place one-quarter of the cauliflower florets on a baking tray, drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil or fat and toss to coat. Sprinkle on a little salt and roast for 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden. Set aside.

Heat the remaining coconut oil or fat in a large saucepan over medium–high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until slightly softened.

Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the remaining cauliflower florets and cook for 5 minutes to soften.

Next, pour in the broth (**or stock**) and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium– low and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very tender.

Puree the soup with a hand-held blender until super smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into warm serving bowls and top with the reserved roasted cauliflower. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle on some pepper, if desired, and serve.

 

 

 

Review: I’m Staying At Richard’s – Bernadette Agius

I’m Staying at Richard’s: Raising the Exceptional Son I Never Expected
Bernadette Agius
Atria Books
ISBN: 9781501174568

 

Description:
This inspiring, heartfelt, and powerful memoir by a mother of a child with Down syndrome explores the incredible blessings and challenges of raising a child with disabilities.

When Bernadette Agius—an ambitious career-focused woman—became pregnant, she imagined her unborn child attending the best schools and dazzling everyone with his impressive wit, charm, and intelligence. But when the doctors placed her baby boy in her arms and told Bernadette he had Down syndrome, those dreams instantly disappeared.

While her first impulse was to fight against this new reality, she soon found the strength to become the champion her son, Richard, would need and deserved. With the help of her husband and a newfound village of professionals, Bernadette forged a new life, discovering along the way that everyone has a different version of normal. Ultimately Richard, now thirty, was able to defy expectation and become an independent adult.

Grounded in love, offering a message of hope, and told with humor and honesty, I’m Staying at Richard’s shines a light on the fierce, unwavering love of a mother for her son.

 

My View:
This is a very powerful story of unconditional love. Reading this memoir felt a lot like stepping into somebody else’s shoes and for that insight I am grateful.

If you want a powerful, heartening, optimistic and joyful (mostly) story about finding your path and yourself when life throws the totally unexpected at you, read this poignant story.

Review: Phosphorescence – Julia Baird

Phosphorescence
Julia Baird
Harper Collins Australia
Fourth Estate
ISBN: 9781460710890

Description:
A beautiful, intimate and inspiring investigation into how we can find and nurture within ourselves that essential quality of internal happiness – the ‘light within’ that Julia Baird calls ‘phosphorescence’ – which will sustain us even through the darkest times.

Over the last decade, we have become better at knowing what brings us contentment, well-being and joy. We know, for example, that there are a few core truths to science of happiness. We know that being kind and altruistic makes us happy, that turning off devices, talking to people, forging relationships, living with meaning and delving into the concerns of others offer our best chance at achieving happiness. But how do we retain happiness? It often slips out of our hands as quickly as we find it. So, when we are exposed to, or learn, good things, how do we continue to burn with them?

And more than that, when our world goes dark, when we’re overwhelmed by illness or heartbreak, loss or pain, how do we survive, stay alive or even bloom? In the muck and grit of a daily existence full of disappointments and a disturbing lack of control over many of the things that matter most – finite relationships, fragile health, fraying economies, a planet in peril – how do we find, nurture and carry our own inner, living light – a light to ward off the darkness?

Absorbing, achingly beautiful, inspiring and deeply moving, Julia Baird has written exactly the book we need for these times.

My View:

A deeply personal yet universal message of optimism and self-reflection on what is important in our busy modern lives. Trauma is something that the author has experienced first-hand – loss, and her recent health issues have awakened a desire to reconnect with her community and nature; the beach, swimming, the comradery of her fellow swimmers, those enjoying a coffee together afterwards, chatting…the connection of a shared experience and her personal mission to explore what brings her awe and joy.

Awe and joy – what a wonderful state to be in and what sublime timing – in this world of Corona Virus pandemic never has the power of awe been more necessary. Julia Baird is in awe of the natural phenomena, phosphorescence. Have you ever experienced/observed it it? “Living Light…glow worms, ghost mushrooms, fireflies, flashlight fish, vampire squid…glowing missionaries of wonder, emissaries of awe.”
(prelude) What do you find awe inspiring?

Phosphorescence, discover this read and reignite your own passion and joy of life.

 

PS I love the cover art.

 

 

Review: The M Word – Dr Ginni Mansberg

The M Word
How to Thrive in Menopause
Dr Ginni Mansberg
Murdoch Books
ISBN: 9781760524876
RRP $32.99

Description:
A handbook for understanding, embracing and (even) enjoying the rite of passage that is peri-menopause and menopause; outlines the experience, the medical science, treatment options and home remedies; written by a practicing GP and media doctor who has just turned 50 herself.
Night sweats, hot flushes, anxiety, insomnia, exhaustion, itchy skin, low libido, painful sex … Ninety per cent of women experience these symptoms some time between the ages of 40 and 60.
Menopause and perimenopause (the hormonal rollercoaster years leading up to a woman’s last period) are among our last taboo subjects. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – once widely prescribed as the magical secret of youth – has been shunned by women and their doctors for two decades. Dr Ginni Mansberg, one of Australia’s most trusted health and wellbeing experts, is here to work through the evidence and bust the taboos out of the water. The M Word is all about you and your choices. Are you being offered the best solutions for your menopause issues? Because there are great solutions to help you thrive in this new stage of life.

Author bio:
Dr Ginni Mansberg has been a GP for nearly 30 years, specialising in women’s and children’s health. She is a sought-after speaker and an authority on everything from sleep to wellness, life balance to beating stress. Dr Ginni is host of SBS’s eight-part show Medicine or Myth? and Foxtel’s Embarrassing Bodies Down Under, as well as the resident GP on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. She is mother to a blended family of six children and lives and works in Sydney. drginni.com.au (https://www.murdochbooks.com.au/browse/books/health-fitness/health-fitness-1/The-M-Word-Dr-Ginni-Mansberg-9781760524876)

 

My View:
“Menopause is a first world problem” said one female GP that I will l never go back to again. I was at my local doctors’ surgery for something inconsequential and unmemorable…maybe a check-up…and I asked my GP “what can I expect from menopause? How will it affect me? How will I know I am in menopause (silly me – I now realise that this question is obsolete – you WILL know) 😊

I cannot understand this reaction.

Menopause is not often spoken about, why? Surely information/knowledge is power? Dr Ginni Mansberg in her book The M Word – How to Thrive in Menopause – has undone all the harm my ex GP exacted. This book is full of really helpful information in a language that is to digest, that empowers you to take control of your own health and I highly recommend it.

Dr Mansberg: “This is a book that is all about you and your choices.
I have written a book to give you access to the best information we have available today; to answer as many questions as possible, to give you agency over your menopause journey, including the options of HRT. I am not saying you have to take it: I have covered the lifestyle, mind-based, complementary and home remedies out there and a whole lot else, too. Many of these have terrific evidence, and others have a good amount of anecdotal evidence. Some are shockers.” (p.5)

A book for all adults to read.

Read, absorb, take agency of your own health.