Review: When A Soul Mate Says No- A Memoir – Amanda Trenfield

When A Soul Mate Says No -A Memoir

Amanda Trenfield

Pepper Press

ISBN: 9781925914436

Description:

Amanda never imagined that after uprooting her comfortable, stable life to make room for her soulmate that he would decide to go his own way. They agreed that their connection was unbelievably cosmic. So why did he say no?

A fearless voyage of self-discovery fueled by stubbornness, tenacity, and an unquenchable thirst for answers to the great mysteries of the soul. Amanda shares the intimate details of her transformation from love-sick hot mess to self-actualised superstar with unapologetic vulnerability and effervescent humour.

Through the exploration of grief, spirituality, energy therapies, self-acceptance, and the undeniable healing power of a good Diana Ross song, Amanda’s story serves as an example of what is possible when we dare to dream of a life that’s nothing short of miraculous. 

My View:

This is a courageous and honest narrative about life transformation through the exploration of grief and relationships.

The author has turned around her negative situation and focused on her own healing and self awareness and shows the reader how you too can evoke change.

A very host and open read.

**PS Love the cover art.

Review: The Widow of Walcha – Emma Partridge

The Widow of Walcha: A True Crime Story of Love, Lies and a Murder In A small Country Town

Emma Partridge

Simon & Schuster Australia

ISBN: 9781760859428

Description:

The Widow of Walcha is a shocking true story about death, love and lies in the small NSW town of Walcha.
 
All farmer Mathew Dunbar ever wanted was to find love and have a family of his own. That’s why, just months after meeting Natasha Darcy, the much-loved grazier didn’t hesitate to sign over his multi-million-dollar estate to her.
 
When Mathew died in an apparent suicide soon afterwards, in a stranger-than-fiction twist, Natasha’s estranged husband – who she was once charged with trying to kill – was the first paramedic on the scene after the murder.
 
Journalist and author Emma Partridge travelled to the cool and misty town of Walcha in the Northern Tablelands of NSW in the months after Mathew Dunbar’s death, drawn by the town’s collective worry that Natasha was going to get away with murder. Partridge spent months researching the case, interviewing Mathew’s friends, family and Natasha herself in an attempt to uncover her sickening web of lies and crimes.
 
The Widow of Walcha is about one of the most extraordinary criminal trials in Australia’s history and reveals Natasha’s sickening crimes against those she claimed to love, fuelled by her obsession with money.
 

My View:

This story is so bizarre it reads like … a black comedy… how incredulous this is, how unbelievable the actions are in this read … I just cannot believe this actually happened, yet it did and one person is dead and a few more escaped by good luck. I shake my head as I read…how did this happen? How did this woman get away with so much before this last terrible act landed her in gaol? How does her husband (at the time the book was written, they were still married, that I do not get at all) whom she attempted to murder (setting the house on fire whilst he was in it) stay shtum? How? I just cant believe it.

Yet this is true. Follow the stories of her previous relationships, the earlier police charges, her first time in gaol, her next targets….read on as the clues are unraveled. Sit in court and hear evidence and then once the verdict has been delivered read on about the information that wasnt allowed to be shared in court, the other stories of “near misses”. I continue to shake my head in disbelief. What an incredible, true story.

I wish we could hear the Widow’s story ( I guess we do through the evidence and transcripts and interviews) but as she has not accepted responsibility I guess we will never know what was going through her mind,.. intriguing.

Big screen here this comes 🙂

Review: This Is Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch- Tabitha Carvan

This is Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch

Tabitha Carvan

Fourth Estate

Harper Collins

ISBN:  9781460760659

RRP $32.99

Description:

If you feel that sense that there is something missing from your life, some gap between who you are on the inside and who you are on the outside – then this is the book for you.

This is, as the title says, not actually a book about Benedict Cumberbatch.

In fact, it’s a book about women and what we love, about what happens to women’s passions after we leave adolescence and how the space for joy in our lives is squeezed ever smaller as we age, and why. More importantly, it’s about what happens if you subvert that narrative and simply love something like you used to.

Drawing upon her personal experience of unexpectedly falling for the British actor Benedict Cumberbatch while stuck at home with two young children, Carvan challenges the reader to stop instinctively resisting the possibility of experiencing pleasure. Hers is clarion rallying cry: find your thing, whatever it may be, and love it like your life depends on it.

Funny, intelligent, transporting and liberating, this book is a total joy.

Witty, erudite and fierce in its message – that women should seek joy and find fun. Happily, this book provides both in abundance. I loved it.‘ Jacqueline Maley

You know when you bite into a chocolate, and unexpectedly discover it’s filled with delectable cherry kirsch that explodes into your mouth and oozes everywhere? That’s this book. Original, highly entertaining, fast-paced, personal read that contains unexpected revelations at every corner. It’s funny, it’s smart, it’s compelling. But most of all, it’s a battle cry: sit up, pay attention and follow your heart and find joy. After all, our time on this earth is short. C’mon. The clock is ticking.‘ Ginger Gorman

‘Intimate, self-deprecating … like an Australian Caitlin Moran or Dolly Alderton … an easy, lighthearted read about serious subject matter: feminism, passion, relationships and creativity, and owning the strength of the passions felt in childhood and adolescence.’ Books+Publishing

My View:

Let’s start with 5 star read. Wonderful cover art. A surprising, evocative, provocative and thoroughly enjoyable read. In fact I might even read this again and again. And that says something.

I picked up this booked – for two reasons- I do love the cover art and I am a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch since I discovered this video. I love his voice. Check this out. He “reads” poetry, letters….I would listen to him read a shopping receipt. 🙂

But I digress. 🙂

The book, though it does rave and gush about the wonders of the man Benedict Cumberbatch (to illustrate a point 🙂 ) it is actually a book about finding passion, finding yourself, acceptance and love. It is about discovering or rediscovering feelings, rediscovering self, honoring your self.

It is a fun, witty, intelligent and thought provoking read.

I loved this book.

Review: Intolerance Friendly Kitchen – Georgia McDermott

Intolerance Friendly Kitchen

Georgia McDermott

Lantern

Penguin

ISBN: 9781761043932

Description:

Dependable, delicious recipes that make great food accessible for a range of intolerances- gluten free, FODMAP friendly and more.

If you have a dietary intolerance and sometimes feel you’re missing out on foods you’d love to eat, this book is for you.

Intolerance-Friendly Kitchen is all about reliable recipes that are gluten free, low FODMAP and vegetarian, and cater wherever possible to diets without dairy, eggs, nuts, grains, starches or gums.

Georgia McDermott – also known as much-loved Melbourne food blogger @georgeats – is passionate about making life’s delicious moments accessible to everyone, and she’s done all the painstaking recipe testing so you don’t have to. Whether it’s knowing the best flour to use for a certain cake or pastry, or offering a substitution to cut the lactose but keep the flavour, Georgia has worked out how to get the best results every time. Her 100+ beautifully photographed recipes include-

Yeasted croissants
Chocolate babka
Any-flour-you-like brownie cookies
Sourdough cinnamon scrolls
Vegetarian or vegan sausage rolls
Starch-free sourdough
Gluten-free egg pasta
Tofu and ginger dumplings

From bread, cakes and other sweet bakes to pasta, noodles and savoury pastry, this is a collection of recipes so rewarding and easy to follow that meeting your dietary requirements feels like a bonus!

About the Author

Georgia McDermott is a food stylist, food photographer, recipe developer and blogger. Georgia writes, cooks and photographs gluten-free, FODMAP-friendly and pescetarian recipes on her blog and is the author of the bestselling cookbook FODMAP Friendly.

My View:

By far the best gluten free /FODMAP friendly cook book I have come across in a long time. If you have food intolerances but love baking this book is for you!

Posting some great recipes … soon. 🙂 Lets get baking.

Review: I Am A Killer -Danny Tipping & Ned Parker

I Am a A Killer

Danny Tipping & Ned Parker

Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781529065176

Description:

What goes through the mind of a killer when they commit murder? Based on the massively successful Netflix documentary series of the same name, this book features ten of the most compelling cases from the first two series and is full of exclusive never-seen-before material.

The authors, Ned Parker and Danny Tipping secured exceptional access to high-security prisons across America. The majority of the killers will die in prison – either by serving their sentence of life without parole or they are on Death Row, waiting to be executed. In each of the cases the inmate speaks openly about themselves and reflects on their life and their crimes. To gain a complete picture of the impact of the murders the authors spoke to both the families of both the perpetrators and the victims, and those in law enforcement who were involved in the case, leaving it up to the reader to make up their own mind about the killers and their crimes.

The book draws on handwritten letters from the inmates and full transcripts of the interviews to tell each story, and features exclusive material including personal pictures, crime scene images, and original police and court documents, this is a fascinating and detailed look at some of America’s most gripping murder cases.

My View:

This was a fascinating read. It did not glorify the crimes or those who committed them it merely reflected on circumstances, spoke to a few people involved in the situations to try and share a balanced view of the prisoner and life before and after they committed murder, on the what if’s ( or maybe that was what I added in my own head as I read), spoke of the legal systems; its complexity, it’s regional variances, it’s failings.

The book ( the lives of most in this book) is a sad reflection on how society has failed so many. Pick it up, read it and make your own conclusion. I would like to think that most in this book will get a second chance to have all their stories heard and then be judged accordingly.

I hope that those who determine where our taxes are spent read this book and realise money spent on drug rehabilitation programs ,on education for all, on domestic violence shelters and support, on child welfare, is money well spent. Think long term results or consequences, it’s your choice.

#FridayFreebie: Forgiveness Is the Hardest Thing – An Anthology

Forgiveness is the Hardest Thing – An Anthology

Leschenault Press

ISBN: 9781922670373

RRP $34.95

Description:

Forgive (verb): 1. Stop feeling angry or resentful towards a person who has done something hurtful or wrong. 2. excuse an offence or mistake.

Forgiveness (noun): the action of forgiving.

(OED, Oxford University Press 2009)

The path to forgiveness requires acceptance, introspection, admission of guilt, and the ability to see the situation through another's eyes.  

During the prolonged Covid-19 lockdowns, twenty-one women were invited to write about their experiences of forgiveness through the medium of poetry or prose, fiction or non-fiction. The result is an anthology that lays bare the shared need to forgive or to be forgiven.

It captures deeply personal stories of domestic violence, family disruptions, the disintegration of friendships, and the impact of taking an individual's power. But it also brings gifts of insight, stories of healing, techniques to help with physical and mental well-being, and a discourse about the spiritual side of forgiveness from a unique perspective.

Featuring the writing of multiple-award winning authors from across North America, the UK, Ireland, NZ and Australia, Forgiveness is the Hardest Thing is an inspiring collection to draw from when you too are wondering, how can I forgive?

**Thanks to Leschenault Press I have one copy of this evocative anthology to give away. Simply hop over the publishers website https://bookreality.com/project/for-authors/ and list one  of the contributors to the anthology. Open to residents of Ireland, USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.  Winner randomly selected on 5/2/022.**  

Review: Flourish for Mums – Sonia Bestulic

Review: Flourish for Mums – Sonia Bestulic

Flourish for Mums

Sonia Bestulic

Big Sky Publishing

ISBN: 9781922387998

Description:

This book is a warm hug for mothers. Motherhood is a personal journey of self-discovery. A mix of feeling delight and wonder, to challenged and overwhelmed – often, all in one day! FLOURISH for Mums is your perfect companion to cultivate 21 healthy ways to let go of unrealistic expectations and create space to celebrate your unique parenting pathway. Filled with uplifting anecdotes and supportive strategies, while busting big misconceptions – this is personal, yet universal in its strong, yet gentle messages. Handbag friendly and always ready to provide a dose of inspiration. Dear mum, it’s time to relax – replenish – FLOURISH.

My View:

There is so much “real” in this book. So much that resonates. It is promoted as a book for new mums but I think this book has a much bigger audience; it’s a book we can all find something to take with us on our life’s journey.  A book for life.

“If I had to summarise the experience of self-forgiveness; it would look a little like this:

SELF-FORGIVENESS

= Self -Awareness

  = Acknowledgement

     = Self- kindness

     = Openness to listening

        = Learning

           = Acceptance

              = Owning

                  = New space for personal growth

Review: Flourish for Mums – Sonia Bestulic

…. tune in and listen to yourself.” P98

Grilled Chicken, Mango & Avocado Salad: Food for the Soul – Lucy Lord

Grilled chicken, mango and avocado salad with cashews and chilli lime dressing

Serves 2

2 skinless chicken breasts

1 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated

Pinch of chilli powder or cayenne pepper

Pinch of salt

Large handful of soft leafy greens, such as lamb’s lettuce and baby spinach

1 mango, peeled, stoned and sliced

1 avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced

Handful of basil, roughly torn

30g cashews, roughly chopped

Lime wedges, to serve

FOR THE DRESSING

2 tbsp olive oil

Zest and juice of ½ lime

½ tbsp apple cider vinegar

½ tbsp honey

Pinch of chilli flakes

Pinch of salt

1. Preheat the grill to high and line a baking tray with foil.

2. In a mug or small jar, whisk the dressing ingredients

together with a fork.

3. Butterfly the chicken breasts in half lengthways and use your hands to rub the olive oil over each one. Place

on the baking tray and sprinkle over the garlic, chilli powder or cayenne pepper and salt, gently rubbing

the seasoning on to both sides of the breast. Grill the chicken for 4–5 minutes on each side, turning halfway,

until golden brown.

4. Meanwhile, assemble the salad leaves and top with the mango, avocado and basil.

5. Once the chicken is cooked, thinly slice into strips and add to the salad along with the cashews. Drizzle over

the dressing and serve with lime wedges.

NOTE

• This salad is best enjoyed fresh but you can cook the chicken and make the dressing in advance and keep

in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days, just add the fresh fruits and assemble when

you’re ready to enjoy.

Recipes and images taken from Food for the Soul by Lucy Lord, published by HarperCollins.

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.