Book-reviews-2

This Book Will Change Your Young Adult Children’s Lives

Because working out what you want to do after highschool can be terrifying.

December 9, 2015

Top 5 Romantic Winter Reads

Winter is the perfect excuse to take the afternoon off and cuddle with a good book and a warm cup of tea. It’s often difficult to find a book that has an engaging storyline, with characters that you can invest your time in as the series goes on. We’ve scoured through some books which will leave you swooning for days after you’ve finished reading them.

The Bronze Horseman

The classic tale set in Leningrad, Russia just as World War II starts to take it’s first casualties. Amongst the chaos, Tatiana meets Alexander Belov, a soldier in the Red Army who is completely enamoured by her during their first meeting at a bus stop. The story follows their journey to escape the Leningrad blockade and finally be together. A great read for someone that is interested in anything related to World War II. The book is followed by a sequel called The Bridge To Holy Cross, and a prequel called The Summer Garden.

Atonement

This popular book by Ian McEwan was made into a successful movie starring Keira Knightley who brought her character Cecilia to life. The story starts off on a hot day in the summer of 1935, where a young girl Briony suspects her sister Cecilia is with their landscaper, Robbie. He is subsequently arrested and Briony must live with the lie she fabricated as a child, for her entire life. A spectacular read, which is engaging right up the the last page.

A Single Man

A middle-aged professor is in the midst of a mid-life crisis after the death of his partner, for which he slowly begins to ease into single life. He begins to rely on his friends and students at university to overcome his obstacles, and get his life back together after losing a loved one. The book explores the major themes of love, acceptance and loss. Designer Tom Ford made A Single Man into a film in 2009, which was portrayed wonderfully by Colin Firth.

White Gardenia

Author Belinda Alexandra has created a novel which highlights the delicate relationship of mother and daughter overcoming difficult familial obstacles through life. From the harshness of Cold War Russia, to life in post-war Australia the book uses love, family and romance to create an intense storyline which anyone could relate to.

The Other Boleyn Girl

You’ve probably heard about this one before, the story of two sisters competing for the greatest prize they could think of, the love and power of a king. Mary and Anne battle it out to secure the position of wife to King Henry VIII, but this comes at a price. A thrilling read which will keep you interested long after you’ve finished reading.

Which books are on your next reading list?

Image via Olicious Life

By Felicia Sapountzis

May 15, 2014

The Best New Diet Booksf

New year, new health goals…no motivation? With so many new diet books hitting the market, from juicing to paleo diet books, we review the latest diet books to help get you on track with your exercise, diet and weight loss goals.

Clean Living, by Luke Hines and Scott Gooding. RRP $29.99
Remember Luke and Scott from My Kitchen Rules? They’re back with a bootcamp in a book and their promise to improve your diet and health in just 21 days. They’ve created three weeks’ of menu plans focusing on paleo recipes, plus an accompanying exercise plan that will have anyone, even workout haters, in better shape in a few weeks.

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Reboot with Joe Juice Diet, by Joe Cross. RRP $22.95
I admit it: I love juicing. It’s only a recent thing. I couldn’t stand people that went on juice cleanses, but I bought a slow juicer last year and got into making delicious juices a few times a week. Now I’m obsessed. To get started, watch Joe’s Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, and if that doesn’t motivate you to juice a carrot, I don’t know what will! Joe is really inspiring and shares 3-day, 5-day, 10-day, 15-day and 30-day Reboot programs, which get you off sugar and junk food, and addicted to fresh juices. Packed with juicing recipes, as well as exercise and fitness tips, this is a favourite.

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Your Personal Paleo Diet, by Chris Kresser. RRP $29.99
I didn’t know much about the paleo diet, but a few friends have been following the “caveman diet” for months and have never looked or felt better, so I was keen to check out this paleo diet book. The book recommends a 30-day kickstart plan where you eat lean meat, fish, non-starchy vegetables, some fruit, nuts and seeds, but avoid grains, dairy, sugar and refined foods. Chris advocates a real-life approach, so you won’t feel guilty if you indulge in a bowl of pasta here or there. There’s also tips on improving sleep, stress and fitness, so it takes a holistic approach, which I’m a fan of.

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The Bottom Line Diet, by Jessica Irvine. RRP $22.99
Jessica has a really friendly approach to dieting. The book is like a good friend sharing weight loss tips, anecdotes and motivation. Why it works is because it focuses on the fundamental weight loss principle that you must consume less calories than you burn. Forget fad diets, Jessica shows you how to count calories and keep the weight off for good.

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The 17 Day Diet Breakthrough Edition, by Dr Mike Moreno. RRP $52.00
Well, 17 days certainly caught my eye. If you can promise to help me lose weight (especially after all that festive overindulgence) in just 17 days, then I’m all ears. The bestselling author describes how to achieve fast weight loss – not by going on crazy celebrity diets – but by flushing sugar and toxins out of the body. He also looks at ways to boost your metabolism and enjoy portion control. If you’re serious about how to lose weight quickly, this is the book to read.
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Don’t Quit Sugar, by Cassie Platt. RRP $29.99
With all the information overload, who knows what to think with sugar! Sydney-based nutritionist Cassie Platt debunks the major anti-sugar myths and offers a practical guide to integrating the right sugars into your diet. Plus there’s great recipes, with a menu plan to get you started, and tips for eating out sensibly.

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Do you have a favourite diet book? Tell us in the comments!

January 14, 2014

Latest Book Reviews: Spring’s Best New Books

There’s no better time to grab a new book and head to the beach or park and wile away an afternoon getting lost in a page-turner. Here are our favourite new books, from Danielle Steele’s latest must-read set in the world of fashion, to a bestselling story of sisterhood.

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Songs of Willow Frost, by Jaime Ford. Published by Allen and Unwin, RRP $27.99

From Jamie Ford, the New York Times bestselling author of the beloved Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, comes a much-anticipated second novel.

Set against the backdrop of Depression-era Seattle, Songs of Willow Frost is a powerful tale of two souls – a boy with dreams for his future and a woman escaping her haunted past – both seeking love, hope, and forgiveness. From the international bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

Twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese American boy, has lived at Seattle’s Sacred Heart Orphanage ever since his mother’s listless body was carried away from their small apartment five years ago. On his birthday – or rather, the day the nuns designate as his birthday – William and the other orphans are taken to the historical Moore Theatre, where William glimpses an actress on the silver screen who goes by the name of Willow Frost. Struck by her features, William is convinced that the movie star is his mother, Liu Song.

Determined to find Willow and prove that his mother is still alive, William escapes from Sacred Heart with his friend Charlotte. The pair navigate the streets of Seattle, where they must not only survive but confront the mysteries of William’s past and his connection to the exotic film star. The story of Willow Frost, however, is far more complicated than the Hollywood fantasy William sees onscreen.   Shifting between the Great Depression and the 1920s, Songs of Willow Frost takes readers on an emotional journey of discovery. Jamie Ford’s sweeping novel will resonate with anyone who has ever longed for the comforts of family and a place to call home.

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First Sight, by Danielle Steel. Published By Random House, RRP 32.95
New York. London. Milan. Paris.   Fashion week in all four cities. A month of endless interviews, parties, unflagging work and attention to detail.  At the centre of the storm is Timmie O’Neill, whose renowned line, ‘Timmie O’, is the embodiment of casual chic, in fashion and for the home. She has created an international empire that inspires, fills, and consumes her life.

In a world where humility and compassion are all too rare, Timmie’s humour, kindness, integrity, and creativity are inspirational. Yet as blessed as she feels by her success, she harbours the private wounds of a devastating childhood and past tragedy. Always willing to take risks in business, she never risks her heart – until an intriguing Frenchman comes into her life during Paris Fashion Week. There is every reason why they must remain apart. But neither can deny their growing friendship and the electricity that sparks whenever they meet.

Are they brave enough to face what comes next? And will they do it together – or apart?

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Rose Harbour in Bloom, by Debbie Macomber. Published By Random House, RRP $32.95
From the number one New York Times bestseller Debbie Macomber, welcome to the Rose Harbor Inn, where every room has an inspiring new view, and every guest finds a second chance…

Jo Marie has started to feel at home running the Rose Harbor Inn. Now it’s springtime, and in memory of her late husband, Paul, Jo Marie has designed a beautiful rose garden for the property and enlisted handyman Mark Taylor to help make it happen. Jo Marie and Mark don’t always see eye-to-eye but deep down, she finds great comfort in his company. And while she still seeks a sense of closure, she welcomes her latest guests, who are on their own journeys.

Annie arrives in town to organise her grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration. But she’s struggling to move on from her broken engagement, and her grandparents themselves seem to be having trouble getting along. But all the best parties end with a surprise, and Annie is in for the biggest one of all.  Mary has achieved incredible success in business, yet serious illness has led her to face her sole regret in life. Almost nineteen years ago, she ended her relationship with her true love, George, and now she has returned to Cedar Cove to make amends.

Together, the women discover that sometimes you have to travel far from home to find the place where you really belong.

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Almost English, by Charlotte Mendelson. Published by Pan Macmillan, RRP A$29.99
Home is a foreign country: they do things differently there.

In a tiny flat in West London, sixteen-year-old Marina lives with her emotionally delicate mother, Laura, and three ancient Hungarian relatives. Imprisoned by her family’s crushing expectations and their fierce unEnglish pride, by their strange traditions and stranger foods, she knows she must escape. But the place she runs to makes her feel even more of an outsider.

At Combe Abbey, a traditional English public school for which her family have sacrificed everything, she realises she has made a terrible mistake. She is the awkward half-foreign girl who doesn’t know how to fit in, flirt or even be. And as a semi-Hungarian Londoner, who is she? In the meantime, her mother Laura, an alien in this strange universe, has her own painful secrets to deal with, especially the return of the last man she’d expect back in her life. She isn’t noticing that, at Combe Abbey, things are starting to go terribly wrong.

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Deep Blue Sea, by Tasmina Perry. Published by Headline Australia, RRP $29.99
With her unique signature blend of escapism, passion and thrilling suspense, Tasmina Perry once again proves she is simply in a league of her own.

Diana and Julian Denver have the world at their feet. With a blissful marriage, a darling son and beautiful homes in London and the country, Diana s life, to the outside world, is perfect. But nothing is as it seems…When Julian dies suddenly and tragically, Diana is convinced there is more to it than meets the eye. She calls on the one person she had never wanted to see again, her sister, Rachel.

A former tabloid reporter, Rachel appears to be living the dream as a diving instructor on a Thai island. The truth is she’s in exile, estranged from her family and driven from her career by Fleet Street’s phone-hacking scandal.  For Rachel, Diana’s request opens old wounds. But she is determined to make amends for the past, and embarks on a treacherous journey to uncover the truth – wherever it may lead…

What are you reading right now? Share in the comments!

November 25, 2013

Latest Book Reviews: October’s Best New Books

Spread your wings, open your mind and read something new this Spring!

October is bursting with new release books to entertain you, from Danielle Steel’s latest bestseller to a hilarious novel about the rich and scheming we couldn’t put down…

 

 

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Walking on Trampolines, by Frances Whiting. Published By Macmillan Australia, RRP $29.99
Tallulah de Longland,’ she said slowly, letting all the Ls in my name loll about lazily in her mouth before passing judgement. ‘That,’ she announced, ‘is a serious glamorgeous name.’ From the day Annabelle Andrews sashays into her classroom, Tallulah ‘Lulu’ de Longland is bewitched: by Annabelle, by her family, and their sprawling, crumbling house tumbling down to the river. Their unlikely friendship intensifies through a secret language where they share confidences about their unusual mothers, first loves, and growing up in the small coastal town of Juniper Bay.

Their lives become as entwined as Annabelle’s initials engraved beneath the de Longland kitchen table. But the euphoria of youth rarely lasts, and the implosion that destroys their friendship leaves lasting scars and a legacy of self-doubt that haunts Lulu into adulthood. Years later, Lulu is presented with a choice: remain the perpetual good girl who misses out, or finally step out from the shadows and do something extraordinary.

And possibly unforgivable. It’s not how far you fall, but how high you jump.

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Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Wang. Published By Allen and Unwin, RRP $24.99
Thwarted love, scheming snobs, obscene wealth and haute couture – it’s all here in a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich. An absolutely wicked treat!

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendour beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should – and should not – marry.

Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian jetset; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.

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Friendship Makes the Heart Grow Fonder, by Lisa Verge Higgins. Published By Allen and Unwin, RRP $27.99
Lenny left his wife, Monique, a bucket list of things they’d dreamed of doing together before cancer took his life. For four years, she ignored it, too busy raising their daughter to consider the painful task of resurrecting shattered dreams.

But when her next-door neighbour, Judy, starts a slow slide into a personal crisis, and another friend, Becky, receives shocking news about her future, Monique realises that Lenny’s legacy could be a gift to three women in desperate need of a new perspective.

Whisking her friends away on adventures from London to Paris, from Monaco to Milan, she is determined to follow the bucket list to the letter-until one eventful evening knocks the three friends off the beaten path. Caught up in adventures of their own making, they begin to understand: Sometimes getting lost is the only way to find what you’re really looking for.

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Winners, by Danielle Steel. Published By Bantam Press, RRP $32.95
Lily Thomas is as determined as they come. A professional skier who won the bronze medal at the age of fourteen, she’s now seventeen and poised to take the gold at the upcoming Olympic Games. Everything is on track for a successful competition and a celebrated future, until the unforeseeable occurs and her life is changed forever in a horrific accident.

Lily’s wealthy father, Bill, is utterly beside himself in the wake of his daughter’s devastating news. Lily means the world to him, especially since he raised her singlehandedly after her mother’s death. So when he feels the need to pin the blame on someone, it seems only natural that his anger be directed at Jessica Matthews, Lily’s orthopedic surgeon who, though she managed to save his daughter’s life, simply couldn’t prevent the ghastly reality that she would forever be confined to a wheelchair.

In the midst of all this, Jessica receives her own set of dreadful news on the night of Lily’s surgery – her husband was killed in a horrific car accident on his way to take one of their four children bowling; an event she would have accompanied him on had she not been called away for the emergency.   With their worlds collapsing around them, the recovery process is a slow one for these three very different people. But just when it seems things couldn’t get worse, hope, love and redemption reign supreme as they work to turn their personal tragedies into triumphs and spread joy to others.

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The Next Time You See Me, by Holly Goddard Jones. Published by Corvus, RRP $29.99
In The Next Time You See Me, the disappearance of one woman, the hard-drinking and unpredictable Ronnie Eastman, reveals the ambitions, prejudices, and anxieties of a small southern town and its residents. There’s Ronnie’s sister Susanna, a dutiful but dissatisfied schoolteacher, mother, and wife; Tony, a failed baseball star-turned-detective; Emily, a socially awkward thirteen-year-old with a dark secret; and Wyatt, a factory worker tormented by a past he can’t change and by a love he doesn’t think he deserves. Connected in ways they cannot begin to imagine, their stories converge in a violent climax that reveals not just the mystery of what happened to Ronnie but all of their secret selves.

The Next Time You See Me is the “immensely satisfying and skilful debut novel” (Kate Atkinson) by award-winning author Holly Goddard Jones.

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Gone Fishing, by Susan Duncan. Published By Random House, RRP $32.95
Gone Fishing is the sequel to the bestselling The Briny Café, is a heart-warming, inspirational novel about taking a stand against all the odds.   For bargeman Sam Scully, life in Cook’s Basin is nothing short of paradise. A wonderland of golden sand and turquoise waters, battered old tinnies and wonky pontoons, it’s a realm unspoilt by the modern world.

But then a notice goes up in the Square that screams ‘EXCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT!’  Paradise is about to be ripped apart.  With plans underway to build a flash resort in the heart of their community, the residents leap into action – with Sam as their leader, and a twelve-foot papier-mache cockatoo as their mascot . . . But it’s never going to be easy to turn the tide of ‘progress’.   Meanwhile there’s trouble brewing at the Briny Café.   Kate Jackson is struggling to come to terms with the dreadful secret spilled on her mother’s deathbed.   And as for Kate’s co-owner, Ettie Brookbank… Well, what is happening to Ettie?

What books are you reading right now? 

October 8, 2013

Latest Book Reviews: September’s Best New Books

From a hilariously witty new novel about school mums, to a can’t-put-down mystery that will appeal to all book lovers, September’s new release books are five of the best must-read books for spring.

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Kiss me First, by Lottie Moggach. Published by Picador, RRP $29.99

Leila has never met Tess, but she now knows more about Tess than anyone in the world. She’s read all of her emails, researched her past and asked Tess for every detail about her friends and family.

Tess has never met Leila. But if she wants to slip away from the world unnoticed, she needs to trust Leila with her life.

At first, Leila finds it easy to assume Tess’s identity, and no one has any reason to distrust her. But as Leila is soon to discover, there is much more to a person than the facts and there are things about life you can learn only by living it . . .

Original, haunting and utterly gripping, Kiss Me First is an electrifying debut from a phenomenally gifted storyteller.

Picador won the rights for Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach in a hotly-contested eleven-publisher auction.

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Mr Wigg, by Inga Simpson. Published by Hachette Australia, RRP $26.99

A novel that celebrates the small things in life by a fresh Australian voice.

It s the summer of 1971, not far from the stone-fruit capital of New South Wales, where Mr Wigg lives on what is left of his family farm. Mrs Wigg has been gone a few years now and he thinks about her every day. He misses his daughter, too, and wonders when he ll see her again.  He spends his time working in the orchard, cooking and preserving his produce and, when it s on, watching the cricket. It s a full life. Things are changing though, with Australia and England playing a one-day match, and his new neighbours planting grapes for wine. His son is on at him to move into town but Mr Wigg has his fruit trees and his chooks to look after. His grandchildren visit often: to cook, eat and hear his stories. And there s a special project he has to finish …

It’s a lot of work for an old man with shaking hands, but he’ll give it a go, as he always has.

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The Hive, by Gill Hornsby. Published by Hachette Australia, RRP $29.99

Welcome to St Ambrose Primary School. A world of friendships, fights and feuding. And that’s just the mothers. . .

It’s the start of another school year at St Ambrose. But while the children are in the classroom colouring in, their mothers are learning sharper lessons on the other side of the school gates. Lessons in friendship. Lessons in betrayal. Lessons in the laws of community, the transience of power. . . and how to get invited to lunch.

Beatrice – undisputed queen bee. Ruler, by Divine Right, of all school fund-raising, this year, last year and, surely, for many years to come.

Heather – desperate to volunteer, desperate to be noticed, desperate just to belong.

Georgie – desperate for a fag.

And Rachel – watching them all, keeping her distance. But soon to discover that the line between amused observer and miserable outcast is a thin one.

The Hive is an irresistible, brilliantly observed novel – warm, witty and true. Wickedly funny, it is also a fascinating and subtle story about group politics and female friendship. From the joys and perils (well, mainly perils) of the Lunch Ladder, to the military operation that is the Car Boot Sale, via the dos and don’ts of dressing your child as a dalek, all human life is here.

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The Bookman’s Tale, by Charlie Lovett. Published by Text Publishing, RRP $29.99

A mysterious portrait ignites an antiquarian bookseller’s search—through time and the works of Shakespeare—for his lost love.

Guaranteed to capture the hearts of everyone who truly loves books, The Bookman’s Tale is a former bookseller’s sparkling novel and a delightful exploration of one of literature’s most tantalising mysteries with echoes of Shadow of the Wind and A.S. Byatt’s Possession.

Hay-on-Wye, 1995. Peter Byerly isn’t sure what drew him into this particular bookshop. Nine months earlier, the death of his beloved wife, Amanda, had left him shattered. The young antiquarian bookseller relocated from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping to rediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening an eighteenth-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, Peter is shocked when a portrait of Amanda tumbles out of its pages. Of course, it isn’t really her. The watercolour is clearly Victorian. Yet the resemblance is uncanny, and Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture’s origins.

As he follows the trail back first to the Victorian era and then to Shakespeare’s time, Peter communes with Amanda’s spirit, learns the truth about his own past, and discovers a book that might definitively prove Shakespeare was, indeed, the author of all his plays.

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The Son-in-Law, by Charity Norman. Published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99

A heart-catching, riveting and extremely engaging family drama for readers who love Joanna Trollope and Jodi Picoult.

For three years Joseph Scott has been haunted by one moment-the moment that changed his life forever. Now he is starting over, and he wants his family back more than anything.

This is the story of Joseph and his wife, Zoe; of their children, Scarlet, Theo and Ben, for whom nothing will be the same; and of Zoe’s parents, who can’t forgive or understand.

A compelling, moving and ultimately optimistic story of one man who will do almost anything to be reunited with his children. And of the grandparents who are determined to stop him.

What are you reading right now? Tell us in the comments!

September 18, 2013

Father’s Day Book Gift Guide

Australia’s largest bookseller Dymocks has Father’s Day gift shopping sorted with their annual Father’s Day book recommendations, covering the best new biography, crime, sport, cooking, history and fiction titles.

Some of Dymocks’ Father’s Day choices include Ugly by Robert Hoge – a remarkable biography of the life journey of Robert Hoge; Never Back Down by Lee Child – the highly anticipated second instalment to the Jack Reacher series; and Accept the Challenge by Leigh Matthews – the life and lessons from the world of Australian Rules Football.

For foodie fathers, Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals is a great choice, whilst history fanatics will love In Great Spirits, the World War I diary of Archie Barwick. For dads looking for escapism, the fictitious world of British government scandal and criminal underworld workings in The English Girl by Daniel Silva, is sure to keep them on the edge of their seats.

Father’s Day book picks for dad:

COOKING

1.      Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver, RRP $49.99
2.      Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver, RRP $49.95
3.      Bill’s Italian Food by Bill Granger, RRP $49.99
4.      The Blue Duck by Darren Robertson and Mark La Brooy, RRP $39.99
5.      Fired Up Vegetarian by Ross Dobson, RRP $34.99

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BIOGRAPHY

1.      Ugly by Robert Hoge, RRP $32.99
2.      A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley, RRP $29.99
3.      Clive by Sean Parnell, RRP $39.99
4.      Ian Frazer by Madonna King, RRP $29.95
5.      Stillways by Steve Bisley, RRP $27.99

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CRIME

1.      Never Go Back by Lee Child, RRP $32.95
2.      Watching You by Michael Robotham, RRP $29.99
3.      The Kill List by Frederick Forsyth, RRP 32.95
4.      Children of the Revolution by Peter Robinson, RRP $32.99
5.      Mistress by James Patterson, RRP $32.95

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FICTION

1.      The English Girl by Daniel Silva, RRP $29.99
2.      Mayan Secrets by Clive Cussler & Tom Perry, RRP $29.99
3.      Cairo by Chris Womersley, RRP $29.95
4.      The Rule of Knowledge by Scott Baker, RRP $29.99
5.      The Heist by Robert Schofield, RRP $29.99

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HISTORY

1.      In Great Spirits by Archie Barwick, RRP $39.99
2.      Too Bold To Die by Ian McPhedran, RRP $29.99
3.      Tell My Sons by Mark Weber, RRP $32.95
4.      Killing Fairfax by Pamela Williams, RRP $39.99
5.      Eyre: The Forgotten Explorer by Ivan Rudolph, RRP $39.99

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SPORT

1.      Accept the Challenge by Matthew Leigh, RRP $45.00
2.      Home Truths by Craig Bellamy, RRP $39.99
3.      More Important Than Life or Death by Peter FitzSimons, RRP $29.99
4.      Hold The Line by Matthew Scarlet, RRP $34.99
5.      Amen by Will Swanton, RRP $27.99

What are you getting dad for Father’s Day?

August 16, 2013

Latest Book Releases: 6 Winter Murder Mysteries

Need something to read by the heater curled up against the winter rain and wind? We have six new books including Stephen King’s latest to keep you enthralled all winter.

Six thrilling tales of love, loss, murder and betrayal to keep you turning those pages all night long…

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The Kill Room (The Lincoln Rhyme Series) by Jeffery Deaver. Published By Hachette Australia,  RRP $32.99

In what marks Number One bestselling author Jeffery Deaver’s thirtieth suspense novel, brilliant criminalist and quadriplegic Lincoln Rhyme returns in his tenth electrifying adventure.

Robert Moreno, an American citizen living in South America, is shot in the Bahamas by a sniper. The killing was commissioned by the U.S. government, who received a tip-off that Moreno was planning a terrorist attack on a U.S. oil company headquarters. But this intelligence was fatally incorrect: anti-American Moreno ordered a protest at the oil company, not an attack.

Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are drafted in to investigate. While Sachs traces Moreno’s steps in New York, Rhyme travels to the scene of the crime in Nassau, where he finds himself on a dangerous path trailed by the sniper himself. As details of the case start to emerge, the pair discover that not all is what it seemed. Can they achieve justice and escape with their lives intact?

    book2Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews. Published By Simon and Schuster, RRP $24.99

In the grand spy-tale tradition of John le Carré…comes this shocking thriller written with insider detail known only to a veteran CIA officer.

In present-day Russia, ruled by blue-eyed, unblinking President Vladimir Putin, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the post-Soviet intelligence jungle. Ordered against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a young CIA officer who handles the Agency’s most important Russian mole.

Spies have long relied on the “honey trap,” whereby vulnerable men and women are intimately compromised. Dominika learns these techniques of “sexpionage” in Russia’s secret “Sparrow School,” hidden outside of Moscow. As the action careens between Russia, Finland, Greece, Italy, and the United States, Dominika and Nate soon collide in a duel of wills, tradecraft, and—inevitably—forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but those of others as well. As secret allegiances are made and broken, Dominika and Nate’s game reaches a deadly crossroads. Soon one of them begins a dangerous double existence in a life-and-death operation that consumes intelligence agencies from Moscow to Washington, DC.

Page by page, veteran CIA officer Jason Matthews’s Red Sparrow delights and terrifies and fascinates, all while delivering an unforgettable cast, from a sadistic Spetsnaz “mechanic” who carries out Putin’s murderous schemes to the weary CIA Station Chief who resists Washington “cake-eaters” to MARBLE, the priceless Russian mole. Packed with insider detail and written with brio, this tour-de-force novel brims with Matthews’s life experience, including his knowledge of espionage, counterintelligence, surveillance tradecraft, spy recruitment, cyber-warfare, the Russian use of “spy dust,” and covert communications. Brilliantly composed and elegantly constructed, Red Sparrow is a masterful spy tale lifted from the dossiers of intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic. Authentic, tense, and entertaining, this novel introduces Jason Matthews as a major new American talent.

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A Bitter Taste by Annie Hauxwell. Published By Penguin Australia, RRP $29.99

Treachery becomes a habit.   London is in the grip of a stifling heatwave. The city has slowed to a claustrophobic shuffle. Heroin-addicted investigator Catherine Berlin suffers while working the lowest of investigations: matrimonial.

The city’s junkies are in the grip of a drought of a different kind. Sonja Kvist a strung-out ghost from Berlin’s past, turns up on her doorstep. Sonja daughter is missing. An unpaid debt leaves Berlin no choice but to take the case of the missing ten-year-old.

Berlin is back. And soon the hunter becomes the hunted: corrupt detectives are on Berlin’s tail chasing drugs she doesn’t have, a young girl is murdered and the matrimonial case unravels.

And the temperature keeps rising.  A Bitter Taste is addictive, fast-paced crime fiction spiked with grit and grunge.

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Under the Dome by Stephen King. Published by Hachette Australia, RRP $19.99

One of the masterly Stephen King’s most riveting novels – every chapter ends on a cliffhanger – a Maine town and its inhabitants are isolated from the world by an invisible, impenetrable dome.

Celebrated storyteller Stephen King returns to his roots in this tour de force featuring more than 100 characters – some heroic, some diabolical – and a supernatural element as baffling and chilling as any he s ever conjured.

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener s hand is severed as the dome comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. Dale Barbara, Iraq vet, teams up with a few intrepid citizens against the town s corrupt politician. But time, under the dome, is running out….

Under the Dome is King at his epic best and will capture a brand new readership as well as thrilling his existing fans.

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Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty. Published by Allen and Unwin, RRP $24.99

A stunning psychological thriller about a respected female scientist and the single reckless decision that leads to her standing trial for murder.

‘Safety and security are commodities you can sell in return for excitement, but you can never buy them back.’

Yvonne Carmichael is a geneticist, a scientist renowned in her field but one day, she makes the most irrational of decisions. While she is giving evidence to a Select Committee at the Houses of Parliament, she meets a man and has sex with him in the secluded Chapel in the Crypt beneath the Great Hall of Westminster. It’s the beginning of a reckless liaison, but there is more to her lover than is at first apparent – as Yvonne discovers when the affair spins out of control and leads inexorably to violence.

Apple Tree Yard is about a woman who makes one rash choice that ends up putting her on trial at the Old Bailey for the most serious of crimes. Like the highly acclaimed Whatever You Love, it is part literary investigation of personal morality, part psychological thriller. Both a courtroom drama and an exploration of the values we live by, it is the gripping seventh novel from an author who has been acclaimed as a ‘courageous writer, willing to explore deeper territory with each book’ (Independent) and ‘terrifically compelling’ (Daily Mail).

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Hunting Eve by Iris Johansen. Published by Pan Macmillan Australia, RRP $29.99

The stakes are raised even higher in Hunting Eve as Eve battles the man who is holding her prisoner. Secrets about why Eve has been targeted come into the light, bringing Eve even closer to danger. With its cliffhanger ending, Hunting Eve sets up perfectly for the finale, Silencing Eve which we will be publishing in November 2013.

Iris Johansen is a no.1 New York Times bestselling author. She began writing after her children left home for college. She first achieved success in the early 1980s writing category romances. In 1991, Johansen began writing suspense historical romance novels, starting with the publication of The Wind Dancer. In 1996 Johansen switched genres, turning to crime fiction, with which she has had great success. Johansen lives near Atlanta, Georgia and is married. Her son, Roy Johansen, is an Edgar Award-winning screenwriter and novelist. Her daughter, Tamara, serves as her research assistant.

What new books are you reading right now?

August 8, 2013

Latest Books: Warrior Princess

Warrior Princess, by Mindy Budgor. Published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99

This is the story of a young woman – passionate, fearless and dangerously curious (with a set of ferocious Jewish parents breathing fire down her neck) – who turned her back on the safety of her suburban life to face probable death in an effort to become the world’s first female Maasai warrior.

Warrior Princess is the hilarious and inspirational memoir of Mindy Budgor, a young entrepreneur tired of corporate life, who decides to make changes in her life. While waiting for her Business School applications to go through, she decides to volunteer – first in India with Muhammad Yunus (Banker to the Poor), and then in Africa building schools and hospitals in the Maasai Mara. While living and working with the Maasai, Mindy talks to the chief and asks him why there are no women Maasai warriors. The chief responds simply and derisively – because women are not strong enough, or brave enough to be warriors. Mindy immediately realises her calling – she gets the chief to agree to train her (and her fellow volunteer) to become Maasai warriors when they return to Africa, and thus begins Mindy’s amazing adventure.

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Mindy is now one of the first female Maasai warriors and an official member of the tribe. As a result of their training and advocacy, law in Africa will be changed in 2016 to allow women the right to become Maasai warriors, and Mindy as a tribe member is ready to return to stand with her fellow-warriors against whatever opposition they might face – be it lions, or elephants, or Western-influence.

In her junior year at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Mindy started her first business, CollegeButler, a concierge service for undergrads. She sold the company several years later and worked at a small sports marketing agency. She also managed early-stage investments for the agency’s CEO. In 2009, after leaving her marketing job, Mindy’s career was at a standstill. Unsure what she wanted to do next, she simultaneously applied to business school and bought a multi-stop plane ticket to Bangladesh and Kenya to explore her interests in social enterprises in developing countries. After completing a two-month microfinance internship in Dhaka, Mindy traveled to Kenya. While volunteering to build a clinic in the Maasai Mara, she met several members of the Maasai, a semi-nomadic tribe, which led to the journey detailed in Warrior Princess. She currently attends the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and is a 2012 MBA candidate.

What’s your favourite new book?

July 28, 2013

Our Top 5 New Books For July

From Ruby Wax’s latest must-read manual to saner living, to an emotional knockout debut from a brilliant new Aussie author, cosy up to our favourite new release books this July.

Sane New World, by Ruby Wax. Published by Hodder and Stoughton, RRP $29.99

Comedian, writer and mental health campaigner shows us why and how our minds can send us mad and how we can rewire our thinking, especially through mindfulness, to calm ourselves in a frenetic world.

Ruby Wax – comedian, writer and mental health campaigner – shows us how our minds can jeopardize our sanity.

With her own periods of depression and now a Masters from Oxford in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy to draw from, she explains how our busy, chattering, self-critical thoughts drive us to anxiety and stress.

If we are to break the cycle, we need to understand how our brains work, rewire our thinking and find calm in a frenetic world.

Helping you become the master, not the slave, of your mind, here is the manual to saner living.

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Fish out of Water, by Ros Baxter. Published by Escape Publishing

Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum meets Splash in a sexy, smart-talking debut about a mermaid in a desert, a city under water, and the secret that no one is supposed to uncover.

Dirtwater’s straight-talking Deputy Sheriff Rania Aqualina has a lot on her plate: a nicotine addiction that’s a serious liability for a mermaid, a soldier-of-fortune ex who’s hooked on her Mum’s brownies, a gorgeous, naked stranger in her shower, and a mysterious dead blonde with a fish tattoo on Main Street.

Heading home to Aegira for a family wedding, Rania has a sinking feeling that’s got nothing to do with hydroporting seven miles under the sea and everything to do with the crazy situation. Now, if she can just steal a corpse, get a crazy Aegiran priest off her case, work out who the hell’s trying to kill her, and stop sleeping with the fishes, she might be able to unravel the mysteries. And maybe even save her own ass while she’s at it.

Fish out of Water is Stephanie Plum meets Splash, and the first book in a trilogy about Aegira, an underwater kingdom based on the historical Norse legend of Aegir.

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Fractured, by Dawn Barker. Published by Hachette, RRP $29.99

A compelling, emotional knockout debut from a brilliant new Australian author. An unforgettable novel that brings to life a new mother’s worst fears. Tony is worried. His wife, Anna, isn’t coping with their newborn. Anna had wanted a child so badly and, when Jack was born, they were both so happy. They’d come home from the hospital a family. Was it really only six weeks ago?

But Anna hasn’t been herself since. One moment she’s crying, the next she seems almost too positive. It must be normal with a baby, Tony thought; she’s just adjusting. He had been busy at work. It would sort itself out. But now Anna and Jack are missing. And Tony realises that something is really wrong… What happens to this family will break your heart and leave you breathless.

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Three Hours Late, by Nicole Trope. Published by Allen and Unwin, RRP $29.99

A gripping novel about the terrible secrets of a marriage and a mother’s love and desperation for fans of Jodi Picoult and Caroline Overington.

Once, so very long ago, she had watched him like this when he came to pick her up from a date…Her stomach fluttered and burned with infatuation and desire. She would watch him walk up the path and think, ‘This must be love.’

But that was so very long ago. Now Liz is wary and afraid. She has made a terrible mistake and it cannot be undone. Alex believes that today will be the day she comes back to him. Today will be the day his wife and young son finally come home. Today they will be a family again. But Liz knows that some things can never be mended. Some marriages are too broken. Some people are too damaged.

Now the most important thing in her life is her son, Luke, and she will do anything in her power to protect him.

So when Alex is a few minutes late bringing Luke back Liz begins to worry and when he is an hour late her concern grows and when he is later still she can feel her whole life changing because: what if Alex is not just late?

The terrible secrets of a marriage, the love that can turn to desperation, the refuge and heartbreak of being a parent, the fragile threads that cradle a family…Three Hours Late is a gripping and deeply emotional novel of almost unbearable suspense from a writer of great insight and empathy.

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Entwined with You, by Sylvia Day. Published by Penguin Australia, RRP $12.95

The worldwide phenomenon continues as Eva and Gideon face the demons of their pasts and accept the consequences of their obsessive desires…

From the moment I first met Gideon Cross, I recognised something in him that I needed. Something I couldn’t resist. I also saw the dangerous and damaged soul inside – so much like my own. I was drawn to it. I needed him as surely as I needed my heart to beat.

No one knows how much he risked for me. How much I’d been threatened, or just how dark and desperate the shadow of our pasts would become. Entwined by our secrets, we tried to defy the odds. We made our own rules and surrendered completely to the exquisite power of possession…

What are your new release book recommendations for the SheSaid team?

July 11, 2013

April Chick Lit

April Chick Lit

The Other Side of the Story
By Marian Keyes
Penguin Books Ltd
RRP: $29.95

If you read and loved Lucy Sullivan is getting married, Watermelon, Sushi for Beginners, Last Chance Salon or Angel then prepare to be enjoy Marian Keyes latest novel The other side of the story. At a whopping 650 pages you could shy away from such a large book but don?t let size fool you, in this case Big is Better! Faithful readers of Keyes? novels will be clapping their hands with glee at this effort. This Irish writer has a wonderful knack of looking on the brighter side of life without her characters appearing to be to be cheesy or predictable. The other side of the story follows the loves, lives and careers of three women in the cut throat world of English publishing. Lily Wright is the writer enjoying the overnight sensation of her debut novel, Jojo Harvey is her hard working literary agent (who is having an affair with her married boss) and Gemma Hogan was Lily?s best friend till Lily stole the love of Gemma?s life ? Anton and had a baby with him! From the outset you will be drawn in so closely to these women?s lives, by the end of the novel you will swear they are old friends of yours – but as the book says – there are three sides to every story ? your side, their side and the truth.

Go to the SheSaid Bookshop to buy a copy.


Sundowners
Orion
By Lesley Lokko
RRP$29.95

Rianne de Zoete is a beautiful but arrogant newcomer to the all girl English boarding school, St Anne?s. Having grown up as one of the powerful white elite in South Africa, Rianne is suitably unimpressed by the cold English countryside, her less sophisticated room mates Charmaine, Gabby and Nathalie and the lack of respect given to her, despite her pedigree. As time goes on, however, the girls penetrate her haughty exterior and the four become firm friends. The book leaves the boarding school, and follows the four friends as they embark on their separate lives. Rianne falls effortlessly into modelling, Gabby heads to Oxford, Nathalie sets up a business empire and Charmaine follows her boyfriend to LA. Each girl is different and has an interesting story to tell. What makes the book more fascinating is the political angle. The book is set around the time of the South African apartheid and considering her heritage, Rianne is reluctantly caught in the middle. Things spice up when she chooses a new love that could disrupt the fragile political environment.
This book is perfect if you want a little more depth but with all the spicy elements of a great chick read!

Go to the SheSaid Bookshop to buy a copy.


By Bread Alone
By Sarah-Kate Lynch
Black Swan
RRP: $22.95

Esme Slack makes her life look effortless. She idolises her only child, she lives in an off kilter tower in the middle of the English countryside with her sullen father-in-law, a short-sighted goat and a dysfunctional swarm of bees. But is she managing as well as it seems? Every morning she makes an amazing French sourdough bread that she believes is the only thing she gets right. Is it because it tastes so delectable? Or does it remind her of the girl she once was? Or more particularly, does it remind her of the village baker, Louis, who saved her from a life half baked? All she has left of the Frenchman is the sourdough starter he gave her, made from the fermented juice of an apple planted 190 years before by his great-great-great-grandparents and still going strong in her kitchen cupboard…until she meets him again by chance.
Great fun holiday read!

Go to the SheSaid Bookshop to buy a copy.


Wives and Lovers
By Jane Elizabeth Varley
Orion
RRP: 29.95

A gripping first novel of modern marriage and modern love. The story begins at
Victoria Strattford’s birthday party for her ambitious husband David to show off their beautiful Wimbledon house, their wonderful children, their perfect lives. But while Victoria welcomes her guests, the only person that’s missing is David himself.
Victoria’s sister Clara and her husband Tom are at the party. Unworldly and idealistic, Tom scorns David’s quest for wealth. While Clara is content with her job as a university lecturer, she yearns for a change in her life. In the garden, the youngest sister Annie talks to her husband Hugo. Very happy together, the only blight on their lives is Hugo’s mother, whose jealousy and possessiveness have turned into a poisonous hatred of Annie. So begins a train of events that will lead each sister down a different path – towards love, sex, grief, betrayal and happiness.
If you think you live in a dysfunctional family ? wait till you read about this family!

Go to the SheSaid Bookshop to buy a copy.


The Hot Flash Club
By Nancy Thayer
Bantam Australia
RRP $29.95

This book is a funny yet heartwarming tale of four very different women who help each other realize that life is really too short to give up your dreams and goals. These four women meet by accident and they turn each others lives upside down and change them forever. These four middle age women form the Hot Flash Club and bond, meddle and laugh their way through each others family-life, work-life and sex-life (or lack of it!). Faye, Alice, Shirley and Marilyn can teach us a few things about how to keep our sense of humour and not to give in to other people?s expectations! Might be just the perfect gift to send to your mum for Mothers Day!

Go to the SheSaid Bookshop to buy a copy.

April 20, 2004

March Book Reviews

March chick lit

Uptown Girl
Olivia Goldsmith
Harper Collins

The bestselling author of The First Wives’ Club and Young Wives has delivered another sparkling comedy. Set in New York, Uptown Girl is about making plans for other people ? and then getting yourself involved in them too.

Brooklyn boy Billy Nolan is not only devilishly handsome, but there is something about his magical charisma – every woman he dates and dumps (and he dates and dumps them all) immediately goes on to marry someone else.

There is one women, however, resistant to his charms. Sassy uptown New Yorker, Kate, left Brooklyn behind a long time ago, and she?s determined not to fall for the attractive waster from the old neighbourhood. Why would she? She?s dating Michael, a man much more suitable to her lifestyle. But Kate decides that perhaps her friend Bina would be perfect for Billy. Bina has fallen apart after her almost-fianc? Jack has decided to ?explore his singleness?. Kate?s perfect plan is to get Billy to date Bina then dump her. All they have to do then is await Jack’s return and watch the magic happen. At first everything seems to be working perfectly, but the one thing Kate forgets to consider is how Billy feels about it all?

Olivia Goldsmith, the novelist whose savagely funny debut book, “The First Wives Club,” became a revenge fantasy for wives tossed aside in favour of younger women, died of complications of plastic surgery on January 16th 2004. She was 54.


Buy this book from the SheSaid Bookshop

The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters
Elisabeth Robinson
Simon & Schuster

Meet Olivia Hunt. Jobless, living alone and working on the fourth draft of her suicide note. It isn?t until she gets a phone call from her younger sister that she learns what real trouble is.

Madeleine Hunt is the annoyingly perfectly happy sister. While Olivia set out to conquer Hollywood, Madeleine married her childhood sweetheart and appeared to live happily ever after. But as Olivia learns, this is apparently not to be, as she gets swept into her sister?s world. Back home for the first time in years, Olivia tries to help her sister, keep her parents from running off the rails and re-ignites the spark with a former boyfriend who left her but might still be the love of her life. And of course, as soon as she leaves Hollywood, her career begins to heat up.

Racing between LA, hospital and film sets in Spain, Olivia has to achieve the impossible at work, at home and learns that love will let her do no less.


Buy this book from the SheSaid Bookshop

PS, I Love You
Cecelia Ahern
Harper Collins

A wonderfully warm and heartfelt debut from a stunning new talent.

‘Remember wonderful memories, but don’t be afraid to make some more?’

Holly and Gerry had the perfect life. Happily married with a brilliant social life, living in Dublin within a stone throw of family and friends. The world was their oyster. That is until the unthinkable happens. When Gerry dies, Holly is naturally shattered. It is the eve of her 30th birthday and her soulmate, her lover and best friend has gone on without her. But Gerry promised to always be there for her, and he is. His last bequest is The List ? a bundle of notes which give Holly instructions for getting her life back on track.

The year unfolds and the notes are gradually read. Not only do they cheer Holly up but they challenge her and help her learn that life does indeed go on. Her loving friends and noisy family join her in laughing, crying, singing, dancing and being braver than she ever thought possible.

She learns that life is for living, but it always helps to have her guardian angel watching over her.


Buy this book from the SheSaid Bookshop

Alphabet Sisters
Monica McInerney
Penguin

Anna, Bett and Carrie are the Alphabet sisters. Once childhood singing stars, the three girls haven?t spoken for years. The rift began when Bett?s fianc? left her for another sister. Their grandmother brings them together three years later for a birthday party, and their feud draws to a close. It is then that the sisters face a test that none of them ever imagined. An unforgettable family drama.

Buy this book from the SheSaid Bookshop

March 9, 2004