Book Review; The new romantic comedy

I must admit I have actually enjoyed the recent miserable weather we have experienced over the last couple of days. It has given me an excuse to stay indoors and catch up on some reading. As an avid reader, I find that people love to recommend me books on every genre and quality, so I constantly feel as though need to ‘catch up’ on my reading. Even though realistically I don’t think that is possible, because each day and week I discover a new book that I must read. I am just a person with a big pile of books on her bed side table.

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So, I was ill prepared for the book at the top of that pile, an unconventional romantic comedy, Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project was a novel I could not put down. Rarely do I find male protagonist like Don Tillman, uncomfortable and heartwarmingly cringeworthy. He reminded me of Sheldon from TV show The Big Bang Theory, as he applies his analytical thinking and research background in genetics to find a wife, resulting in the most comical approach.

Love according to Sheldon Cooper

Enter Rosie, the polar opposite of Don encapsulating everything that he deems to be an undesirable characteristic of the future Mrs Tillman; smoker, vegetarian (excluding sustainable seafood) and not at all athletic. Meanwhile, Rosie is on a project of her own, to find her biological father, through a relationship of coincidences Don is able to bend his ethics, against his better judgement and for reasons unknown to him to assist Rosie on her quest.

With no understanding of social cues and an inability to decipher basic female seduction techniques, (note to any gentlemen readers – a girl asks if you think she is sexy, and you think she is, say yes) he begins to realise love has no method or reason.

A must read for summer, light and fun to throw in your beach bag and read on the sand, the perfect holiday novel or simply for a rainy day. So put it on your book list and you won’t be disappointed with this delightful read inspiring the inner romantic inside all of us.

SS x

For the love of books – Part 2 – Book Lover’s Day

With the increased adoption of technology and the latest ‘must-have’ gadgets; you are bombarded with information and updates where ever you look. Everyone seems to always be checking in and no one is checking out for that me time to relax and reset. So if you are going to ever take a day to yourself and head out to a peaceful spot with a good book, today is that day. August 9th is International Book Lover’s Day celebrating the shared love of literature. Encouraging readers of all ages to grab a book, find a secluded spot and let your imagination take you on a journey.

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Happy Book Lovers Day

Reading for pleasure is one of the world’s most recognised pastimes; offering benefits including expanding your imagination, increased memory and analytical thinking, stress reduction, and improved vocabulary. Whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction, crime or romance, hard backs, paper backs or e-book, today is the day to fuel that passion for books.

So I thought I would use this opportunity to share part 2 of my ultimate book list for all my fellow book worms:

1. Temple – Matthew Reilly. Action packed from the first page with a fast paced plot and twists upon twists.

2. The Happiest Refugee – Anh Do. Funny and inspiring, Anh Do, is charismatic and charming you can’t help but love him. There is a definite reason why this book is still appearing in the best seller list.

3. The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe – C. S Lewis. A children’s classic, Narnia is enchanting making every child wish their wardrobe was a door to another world.

4. 11.22.63 – Stephen King. Not you typical King novel. What would you do if you could prevent the assassination of J.F.K and change history.

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For the Love of Books – Part 2

5. The Light Between Oceans – M. L Stedman. A incredible story of right and wrong, and how sometimes they look the same.

6. The Sandalwood Tree – Elle Newmark. Adapting to a new life in India, 1947 and the discovery of hidden love letters that threaten to consume Evie’s already fragile existence. Two amazing stories from a hundred years apart that become woven together.

7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larson. Never judge a book by its movie!!!

8. Dracula – Bram Stoker. Before vampires sparkled in the sunlight they were bad-ass!

9. The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society – Mary Ann Shaffer. A charming novel written exclusively as series of letter correspondences to the people of the small island of Guernsey post WWII.

10. The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom. When Eddie awakes in the afterlife, five people set to explain his life and reveal the answer to the eternal question: “why was I here?”

So please do not disturb me today, and if you must you may find me here…

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My Not-So-Secret Spot

SS x

Read Part 1 of For the Love of Books for more of Must Read Books.

Tampa: To Read or Not to Read – That is the Question!

When you position something as controversial in any media space the appeal spirals to dizzying heights… and literature is no exception. I remember as recent as a couple of years ago going through my old books and deciding to donate a series of old Babysitters Club novels to my local second hand book store. Only to be knocked back by the lady behind the counter who stated they didn’t support that kind of literature. I was quite taken a back that this mid-80s book series Babysitters Club was considered risqué.

Upon retelling this story to my book buddy recently, our conversation turned to scandalous books and the new novel, Tampa by Alissa Nutting, and it’s recent ban from several Australian bookstores was the topic of conversation.

Contorversial Book Cover - Tampa By Alissa Nutting

Controversial Book Cover – Tampa By Alissa Nutting  Photo Via: Faber

People are definitely judging this book by its cover, which suggestively alludes to what is to follow inside. The novel follows Celeste Price a 26 year old high school teacher and sexual predator who is obsessed with 14 year old boys. The school yard provides unlimited access to her sexual obsession and is Celeste’s sole reason for becoming a teacher. Tampa has created a lot of buzz within the Australian book industry with its confronting positioning of females sexual predators, making it easy to hate and having been publicised as one of the most controversial books of the year.

The truth is controversy sells… and 50 Shades of Grey is the proof. Despite criticisms due to the detailed sexually erotic exploits of Christian Grey and many reviews stating it being poorly written, 50 Shades of Grey has topped best-seller lists the world over with the series selling over 70 million copies worldwide and a film in the pipeline for 2014.

Which puts me in a bit of a predicament. I am currently undecided as to whether or not to read this novel, this won’t be a book for everyone but can I challenge myself into reading this. I am intrigued… for me it’s the controversial nature of the topic of female sexual predators being something that isn’t really written about, combined with the power of the media and the sheer volume of attention this book has received, makes me question… To read or not to read?

Watch this space…

SS x

For the love of books

Both of my grandmothers and mother have ingrained in me a love of books, raising me on literary icons like Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. I have probably read, Blyton’s Folk of the Faraway Tree, about fifty times and it is still on my personal list of the top reads of all time. Now as an adult, I always need to be reading something and my slightly OCD manner means that I can never leave a book unfinished. Truthfully I will pretty much read anything but I have a particular affinity for mysteries (probably because I read so many Nancy Drew books in my tweens) and fantasy literature, having read the entire Game of Thrones series in two weeks.

Reading fuels my soul

Reading fuels my soul

I consume books like they are keeping me alive. So in order to try to keep track of every novel that sparks my fancy, my sister and I created the ultimate book list, of classic novels, recommendations from friends and new releases, and I can’t seem to cross things off fast enough as the list continues to grow.

To me a great novel is something to be shared, so here are some of my favourites to add to your own lists:

1. Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts. The story of one of the most wanted man in Australia escapes from prison and flees to colourful Bombay, India.

2. All that I Am – Ann Funder. Based on real people and events, the story of friends uniting against Nazism during Hilter’s rise to power.

3. The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield. A suspenseful story of secrets. Do you believe in ghosts?

4. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn. What would you do if you found out your wife was gone without a trace?

5. The Burial – Courtney Collins. Australian literature at its best, a beautifully written debut novel, of the last female bushranger.

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A few of my favourites.

6. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak. Death is the narrator of this story situated in Nazi Germany, need I say more.

7. The Tigers Wife – Téa Obreht. A young woman’s grandfather tells her his story of life in the Balkans, the ‘deathless man’ and a deaf-mute girl who befriends a tiger.

8. The People of the Book – Geraldine Brooks. A piece of historical fiction following a piece of history through history.

9. The J.M. Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Society – Barbara J. Zitwer. A celebration of life, love and proof that age holds no limits.

10. Magician – Raymond E. Fiest. After nine companions journeyed to Mount Doom and before the battle for the Iron Throne, was the story of a young magician. The ultimate fantasy lovers book.

I would love you to share your recommended reads and thoughts on books you have read and loved. Happy reading.

SS x