Recent Books I have read
- Belonging - by Isabel Huggan - I encountered this delightful book by chance on a "throw-out" table when we were on holidays. Isabel has followed her husband around the world with his work. The book dips into memories of many of these places as Isabel tries to find the answer to where she truly belongs. Isabel and her husband live in the foothills of the Cevennes mountains in France.
- Stories from Suburban Road - by TAG Hungerford - stories from Tom's childhood in semi-rural South Perth suburbia in the 1920s and 1930s. I read this several years ago and enjoyed re-reading it - a fascinating look at life when it was much simpler than the South Perth I know.
- Because of You - by Dawn French - 1st January, two women, two baby girls born the same morning. Only one woman goes home with a baby.
- The Cockoo's Cry - by Caroline Overington - On the even of the global Covid lockdown, a girl knocks on Don Barlow's beachside cottage door - but who is she?
- The Girl from Guernica - by Karen Robards - Inspired by Picasso's masterpiece,
Sibil seeks revenge for the death of her mother and sister by German planes in the small Spanish town of Guernica in 1937.
- Homecoming - by Kate Morton - Kate's latest book - in 2018 Jess tries to discover the story behind the multiple deaths of a family on Christmas Eve 1959 on their beautiful property in the Adelaide Hills.
- The Dictionary of Lost Words - by Pip Williams - I reread this book after reading the Bookbinder of Jericho and found the characters who appeared in the second book. A fascinating historical fiction about the writing of the Oxford English Dictionary combined with real events: the suffragette movement and WW1. I enjoyed it as much, if not more, in my second reading.
- The Bookbinder of Jericho - by Pip Williams - A companion book to The Dictionary of Lost Words, this book follows two young book binding sisters - Peggy and Maude - who work at the Oxford University Press in Jericho, Oxford. Peggy yearns to attend university. Woven around real events, WW1. Several characters appear from The Dictionary of Lost Words. The Bookbinder is my newest in my favourite books list.
- Home and Other Hiding Places - by Jack Ellis - As the life he has known falls apart, eight year old Fin finds he has to run away to find home.
- My Family and Other Misfortunes - A Memoir - by Anna Richardson. An as yet unpublished manuscript by my writing friend Anna tells of her upbrining in 1970s Birmingham. A valuable insight into the life and times of the working class during this era.
- A Woman Made of Snow - by Elisabeth Gifford - Setover multiple eras, Caroline and her new husband Alasdair have moved back to Kelly Castle where his mother Martha lives. In the midst of finding her feet with Martha, Caro uncovers a mystery. Whose is the body uncovered in the garden, and who is the missing grandmother whose name has been struck off the family tree?
- This Other Eden - by Paul Harding. The story of the strange group of people who inhabit Apple Island off the coat of the USA, shunned by the mainlanders. A missionery schoolteacher sends one lightskinned artistic boy to the mainland for schooling, while the rest succumb to the authorites wishing to clean up the island and send its inhabitants to institutions. A somewhat strange book but with beautiful segments of prose from this Pulitzer Prize winning writer.
- Legacy of War - by Wilbur Smith (with David Churchill). The conclusion of the Saffron and Gerald saga, this book centers around the deadly Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya and the hatred between Gerald and his Nazi brother Konrad.
- Courtney's War - by Wilbur Smith (with David Churchill) - the sequel to War Cry and the continuing story of Saffron & Gerald von Meerbach through WW2.
- Tuesday Evenings with the Copeton Craft Resistance - by Kate Solly. When plans for a new mosque causes a stir in certain parts of the local community, the Copeton Crochet Collective becomes the Craft Resistance and battles racism with colour and creativity. I enjoyed the book and the mixture of characters.
- War Cry - by Wilbur Smith (with David Churchill) - I hadn't read a Wilbur Smith book for years, but this is the first of a new trilogy about the ongoing family saga of the Courtney family, set just before and in the early part of WW2, a centered around Saffron, Leon Courntey's daughter.
- The Codebreakers - by Alli Sinclair - set in WW2 Brisbane, Australia, Ellie joins the top secret Central Bureau - an intelligance organisation aligned to Britains Bletchley Park codebreakers, intersepting and deciphering enemy communications. It is a secret world that she has signed to keep for her lifetime.
- You Don't Know What War Is - by Yeva Skalietska - the diary of a 12 old Ukrainian who lived in Kharkiv, details the beinning of the Russian invasion on 24 February 2022, their escape and their arrival in Ireland less than a month later. Also first hand experiences of some of her school friends. It tells of fear, moving from basement to basement escaping the bombings, death and destruction all around them, sorrow, and pleas for a future.
- The Dressmaker - by Kate Alcott - Aspiring seamstrees, Tess leaves England aboard the Titanic as the maid of famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon. Based on fact, this absorbing book tells the fictional story of Tess and her beginnings in New York, which are interwoven into the story of the sinking of the Titanic and testimonies of survivors at the US Senate hearings. The question still remains, why did only one boat go back for those dying in the freezing water.?
- The Dry - by Jane Harper - Set in Australia, when Aaron Falk returns to drought sticken Kiewarra for the funeral of his friend Luke, and Luke's wife and son, Aaron is drawn into the investigation. The book seemlessly moves from the current police investigation to the death of his friend Ellie 20 years previously.
- Pride and Prejudice - by Jane Austen - this is the first time I have read this classic, prompted by watching a series on DVD. The romance between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy captures class consciousness of 18th century England.
- Wildflower Country - Discovering the Biodiversity of Western Australia's South West - by Stanley and Kaisa Breeden - a stunningly photographed book of macro and focus stacking images of Western Australian wildflowers
- Brush with Gondwana - The Botanical Artsts Group of Western Australia - a stunningly illustrated book of the incredibly detailed artwork of botanical artists Rica Erickson, Pat Dundas, Ellen Hickman, Penny Leech, Philippa Nikulinsky, Margaret Pieroni and Katrina Syme.
- The Cottage at Rosella Cove by Sandie Docker. The second of Sandie's novels. Another enjoyable read as Sandie weaves the stories of Nicole, Ivy and Charlie together.
- Aspects of Childhood - by the South Side Quills writing group, Bunbury - our next anthology dips into our past - imagined, embellished, uplifting, sad - but all with an element of truth.
- Bound for Vietnam - by Lydia Laube - The next in the Long Way Home series, jooin Lydia as she travels through China and Vietnam.
- Heart of the Grass Tree - by Molly Murn - a historical fiction based around the history of Kangaroo Island off South Australia. The lives of the sealers and their stolen aboriginal wives in the 1800s, a white woman Nell, and an aboriginal man Sol, in the 1900s, and the lives of Nell's children. Beautiful writing, imagery, and thought provoking insight.
- Our Souls at Night - by Kent Haruf. The last final book by Kent Haruf it tells of two lonely elderly people, and the small-mindiness of those around them as they look for companionship and a new life. This book really spoke to me - both hope and saddness.
- The Wattle Island Book Club - by Sandie Docker - Grace and Anne meet through the re-establishment of a book club on Wattle Island. Grace tries to find out the hidden story behind the demise of the book club and in the process finds love.
- Brief Encounter - by Alec Waugh - based on the Carlo Ponti/Cecil Clarke film of Noel Coward's film. A chance meeting and instant attraction between two married people at a railway station. When is the point of no return?
- Don't Stop Believin - by Olivia Newton-John - I have had this book on my bookshelf for a couple of years. Now with her recent sad passing, I have finally read it and dipped into her life and times as she talks about her singing career and living with cancer. She was a beautiful singer - one of our favourites - and did much for cancer research with her ONJ Cancer Wellness & Research Centre in Australlia. (26 September 1948 – 8 August 2022)
- Man-Shy - by Frank Dalby Davison - winner of the the Australian Literature Society's gold medal for the best novel of 1931 I was first introduced to this book many years ago by my aunt - it was one of her favourites. Now in her early 90s I decided to read this book again. I was surprised to learn that Frank Dalby Davison only owned and unsuccesfully worked a property in Queensland for few years as he has a great insight into cattle.
- Where the Crawdads Sing - by Delia Owens - I first read this novel about Kya the marsh girl in 2020, and having recently watched the movie adaptation I re-read the book and enjoyed it as much the second time around. The movie follows the book very well - I highly recommend both!
- The Clockmaker's Daughter - by Kate Morton. This is my second time reading this novel and I enjoyed it as much the second time as I did the first. An intruiging story that crosses between a host of interwoven characters and time decades, and one of the main characters is a ghost! I am looking forward to Kate's new book coming out in 2023.
- Lion - Originally published as A Long Way Home - by Saroo Brierley - I had this on my bookshelf for a long time, having seen the movie in 2016, and finally had the head-space to read it. Not sure why I waited so long. The incredible true story of a little boy who becomes lost in India when he was 5 years old. Surviving for weeks on the streets of Kolkata, he is finally taken to an orphanage and adopted by a couple, the Brierley's, in Tasmania. It is the story of his years of searching for his home and family.
- The Banksia Bay Beach Shack - by Sandie Docker - I found this on a second hand book stand, and really enjoyed it. Thankyou to whoever put it there! When Laura finds an old photo of her grandmother Lilly and a girl Gigi standing on a beach as young girls, Laura travels to sleepy Banksia Bay to uncover the story which her grandmother had kept hidden.
- Blue Above the Trees - by Mavis Thorpe Clark - Written by aclaimed Australian writer, this book was given to me for my 14th birthday by my parents in 1969, it tells about the Whitburn family in 1877, one of many who sought to carve a farm out of the thick South Gippsland forests in Victoria.
- The Briny Cafe - by Susan Duncan - author of memoir Salvation Creek, this novel focuses on life centered around the fictional Briny Creek and people who live in offshore communities near Sydney, Susan highlights life and characters around places like real-life offshore Pittwater. A delightful reread.
- The Italian Girl - by Anita Abriel - Spanning from Rome 1941 and occupied Florence toBuenos Aires 1946, art expert Marina flees to Florence after her father is shot by the Nazi's. In Florence she risks her life to help the partisans save art pieces from German hands.
- My French Connection by Sheryle Bagwell - Borrowed from my sister, this book was not quite what I expected, but an interesting indepth look at French culture, society, food, politics, everythng - learnt while liviing in Lyon and Paris.
- Watership Down by Richard Adams - hard cover edition with full colour plate illustrations by Aldo Galli - When a young rabbit named Fiver has a vision about the destruction of their warren, he and Hazel persuade seven other rabbits to leave with him in search of a new home, but it is not always easy going.
- Five Quarters of the Orange - by Joanne Harris. Written by the author of Chocolat, this book is also set in rural France. It goes between two time periods and tells the story of Franboise Dartigen - current day 65 years old and in the past 9 year old Framboise during WW2. The story of her mother, Franboise, her siblings, and a young German soldier, Thomas, is woven together. Tragic but fascinating.
- To the Land of Long Lost Friends - by Alexander McCall Smith. Another book about Mma Ramotswe and the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency in Botswana.
- The Applie Core Wars - by Linda J Bettenay - Set in Roleystone and Karragullen in the Perth hills and then a World War 11 prisoner of war camp in Nagasaki, Japan, the book tells of entertwining familes based on historical fact.
- The Tattooist of Auschwitz - by Heather Morris - I found this on a second-hand book stand, and had always wanted to read it. Written from the true life experiences of Lale Sokolov who was transported to Auschwitz in 1942, and put to work tattoing new interns. Heartbreaking, but also full of hope which kept Lale alive.
- The Silver Brumby - by Elyne Mitchell - I went back to my early teen years to reread the story of the silver brumby stallion Thowra.
- Welcome to Nowhere River - by Meg Bignell. A collection of locals bring Nowhere River back to life, underscored by the mysterious dissapearance of a little girl.
- The Paris Secret - by Natasha Lester - spanning the years 1928 to 2012 the book follows the lives of two main characters - Kat (in 2012) and Sky Penrose from when we first meet her as a child in Cornwall to her years serving as a pilot in WW2 Britain. What is Kat's grandmother hiding from her, and how did a collection of Dior dresses come to be in a wardrobe in a cottage in Cornwall?
- The Piano Teacher - by Janice YK Lee - Two women one, Clair from 1952-53 Hong Kong and one, Trudy from 1941-42 Hong Kong, are connected through one man Will. Clair tries to uncover the story and we are taken to Hong Kong under Japanese rule in WW2.
- The Forgotten Garden - by Kate Morton. This is the second time I have read this book, and I was enthralled and captivated by it as much as the first time. Beautifully woven mystery through various characters and time periods from Australia to Cornwall. Will Cassandra find out who her grandmother Nell really was?
- Educating Alice - by Alice Steinbach. From learning to cook at the Hotel Ritz in Paris to herding sheep in Scotland, Alice travels the world conquering new challenges and exploring locations and meeting an array of people along the way.
- All the Pretty Horses - by Cormac McCarthy - This book was recommended at a recent writing workshop I attended. This book is the first of a trilogy. It tells the story of young John Grady Cole, and his friend Rawlins who leave their ranches in Texas and ride down to Mexico looking for adventure. What they find is not what they expected. McCarthy has a wonderful way of describing the landscape.
- The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart - by Holly Ringland - beautifully illustrated by Edith Rewa Barrett - Holly has written an evocative book about familes, untold stories, and courage. Against a backdrop of the Victorian tradition that every flower has a meaning, Holly has written meanings to Australian flowers.
- Lucky's - by Andrew Pippos - shortlisted for the 2021 Miles Franklin Literary award - this is a Greek tragedy set around the story of ex-pat American, Lucky, in the Greek restaurant trade in Sydney, and a Emily who witnessed her father kill himself and is searching for answers.
- Little House on the Prairie - by Laura Ingalls Wilder - the second in a series of three books based on Laura's childhood and adolescence in the American Midwest (Wisconsin, Kansas, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Missouri) between 1870 and 1894.
- Pushing Back - by John Kinsella - a collection of sometimes challenging short stories about contemporary Australian life, many based in Western Australia, by multi-award winning Australian author.
- The Time Traveller's Wife - by Audrey Niffenegger - 6 year old Clare meets time traveller Henry, 36, beginning an extraordinary life together. I recommend you watch the movie before reading the book!
- My Forests - by Janine Burke - Gifted to me by my nephew's wife, this is a thoroughly interesting and enjoyable book about the role trees play in our lives against the backdrop of Janine's own experiences with trees.
- The Paris Library - by Janet Skeslien Charles - Based around the true story of the American Library in Paris during World War 2, and the people who strove to keep it open.
- The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul - by Deborah Rodriguez - Tells the story of 5 extraordinary women who meet in Sunny's coffee shop in Kabul. An interesting read that gives you an insight into the lives of both women and men Afghani's living in Kabul, and also the life of ex-pats, and the dangers they face every day. Update - in the light of the recent events in Kubul, this book seems even more poignant.
- The Last Bookshop in London - by Madeline Martin - On the eve of WW2 Grace and her friend Viv arrive in London. Grace secures a job in a run-down bookshop. This story takes us through the years of the London Blitz.
- The Poppy Wife - by Caroline Scott - 1921 Families are trying to find the thousands of soldiers who were lost in WW1 France. As Harry photographs grave sites for families in the UK, Edith and Harry search for Harry's brother Francis, Edie's husband.
- Miss Webster and Cherif - by Patricia Duncker - Set in England and the Middle East, this is a curious little book about acceptance and that it is never too late to change your life for the better.
- The Shifting Fog - by Kate Morton. - At 98 Grace is still haunted by what happened at Riverton Manor in 1924 and the part she played.
- The Distant Hours - by Kate Morton - A letter from the past sends Edie back to the past and the mystery surrounding Milderhurst Castle in Kent where her mother spent time as a child during the 1941 wartime London. Tragedy and secrets keep you reading to unfold the mystery surrounding the three aging sisters.
- The Cartographer's Secret - by Tea Cooper - Against the backdrop of Yellow Rock in the Hunter Valley, and interwoven with the mystery of explorer Ludwig Leichhardt's disappearance, Letitia Rawlings discovers a hand-drawn map and tries to solve the mystery of Evie Ludgrove's disappearance in 1880.
- The House on the Hill - by Susan Duncan - interwoven with the building of a new house on a farming property, Susan speaks honestly about hidden issues from her childhood, and her difficult relationship with her aging mother.
- The Postcard - by Leah Fleming. A postcard found in a box after the death of her father in 2002 in Australia takes Melissa across the world to uncover the mystery of her father's heritage in Scotland.
- The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter - by Hazel Gaynor. Hazel weaves a part-fictional story around the real life events about Grace Darling and her father's rescue of people from the wreck of the SS Forfarshire in 1838 off the Northumberland coast. Alternating between characters and times 1838 and 1938.
- The Dictionary of Lost Words - by Pip Williams - Pip has successfully interwoven fictional characters, Esme, Da and Lizzie, into the fascinating history of the publication of the first Oxford English Dictionary.
- The House at Salvation Creek - by Susan Duncan - Susan's continued story about her life at Pittwater, and researching the history of Dorothea Mackellar's house "Tarrangaua" where she lives with Bob, her second husband.
- Harvesting the Heart - by Jodi Picoult - when Paige struggles with motherhood, she goes in search of her own mother.
- The Girl who Reads on the Metro - by Christine Firet Fieury - this is a delightful little book for "anyone who likes to end a book with a smile on their face". Juliette ponders - do books really have the power to change the course of a life?.....
- Where the Crawdads Sing - by Delia Owens - Kya, the "marsh girl" is abandoned in early childhood in a hut on the edge of the marsh on the North Carolina coast. This is a story of loneliness, rejection, survival, love and loss, beautifully woven through the natural world of the marsh.
- Singing for Freedom - by Ani Choying Drolma - Ani Choying changes her life from a childhood of struggle to becoming a Buddist Nun in Nepal - and bringing hope to other local women through money raised through her singing. Nun's Welfare Foundation of Nepal
- Salvation Creek - An Unexpected Life - by Susan Duncan - At a time of crisis in Susan's life she leaves her high-powered job and moves to Pittwater, battles cancer and finds love and a new life.
- The Phone Box at the Edge of the World - by Laura Imai Messina - A beautifully crafted story about loss and finding love again and the magic of the wind phone in the phone box in the Bell Gardia Kujira-yama garden which came into existence after the tsunami in Japan in 2011. People come to talk to those who they have lost and it is where Yui and Takeshi meet. Bell Gardia, Japan
- Slow Boat to Mongolia - by Lydia Laube - Lydia visits China and Inner and Outer Mongolia
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - Written in the form of letters in 1946, this is the second time I have read this delightful book and I enjoyed it as much the second time round. One of my all time favourites.
- The Long Way Home - by Lydia Laube - in her second book Lydia travels down through Africa
- Due North - by James Viles - chef and restaurateur James Viles and friends do a road trip through Australia from Tasmania to the Gulf, immersing themselves in the country and wild caught food.
- Behind the Veil - by Lydia Laube - leaving Australia, Lydia works as a nurse in the woman-oppressed Saudi Arabia, behind the veil.
- Goodbye Girlie - by Patsy Adam-Smith - Sequel to "Hear the Rain Blow" Patsy recalls her life interesting and sometimes troubled life.
- The Secret Keeper - by Kate Morton - Across several time periods, Laurel untangles the mystery of her mother and her wartime friend, Vivien.
- The Water Diviner - by Andrew Anastasios and Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios - Based on the original screenplay of the movie by the same name, Australia farmer, Joshua Conner leaves Australia in 1919 to find his three sons at Gallipoli.
- From France with Love - by Nadine Williams - Nadine an Australian, and Oliver a Frenchman, find love in middle age.
- A Waltz for Matilda - by Jackie French. - drawing inspiration from the song "Waltzing Matilda" by Banjo Patterson, Jackie weaves a story of Matilda and Tommy, drought stricken land, aboriginal racism, and the journey to Australian Federation and women given the right to vote.
- The Beekeeper of Aleppo - by Christy Lefteri - Nuri and Afra are forced to flee Aleppo in Syria after the death of their son Sami, and try to make their way to Britain. Written from stories Christy was told on the streets and in the refugee camps in Athens.
- A Year in the Valley - by Jackie French - Jackie takes us through the seasons at her property in Eastern Australia - along with stories of the wild animals who visit, including wombats - and the produce that comes from her garden and orchard - with recipes. A delightful read for anyone who's dreamt of living like this.
- Poldark - Book 11 - The Twisted Sword - by WInston Graham - 1815 - Cornwall - The last of the Poldark saga. The war in France affects them all, Jeremy and Clowance find brief happiness, under the shadow of Jeremy and Demelza's secret of the Loving Cup.
- The Middle of Somewhere - by Sam Harris - photo diary chronicling everyday life in the South West of Western Australia, with dips into India.
- Poldark - Book 10 - The Loving Cup - by Winston Graham - 1813-1815 Cornwall. In the aftermath of a daring coach robbery, Jeremy struggles with his conscience and the effects of the Poldark and Warleggan feud transfers to their children, Jeremy, Clowance and Valentine. Whilst Geoffrey Charles finds love in Spain.
- Poldark - Book 9 - The Miller's Dance - by Winston Graham - 1812-1813 Cornwall. Follows Ross and Demelza's two eldest children Jeremy and Clowance as Jeremy experiments with steam engines and Clowance's love for Stephen Carrington falters.
- The Botanist's Daughter - by Kayte Nunn - the botanist's daughter leaves England to travel to South America to search for a rare plant to continue her father's search. Over a century later her botanical drawings, a bag of seeds and a diary are found hidden in a house in Sydney.
- The Secret World of Wombats - by Jackie French - Wombats feature in many of Jackie's children's books. Learn more about the fascinating world of wombats.
- Anne of Green Gables - by LM Montgomery - Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert adopt Anne, a red-headed orphan, who changes their lives.
- Closing Down - by Sally Abbott - In futuristic rural Australia, town matriarch Granna Adams, her grandson Robbie, and lonely Clare try to make make their way in a fracturing world.
- Death, Despair and Other Happy Endings - an anthology by the Bunbury Writer's Group - confronting and disturbing themes in their first anthology of short stories and poetry. Good writing, but I didn't enjoy it. Sorry.
- Driftwood and Tangle - by Margaret Leigh - Memoirs from life in the north-west of Scotland at the outbreak of WW2.
- The Watcher on the Cast-Iron Balcony - by Hal Porter - An autobiography about Hal's childhood and adolescence in 1920s lower middle class urban Australia.
- Clancy of the Overflow - by Jackie French. A fictional adaption of the story of Clancy of the Overflow immortalized by Banjo Patterson's poem.
- The Plantation - by Di Morrissey - Queenslander Julie Reagan travels to Malaysia to discover the real story about her Grandmother Margaret, and her great-aunt Bette.
- Ducks, Newburyport - by Lucy Ellmann - it is not often that I do not finish a book, but this is such a book. I am sorry Lucy, I know you were shortlisted for the Booker Prize, but I couldn't get past page 447 of your 1000 page , one sentence ramble. I ask you, what is the point of this ramble of disconnected thoughts, words, that the Booker judges said of it "like nothing you've ever read before". They were right. Sorry Lucy.
- Poldark - Book 8 - The Stranger from the Sea - by Winston Graham - 1810-1811 - this novel jumps forward 11 years from the last novel, and focuses on Ross and Delmelza's older children, Jeremy and Clowance.
- The Garden of Evening Mists - by Tan Twan Eng - Malaya 1951, and an unlikely relationship between the Japanese Emperor's former gardener and a Straits Chinese survivor from a Japanese internment camp.
- The Magician's Nephew - by CS Lewis - The first book of the Chronicles of Nania series, this book describes the beginnings of Nania.
- Eucalyptus - by Murray Ball - Winner of the Miles Franklin Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, this richly written narrative is set in New South Wales, a father who plants every eucalyptus on this property, and how the fate of his daughter is entwined with the trees.
- The Little Black Princess - by Mrs Aeneas (Jeanie) Gunn - written for a younger audience, this book tells the story of Bett-Bett and others in the tribe at Elsey.
- The Water Deviner - by Andrew Anastasios and Meaghan Wilson-Anasteasios - 1919, Joashua Connor leaves his Australian farm and travels to Constantinople to find the bodies of his three sons at Gallipoli.
- Gagudju Man - by Bill Neidjie - the environmental and spiritual philosophy of a senior traditional owner, Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia.
- We of the Never Never - by Mrs Aeneas (Jeannie) Gunn. 1902 and Jeannie's marriage to Aeneas brings her to a remote Northern Territory station, The Elsey.
- Poldark - Book 7 - The Angry Tide - by Winston Graham. The continuing Cornwall Sage - 1798-9. As the animosity between Ross and George continues, Elizabeth takes a drastic step, and a death brings Morwenna and Drake together.
- Poldark - Books 6 - The Four Swans - by Winston Graham. The continuing Cornwall saga - 1795-7. Demelza, Elizabeth, Caroline and Morwenna.
- Lighthouse Girl - by Dianne Wolfer and illustrated by Brian Simmonds - a young girl living on Breaksea Island off Albany in Western Australia messages to troups leaving Albany on ships for WW1.
- The Memories that Make Us - by Vanessa Carnevale - Set in country Victoria, Australia, when Gracie looses her memory in a car accident she retreats to her mother's flower farm to try and find herself. Heartwarming story with the question "do you make your memories or do your memories make you?"
- We"ll Stand in That Place and other stories - Margaret River Short Story Competition 2019. Winners and selected short stories.
- The Zanzibar Wife - by Deborah Rodriguez - Rachel, an American ex war photographer takes an assignment in Oman for a travel magazine, and journeys with "fixer" Ariana Khan, a British Muslim, and Miza, the Zanzibar wife.
- Nine Perfect Strangers - by Liane Moriarty. - Recommended to me by a family member, I am sorry to say I didn't enjoy this book about 9 strangers with different problems at a "health retreat" where they were treated with unconventional methods. I enjoyed the last few chapters "after" the retreat where the stories are all given conclusions. Sorry Liane Moriarty, but I wouldn't recommend this book.
- Poldark, Book 5, The Black Moon - by Winston Graham - 194-95 Cornwall. The continuing saga of the Poldarks and Warleggans, and the lost love of Drake and Morwenna, whilst Ross rescues Dr Enys from a French prison.
- The Clockmaker's Daughter - by Kate Morton. Another intriguing mystery novel from Kate Morton, told over multiple times and from the point of view of multiple characters, one of who is a ghost. What happened to Lily Millington and the Radcliffe Blue?
- Poldark, Book 4, Warleggan - by Winston Graham - Cornwall 1792-1793. Ross's fortune turns for the better with the discovery of a big tin load, whilst Elizabeth marries George Warleggan.
- The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted - by Robert Hillman - set in rural eastern Australia in 1969, the lives of three people suffering from heartbreak come together - a farmer Tom Hope, abandoned by his first wife; Peter, the son of his wife; and Hannah Babel, a Jew who survived Auschwitz concentration camp but her young son and husband were killed. Hannah comes to town and opens a book shop.
- Storm Boy - by Colin Thiele - The story of Storm Boy and the Pelican, Mr Percival on the Coorong, south coast, South Australia
- Poldark, Book 3, Jeremy Poldark - by Winston Graham - 1790-1791, Cornwall
- Poldark, Book 2, Demelza - by Winston Graham - the continuing fortunes and misfortunes of Ross and Demelza 1788-1790 Cornwall.
- The Little Teashop of Lost and Found - by Trisha Ashley. Alice, a foundling discovered on the Yorkshire Moors as a newborn baby, returns to Haworth in the hopes of discovering her parentage, and also to open an afternoon-tea-shop.
- Poldark Book 1, Ross - by Winston Graham - Set in Cornwall in the 1780's, a county of tin & copper mines, wreckers, gentry and poorer workers in the coastal villages. The changing fortunes of Ross and his cousin Francis Poldark and their families.
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - by Gail Honeyman. A debut novel. Eleanor is physically and mentally scarred by events during her childhood and struggles with social skills. Eleanor and Raymond, a guys she meets at her work place, help an elderly gentleman in the street. This is the beginning of Eleanor's recovery.
- Sea Prayer - by Khaled Hosseini, and illustrated by Dan Williams - by the author of The Kite Runner, this beautiful picture book was inspired by the the story of 3-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi, who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea trying to reach the safety of Europe in September 2015. Dedicated to the thousands of refugees who have perished at sean fleeing war and persecution.
- On Leopard Rock - by Wilbur Smith - A life of adventures - a memoir
- Under Story - by Inga SImpson. A memoir - Inga pursues her writing life in a forest cottage in Queensland. Each chapter describes a tree in her forest, interwoven with her personal under story.
- A Fifty-year Silence - by Miranda Richmond Movillot. Miranda sets out to discover her grandparents story when they were forced to flee in World War 2, how they came to buy an old stonehouse in France, and why they divorced and never spoke to each other again.
- I am Malala - By Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb. Malala was an advocate for education for girls in her home valley of Swat in Pakistan. She was shot by the Taliban and now lives in England, but continues the fight. Malala is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
- Picnic in Provence (A Memoir with Recipes) - by Elizabeth Bard - New Yorker Elizabeth married a Frenchman and after living in Paris they, and their newborn son, move to the Provincial village, Cereste, and open an ice-cream shop.
- The Lake House - by Kate Morton - Sadie Sparrow stumbles upon an abandoned house and the mystery surrounding a little boy who went missing in June 1933. 70 years before, on the Edevane family's Midsummer Eve party at their country home, Loeanneth in Cornwall.
- The Forgotten Garden - by Kate Morton - A story that spans a century from Brisbane in Australia to London and Cornwall in England. What is the true identity of Nell, and what is her connection to Ivory, Rose and Eliza (the Authoress)? Cassandra travels from Australia to unravel the mystery and discovers the secret of the Forgotten Garden.
- Pompeii - A Roman Girl's Diary AD78-79 - by Sue Reid - for upper primary & lower high school readers.
- Pigface and other stories - Margaret River Short Story Competition Anthology 2018
- The Little Breton Bistro - Nina George - rescued by a passer-by when she throws herself into the Seine, Marianne travels to Kerdrue in Brittany where she discovers herself.
- They Even Paid Me – John Wells – Compiled by Janet Wells. Memoirs of a third generation Kimberley cattleman.
- Waiting for Rain - poems by Janet Wells - Station life in the West Kimberley 1970s-1980s.
- Golden Earrings - by Belinda Alexandra - A story that takes us between the Spanish Civil War in the early 1900, and Paris in the 1970s. Ballet and Flamenco. Passions and betrayals.
- The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society - Chris Stewart - Continuing story of their life in Spain.
- A Parrot in the Pepper Tree - by Chris Stewart - Continuing story of their life in Spain.
- Lioness - by Katherine Scholes - A young girl, an Australian medical researcher, a Zulu field station worker, and a lioness and her clubs - and what happens when their worlds collide in Tanzania.
- Driving Over Lemons - by Chris Stewart - memoir - At 17 Chris retired as the drummer of Genesis and became a sheep-shearer and travel writer, eventually buying a remote mountain farm with his wife in Andalucia, Spain.
- Women of Letters - curated by Marieke Hardy & Michaela McGuire - Compiled from literary afternoons with some of Australia's finest dames of stage, screen & page.
- The Paperbark Shoe - by Goldie Goldbloom - A story of love and loss and the far-reaching repercussions of war, Set in the early 1940s in the Western Australian wheatbelt town of Wyalkatchem, two Italian POWs, Antonio and John come to work on the farm of Mr Toad, and his wife Gin Boyle, an albino, classically trained pianist, who are exiles in their own country.
- Buz Feel Safe Feel Right Books for children by Steve Heron, with illustrations by Deb Prentice - The Land the Other Side of the Rainbow, Picked Last, Skimming Stones, The Magpie who wasn't a Chicken, The Ging, A Terrible Secret (www.buildupzone.com - SW Precision Print Busselton)
- The Zookeeper's Wife - by Diane Ackerman - the amazing story of Antonina & Jan Zabinski who smuggled Jews from the Warsaw ghetto and hid them in their zoo during WW2.
- Geogiana Molloy, The Mind That Shines - by Bernice Barry. A comprehensively researched biography about one of Australia's first female botanical collectors in the late 1830s, early 1840s, during the early days of south west Western Australian settlement. Boronia molloyae - Tall Boronia - was named after her.
- The Photographer's Wife - by Suzanne Joinson - Prue takes us on a journey across the years between England and Jerusalem.
- Going Solo - by Roald Dahl - memoir - adventures in Africa as a young man
- Boy - Tales of Childhood - by Roald Dahl - memoir
- Short and Twisted 2017 - anthology edited by Kathryn Duncan
- The Corfu Trilogy - by Gerald Durrell - Three classic tales of childhood on the island paradise of Corfu where Gerald's family lived for 5 years in the 1930s.- My Family and Other Animals, Birds, Beast and Relatives, The Garden of the Gods.
- The Dressmaker - by Rosalie Ham - set in a small Australian country town, the story centres around Tilly Dunnage, a bittersweet comedy about love, revenge and haute couture.
- The Chocolate Tin - by Fiona McIntosh (a Chocolate Tin found on a dead soldier in France at the end of WW2, brings its finder to York)
- Joiner Bay & Other Stories - Margaret River Short Story Competition 2017
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Written in the form of letters back and forth to Guernsey following WW2 One of my all time favourite books. And I also highly recommend the movie.
- Rabbits and Rosaries - a memoir by Glenys Yeoman (her life as a Nun and beyond)
- War Horse - by Michael Morpurgo - The story of a young man and his horse separated on the battle front of Europe.
- Stories from Suburban Road - TAG Hungerford - Life as a boy & young man in suburban South Perth 1920-1939.
- Straightshooter - TAG Hungerford - Collection of 3 books - Stories from Suburban Road (1920-1939), A Knockabout with a Slouch Hat (1942-1951), Red Rover All Over (1952-1986)
- My Family and Other Animals - by Gerald Durrell - memoir on Corfu
- Stories from the Swinging 60s - Have a Go News, Concept Media, Western Australia
- The Dalai Lama's Cat - by David Michie - A delightful story told in the voice of HHC, His Holiness's Cat, little Snow Lion, which gently imparts to the reader some of the Dalai Lama's teachings.
- Why is Art Full of Naked People and other Vital Questions - by Susie Hodge - A children's book but lots of answers to those questions!
- Girl with a Pearl Earring - by Tracey Chevalier - The girl behind the Johannes Vermeer's 1665 painting.
- Dropping In - by Geoff Havel - Teenage novel - skateboarding friends and a boy in a wheelchair.
- The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - Tears of the Giraffe - by Alexander McCall Smith - Set in Africa
- The Runaway Quill - Anthology 2016 - by the South Side Quills
- Barefoot - by Elin Hilderbrand - Three women escape to a seaside cottage for the summer.
- The Newspaper of Claremont Street - by Elizabeth Jolley - A cleaning lady saves money for a better life.
Books read for the 2016 Reading Challenge - completed October 2016
· Brave New World - by Aldous Husley (a book which was banned at some point -
Published in 1932, and banned in Australia from 1932 to 1937)
Published in 1932, and banned in Australia from 1932 to 1937)
· My Brilliant Career - by Miles Franklin (a book published before I was born)
· Sister Heart - by Sally Morgan (a book recommended by my local librarian)
· Rebecca - by Daphne Du Maurier (a book I've already read at least once)
· Travels with My Aunt - by Graham Greene (a book I previously abandoned)
· Wild Cat Falling - by Colin Johnson (a book that intimidates you....I'm not necessarily saying it intimidated me, but it was an interesting read about a side of life that I am not familiar with)
· The Old Man and the Sea - by Ernest Hemingway (a book you should have read at school - except that I did read it because it was a set novel - I read all the novels we had to read! I think re-reading it now I have a greater appreciation of this novel)
· A Kiss from Mt Fitzgerald - by Natasha Lester (a book published this year 2016)
· I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced - by Nujood Ali with Delphine Minoui (a book I own but have never read...till now)
· Still Alice - by Lisa Genova (a book you have been meaning to read)
· Jonathon Livingston Seagull - by Richard Bach (a book that can be read in one day)
· Daughter of the Territory - by Jacqueline Hammar (a historical novel)
· In Love and War, Nursing Heroes - by Liz Byrski (a book chosen by you by your sibling)
Other books read in 2016
· Love, Life and Elephants - by Dame Daphine Sheldrick - David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar - by Suzanne Joinson
· The Long Hot Summer - by Mary Moody
· Shibboleth and other stories - Margaret River Short Story Competition 2016
· True North - The story of Mary & Elizabeth Durack - by Brenda Niall
· Kimberley Warrior - The story of Jandamarra - by John Nicholson
· Big Magic - by Elizabeth GIlbert
Wife on the Run - by Fiona Higgins
In February 2016 by some quirk of blogging and computers and probably inattention on my part, I lost my reading list that I had accumulated over several years.
So in no particular order below is a "bit" of my list. I know there are more, and sadly I don't have the names of the books that were lent to me by friends to read.
The Little Paris Bookshop - by Nina George
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes - by Eleanor Coerr
Lost Boy and Other Stories - Margaret River Short Story Competition 2015
Esio Trot - by Roald Dahl
War Horse - by Michael Morpurgo
Pennies for Hitler - by Jackie French
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - by John Boyne
Finding Jasper - by Lynne Leonhardt
To Kill of Mockingbird - by Harper Lee
Go Set a Watchman - by Harper Lee
Ellis Rowan - The Flower Hunter - by Christine & Michael Morton-Evans
Foreign Soil - by Maxine Beneba Clarke
The Light Between Oceans - by ML Stedman
Was it Something I Said - by Ros Thomas
Wild - by Cheryl Strayed
Reflections - by Jo Robertson
Doing Good - by James McRobert
A Mother's Song - by Michael Finaghty
A Stranger in my Street - by Deborah Burrows
A Time of Secrets - by Deborah Burrows
Now I See - Edited by Angela Blakston
The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
Blackboards, Bubbles and Cappuccinos - by Ruth Tearle
The Hills of Tuscany - by Ferenc Mate
The Seamstress - by Geraldine Wooller
The Book Thief - by Markus Zusak
The Help - by Kathryn Stockett
Light Between Oceans - by ML Stedman
My Forbidden Face - by Latifa
Veiled Courage - by Cheryl Benard
Dear Mum - by Julia Morris
The Five Foot Road - by Nagus McDonald
Atonement - by Ian McEwan
Desert Dawn - by Waris Dirie
Maalika - by Valerie Browning
Mama Jude - by Judy Steele with Michael Sexton
Red Dog - by Louis deBernieres
White Coolies - by Betty Jeffrey
A Year in the Merd - by Stephen Clarke
Other Voices - short stories from the Peter Cowan Writers' Centre
Best Foot Forward - Edited by Lee Atkinsona and Lee Mylne
The Trouble with Flying and Other Stories - Margaret River Short Story Competition 2014
Knitting and Other Stories - Margaret River Short Story Competition 2013
Things that Are Found in Trees and other stories - Margaret River Short Story Competition 2012
The No 1 Ladies' detective Agency - by Alexander McCall Smith
Whatever You Do Don't Run - by Peter Allison
Territory - by Judy Nunn
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Deborah Moggach
Salvation Creek - by Susan Duncan
The House at Salvation Creek - by Susan Duncan
The Briny Cafe - by Susan Duncan
Gone Fishing - by Susan Duncan
Cloud Street - by Tim Winton
The Albanian - by Donna Mazza
Travel Etcetera - by Stephen Scoufield
Number Two Home - by Noreen Jones
Left Bank Waltz - by Elaine Lewis
Left Bank - by Kate Muir
Slow Journey South - by Paula Constant
Sinning Across Spain - by Ailsa Piper
Honeymoon In Purdah - by Alison Wearing
Eat Pray Love - by Elizabth Gilbert
Africa - by Sorrel Wilby
Seven Years in Tibet - by Heinrich Harrer
A Promise to Nadia - by Zana Muhsen
The Rabbit Proof Fence - by Doris Pilkinton / Nugi Garimara
Wine and War - by Don & Petie Kladstrup
My Other World - by Margaret Whitlam
Under the Tuscan Sun - by Francis Mayes
Encore Provence - by Peter Mayle
The Lavender Keeper - by Fiona McIntosh
I'm Over All That - by Shirley MacLaine
Travelling Tales - by Charles Wooley
Outback Heroines - by Sue Williams
Women of the Outback - by Sue Williams
Sheer Bottled Bliss - by Ian Parmenter
Elephant Dance - by Tammie Matson
Dry Water - by Tammie Matson
Unaccountable Hours - by Stephen Scourfield