Books that haunt you…

Have you ever read a book that you finish but then find you cannot let it go?

My first ever experience of this phenomenon was the book “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell. I think I was maybe 10 years old. I was obsessed with Scarlett O’Hara and then I saw the movie and the obsession grew. I wanted to BE Scarlett O’Hara, no, not Vivien Leigh although I liked her well enough, it was all about Scarlett O’Hara. I wanted to name my first daughter Scarlett Olivia Hamilton was my surname back then. I got out voted, BUT my second daughter has named her daughter my Grand daughter, Scarlett Olivia Hamilton and boy oh boy, does My Scarlett suit her famous name sake! 

So recently I read a book called “When you wake and find me gone” by an Australian author called Maureen McCarthy. I chose it at a second hand shop only because it was an Australian book, and I am still reading Australian books from last years reading challenge. I took this book with me when we recently went to NSW on a road trip, because I figured if I didn’t like it I’d leave it behind at the caravan park and not fret too much.

Well, this author had such strong characters, I quickly became hooked into the story. It’s set in Richmond Victoria, where I was born and bred…most of the story is there, but the main character is 20 yr old Kathleen (Kit- also my eldest boys name!) Briefly, I’ll give you a quick summery.. Kit is in Uni, living in a share house with some friends and comes from a large Irish family, I think there were for memory 5 children, Kit being the youngest, but there is a plot twist.. Kit grew up with an older sister Leonie (I also have a half sister called Leonie) it turns out that Leonie is actually Kit’s Mum, but she couldn’t cope with the baby and so her parents stepped in and took the baby Kit less than a week old, raising her as thier own child.  So Leonie is involved in a car accudent and the terrible truth comes out and Kit decides she needs to know who her father is and so she takes off to Ireland to look for this stranger who is involved with the IRA. When she gets to Ireland she find she has a half sister Rosalinde well, her charachter was so life like, when the book finished I found myself wondering “What happened to Rosalinde?” Did Kit stay in touch with her? Did they become close? And what about the Father Eamon? What happened to Eamon? 

So now its been 5 days since I’ve finished that book and I’ve read two others since  (it’s school holidays I’m between crochet projects so I read!) but still in the middle of the night when it’s dark and I’m not sleeping I wonder about Rosalinde and where is she now? Is Maureen McCarthy going to write a sequal? She should, she could base it on the Irish members of the family, I’d read that! Plus the ending, which I kind of suspected would happen, what happened next? Did Kit and Brendan make a go of their friend/relationship? And Leonie, we last hear of her recovering slowy although the left side of her body is still slightly paralyzed, what becomes of Leonie? Does Kit forgive her the lies? Does Kit have a Mother/daughter relationship with Leonie? And what about Johnny? He was the brother, who turned out to really be her uncle, he left the seminary school to marry a homless single Mother, well, what happened to that relationship? And what about Tam the house mate who was in an abusive relationship and got battered so much she went home to live with her Mum? Really? Maureen, I need another book with follow ups please!! 

So have you read a book thats stuck with you long after you read it? If so please tell me the author and title and why its moved you? I might have to check it out! 

books and reading and such!!



While we have been away we have had no “babies” I miss them but while I am not with them I am finding time to enjoy reading again and so here is a little snippet of what I’ve been reading while we’re away.. Sticking with my “Year of reading Australian Authors” the challenge I’m doing with “Meet me at Mikes” I’ve only brought away Aussie Author books and limited ones at that.. but I’ve been visiting Charity shops along the way and picking them up cheaply enough..

So here is what my Reading list look like…

I have been leaving the books in the laundry’s of caravan parks as we go along to save room and none of them (Except the Thorn Birds which is going to America) I need to read again or return to anyone, I am getting good at setting books free.. it used to kill me to do it, and now I look at it as a gift for some fellow traveller. I picked up one in the laundry “Brown Sugar” and a fellow traveller gave me Di Morrissey’s “Opal dreaming” when we were talking about Coober Pedy and finding opals.

So I have not been doing book reviews for any of these books, the internet reception has been sketchy at best and so I will resume my “Book Reviews” once we get back home.

01/08/2015-28/09/2015 The Thorn Birds Colleen McCullough 591
18/09/2015-23/09/2015 Matlidas Last Waltz Tamara McKinley 410
23/09/2015-25/09/2015 Opal dreaming Di Morrissey 406
25/09/2015-28/09/2015 The Bride Stripped Bare Anonymous 376
28/09/2015-02/10/2015 Russell Crowe- Biography Tim Ewbanks and Stafford Hildred 285
02/10/2015-03/10/2015 A Banner Bold- The Diary of Rosa Aarons 163
03/10/2015-07/10/2015 Maggie Maggie Tabberera 430
07/10/2015-10/10/2015 Sweet Surrender Mary Moody 225
10/10/2015-15/10/2015 Brown Sugar Nancy Cato 256
16/10/2015-19/10/2015 An Indecent Obsession Colleen McCullough 317
19/10/2015-21/10/2015 White eye Blanche d’Alpuget 370
22/10/2015-23/10/2015 Reflections on Marriage Hazel Hawke 183
23/10/2015-24/10/2015 Heartless Tasma Walton 206
24/10/2015- Tears of the Moon Di Morrissey  

The Year of reading Aussie Authors… book reviews


The Year of Australian Writing challenge

BookclubIts been a while since I’ve done a book review for a simple reason, I just haven’t been reading as much, but when I left to come on this trip I packed a bunch of my “Äussie Author ” books in an attempt to get back on track and it’s worked!!

First of all I finished the book “The Thorn Birds” by Colleen McCullough

3412Taken from Good Reads

Powered by the dreams and struggles of three generations, THE THORN BIRDS is the epic saga of a family rooted in the Australian sheep country. At the story’s heart is the love of Meggie Cleary, who can never possess the man she desperately adores, and Ralph de Bricassart, who rises from parish priest to the inner circles of the Vatican…but whose passion for Meggie will follow him all the days of his life.

Well I had several people telling how good this book was so I found it and read it… it took me two months being busy with Grandbabies and getting ready for the trip.. I didn’t LOVE this book at all. I made myself continue reading it hoping it would get better… but I didn’t love it or really even like it much… give it three stars out of five.

Then because I finally finished this one I decided to start another whole I was on a roll.. so I read…

“Matilda’s Last Waltz” by Tamara McKinley

406849Taken from Good Reads

After the tragic death of her husband, Jenny travels to Churinga, a remote sheep-station in the Australian Outback that he intended to give to her for reasons she doesn’t understand.Churinga is harsh and unforgiving, but also has its beauty…and its secrets. The more time Jenny spends on the farm, the more she is aware of the lingering presence of Matilda Thomas, Churinga’s former owner, and the more she wonders just what she is doing there.

Notice on the cover it reads “An epic novel in the tradition of “The Thorn birds” so I almost didn’t read it but so glad I did because this one was so  much better and I got through it quickly. Since we are camping with “”Matilda”” our trailer and “Tamara” our tent, I found it quite ironic when one morning the Bloke announces… “This will be our last Big Lap with “the girls” (meaning Tamara the tent and Tilly the trailer) I turned to him and said “Does that mean this is Matilda’s Last Waltz?” he said “Yeah I’m too old for it… blah blah blah”… I  just held up the book cover and showed him.. the irony was not lost on us..

I really enjoyed this book, maybe it’s because I’ve been to some of the places she mentions and I can picture them and the smells and the sights are real to me.. better described that by Colleen in the Thorn Birds. Giving this one 5 stars our of 5 and I let the book go, I left it in a laundry room in the Caravan Park in Kalgoorlie. I hope Matilda’s waltzing again with some one else.. maybe going to a new corner of Australia.

My final book review for today is by a new author to me Di Morrissey and it was called “The Opal desert

12654196Taken from Good Reads

The Opal Desert is the story of three women from different generations with unresolved issues in their lives who meet in the fictitious NSW town of Opal Lake.

Kerrie, in her 40s, has just lost her famous sculptor husband who had been the centre of her existence and for whom she made many sacrifices and she now finds her life has lost direction.

Shirley, approaching 80, was betrayed by her lover many years before and has retreated from the world, becoming a recluse living in an underground dugout.

Anna, 19, has a promising athletic career but is torn between the commitment to her sport which could carry her to the Olympics, or enjoying life-like other young people.

The friendship that develops between these three women, who meet in the strangely beautiful but desolate landscape of the opal fields, helps them resolve and come to terms with the next stage of their lives

A lady we were camped next to at Fowlers Bay was talking about a book she had just finished and said to me “would you like it? It’s a great book, it’s an Aussie Author” so the Bloke started telling her about my challenge this year to read Aussie Authors and so she went and got the book for me, not what HE wanted not more books!! As soon as I saw the title my interest was sparked.. being that last Big Lap we went to Coober Pedy to find an Opal.. I promised myself I would do that for my Dad who sadly passed away before he had time to go and get himself an opal. The other famous place in Australia for Opals is Lightening Ridge and it’s on my “to do list” as well. Di also mentioned Broken Hill which we have been to and loved and seen the places she writes about.. she describes the people so perfectly. I loved how she weaves all these different people into one story and I had to fight to put this book down. Its 406 pages and I read it in two days! I’m giving this a 5 star rating and will be on the look out for more of her books.

That brings my total for the year for this challenge up to 18 books.. woo hoo…

I went to a charity shop at the start of this trip and picked up some books for 25 cents each, one is an Aussie one about Russell Crow so maybe I’ll read that next!

Book Review- Two for the Road..

I thought I posted this first but oh well…


I’ve been a bit slack with my reviews… but I also haven’t been reading as much due to the fact that there is too much else to do..


This book is called “Two for the Road” by Shirley Hardy Rix and Brian Rix


Good Reads says

Roads are for journeys, not destinations.

In 2003 Melbourne couple Shirley Hardy-Rix and her husband Brian Rix fulfilled a lifelong ambition of motorcycling across the world.

In an incredible 350-day journey, they would do everything they’d ever dreamed of as well as getting much more than they’d bargained for. Crossing 27 countries and covering 56,671 kilometres, they raced around the Isle of Man motorcycle circuit on Mad Sunday, survived Iran’s traffic and travelled through Taliban strongholds under armed guard. Shirley and Brian’s story is an epic account of the ups and downs of seeing the world on two wheels – from the frustrations of potholes and flat tyres, to the splendour of some of Europe and Asia’s most awe-inspiring sights.

Full of terrific anecdotes, down-to-earth humour and practical advice, Two for the Road is a must for anyone who’s ever imagined escaping the daily grind to experience the romance of the open road.

‘Few books are as inspirational as that just written by Melbourne journalist Shirley Hardy-Rix and her policeman husband Brian Rix.’ – Herald Sun

‘A great read for anyone with a yearning for the open road and exotic climes.’ – West Australian

‘This book might tip undecided travellers over the edge – no bad thing.’ – Two Wheels

I enjoyed this book because this is something my husband and I would like to do.. maybe not overseas or around the world, but around Australia anyways. I loved how there were two POV’s throughout the story, you know the Blokes want to be all technical and us Sheila’s want to do the romantic side of things. So I enjoyed that, when we travel I do it all and then pass the book to the Bloke who adds stuff about kms travelled and fuel amounts and costing and handling of the bike, we have tow journals for the bikes “Scarlett Journal” is for the Triumph 650 her name is Scarlett because of her paint colour and “Bette’s Book” Bette is the BMW we drive on longer rides.

I’m giving this one 4* out of 5.

Book Review.. Fortune Cookie


Book Review time…

and here’s another one for you.


Today I am reviewing a book called “Fortune Cookie” by Bryce Courtney


Good Reads says…

Simon Koo is an ambitious Australian-born Chinese young man who goes to Singapore in the mid-sixties to work for Samuel Oswald Wing, an advertising agency. But the Wing brothers, who run the agency, are not what they seem.

To be perfectly honest as much as I love Bryce Courtney.. I did not LOVE this book, I struggled through it because I was loyal. I haven’t read ALL his books but this is only the second one I didn’t love.. the first being “Sylvia” which I was dying to read because it was medieval..and though I love what he tried to do he shouldn’t have jumped into a different genre.

Anyways this book was not one of my faves. I did finish it only because I KNOW Bryce is going to finish with a BANG and he did again! the ending was the best bit.. I’ve giving it 3 * out of 5.

Book Review- Tracy.



book review for the book “Tracy” The Storm that wiped out Darwin on Christmas day 1974 By Gary McKay

Taken from Goodreads:


On Christmas Day 1974, Australia woke up to the news that Darwin had been flattened by Cyclone Tracy. Only hours before, the town of Darwin was winding down for the holiday season. Like many people that day, Josephine Foreman spent the morning cooking a large turkey for Christmas lunch; Geoff Crane took the opportunity to finish some last-minute Christmas shopping. Reports of an approaching cyclone were taken lightly – after all, the last cyclone had been little more than a storm with a bit more wind. Besides, it was Christmas.

I have been to Darwin and I loved it but you can’t help but know the history of what happened in Darwin and there are reminders every where, in the museum and all kinds of places. I loved this book because I’ve been there and even though I was little at the time (8 yrs old) everyone was aware of what was happening thousands of kilometers away in Darwin. At the time I never imagined one day I would be in Darwin and even when I got to Darwin I never expected to love it THAT much!

I am giving this book 5 out of 5 stars!

Book Review.. Four Blood Moons by John Hagee


Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change


Inspired by NASA projections and recorded history, Pastor John Hagee shows direct connections between four blood-moon eclipses and major world events. Further, he reveals the significance of the four upcoming blood moons and what they portend for Israel and all of humankind.

I read this book because it was recommended to me by a good friend/penpal/ and my Christian friend.

Please keep in mind I am still fairly “new” to being a Christian, in fact until I get myself baptized I don’t even call myself a Christian, and though I was given a lovely gold cross to wear I won’t wear it until I make the commitment to our Lord. It’s on the cards for somewhere between now and 1st of July (1st of July 2014 was when I started studying the bible and asking the questions, so I want to celebrate my first anniversary by committing to God) So I have been reading A LOT in fact Pastor Frank is very impressed with how much I’ve read and how much I am teaching myself, I ask questions for the hard stuff, but somewhere in my mind “it clicked” and started to make sense. So I felt that I was “capable” of reading this book…. boy was I wrong.

I found it very technical and he quoted parts of the bible I’m yet to look at, I am working through the bible in a year with Courtney from “Good Morning Girls” and really enjoying the bible learning, as well as using the S.O.A.K method and the colour chart. so this book was slow reading for me and parts of it I went back and re-read. Maybe people with more Bible experience than me will “get it” for a long time I didn’t. I liked the last chapter because it related to now.

Needless to say “All these blood moons” mean something is about to change and I guess as John asked “Are we ready?”

The Book reviews on Good Reads, click on the link up ^ that I supplied to read the reviews, are very mixed to say the least.

I am not going to tell you what the book is about, maybe you should either get the book or look at the internet to find out more. I’m glad I read it but I didn’t love it so I’m scoring it 4 out of 5.

So my reading totals are down for this month, because I have been reading the above book (technically hard) and “Adams empire” by Evan Green (I need to stop reading two books at once, one always suffers) Adam’s empire is looooong over 700 pages and so it’s also slow going.

01/04/2015-30/04/2015 Adam’s Empire Evan Green 324 7 still reading
06/04/2015-10/04/2015 24 Hours that changed the world. Adam Hamilton 136 9 keeping for future Easters (biblical)
10/04/2015-30/04/2015 Four Blood Moons John Hagee 144 8 still reading..

So April’s total pages was : 604 and the combined yearly total so far is: 4,972

It’s a little less than I would like but we are going on a big road trip Sept-Nov, so I expect to catch up then!!