Tag Archive | reading

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! 

Book reviews… yes more than one!



** All book reviews are from the “Goodreads” website

Dreamscapes…  By Tamara McKinley

Catriona Summers’ debut in show business came early. Her father, the leader of a travelling music hall troupe that toured the small towns of the Outback, carried her on stage when she was barely minutes old in order to introduce her to her first audience. From such humble beginnings Catriona had grown up to emerge as a rare talent, her voice garnering her praise from the public and critics alike. But her journey from performing popular songs for a few pennies to becoming an acclaimed opera diva on the Sydney stage, has been fraught with hardship and tragedy. And now some old scandalous secrets from her teenage years are threatening her present, her family and all she has achieved.
I took a little while to get into this book, this is a new author for me so I wasn’t sure if I would like her writing, but once I got into it.. a good few chapters I started to enjoy where she as taking us. I have always liked these books that are multi generational and you follow along as the characters grow. I’ve been to a few places discussed in the book so I had a personal connection there too.. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. This was book number 6 in my “Australian reading challenge”

 The Lost Mother.. Anne Summers

The Lost Mother, published by Melbourne University Press, is a gripping narrative that is part art history, part detective story and part meditation on the relations between mothers and daughters.

It recounts how after Anne inherited a portrait of her mother as a child, she decides to search for the lost companion painting, where her mother was painted as the Madonna.

The story is both moving, and hypnotic as Anne embarks on a parallel quest to rescue the artist, Constance Stokes, from obscurity and to learn the fate of the mysterious Russian émigré collector who originally bought the portrait.


I really enjoyed this book, maybe because it was set in my home town Melbourne Victoria, and so I could relate to a lot of the places Anne talked about. Maybe because it was a daughter trying to understand her Mother, who knows maybe it was just the Art part of it, but it was a little bit of lots of things and I really enjoyed it. There was also an element of detective in the story as Anne tracked high and low to search for the lost portrait of her Mother. Giving this one 4 out of 5.. This was Book number 7 of my “Australian Collection”






The Touch by Colleen McCullough

Fast-moving and immensely readable … a page turner from start to finish’ Maeve Binchy
“Alexander Kinross is remembered in his native Scotland only as a shiftless boiler maker’s apprentice. But when he writes from Australia to summon his bride, his relatives realize he is now a man to be reckoned with. Arriving in Sydney after a difficult voyage, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Drummond meets her husband-to-be and discovers that he frightens and repels her. And, isolated in Alexander’s great house, Elizabeth finds that marriage does not prompt her husband to enlighten her about his past life – nor his present one, in which his mistress, the sensuous, tough, outspoken Ruby Costevan.”
The Touch
Its been a few years since I’ve read  Colleen and so I struggled for the first chapter.. she’s intense with the amount of detail she puts into place. But once I got back into her style I loved this book! Again it’s Multi-Generational and gripping, I hated to put it down and go to sleep and then when I did I had Ruby and Elizabeth trapped in my head, she writes good strong female characters. The ending had a twist I didn’t see coming. I give this one 5 stars out of 5 and this is book number 8 in my “Australian Collection Challenge”

This is how my year of reading looks like so far!
01/01/2015-08/01/2015 Through gates of splendor (biblical) Elisabeth Elliot 207
01/01/2015-09/01/2015 Walk with Me Kevin Hitchcock 442
09/01/2015-12/01/2015 The Lizard Eaters Douglas Lockwood 212
09/01/2015-11/01/2015 A womans workshop on Phillipians (biblical) Margaret and Paul Frommer 50
12/01/2015-15/01/2015 The Stockman Rachael Treasure 378
15/01/2015-17/01/2015 Mailman of Birdsville track Kristin Weidenbach 216
17/01/2015-25/01/2015 Dreamscapes Tamara McKinley 426
25/01/2015-31/01/2015 The Lost Mother Anne Summers 354
25/01/2015-26/01/2015 Give it all to him (biblical) Max Lucado 58

Welcome to my Library…


New for 2015..

Book Club- Welcome to my library.

I am a crazy mad reader, and sometimes I have more than one book at a time. I try not to though because I don’t think you put enough effort into two books as you do reading one.. but hey it’s me.

In 2007 I joined a challenge on “43 things” website I believe it’s now closed down to adding things but you can still read the site. Anyways a group of us decided to “Read a Million Pages” the rules were simple. You could only use BOOKS you’d read not magazines, comics or anything other than a BOOK. So we started documenting, some did it monthly and some did it daily. I found for me monthly was good. I set up an excel spread sheet to track it all

Date-                           Title                   Author        Number of pages    Rating out of 10      Where to?

12/12/2014- 14/12/2014 …  The Cat in the Hat….  Dr Suess..      43… 7… Keeping for Sons book collection

At the end of each month I would total all the pages up and add those to a little comment box, and keep  running tally for the year. Then I can see which months have been good reading months, usually January (Summer break), July and August  (Winter- cold and raining)  Well this year I have been a bit  slack with my book-keeping but I have just updated it and I am well below average, too late now to worry about it. I am getting this all set up for 2015.

In 2015 I am taking part in a reading challenge called “2015- A year of Australian Writing” the rules are we must read anything as long as it’s by an Aussie Author! Find out more information here :http://meetmeatmikes.com/2015-a-year-of-australian-writing/


So I knew I had one or two “Aussie” books in my bookshelf, one or two Bryce Courtney, but then I had a look and look what I found!!


I found eleven!!

I had said to my husband when I signed up, if I can find one book a month to read that is Australian I’ll be happy, I’ve already done that because there is one more than is not pictured which makes 12, PLUS That was only one book shelf I went through, I have four more to go through and one down at our holiday place!! I was thinking Id go to the charity shops and buy some ha ha! No Need!! I guess I should probably clarify the Colleen McCullough books she was born in Australia but now lives in Norfolk Island… I’ll double-check that I can use her. We also have a “good reads” group where we have started a library of books we are planning to read.

So this is one part of the “Bookclub” postings I’ll be doing, the other part is of course my Biblical reading, I can’t stop that to do this so it’ll be along side this one. Still I’ve read a few really good books this year and I’ll be happy to share those with anyone who wants to read them. I have also been gifted a “E Book”, I have never read one before but the deal was we would be given the book and read it and write a review that the author will publish on her blog and on Amazon (I think or maybe not) So if you are at all interested in reading, please check back often and as I read them I’ll review them and update my excel spread sheet so you can follow along.

My first post for 2015 will be on the E Book and I’ll do a review and I’ll let you know my starting number for my “Read a Million Pages Challenge

Feel free to jump in at anytime with book suggestions, or comments or anything related to books. I love to know what everyone is reading, my tastes are eclectic like everything else on my blog, one never knows what one might find next!

Blogtoberfest 2014- it’s My Birthday!



Monday: Mosaic Monday – make a photomasiac to show and write about
Tuesday: Talkative Tuesday – tell us about yourself
Wednesday: Wordless Wednesday – post a photo and no words
Thursday: Thankful Thursday – write about what you are thankful/grateful for, Throwback Thursday
Friday: Friends on Friday – write about another creative you admire, Flashback Friday
Saturday: Some/Six/Seven Thoughts on Saturday
Sunday: Sunday Snippets (started by {tinniegirl}) – My week in photos… A collection of photos from your week. No need for words. Let the pictures tell your story.


Some /six/seven thoughts on Saturday…

Should be easy since today is my Birthday.

  • had breakfast in bed with the Babies.. Vegemite toast with coffee. they had the toasties I had the coffee.
  • Got lots of pressies, from my husband a “Fit Bit” which I have been wanting forever. Its keeps track of weight, fitness, steps, distance walked, diet all kinds of things and the best bit is you wear it as a bracelet not as a pedometer, I had so many problems with pedometers, I even lost one down the toilet! I read a review last week about the “Fitbit” and how when you were pushing a pram it wasn’t counting steps due to your arm not physically moving, so today I tested the theory, and it didn’t capture the steps I took so because I have skinny ankles I attached it to my ankle and viola! Problem solved, of course I did a test run in the driveway before I went on a walk of any distance. Then after dinner as I got up to wash the dishes it started vibrating on my ankle scared me half to death, so I logged onto the App and found out, I had hit my 10,000 step total for the day. Which makes me wonder if I can get that by walking around the house and doing a walk around the block (1.5 klms) what am I walking on a day when I go down town shopping?!! I know Friday the app on my phone which I am using to track my distance called “Run keeper” tells me I walked 5.3kms and that wasn’t even one of the biggest walks I’ve done. I am so excited to see how far I can go. I have a goal of walking 400 kilometers this year, so far I am up to 364.3 kilometers and I still have till the end of the year to go, it works out to about 500 meters a day to hit my goal I need to do. Easy!
  • I got Stationary from one of my daughters, from the other one I got a book I have been wanting to read since I watched the mini series on ABC called “The Anzac girls” by Peter Rees. From my Star Son, I got a wall hanging with lots of mini pockets so I can keep my stationary under some kind of control.. Sounds good in theory, we shall see! My cousin Lee dropped by and brought me a beautiful dream catcher, and I got some beautiful cards from penfriends. So I have been spoilt.
  • its was gorgeous weather, so I spent some quality time outside with the babies and my Bloke, just enjoying the spring, wait till you see my flowers!!
  • I got so many lovely birthday messages from friends on Facebook and also a text message from a friend I haven’t heard from in ages, now living in Western Australia. My sister-in-law Lindy rang me and sang “Happy Birthday” and I got a text message from my sister-in-law Leanne and Brother Bill in Gippsland.
  • I had a lovely BBQ dinner, with salad and home made potato salad and for dessert, chocolate birthday cake and a “Kirin” Japanese Apple cider, I don’t buy them often they are expensive, but my Bloke said “It’s your birthday” so I am sipping slowly and savouring it.