Thursday, 23 February 2017

My Favourite Books for all ages.

February has been all about spreading the love of books.
Did you enter our Giveaway? A HUGE thank you to everyone that did. The response was amazing!
Congratulations Mary and Stephanie who both won a copy of Emma the Eager Emu. I hope she has arrived safely on your doorstep.
I thought I would continue the love of books for one last blog, (even though most of my posts are about books in one way or another).
Below are my all time favourite books that I have loved to read and share. They are all well worth considering adding to your collection if you don’t already own them.
Picture Books
I can’t go past the “Diary of a Wombat” series by Jackie French. I know I’ve said it many times before but these are simply adorable and can be read to all ages, from birth to adults! I have used them in the classroom from Kindergarten to year 6. Everyone loves them!  Packed full of fun, mischief and a massive dose of cuteness!
Diary of a Wombat
Baby Wombat’s Week
Christmas Wombat
The Secret World of Wombats
Chapter Books for Middle Grade and Tweens.
Harry Potter. What can I say, I am a huge fan! J.K. Rowling brought reading  (and magic) back to a whole new generation when she released these. They will always be popular, in the classroom as well as on my shelf at home. I loved reading these aloud each night as my boys and I snuggled in bed together. They were so keen to hear the next absorbing chapter (or three).
The Philosopher’s Stone   
The Chamber of Secrets
The Prisoner of Azkaban
The Goblet of Fire
The Order of the Phoenex
The Half-Blood Prince
The Deathly Hallows
Adult Books
The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon. It took a couple of years to read through this marvelous series. Gotta love a Highlander in a kilt! Add history and romance and you have an unputdownable series. When I finished the final book it was like saying goodbye to two well known friends. I missed Jamie and Claire Fraser. It took me sometime to feel I could enjoy another series as much.
Dragonfly in Amber
Drums of Autumn
The Fiery Cross
A Breath of Snow and Ashes
An Echo in the Bone
Written in my Own Hearts Blood
Then I stumbled across a local Australian Author, Liane Moriarty. Her novels are contemporary mysteries set in the northern suburbs of Sydney. Since I grew up Sydney, I  really enjoyed reading these as the scenes are very familiar. They depict everyday suburban life with a twist. My favourite was Big Little Lies, (I couldn’t predict the ending it was a real wow moment for me!) I wrote a review on it, if you are interested the link is here –
By the way it is now being shown as a mini series on Foxtel. My only disappointment is they made it in California not Sydney, however having seen the first episode, I’d say, so far, so good.
Liane has also written children’s books however they are still on my “to read” list.
The Last Anniversary    
What Alice Forgot
The Hypnotist’s Love Story
The Husband’s Secret
Three Wishes
Big Little Lies
Truely Madly Guilty
Before I go, one last recommendation, if you like a story with environmental issues along with adventure and romance in a unique Australian setting Annie Seaton has it all in her recent series with –
Kakadu Sunset      
My review for Kakadu Sunset is here –
Some books mentioned are missing from my photos, I have leant them to friends and family.
I could of course, mention many others, but then we would be here for a very long time. I enjoy reading many genres including autobiographies.
Anh Do’s “The Happiest Refugee” was particularly moving, insightful and funny. He takes you on a  memorable journey from war torn Vietnam, escaping in a leaking boat to be raised in the Western suburbs of Sydney and finally becoming a successful comedian. I have now just started “Mao’s Last Dancer” by Li Cunxin. It is a memoir I have wanted to read for a long time. My husband and I saw one of his productions of The Nutcracker over Christmas by the Queensland Ballet Company. Li was sitting only a few seats in front of us. The ballet was superb! I was even more determined then to read his life story.

What are you reading at the moment? What would be on your all time favourite list of suggestions? I am always looking for more books to read and welcome any ideas.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Love is in the Air! – International Book Day Blog Hop

“Love is in the air everywhere I look around  
Love is in the air every sight and every sound
And I don’t know if I’m being foolish
Don’t know if I’m being wise
But it’s something that I must believe in
And it’s there when I look in your eyes”
Sorry I’m not about to break out into John Paul Young’s song, Have you started singing it in your head yet?
I’m not about to start ballroom dancing either, even though I loved “Strictly Ballroom” (maybe I’ll watch that again tonight)!
Now that I have your attention!  Valentines Day is just around the corner, a day to remember our loved ones. Valentines Day is also International Book Giving Day!  Why is International Book Day held the same day? It is a day devoted to instilling a lifelong love of reading in children and providing access to books for children in need. For this reason I decided this year as a special treat I would focus on my love of reading and sharing that love with children.  
How am I doing that? In case you haven’t heard by now, I have joined a group of fantastic Indie Authors to help spread the love in a Blog Hop  devoted to the love of books and a giveaway of some of their ‘s (and my) awesome children’s books. More on that later, for now, please read and enjoy, then read the other #gr8blogs listed below for more fun loving book inspiration. Don’t forget when you finish reading to be sure to enter the rafflecopter competition for your chance to win one of 14 amazing picture books and ebooks so that you too, can help share and spread the love of books with children everywhere!

Reading – How do I love thee, let me count the ways – 
  1. I love the smell of opening the pages of a freshly printed new book.
  2. I love snuggling with a child and sharing the wonder and surprise of what they find inside the story.
  3. I love that stories can take you on adventures to far off places and unknown worlds of discovery and imagination.
  4. I love that books are filled with endless opportunities to learn.
  5. I love that you can escape everyday reality for awhile inside the pages of a fantasy, mystery or adventure.
  6. I love the fact that sharing a book with a child is time well spent, a bonding time and memory building time.
  7. I love reading a book to an eager class of wide eyes, and watching the anticipation on their faces as I reach the climax.
  8. I love reading a book that inspires a child to write their own imaginative story or draw a wondrous illustration.
  9. I love hearing a child ask to hear a favourite bedtime story read aloud “just one more time!”
  10. I love it when they fall asleep clutching their favourite story and you know they are dreaming of that special world.
Can you think of any other reasons to love reading? I’m sure there are plenty more. Leave a comment below, I would love to know what you think.
Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing a bit of the reading love of International Book Giving Day. Don’t forget to read these other #gr8t blogs from my fab author friends.  It’s not too late to join our Rafflecopter competition either. Entries close 15th Feb so you still have time to share in the love of our book giveaway. While you’re reading these blogs check out these authors awesome books you might like a chance to win!

Cat Michaels, Cat’s Corner –   
Julie Gorges, Baby-Boomer Bliss -direct link to be inserted
Carmela Dutra, A Blog for your Thoughts – direct link to be inserted
JD Holiday: JD’s Writers Blog…
James Milson – 

Terms and conditions: There is NO purchase necessary to enter or win. Eight winners (still to be determined exact amount) will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget within 48 hours and notified by email once the giveaway ends. The winners will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner(s) do not respond within 72 hours, a new winner(s) will be chosen. This giveaway is open to all who live in and outside of the US. However, as there are several sponsors of this giveaway who live both domestic and international. Print books are available only for domestic country of author origin; ebooks offered outside author’s country of origin at their discretion.

a Rafflecopter giveaway