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June Reads and Reviews

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I am so excited for June. It marks the start of a break in my studies, which I don’t really want to take. But my brain has been a bit mushy lately, and I’ve been studying and working full time for the last year without a break (as well as blogging and sporadically writing), so I feel like I need to give it a rest for a while. There’s so many things I’m looking forward to do on weekends that I haven’t been able to because of my studies. Having a sleep in is foremost of these. My birthday is also coming up this month. The big 3-0 (although my occasional childishness would suggest that I’m much younger [I think?]). When I reflect on some of the stupid things I’ve done in recent years, it’s good I made it to 30, so go Team Me. I’m not nearly as petrified of turning 30 as I think I should be, but I’m sure I will imagine a few wrinkles over the next couple of weeks, so it’ll be fun to see how much I’m freaking out when the big day arrives.

Anyway, to the less scary stuff. What am I reading this month? Well taking a break in my studies means that I will have some extra time for reading and cooking (and eating). So this month I’ve got six books on my list, most of which are NetGalley reads. The Book of Speculation is first cab off the rank. I was really excited to be OK’d for this one on NetGalley – it’s a book about a book which is always a win in my opinion! I’ve been reading lots of stuff lately that makes me cry, so hopefully this will be a bit less emotional for me. Rhymes of Early Jungle Folk is a children’s book (an attempt to cling to my disappearing youth?) and is a soon to be released replica of a book originally published in 1922. I saw it on NetGalley and thought I’d try something a bit different. Then we have The Miniaturist – I AM BEYOND EXCITED FOR THIS ONE. I saw the cover for it and after reading the blurb, I immediately added it to my TBR on Goodreads. Then the very next day I won a signed copy from Dymocks – my favourite bookshop. If you were in doubt about the super power I first wrote about here (you’re looking for no.10 in the ’11 Facts About Myself’ section), doubt no more. It’s real you guys. The Secret Speech is the second book in the Leo Demidov trilogy by Tom Rob Smith. I am completely enamoured with the character of Leo, and I’m interested to see where Mr Smith takes him next. The final two books are really just an excuse for me to eat (I’m nothing if not honest) and take some photos. So get your bibs ready as I hope to make you drool on your keyboards.

JuneReads

UPCOMING REVIEWS
Chavasse: Double V.C.I basically spent the last two chapters of this crying. Good times.
Child 44 – This is the book before The Secret Speech. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this one. From the very first sentence I was hooked. I think Tom Rob Smith is going to be up there with John le Carré as one of my favourite writers. If you’ve ever read my blog before and seen my fangirling over Mr le Carré, you’ll know this is a pretty big deal for me.
The Invisible History of the Human Race – I just finished reading this one. It’s not the sort of thing I would normally read, but I found it really interesting so I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on it with you guys.

Then there will be reviews for most (if not all) the books mentioned above. So it’s going to be a reasonably busy month for me in terms of reading, eating, and maybe being hungover after my birthday. A hangover which, considering my advanced age, will probably last for a couple of weeks (not really, I can mostly handle my drinks).

What are you planning on reading this month? Do you even plan ahead or do you like to read whatever you happen to pick up?

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Book Review – ‘The Girl In The Photograph’

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The Girl in the PhotgraphTNetgalleyBadgeitle: The Girl In The Photograph (published as ‘Fiercombe Manor’ in the U.S.)
Author: Kate Riordan
Genre: Fiction (Historical/Women’s)
Release date: January 28, 2015
Rating: ★★★★☆

A one night stand has left Alice Eveleigh in a position no single young woman in 1930’s London would want to be in. So to avoid embarrassment, she’s been packed off to Fiercombe Manor. Nestled in the English countryside and all but cut off from the outside world, Fiercombe seems like the ideal place for a young woman to hide herself and her perceived disgrace from society. But just as Alice hides the origins of the life growing inside her, so too does the Manor hold its own secrets. As the months roll by and Alice learns more about the history of the Manor, she sees her own life reflected in its past, and begins to fear that her future will end up similar to that of Elizabeth Stanton, the woman who lived in the Manor in years gone by, and whose memory still haunts its walls.

I’ll start by saying I really enjoyed this book. I read it quite quickly and even sat up so late reading I fell asleep, which is a pretty rare occurrence these  days. Probably my favourite thing about it was the switching of the narrative back and forth between Alice in the present (1930’s), and Elizabeth in the past (late 1800’s). I personally like this move between time as it not only breaks things up, but keeps me thinking as I piece together the clues provided in each time. It’s probably this that kept me reading into the wee hours as I had to know if I was right in my predictions.
Although the character of Alice shared many similarities with other characters in the women’s historical fiction genre, I found her to be a thoroughly likeable character in her own right and I genuinely wanted her to have a happy ending. While I couldn’t relate to the situation she found herself in, I still sympathised with her.
The overall tone of the novel was quite dark and faintly gothic. Occasionally it reminded me in a small way of Brontë’s Wuthering Heights – for much of the novel there was an almost oppressive wintriness: lots of rain, clouds, and just general cold. It reflected Alice’s situation nicely and it wasn’t until summer arrived that there seemed to be any hope for the character.

There’s definitely a formula to writing women’s historical fiction. There needs to be a female character who is perhaps a little meek at the outset. You then take that character and in some way set her at odds with the people around her, or thrust her into an unfamiliar situation. Add in a mystery to be solved; an enigmatic and unexpected (for the female character, not the reader) suitor; and a plot to make the leading lady bloom, and we have the blueprint for Women’s Historical Fiction. In this sense, I do find that these sorts of books can be a little predictable. But are they any the worse for it? No way! It lends the novels a certain level of familiarity, which sometimes you need after been taken on a roller coaster with less predictable books. The important thing is how the bones of the novel are fleshed out, and I really liked the way Kate Riordan did this in The Girl in the Photograph. Despite me guessing how certain things would end, I still held out hope that I would be wrong and as a reader I always like to have hope, even if it doesn’t come to fruition.

Many thanks to Penguin Books Australia and NetGalley for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review!

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Teaser Tuesday – ‘The Invisible History of the Human Race’

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share two sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!

invisible historyMy teaser sentences this week are from a book that’s very different to what I would normally read.  The Invisible History of the Human Race by Christine Kenneally is all about how DNA and history shapes who we are and what we’ll be. I’m not against non-fiction by any means, but generally my non-fiction reading doesn’t extend past reading biographies. But I’ve always been a little interested about how each of us becomes who and what we are, both through societal influences and all the stuff inside us. So when I saw this book I thought I’d check it out, and I’m really glad I did as it’s speaking to that part of me that just needs to know the past and its impact on the future. At the moment this book is just about everything I was hoping for. Anyway, enough waffling from me, here are the sentences:

“For most of us the horizon extends forward maybe two  generations and back just two or three. It is hard to break out of the mind-set that we stand at a crucial centre point of that span and that all the people who came before were merely precursors to us.”

What are you reading at the moment? Feel free to share some sentences in the comments section, or link to your own Teaser Tuesday post!

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Stuff I Did – More Photos From Melbourne

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Last weekend I posted about how my mum and I went to Melbourne to see the World War One Centenary Exhibition at the Melbourne Museum. If you missed that post, you can see it here. But I took some photos of other stuff while I was there and thought I’d share them. I’d never been to Melbourne before that weekend, even though it’s only about an hour and a half on a plane to get there.

It’s a pretty nice place, but I think you need a local to take you around and show you all the best spots. But it’s one of those places that always seems to has something to take a photo of. Look up and there’s a cool building. Look down and there’s something interesting on the footpath. Then there’s the stuff straight ahead, side to side, and behind you. It’s actually a feast for your eyes. We weren’t there long so we didn’t get to see a lot, but I’d definitely like to go back at some point and see some more of it.

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Book Review – ‘True History of the Kelly Gang’

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cover-true-historyTitle: True History of the Kelly Gang
Author: Peter Carey
Genre: Fiction
Rating: ★★★★★

“In True History of the Kelly Gang, the legendary Ned Kelly speaks for himself, scribbling his narrative on errant scraps of paper in semiliterate but magically descriptive prose as he flees from the police. To his pursuers, Kelly is nothing but a monstrous criminal, a thief and a murderer. To his own people, the lowly class of ordinary Australians, the bushranger is a hero, defying the authority of the English to direct their lives. Indentured by his bootlegger mother to a famous horse thief (who was also her lover), Ned saw his first prison cell at 15 and by the age of 26 had become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over whole towns and defying the law until he was finally captured and hanged.” (PeterCareybooks.com)

Where do I start with this one? I think I’ll start with how awesome my actual copy of it is. I nabbed it for FREEEE when an office downstairs from me at work dumped a whole stack of books outside their door with a sign that said “Please take. Free.” At first glance it looks really shabby and well read (which it probably was). The edges of the pages aren’t even, which gives the impression that the binding has come loose and some of the pages are falling out. On closer inspection however, the binding is perfectly fine. So I have come to the conclusion that the pages were made uneven to reflect the paper that Ned Kelly writes his story on, the aforementioned “errant scraps of paper”. Here are some photos of my copy:

See what I mean about the pages? How some edges are longer than others? Huge thumbs up to the genius at University of Queensland Press who came up with this idea (assuming it was on purpose, which I’m sure it was). The tactile experience really added to the overall reading experience. It was pretty cool. Anyway, to the insides of the book.

I’m pretty sure Peter Carey is actually a chameleon disguised as a human. He has this extraordinary ability to completely change his writer’s voice in each book he writes (this is purely based on the three books of his I’ve actually read). It’s nearly impossible to tell that it’s him writing, unlike with many other writers who have a particular style and you can just tell it’s them writing. J.K. Rowling is a good example of this. Even when reading the ‘Harry Potter’ books and her adult fiction, she still has a very distinctive writing style/voice that marks her work (not that I have a problem with this – I love her!), despite the difference in content. This is not the case for Carey, and it’s probably my favourite thing about his writing.
In the case of True History of the Kelly Gang, Carey writes as Ned Kelly, and he does a remarkable job of it. Leaving school at the age of 12, Kelly would have never learnt the finer points of writing, including sentence structure and punctuation. So Carey has written keeping this in mind, resulting in a book that really could be perceived as actually being written by Ned Kelly himself, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t occasionally half believe I was actually reading Kelly’s memoirs.
Carey has also done a great job of portraying the Australian bush and the thoroughness of his descriptions added to the overall feeling of realism of the book. As someone originally from a remote area (what I like to call ‘the middle of nowhere’) that is surrounded by bush and dust, and is usually smothered in a dry heat occasionally broken up by rain that turns the dust into a muddy swamp, I could see everything that Ned Kelly describes and anyone who hasn’t experienced the Aussie bush will have little trouble being able to picture it.

It’s safe to say that being a Booker Prize winner, readers will either love or hate this book; rarely is there any middle ground with winners of this prize. But I think even those who read it would be hard pushed to say that Carey hasn’t done an excellent job in finding the voice of Kelly. The narrative genuinely appears to be written by a person who believes in the truth of what he is writing and therefore seems not to be simply written by an author recounting a history. Whether or not the “truth” in the pages is closer to what the history books would have us believe, what is written is the narrator’s truth and definitely had me sympathising with him.

As an Australian, I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I know very little about the history of Ned Kelly. I don’t recall learning about him at school and on reflection, I wonder whether a lack of education about him was to avoid glorifying a man who was essentially a criminal, but had perhaps been made one by the corruption of those who should have been upholding the law (if anyone reading this has school age children in Australia, I’d be interested to know if your kids have learnt about him at school). In not teaching us about his history, we don’t have the opportunity to question the law and the way things work (yes, I may have just uncovered a conspiracy). What I know of him is based on bits and pieces I have gleaned over the years, but after reading Carey’s book, I’m definitely interested in learning more.

WHO YOU’LL LOVENed Kelly was pretty great. But Joe Byrne was probably my favourite character (can I even call him a character if he was based on a real person?). We all want to have a friend like Joe Byrne.
WHO SHOULD READ IT – I can’t really think of anything similar to this book. But probably if you’ve watched classic Aussie films like ‘The Man From Snowy River’, this book might be your thing. Obviously if you like Peter Carey you should probably give it a read (if you haven’t done so already).
FAVOURITE QUOTE –
     “Joe Byrne come calling as well and once he realised how peaceful I were living life he brung me tobacco and when I said I didnt smoke he give me a book. If you seen Joe Byrne in a Beechworth pub you would never take him for a scholar you might note instead his restless limbs his wild and dangerous eye it could cut right through you like a knife. This same Joe Byrne sat me down on a log and opened up his book his hand square hands were very gentle on them pages.
     Shutup Ned and listen.
     So were I introduced to John Ridd the hero of the book called LORNA DOONE. I sat on a slippery debarked log at Killawarra but my eyes was seeing things from centuries before I were witness to a mighty fight between John Ridd and another boy as soon as John won he discovered his father were murdered by the Doones.”

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Teaser Tuesday – ‘Child 44′

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share two sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!

child-44This week’s Teaser Tuesday is from Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith. It’s a Cold War thriller,  which is sort of the thing I love to read these days, but rather than being set in England (which is what I’m used to), it’s set in Russia. It’s nice to be on the other side of the Iron Curtain for a change. It’s safe to say I’m completely smitten with the book. The story so far is amazing, the writing is brilliant, and it certainly warrants the film adaptation which is being released soonish (it could already be out where you are – I have no idea of the release date in Australia). And now for the sentences:

“He had little doubt that he’d eventually arrest Anatoly Brodsky, he just wanted proof; some sign of guilt other than mere conjecture. In short, he wanted to feel OK about arresting him.”

What are you reading at the moment? Feel free to share some sentences in the comments section, or link to your own Teaser Tuesday post!

This photograph shows Edward Mannock.

He scored 23 victories with 40 Squadron in 1917 before returning to Britain to rest. Mannock wrote this combat report at that time. An aggressive fighter, he was disturbed by the deaths of the men in his squadron. In 1918 he joined 74 Squadron. At London’s Criterion restaurant, its officers signed this menu before leaving for France.

After further victories, Mannock took command of 85 Squadron, but was killed by ground fire on 26 July.
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Stuff I Did – WW1 Exhibition at Melbourne Museum

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Last weekend my mum and I flew down to Melbourne (from Sydney) SPECIFICALLY to go to the World War One Centenary Exhibition at Melbourne Museum. We’re both pretty interested in the history of the war, and I am constantly reading books set around that time. I don’t go out of my way to read them, they just always end up in my hands. So when I saw this exhibition was happening, I knew I had to go.

The exhibition is made up of 350 artefacts, which have been sent to Australia from the Imperial War Museums in London. The artefacts themselves range from huge guns right down to the personal effects of some soldiers.
We took about 90 minutes wandering through the exhibition, which took us right through the war from the day it began, to the day it finished, and all the heartbreak in between. There were also sections that focused on the battles in the air, as well as on and under the sea. Some interesting items relating to these were the the rotary engine from the plane of the German flying ace, Baron von Richthofen – aka The Red Baron; and the bell of the RMS Lusitania, a passenger ship sunk in 1915 by a German U-Boat resulting in a massive loss of civilian life. This incident is cited as a turning point in the war, often pin pointed as a major reason the United States entered the war (although they would not officially enter the war for another two years).

It was strange and moving to see these items, many of which belonged to men who had died on the battle field. Some of them had even been in the possession of the men when they died or were injured. Thankfully I managed to hold in my tears until the end, where there was a screen showing the words inscribed on some of the headstones of  the fallen, words selected by their families. The sense of loss was completely overwhelming.
Below are some photographs I took and while they aren’t the best quality, hopefully they give an idea of the sort of artefacts on show. I’ve included some detail with the images, so make sure you click through to read about them – there’s some amazing stuff to see.

If you live in Melbourne, or are planning on going there soon, I can highly recommend going to see this exhibition (or do what my mum and I did and go there just for it). It was both educational and emotional, and while war is not something that should be celebrated, it is part of human history and should be remembered so that we can learn from it.

The WW1 Centenary Exhibition is at Melbourne Museum until October 4th, 2015. You can get tickets at the museum or purchase them online at http://ww1exhibition.com.au/tickets/

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Book Review – ‘Inheritance’

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Inheritance2011Title: Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle #4)
Author: Christopher Paolini
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult/Children’s Fiction
Rating: ★★★★★

A QUICK REHASH OF EVENTS (hopefully not too spoilery):
❊ In Eragon, after a dragon hatches from what our titular hero had thought was a stone, his life is turned upside down as he becomes a Dragon Rider and the last hope for the country of Alagaesia in overthrowing the evil King Galbatorix. Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, must travel across Alagaesia to join up with the rebel forces of the Varden, on his way he learns the magic that is part of being a Rider, and fights the evil forces of the king. Upon reaching the Varden, Eragon and Saphira are pitched into a final battle with Galbatorix’s army.
❊ Following the battle, in Eldest Eragon and Saphira make their way to the elven stronghold of Du Weldenvarden, where they must complete their training as dragon and rider. Meanwhile, the Varden are making their way to Surda – a country south of the Empire, that is independent from Galbatorix – in anticipation of another strike against them by Galabatorix.  We are introduced to some new characters as well as seeing the development of some relatively minor characters from Eragon. This book also ends in a pretty epic battle, and sets things up in an interesting way for Brisingr, as Eragon learns new information about his own past.
❊ In Brisingr, Eragon’s mission against Galbatorix has become much more personal, thus adding to the already monumental problem of how to overpower the king. Compounding this is the demand upon him to remain impartial to all, as is expected of a Rider, which causes his loyalties and friendships to be tested. There’s also a lot more of an inner struggle to be seen in Eragon this time around, as he attempts to come to terms with the knowledge about his past, brought to light in the final pages of Eldest. Then there’s another big battle.

Which brings me to Inheritance. I’m not going to fill you in on what happens in this one, except to say that IT’S EVERYTHING I COULD HAVE HOPED FOR IN AN ENDING TO A SERIES. From the opening pages to the final ones, there is never any definite way of knowing how things would end – if Eragon does beat Glabatorix, how is he going to do it? Will he need to kill someone he doesn’t really want to kill? If he does win, what will he do then? SO MANY QUESTIONS and none of them are answered until roughly the final quarter of the book. There was zero predictability, which I loved. It was back to the decent pace I enjoyed in Eldest, and everything that was in the book genuinely needed to be there. Ends were tied up, events came full circle, and I sort of got the ending I wanted for my favourite character from the first book.

I found it to be a somewhat bittersweet ending, and I can see why people probably either loved it or hated it. But I think that’s probably the case with any book series. When you invest so much time and emotion into a story, you want a good ending. I was a bit ‘meh’ about the conclusion at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised it couldn’t have ended in any other way. I’m actually pretty sad I’ve finished the series. Sure I didn’t have a ‘Harry Potter’ level of attachment to the books, but it’s still difficult getting to the end of any series, knowing that once you’re done, you’re done. It was sad knowing that all that time spent covering my face with the books on public transport has been leading up to the events captured in only a couple of hundred of pages. But all things, whether good, bad, or mediocre, must come to an end.

WHO YOU’LL LOVE – I don’t want to say too much in case I give away spoilers, but my main man Murtagh had a much bigger role in this book and I was so happy about that. I like my characters complex and filled with turmoil – and he’s just that.
WHO SHOULD READ IT – Did you read the first three books? Yes? Then you should probably read this one too.
FAVOURITE QUOTE – “…he wondered if it was perhaps better to remain in one place and learn all you could about it rather than to constantly roam across the land. Was a broad but shallow education superior to one that was narrow but deep?”

Teaser Tuesday
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Teaser Tuesday – ‘True History of the Kelly Gang’

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cover-true-historyTeaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share two sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!

This week’s Teaser Tuesday sentences come from 2001’s Booker Prize winner, True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey. This is the book that earned Carey his second Booker Prize (after 1988’s Oscar and Lucinda) and I can see why – the writing is interesting and completely unlike anything I’ve read, and I’m finding myself sympathising with Ned Kelly, Australia’s most infamous outlaw. But as with all Booker winners, you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it – there’s very little middle ground. I am firmly in the camp of the former. But I’ll save all of that for my review, and leave you with my sentences for now. FYI the lack of punctuation below is exactly as it is in the book.

“I lost my own father at 12 yr. of age and know what it is to be raised on lies and silences my dear daughter you are presently too young to understand a word I write but this history is for you and will contain no single lie may I burn in Hell if I speak false.
God willing I shall live to see you read these words to witness your astonishment and see your dark eyes widen and your jaw drop when you finally comprehend the injustice we poor Irish suffered in this present age.”
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A-Z Book Survey

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Erika The Bibliophile did this on her blog a couple of weeks ago, so I thought I’d give it a go too. I think this is one of those posts in which I am supposed to make a few people’s lives miserable by tagging them in it so they have to do it as well. But I’m not going to do that. If you read this, you’re tagged. And you have to do it … Kidding. You don’t have to do it if you don’t want, but I know you want to.

Author you’ve read the most books from: I’d like for it to be an author I really love, but it’s not. It’s Charlaine Harris. But only because I was silly enough to read the entire Sookie Stackhouse series which went for 13 books. I should have stopped after the fifth one.
Best Sequel Ever: Seriously? How can anyone answer that? I’m not even going to try. I’m sorry.

cover-true-historyCurrently Reading: True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey (I wrote this post before I actually started reading it, so I have no opinions at the moment, but I’m sure it’s great).
Drink of Choice While Reading: Well I’m usually drinking a coffee when I read on the train in the morning, but then if I’m sitting up at night reading I might have a glass of wine, or a cup of tea. So I guess it depends on the time of day and what mood I’m in.
Ereader or Physical Book? I will forever have a preference for physical books. But e-readers do have their merits – they are good space savers and the eBooks are generally cheaper. But they will never beat the feel and smell of a real book.
Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School: This is a tough one because I didn’t exactly date in high school (cue shocked gasps) (but not really) and when I look back on the guys I “like liked”, I wonder what on earth I was thinking. But if I’d been at school with George Smiley I think we could have been great nerdy little friends and then who knows what might have happened later in life. We probably would have just stayed friends.

wonderAussieGlad You Gave This Book A Chance: Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I was super lucky to pick up a hard cover of this in the bargain bin at my book shop – only $5! The reduced sticker had me sceptical, but it turned out to be one of the most heart warming books I’ve read.
Hidden Gem Book: Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer. Yes Brad Pitt was in the movie adaptation and yes it was amazing, but the book is incredible and is a beautiful story of friendship.
Important Moment in your Reading Life: Learning how to read was a pretty big moment. Actually that’s probably the biggest because ever since I could read I’ve been devouring books.
Just Finished: Chavasse Double VC by Ann Clayton. I can’t write too much about this one because it makes me really emotional. But it’s a biography that should be read if you want a bit of perspective in your life.
Kinds of Books You Won’t Read: I can’t say I’ve ever read erotica and I probably won’t. I’m not really into a lot of sex in most books unless it’s absolutely crucial to the plot, which most of the time it isn’t. And if it’s written poorly it can ruin a book.

WarAndPeaceLongest  Book You’ve Read: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. At 1392 pages it is physically the longest book I’ve ever read, and also the longest in terms of it felt like it literally took forever to read.
Major book hangover because of: Definitely Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. But who didn’t have a hangover after reading that?
Number of Bookcases You Own: Only one and it’s quite small, but the space in it is utilised to it’s fullest extent. But I can probably only get maybe half a dozen more books in there, so I may have to go shopping for a new one soon.
One Book You Have Read Multiple Times: It’s a four way tie between Tinker Tailor Soldier SpyPride & PrejudiceSeven Years in Tibet, and all the Harry Potter books.
Preferred Place To Read: I have no preference – I’ll read anywhere. But I mostly read on the train, in bed, in my cushy armchair, or at my desk at work.
Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read: I actually can’t think of one. And even if I could, I have no doubt that it would be equal with a whole bunch of other quotes.
Reading Regret: That I wasted time reading 50 Shades of Grey. I hate even admitting that I read it. I mean, good on E.L. James for getting publishing and making a heap of money, but just because it’s published doesn’t make it good. If anything this book does nothing else but prove that sex sells. Happily, I did not waste my time reading the other two books in the trilogy.
Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series): ’The Dark Tower Series’. The only one I haven’t read is The Wind Through the Keyhole. I bought it the day it came out (in 2012) and it’s been sitting in my TBR ever since. Maybe I’ll get to it this year.

Count of Monte CristoThree of your All-Time Favorite Books: Tinker Tailor Soldier SpyThe Count of Monte Cristo, and all the Harry Potter books.
Unapologetic Fangirl For: John le Carrè and his excellent Cold War era spy fiction (most of which features my aforementioned hypothetical high school boyfriend).
Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others: Of course I’m looking forward to Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee, but more than that I can’t wait for the next Cormoran Strike novel by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling, which I think is being released in a few months.

buy-all-the-books-memeWorst Bookish Habit: Buying all the books. I can’t help it. Sometimes I’ll talk myself out of buying a book on impulse, but then I’ll keep thinking about it and won’t be able to stop until I have it in my TBR tower.
X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book: Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes – a book that I truly have zero feelings for. I don’t like it, I don’t hate it, I feel nothing.
Your latest book purchase: 
Chavasse Double VC by Ann Clayton. Really glad I bought it, but don’t know if I could ever read it again as it makes me too sad.
ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late): The last book I fell asleep while reading was The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan. I was reading it on my iPad at the time, which was far less comfy to fall asleep with than an actual book.