Books, Features, Reading, Updates
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The round up // May 2016

May was just a great big pile of ‘Ugh’ interspersed with a couple of days of excellence. The ‘Ugh’ took the form of having loads on at work, stacks of uni assessments, and having to pack to move house (it’s happening this Saturday and I’M SO STRESSED I WON’T HAVE EVERYTHING PACKED IN TIME!). Basically I’ve got too much on the go at the moment and I think my head might explode. And I’m getting sick, so, yeah. The excellence took the form of seeing a bunch of authors talk at the Sydney Writer’s Festival, which I hope to write some posts about in coming weeks.

But my new house is just the cutest little place ever. I have already imagined me sitting outside in the sunny paved area reading; sitting inside in a sunny spot reading; and cosying up in bed reading. Basically, much reading will take place in my new home.

My reading was just OK this month. I read some good stuff and some sub-par stuff, and to be honest a lot of it was just a blur.

Some reading highlights from May:

  • The Gap of TimeIMG_0541 by Jeanette Winterson. Winterson is my new hero – that lady can write the crap out of a book, and after seeing her speak at the Writer’s Festival, I now know that she is just as engaging when speaking to a packed room. This book was pretty great, and even though it got a bit too literary at some points, I still really enjoyed it.
  • GodPretty in the Tobacco Fieldย  by Kim Michele Richardson. This is the second novel from Kim Michele Richardson; her first,ย Liar’s Bench (my review of that is here), I read last year and it made me feel all the feels, so I was super excited to read her latest. It pretty much broke my heart at the end. I told this to Kim on Twitter and she’s basically offered to write a happy ending just for me for her next book, and a sad one that’ll be the real one that gets published. I’m happy about this because crying on the train is a bad look, you guys.
  • Dark Matter by Michelle Paver. Aaah! I loved this. It’s a ghost story set in the Arctic which already sounds amazing. But when you read it there’s so much suspense and tension and my pulse did speed up at some points. I’ll definitely be looking for more books by Paver.

June will hopefully be a little quieter for me. I decided not to any study for the next three months so I can recharge my brain and focus on other things (like unpacking all my crap). One thing I’m R E A L L Y excited for is finally being able to read,ย The City of Mirrors, which is the final book in the ‘The Passage’ trilogy by Justin Cronin. The book has already been out in Australia for about a week and I wanted it right away, but I bought lots of books at the Writer’s Festival and felt guilty about it, so I didn’t buy the one book I really wanted.

But my birthday is coming up and some strong hinting to my mum (i.e., me telling her how good I was not to buy it and then her asking questions like, “What’s it called?” and, “Who’s the author?” and then me just saying “I know why you’re asking me these questions so don’t try and be sneaky about it – if you want to get it for me for my birthday you definitely can. Here’s everything you need to know.”) now guarantees that I will have the book in my hot little hands in the coming weeks, but it’s been so long since I read the first two books that I probably need to do a reread of them. Gah!

IMG_0543Also this month, I discovered that Australia has it’s very own BOOK SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE! This is amazing because I’ve always wanted to sign up to one of these, but they’re all based overseas so once shipping is added on to the monthly cost, you’d need to take out a small loan to sign up. On discovering this service called Bookabuy, I wanted to sign up right away. But my guilt got the better of me and instead I went for the Mystery Book option – this is a one off and you just get sent a book from whichever genre you select. I thought this would be a good way to test the service to see what kind of book I’d get before committing to a subscription. I was pretty pleased with what I got and I hope to write a post about it in the coming weeks, but long story short – I’ll definitely be getting a subscription soonish.

Did you read anything good in May? Any big plans for June?



  1. I want to hear all about it when you officially start your book subscription! On the one hand, I know I might be able to do better on my own for the cost of those things, but on the other, it seems too darned fun to resist.

    I’m sending you lots of good luck for the move! ๐Ÿ™‚ Take pictures when it’s all set up, especially of your reading spots.


  2. I really enjoyed Dark Matter too – the first half at least was so very creepy and atmospheric! I suspect I’d find it even scarier now that I’ve been up to the far north in the middle of winter (I went travelling around Iceland for New Year). I don’t think I’d really grasped just how isolated and dark it is. I mean, intellectually I had, but not emotionally. I loved it to visit, but I had electricity, a car and mobile coverage! (and no vengeful ghosts)


  3. Here’s hoping the ‘Ugh’ is over soon, and you’re all settled into your new place reading your new books from Bookabuy. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • It really is terrible – but also a great chance to get rid of lots of junk. Only a few more days and it’ll all be over thankfully (and then I have unpack…..).
      Hope all is well with you and your little family ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. Not that I need more books but I’m curious about Bookabuy – what happens if you’ve read it?

    Agree, Winterson is an amazing author and fantastic speaker. I’ve heard speak a couple of times – she’s very engaging (if not a little too polished?!) and entertaining. Did you see her on the ABC Book Club last week?


    • They actually do exchanges – you just have to email them to let them know and return the book to them in an unused/unread condition. The FAQs say they offer “limited exchanges”, so I’m not sure on the exact T&Cs, but I imagine it would be something along the lines of only allowing a certain number of exchanges. But you can send through a bit more information about your reading history so they can try and make sure you get something you don’t have. They don’t do returns on Mystery Books though – so it’s lucky I hadn’t read the one I got!

      I did see Winterson on the Book Club – I thought she was just the best. I love when she said she writes her own endings to books if she doesn’t like how it finishes. I agree re: how polished she is when speaking – she’s obviously very practiced. I really liked listening to her – my mind usually wanders at these sorts of things, but I was very attentive about 96% of the time.


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