25 February 2015

2014 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

As you can see from my "Reading" page on this blog, I like to read. I'm part of a book club, which meets monthly, so the books I read are a combination of those I choose myself and those chosen by other members of the book club.

I rarely blog in-depth reviews, but I like to keep track of the books I read - not just the stories within them, but also the physical book itself. I had been doing that through individual book posts, but I've fallen way behind blogging them. Oops...

On Goodreads (if you're not on Goodreads, join! And add Returning to your to read shelf!), you can be part of a reading challenge each year. I've done it the past couple of years and in 2014, I actually surpassed my goal! I had hoped to read 25 books and ended up reading 28 in the year - an effort I'm quite chuffed with.

Although February seems a little late to be doing a "wrap-up" style post from the year before, I like to call myself a relaxed blogger. So, without further ado, here are a few titles I read late last year

The Laughing Clowns by William McInnes

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Book: Paperback. Borrowed from my local library
Rating: I gave this 3 stars on Goodreads
One-liner: A good "ordinary" story and a light, easy read.

The Fast Diet by Dr Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer

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A good friend of mine has been on this diet for two years now, so I was interested in learning more about it. It was a very convincing book and I may consider this down the track - but right now energy intake, rather than weight loss is my priority so it will remain in my bookshelf for now.

Book: Paperback. Borrowed from my friend, but then bought online through BookDepository
Rating: I gave this 4 stars on Goodreads
One-liner: Easy to read and convincing.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

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Brilliant. I loved it. Goes to show how different sisters can be, because I couldn't stand Wuthering Heights.

Book: Paperback. I own it. Can't remember when or where I bought it.
Rating: I gave this 5 stars on Goodreads
One-liner: Brilliant. I loved it.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

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Book: Hardcover. Borrowed from my local library.
Rating: I gave this 4 stars on Goodreads.
One-liner: I really enjoyed the way this book used different times, scenes and ways to weave a wonderful story.

Grace: More than we Deserve, Greater than we Imagine by Max Lucado

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Book: Paperback. I own it - bought from my local Koorong shop.
Rating: I gave this 4 stars on Goodreads.
One-liner: Another thought-provoking and heartening book by Lucado. Easy reading, too.

La Place by Annie Ernaux

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This book was a text I bought when I studied French at uni and it has been sitting on various bookshelves (or in boxes) ever since. I was chuffed that I still managed to understand it after all these years. 

Book: Paperback. I own it - bought from the uni Co-op Bookshop back in the day.
Rating: I gave this 3 stars on Goodreads.
One-liner: Read in the original French, this was an interesting insight into the protagonist's life, particularly with respect to her relationship with her father.

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

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Amazing Australian book. My mum bought this and thought I would enjoy it. She was right.

Book: Paperback. Borrowed from my mother.
Rating: I gave this 4 stars on Goodreads.
One-liner: Very thought-provoking, well written book. Make sure you have tissues on hand!

So there you go, that's the rest of 2014 done and dusted. Stay tuned for a post on my reading plans and progress so far in 2015.

23 February 2015

Francesca's Festa of Favourites: February 2015

It's back! Two months in a row! (Just made it)

Francesca Writes Here

Not only is this month a record-breaker in the alliteration stakes, equal only to Francesa's Festa of Favourites for February 2014, it's also the latest in a month I've left it to open the linky.

Sorry about that.

It's becoming a recurring theme at Francesca Writes Here, but life hasn't left much room for blogging. The good news is, you have a great opportunity now to look back at all the good bloggy content for the month. Like a student cramming for an exam, let this time "pressure" of only a week to link February content motivate you to share your favourites. Kick procrastination to the kerb and get your mouse finger clicking for linking!

January had a some wonderful favourites - particularly given the Festa was back after a few months' absence.

My favourite favourite for January was also from Vicki, as she introduced us to Baby Mango!! Congratulations Vicki!

Okay, so here's what this is all about:


"Festa" in Italian means "party"(and, if you look around this blog long enough, you'll see that I'm a fan of throwing Italian words around). This is a place where you can add links to your favourite posts for February 2015, but here's the difference: they don't have to be posts you've written (but they can be). You can link to any post from February 2015, written by you or anybody else. 

Have you read or written something moving, funny, informative or otherwise awesome? Then let us know about it.

There are no rules here - it's pretty laid back. There is no obligation to read and comment on all the posts if you link up, but of course you can if you want to.

If you've linked a post or had one of your blog posts linked by someone else, you're welcome to add the Festa button to your blog. Also, I'm getting into the hashtag thing, so you can use #frafesta if you want to jump on the hashtag bandwagon when sharing on social media.

Time to get linking. I'm looking forward to reading these wonderful February posts!

22 February 2015

52 Weeks of Memories: Week 7 - Watching

Week 7's prompt for 52 weeks of memories is "Watching".

In my case, it's really "not watching".  

There I was, putting water in the sink (with my amazing tap) to handwash some bits and pieces. I got a little distracted, you see, and when I checked on the sink, it was rather full...

Finding Myself Young 52 Weeks of Memories

14 February 2015

52 Weeks of Memories: Week 6 - Feet

The best kind of foot photo? 

A BEACH foot photo!

Finding Myself Young 52 weeks of memories

05 February 2015

52 Weeks of Memories: Week 5 - Bed Time

Someone was very tired after her first day of school.

Bed time came early!

Finding Myself Young 52 weeks of memories

02 February 2015

The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom

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This book was intriguing to read. It articulated an interesting view of the afterlife through the main character, Eddie.

One of the concepts I was really drawn to in this book was that the smallest of interactions can have a major impact on the direction a person's life takes, unbeknownst to them.

A couple of quotes I really enjoyed were:

"Strangers ... are just family you have yet to come to know." p51

"Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves." p149

Book: Paperback. Borrowed from my local library.
Rating: I gave this 4 stars on Goodreads.
One-liner: A really interesting way of looking at the afterlife and weaving together the different stages of the protagonist's life.

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