Harry Potter

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.

Outlander     

Dragonfly in Amber

Voyager

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 -

Great characters amazing plot fabulous setting

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      

Daintree

My review for Kakadu Sunset is here -

Hold onto your akubra and take a wild ride around the top end

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.

Book Love Blog Hop- Seven Signs You Are A Bookaholic!

book loveAugust 9 is officially Book Lovers Day! In honour of this great excuse to pick up a book and read, some of my writerly friends and I are having fun by sharing all the ways we adore reading. Please join me and the other awesome bloggers  (and readers) at the end of this post who also share their libre love. Why not help spread the love a little further by sharing, commenting or adding a link to your own book loving blog below when you've finished reading. This is my first time hopping on board a blog hop, I'm excited to join these awesome fellow authors and looking forward to sharing the love of books.

Seven Signs You Are A Bookaholic!

1. Every room in your house has a bookcase overflowing with books. It would break your heart to throw even one book away. 20160802_135813I love reading books, but I have to own and keep every one that I read. Each book becomes a treasure. It is part of a time capsule that represents that time of my life when I read and loved it. They are always on hand ready to be re-read, revisiting precious childhood memories, both mine and my children's. Books share a special part in our lives, a time of coming together and sharing laughter, tears, mystery, intrigue, fantasy and learning of so many fascinating subjects. Books overflow every shelf, in every corner of our house. I have books from my childhood to present day. Including all the series of books I read with my sons. "Harry Potter" will always have a special place on my shelves as will the "Chronicles of Narnia."

2. You can't walk passed a book shop without venturing in, only to exit with an armful of books in anticipation of reading.

Book shop window

Whether I am in my home town or away on holidays somewhere, if I pass by a book store, I find the temptation is too great. I just have to go in and browse. That's what I tell my family anyway, "I'll just have a quick look!" Yeah right! An hour or so later I emerge, arms full of books I couldn't resist. Books of interest, books I always wanted to read, books that might come in handy one day, books to read aloud to young ones. The list and excuses are as huge as the pile of books I carry. I found "Kakadu Sunset," by Annie Seaton in a little book store I wandered passed in the sleepy coastal town of Kiama. We were driving the long way home, down the coast road from Sydney to Bateman's Bay then up across the mountain home to Canberra. We just stopped for coffee and a bite for lunch when I spotted the bookshop. Coffee and lunch had to wait! I had found a new book store to explore. I had wanted to read "Kakadu Sunset" since reading a few online reviews, the book resonated with me after living in Darwin for the last couple of years. It didn't disappoint, the imagery of the spectacular scenery took me back and the story of mining in a protected wilderness area along with a hint of romance intrigued and delighted me.

3. You are up half the night reading "just one more chapter!"

addicted to reading

Do you ever wake up in the morning bleary eyed from lack of sleep due to a good book? You find the book still in your lap where it landed when you finally fell asleep. The reading light is still on even though you promised to turn it out after finishing the end of just that one last chapter! I know my husband gets quite frustrated with me for this habit. To me, there is no greater book than one with fantastic cliff hangers that beg you to continue to turn the page. Mystery immerses me into the story every time. I have to try to solve the problem before the main character. A good book is one that keeps me guessing all the way to the very last page. A tale I love to tell is about a book we read to our boys while on holidays one year. Each night we would gather in bed together to read a chapter or two. "Indian in the Cupboard" by Lynne Reid Banks was "unputdownable."  The boys would fall asleep, but we had to read on. It was the same with every book in the "Harry Potter" series. Everyone else in the family would fall asleep, but I kept on reading, glued to every page until I too, would eventually fall asleep with the book still in my hands.

4. You should be cooking dinner for the family but you are busy reading instead.

Books instead of food

Whether it's cooking a meal for the family, feeding just yourself or doing any type of housework, a good book will always take precedence. My mum says she can't understand how the house cleaning gene didn't seem to get passed on to me, but there are always so many better things to do in life, in particular reading! I love to curl up with a hot cup of tea in front of the fire to read another chapter. Hours later, I'm still there, lost in the adventure, mystery, or romance. My family will ask me "what's for dinner mum?"  My reply will often be, "I don't know, I haven't thought about it yet, I'm reading."

5. You seek knowledge and thrive on exploring new places and ideas.

Dr Seuss

Books are a fantastic way of expanding your knowledge base and imagination. When you immerse yourself in a book, the pictures develop in your mind. You become more creative and inventive. Books are the buildings blocks of knowledge. You can discover amazing worlds both real and fantasy. My husband is always reading too, but where I like to read many different fiction genres, he enjoys technical books. Things where he can learn about an interest, hobby or expand an understanding of the world around us. He can be reading late into the night beside me, engrossed in something new and fascinating he has to learn. We have planned many holidays around the research he has done of places we find interesting. From haunted castles to climbing rocky peaks and swimming under waterfalls, we have found them all while reading late into the night.

6. You get emotionally involved with your book's characters.

Emotionally involved

Have you ever had tears running down your face while reading about favourite characters? Felt their joy and their pain? Laughed with them during their greatest achievements and silliest moments or felt despair when they can't solve a problem? Maybe even shock when a twist reveals a plot arc you didn't see coming! "Big Little Lies," by Liane Moriarty did this to me. A wonderful mystery murder set in the Sydney suburbs, This book had me hooked trying to guess "who dunnit?" I couldn't believe it when I reached the climax and inevitable conclusion.

7. You feel a little lost if you are not reading a good book.

lost without a book

Ever felt like you don't know what to do with yourself when you finish a book you have really enjoyed? You have embraced the characters so much that you relish the time you spend in their world. It took a few years to read the entire "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon. I found it hard to pick up a new book and introduce myself to new characters. For a few months after completing the series I read autobiographies instead as I couldn't bring myself to replace Clare and Jamie Fraser. No other author could give me characters, a setting and historical romance quite as satisfying.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Have I convinced you that you too are a bookaholic? What is it that you love most about books?

For more book love, please visit these awesome book lovin' bloggers next. These blogs will be linked from 5 August 16.

Cat Michaels

Cat's Corner

Auden Johnson

Dark Treasury

Carmela Dutra

A Blog for Your Thoughts

Jd Holiday

JD’s Writers Blog

Julie Gorges

Baby Bloomer Bliss

K. Lamb

Author K. Lamb Blog

Rosie Russell

KidLit Blog by Rosie

Rhonda Paglia

Rhonda Paglia, Children's Author

David Chuka David Chuka - Children's Book Author

If you blog about books and reading, post your family-friendly link about book love in the comment section and we'll give you some blog lovin' too!

Did you wear your towel on May 25?

'DON'T PANIC!' in the immortal words of Douglas Adams from The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, I forgot too! Never mind, we all get another chance same time next year. For those of you who may wonder what on earth this peculiar idea is all about, towel day celebrates the life and works of the above mentioned Douglas Adams (1952-2001). http://towelday.org/

I was lucky enough to discover his quirky sense of humour as a teenager when I first read The Hitch Hikers Guide and its "trilogy in five parts". I then followed along eagerly each week for the next installment of the TV series and finally the movie when it was at last released in 2005. By then my eldest son had reached his teens and also appreciated the humour of Douglas Adams. It was wonderful to be able to share the experience of  both the book and film with him. I'm sure he didn't forget to wear his towel on Saturday, but as he now lives on the opposite side of the country to me he neglected to remind me. As a starving uni student he had even been known to attend fancy dress parties dressed as Arthur Dent in his dressing gown and towel.

Authors and their characters can have such an impact on our lives. Take J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter for example. Think of how many children all around the world have found the delight of books and reading through her wonderful imagination and story telling. It was amazing to watch thoussands of children dress up as theri favourite characters each time a new book or movie was released.

I believe it is wonderful to see our children reading no matter what the genre.  All fantastic authors need to be celebrated and thanked for bringing joy, imagination, entertainment and knowlede to our youth. Most of us have memories of growing up reading at least one favourite special author. That may change as we grow from childhood to our teenage years, my sons went from Paul Jennings to John Marsden and on to Douglass Adams with a whole lot of other fantastic authors in between including J.K. Rowling. At least their tastes were varied so that they read a wide range of material on offer and kept an open mind to the possibilties of the delights of different genres.

Is there a special place in your heart for a particular author that brought meaning to reading while you grew up? Do you ever take a moment to celebrate or thank that author for their work? I'd love to hear who it was and why?

Thanks to my awesome blogging freind JR Baker for reminding me about this  years Towel Day. http://jrbarker101.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/happy-towel-day-the-awesome-power-of-reading/

I'd like to close with one last quote from Douglass Adams, "So long and thanks for all the fish!'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbGNcoB2Y4I

Have fun reading.