Category Archives: Book Boulevard

The Mystery of Mercy Close

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The Mystery of Mercy CloseMarian Keyes is probably my favourite author, if I had to be honest with myself. She is entertaining, witty and just downright HILARIOUS. Her books always have me laughing out loud, in an almost “knee slapping” kind of way. Which generally means a “people staring at me on public transport” kind of way (note to self: do not slap your knee or snort while laughing in public – raises an uncomfortable weirdo alert in others).

Her writing style is just one hundred per cent my sense of humour. Here are a few examples: our hero of the story, Helen Walsh, describes crazy people as madzers (I really want to incorporate that into my daily lingo), keeps a Shovel List (a list of things/people that annoy her A LOT) and categorises her surprise throughout the book. You can read more here about the book from the publisher.

To my surprise (category: pleasant – hahahahaaa!), the Sydney Autumn weather has been incredible and making the most of my last days as a “Lady of Leisure” (this phrase is on MY Shovel List), I actually read a fair few of these pages in my bikini on the beach. It never ceases to amaze me when I have a day off from work (or, more recently, a few MONTHS off from work) how many other people do not seem to have the normal 9 to 5 office jobs. There are some obvious “non-workers” that I can identify: the student (which makes sense), the stay at home Mom (again, makes sense), slightly older possibly retired person (I get those). But who are the other mysterious beach bums and why are they not at work? This is quite honestly quite high up on my list of things that baffle me! Perhaps they are all in the same situation as me, and I just missed a massive opportunity to make new friends. What do you think? Have you ever noticed this? Or do I just need less time on my hands to stop thinking about such trivial things.


The Happiest Refugee

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The Happiest Refugee I have just finished reading The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do. Wow, so inspiring! When I read a book like this, it makes me realise how incredible some people are. To get to where they are today when life didn’t exactly deal them a good hand, is truly amazing. This was a lovely book, I found myself giggling in some parts and then having a little tear in others. It’s honest and written straight from the heart, all about love, sacrifice and laughing along the way.

It has made me stop and look at my “problems”. Isn’t it hilarious what we consider “hardships” when there are people out there living in a tin shack or a war zone, people who are starving, children who don’t have parents, homeless people… the list goes on. And I am bothered by a couch taking too long to be delivered? Hmm… First World Problems. It may be taking me a few weeks longer than I expected to find a job, but I am lucky enough to be educated. I have picked up a knee injury that needs surgery, but I have two legs. I am missing my husband while he is away with work this month, but I have someone who loves me. And then I look at the empty space where my couch is supposed to be, and remember I have a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in.

Even closer to my heart is my brother who is currently living in Brazil and works with street kids, take a look at his blog: Sao Paulo. There are people out there who have almost nothing and their lives are much harder than ours. I wonder who complains more?

Today I am going to be grateful for what I do have rather than what I don’t. Thank you to this book for reminding me of how lucky I am. For more details, check out the publisher’s website: Allen & Unwin.


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26349 Pan_Shanataram_cov.inddIn London I was part of a bookclub. Well, in all honesty, we were more like a wine club that swapped books at the end of the evening. We had decided up front that we weren’t “that kind of bookclub”. None of us wanted to have formal discussions about the books we’d read when there were so many other things to gossip about. But we realised we had to have books included in the night somehow, otherwise we were just a “girls who meet once a month, drink a bit too much and talk far too loudly” club (which obviously wasn’t us).

Despite our love for gossip and beverage of the white grape variety, most of us were avid readers (those overcrowded London rush-hour tube journeys need distraction). So our book swapping was a great (informal) way to get other people’s recommendations as I am always on the lookout for new good reads (please share if you have any ideas!). This is my way of sharing the good ones I come across, without going into too much detail.

I have just finished reading Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts. It’s been on my “to read” list for some time but I kept putting it off because it’s heavy and thick with very thin pages and lots of them. 933 to be exact. Is this a sign that it’s time I accepted that a Kindle is the way forward? I am not sure if I am ready to part with paper pages just yet! But anyway, I have finally finished the epic tale and really enjoyed it. It was a bit hard going in some parts but if you just venture on, it’s a fascinating tale.

If you want more details, check out the publisher’s website: Pan Macmillan Australia.

Ok, onto my next read, this one is going to have to be quite a bit lighter, both in weight and in effort!