Book Review: Last Summer by Kylie Ladd

[rating: 4] Every so often, we experience a moment that changes everything, a point at which we're forced to re-evaluate and take stock of what's important. Often such a life-altering moment stems from a realisation of our own mortality and once we emerge from mourning we see life with amazing … [Read more...]

Book Review: 100 Great Journeys

[rating:4.5] With the subtitle: Exciting Voyages Through History and Literature, how could anyone even remotely interested in books or travel pass it by? 100 Great Journeys is the armchair book traveller's dream, wending its way through continents of literature to bring to life a bookshelf of … [Read more...]

Book Review: Vintage Knitwear for Modern Knitters

Everything retro is in again - probably more than ever before... and most especially when it comes to fashion. It's no secret knitting has gained a well-deserved resurgence this past decade - its calming effects are well-known, and the satisfaction of creating a beautiful garment with our own hands … [Read more...]

Book Review: Zakka Sewing

[rating:5] Anything Japanese is assuredly beautiful, especially when it comes to handmade. In Zakka Sewing, authors Laskey and Mori have come together to produce a truly gorgeous book that will inspire handmade aficionados, no matter where they live in the world. Zakka is a Japanese word meaning … [Read more...]

Book Review: Home by Anita Kaushal

[rating:4] Londoner Kaushal has made it her personal mission to seek out the best places, products and ideas to make homelife with children stylish, practical and beautiful. Part lifestyle, part interiors, part ideas and reflection book, Home is a hard cover tome that can be flicked through for … [Read more...]

Book Review: Greetings from Knit Café

[rating:5] Opening Greetings from Knit Café is like receiving a big, warm, woolly hug. Author Suzan Mischer first learned to knit when she was seven. Her grandmother gave her a long pair of needles and some bright pink scratchy wool and very soon, Mischer’s first knitted creation lay before her – a … [Read more...]

Book Review: Ready, Set, Go?

[rating:4.5] One of the biggest steps a child takes is donning that backpack and heading off to school. It's not just academics each child needs to face - it's social skills and awareness, the ability to focus and delineate, accomplished physical and spatial skills, self-confidence and readiness to … [Read more...]

Book Review: A Family in Paris by Jane Paech

[rating:5] It would be easy to turn green over a book celebrating a family's sojourn to Paris - plein de those glorious Parisian elements that make for such a life-changing experience. La vie en rose, indeed. It would also be easy to see such a book as something un petit peu self-indulgent or … [Read more...]

Book Review: 100 Stories for Queensland

[rating:4] The brief was clear: short stories wanted for a charity anthology to support the Queensland flood victims. All stories must be of an uplifting or upbeat nature. It's incredible seeing the online writing community join together to achieve something wonderful, like 100 Stories for … [Read more...]

Book Review: Style Notes by Maggie Alderson

[rating:4] One of Australia’s most dedicated fashion columnists, Maggie Alderson adds to her tripage of style-themed books (Shoe Money, Handbag Heaven and Gravity Sucks, as well as six bestselling novels) with this latest instalment, appropriate entitled Style Notes. Packed with dry wit and h … [Read more...]

Book Review: Little People by Jane Sullivan

[rating:4.5] “One day she will ask me the inevitable question. There is much to tell, and I am not certain how to tell it. At least I know where to begin...It began with a game a gentleman taught me.” And so Mary Ann starts to tell her own story, a fantastical mysterious melodrama filled with the bi … [Read more...]

Review: Planning With Kids by Nicole Avery

I first met blogger Nicole Avery at a local blogging meet-up last year. I knew who she was as soon as she walked in the room - the charisma and presence that comes across on her blog was unmistakable in real life. The second thing I liked about her was that she had thought to make and bring BLTs … [Read more...]

Book Review: Bump and Grind by Genevieve Morton

If you’ve ever tried to conceive, you’ve probably been told to ‘just relax’ hundreds of times. And you’ll also know how unhelpful such ‘advice’ is, and how frustrating it is to hear people be flippant over something so important to you. Former reporter and columnist, now mum and freelance writer, Ge … [Read more...]

Book Review – The Indigo Sky by Alison Booth

[rating:3.5] The Indigo Sky is the sequel to last year’s Stillwater Creek (reviewed here). Author Alison Booth has revisited the fictional town of Jingera on the New South Wales south coast. It is now 1961, four years later, and much has changed for the town’s residents. Zidra has grown into a tee … [Read more...]

Book Review: Mia Culpa by Mia Freedman

[rating:4] My introduction to magazines began when Mia Freedman was the Editor of Cosmopolitan. I picked up an issue, read her introduction and was hooked for the rest of my teen years. These days, Freedman heads an enormously successful website that doubles as a community discussing topics big and … [Read more...]

Book Review: Parenting by Heart by Pinky McKay

[rating:4] Known for her gentle parenting techniques and work towards helping parents trust their instincts, Pinky McKay’s latest book gives us more of the same with a focus on the all-important first year. If you’ve had a baby, you may be able to relate to the way a lot of women describe the first … [Read more...]

Book Review: Around the World in 80 Ways

[rating:4] For someone as passionate about travel and, in particular, travelling with children, as I, this book is a joy to hold in my hands. It not only promotes travelling with kids, it helps to make it more accessible to those who are either convinced it can't be done, or just a little nervous … [Read more...]

Book Review: How to be a Happier Mum by Nicky Arthur

[rating:4] Being happier, healthier, more in tune with life. Isn’t that what we all need? This book was sent to me at an interesting time. I was struggling, and needed some direction to become happier again. Let’s face it; we all have times like that, and it can take some effort to find your ‘mojo’ … [Read more...]

Book Review: Claudia’s Big Break by Lisa Heidke

[rating:3] Claudia’s life is a disaster. It always has been, and it’s looking like it always will be. Unless, of course, she does something to change her ways – and the chance to do just that may have landed right at her feet. When Claudia is sent to Greece by her boss, she must undertake one small … [Read more...]

Book Review: No Chopsticks Required

[rating:4] First up, a confession: I cried in the first chapter of this book. With its precise summary of the crazy world of parenting, travelling and relationships, the honesty and humour of this family’s story is so touching. When journalist Katrina Beikoff and her partner decided to uproot their … [Read more...]

Book Review: Girls' Night In

[rating:4] Take some of the most entertaining storytellers of our time, add more than fifty of their short stories, grab a cuppa and some chocolate, curl up on the couch – and you’re set for a great night in. This is the tenth anniversary edition of the Girls’ Night In compilations, with some of the … [Read more...]

Book Review: 101 Things to Do on the Holidays

[rating:4] The holidays are coming, and the cries of ‘I’m boooooored’ might be more than you can handle for those long weeks. And once that call starts, it’s hard to get rid of. Enter Anna O’Donnell and Tessa Wilson who, at the ages of twelve and thirteen respectively, have written a book to help ki … [Read more...]

Book Review: Room for Children

[rating:4] You don’t need to be a design lover to crave a beautiful space for your children for sleep and play, and this stunning new book by Susanna Salk certainly provides the inspiration to create something whimsical, functional and memorable. Room for Children is a drool-fest of children’s roo … [Read more...]

Book Review: Lolli's Apple by Tomas Fleischmann

[rating:4] "I was six years old when I was sent to the concentration camp of Terezin in the dying days of World War II. Sixteen thousand children went through Terezin, but only one hundred and twenty-three survived. I am one of those survivors." So begins this true story of a six-year-old boy taken … [Read more...]

Book Review: The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson

[rating:5] Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2010 Julian Treslove is a man whose life has been “one mishap after another”. He is addicted to tragedy - he imagines almost everything in the context of an opera by Verdi or Puccini - “people who knew Treslove thought twice about inviting him to a deathbed … [Read more...]

Book Review: Diary of a First-time Mum by Nicole Hall

[rating:3] No matter how long you’ve thought about having a baby, how many books you’ve read, and despite nine months of knowing that there is an imminent arrival, nothing – I repeat, nothing – can prepare you for becoming a mother. This is exactly what Nicole Hall discovered after the birth of her … [Read more...]

Book Review: Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy

[rating:3] Binchy, the mother of character driven chick-lit, has just released her latest novel, Minding Frankie. It’s always a little nerve-racking reading a new book from a much-loved author, one whose novels you grew up with and have read and re-read hundreds of times (and I mean that quite l … [Read more...]