Friday, May 10, 2019

Bookish - Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid

Hi Hi,

My boys absolutely love the Wimpy Kid diaries by Jeff Kinney so when I saw there was a new one coming out I knew they would love to get their hands on a copy. The day it arrived in the post they had a friend over who was very excited to see there was another one about to be published.

Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid Rowley Jefferson's Journal may have a long title but it's jampacked with the illustration and writing combo that seems to be particularly engaging for readers.

This time instead of focussing on Greg it's Rowley Jefferson's chance to take centre stage. (Even the illustrations are slightly different). Kinney has maintained all the humour and joy that have made the Wimpy Kid books so popular.

My big boy read through the whole book cover to cover twice while son number two kept asking when it would be his turn. It's been on constant reading rotation since then which is the best endorsement a book can have.

If you've fans of the Wimpy Kid books in your life be sure to add this to their collection.

Details - Penguin Random House, April 2019 RRP $17.99

love you more than a fliporama in the corners xxx

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Bookish - Granny McFlitter

Kia ora koutou,

I'm imagining that many of you may have heard of Granny McFlitter Champion Knitter which charmed the NZ picture book scene last year.

This year author Heather Haylock and illustrator Lael Chisholm have created another delightful yarn together. Granny McFlitter A Country Yarn.

The local country show is the location for Granny's current knitty adventure. Forget the home-gorwn and home-baked delights Granny has knitted up an array of delights. But will a runaway bull ruin the fair? Not if Granny McFlitter has anything to do with it.

The rhyme scheme is solid, the illustrations charming and the story enchanting.

Perfect for knitters large and small, farmers large and small and animal lovers large and small.

Details - Penguin Random House, March 2019 RP $19.99 PB

love you more than a knitted lasso xxx

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Bookish - The Baker's Companion

Hey Foodies,

I love getting recipe books - I quite like browsing them like you would a magazine.

Allyson Gofton's latest offering The Baker's Companion does not disappoint.

It's a beautiful hard covered book and the images make you feel either like baking immediately and certainly like brewing the kettle and sitting down to some serious eating.

Just after I received it my hubby was scheduled for a work shout so I made a couple of the recipes. Both went down a a treat so I consider that a good advert for the book.

The book has a great general know-how section at the start which is perfect if you have someone wanting to become a proficient baker.

The chapters are Pastry, Tray Bakes/Slices/Brownies, Tea Time Quick Bakes, Biscuits and Baked Puddings (hooray for wintery nights and warm puds), Pavlovas/Meringues, Breads and Yeast Baking.

It's a fabulous hard covered book and would make a great gift, or a gift for yourself if you're a baking type.

Details - Penguin Random House, April 2019 RRP $55.00 HB

love you more than a lemon brownie xxx

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Bookish - Saving You

Heya friends,

My book reading this year feels like it has been much curtailed - I guess studying and working will have that effect.

A while ago I finished reading Charlotte Nash's book Saving You.

The premise of the book sounded entertaining 'three escaped pensioners and a single mother trying to rescue her son.'

The book follows Mallory and her estranged from Australia and across the USA. I expected the book to be good holiday reading and I wasn't disappointed. The world Nash creates is colourful and engaging.

What I didn't expect was to get emotionally invested in the story, which I did.

This book is a great read if you have a bit of wanderlust or a soft spot for retirement home dwellers or you've ever wanted to put some history to right (or you like men on motorbikes).

I would happily pick up other novels by the same author.

Details - Hachette NZ, Jan 2019 RRP $29.99

love you more than a stetson hat xxx

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Bookish - We Are Displaced

Kia ora

Living in Christchurch, New Zealand has been incredibly sad over the last few weeks. On 15th of March a terrorist entered two mosques in our city and opened fire on people while they worshipped.

The grief and sorrow of this is hard to put into words.

Many of those who lost their lives had come to NZ to make a life at a distance from their original homes, making home on this whenua (land) in our city.

While this was happening I was reading We Are Displaced by Malala Yousafazi with contributions from other refugees from around the world.

The stories in this book are beautiful and painful and hopeful. Now in our history more than ever we must see the humanity and the human stories that are unique and universal to people who have been displaced from their homes by politics, persecution and war.

These are the stories our children must read and that we must position ourselves to hear not just in books and online but in person from those in our communities who have these heartbreaking stories too.

The stories in the book are written as records of different young women and girls who have had to leave their homes and build new lives in different places.

We must see one another not as an 'other' but as a person - with stories and hopes and talents and joys.

This book is an excellent and accessible read and I'll be encouraging many people to read it and enter in to deeper understanding and hopefully to be people who build a more welcoming space in their communities for the richness new people bring.

Details - Hachette NZ, Jan 2019, RRP $34.99

love you more than Dave Dobbyn's song Welcome Home xxx

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Bookish - Threads of Life

Hi readers,

It's not often that I read one chapter of a book (especially the first chapter!) and feel like crying afterwards. Such was the effect of Threads of Life by Clare Hunter.

I actually did cry quite a few times reading this book.

Just the back cover is enough to make me want to find a quite space and spend the next 6 months with thread in hand. Indeed, after I read that first chapter I opened up the list on my phone of potential topics I want to do for my Masters in Theology and added another one. (The list currently sits at 29... I think I may need some direction!)

This book is an absolute triumph. It's a historical exegesis of thread but woven together under different headings. Each chapter has a theme of its own for example captivity, work, voice but each explores a range of historical and modern contexts about how stitching has worked in that way.

The work explored is culturally diverse and not only about women.

I learnt so much during reading this book and I kept making tiny folds on pages I wanted to revisit. Maybe it's just me and the people I hang out with but I've recommended it to a number of people already.

For anyone who appreciates history, art, craftivism or stitch this will be a joyful and informative read.

I am so glad to have it in my collection and I will be reading it and referring to it again.  It's also inspired a very large project I want to undertake that may take a very long time.

I loved it!

Details - Hachette NZ, February 2019 RRP $32.99

love you more than a stitch imbued with purpose xxxx

Friday, February 22, 2019

Bookish - Remembered

Heya Readers,

Over the summer I read Yvonne Battle-Felton's incredible book Remembered.

The book opens in 1910 in Philadelphia. Spring goes to visit her son Edward in the hospital in the coloured section of the hospital.

He is dying and her dead sister Tempe is on her case to let Edward know his story, his history.

Meanwhile outside the crowds rage did Edward have an agenda driving the streetcar through the crowd? What is really going on?

This was one of those books I didn't want to read. Revisiting the awful ways in which Black people in America were enslaved and treated is horrific. I am coming to realise though that hiding from past hurts and crimes perpetrated against people does not deal with the pain or redeem the past. It's part of the work of all people to see what happened, not the cleaned up or white-washed versions that we may have been presented or may not know at all. Being present to the realities of the world may challenge us to do our part to recognise, repent and to determine to play a part in changing narratives for people today.

Battle-Felton is an excellent writer. Her characters are nuanced and full. They are weak and strong and loveable and difficult.

This book arose from a series of questions that led her into her thesis in creative writing.

The action of the book moves from 1910 and backwards tracing the whakapapa (genealogy) of Edward and Spring and the harrowing and beautiful moments that led to them being in 1910 and the happenings of that fateful night.

Although it is devastating in places it is also beautiful. The relationships between the characters stand out as hopeful and wonderful against the terrible. Highly recommended.

Details - Hachette NZ, Feb 2019, RRP $37.99

may we all have courage and grace in the hardest of things xxx