Currently viewing the tag: "book club"
A cracking read...

A cracking read…

I just finished reading The Martian, in record time! It is a cracker of a read, and though heavy on the science and engineering (which I loved!), also tells a tale of resilience. Filled to the brim with humour and adversity, it made me think a lot about how reliant we can become on others.

For our happiness, for comfort, for love, for inspiration.

We are truly sociable creatures at times aren’t we?

In parallel, I think that it can sometimes be a bit of a trap to always be surrounded by others.

Ask a busy professional, mother, volunteer, school teacher or friend, what is it that you crave?

Alone time. Space. Quiet.

Time to think, ponder, muse and let your mind wander.

Some of my best ideas come to me when I am alone.  Whether it’s walking, listening to music, lying in bed at night reading, alone time can give you the space you need to think.

When was the last time you carved out a bit of the day to be alone?

Enjoy xx

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InspiringCollageWowsers, the year seems to be flying by already.

All of a sudden, we are gearing up for school, getting busy at work and getting set for the first of the gorgeous markets and fairs This Grand Life will be attending this year.


It can all get a little overwhelming at times. Thinking time is virtually impossible to corral out of your day. Which can all combine to stifle your creativity.  Well, at least that’s what tends to happen in my neck of the woods.

Here are a few things that have been inspiring me right now to think, create and start the year in a positive way.

  1. Reading: Wildwood – a glorious book, with fabulous illustrations, which I initially bought for Captain Jack (my 9 year old) and then when he got a little scared by the opening gambit about a murder of crows, I stepped in to read it first. You know, to check it wasn’t too scary. I am LOVING it…
  2. Creating: More gorgeous sundresses, super cute heart purses, some cuddly softies and boardies for super cool boys with some beautiful new fabric.
  3. Learning: French, brushing up on my French (can’t believe I have been back in Australia for nearly 3 years), such a beautiful quirky language.
  4. Teaching: Little L how to read. My littlest poppet starts school this year and is super keep to keep up with the big kids in the house. We have used Reading Eggs for years and all of my kids have loved it.  It’s also a great excuse to spend more time reading each night.
  5. Watching: Girls. Though it feels like a guilty pleasure, I am totally hooked. Oh the angst, the selfish choices, the dilemmas.

Hope you are having an inspirational start to 2015 too!

Enjoy xx

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We are a family of book-lovers.

Self-confessed book-worms who can all pass the time reading, poring over the pages of beautiful illustrations and talking about how our favourite characters reacted.

So, it is no surprise then that we all have a wish list of books we would love to read over the Christmas break or, if we are super lucky, receive from Santa.

Here is the tribes literary wish list for Christmas (sounds a lot like Dr Seuss!):

Enjoy xx

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The Signature of All Things, unexpectedly good!

The Signature of All Things, unexpectedly good!

The past few weeks have been frantically busy as we packed and moved across the country to sunny Queensland.

Now that the dust has settled (well almost), I have found time to read again.

I picked an unexpectedly good book at the airport (I can never resist a good airport novel) on my way to Melbourne and thought I would share my thoughts on it with you as I left my lovely book club ladies in sunny Perth. Boo to that!

Back to the book… The Signature of All Things caught my eye for two reasons, the first being that it is written by Elizabeth Gilbert (remember Eat, Pray, Love?, same lady!). I am happy to admit I loved Eat, Pray, Love. I have re-read it four or five times now, and still enjoy it. The second reason was that it told the tale of a woman. That’s right, a heroine. A little rare at times!

I got caught up in the story straight away, and without giving away the plot to you, I can tell you that it was an interesting, frustrating and a fascinating tale of adventure all rolled into one.  Maybe it was because I was on a plane and in a hotel for long stretches of time, but I found myself getting totally immersed into the world of Alma Whittaker and her tale of adventure, tragedy and love.  Well worth the read, especially if you are a lucky enough soul to be part of a book club.  Loads of interesting fodder to chat about (oh and heads up, there’s a few raunchy bits, so maybe not one for your great-grandmother, unless she is very cool and open-minded!).

The other book I have been trawling through is Jamie Durie’s Outdoor Kids. We are now lucky enough to have a huge sprawling yard in sunny Queensland, and it is filled to the brim with tropical plants, succulents, and places to explore.  That’s the upside, the downside is years of neglect I suspect. I have been trying to thing of ways to spruce it up without breaking the bank and making sure that it is a still a great place for the kids to play and explore.

Enter Jamie and his practical wisdom. We have started documenting our progress so will keep you posted!

So, there you are, two very different books (though with a common thread of botany) I would highly recommend.

What are you reading at the moment?

Enjoy xx

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Simply divine - The Invention of Wings

Simply divine – The Invention of Wings

We are a bookish family (ok, you could probably call us geeky!), complete with a room we all call ‘the library room’.

That’s right, one whole room with wall to wall books, comfy couches, cushions and rugs.

For the sole purpose of reading and quiet time.

I noticed this week we have all gone a little out of the box lately, kids progressing to chapter books, Little L ‘reading’ by herself – this usually involves turning the pages and reciting the book, but hey she’s having a good time!

So here are our top picks – also a perfect list of suggestions if you need to find a gift fast!

  • I have been voraciously devouring books (see what I did there, it has also resulted in me using GIANT words in everyday life), faves have been The Invention of Wings, The Unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Paris Letters. All involve a journey of sorts and beautiful characters who made me smile and cry (sometimes late at night  by the light of my lamp when I should’ve been sleeping, but it was oh so sweet!).
  • The lovely Big A has been reading a bunch of books which are part of the Warhammer series which I profess to knowing nothing about other than it is set in the future, is sci-fi, and he LOVES them. Something about Space Marines? Good blokey books by the sounds of it.
  • The Mini-Fashionista who is about to turn double figures (10) is switching between gross-out books – hello Andy Griffiths – and girly books  – she is loving the English Rose books by Madonna. I love that she is reading widely, but am still, well grossed out by the gross-out books, and really don’t get the jokes. Also in other news, I am feeling OLD.
  • Jacko is prolific in his reading.  This has the potential to make it really hard and really expensive to keep up with his appetite.  He’s smashed his way through the entire Percy Jackson series, Selby the Talking Dog, Big Nate… Luckily his school has a fab librarian and library, we have a brilliant local library and some lovely kind friends who have given the kids a load of books (we love the great circle of passing on books).
  • Flashdance, who when he is not grooving to the tunes in his head, is a keen bean on reading, has been taking a leaf out of both the older kids books. Ballerinas?  Yes please! Gross-out humour? Sure!  He has also discovered a passion for word searches and puzzles…A brilliant alternative to an iPad or iPod if you are stuck in a waiting room or want a quiet occupied kid in a doctor’s surgery.
  • Little L has a couple of faves on high rotation, Wendy is still top of the charts, and has now been joined by some witchy tales, Winnie the Witch and the always awesome Meg and Mog (which i remember reading to my gorgeous baby sister when she was little).

Have you read a good book lately?

Enjoy xx

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