What I Was Reading June and July 2021
Karen Andrews
by Karen
2y ago
The realities of remote learning and working necessitate a kind of family ballet, a coordinated effort of who gets to use which space at which time. As such, for example, I’m writing this in one of the kids’ bedrooms while my usual spot in the dining room is being used for dance practice (the kitchen table having been moved out of the way for this end). I don’t mind this particular arrangement, actually, because one thousand years ago – pre-children – this room was once our study and I got a lot of work done in here, such as finishing writing an entire novel (130,000 words) in six months. The ..read more
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What I’m Reading May 2021
Karen Andrews
by Karen
2y ago
One weekend recently, I was scrolling through Netflix and came across the movie Everest. Curious, I clicked on its profile to find a little more information and not only did it have a stellar cast, but the synopsis rang some familiar bells in my head. I vaguely remembered the 1996 Mount Everest disaster from the time it occurred, but no particular details. So I watched the movie and how the tragedy unfolded, as well as instances of survival and heroics, and only afterward did I fully realise that one of those mountaineers was the Jon Krakauer, author of the excellent Into the Wild ..read more
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What I’m Reading April 2021
Karen Andrews
by Karen
3y ago
Simply put, My Year Of Living Vulnerably by Rick Morton is terrific. (You can read an extract here.) The book is structured around his twelve-month exploration into love and vulnerability after a diagnosis of complex post-traumatic stress disorder. This journey not only takes us to places around the world, but, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, straight into the confines of locked-down homes, too. Morton discusses related topics – how to navigate the toxicity of online culture on such platforms as social media, masculinity, growing up in regional areas and more. There’s a ..read more
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5 Fantastic Young Adult Books (#LoveOzYA)
Karen Andrews
by Karen
3y ago
The description of None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney on the publisher’s website goes like this (follow this link and you can also read an excerpt): “It’s 1982, and the innovative FBI Behavioral Science section is breaking new ground. Emma Lewis and Travis Bell, two teenagers with valuable skills, are recruited to interview convicted juvenile killers for information on cold cases. When they’re drawn into an active case targeting teenagers, everything starts to unravel. Over Travis’s objections, Emma becomes the conduit between the FBI and an incarcerated serial killer, nineteen-year-o ..read more
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5 Books About Animals, Nature & Space
Karen Andrews
by Karen
3y ago
  With the exception of Underland, the books listed below were all first released at some stage during the height(s) of the pandemic crisis in 2020, amid lockdowns and other challenges. I know of some authors who had the chance to defer releasing their titles while others without that option did their best to promote their work as it was born into a distracted world. I’ve heard conflicting accounts as to how overall Australian sales went over the year, although Nielsen BookScan – as reported on the Copyright Agency website – gives a positive account, but, at the very least, I’m ..read more
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What I’ve Been Reading in January and February… and March 2021
Karen Andrews
by Karen
3y ago
A Non-Exhaustive List of Non-Bookish Things I’ve Been Reading That Are In No Particular Order (but you will see a theme) The Victorian Department of Health Twitter feed of a morning to find out the number of newly reported COVID cases. Instructions on how to save tomato seeds. APA 7th Referencing guides. Advice on how to organically control whitefly. (Those pesky visitors!) The nominations of both the Golden Globes and Oscar contenders for the year. Advice on how to revive a Correa baeuerlenii, or chef’s-hat Correa in the garden. Colour palate recommendations for painting ..read more
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5 Cookbook Recommendations
Karen Andrews
by Karen
3y ago
  Some people cooked their way through 2020 lockdowns, putting their energy into sourdough and cake and so on. Looking back – and it’s astonishing to me that some parts of the year are already a blur – I can say with fair confidence that I did not do the same thing. The nightly question of what to cook for dinner became no easier, but I did have more help on hand than usual. While online learning, one of Riley’s subjects was food technology and he set himself up in the kitchen to complete set tasks that helped solve meal planning (his pizza dough was high on the rotation a ..read more
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Hello.
Karen Andrews
by Karen
3y ago
As I sit down to compose this post, cockatoos are screeching out conversations amongst themselves as they sit atop trees in the neighbouring yards. Soon they will take flight and cast large shadows over the roof of our deck before dispersing. Their appearance often comes after the regular – though not daily, sadly – visitation of kookaburras, who prefer to rest in other spots around the place. Like outside our laundry, as you see above. Having spent so much time at home in 2020, and for much-needed distraction, I came to notice their patterns; like routines, they can be consoling. We all need ..read more
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5 Middle Grade Book Recommendations for Christmas 2020
Karen Andrews
by Karen
3y ago
Welcome to my Christmas book recommendations series. If you missed them, here are the links to my picture book and junior fiction posts. Again I’d like to mention that out of all these lists, I think the most potential crossovers happen between junior and middle-grade titles, so I will post the reading age recommendations publishers or experts suggest, but it will also depend on the individual readers themselves. I’m trying my best to help you get the right book into the right hands. Even, or perhaps especially, if that person is a reluctant reader. The Glimme by Emily Rodda and illustra ..read more
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5 Junior Fiction Book Recommendations for Christmas 2020
Karen Andrews
by Karen
3y ago
Welcome to post two of the Christmas 2020 book recommendations series! We began with picture books and will now roll on to junior fiction. As there can be a crossover of sorts sometimes between junior fiction and middle-grade fiction, I will post the age suggestions that the publishers/sellers provide (where available). Plus some of my own thoughts too, of course. And like I said last year – older kids can enjoy too! Let’s start with The Secret Cave – Wolf Girl: Book 3 by Anh Do and illustrated by Lachlan Creagh, released recently – and fans won’t have to wait long for the next ..read more
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