Which would you choose? Another chance to win…

Thanks so much for your birthday greetings, I can’t believe we’ve hit two years already! Of course, thanks also for the wonderful virtual gifts! TBYL loved all of your ‘presents’ and I’ll particularly treasure my red pillar post box, my brand new reading room and the special clock that stops time to allow for more and more reading!

Today’s chance to enter the TBYL big book give-away is all about taking care of your books! I’m sure, if you’re anything like me you’ve got plenty of books that look a bit like this…

wrecked books

After travelling around with me in bags, on public transport and in coat pockets, many of my most loved books are looking a little worse for wear. That’s where the TBYL Book Covers come into play!

In the TBYL Store now, we’ve a beautiful range of locally handmade book covers for just $22 (plus free delivery) and I’d love for you to take a look.

Happy Thoughts 3

For today’s chance to enter our competition you’ll need to visit The Store (click here) and take a look at our book cover range.

Let us know which design would be your favourite by emailing info@thatbookyoulike.com.au with the subject line BOOK COVERS and let us know why you’d choose that particular design. Don’t forget to include your name and postal address in your email.

And of course, feel free to have a little browse around the TBYL Store while you’re there!

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A delicious story: The Storyteller’s Daughter

I’m thrilled to be able to welcome our newest TBYL Reviewer to the team – the amazing Carolyn Jones! Welcome Carolyn, I can’t wait to share your wonderful reviews!

Over the summer break, Carolyn read The Storyteller’s Daughter, by Maria Goodin (Allen and Unwin) and kindly shares her thoughts on it today…

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storyteller's daughterThe Storyteller’s Daughter is a tale of a young and intelligent woman who suddenly leaves her ordered life and promising career as a geneticist to look after her sick Mother.  Meg May believes her mother to be crazy, largely due to that fact that she has always avoided answering direct questions, rather replacing factual answers with a wonderful, imaginative concoction of make-believe centred around food; Val’s favourite thing in the world.  As a result, all that Meg remembers from her early childhood is a mixture of stories created by Val.

“She was always such a sweet girl. When she was little she was so sweet I used to dip her toes in my tea. It saved me a fortune on buying sugar. I used to lend her out to the neighbours. ‘Don’t bother buying sugar,’ I used to tell them, ‘my daughter’s the sweetest thing around and she doesn’t rot your teeth.’”

I found it hard, in the beginning, to warm to Meg while she distanced herself from her mother’s creativity and focussed on the factual. However, Maria Goodin develops this character gently so that I was able to find a place in my heart for her.  If you want to make the perfect sponge cake you need to prepare the batter carefully for it rise.  Meg’s memory is peppered with holes and she wants more than anything to fill those gaps.  So much so that she feels she has to grow up well before her time and to become the parent to her fantastical and eccentric mother.  Throughout the novel Meg takes a journey of discovery, learning about her past and interestingly, surrounding herself with others who prefer make-believe over concrete and scientific evidence.

The other characters this novel serves up all have a tale to tell, some factual and others mythological, but all delightful for the reader to immerse themselves in.

Upon starting The Storyteller’s Daughter, I must admit, I thought I knew where the narrative was going, following a recipe of a strained mother-daughter relationship.  How wrong could I be?!  Even though Val makes up stories to hide behind her own past, the reader can’t help but be intrigued by her colourful accounts.  The stories are delicious and I could imagine how cosy it would be to sit by the Aga in Val’s kitchen, with the aromas of baking buttery pastries, sipping on a cup of tea and tasting her famous raspberry tartlets all the while savouring exotic tales of a beautiful time and relationship between mother and daughter.

I really enjoyed this book, it allows the reader to conjure up images of delectable treats, baked goods, abundant vegetable gardens, orchards and a delightful English cottage, all in order to tell a story of two people facing their past and present.  I was moved to the point of tears at times as Val and Meg learn what it means to truly love someone.  Some elements of the story made me laugh but it was the unexpected outcomes that made more of an impact.  The Storyteller’s Daughter was a great holiday read and it left me feeling satisfied, just like one does after an afternoon of eating (including dessert).

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You can find out more about Maria Goodin’s The Storyteller’s Daughter here…

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Happy birthday and a chance to win!

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Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear TBYL, happy birthday to you!

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Yesterday, TBYL turned 2 years old. Can you believe it? Time certainly flies when your having fun…

birthday cake

Hundreds of reviews
Bundles of books
Great new reviewers
Many, many great nights out at fantastic events
Wonderful new friends by the thousands
And endless, untold fun still to be had!

Thanks to everyone for helping make the last two years so much fun, and I can’t wait to see what’s up next!


Today’s chance to enter the TBYL big book give-away is all about birthday wishes!

Let us know what you would give That Book You Like… as a birthday gift, by emailing info@thatbookyoulike.com.au with the subject line HAPPY BIRTHDAY and give us a little idea of why you’d choose that particular present. Don’t forget to include your name and postal address in your email.

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Join the conversation for a chance to win!

Today’s chance to win is a little bit different, and requires you to GET INVOLVED!

To enter the TBYL big book give-away today you need to contribute to our TBYL Book Club discussion.

summer readingFor this month’s book club, we’re chatting about our summer reading and everyone who gets involved in the conversation over at The Club will recieve one entry into the competition draw. The conversation will continue until Wednesday evening and you can join the Group here…

What’s the TBYL Book Club?
Each month the club brings you a new, exciting book to read, discuss and share. We’ll be suggesting a variety of titles over the year, encouraging you to read widely, differently and adventurously. It’s a perfect excuse to get reading, and to make time to chat with other readers about great books.

It’s online, it’s free and you can opt in and opt out as you’d like. You can join the club here…

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Sign up for TBYL Book Club here…

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TBYL big book give-away, question 2

This is so much fun, I love doing give-aways and your answers so far have been great! Thanks.

Just to clarify too, you can enter any time! Every email response counts as one entry, you can enter each round once and winners will be chosen at random once the competition closes.

Here’s another chance to win!

Today’s chance to enter the TBYL big book give-away is all about aspirations!

Let us know what your reading or writing goals are for 2013, by emailing info@thatbookyoulike.com.au with the subject line MY GOALS and giving me a run down of what you’re hoping for the new year of literature. Don’t forget to include your name and postal address in your email.

readingFor the record, my goals are to read faster, but not so fast that I don’t enjoy each book I pick up and to continue to explore the wonderful works of Australian authors.

I’m also planning on reading some of those ‘classics’ that I should have already read, but haven’t. I’m starting with A Fortunate Life by A.B. Facey.

I can’t wait to hear what you’ve got planned.

 

Join us:   Facebook  and  Twitter
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TBYL big book give-away has started!

I’ve gotten too impatient,  I can’t wait for 1500 Likers. The number’s just not all that important, when we’ve build such a wonderful bookish community already.

And so, with no further ado, I’m going to run our big book give-away now!

Because I’ve got so many books to give-away, I’m going to be running this competition over a couple of weeks, and there will be multiple opportunities to enter (the first of which you’ll find below). All you’ll need to do is keep an eye on the TBYL blog and on our Facebook page for chances to enter. Each time there’s a chance to enter you’ll need to…

1. Follow the directions given.
2. Email TBYL at info@thatbookyoulike.com.au with the information requested.
3. Have an Australian postal address.

All emails  will count as one entry and at the close of the competition I’ll use an online random generator to pick three winners. The prizes are fantastic…

First prize
A bookish bundle consisting of three great titles… Wild, by Cheryl Strayed (Allen and Unwin), Alice in Zombieland, by Gena Showalter (Harlequin Teen) and Produce to Platter: Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, Ballarat and the Pyrenees, by Jonette George and Daniele Wilton (Smudge Publishing).

Prize 1

Second prize
More great titles… The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Joanasson (Allen and Unwin) and Produce to Platter: Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, Ballarat and the Pyrenees, by Jonette George and Daniele Wilton (Smudge Publishing).

Third prize
A copy of the very funny Curses and Blessing for All Occasions, by Bradley Trevor Greive (Allen and Unwin)

I’ll draw three winners on 11 February 2013. Winners will be announced here and contacted by email as well.

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Today’s chance to enter is an easy one…

All you need to do is email info@thatbookyoulike.com.au with the subject line MY FAVOURITE and tell us which of the books being given away in this competition would you most like to get your hands on. Don’t forget to include your name and postal address in your email.

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I hope you’ll enjoy this fun and games, I can’t wait to give-away some goodies! Don’t forget to let you friends know about competition and about That Book You Like! The more the merrier!

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Fishing for romance: Catch of the Day

Over summer I’ve been spreading the bookish love, and recruiting a whole bundle of new TBYL guest reviewers. Anne, Stephanie, Carolyn, Jade and Kate have joined the usual crew of TBYL Reviewers in reading some of the wonderful summer books that I’ve had on the reading pile.

Today I’m really pleased to be able to bring you some thoughts from my friend Anne, who’s recently read Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins (Harlequin)…

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catch of the dayMaggie Beaumont’s luck is about to change. Sure she’s known for her bad romantic choices – her former boyfriend broke up with her by bringing his new girlfriend home for a visit. And then there was the crush she had on a gorgeous young Irishman – who turned out to be Father Tim, the parish’s new priest. But romantic salvation has arrived in the form of handsome, if surly, fisherman Malone. It turns out there’s a heart of gold underneath his barnacle-clad exterior. Will this catch of the day turn into the dish of a lifetime?”

Set in a small beachside town in Maine, USA, Catch of the Day is an entertaining summer holiday read. We follow a year in the life of Maggie Beaumont, a mid-30’s identical twin who owns and runs the only restaurant in town. Unlike her twin sister, Maggie is single with few pickings in this small town.

That is, until Maggie falls for a handsome, caring man – he’s everything she has ever wanted in a partner, and she tells the whole town about the new guy she has just met. She becomes the town joke however, when they discover that the handsome man she has fallen for is actually the new Priest! We get to follow her hilarious attempts to woo him away from the Church, and empathise with her when things don’t quite go to plan.

The whole town enters into Maggie’s search for love, and she endures a number of blind date’s with a variety of different men (including an 81 year old man).

Standing by her side through all her ups and downs is her faithful and best friend Colonel, her Labrador.

Then Maggie realises that someone she’s known all along, is actually someone she wants to get to know better. Malone is dark, sexy and rough around the edges. He is one of the local fishermen, catching lobster in his boat, known to be hardworking, but from a difficult childhood.  Although he doesn’t say much, Maggie and Malone have a lot of chemistry. However, there are things that Maggie doesn’t know about Malone, and he is not open to answering any questions – she doesn’t even know his first name! Although they spend quite a bit of time together, it is filled with sexual tension, and lots of miscommunication. Unsurprisingly, there are many misunderstandings between them, and they end on bad terms.

I won’t let you in on the ending, but Maggie’s search for love is rewarded.

Throughout the story, there are a lovely themes such as family and friendship, and the importance of accepting each person for who they are. The reader is invited to witness Maggie’s personal growth as she handles rejection, betrayal, separation, and love.

This is a lovely, light, romantic story. Perfect for reading at the beach, on the train, or curled up in front of a fire.

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You can find out more about Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins here…

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Produce to Platter: Daylesford and Surrounds

The wonderfully talented Jonette George and Daniele Wilton’s have been at it again, this time exploring the food and wine bounty of Daylesford and its surrounds in Produce to Platter: Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, Ballarat and The Pyrenees (Smudge Publishing).

Produce to Platter: DaylesfordI’ve reviewed a few books from this team now, and one of the things that I’ve enjoyed most about Jonette and Daniele’s books is that they highlight the fact that we here in Victoria enjoy an absolute embarrassment of riches! We’ve so many stunning regions, both urban and rural, all of which are unique and abundant with produce and also skilled chefs and wine-makers who can in turn bring great food and wine to our tables.

The Daylesford region is a fine example…

Defining a region and highlighting its features is the privilege of only a few. When Jonette George and her daughter, Daniele Wilton, decided to write a book about the Macedon Ranges region, they were confronted with a challenge. Within two hours of each other, they discovered 3 distinct regions, bursting with outstanding produce and wine.

Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges blurs boundaries with the Ballarat and District wine region, which in turn blurs into the Pyrenees. With such  thriving regions like pigeons in a row, the girls decided to create their own treasure box, and showcase the three-in-one.

Producers, providores, viticulturists and chefs are all featured in this guide to the regions, with local produce exulted and wine revered. Signature recipes with full page food shots are mingled amongst pages of stunning photography of the regions. Stories, history and local anecdotes abound in yet another Produce to Platter sensation.

As with their previous guides, this latest is a satisfying blend of description, photography and tantalising recipes. It begins with a well-considered history of the region and a welcome from fellow foodie Rita Erlich. It shares with us the secrets of local markets, local growers and famous restaurants, including the likes of the Lake House, Frangos and Frangos and the Lydiard Wine Bar.

It’ll come as no surprise to my friends and family that the inclusion of Daylesford Cider Company was my favourite…

But why cider? What was the impetus to make this interesting drink? Surely it had something to do with its long history but also because his family came from Somerset, the home of cider for many generations. Cider was the topic of discussion in his family for many years growing up. David points out that cider actually originated in the Middle East where the first apple trees appear to have been cultivated more than two thousand years ago. Indeed, cider seems to have been an important drink the evolution of societies, playing a strong role in both France and England. The drink even made it across the pond as Pilgrim settlers brought the tradition to America in the 17th Century. Of course, those same traditions made their way to Australia and continue to be propelled by cider makers such as Mr. Stagg.

…but I also loved reading about cottage restaurants, country al a carte dining and cafes and bars of all shapes and sizes.

I’ve spent a little time in the Daylesford and Ballarat region, but it’s only now that I realise that I’ve only just scratched the surface of this amazing culinary area. Looks like it might be time for another weekend away…

You can check out more about Produce to Platter: Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, Ballarat and The Pyrenees at Smudge Publishing.

Stay tuned to the blog on Friday to find out how you could win a copy of the book for yourself, with the launch of a massive book give-away!

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Oscar’s a little bit famous…

Today’s blog post has gone wandering and found a home over at Mums Lounge…

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Oscar's journalAlthough it is tempting to just sit and play for the month of January, I also try and use the holidays to regroup, to spend a little time on the things we might neglect when we’re busy during the year. I sort clothes, clean cupboards and try and spend a little time getting the kids ready for the year to come.

My youngest is starting school next year, and I’m keen to get him in the right head-space for the classroom. I suspect that this will be important, as he’s a pretty typical boy and likes to spend most of his time moving… running, jumping, fighting invisible foes. Sitting down and writing, drawing and reading comes a poor second to these more active endeavours. I fear he’s going to get quite a shock when it’s insisted upon that he sit for more than five minutes at a time.

As such, I’ve come up with five ‘projects’ that I’m going to undertake with Oscar, to engage him a little more with reading and writing. He loves books, and so that’s where I’ll start, with lots of reading. Then I’ll extend this interest with five activities that will hopefully be fun, colourful and playful. Here’s the plan…

You can read the full article here!

Do your kids love to read and write? Did you have to encourage them? Do you have any suggestions of ways to help kids get ready for school?

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Discovering a Legacy: One Mountain Away

It seems most of the TBYL team have had a chance to do a little reading and writing over the break! Kathy P has been enjoying a very touching story in One Mountain Away, by Emilie Richards (Harlequin). Here’s what she thought of it…

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One Mountain AwayOne Mountain Away is the story of Charlotte Hale, a woman who seemingly has it all.  She’s rich, the CEO of the company she built from scratch and people in her community almost fear her power.  But she is also isolated, from her family and from her friends.  She is divorced and hasn’t seen or spoken to her daughter in ten years, not since the birth of her grand-daughter. She’s never met her own grand-daughter.

Charlotte is dying and wants to mend some of the bridges in her life…

One terrifying day, facing her own mortality, she realises that her ambition has almost destroyed her chance at happiness. So Charlotte vows to make amends, not simply with her considerable wealth, but by offering a hand instead of a handout. Putting in hours and energy instead of putting in an appearance. Opening her home and heart instead of her wallet.

With each wrenching, exhilarating decision, Charlotte finds that climbing a new mountain — one built on friendship, love and forgiveness — will teach her what it truly means to build a legacy.

Emilie Richards weaves her story with clever use of characters, enabling the reader to see the story from everyone’s viewpoint.   Each chapter is told from a different character’s perspective and from Charlotte’s newly started ‘First Day Journal’.

Charlotte’s journal tells us of her history and in turn provides us with an understanding of who she is and where she’s come from.   Cleverly, Richards doesn’t just offer up a usual storyline, rather, this is the story of one woman discovering what her legacy should be.  It is very much a spiritual journey.

One Mountain Away is a fantastic holiday read.  It will envelop you and give you something to think about in your own life without being too heavy or hard going.

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If you’d like to find out more about One Mountain Away, by Emilie Richards, you can visit here…

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