Cheap Books (need I say more?)

A quick post today, just to make sure that you’ve got our Open House Book Clearance in your diary – it’s happening this weekend!

The TBYL Store has to clear some stock, and I thought… “what better way than to have an open house?!” For two days I’ll have a great range of books for adults and kids, set up in my front room.

open houseNow, I know you probably can’t join me in real life, and so I thought I’d better share the goodies with you via the world wide web, more specifically, on Facebook. If you pop by our page on Saturday 22/6/13 and Sunday 23/6/13 you’ll find plenty of stock at really amazing prices.

They’ll be discounted, some at cost. It’s a great opportunity to pick up a fantastic read at a low price, plus a chance to take a look at the stock that the TBYL Store has.

A couple of tips…

1. RSVP here, if you want to make sure that you don’t forget to come on over and take a look.

2. Mostly, regular postage will apply to sales but hey, why not buy a few books at a time and save on postage? Or share with a friend? Happy to help cut down postage charges where I can.

3. These prices are exclusive to Facebook only – if you shop at the online store, you’ll probably find the the prices are different. Any questions, just ask!

4. To purchase, comment SOLD and I’ll be in touch – we can arrange payment via paypal invoice or bank direct deposits.

Most importantly, remember that more often than not the books you’ll see in the TBYL Store have been reviewed by TBYL in the past. If you want to find out more about a title, just search the blog!

Finally, I’d like to introduce a new feature on the blog, that’ll make it easier to pick up copies of the books you like the sound of. Where you see this banner on the blog…

Buy from TBYL

… you’ll be able to click through to the book in store at the TBYL Store. Most of the time I can have the book in mail to you the next day, and if it’s going to take any longer than that, I’ll be sure to let you know.

I hope you’ll join in the fun this weekend, I’d love to send you something nice!

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The Mistake; but whose?

It’s funny how sometimes, through no deliberate planning, my reading goes through ‘clusters’. Similar books find themselves back to back in my reading pile, by happy accident.

The last three books I’ve most recently read have been like this. Having this week finished The Mistake, by Wendy James; Before I Go To Sleep, by S.J. Watson; and My Hundred Lovers, by Susan Johnson, I realised that whilst quite different in content, all three left me incredibly unsettled, making them hard to put down and their feeling hard to shake. There’s nothing quite like the sense of foreboding that a talented author can communicate through a well-told story.

I’ll review all three books in due course, but I’m going to start with The Mistake, by Wendy James (Penguin).

The general premise of this new Australian novel is spelt out pretty clearly from the outset:

“We all have secrets…

Jodie Garrow is a teenager from the wrong side of the tracks when she falls pregnant. Scared, alone and desperate to make something of her life, she adopts out the baby illegally – and tells nobody.

Twenty-five years on, Jodie has built a new life and a new family. But when a chance meeting brings the adoption to the notice of the authorities, Jodie becomes caught in a nationwide police investigation, and the centre of a media witch hunt.

What happened to Jodie’s baby? And where is she now? The fallout from Jodie’s past puts her whole family under the microscope, and her husband and daughter are forced to re-examine everything they believed to be true.”

It’s Jodie’s story, but almost equally the story of her husband Angus and daughter Hannah. All three are scrutinised, criticised and all, in their own ways are found wanting. But interestingly, so are those that surround them and judge them as they face the greatest challenge of their lives. It is these elements of judgement, fault and blame that add a read depth to this book.

With obvious similarities to cases such the investigations into Lindy Chamberlain and Keli Lane, cases which were subjected to incredible hyper-vigilant media coverage and harsh public judgements, this story really drags into the light that which is the demonisation of women who have been accused of doing harm, often to children. Worryingly, these judgement can at times be based on little more than assumption, hearsay and prejudice.  Sometime they’re right, sometimes they’re wrong, but they are always heartbreaking.

This story really did have me wondering, reconsidering judgements I’d so easily made in the past.

On another level, The Mistake is an incredible study of anxiety, and it’s a sensation shared between character and reader:

“The panic had set in as he read the nurse’s letter, but had become so severe, so overwhelming, that he had only managed by a supreme act of will, to sit and listen to his wife’s account, her revised account, of the adoption. He had escaped as soon as he could, running from the room as if pursued by devils, and the symptoms had taken longer to subside than usual; it had been a full ten minutes – interminable, inescapable – before his heart stopped racing, his breathing returned to normal.”

This feeling of anxiety stayed with me throughout the novel, and took a little while after to shake completely.

Wendy James has very convincingly constructed a scenario by which a woman’s whole life looks to be on a tipping point – she stands to loose everything. Despite their many mistakes, this family is inherently likeable. They are at times frustrating, but their treatment by others is far more so.

The novel itself is well written. It’s original, it’s sense of place is fantastic, and although it took a little getting used to, the use of the third person made for a real ‘birds-eye-view’ story-telling experience.

This novel is not an entirely pleasant experience, but it’s an incredibly satisfying one. I’d recommend it, if for no other reason than that it will help you to look at rumour-mills, small towns and the media in a slight different light. It’s an interesting, challenging point of view, but an important one.


Buy your own copy of The Mistake at the TBYL Store


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2pm give-away, something pretty

Try as I might, my attention span will simply not stretch to writing a proper blog post tonight. It’s been a busy week, which means I’m struggling to write over the household cacophony. Hopefully, once the kids are in bed, I’ll have a chance to put a review or two together for tomorrow.

But, in the meantime…my laziness doesn’t mean you guys have to miss out on some Thursday night entertainment.

So, I’m running a quick little give-away to celebrate the introduction to the TBYL Store of new range of jewellery from 2pm at the Button Factory.

I’m so smitten with these pieces that I wanted to give you a chance to win something pretty for yourself. All you need to do is:

1. Visit our Facebook page

2. Take a look through our 2pm Glass Button Give-away photo album

3. Leave a comment next to the piece you’d like to win (one entry per person please)

I’ll draw one winner at random on Monday, 12.3.12. As usual, you’ll have 4 days to claim your prize or I’ll redraw.

All these pieces are available now through That Book You Like…at The Store!

I can’t wait to hear which pieces you like the most – the robin pendant is my favourite so far!

Good luck!

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I know where the yummy is…

I did something new again this weekend, when I braved the torrential Melbourne rain and reported in to Prahran Market for my first ever market tour.

Matt and I used to shop at markets all the time, especially Prahran Market and South Melbourne Market and we loved it. There was nothing quite like the freshness, the discovery and the Saturday afternoon bargains. But I have to admit, since moving suburbs and having children,we’ve become a little out of practice when it comes to finding our way around the produce hall.

I’ve missed it, and I didn’t realise quite how much until Giovanna showed me what I’d been missing.

Led expertly by our tour guide Giovanna, a small band of eager market-goers and myself undertook to get to know Victoria’s oldest market just a little bit better. We were promised information, yummy tastings and an hour and half of enjoyment. We set off.

The Hidden Gems Tour included a wonderful mixture of the old and the new, of history and practical tips for shopping the market; Donnally’s for pinatas, Market Lane for the coffee purist, Oliver and Co for gourmet olive oil and devine flavoured vinegars.

My favourites stops on the tour; MJ Mow Gourmet Potatoes…every variety of potato you can think of, and all the accessories – spices, garlics and fresh wasabi. We had a chat with Michael, who gave me some great ideas for my next dinner party. I’ll admit, as interested as I was in what Michael was saying, I couldn’t help but be distracted by his red-brown dirt-stained hands, they reminded me so much of growing up on Tasmanian farms. In fact, the whole potatoey stall made me quite nostalgic. Next favourite; Damian Pike Wild Mushroom Specialist…I know, an unlikely favourite perhaps, but I love mushrooms and as Giovanna says: “Anything Damian doesn’t know about mushrooms, isn’t worth knowing” I bought the most interesting bag of mixed mushrooms and was absolutely smitten by the baby cauliflowers that Damian showed off proudly.

Lastly, a real highlight of the tour for me, and the source of the delicious smoked trout that I’ve now got in my fridge for later in the week, is Put Victoria on Your Table. Jason shared his passion for all things Victorian, top-shelf produce from around the state. The stall itself is supported by the Victorian Government, and gives regional Victorian food producers a helping hand to bring their goods to the attention of a wider group of fans and businesses. So worth a look, it’s worth a trip to Prahran for it’s own sake.

A new market can some times seem a little bit daunting – typically they’re busy, sometimes noisy and the variety seems at times overwhelming. It takes a while to get to know your way around, and to really discover the goodies that are available at each stall. The Prahran Market’s Hidden Gems Tour is a great way to get to know the market, to talk to the stall owners and to track down those tricky-to-find items like Black Apple Butter, organic coffee or Ostrich Eggs.

I would highly recommend that you take a tour, maybe over the summer break, as both a fun afternoon out and as a way of making your future experience of the market more rewarding.

To find out more about Prahran Market Tours, visit their website. Here you’ll find details, times and vouchers.

And now I’m off to eat some of the yummy, yummy things I found…

***

I’m really excited to be able to offer one of you lucky ducks the chance to win two Hidden Gem vouchers (valued at $50).

To go into the running to win, all you have to do is:

1. Leave a comment on this post, or

2. Visit That Book You Like‘s Facebook page

…and tell us what would be the first thing you would buy on a trip to the market.

The winner of this month’s competition (selected at random) will receive two Hidden Gem vouchers.

Entries close Wednesday, 30 November 2011. The winner will have four days to claim their prize, or a redraw will be held.

This month’s give-away is made possible by Prahran Market. For full details about the market, stalls and tours, visit their website here.

***

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Beautifully bloomy

I’ve run out of big words today and so I’ve just a quick little post today.

I wanted to share with you, a gorgeous little Esty shop that my friend put me onto yesterday.

It’s called Bloomy Handmade, and if you’re on the look-out for a uniquely beautiful bag – tote, bucket or clutch – please take a moment to check it out.

You can find Bloomy Handmade on Esty, and it wont be hard to see why I’m a bit smitten with these super-cute bags.

I’ve it on good authority that the workmanship on these items is top-class, an eye for detail is obvious in every piece.

Treat yourself?!

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Happy Birthday kikki.K

I don’t normally post more than one blog post in a day, but I wanted to make sure that none of my fellow kikki.K lovers missed out on the store’s big birthday celebrations this week.

I popped into kikki.K Southland for a quick visit today. I’d like to say to it was to wish them a very Happy 10th Birthday, but to be honest it was mainly to get 25% off my shopping list of calendar-y items. I buy a Family Calendar every year without fail, and so it made sense to pick one up while it was on sale.

I swear by this fab calendar, I’d be lost without it, and let’s face it, I’d probably loose track of my kids too.

It’s officially calendar/diary buying season, so if you’re keen on kikki.K’s lovely stuff, make sure you pop in before the 10.10.11 for 25% off.

Happy Birthday kikki.K, thanks for 10 years of lovely items!

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Drumroll please…

Thanks so much everyone for sharing your favourite things this month! I loved all your suggestions, and particularly the fact that so many of your favourite things centred around simple pleasures…family, friends, and just hanging out with those you love in places you enjoy.

I’m pleased to announce, that Shauna M is the winner of That Book You Like’s June give-away.  Shauna, a lovely kikki.K 365 Diary will be finding its way to you!  Thanks to all for joining in and stay tuned for more little prizes throughout the year.

If you’d like to hear more about why the 365 Diary is one of my favourite things, you can read about it here…

Also, don’t forget to follow my blog around on Facebook  and  Twitter.

June give-away: What do you love?

As you might have gathered by now, I’m quite keen on sharing the things I love. For me, there’s nothing quite like having a bit of a chatter about a book I love, an artist I’m into, or a play I’ve really enjoyed – hence my funny, mixed-up little blog.

But now it’s your turn! I would very much like to hear about your favourite things, and I’ll make it worth your while.

To go into the running to win this month’s give-away, all you have to do is:

1. Leave a comment on this post, or

2. Visit That Book You Like‘s Facebook page

…and tell us about one of your favourite things! Pics and links are great too, and I’d love you to tell us why it’s such a fav.

The winner of this month’s competition (selected at random) will receive one of my most recent favourite things…a 365 Diary, from Kikki K. You can find out why I love these diaries so much here, but the bestest reason of all is that they can be started at any time of any year – you’ve gotta love it!


Looking forward to seeing what you’re all loving at the moment! Entries close Thursday, 16 June 2011.

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365 days, isn’t that like a whole year?

Last Sunday, I bought myself a 365 notebook from Kikki K, and to my surprise I’ve managed to write in it every day so far.  Admittedly, it’s only been a week, but for me that’s pretty impressive – I’d usually have gotten distracted by now.

The notebook is basically a journal, but a little less structured than your traditional diary.  As such, it gives you the room to record through words, pictures, photos or ‘items of note’ like ticket stubs, programs, that type of thing.

It caught my eye last year, but I’ve been talking myself out of it, as I was pretty sure it’d become another one of those things that I never get time to do. But on Mother’s Day I was feeling generous and hopeful, and thought I’d give it a try.  I really love having an excuse to write by hand, and there really is nothing like making a quick note about something new or fabulous that has happened throughout the day.

So far, I’ve included photos of me and the boys, a recipe for a new soup I tried my own way, and a program from a show.

I’m not sure if going shopping on Mother’s Day is such a great idea, as the temptation to spoil myself and buy half the shop was almost overwhelming. But, I was quite restrained and only treated myself to a couple of things. As well as the journal, I also picked up one other small thing…a lovely ball of twine! My boys thought I was quite mad, especially for how excited I got about this little ball of red and white string.  I can’t explain it really, but simple, pretty things like this make me quite happy. It’s lovely quality too, and I’m sure I’ll find many nice things to do with it.

As I said, the boys thought me a little crazy until they saw this…

I think they kind of got the idea a bit better after I’d shown them how good it could look.

I really hope that all you Mums out there were able to spoil yourself a little on your special weekend, and that that feeling hasn’t worn off yet.  I hope we can all keep trying hard to make a little time to sit and reflect each day, to write or read or fiddle with photos. As for myself, I’m going keep enjoying little things like handwriting, ticket stubs and twine.

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Woah Mumma and the last hurrah

Today I’ve been officially spoilt. Brunch with my friends and family, gifts galore and a nice, slow afternoon with my boys. It’s been a wonderful weekend all up, albeit a little bittersweet at times.

Yesterday we went and bid a fond farewell to The Last Record Store in Smith Street. As mentioned in my earlier post big Al and lovely Helen are taking their bat and ball and going home, having set their mind to an old-school retirement.  To mark the closing of their store, this institution, the guys held a wonderful last hurrah with a great range of in-store performances, an amazing sale, and lots and lots of friends wandering through the door.

I myself got to catch up with some of my oldest friends so I can only imagine how many familiar faces Alex, Helen and Hannah came across throughout the day. I was thrilled to have the chance to hear Sarah Carroll and Chris Wilson perform. I was immediately and vividly reminded of the first gigs I snuck into as a kid. I must say, it was quite a trip to watch my own kids now getting into Wilson’s authentic blues. Classic, and a little bit bizarre.

Walking away after my quick visit, I had a little lump in my throat – an amazing place and even more amazing people.  All my love guys xx

And that brings us to Mother’s Day, and as I’ve said I’ve been very spoilt.  Evan obviously knows me well, his gifts suited me to a tee…a ‘Worlds Best Mum’ tea cup, a head massager and chocolates. What a clever boy, now I’ve everything I need.

And in keeping with my new-found interest in all things tea-related, the guys bought me an Takeya iced tea maker – a little out of season I know, but yummo.  Mixed berry tea over ice…nice now and it’ll be even better once summer comes around again.

To sum up, I’m very lucky.  I’ve got the best kids (in my opinion), the most amazing mother (who looks after me all the time), a stunning husband and incredible friends from now and from way back then.  *sigh*

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