Serious reading time…

I’ve taken a few days off here and there over the last couple of weeks, for school holidays and more recently to do some spring cleaning. I’m surprised by just how good it’s made me feel – happy kids and a house so tidy I hardly recognise it.

But now it’s time to get back to the books – the reading pile is wonderfully, insanely, delightfully high and it’s time to catch up on a few titles.

Here are the books that I’ve got on the go at the moment…

First up, I’ve almost finished Overseas, by Beatriz Williams (Allen and Unwin). This book has taken me a little while to get my head around, but now that I have I’m really enjoying it. It’s hard to categories, but I think it could be described as romantic, sci-fi, chick-lit.

Yep, that’s about it, and now that I’ve gotten used to the mixed-up genre I’m quite invested in Kate and Julian’s multi time zoned love affair. I’m hoping to finish this in the next day or so, so I should have a review up some time next week.

Yesterday morning I almost left the house without a book (god forbid) and on the fly I picked up my copy of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Penguin). I’ve read this story a few times, and reviewed it earlier this year, but I’m doing a quick re-read in preparation for this month’s TBYL Book Club.

I hope you’ll join us in a read and a chat about this beautifully sophisticated novella. Might also be a good excuse to organise a movie night…

This weekend, I’m looking forward to taking a good look at Smudge Publishing’s latest offering in Produce to Platter, Yarra Valley and The Dandenongs, by Jonette George and Daniele Wilton. I loved their previous two guides (here and here) but this one is particularly close to my heart – Matt and I spent our honeymoon in the Dandenongs and the Yarra Valley, and to this day it remains one of the best holidays of my life. I love the familiar names and locations in this guide, and can’t wait to discover some new gems in the area.

Now, I’m whispering the title of this one… shhh, I’m sneaking a peak at The Siren, by Tiffany Reisz (Harlequin Spice). Off the back of the 5o Shades ‘phenomenon’ this novel has been widely read and reviewed.

Apparently it’s a little darker, grittier than Shades and by reputation, better written. It’s a first in the genre for me, but I can’t wait to give it a look…

And lastly, once I’m done with all these wonderful books, I’m going to wizz through Marianne Delacourt’s most recent Tara Sharp novel, Stage Fright (Allen and Unwin). All rock and roll and private investigation, this ‘action-packed and fast-paced’ novel promises to be a ‘rollicking good read.’ I’m really looking forward to getting into this one, sounds like a lot of fun.

These five books will satisfyingly scratch the surface of my stack of novels, and I am really looking forward to having the chance to get some really serious reading time in the next couple of weeks.

What are you reading at the moment? Do you have a lot of other titles on the list?

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My Monday: My favourite love-story

I’ve heard it said, that February is the month of romance.

Personally, I’ve always found that February is more the month of no more sleep-ins, a new school year starting, going back to work, and subsequently trying to catch-up after a month of down-time. Bah humbug.

But this year, I’m changing my tune. I’m going to get into the spirit of Valentine’s Day with a little light reading and a classic film.

And so, my first My Monday for 2012 is all about one of my favourite stories of all time – Truman Capote’s heartbreaker Breakfast at Tiffany’s. A tale that can make even me; ever practical, slightly cynical, a little too matter-of-fact, feel positively romantic.

I know it’s not the most original choice for this time of year, but for me, this story is the epitome of style, romance and that New York, New York feeling. Both the film and the novel in equal measure have an undeniable allure, a sweetness, a street-smartness and a delightful element of intrigue.

“Also, she had a cat and she played the guitar. On days when the sun was strong, she would wash her hair, and together with the cat, a red tiger-striped tom, sit out on the fire escape thumbing a guitar while her hair dried. Whenever I heard the music, I would go stand quietly by my window. She played very well, and sometimes sang too. Sang in the hoarse, breaking tones of a boy’s adolescent voice. She know all the show hits, Cole Porter and Kurt Weill; especially she liked the songs from Oklahoma! which were new that summer and everywhere. But there were moments when she played songs that made you wonder where she learned them, where indeed she came from. Harsh-tender wandering tunes with words that smacked of piney-woods or prairie.”

And of course, there’s this:

Each time I read this gorgeous novella I am perplexed by Holly…Is she an innocent? Is she a woman in charge of her own destiny? Or is she simply on a wild, wild ride through 1940s New York – peppered with gangsters, smitten neighbours and trips to the powder-room?

I’m going to read it again tonight, and I’ll try and work her out all over again.

And then of course there’s the film, and there’s Hepburn. Audrey Hepburn has become synonymous with Holly Golightly and her New York style, her sophistication has become iconic, the very measure of beauty.

When I was New York I almost missed out on seeing Central Park and I blame this entirely on the film. I lost myself for hours, deep inside Tiffany’s – hypnotised by sparkle and mental images of Audrey Hepburn, sipping coffee, strolling slowly on a New York morning. Before I knew it, I’d cut my day in half and had time only enough for a quick wander through Central Park. Never mind, next time.

I’d love to be planning another trip to the Big Apple, but a date night to the Astor Theatre will have to suffice – they’re showing Breakfast at Tiffany’s next weekend.

And with that, that’s my February set, and Matt be warned, I’ll expect diamonds this Valentines Day.

Buy your own copy of Breakfast at Tiffany’s at the TBYL Store!

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