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Book Chat - Issue #14

Book Chat
Hello reading friends!
How is everything going with you? I hope you’ve been looking after yourselves and getting lots of reading done.
Spring is well and truly here. The weather can be unpredictable, but I’ve been fitting in some walks along the foreshore, as well as a few obligatory picnics.
I met some book group friends in the park last week and we contemplated having our next meeting outdoors, weather permitting.

What I've been reading lately
My reading over the past week has been a mixed bag ranging from The Girls by Chloe Higgins, to Yours Cheerfully by A J Pearce.
The Girls is a memoir about grief and loss. In 2005, when Chloe was seventeen years old, her two sisters were killed in a car accident. Her father was driving and walked away unharmed. In the book, she describes the aftermath of that terrible day and its impact on her life as she tries to avoid dealing with the grief that follows. The writing is tough and sometimes her story is confronting, but this would be an interesting choice for an adventurous book group. There’s lots to discuss around life choices and why we do the things we do.
Yours Cheerfully is at the other end of the spectrum. You probably couldn’t find two books that are more different in tone and style. Set in 1941, Emmy Lake is working for the Woman’s Friend when the Ministry of Information calls on women’s magazines to help recruit desperately needed female workers to the war effort. Chief reporter Emmy visits a munitions factory and discovers the very real challenges that women face, including rampant sexism and lack of childcare.
The social and cultural details are delightful and presumably accurate. It reminds me of boarding school books I loved as a young girl. Emmy and her best friend Bunty describe people as “gormless” and at one point Emmy says that she’s been “rather a chump” for leaving her handbag in the ladies. A great read if you’re looking for something light.
What I've been writing
The church youth group I went to as a teenager is having a reunion in a couple of weeks. It’s in Perth, which means I can’t go even if I was brave enough, but the invitation made me think a lot about the influence of the Salvation Army on my life. If you missed my article, you can read it here.
Plenty
Where to find your next read - part 2
In my last newsletter, I talked about where I go to find new books. If you missed that edition, let me know and I’ll be happy to re-send it to you.
As I mentioned, one of my favourite places for inspiration is Instagram, which has a large community of book enthusiasts.
People are often very negative about social media, but few people talk about the many benefits of making connections with like-minded people. I really enjoy seeing what other people are reading/doing/cooking, but I’m very careful about which accounts I follow.
When I see books I think I might enjoy, I usually head over to iBooks and download a couple of sample chapters so that I can see if it’s something I’d like to read. It’s not always a straight yes or no decision. Sometimes what you feel like reading depends what mood you are in.
An added benefit of having lots (and lots) of samples is that I don’t need to remember the titles, which is very helpful.
Here’s a screen shot of some books on my TBR (to be read) list. The computer thinks I’m reading them ALL no, which is not true, but I probably will get around to reading them one day, because they all look interesting.
A selection of book samples I've downloaded lately
A selection of book samples I've downloaded lately
What I've been cooking
I’ve been doing my grocery shopping online and have the ‘allow substitutions’ button ticked. This means I sometimes get products I didn’t order or different quantities. A couple of weeks ago I received 900 grams of haloumi instead of the 200 gram block I ordered, so I gave half to the neighbours and have been slowly eating my way through the rest.
I made this delicious salad with roasted sweet potato, avocado and tomato. And haloumi of course!
Sunshine salad with haloumi and roasted sweet potato
Sunshine salad with haloumi and roasted sweet potato
Are you in a book group? If you think your reading friends would enjoy this newsletter, please ask them to sign up. Just forward this newsletter. There’s a sign up link at the bottom.
Thanks
Marg xxx
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Margaret Moon
Margaret Moon

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Central Coast, Australia