All about books

I recently read "The Book Thief" by the Australian author, Markus Zusak. It wasn't one I would normally read as its a novel set during the World War Two and I much prefer non-fiction to fiction when reading about war and suffering. However, it really took me by surprise and I loved it. The language was just beautiful and the story was so well crafted I could hardly put it down. 

Have you read a book recently that took you by surprise?

I (and my colleague at work) are currently reading the top 50 Australian books as voted by viewers of the First Tuesday Night Bookclub on the ABC (TV).  I rarely read Australian authors, however by going through this list (in no particular order) I have discovered some great books and a new view on Australian authors (such as My Secret River by Kate Grenville) with a few exceptions such as Cloudstreet which I found downright miserable and I didn't like any of the characters.   

What has been your favourite book so far this year?

Would you recommend any?


  1. Sounds interesting!
    My wishlist for reading grows quicker than I can get through them ;-)

  2. I have a basket on the floor that is full to overflowing with books and then my boss at work gives me books to read as well!!

  3. I rarely have time to read at the moment - and usually when I do read, I'm reading a children's book or a book to the children (even if it's aimed for an age higher than their age)!! The children and I are currently between books, however I plan to read some fiction books based in Asia (especially China) with them soon, as part of our Social Studies course. :)
    Will go over and check out the list of books you're working through. :)

  4. Thanks for that link. A few old favourites and lots I haven't read. Something to pursue in retirement :-)

  5. I actually love historical fiction novels so thank you for sharing this recommendation. I can't say I have read many books by many Australian authors so I think it's about time I start! I recently read a fantastic historical romance novel by author Layne Wong, "Shanghai Love" ( It is an unlikely love story between a Chinese herbalist and a Jewish refugee looking for safety from Nazi Germany. The herbalist, Peilin, was betrothed to a man who was killed before their wedding but tradition and honor forced the marriage along anyways. She is sent to Shanghai to manage his family's herbal shop. Shanghai is also Henri's destination as he has graduated from medical school as Hitler is rising to power. He flees to Shanghai where he’s befriended by Ping, Peilin's brother. Through her kindness, Henri becomes fascinated with Chinese herbs as well as the exotic culture surrounding him. It is a book that can easily transport you to another place and another time. I hope you will give it a read!

  6. Jo-- I've been wanting to read that book- so I'm excited to see that you liked it. One of my favorites lately was East of the Sun.



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