Dear Mum, edited by Samuel Johnson

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 Permalink

Mother’s Day is approaching here in Australia, so those with mothers and mother-like influences in their lives are busily scouring catalogues for potential gifts. Books are often a no-brainer because, well… who doesn’t like reading?! Please note that’s a rhetorical question and I remain in denial there are people out there who don’t.

Dear Mum, comprising letters by well-known Aussies is a timely release from Hachette; one I’m sure isn’t coincidental. I was worried this would be a bit sentimental for me, so I asked my own mother (who’s an avid consumer of books) to read it and offer me her thoughts. She enjoyed it and tells me there’s something for everyone.

Continue Reading…

Book review: The Schoolgirl Strangler by Katherine Kovacic

Tuesday, January 12, 2021 Permalink

I never read non-fiction, predominantly because I read to escape so I don’t actually want reality. I usually however also struggle with the structure of non-fiction books, even when events are running chronologically there’s overlap and most just don’t work (for me!).

I was keen to read The Schoolgirl Strangler by Katherine Kovacic however, because I like her writing and met her at an event in 2019. At the time she commented on coming across these cases when researching her first book, the Ned Kelly Award-nominated The Portrait of Molly Dean. So I figured I’d push myself out of my comfort zone to kick off 2021.

Continue Reading…


first, we make the beast beautiful by Sarah Wilson

Monday, April 27, 2020 Permalink

I’ve mentioned it a zillion times so you may be aware I don’t read non-fiction. I had heard however, a lot of good things about first, we make the beast beautiful by Sarah Wilson. And given everything happening at the moment, it seemed like a good time to dive into the beast-infested waters.

Wilson is of course known best for her I Quit Sugar initiative, program and books. For some reason I’d thought she’d separated herself from that movement but it’s mentioned a bit here. Although this book was first released in 2017.

Continue Reading…

Books for Christmas

Sunday, December 2, 2018 Permalink

I don’t tend to give books as gifts but that’s only because I worry the recipient will think it’s one I got for free! However… they’re ideal presents and this time of year non-fiction books (including memoirs, cookbooks, self-help books) are out in force because they are – indeed – excellent gift ideas!

I’m not hugely into non-fiction. My eyes glaze over at the idea of someone’s memoir – no matter how interesting their life might be, or how inspiring they are. But two hardcover books have arrived (at casa Debbish) recently that I think would make excellent gifts.

Continue Reading…

Book review: Small House Living Australia by Catherine Foster

Monday, October 30, 2017 Permalink

Anyone who follows my social media accounts (or reads the non-bookish posts on my blog) will know my journey down the tiny house-loving slippery slope began with an innocent little #vanlife instagram obsession. I poured over picture after picture of campervans, minibuses, RVs, ‘skoolies’ and so forth – renovated into something sleek and sophisticated or bohemian and trippy.

Of course I eventually realised my fascination was less about the idea of travelling (cos meh… plus I hate driving) than the idea of minimalist living. 

Continue Reading…

Book review: The Art of Wellbeing by Meredith Gaston

Friday, October 27, 2017 Permalink

I’ve read an enormous* number of non-fiction books lately. Particularly for someone who doesn’t read non-fiction. Including so-called ‘self-help’ or self-improvement type books.

And I really could not go past the chance to read this release by Meredith Gaston, an illustrator and author of five other books. It looked like…. something-I-must-have. And when it arrived I was even more enamoured as it’s absolutely stunning.

Continue Reading…

Book review: PUG – How To Be The Best You by Helen James

Saturday, October 14, 2017 Permalink

When I first saw this book, it was around the time I’d requested a children’s picture book to review with my 6yr old godson Pickle, and – as I do love a good life lesson – the title of this book, PUG – How To Be The Best You, sounded perfect.

However, this book isn’t actually about a cute dog. PUG, stands for Philosophical Universal Guidance. Yep… it’s actually a book for we grown-ups. (Ahem… yes I am including myself there.) 

Continue Reading…

Book review: Work Strife Balance by Mia Freedman

Friday, May 5, 2017 Permalink

Regular readers of this blog will know I don’t read non-fiction. Indeed, I usually don’t touch it with a ten foot pole. However… sometimes I find myself stretching out of that comfort zone (as I’ve done recently in relation to romance and historical fiction).

And while we’re confessing to our many sins, I should add I don’t recall reading Mia Freedman’s work before. I mean, I don’t live under a rock, so I know who she is and I’ve seen her speak on TV shows and probably browsed snippets here and there. Perhaps I was still reading Dolly or read Cosmo during her editorial years. I’m not sure. But I’ve not been a regular reader of Mamamia and I hadn’t read her previous books before picking up Work Strife Balance.

Continue Reading…


Book review: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

Friday, November 11, 2016 Permalink

It’s rare that I include a re-read on the blog. Although in all honesty I’m not sure I’ve ever finished The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. A friend put me onto it in 2006/7… and I sought out a copy at the time. I started working through the exercises and could very much appreciate what they offered, but flailed at some point. And life took over. In 2010 I again pulled the cobwebbed book off the shelf. And I wrote about my plan to unlock my creativity via the post: Morning Pages and Basketball Shots.

I cannot remember what happened with that attempt. However… as regular readers would know, life has changed a lot for me in the last 4+ years and I’m probably ready to delve a little deeper and recover my creative self.

Continue Reading…