Book review: Under My Skin by Lisa Unger

Sunday, October 7, 2018 Permalink

There was a moment or two after I started this book that I worried it was one by Lisa Unger I’d already read – one, in fact, I’d heard her introduce at a writers festival I attended in Brisbane in 2008 or so (ed: which I later discovered was Die For You).

I knew I’d read a recent book of hers with a similar name (ed: which I’m now assuming was In The Blood, #blood #skin #whatevs) and wondered if this was a re-release though it seemed different enough that I didn’t remember it in enough detail to have read it before.

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four-stars

Book review: A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

Saturday, October 6, 2018 Permalink

Jodi Picoult is probably known best for some of her early work and I too was an early adopter, reading anything and everything she wrote in the early 2000s.

I drifted away for a while, but was impressed with her 2016 novel Small Great Things which centred around race and the related notions of privilege and guilt.

Her latest, A Spark of Light is set in a women’s centre, one of a few remaining clinics in Mississipi to offer a range of reproductive choices to women, including terminations.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Sunday Girl by Pip Drysdale

Friday, October 5, 2018 Permalink

I downloaded this book onto my e-Reader some time before my Italian holiday, along with a few other books, planning to do some reading while away. As it happened however, I didn’t even turn my iPad on until my flight home…. over 3wks after I’d left.

I didn’t remember seeing this book as a hard copy on offer for review but requested an electronic copy when it started to appear everywhere and thank god I did as it helped one of the two legs of my flights from Rome to Brisbane pass really quickly.

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four-stars

Holidays and types of travellers

Thursday, October 4, 2018 Permalink

I’m home from my Italian sojourn. People have been asking if I was sad for it to be over. And I’m not. I’m happy to be home (well, almost home as I write this!). Don’t get me wrong… I had a wonderful time and Italy certainly lived up to my expectations. But I’m keen for a break. Some normality. Some down-time.

I know (and met) people who knock off several countries in the 3+ weeks I spent in Italy, but it still felt like I crammed a little too much in. And of course that’s more about me than my itinerary as I’ve mentioned (often) that I’m not a great tourist. And I’m not an avid traveller.

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Roamin’ in Rome

Monday, October 1, 2018 Permalink

I’m sorry… that title is kinda predictable isn’t it? I was trying to think of something a little less cliched, but well… it’s the last day of my trip and I’m dreading a lot of hours on planes tomorrow (well, today by the time this is published) with my sore gluteal muscle (ie. how on earth I’m going to sit for over 20+hrs (plus waiting and connection times). At least I’ll have ditched my luggage so I can roam around airports more easily.

Anyway, I’ve had three full days in Rome, the longest stay I’ve had (other than the writing retreat itself of course). I’m not sure if they would have been more productive had I been a little more mobile (physically) but suspect not.

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The kindness of strangers

Saturday, September 29, 2018 Permalink

Something horrific happened tonight.

I know I know… it sounds like I’m exaggerating and I AM prone to catastrophising, it must be said. And while this wasn’t exactly dire or life threatening, it wasn’t good.

I locked myself out of my Airbnb apartment. 

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Veging in Venice

Friday, September 28, 2018 Permalink

I mentioned in a recent post that I’d had a few places in mind when I eventually made it to Italy. Venice was never one… though there was that seen in the 1979 movie, A Little Romance.

Anyhoo, when planning the trip I threw it in at the last minute as everyone said it offered something a bit different.

And amazingly, it’s actually been one of my favourite places (though admittedly I’ve said that about almost everywhere!). 

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Bloody steps (#firstworldproblems)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 Permalink

I am seriously OVER train stations with no elevators and escalators (ie. CInque Terre). And by that I mean I’m over the lack of ramps / elevators, not the places themselves!

The worst thing is that you usually have to go up AND down. Or down AND up. I normally put my cabin luggage on my suitcase on wheels, but at each staircase I have to lift it off and push the handle down and carry my suitcase up the stairs. Before doing the same but opposite.

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Cinque Terre – the Italian riviera

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 Permalink

I’ve already mentioned that Italy has been the only country I’ve ever wanted to visit. And maybe also Alaska. Though perhaps I mean the Antarctic. Or the Arctic? Whatevs…

The dream Italian holiday included: Tuscany (obvs), Sorrento / Positano and Cinque Terre. I’d seen pictures of the latter – five stunning villages dotted along the north-ish western coast of Italy.

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