Top Ten Books of 2020 So Far …

Today I thought it might be fun to share with you some of the books I have been loving this year so far.

Originally, my intention for this list would be something to look back on in December as I compiled my reading stats and favourite lists for the year. I thought it would be interesting to see which books went the long haul and stayed in the top ten to the very end of the year. However, shortly after sitting down to generate this list, I discovered the list was nothing like I thought it would be and I kind of surprised myself … in the best way possible.

So without further ado, here is my top ten books of 2020 so far: Continue reading

REVIEW: Bluey My Dad Is Awsome (Father’s Day Book)

 

Published: 4th August 2020

Publisher: Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia

Pages: 48

Format: Small Hardback/Paper pages) (ARC supplied by the publisher for review. All opinions are my own).

RRP: $16.99

4/5 Stars

Based on the hit ABC KIDS TV show!

Everyone loves Bandit, especially Bluey and Bingo! Find out what makes this true blue dad so special in this hilarious and heartwarming book. A gorgeous hardback book that will make the perfect Father’s Day gift.

Bluey has been a phenomenal success since airing on ABC KIDS in October 2018, amassing legions of dedicated fans and hugely popular ranges of books, toys, clothes, games and more. It holds the coveted position of being the most watched program ever on ABC iView, with over 260 million plays for Series One, and is the winner of an International Emmy for Most Outstanding Children’s Programme.

My Dad Is Awesome is the newest addition to the Bluey book universe, and its a super sweet book celebrating the bond between father and child. Continue reading

REVIEW: All About Bluey & All About Bingo

Published: 2nd June 2020

Publisher: Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia

Pages: 12

Format: Board Book picture book

RRP: $16.99

3/5 Stars 

Based on the hit ABC KIDS TV show!

Meet Bluey!

Bluey Heeler loves to play, explore and use her imagination to turn everyday life into an amazing adventure. Learn all about Bluey in this fun shaped board book for kids of all ages.

Bluey has been a phenomenal success since airing on ABC KIDS in October 2018, amassing legions of dedicated fans and hugely popular ranges of books, toys, clothes, games and more. It holds the coveted position of being the most watched program ever on ABC iView, with over 260 million plays for Series One, and is the winner of an International Emmy for Most Outstanding Children’s Programme.

 All About Bluey is a fantastic introduction to arguably the ABCS’s most-loved cartoon character, Bluey an Australian Blue Heeler puppy. The book itself is shaped like Bluey and features eye-catching colours, shapes and easily identified emotions, making it the perfect board book for the young-at-heart. Continue reading

Read-EH-Thon (3rd-9th August 2020)

Read-EH-thon is a Canadian readathon running from the 3rd-9th August 2020 and  hosted by Kayla @Booksandlala, Njeri @ Onyx Pages, Paige @ Minimal Bookie, Jill @ The Book Bully, Natasha @ My Reading is Odd, Janine @ The Story Ain’t Over, Zoe @ Zoe’s All Booked and Rue @ Rue’s Reading Corner.

When the host’s annouced this readathon my interest was instantly peaked. Anne of Green Gables is one of my favourite books of all time, and it’s also the only book that comes to mind when I think of Canada. With that in mind, I thought this was the perfect readathon to try and jumpstart my reading while learning about a country that I greatly admire and would love to explore once more (post-covid19 obviously).

To be perfectly honest, I’m approaching this readehthon very differently to previous readathons. I’m not going into this one with the intention to ‘win’ the readehthon, but rather am planning to read a variety of books and explore the culture and stories more. Continue reading

REVIEW: Rocky and Louie by Phil Walleystack, Raweyn Caisley and Dub Leffler

Published: 28th April 2020

Publisher: Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia

Pages:  32

Format: Hardback picture book (courtesy of the publisher for review)

RRP: $24.99

4/5 Stars

 Louie’s big brother, Rocky, has big dreams and wants to chase them. But Louie doesn’t want him to forget where he belongs . . .

A heartfelt story about the bond between two brothers and their special connection to country. Illustrated by CBCA award-winning picture-book creator Dub Leffler, and written by acclaimed singer/storyteller Phil Walleystack and award-winning children’s author Raewyn Caisley.

 Rocky and Louie is a super sweet picture about family, country and change. Continue reading

Waiting On Wednesday: The Shelf by Helly Acton

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

 

Published by: Bonnier Zaffre

Expected Publication: 2nd July 2020

Amy Wright thinks her boyfriend is surprising her with a dream holiday to pop the big question – they’ve been together for two years now so surely it must be about time? But the dream turns into a nightmare when she removes her blindfold and finds herself on the set of The Shelf, a Big Brother-style reality television show.

Along with five other women, Amy is dumped live on TV in front of a studio audience and millions of viewers watching from home.

The women must compete in a series of humiliating and obnoxious tasks in the hope of being crowned The Keeper.

Amy initially stays on The Shelf with the million-pound prize in mind. But, empowered by the women around her, and with a month to think about what she really wants (without constantly comparing herself to everyone else’s filtered online lives), she might come away with an even bigger reward.

This fun, relatable, honest and satirical look at society’s obsession with settling down, coupling up, having the courage to be enough on your own will strike a chord with anyone who’s been asked ‘why are you still single?’.

REVIEW: You Might Find Yourself by Tai Snaith

Published: 1st August 2019

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Pages: 36

Format: Hardcover Picture book (borrowed from the library)

RRP: $24.99

4/5 Stars You Might Find Youself

 You Might Find Yourself follows a small person’s journey as they navigate the world through their imagination. This charming and lovingly handcrafted picture book invites readers to examine notions of resilience and collaboration, while on the winding path that is life.

From eating green beans with a king and a queen to playing a hologram guitar from the future, You Might Find Yourself encourages an exploration of empathy and compassion. In weird and wonderful ways, Tai Snaith unleashes the power of our imagination, and on a journey full of possibilities, all you need to do is imagine where you might find yourself. 

You Might Find Yourself by Tai Snaith is a book about using one’s imagination, not just for creative purposes but in order to create a better world. This picture book is subtle, but surprisingly thought provoking, asking readers of all ages to critically think through some scenarios and what they can do better.

Across each double-page spread Snaith gives the reader a scenario – such as finding yourself in a garden – and asks the reader to imagine what THEY could do to help. In the garden example, Snaith proposes the concept as a friend’s garden, and gives the reader a collage of an ocean bed with an Octopus. Here she asks “imagine what you do to help keep it beautiful”. At first glance, I didn’t notice the plastic bottles littering the  ocean bed and caught up with the Octopus, but once you spot them, they are cleverly hidden everywhere. Thus Snaith is encouraging readers to think of the environment, recycling and looking after our friends both human and non-human. She is actively encouraging readers to become more empathic, compassionate and tolerant about the world around us and the people and animals we encounter along the way.

Snaith’s text is short and to the point, and yet the text is ambiguous enough that there are a variety of meanings that can be easily interpreted. Across each double-page spread, Snaith uses no more than two sentences (one per page) to propose the scenario and guide the reader’s imagination on each topic. This when combined with her clever use of collage creates a picture book that is duly aimed at the very young (the books age recommendation is four to six years of age) and the not so young (i.e adults reading). All of which makes this one hell of a powerful picture book.

You Might Find Yourself was long-listed/noteables for the CBCA Book of the Year: Early Childhood award 2020.

 

To purchase a copy of, visit the following online retailers:

THAMES & HUDSON | AMAZON AUS | ANGUS & ROBERTSON | BOOKTOPIA | BOOK DEPOSITORY | DYMOCKS | QBD

To learn more about Tai Snaith, visit the following social media pages:

Author Website | INSTAGRAM | Goodreads

 

Waiting On Wednesday: A Lonely Girl is A Dangerous Thing by Jessie Tu

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

 

Published by: Allen & Unwin

Expected Publication: 2nd July 2020

Jena Lin plays the violin. She was once a child prodigy and now uses sex to fill the void left by fame. She’s struggling a little. Her professional life comprises rehearsals, concerts, auditions and relentless practice; her personal life is spent managing the demands of her strict family and creative friends, and hooking up. And then she meets Mark – much older and worldly-wise – who consumes her. But at what cost to her dreams?

When Jena is awarded an internship with the New York Philharmonic, she thinks the life she has dreamed of is about to begin. But when Trump is elected, New York changes irrevocably and Jena along with it. Is the dream over? As Jena’s life takes on echoes of Frances Ha, her favourite film, crucial truths are gradually revealed to her.

A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing explores female desire and the consequences of wanting too much and never getting it. It is about the awkwardness and pain of being human in an increasingly dislocated world – and how, in spite of all this, we still try to become the person we want to be. This is a dazzling and original debut from a young writer with a fierce, intelligent and audacious voice.

REVIEW: ‘Bossy Bastard’ by J.L. Perry (Cocky Hero Club)

Published: 14th June 2020

Publisher: Cocky Hero Club

Pages: 424

Format: ebook (ARC courtesy of the author)

RRP:  $43.99 and (ebook)

5/5 Stars

ASHTON BARCLAY, or as I like to call him, Mr. B. for Bossy, is fast becoming the bane of my existence.

After running into him, literally, he’s now popping up everywhere, and somehow managing to weave his way into my life.

He’s egotistical, smug, and so ridiculously good-looking it should be illegal—he’s way too hot to handle. I don’t do hot, those type of guys are more trouble than they’re worth.

Although, I’d secretly love to do him.

We’ve kissed once—it was smokin’, and led to me dry humping his leg in front of the entire club like a shameless hussy. Oh, and did I mention I deep throated his thumb within seconds of meeting him? I didn’t even know his name yet.

I have issues, big ones.

He makes me do things I never imagined myself doing.

He makes me feel things I’m not comfortable feeling.

It just wouldn’t work, even if I wanted it to. Between us we have more baggage than a carousel at LAX airport.

He’s everything I want, but can never have.

Or so I thought.

Bossy Bastard is one hell of addictive, page-turning, feel-good, alpha-loving, romance by best selling author J.L. Perry. If that didn’t give it away, I loved this book, and highly recommend it to everyone looking for a feel-good romance. Continue reading

REVIEW: When Billy was a Dog by Kirsty Murray and illustrated by Karen Blair

Published: 3rd June 2019

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Pages: 32

Format: Hardback (borrowed from the library)

RRP: $24.99

5/5 Stars If you can’t have a puppy, maybe the next best thing is to be a puppy.


‘Can I please, please, please have a dog?’ asked Billy. ‘Would you walk it every day and wash it if it got dirty?’ ‘I would, I promise!’ said Billy. Billy wants a dog. He really really really wants one. Billy’s parents aren’t so sure. So one morning, Billy takes matters into his own paws.
When Billy Was A Dog is THE picture book for any dog lover out there.  It has also been shortlisted for this year’s CBCA Book of the Year: Early Childhood book week award for 2020.