Great January reading: a little bit of this and that

Here we are in the second week of the New Year and I have just finished my 3rd book for January.

The first was Tell Tale by Jeffrey Archer. which I thoroughly enjoyed, although I know short stories are not for everyone.

Then, because there comes a time in everyone’s life when they just must read a book by Jane Austen, I read Pride and Prejudice for the first, okay – the umpteenth – time. I love “our ” Jane Austen (she wasn’t Australian, of course, but we Aussies love to claim people with talent as our own) and every year I read at least one of her novels. I have no idea how many times I’ve read each title, but familiarity has never bred contempt and I love them all as much as I did the first time I opened them.

Recently I purchased a newly released, updated version of White Butterflies by Colin McPhedran. At only 11-years of age, Colin, with his mother, brother and sister, joined the thousands of people fleeing Burma after the Japanese invasion in late 1941. They fled their homeland on foot, across the steep Patkoi Mountain Ranges, to safety in India. Over a three-month period, they battled the annual monsoon rains, starvation, disease and exhaustion, in an attempt to cover the 500-kilometre journey across the border.  After time in India and England, Colin finally settled in Bowral NSW. I’ve read many books from this period, starting with White Coolies by Betty Jeffrey, but somehow I missed White Butterflies – what an oversight. it is a truly inspiring read.

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January is sometimes a bit barren for new releases, but 2018 is the exception with a number of fascinating books on offer. We have already published reviews of The Guilty Wife by Elle Croft,  I’ll Keep You Safe by Peter May and When in Rome by C J Duggan.  Still to come are Rebel Voices by Louise K Stewart and Indigo Blue, a work of fiction by the young Australian of the Year 2011, Jessica Watson.

Our extract for January is from East West Street by Phillippe Sands. Please read this extract together with John Reid’s excellent review which is linked at the end of the extract. We chose this book, although it is not a new release in January, because of the exciting news about the author’s forthcoming tour of Australia. As an actress, director and general dog’s body for a few decades at one of Sydney’s most respected community theatres, I admire those who have the courage to turn books into plays or as in this case, a music and spoken word recital. Mind you when I told GOM I wanted to see this recital, his eyes glazed over, he wished me an enjoyable evening and said he was sure there was something on TV he would enjoy. Not a man for classical music my hubby.

Happy January reading everyone.
Karen xxx