Friday, 10 January 2014

summer reading (and a surprise must read!)

Summer holidays have always been about the book - or books, in my case!  I've been sneaking off whenever I have the opportunity and losing myself in the literary world.  The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls could quite possibly have lost me altogether, however I had to stop reading in order that my own children didn't starve.  The trajectory of two young American sisters following their mother's disappearance will leave you breathtaken - it's up there with the best books I've ever read.  It was completely unexpected too - I haven't read anything of Walls' before and I will be sure to reserve her memoirs Half Broke Horses and Glass Castle on the strength of her fiction work.  It's hard to say too much about The Silver Star without giving away the plot line - just believe me that it's quite remarkable and give it a try, further qualifying as a Must Read, a label I don't give away lightly!
Gardening and landscaping books figure high on my reading list.  I held on to a few of these books for far too long - luckily our local library is having a fine amnesty this month, however I may be the exception to the rule and charged double for my regular misdemeanours!  I must say, though, that the books were worth it, particularly Jenny and Neil Delmage's 12 Gardens.  A mixture of coastal, urban and rural gardens was featured with designs specific to the harsh Australian climate (I must say that I think any climate in the extreme is harsh: think America currently suffering under freezing temperatures and the wild storms in Europe - we tend to give our own dear country a bad rap!).
This image about is from the Delmages' book - isn't it a delightful mix of colour and texture?  We have a garden bed running along the fence outside our living area.  At just under a metre wide, it's ripe for extension - something to do when the weather cools down.  Currently it's a riot of gaura, roses, sedum and geraniums in bloom, thickly planted as in this very image.  I can't wait until ours resembles this one in terms of its impact - it's just a matter of time!
I became a fan of Jamie Durie's when we saw one of his television series on DVD a few years ago.  I admit that his Manpower past had made me dubious, but The Outdoor Room left me converted.  I've since borrowed his books from the library whenever they've come in to publication.  Edible Garden Design could have easily become my own - beautifully presented and photographed, it makes not just a stunning coffee table book, but it's filled with useful and practical information.  In my dream world, my book shelf would be bulging with books such as this.

I'm currently reading The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I'm less than 100 pages in and have 400 to go - I'm delighted to say I'm enjoying it, which did come as something of a surprise.  I flicked through it when it came in from the library and had my doubts - but I'm pleased to say they were for nothing.  I'll let you know more in my next reading update...


  1. I have just ordered The Silver Star from the library...sounds good. I have been using the kindle on my ipad here in Perth and I looove it, just an unending amount of books to read, so good when there isn't a library around the corner! I read the Elizabeth Gilbert one when I first arrived, hesitantly at first but then loved it. A really good read, best to be read on holiday I'm sure when there is more time. Love and hugs, Mum