Monday, October 03, 2022

This week....

I'm reading....

It's been a big reading week here. I think I finished five books which is pretty much unheard of these days. Normally I am lucky to finish one book a week.

So, what did I read?  Firstly, I read Escape to the French Farmhouse by Jo Thomas. I picked this book up because I thought it was another book which I needed to read for a blog tour this week. Only problem is that the book that I needed to read for the blog tour was similarly titled A Year at the French Farmhouse by Gillian Harvey. However, before I realised my mistake I was at least a third of the way through Escape to the French Farmhouse and I was really enjoying it, so I kept going.

I then thought I needed something a bit different before I read another French Farmhouse book. I have been meaning to read House on the Cerulean Sea by T J Klune for the longest time and it seemed to be a good time to read it. I really enjoyed it and I am very much looking forward to reading more from this author.

After that genre change, I was ready to read the correct book for the blog tour, A Year at the French Farmhouse by Gillian Harvey. I will be posting my review for this book in the next couple of days. It will be a good one!

Finally, I received the Amazon First Reads email yesterday and one of the options was a short story by Alice Hoffman. It's somewhat shocking, but I have never read Hoffman, even though I do love some magic realism. The story is called The Bookstore Sisters, and it is very short, but I really enjoyed it. Going to have to make an effort to read more by her. At least there are plenty to choose from..

Finally, after the gritty realism of Working Class Boy by Jimmy Barnes, I needed a palate cleanser, so I am listening to The Stand In by Lily Chu, narrated by Philippa Soo. It is a much lighter listen. I already know that I am going to listen to more by Lily Chu!

I'm watching...

I was looking at the films available for the British Film Festival and I noticed a documentary titled Lancaster about the role that Lancaster bombers played in WWII. It said that the documentary is from the makers of Spitfire. Now, my hsband loves Spitfire planes and so I had to go and find that documentary film so that is what we watched on Friday. I have also bought tickets to go and see Lancaster on the big screen.


Not a lot to tell this week that I can think of.


It's fair to say that Max has settled in quite well. We have had him for just under a month now, and he keeps us mostly entertained. Every now and again he gets in trouble but we are quick to forgive him. This week he has learnt how to entertain himself with a tennis ball. It's better when we throw the ball for him, but he can move the ball around enough to chase it himself. He has also learnt to tip his water bowl over. Lucky we have tiles.

In this photo you can see two of his favourite things.....socks and dried leaves.

Posts from the last week

Top Ten Tuesday: Fancy Fonts
Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: September Link Up
Six Degrees of Separation: Notes on a Scandal to The Last Queen

I've linked this post to It's Monday, what are you reading? as hosted by Book Date

Sunday, October 02, 2022

Six Degrees of Separation: Notes from a Scandal to The Last Queen


Welcome to this month's edition of Six Degrees of Separation, which is a monthly meme hosted by Kate from Books Are My Favourite and Best.  The idea is to start with a specific book and make a series of links from one book to the next using whatever link you can find and see where you end up after six links.  I am also linking this post up with The Sunday Salon, hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz. 


This month's starting point in Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller

My first link is based on the name Zoe and is to The World is Not Enough by Zoe Oldenbourg

this is a book that was recommended by Elizabeth Chadwick years ago so it is only fair tht I sselect one of her books soon. There are a lot, so let's go with the  The Time of Singing.

You sing songs, so my next choice is The Lost Song by Minnie Darke

Another song title is The Song of the Wind by Madge Swindells

Moving away from songs, I am using the word wind to link to The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

I wanted to finish with a book set in Spain so I have chosen The Last Queen by CW Gortner about Juana of Castile.

Next month's starting point is a cookbook - The Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver! Should be interesting to see how people make their chains from that starting point.

The starting point next month is 

Saturday, October 01, 2022

Weekend Cooking: What I Baked (In My Kitchen) in September

The first Saturday of the month is when I share all the things that I baked in the previous month. 

When I look at the photos I do see that they are very similar. This is because I am currently still very much enjoying making chiffon cakes (also known as angel food cakes). They are so light and fun to make. 

Earl Grey Tea Chiffon Cake - I posted about making this cake for this month's Cook the Books read.


Coffee Cream Cake - Whilst this isn't called a chiffon cake, it is a very similar technique, so I am going with it. I am also very conscious that these two photos look very similar! I will say that on both occasions I served this as dessert when we had dinner guests and on both occasions they were very impressed. Recipe can be found here.

Coffee Meringue Shards - I did put a coffee meringue shard in for my picture, but I am still getting used to the new oven so they weren't quite as good as the first time I made them. After I made the first batch I did attempt to make a half batch which is when I learned that only one egg in the mixer is too small an amount to make it whip properly.

Spicy Apple and Ginger Self Saucing Pudding - A couple of years ago, during lockdown, we self saucing puddings quite regulary. I don't remember making one last winter at all,so I thought it was time to make it ago. I have posted the recipe for this before!

National Cook Book Month

October is National Cook Book month. My plan is to post about cookbooks or books about cookbooks during all of October and I would like to invite you to join me. You could choose to post about a favourite cookbook, a new one, an old one, one from a specific country. There are so many options!

I've made this little logo for my own entertainment really. One of these days I will work on my logo making skills! Been on the to do list for a while now!

I am sharing this post with In My Kitchen, hosted at Sherry's Pickings.

 Weekly meals

Saturday - Lasagne
Sunday -  Leftover lasagne
Monday - Zucchini, tomato and parmesan risotto
Tuesday - Pork chops mash and broccoli
Wednesday - French style chicken casserole
Thursday - Pizzadilla
Friday -

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge - October



 We had another great month in the challenge with around 60 reviews shared in September. Thank you to everyone who shared! I can't wait to see what you all share in October.

I will also be sharing the stats for September in the next couple of weeks. If you didn't catch them, here is a link to the stats for August.

If you haven't already signed up, it's not too late! The sign up post is here.

Just to recap what participants need to know. At the beginning of each month I will put up a post which will have a Mr Linky embedded into it for you to add your link.

Please remember...

  • add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please, do not add your blog link, but the correct address that will guide us directly to your review). A direct link to your Goodreads review is also acceptable
  • any kind of historical fiction is accepted (fantasy, young adult, graphic novels...)
  • if you have time, have a look some of the other links that are present. You never know when you will discover new blogs or books!
I have created a group on Facebook which you can find here and don't forget to use the #histficreadingchallenge hashtag on the socials.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Fancy fonts



Welcome to this week's edition of Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This 

week the theme is

Typographic Book Covers (Book covers with a design that is all or mostly all words. You can also choose to do books with nice typography if that’s easier!) (Submitted by Mareli @ Elza Reads)

It is interesting when you look at trends in covers. If we look at historical romance as an example. Not too long ago most covers were clinch covers with women in gorgeous dresses but these days it isn't as standard. Now, there are font covers or cartoonny in amongst the big dresses.

I haven't focussed on just one genre, but here is my Top Ten Tuesday post featuring typographic book covers.

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich - The reality is that you could have picked any one of the Stephanie Plum books as they are pretty much all typographic covers!

Love Stories by Trent Dalton - Given that this is a selection of very short stories, this cover makes sense as there isn't one single story to tell

Someone I Used to Know by Paige Toon
- Plenty of rom-coms have wordy covers!

The Year the Maps Changed by Danielle Binks - This cover is very eye catching.

The Great Passage by Shion Miura
- This book is all about the words, inside and out!

The People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
- All of Emily Henry's covers have been wordy so far.

Red White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston - Such a fun cover and book!

Normal People by Sally Rooney - Quite a few of the covers for this book have bold typography on the cover.

Don't You Forget About Me - Another author who has a lot of these style of covers.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
- This cover does not convey the emotional nature of this book at all!

Do you like typographic covers?

Monday, September 26, 2022

This Week....


I'm reading....

After at least eighteen months of thinking I should read this book everytime I saw it mentioned, I finally started reading The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. At this point, I am wondering why I waited so long! I am really enjoying italot.

I finished listening to Working Class Boy by Jimmy Barnes. Our read on a theme bookclub theme this month is autobiography or biography. I had this already in my Audible library so this was a good chance to listen to it.

Jimmy Barnes is an Aussie rock legend. I did know that his childhood was brutal as I had heard him speak at the stage show of this book. For me, it was interesting because I spent my formative years in a suburb maybe 15km closer to the city than Elizabeth where Jimmy misspent his youth. Elizabeth was a place that we usually avoided because it was known to be rough, but there were plenty of other places that were mentioned during this book that I was familiar with. My goodness his childhood was more than brutal. It was all about the fights and the drinking and in later years, the girls and the drugs.

I'm watching...

We started watching Andor, the latest series set in the Star Wars universe. My husband is a big Star Wars fan so we do tend to watch all of these series. The first couple of episodes were a bit slow but the third episode was good so we will keep watching!

We also finished watching Around the World in 80 Days and we are still watching episodes of Welcome to Wrexham which is a lot of fun and One Piece with my son.There's more than a thousand episodes of One Piece and we are up to about 53 so I guess we are going to be watching it for a while.

We also watched a new documentary called documentary about the 1983 America's Cup win by Australia II. It was fascinating to watch. I was also surprised at how involved I felt given that it happened so long ago and I knew who won!


We had two public holidays last week. The first was on Thursday for the National Day of Mourning in respect of Queen Elizabeth II. The second was on Friday which is for Grand Final Eve for the AFL Grand Final. So we had a 4 day weekend and yet I still wasn't ready for today to be Monday.

We spent Thursday afternoon at the National Gallery of Victoria seeing their current major exhibition which is called The Picasso Century. Obviously this features plenty of Picasso works, but it also features a lot of his friends and colleagues. It was a really interesting exhibition. 

After that we went to another art exhibition featuring the works of Bruce Monroe. We had seen the amazing Field of Lights when we went to Uluru last years so it was good to see more of his work.

Other than that, we are getting ready for the house sale of the old house, so we needed to get going on cleaning out the shed which is all that is left to do. I say all that is left to do. We filled one skip already and we still need another one I think!

Busy times.

Posts from the last week

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Spring TBR pile
Weekend Cooking: Lune Lab

I've linked this post to It's Monday, what are you reading? as hosted by Book Date

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Weekend Cooking: Our visit to Lune Lab


A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to be able to attend Lune Lab.

What, you may ask, is Lune Lab? Lune is a foodie haunt which focuses on croissants and pastries. Lune started here in Melbourne around 10 years ago. On the weekends, there is always a queue out the door of people who want to try both the traditional and non-traditional flavours which change on a monthly basis. Based on the flavours we tried, we will definitely be trying to go back to try the flavours in future months. The founder, Kate Reid, was a former Formula 1 Aerodynamicist who decided that she wanted to do something completely different. Her scientific background translates to making croissants, working and reworking recipes until it is perfect using scientific thinking and methodology.

Lune Lab is a degustation menu where you pay a set amount and are treated to a three course menu which changes each couple of months to use the best of seasonal ingredients. 

The first course is a traditional croissant, served whilst still warm after being out of the oven for 10 minutes. The outer shell is so crispy and flaky whilst the inside is soft and buttery! The chef who came out to speak to us even used the word juicy, which I must confess is not a word I would normally associate with a pastry but was apt.

The second course is a savoury course. These menus are not pastries that you would pick up from a normal bakery. Our menu had large vol au vent filled with twice cooked lamb shoulder with an avocado mint puree and micro herbs along with lettuce. The lettuce was actually really zingy and was on the plate to cut through the richness of the lamb. This was absolutely delicious.

The third course was a sweet course and featured a Japanese flower shaped pastry filled with sesame seed frangipane style filling, with a tonka bean cream topping.

It isn't only about the food you eat while you are there. The Lune we went to is the one which makes all the croissants for Melbourne and features a cube inside the building which is temperature controlled to the perfect conditions for making croissants. Inside the cube there is a team of pastry chefs who are rolling out the pastry and then making the different shapes.. It is absolutely mesmerising watching every baker preforming their role in such a precise way.  We watched them making hundreds of perfect croissants, and then using some of the offcuts to create cronuts. There is very little waste, with anything that isn't being used immediately being stored for reuse.  It was really interesting as the process for making a perfect croissant takes 3 days! If I remember correctly the first day the pastry is made. The second day the pastry is shaped and then the third day it is baked to perfection.

Whilst I don't think we will do Lune Lab every time the menu changes because it is not a cheap experience to do, but it was fascinating and delicious! We will do it again at some point I am sure.

 Weekly meals

Saturday - Takeaway
Sunday -  Pork Stir fry
Monday - Char Siu Chicken
Tuesday - Family dinner
Wednesday - Fried Chicken, mash and broccoli
Thursday - Takeaway
Friday - Lasagne

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Top Ten Tuesdays: Books on my Spring TBR list



Welcome to this week's edition of Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This 

week the theme is Books On My Fall 2022 To-Read List. Of course, we are in Spring now so for me it isBooks On My Spring 2022 To-Read List

The Last Summer by Karen Swan - I currently have this book out from the library and I intend to read it before I return it so I don't have to reborrow it again

Meshi: A Personal History of Japanese Food by Katherine Tamiko Arguile- Another book that I currently have out from the library.

The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku - My read on a theme bookclub theme this month is biography or autobiography. I am actually listening to another book to fit the theme, but I think I might read this as well.

With Love from Wish & Co by Minnie Darke - When I moved house I joined a new library. Whilst the new library system isn't as big as the previous one, I was able to put this one on hold. Luckily I can be a member of both systems!

A Year at the French Farmhouse by Gillian Harvey - I am going to be on a blog tour for this book in October.

Twenty One Nights in Paris by Leonie Mack - And this one too!

The Language of Food by Annabel Abbs - I started this a few months ago and then misplaced it, but I am intending to read it to review for Weekend Cooking in September.

The Night Ship by Jess Kidd - I am reading this at the moment!

Christmas in Bellbird Bay by Maggie Christensen - This is the next book in the Bellbird Bay series!

The Edge of Summer by Viola Shipman - Viola Shipman has  just announced his Christmas book which is going to becalled A Wish for  Winter which is great, but I haven't read The Edge of Summer yet!

What books do you have on your TBR pile?


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