In 2015 I:
made wonderful memories with my granddaughter, she is such a joy and I've loved sharing some of those special moments with you.
had fun times with family
shared my love of reading with Mia
celebrated my youngest son turning 21, my eldest 24 and Mia 1
pursued my love of photography
read 90 books (86 fiction and 4 non-fiction)
completed 3/5 reading challenges
epically failed at updating challenges
swam with the turtles at Lady Elliot Island & saw turtle hatchlings
started a vegetable plot in our local community garden
cooked some great and not so great recipes from Pinterest
battled peripheral neuropathy in my hands
embraced "clean-eating" (mostly)
bought a Thermomix, to make cooking with my dodgy hands a little safer and easier
got heart healthy walking with FitReaders and my Fitbit for another 12 months ... pats self on back :)
read even more Australian fiction (5 Australian authors** on my favourite reads list)
Loved participating in:
TOP 10 FAVOURITE READS IN 2015
So many amazing books, it's hard to narrow it down but here's my best ... the reads that have left a lasting impression for one reason or another. Click on the title if you want to see my full review. Bring on another wonderful year of reading!
THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah ~ one of the best books I've read ... the kind of best that lands a novel on my books-to-be-buried-with list. I left a piece of my heart on the pages of The Nightingale.
COME FULL CIRCLE by Sherryl Caulfield (Iceberg Trilogy #3)** ~ breathtaking ... my heart is happy!
BLACK-EYED SUSANS by Julia Heaberlin ~ intelligent, edgy and tight. The best kind of pyschological thriller ... the suspense nearly killed me.
BURNT PAPER SKY by Gilly Macmillan ~ Tight, pacy and smart and OMG the tension, it kept me guessing. A heart-in-mouth read ... start to finish.
THE LAKE HOUSE by Kate Morton** ~ love, loyalty, loss and long-held secrets. I lost myself in another time and place.
THE PARIS KEY by Juliet Blackwell ~ a story about secrets, family, friends and discovering one's true self ... in Paris. It's warm and touching and delightful. A just-because favourite this year.
THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE by Amy E. Reichert ~ a foodie's dream story; warm, funny, sweet, delicious, sad and I adored every mouth-watering, lip-smacking minute of it.
INSIDE THE O'BRIENS by Lisa Genova ~ education and awareness gently wrapped in humour and heart.
NORTHERN HEAT by Helene Young** ~ an addictive mix of nail-biting tension and characters to emotionally invest in. Totally worth the sleep deprivation.
I'd feel bad not mentioning these wonderful reads ...
TOP 5 AUDIOBOOKS IN 2015
MENAGERIE by Rachel Vincent ~ Menagerie is dark and brutal and superbly imagined, the complex world building blew my mind and ripped at my heart. Gabra Zackman nails the narration, pacing, distinct voices and personalities for an array of characters. I loved this one!
THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir ~ The Martian was A-MAZING. Narrator R.C. Bray, deserves
a high five, a medal, a raise ... absolutely brilliant narration. It's tense, emotional, snerk funny and a surprise favourite read this year.
OUTBACK MIDWIFE by Beth McRae** ~ Beth's memoir is an entertaining read with humorous and heartbreaking anecdotes and with 40 years experience as a midwife, it's like getting the history of midwifery in Australia without the dry history lesson. Caroline Lee's narration is compelling.
THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE by Cynthia Hand ~ The strength of The Last Time We Say Goodbye is in its down-to-earth simplicity, it's the raw, simple, messy truth that is grief. Julia Whelan is one of my favourite narrators, she has the uncanny ability of becoming a character.
THE WINTER CROWN by Elizabeth Chadwick (Eleanor of Aquitaine #2) ~ Katie Scarfe's narration is brilliant. Her tone, inflection, emotion; I could listen to her all day. In this and The Summer Queen, she is Aliénor ... one female historical figure I never tire of reading about. 19 hours ... who knew?
and you can't go wrong with these
BE BRAVE, PINK PIGLET by Phil Cummings ~ Mia's favourite ... 'nuf said :)
Happy Birthday to my amazing Dad who turns 73 today. Love you Dad xx