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Top 5 Austalian Authors

This is a list that I could have made go on for ever, but we all know that, that would be horrible to read, so I made it a list of 5! I wanted to write this list purely so I could get some more Aussie Authors out there. I, as a reader, have often struggled with finding books written by an Australian Author, not just because the book industry is flooded with authors from everywhere else, but a long time ago, the books written by Aussies, just had a completely different feel, and the pacing was slower. I guess that reflects our over-all personalities though. But lately I have discovered a whole treasure trove of fantastic Australian Authors, from a wide range of genres. Some I have found recently, others I have been reading for years!  So, without further ado and in no particular order, let’s begin!

#1 – Matthew Reilly,

Do I even need to go on? This man has written some of the best, most action-packed fiction, ever. The Scarecrow series being one of my favourites! He writes with such passion and energy, it is hard to not get swept away by his writing. I was first shown the world of Matthew Reilly by my aunty, she has every book he has ever written and kept telling me about him I foolishly assumed that it was romance or something that I wasn’t interested in at the time (I was 16ish). But eventually I let her force Ice Station on me, and I was hooked. Since then I have slowly been collecting his works in Hard Cover. My latest obsession is the Seven Deadly Wonders series. I love how Reilly combines illustration and text, how he takes you on an adventure that could be highly possible, in each book.

 

#2 Scot Gardner

This man is a little less well known, yet his works are incredibly relevant and raw. Scot writes novels such as White Ute Dreaming and Gravity. Both of which are purely Australian and look as different aspects facing teenagers in the Australian culture. He writes with a rawness that pulls at your heart strings and creates a relationship with the characters within the first page. Scot Writes Young Adult Contemporary Fiction, fiction that will make you feel and instantly be able to relate to the characters or know someone who has gone through what Gardiner’s characters are going through.

I discovered Gardner in high-school and it was the prefect time to find him. His writing is so honest and filled with the knowledge of what it is to be Australian, what it is to live somewhere isolated and not have as many social outlets or channels for progression and growth as those who live in suburban areas. His books are often quite short, around 250 pages, but their content is quite in your face and hits the mark early in the book. Definitely an author you need to try!

 

#3 Jenna Guillaume

I have only just stumbled across Jenna, through her debut novel that was sent to me by MacMillan Australia for reviewing. Her debut novel, What I Like About Me is a coming of age novel about finding yourself and your place in the world. Accepting who you are and learning to love that person. It is an uplifting tale of growing up in Australia, with such typical Aussie characters. Jenna has a way of creating settings and characters that feel incredibly real, that make you feel as though you have been there too. And seeing how it is set in Australia, you probably have!

 

#4 Rachael Treasure

Can you call yourself an Aussie if you haven’t read at least one of Rachael Treasure’s novels? Rachael is near and dear to my heart, as she is a fellow Tasmanian. I have been reading her novels since I was 16 and I lost myself in them. She has written Jillaroo, The Stockman, The Rouseabout, The Farmers Wife and many more, including her own spin on Fifty Shades of Grey called Fifty Bales of Hay. Rachael is an incredible writer who encompasses the true Aussie spirit within her writing, not leaving of the ‘hard stuff’ out of her writing. Her novels are more aimed towards adults, as some of the content may be a little much for the YA audience.

 

#5 Lynette Noni

I couldn’t really get into her first series, The Mendoran Series, however, Whisper, was speaking my language. I feel as though Lynette has a way with words that throw you into the deep end, keep you thinking and then slowly reveal the secrets that she has been keeping. I also love the way she is able to show you exactly what she wants you to see, she doesn’t telly you that the sky is blue, she describes the day, the feelings of the characters and lets you make your own mind up about the colour of the sky.

 

I know there are quite a few that I have missed from this list, but these were the first five, that jumped into my mind when I sat down to write this post. If you haven’t checked out these authors, you seriously need to. Their writing is incredible! If you have any other Aussie Authors that you think I need to pay some reading visits to, please comment below and let me know!

 

Thanks for reading!

Julie

 

 

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Books That Let Me Down This December

I always hope that this list is short, but I never feel guilty if it grows above 3 books. I have the belief that life is too short to read books that you aren’t enjoying. There are too many amazing books out there to be read and if you waste your time on books that you aren’t enjoying then all of those other books are missing out on your time!

Also, any review or opinion of a book, is good publicity. We are starting a conversation about an authors work. If you love or hate it, start the conversation. Someone may change your mind.

Let’s get started

Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

I am so disappointed that this has made my December list. I received an ARC from my lovely friend Tamara from Booked For The Weekend, which I have only just gotten around to reading (oops). I so wanted to love this book. It sounded perfect, robots, humans, Jay’s writing style and quirk. But when I started it, it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting. I found it clunky and hard to get into. I couldn’t work out the protagonist, and when I say work out, I mean I couldn’t work out if I liked her or not. I’m planning on giving this book another shot in the new year, but for me, today, it really didn’t keep me intrigued or interested.

 

Shadow of The Fox by Julie Kagawa

This is another book that I am so upset that I didn’t enjoy. I received a copy of this book in an OwlCrate, and as much as It looked amazing, the cover is stunning people! And as much as my Bookstagram friends are all raving about it, I just couldn’t get into it. At the 50 page, decision making mark, I felt as though I had been immersed in a culture that I knew nothing about and I was drowning. I also found the writing style a little stiff and hard to read. This one just isn’t for me.

 

New World: Ashes by Jennifer Wilson

Yes I am aware that I finished this book (review can be found HERE). But it let me down. After New World: Rising, I was expecting something big, but 290 of the precious pages were about torture, electro-shock therapy, mental and physical conditioning and abuse. It was hard to read, but I kept going because I wanted to see how it would end. I am glad I did, because the last 40 pages were fantastic. But up until then, the pacing was off, the protagonist was abused and tortured, we were constantly reminded of death, the scene changes were choppy. It just left me rather unsatisfied. If the whole book was like the last 40 pages, this book wouldn’t be anywhere near this list..

 

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

So this book was never on my radar, it always seemed a little young to me, even when I was the perfect age to enjoy it. But now it has been made into a Netflix movie, naturally I wanted to read the book before I watched the movie. But it turns out, I’ll just be watching the movie…. I find the writing style to be stiff and choppy and the language used to be quite young, like it is designed for a younger reader. Which is fine, I probably would have enjoyed it more when I was 16, not 26… I found it hard to get through the first 20 pages. This is one of those instances where I am most likely going to be saying the movie was better… I think the hype let me down, more than the book. I had it built up to be this sweet yet funny, coming of age tale with a hilarious yet unfortunate mis-hap. But that isn’t how I found the book to be at all…

 

I’m a little terrified to write this next one…

 

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas….

I hadn’t picked up this book or series previously, purely because so many people love it, and it is so hyped. I tend to not enjoy books that are overly hyped and well loved by nearly everyone. And it turns out this book is no exception to that rule. I found Maas’s writing style to feel stiff and forced. Her sensory descriptions fell flat and felt too much like she was forcing us to see what she wanted us to. Then there is Celaena. Why write such an unlikeable protagonist? I get that she is only 18, but how the heck did she become the worlds most feared assassin in 8 or so years then end up in prison? Yes I probably would have found that out if I had of finished the book, but I just couldn’t do it. It felt too much like work to continue reading. I’m sorry if you are among the majority that love this book and this series, but it just does nothing for me. Maybe I should try the ACOTAR series instead? I am a little dubious that I’ll like that either, but hey, a girl’s gotta try!… Right?

 

Is there a book that you loved on this list? Comment below and tell me why you loved it, maybe I’ll give it another chance!

Thanks!

Julie

P.s You can find my previous list of books that let me down in November HERE.

Personal Experiences

My Favourite Summer Reading Spot

Today’s post is one that is close to my heart, and although it may not seem like much of a big deal to start with, by the end I hope you will have a feel for its importance to me and for me. This post is dedicated to my favourite spots to read, focusing on one in particular…

Now that it is Summer here in Aus, it is also time for the Christmas holidays, my favourite time of the year. This is partly because it means it is the end of the School year and I get six glorious weeks off, to read and blog and watch tv shows to binge-worthy standards. But it also means I get to spend my time reading outside in my favourite spot. I also get to read inside in my favourite spots as well. But there is something magical about reading outside on a warm summers day.

I know us as readers are creatures of habit when it comes to our ‘spots’ for reading. I always tend to frequent the same places in my house, on my bed, on the far left end of the couch, at my desk in my candle dungeon. Always the same spots. But now the weather has warmed up, it opens up so many new possibilities! And one in particular I am super excited for!

And here it is, my ultimate favourite outdoor reading spot.

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Now let me tell you why it is my favourite place!

Other than it being rather picturesque, it just feels like home. I remember when we planted the apple tree, with my mum, pop and gran, we all dug the dirt, watered the tree, tended to it and now it is established, I still feel that family connection. I think that connection is what draws me to it each summer.

I love laying down on the soft, clover filled grass. Feeling the breeze on my skin, the warm sun on my shoulders and losing myself in the pages of a good book.

When the day gets too hot, I move into the shade of the apple tree and roll onto my back, looking up through the foliage and glimpse the bright blue of the summer sky, between page turns.

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The sounds of birds calling, the horses walking through the paddocks and the sound of cattle grazing on the hill. The leaves gently brushing against one another as a slow breeze blows through the garden.

If I look to my left, I can see the rest of my garden, the tomato plants starting to produce fruit, the raspberry canes in full bloom, with buzzing honey bees collecting and distributing pollen to the flowers. The potatoes with their deep green leaves quietly doing their thing away from prying eyes.

If I look to my right, I can see the gate that my pop made for me to go out into the horse paddock. I can see the yearlings playing in the long summer grass, their neighs to each other echoing around the hills. I see my pop’s house up on the hill, surrounded by his garden that he and my gran made from clay filled soil into a booming native filled oasis, with birds of every kind calling from the trees.

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Yes, this is my ultimate favourite place to read. It is not only doing something that I love, but it is doing something that I love, in a place that makes me feel entirely grounded, entirely at peace with the world. It is somewhere that will always feel like home.

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I want to hear about your favourite place in the whole entire world, that you like to read.

Comment below or write your own blog post, but make sure to use the tag #BookishIntoxicationWrites so that I can see it! I want to hear all about your reading spots and hopefully see them too!

As always,

Thank you for reading!

 

Julie xx

 

 

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New Laptop Apsirations

Yet again, here I am, writing about nothing in particular other than something new happened in my life, but I’m excited about it and I want to share it with you!

Recently I got a new laptop! Now, I know what you may be thinking, boriiiinnggg… Everyone has a laptop these days, what is so special about this one? Well, honestly nothing, but let me tell you why it is so significant to me.

I’m going to start with telling you about my new little buddy! I purchased a HP Stream , it has an eleven (11) inch screen and it is white and tiny. Super light weight and looks like this:resize.jpg

Great, you say? Great indeed! It is a cheap little thing and nothing like what I would usually go for. My previous, and still kicking, laptop has a fifteen (15) inch screen, a separate numerical keyboard and it is all metal. My desktop, is a ridiculously large, all in one unit. So I guess the point I am trying to make is that I usually go for the larger items, basically because I watch a lot of Netflix… Which is what makes this little fellow so exciting. I bought this little guy for writing!

*Insert groaning everywhere*… yes like, so many other bloggers, bookstagrammers and influencers (not that I think of myself as that), I am an aspiring novelist. At the moment I am content, working my way back into writing through this blog, but I would love to finish my manuscript. I started a manuscript waaay back in college, one that I got a lot of excitement for at the time, and one that I am still inspired to write. It isn’t the genre that I read anymore, but the story is still in me, yearning to be told. This is where my new little laptop comes in to play.

I am one of those people who finds it difficult to write in one space, wether it be blogging, essays, e-mails or novels. I need change in my writing space and I wasn’t able to do that with my previous laptop. This is mainly due to it weighing 3 kilos and not having any battery life at all… Anyway, I want to be able to take my computer, loaded with my manuscript and all of my notes, anywhere I want. I want to be able to throw it in my bag and if I feel inspired to write or to blog, then I’m able to.

Writing has always been a huge part of my life, ever since I can remember, I have had my nose stuck in a book and dreamed of being a published author. I have always studied English and find the language itself fascinating and frustrating. I have also recently discovered that I am incredibly comfortable in my own skin, that I don’t mind if people know about my blog, bookstagram or my writing ambitions. It has taken me the better part of a decade to reach this confidence and I hope it stays!

Now, the bit you are probably waiting for, the laptop review (so far).

Over-all this little laptop is fantastic. It is light-weight, easy to use and the key board isn’t squishy at all, like you find in smaller sized units. It is my first HP, so I am still adjusting to some of the system differences, but I am really enjoying it! The only thing I have to complain about is the lag and sensitivity of the mousepad, and the fact that there is no way to customise these settings. Other than that, this is a fantastic unit and I highly recommend it. Yes, it has a tiny memory, but that is what an external hard drive or OneDrive is for.

I am so excited to continue on with my writing journey and gaining experience in all aspects of my writing. Who knows, I may even get brave enough to post a chapter on here!

 

Thanks for reading,

Julie

 

 

Personal Experiences

Tumblr: Do you grow out of social media?

Tumblr used to be so important to me, sharing photos that I would spend hours setting up, hoping they would be good enough to be re-blogged. Likes weren’t enough, I needed the reblogs. It was like I had been dragged into the rabbit hole – utterly and completely immersed into the world of Tumblr.

But now looking back, my Tumblr experience was a lonely, solitude one. I have made so many new friends through bookstagram on insta, than I ever did on Tumblr. I think this is because I found Tumblr to be a place for individuals, not a place for community or for groups.. and yes I am aware that I may lose some love for this, but it is my opinion guys and gals. I have found Tumblr to be  a place where everyone shares the same opinion and if your opinion is slightly different, then you will be shamed and attacked for it.           I have also found that even though I still can see the appeal of the platform, I can’t stand it now.

Now when I scroll down through my Tumblr feed I feel a disconnect between the content and myself. Its just pictures, occasionally whitty text posts and gifs of movies or tv shows. Which is slightly annoying because I spent so much of my time in my early 20s scrolling through the endless blue sea. Which is where I think my disconnect is coming from. Tumblr is the perfect platform for bloggers starting out in the world. Finding their voice, finding their people and working out what they like talking about.  It is the perfect platform for photographers (not me), videograpghers (not me), artists (shock, also not me) and singers (definitely not me). Where as little old me, who writes fiction, writes about my experiences, about books I have read, loved and hated, didn’t really find my people or my place amongst the artists in the Tumblr world.

I honestly think I grew out of Tumblr. I used to sit on the couch with my at the time best friend, and we would pop on a movie or the tv and sit together, each on our respective laptops and browse all day. Occasionally showing each other something funny or cute, constantly building up our cue incase we couldn’t make it on in the next 24 hours. Now that idea irks me something shocking. Now I try to lose myself in Tumblr and find myself seeing the same posts over and over again, even if I follow new accounts, and search for more things that I like, but I think it was always like that? I also find it incredibly hard for any blog posts or review posts to be shared or liked or get any kind of audience, and as an aspiring blogger, that kind of makes it hard to do the thing that I am trying to do.

To me now, tumblr has turned into a fond memory of my youth, of summer days spent with best friends past and  I think that is where it will stay.

My question to you is.. Do you have a social media account that you used to live on, that now you don’t spend any time on? Why?

 

Thanks

Julie