As a little kid, I couldn’t wait to start school. My enthusiasm for the classroom never really dimmed and throughout high school, I always found a sense of comfort in achieving that perfect mark. I genuinely loved learning and putting all the theory into my essays, presentations and assignments. There was never any question I’d study at university and when I finally figured out what I’d apply for, I was again eager to learn. Unfortunately, my perfectionism came at the detriment of my mental health. When I graduated, I was sure I’d never be back. Study was done. I was learning so much in my workplace, I wouldn’t need to study again. So why, then, have I gone back to university to study a Masters? Read More
Riley Rose doesn’t want to be at Spirit Ranch Holiday Camp. Riley wants to be partying with her best friend Chloe at the beautiful Ben Sebatini’s house. She has a plan to get away from the jumpsuit-wearing counsellors, the feel-good mantras, do-gooder campers and the monotonous schedule of team-building exercises and outdoor activities. But is everything at the Spirit Ranch as it appears? What secrets are waiting for discovery in the abandoned Fraser house? And why doesn’t anyone want to talk about the accident that landed the mysterious Dylan in a wheelchair last year?
I really can’t believe it’s taken me so long to read Everything Beautiful, given how much I adored Girl Defective. It’s one of those gorgeous, underrated Aussie YA books which captured my heart from the very first page. It didn’t take me long to fall for almost every character and become completely absorbed Riley Rose’s story. Read More
Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license — for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there. But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.
To be quite honest, I wouldn’t have picked this book up if it hadn’t been on my university reading list. Which really would have been a shame, but I think every book nerd can relate to the overwhelming sense of never being able to read all the fabulous books being published. But that’s another story. I’m so glad university forced me to read Uglies, because I really think I may have found a series I might actually finish. Although, you never know with my incredibly lazy reading habits… Read More
I’m so pleased to welcome the lovely Sarah to The Unfinished Bookshelf. I’ve loved (very casually) participating in her monthly Instagram photo challenges. Sarah is one of the loveliest bookstagrammers out there, and I love the discussions her beautiful posts create. Today we’re discussing blogging and bookstagram, as well as the exciting bookish business Sarah is building with her mum and sister Emma. Read More
The Beatles meet the press ahead of the release of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Photo: Linda McCartney.
It was 50 years ago today, that Sgt Pepper taught the band to play and a creative explosion cemented The Beatles in music and pop culture history. The album, bursting with bizarre new sounds and classically beautiful Lennon-McCartney lyrics, shattered the music industry’s status quo. Half a century later, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band remains one of the most iconic albums to ever hit the charts. It’s actually relatively low on my list of favourite Beatles albums, but objectively I still marvel at its brilliance (and, let’s be honest, a Beatles album I enjoy a little less is still one I love more than any other music). Read More
The 2017 House Rules contestants. Photo courtesy Channel Seven.
I rarely watch reality television; a few episodes of Toddlers and Tiaras here, some Location, Location, Location re-runs there. I’ll even have a stake in the office Bachelor sweep. But there’s nothing I enjoy, or become as addicted to, as House Rules. In our family, it’s a yearly ritual. My mum and I have watched the show from the start, analysing every episode and becoming armchair stylists as each room is uncovered. Last year, despite saying he would “never watch that crap”, my dad started watching. He even cried when the boys saw their renovated house and, of course, when they won.
Tessa has just a few months to live. So she compiles her bucket list, her To Do Before I Die list. Number one is sex. Released from the constraints of ‘normal’ life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up.
I’ll admit, I avoided that book about a girl with cancer. You know the one? Okay? Okay. I watched the movie and, I know I’m the odd one out when I say it wasn’t really my thing. I definitely had a hangover of that movie when I started Before I Die and I was wary. Was this book going to make me roll my eyes too? (Yes, I know that probably makes me heartless). This was a tough book to read and not at all something I could consider enjoyable, but it did make me think and sometimes that’s the best outcome from any book. Read More
I’ve always been a cautious person. Reluctant to bend the rules or stand out from the crowd. Unsurprisingly, I’ve taken this tip-toe approach when it comes to my bank balance too. Well, mostly.
I was lucky enough to have parents who supported me financially until I moved to university. I know many people who weren’t in the same position and I’m forever thankful they allowed me to escape any money worries while I was still in high school.
But instead of splurging when I became the controller of my own financial destiny at 17, I was even more cautious. Going into uni, I had a set figure I’d deposit into savings each fortnight and a strict budget. Whenever I considered buying anything which wasn’t essential (books, clothes, a nice dinner out off-campus) I’d spend ages weighing it up.
On the evening of 4 September 2005, Father’s Day, Robert Farquharson, a separated husband, was driving his three sons home to their mother, Cindy, when his car left the road and plunged into a dam. The boys, aged ten, seven and two, drowned. Was this an act of revenge or a tragic accident? The court case became Helen Garner’s obsession. She followed it on its protracted course until the final verdict.
In this utterly compelling book, Helen Garner tells the story of a man and his broken life. She presents the theatre of the courtroom with its actors and audience, all gathered for the purpose of bearing witness to the truth, players in the extraordinary and unpredictable drama of the quest for justice.
The heartbreaking case Helen Garner explores in This House of Grief is one I’d really only known the barest details on. I vaguely remember the initial news reports, but living in Queensland I’m sure something closer to home soon took up the headlines. While we studied part of the media coverage at university, various legal appeals were ongoing and there seemed to my memory no definitive outcome. Was this a tragic accident or the most horrific and unthinkable murder?
This post will probably make me sound like a big grump, but when it comes to choosing books I try to avoid reading series as much as possible. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of positive things about reading a series. If you love the characters, you get to revisit them over and over in new and exiting situations. In recent years, it has also been the ‘blockbuster’ series which have been made into seemingly endless movie adaptations.