Check-in Post & Challenge Update

Wow, where has this year gone, I started off really well checking in at the end of every month, but somehow I haven’t managed a Check-in post since May. This year seems to be flying by, I don’t feel I’ve accomplished much other than to realise I’m not really happy in my job, so am on the lookout for something different and definitely something more reliable, relying on a casual paycheque just isn’t working.

I have managed to keep up with my art lessons, the majority of my paintings this year have been of my furbaby Cricket, if you remember she passed away in January and this has been my way of healing and getting through my grief.

Now I need to save money to get them framed.

I managed to cross a couple of books off of my challenges.

I reached my goal of 150 books on my Goodreads Challenge which was exciting, I wonder how many I’ll read by the end of the year.

You can check out all the books I’ve read here

I crossed off – A retelling of a classic – with Bennett, Pride Before the Fall by Anyta Sunday, an MM romance retelling of Jane Austin’s classic. I really enjoyed this retelling, the author has 6 books in the Love, Austin series.

I crossed off two from this challenge – An Adventure – with the debut novel Gone to Ground by Bronwyn Hall, an action/romance that I was hooked on from the start. And +450 pages – with A Caravan Like a Canary by Sasha Wasley, which I both read and listened to together. A contemporary fiction read about family, secrets and finding yourself on a road trip.

To cross the rest off on the two challenges I’m going to have to be selective about my book choices and not hope for the best, which is how I’ve been playing it so far. Any suggestions you have for my missing books, please let me know in the comments.

Until next month, happy reading.

Check-in Post and Challenge Update

So, I’m a bit late to post this month, everything fell by the wayside on the 26th of March when my furbaby Suki, who you were all introduced to in February went missing. (If you want to skip to the book part scroll down) .I came home from work to find she’d jumped the fence and when she couldn’t get back in the must’ve panicked and run. My poor girl was lost in the bush for 9 days, and if you know the Australian bush, then you’ll know this is a scary concept. Below is a clip of where we were looking for her.

I engaged a service called K9 Welfare Mission which is run by volunteers to help people get their dogs back who are lost in the bush, the lady I worked with was amazing. From advice to support whenever I needed it, she was there. And though her advice went against what I wanted to do and what others were telling me to do, I chose to listen to her, she was after all the expert. I’m so glad I did because I honestly don’t think I’d have gotten Suki back if I hadn’t done everything she asked of me. This involved many cold nights sitting in the bush cooking sausages, setting up food and scent stations and laying my scent trail to hopefully lead her home.

She ran a fair way from home, at least 4.5km south from home and another 4.5 km north, there were 6 days between sightings and I had just about lost hope.

The final night; a brief story: Last night I went out and laid my scent again, I set up the food station with a tiny bit of food. Then I walked from my house with hot sausages, to where I’d left a cushion the week before that she’d found and moved, I sat in the dark for an hour, she came down the hill at one point, stopped when I said hey Suki you coming home, then ran off, but not a full-on run. I sat for another 45 minutes then left a sausage on the pillow, I walked home with the rest of the sausages, where I heated them up at the front of my carport and put the container on the roof of my car. She followed my scents home, 💓💓💓 she’s so clever.

I couldn’t believe it, I was sleeping and heard her cry outside the window. I opened the back door, said hey baby and she ran through the gate and into the house, so excited to see me.

She was so happy to see me, she was covered in ticks, had lost weight and was so tired and I couldn’t stop crying. Happy tears obviously. She got some love, and a bit of food and promptly fell asleep on the couch she’s still sleeping. We’ll go to the vet later after some tick medication.

I couldn’t have done it without them, and without the community behind me.

So, now to the books, I’m a bit behind in some of my reviews, as you can imagine, reading was not my priority, even if my brain had allowed me to concentrate. But I did read a good amount of books up until Suki had her 9 day misadventure. I read 18 books and listened to 2 audiobooks.

This month I didn’t cross anything off of my challenges other than my Goodreads challenge which I am now on 64/150 books for the year. I don’t do TikTok and one of the things to cross off is a book trading on #booktok, so if anyone has a suggestion from there please let me know.

Here’s hoping April is full of reading and no dramas.

Check-in Post & Challenge Update

For the most part, February was a much better month than January, Suki is settling in well, she decided to help (or hinder) me make my bed the other day, it took 20 minutes to get all the corners of the fitted sheet attached to the mattress and the blanket, well apparently that was a no!

In not so good news I managed to fracture my ankle on a hike, so I’m in a fair bit of pain and waiting for an appointment with an orthopaedic specialist, you’ve got to love the public system.

I managed to read 12 books and 1 audiobook, I have nearly finished an 18-hour audiobook but that will go in next month’s check-in. So that is 4 books better than January, I’m happy with that.

I managed to cross a couple of items off the challenges:

The Sunday Bookclub Challenge – A book with 5 or more words in the title – The Trouble With Trying To Date A Murderer by Jennifer Cody (I loved this book). A book with nature on the cover – Penninsula Promises by Heather Reyburn.

The Dymocks Reading ChallengeIllustrated Cover – Tidal Wave by Beth Prentice. Start of a series – (I’ve got three to choose from in this category) Wicked Heat by Ella Frank. Re-read a favourite – Capture by Jennifer Cody. Finished in a day – Restored Ruins by G.R Lyons.

My Goodreads challenge is at 21/150.

What I’m reading now – The Felicity Theory by Davina Stone, and one of my most anticipated reads, Wildflower by Monique Mulligan. I’ve got some good books on my list to read after I finish these two.

Until next time happy reading.

Check in post & Challenge update.

So January hasn’t been a good month for many reasons, the biggest being I had to send my beautiful furbaby Cricket over the Rainbow Bridge, it was unexpected which made it even worse and has made it a tough start to the year emotionally.

It has also meant my mind has struggled to read much, so I only managed to read 8 books this month.

I managed to cross a couple of items off the challenges:

The Sunday Bookclub challengeA YA novel – Fish Out of Water by Kate Hendrick. A book by an Australian author – I read three of these – Roommate Arrangement by Saxon James, Clouds on the Horizon by Penelope Janu and Fish Out of Water by Kate Hendrick.

The Dymocks Reading ChallengeA Love Story – All the books except A Fish Out of Water. Australian Author – I read three of these – Roommate Arrangement by Saxon James, Clouds on the Horizon by Penelope Janu and Fish Out of Water by Kate Hendrick. Released this year – All 8 were released this year. Feel-good – His Boy to Ride by Jamie Luther was probably my most feel-good read.

In happier news, I adopted a beautiful 2-year-old Mastiff cross girl from the pound, she’s very timid and scared of everything, but getting a bit braver each day. My house felt so lonely without my beautiful Cricket and although I miss her every day and have at least one cry a day, my heart is happier having Suki to come home to. She has definitely made herself at home.

I’m reading a few really great books at the moment, I’ve nearly finished the thrilling new release Wild Dogs by Michael Trant, so look out for that review in the next few days. I’m reading/listening to one for my book club that I’m not really getting into, which is a shame because it had some great reviews, but we can’t all like the same things.

Until next time happy reading.

Check-in posts and Challenges

To try and hold myself more accountable and share some of the books I read that I don’t blog about, I plan on doing an end of month post each month listing the books I’ve read and links to my Goodreads reviews for the ones I haven’t blogged about.

I’m going to try to do a couple of challenges, but I’m not going to stress myself out about it if I don’t get them all crossed off. Reading is supposed to be fun, so I’m really just going to use some of the prompts on each challenge to pick some of my reads. Some of these overlap, so yay, I can cross them off more than one challenge.

I also plan to do the Nonfiction reader challenge hosted by Book’d Out. I’m aiming for other Nonfiction Nipper which means I have to read 3 books (in total) from the Categories:

  1. Social History
  2. Popular Science
  3. Language
  4. Medical Memoir
  5. Climate/Weather
  6. Celebrity
  7. Reference
  8. Geography
  9. Linked to a podcast
  10. Wild Animals
  11. Economics
  12. Published in 2022

I have several books that have been languishing on my shelves waiting to be read (well, more than several).

As I do every year I have set a goal of 150 on Goodreads, Last year I read well over that and I’m hoping to do the same this year. You can follow my challenge here.

So, I’ll keep you up to date on how I’m going.

Australian Women Writers Challenge and Goodreads Challenge Update 2020

I actually completed both of these challenges, unfortunately I didn’t complete any of the other challenges I set myself, but I think I may have overestimated my ability to multitask, especially with everything that went on this year.

FB_IMG_1577105032228I set myself the goal to read and review 50 books by Australian Women Writers and I have managed to read 147 books according to Goodreads, and reviewed and linked 79 of these on the AWW data base. There are a lot that didn’t make it to my blog, so be sure to check out my AWW 2020 Goodreads reviews to see what else I read.



I originally set myself the goal or reading 100 books for the Goodreads Challenge, at some point, surprisingly, I passed 100 and changed it to 160 which I have also, even more surprisingly, passed and reached 220 books. I say surprisingly, because I had a couple of major reading slumps throughout the year, so I certainly didn’t expect to read anywhere near 200. For the full list of all my reads for 2020 go here.

Anyway, it was a year of some fabulous books and if you want to check them all out you can here.





AWW 2021Next year is going to be another great year of reads and a much better year to live in. I’ve once again set my goal to read and review 50 books by Australian Women Writers, to join the AWW challenge go here.

I’ll set the goal of 150 books on Goodreads and see how I go.



The only other challenges I’m hoping to do are the:

nonfiction readers challenge 20212021 Nonfiction reader challenge hosted by Shellyrae @Book’d Out, I’m hoping to read 3 non fiction books this year in the Nonfiction Nipper category.



And I’ll attempt the A-Z reader challenge on the Aussie Reader group on GR.

I hope you all read some great books during 2020 and you met any challenges you set yourself. Happy reading in 2021, I hope to see you here then.

GR Aussie Book Bingo Challenge – Post #2

One of my challenges for 2020 was the GR Aussie Book Bingo. Every fortnight on a Wednesday I will aim to post which square I’m crossing off of the GR Aussie Book Bingo card.

There are 4 levels to the challenge:

  • Shelf: (10 books – 2 rows)
  • Bookcase (15 books – 3 rows)
  • Library (20 books – 4 rows)
  • To Infinity and Beyond ( 25 books – 5 rows)

Obviously, I’m aiming towards infinity.

I got a little behind in my posting for this one, so I’ll cross off three squares today.



I’m crossing off the Non-fiction square with Bowraville by Dan Box a true crime/memoir, the 400+ pages square with The Pearl Theif by Fiona McIntosh, which has a huge 500 pages and Set in Another Country with Bound by Silence by Suzanne Cass which is set in Hawaii.

I will endeavor to post on time next time, which should be in two Wednesday’s time.

Screenshot_20200130_091042 IMG_20200206_190147Bound by Silence

A-Z Author Challenge – Update


I’ve now crossed off 4 letters from the A-Z Authors Challenge, M, Q, W, X, I’m going slowly, but I am 1 book behind, I may have to make changes to the books I’ve put down, but for now I’ll leave it as it is.

A – Alissa Callen – The Boundary Fence

B – Anna Bradley – To Wed a Wild Scot

C – T.M Clark – Cry of the Firebird

D – Pip Drysdale – The Strangers We Know

E – Ella Carey – Beyond the Horizon

F – Fiona Lowe – Just an Ordinary Family

G – Kathryn Gauci – Conspiracy of Lies

H –  Susan Hoddy – Security

I – Sue Ingleton – Making Trouble

J- Rachael Johns – Just One Wish

K – kim Kelly – Walking

L – Julian Leatherdale – The Opal Dragonfly

M- Katie McGarry – Echoes Between Us

N- Joanna Nell – The Last Voyage of Mrs Henry Parker

O – Sunni Overend –

P – P.J Tracy – Ice Cold Heart

Q – Kate Quinn – The Alice Network

R – Kelly Rimmer –  The Things We Cannot Say

S – Sasha Wasley – Love Song

T – Kendall Talbot – Out of Luck

U – Jacquie Underdown – Meet Me in the Middle

V – Vanessa Diffenbaugh – The Language of Flowers

W – Carol Wyer – The Blossom Twins

X – Alix E Harrow – The Ten Thousand Doors of January


Z – Tiffany Reisz – The Rose

Book Bingo 2020 – Round 2: Friendship, Family, Love – Gang of Four by Liz Byrski

This is the second post for #BookBingo2020 hosted by Theresa Smith Writes & Mrs B’s Book Reviews & The Book Muse

IMG_20200208_101625Gang of Four

Gang of Four by Liz Byrski was chosen as our bookclub read at my face to face bookclub, I’ve read other books by Liz Byrski in the past and thoroughly enjoyed them, and this one was just as good as I remember them being. This fit perfectly into the Friendship, Family, Love square as this book had all three in huge amounts.

The four women in this novel are all dealing with different things, but it takes Isabel making the decision to take a year for herself away from her husband and grown-up children, to make the other three women take a good look at their own lives and decide to make changes too.

These three women, Isabel, Grace, Sally and Robin are all so different, and my feelings towards each of them went through many changes through the course of the novel as I got to know them, their backgrounds and their dreams. They all changed a lot during the year they took to find themselves and discover what they needed to to live life more fully.

There was trauma, the loss of a child, the loss of self, family expectations, affairs, secrets,  growth, death, illness and love in its many shades. It was a really enjoyable tale that made me look at some of the things in my life and wonder.

FB_IMG_1577105032228 #AWW2020 8/50

Nonfiction Readers Challenge: Bowraville by Dan Box


Screenshot_20200130_091042Since signing up to the Nonfiction Readers Challenge I’m inspired to read a few more nonfiction books this year. I chose to do the Nonfiction Nipper, which was to read 3 books from any category. I’ve got quite a few nonfiction books lined up to read this year, so I’m positive I’ll be able to move up to the next level.

My first book is something very different for me. Bowraville by Dan Box is a true crime novel, that is also, in my opinion part memoir.

I listened to the audiobook of this which is read by Dan Box, something I prefer when listening to a memoir as I think they can really get across the emotions and messages they are trying to convey.

This is just one terrible story of injustice that has happened in Australia and to the Aboriginal people. Three children murdered in a space of 5 months and now 29 years later their families have never had justice.

We hear about the officers who were first approached when each child went missing and how the families were told, “They’ve probably gone walkabout”. One of these children was 4 years old! I was disgusted by the behaviour of the police at the beginning of these events and then completely disbelieving of the way the cases were handled once they were deemed something more sinister. The local police, who were in no way up to handling a missing person case let alone a murder case, or serial murders, were given very little help from the authorities in the city.

Dan tells an interesting story that made me angry at the way aboriginal people were and are treated in the event of a crime. The racism in the town was just as disappointing and I’m baffled how people think the way they do.

Sometimes the story felt a bit repetitive, but I think that was Dan Box’s way of reiterating the injustice of these cases and the injustices of the law.

A worthwhile read if you are interested in true crime and the way the law doesn’t always work.