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Twenty minutes to get my blog done today. A small girl climbs on my shoulders. Many cuddles, how can I resist? ¬†She cackles like a crow in my ear, interrupted only by ee-ii-o, her own version of ‘Old Macdonald’.

She is a talk-a-holic, according to her kindy teachers. Which is a little strange because there’s that shy side as well. She is known by many names: funny bunny, tropical, water, princess (of course), ballie-woo… Some say she is a mini me but she’s no carbon copy. Her face is part me part papa. She has inherited her father’s awesome eyebrows and possibly her grandmother’s mouth. Not sure where that nose has come from, though.

She is bright and focussed, great at fine motor and the like. As I watch my kids grow, it gets me thinking about the ups and downs of being a parent. One of the most rewarding and difficult parts of the job is watching your little munchkins grow. I love seeing hints of who they are going to be in the future. Their strengths and weaknesses and quirks. It’s great fun!

I love/hate the challenge of tantrums. It is exhausting but exhilarating when you get it right! Super mum moment here I come!!! I love being in the zone, saying the right thing at the right time. I love when they get it! When that hard earned and learned wisdom pays off. There is nothing better than using your painful experiences to help others. It is especially rewarding when those people are your kids.

Parenthood is hard but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I firmly believe that the best things are the hardest. So if you’re finding being a ma or pa a bit of a slug, you’re in good company. Keep that chin up and walk on. For, as Anne of Green Gables says, “Tomorrow is a new day without any mistakes in it yet!” (or something like that!)

There’s nothing better than a pyramid of cushions, a pile of blankets and doonas and a good book on a cold day. Today is that day, sans book, plus laptop.

It is raining. It is cold. The kids are in their rooms having a quiet moment and I get to thinking, what books do I adore? I’m a very picky reader. My bookclub chose Barbara Kingsolver’s book Lacuna, this month and sorry Barbs but no can do. Mexico and I just do not click. Didn’t like it. Too slow, depressing and lacking action. I need characters to love, to care about.

So here are my favourite, yummy, addictive books. Please feel free to share your own. I’d love to add more to my list.

  1. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. Oh my word, do I love this book. It’s a little strange and sad but ultimately yummy. I always say that reading John Irving is like reading twice sieved custard; smooth. It is a pleasure to read. Though some of his other books are a little ick and disturbing, this is a classic.
  2. Monster Blood Tattoo 1&2 by D.M Cornish. I have to have this one. Not only is the author my friend but they are INCREDIBLE books. It’s always nerve wracking when a friend asks you to read his/her stuff because I believe in honesty. But honestly! These books are amazing. I love the adventure, the characters, the world, the illustrations, the twists!
  3. Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery. This is a nostalgic choice. I have read through all the books in this series countless times. A couple of them I read while walking home from school in the days of yore. I just love Anne and all her imperfections and Gilbert and the town. One day, Avonlea, I will come to meet you face to face.
  4. Various books by Marion Keyes. I cannot pick one because they are all pretty much the same. What I love about them is the humour, honesty and characters. She gets a bit deep sometimes too which often catches me off guard. But it is always a welcome surprise.
  5. Cloudstreet by Tim Winton. Mwwa, mwwa, mwwa. I love this book. It’s so Australian. The characters, the writing, the house. And I am such a big fan I put my poor bottom through all 6 hours of the play. Two intervals! Great stuff.
  6. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkein. One summer I sat in my garden and forced myself to read this trilogy. What a mammoth effort. It was incredible. I got so into it that I couldn’t read it fast enough. Now, I’m not the biggest fantasy genre lover, but this tale is addictive and frightening. Love it! And it will keep you going if the rain persists. Log fire, open chunky book, glass of red wine!
  7. Ice Station by Matthew Reilly. Talk about on the edge of my seat. Mystery, mistaken identity, killer whales in the lonely arctic… spooky. Being of the more romantic-comedy bent, this was a new and most welcome experience for me. These novels aren’t just for the boys!!
  8. The Riders by Tim Winton. Mr Winton has done it again. This book kept me guessing until the end. Who, what, where, what, what WHAT? I hate not knowing what is going on or what is going to happen but I’ve never read a book so fast!
  9. The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. Have a break from the blood and guts, disturbing, sad novels and go on a light adventure with Precious Ramotswe. There’s nothing gross or uncouth about these lovely tales. And it’s not boring either. It takes me back to the simple days where kids had manners and respected their elders. There is a dark side of course, but ultimately good prevails over evil. What is more satisfying than that?
  10. Stephanie Plum novels (One for the money, Two for the Dough, Three to Get Deadly etc) by Janet Evanovich. I feel sheepish adding this series but I just love them. Fluff, pop, girly, bounty hunter, light violence and love, love, love. Like Marion Keyes, Evanovich has used her sharp wit to create lovable characters who somehow survive some dicey moments. Stephanie Plum is the kind of bounty hunter I would be; scared of guns, bombs and out of her depth. Coolness.

Well, there’s a very diverse top 10. I’m not a literary genius. I’m not too cool for school with my favourites but all I want out of a book is a great adventure, lovable characters and a bit of intelligent writing. I’d love to know your favourite authors / books and perhaps they will become mine.

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