Category Archives: This blogging thing

Gift Ideas and Reading Inspiration

night sinsIdeas for the ladies in your life

The Light Between Oceans ML Stedman: utterly moving

Oh Dear Silvia Dawn French: hilarious and heartwarming

Night Sins by Tami Hoag: Thrilling crime

white-earthAnd for the blokes

Pure by Andrew Miller: award winning historical fiction

The White Earth by Andrew McGahan: Australian Drama

The Tour de France; The Good, The Bad and the just plain weird: self explanatory huh?

baby litFor Young Readers

Vanguard Prime Series by  Steven Lochran: super adventures for pre-teens

Matilda by Roald Dahl: who doesn’t love reading and magic?

The BabyLit Series: Board books for brainy babies

Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil: Sweet and funny YA.

writing-fifty-shades-of-gray-bdsm-erotica-reminders-ecards-someecards1And for someone you hate

Fifty Shades of Grey by EL Gross.  The good news is that op shops are teeming with copies of this series so you won’t have to spend more than it’s worth.

Fit to board: the book blog gets political (again!)

I’m always wary of a blog that starts with ‘As a mother,’ because what normally follows is a diatribe about the amount of refined sugar in children’s cereals, the violence in video games, the importance of keeping a family routine, or the amount of screen time a two-year old should actually have.

But at the risk of sounding slightly hysterical, I’ve got to say it.  As a mother, it’s been a really tough week to watch the news.

But more-over, it’s been a tough week for anyone who has a shred of compassion and sense of moral responsibility. So, as a human, it’s been frustrating, and embarrassing and saddening and enraging to watch the news this week.

My first ‘as a mother’ inspired outburst was when I learned of the 31 year old asylum seeker, who was transported from Nauru to give birth to her baby at Brisbane’s Mater Hospital.  Delivery was by c-section and the baby boy, Farus, was born with respiratory problems and had to be cared for in the neonatal special unit at the hospital.

However just four days after giving birth, the mother Latifa, was discharged and then confined to the Brisbane Immigration Transit accommodation, 20 minutes away.   She was only allowed to visit her baby boy between 10am and 4pm, as per the hospitals visiting hours.  It is claimed that her husband, who is also detained, was not given access to visit his son.

It’s important to note here that the hospital has rebuked the Government’s claims that they were responsible for enforcing the visiting time rules.  The hospital said in a statement:

“Once a Mum is clinically well enough to go home, she is discharged from hospital, but is encouraged to be involved in the baby’s care wherever possible to help establish her bond with her baby.  Mater places no restrictions on women and they can visit their baby anytime where possible.”

But I suppose that Mum, (after having major surgery) is a threat to national security right?

So I swallowed down that news with difficulty, and swore and ranted for a bit about the Government and our apathy and at the fuckedness of it all.

And then I read this and cried…

“A profoundly disabled four-year old Tamil asylum seeker in a Brisbane detention facility will be transferred offshore along with her father, probably to Nauru.” (The Global Mail)

Cared for by her father, apparently the girl cannot talk or walk, and is confined to a wheelchair.   She was separated from her mother and siblings in Sri Lanka as they boarded the boat for Australia. (Her Mum was arrested and later released.)

What is even more shocking is how she became disabled. A victim of a bomb blast in her homeland Sri Lanka, she was struck by shrapnel while in-utero and was badly injured.  So before this kid was even born, she was in immediate and mortal danger.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has reiterated his hard-line stance on the processing of asylum seekers who arrived by boat after July 19 this year.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a child, it doesn’t matter whether you’re pregnant, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a woman, it doesn’t matter if you’re an unaccompanied minor, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a health condition – if you are fit enough to get on a boat, then you can expect you’re fit enough to end up in offshore processing.”

The girl boarded the boat strapped to her father.

Morrison is satisfied that the Nauru detention facility is suitable for disabled children, and says its equipped to handle medical cases like this with appropriate care.

However, according to The Global Mail, a nurse with over 40 years-experience, likened the Centre to a concentration camp, after she worked there for three weeks.  Oh, and that little human rights organisation Amnesty International, reckon the conditions are deplorable.

I’m finding this really hard to write about, and even harder to accept.  But here is what I know to be true.  The medical facilities on Nauru will not be enough.  Will there be a physiotherapist?  A speech therapist?  A child psychologist on hand to care for her?  Will she be given access to the right medicine, and pain management techniques?  Are there ramps for all the doorways?  Is there a toilet/bathroom with a hoist?

Just because she is physically disabled does not necessarily mean she is intellectually disabled.  She may be just like any other four year old on the inside.  She’ll miss her Mum, and be confused, and will need stimulation, communication and education like any other tot her age.

Three years ago, I said goodbye to a very special person who was also severely disabled.  He was adventurous, funny, and brave.  In his short time, he contributed more to his community, his school and his family than most people do in a lifetime.  He couldn’t talk or walk either.

He had access to the very best doctors and specialists.  Received treatment in world-class hospitals, and took medication that sometimes eased his pains and symptoms.  He had a super cool motorised wheelchair, trained respite carers and basic communication technology.  He had good financial resources, a modified and comfortable home, and he also had his mother, father and extended family loving him for every second of every day.  It was still bloody unfair and tough. He had all these things and deserved so much more.  He had all these things and made it to eleven.

So what hope does this poor tike have?  Locked up in a deplorable facility, in a bankrupt country which doesn’t even have a health system for their own people.

But I suppose, why should our taxes pay to prolong the inevitable anyway?

I feel sick…

Yours, in shame


Postscript:  After writing this piece I sought permission from the Mum of the disabled boy mentioned above.  She endorses this post, and shares in my sadness.

Readers Block

Bless me reader for I have sinned. It’s been one month since my last post. Yes, I have broken the cardinal rule of blogging – a lapse in new content. It’s not my fault though… really. I’m just super busy right now and haven’t had the chance to finish reading a new book.

MinnieBut aren’t you a book addict, I hear you ask. What could you be so busy with to keep you from reading?

In the last month I’ve wrangled a two year old who’s determination and wit are far superior to my own. I’ve weaned her off using a dummy, while she has weaned herself off eating vegetables and cooperating at bath time. So much so, that I have been showering wearing a Minnie Mouse mask just to get her into the water.

I’ve negotiated deals with multi-national technology companies, and hobnobbed with American VIPs in town. I’ve house hunted, anniversary shopped, and given up sugar in my coffee. I’ve been to the theatre and the movies. I’ve said goodbye to carbs and put myself on a strict health regime because I’ve also agreed to be an MC at a wedding and I don’t want to be confused with Kirstie Alley on the mike.

I’ve done my tax, hired a newbie at work, got access to cable TV (read Law & Order and Seinfeld marathons) and made my lunch every day.

Yep, pretty bloody busy.

Truth be told though, I’m no busier now than usual, but it seems like a valid excuse right?

This leads me to a revelation… a confession to make – I have readers block. Which is not exactly conducive with an up-to-date book review blog.

You might know the condition. It’s the one where you lay in bed ready to delve into a novel, and yet two pages in you chuck it on the floor and play with your iPhone instead. Where you read a paragraph twice and still have no recollection of what happened. When your eyes get heavy as soon as you unfold the corner of your book.

And I don’t think it’s what I’m reading. I’ve tried a few, seemingly awesome, books of late and am still having the same internal reaction; “I can’t be bothered.” *shudder*

Even JK couldn’t hold me with her ‘breaking literary news; it’s a pseudonym’ blockbuster The Cuckoo’s Calling. And, Harry Potter to me, is like Fifty Shades of Grey to a middle aged, desperate Divorcee on eHarmony.

Admittedly I have had a cracker of a year with the books I’ve read. The last few have been so amazing, and exhausting and emotional that I suspect I’m just having trouble finding something to live up to those heady expectations. (Reviews of Craig Silvery & Peter Temple to follow soon!)

As a result of this condition, I now have a pile of new books to sustain me up until and during Book pilethe Christmas holidays – with many more on the wish list.

The good news is, I’m getting my reading mojo back. I’m now 150 pages into an awesome thriller which is twisting my brain each night.

It’s been unfamiliar territory this non-reading thing. Hoping that my addled brain has now returned to its former state of book fondness.

Read On

Chapter One

Once upon a time there was a bookish girl who loved reading, and, on occasions, even writing her own words.  She finally decided it was time to stop procrastinating, and actually hit publish on her very first blog post! 

jade readingStories have comforted me, distracted me, inspired me and kept me company since I can remember.  Never was there a happier child than I, when I could read One Fish, Two Fish to my little brother or imaginary friend.  I poured over the pages of A Lion in the Meadow wishing the mother would understand the threat in their backyard.  I willed Frances to try something other than bread and jam.  The Babysitters Club got me through my parent’s divorce, Judy Blume and Sweet Valley High got me through puberty.  Marsden & Morrison cured me of my first heartbreak, and Harry Potter 4-7 got me through subsequent ones.

I now read every day for pleasure.  First a storybook to my daughter before bed; thankfully she has inherited my love of the turning page (particularly if it has lift the flap or touch and feel) and then it’s normally fiction before setting the alarm.  This allows me to switch off from my day, and escape into someone else’s life for just a little while.

My friends know me as a book nerd, and every year before they go on holidays or start their Christmas shopping, they ask me what reads I recommend.  I probably bore them senseless with my answers, but ultimately if I loved it – I’ll loan it.  And that’s where this idea stemmed from. 

I don’t get the point of a bad book review.  If I’m not enjoying something, then I’ll give it the flick. I won’t persevere just so I can say it’s finished, but I hated it and you really shouldn’t bother with such a terrible read.  There are too many books in this world to enjoy, and only a short time to digest them, so why waste time on something you can’t get into?

The plan for this site is to let you know what books I think are terrific, and hopefully help you, dear reader, pick your next gift, holiday read, or bedtime escape.

Over the coming weeks I’ll be adding my thoughts on the best.of.words, and I hope to make you giggle, consider stories, ask questions, and ultimately, inspire you to take interest in a new read. 

I know it’s not quite right that a site exploring the best.of.words has a distinct lack of actual book reviews, but I promise a mix of recommended reading will be added soon.

Read On!