Currently Reading

I’ve got a bit of an ambitious pile of books next to my bed at the moment. I’m in one of those situations where you put books on hold at the library, and they all come in at the same time! I’m reading reading reading every chance I get, trying to get through my stack before they are all due back. Above is a small preview of the actual stack… have you read any of these?

So far in 2019 I’ve begun reading:

1/ See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

When I picked this book up I could barely put it down. Then one night after a late night session of reading I had one of the worst nightmares I have had in years – associated with what I had read that night and the characters in the book. I won’t bore you with the details of my dream as we all know other people’s dreams are not that fascinating, needless to say I haven’t picked up the book since! Once I garner some bravery and after I’ve finished the book below, I’ll give it another shot.

2/ The True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey

This is a book I’m reading for book group. I would never have chosen to read it and initially thought it might be a bit of a drag. But I am thus far pleasantly surprised. The way Peter Carey has written the book, in the voice of Ned Kelly in a long form letter to his daughter, has me completely captivated. I want to read more about the research Carey did for the book as I have no idea whether he is simply making up his version of the story or putting it together based on factual evidence (excuse me if this is naive of me). Ned’s sentences run together in colourful Australian lingo and it is simply an adjectival delight to read (read the book and you’ll see what I did there). I am smitten with Carey’s depiction of Ned; his voice, the broken sentences and lack of grammar a new language that now floats fluently around my head. I haven’t quite finished yet but I know this renewed telling of the Kelly tale will stay with me for many years. I am dragging myself to the finish line as we all know enough of Ned Kelly to know how the story ends.

This year with some inspiration from a family member doing the same, I’ve bought myself a notebook dedicated to the books I read. A space to record titles and thoughts about each. I’ve been using goodreads for a number of years but never feel inclined to leave a review on the app, I’d rather make notes for personal use. My little notebook has given me the freedom to not worry about whether I’m making intelligent enough observations on a book – and also a way to remember what I have read and what the book was about. I often know I have read a book, but can’t remember the storyline or the characters. I’m hoping this little system will help.

Since beginning the #booksinourhands hashtag I’ve realised how many people love reading in our little comunity, and someone suggested we develop the tag into a more established online book group. So I have created a little insta nook for us book nerds to gather. You can follow along at the freshly created @booksinourhands. Use the hashtag to share what you’re reading and I’ll share selected posts in the account. Please feel free to join in and discuss with us what you’re reading!

What do you think? What are you reading right now? What are your reading goals for 2019? Comment below to let me know.

#booksinourhands | a collaboration

I was recently invited to join a local book group consisting of some wonderful school mums. I eagerly awaited our first meeting… and every meeting since! I love talking about books, I love hearing what other people think about books, I love learning more about how people read; discovering the nuances they find in strings of words that I have glossed over, and vice versa. #nerdalert

Over the past few years I have occasionally shared what I am reading on instagram, and here on this blog too, and have always been surprised at the amount of conversation my piles of (usually randomly combined) books have generated.

Last week at book group (while discussing this book) a conversation was had over who could read e-books and who couldn’t. I’m firmly in the couldn’t (can’t/won’t?) camp and it intrigued me to hear that one woman is able to read whole books on the screen of her phone! I’m still thinking about that, in a gee-whiz kind of way. While I can manage to read a lot of things on the phone or screen, a book on screen is simply a no-go-zone.

Holding a book in my hands, I feel the texture of the paper: the silk, the grit. Sitting up late underneath lamplight, the scrape of a turning page rings out in the silence of the night. The solidity, the essence of a real book is difficult to replace. You can lose yourself in a book in a way that you can’t within the confines of a screen, with all its flashy backlighting, unnatural curves and myriad distractions.


After much deliberation (and typing of hashtags into instagram to find one that is completely fresh and available) I have decided to launch the #booksinourhands hashtag. A collaboration with you, friends, where we can share what we are reading. A place to share thoughts, contributions and ideas. I LOVE seeing what others are reading. I don’t care if you’re reading nothing but cookbooks or holiday fiction or podiatry handbooks. Political memoirs, short stories, self-help or travel. I might have to draw the line at sports biographies though. But I’ll try to be open minded.

Let’s see where it goes. Perhaps it will just be me, waving books around against my kitchen wall, nerding out all alone. So be it.

Tell me, what are book are you carrying around at the moment? Is it luring you onto the couch at any opportunity, or are you searching for something better? Use the hashtag #booksinourhands over on instagram to tell us all about it.

(squints eyes, grits teeth, presses publish)

Immersion in the Present

Time is passing. There is only now and now and now. With young children it can be easy to daydream through the motions: the feeding, the dressing, the herding. I’ve been reading Buddhism for Mothers of Schoolchildren and have been reminded yet again of “and this.” I find myself quoting as I pack the school lunches, as I wipe the daily grit from our old table, as I fold (or not fold) the washing, as I pull a tearful little face to my chest after a fall: And this. And this. And this. There is only ever this. At first I wondered if it only served to remind me of the monotony and take me, unwillingly, away from my airy thoughts, but with practice I have seen it bring me back into the moment, to ground me.

Over Winter I have been immersed in thought, in yoga study, in reading, in thinking. Perhaps this is nothing new (for me) but with the addition of yoga I have felt growth within myself that has surpassed all other things.

As I type, the littlest wanders over with a shell. I hold it to her ear. “Listen,” I say, “can you hear the sea?”

And this.

I sip my coffee.

And this.

Over the weekend we went to Apollo Bay and I attended a whole day workshop with Melbourne writer, Arnold Zable. The parallels between yoga and writing were illuminated as I listened to his words: “To be a writer, you have to be here, you have to be mindful, grounded. You have to witness.” Because if you aren’t there to witness something, to witness it deeply and fully, then to capture that moment in words later is going to leave you unreliable; the moment dulled through the fog of your inattention.

So go out and allow yourself to see. Notice the way the morning light hits the edges of a plant in your window. See the wisp of hair on your child’s forehead and know its habit to swing this way, or that. Feel the crackle of eucalyptus leaves beneath your feet, the solidity of your legs, your body moving through air – feel it as though you are moving through water, or soup. Step outside in the fading light and smell your neighbour’s open fire, smell the chill of the evening, the dampness of the soil.

And lastly, this: Xavier Rudd singing out from my computer speakers: Cherish this moment. Cherish this breath.


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I wrote a lot about death last year, in my private notes outside of this space. My grandfather died in May 2016 and since then my personal scribbles are full of thoughts about life and its inevitable end: the melodramatic whining of a 30-something hesitantly peering out from the edges of motherhood wondering who she is and what she is doing here. I wrote a short story called “Killing the Mouse” which, in a nutshell, is about my feelings of grief and loss after killing a mouse that lived in my kitchen, the spotlight shining in the wrong spot and all that. Hmm, deep. There were also some notes about a dog named Scruffy. I deleted that file.

This is all fresh in my mind because instead of writing last night (like I promised myself I would) I went through all my writing files and folders on my computer and organised them neatly and dragged and dropped notes and files from here to there and back again. Then I spent a considerable amount of time choosing a picture for my desktop (Leaves: too close up, feelings of claustrophobia. Ocean: thoughts of drowning. Lakes and shadows of mountains in lakes: makes me think I’ll suddenly see the face of a dead body under the surface of the water like in LOTR. Space and planets: Does anything matter? Who am I in all this? Mountains: isolation. Tree trunks: lost in forest with no food or water.) I settled for an abstract pattern and got back to shuffling documents around from here to there and back again. Drag. Drop. Drag. Drop. Then I watched YouTube for a while and decided it was high time for bed and sadly, darling, nothing would get written because I was simply far too busy.

It’s nearing the end of January and I haven’t written anything at all this year except the previous blog post and a few things on the back of old envelopes. Nevertheless, I’m not going to get all sooky about it. We have been out in the garden soaking up the summer sun, we’ve been at the beach, we’ve been walking, we’ve been together. And now that the holidays are coming to a close and my folders are organised and my desktop is in order, I really have nothing else to do but knuckle down and write and inevitably – naturally – something will eventually come, the sentence will appear (the one from which all others will follow), the page will be filled, and so on.

I will write this year, not because I think I should, but because I have to, it is ingrained in me and there is no other way. It may not be perfectly planned or executed, it may not be when or how I imagine it might or should or could be, but it will be. Creativity is like that.

What are you working on this year?

Lost My Name: A Book Review (+ Giveaway)


When a package containing three books for my daughters arrived in the post a couple of weeks ago, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The lovely people at had contacted me to tell me about their books and offered to send me one for each of my girlies, in return for this book review*. I receive many emails of this nature, and say no to most of them. But I had a look at the website and after a few emails backwards and forwards, I agreed. And when the books arrived I was ever so glad I had!

The personalised soft cover books are printed on lovely thick matte paper, and contain wild stories about little girls (or boys) who have lost their name. Each book is unique: when you order you type in your child’s name, sex and you can then choose a character to be pictured throughout. Lucky for me, there were three girls to choose from, so each of my three books has a different character to represent each kid. The stories are written in poem form and once I got the flow I found them entertaining to read.


The character wakes up one morning only to realise she has lost her name, and goes on a wonderful adventure to try to find herself. Along the way she meets a collection of animals and creatures who offer a letter to help her. By the end of the book your little character has received each letter of their name, which was a wonderful surprise for both Bird (aged six) and Pixie (aged three and a half). (I’ve saved the third book to give little Peach for her first birthday in a couple of weeks! And those of you who are long time readers will know I don’t just throw any old thing into the present pile for the girls’ birthdays.)


As I needed three books, during the ordering process I was asked if I would like to exchange some of the creatures to avoid repetition in the books, which I thought was a great touch. As we have multiple Ls and Es and As throughout the girls’ names, I think there ended up being one repeated creature in two of the books, but aside from that they were all fresh and individual. The children didn’t seem to notice the repetition as I was reading, and upon finishing begged me to read them again immediately. When ordering you can also preview your book before purchasing.

While the books are quite lengthy (and would be more so if your child had a very long name), the illustrations are engaging and the poem format easy to read.

Now the good news is that the folk at are offering one motherwho reader a free book!

You can enter the giveaway a maximum of three times by:

1/ subscribing to motherwho via email (over on the side bar)

2/ liking motherwho on facebook

3/ sharing this giveaway on Facebook or instagram

Leave a comment here with your email address for each entry so that I can contact you if you are the winner. The competition will be closed on Sunday 5th June at midnight and the winner will be announced on Monday 6th. Good luck!



While I did agree to write this review in exchange for three books, I have written an honest post with my true opinion of these books.

books and a bandwagon

I have officially jumped on the Leonie Dawson bandwagon and a couple of weeks ago bought her 2014 workbook. It has been a bit of fun so far, and as such last night I finished a list of 100 things I want to do this year. I actually found this an incredibly hard list to write! It contains a lot of things including activities related to personal, spiritual, family, financial and relationship goals.

One of my 100 things is to read at least 20 books in 2014. We are a household of book lovers and love nothing more than cosying up together to read. I’m already a bit behind my target having only read one book over summer, but I’ve almost finished number two. Perhaps if I stopped writing lists and read books instead I might work my way through a little faster…


Earlier in January I read Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. I loved this book. It was beautifully written and Hannah Kent has a wonderful way of portraying the varying positions of each of the characters.

I’m currently reading The Trees by Conrad Richter. I’ve almost finished this one and have also loved reading it. Conrad Richter did a lot of research into the era in which the book is set, and the language is beautifully poetic and true to the nature of the time. I think this is the first of a trilogy, I’m not sure I would continue on with it though.

Next on the to read list are:

/The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

/Life of Pi by Yann Martel

/Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

/We Are Water by Wally Lamb

To name just a few from a long list!

(I have also just bought Birdie Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing for her fourth birthday in April… I’m totally organised!)

Do you like books? What is your favourite?

Does anyone have any other suggestions for wonderful brilliant amazing books that I absolutely must must must read?