Monday 31 December 2018

Goodreads: Year in Books Meme 2018

This is my journey in books for 2018! 

I read 23,289 pages across 90 books 


The shortest book I read was Sea Life: Alphaprints (20 pages)
The longest book I read was Absolute Proof (553 pages)

 The most popular book I read was The Woman in the Window which was read by 210,268 other people.
 The least popular book was Tonk and the Battle of the 200 for which I was the solitary reader.


 My favourite read of 2018 was 

  The year in books meme is hosted by Bite Into Books so head over and see her post. Why not join in and post a link to your year in books.
 Click on the title to see the review for that book

 My top 10 reads of 2018 are ( in no order)
The Lost Valley by Jennifer Scoullar
Lying and Dying by Graham Brack 
Deathly Wind by Keith Moray 
The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain 
A Place to Remember by Jenn J McLeod 
Lenny's Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee 
The Artisan Heart by Dean Mayes 
Wild Fire by Anne Cleeves 
The Greek Escape by Karen Swan 
Birthright by  Fiona Lowe

Books that made me laugh out loud
Who Killed the Movie Star by Lily Malone 
The Book Ninja by Ali Berg 
Laugh Your Head off Forever by Various 
The Year of the Farmer by Rosalie Ham 

Books that had me on the edge of my seat
Scrublands by Chris Hammer 
Gazelle in the Shadows by Michelle Peach 
The Last Straw by Ed Duncan 
The Woman in the Window by A J Finn

Recommended Young Adult reads
You Wish by Lia Weston 
Jenna's Truth by Nadia King 
Little Gods by Jenny Ackland
Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
Feel Me Fall by James Morris 

Recommended Middle Grade reads
Lenny's Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee 
James Clyde and the Tomb of Salvation by Colm McElwain 
Kat: The Legend of Gnawbonia by Nick White 

I joined lots and lots of challenges across many Goodreads groups and found myself loosing track of what challenge in what group I was actually doing. I want to thank the awesome moderators that take the time to develop and post these fun challenges. I think I only finished a couple but my love of challenges will not diminish and I’m sure I will join more in 2019.

Thank you for all the friendships I’ve formed and all the fabulous recommendations I’ve received. Bring on 2019!!!

Book Review: Lenny's Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee

Lenny's Book of Everything
Karen Foxlee

Publisher: Allen & Unwin 
Publication Date: 1st November 2018
Pages: 352
RRP: $19.99
Format Read: Uncorrected proof copy
Source: Courtesy of the publisher

Lenny, small and sharp, has a younger brother Davey who won't stop growing - and at seven is as tall as a man. Raised by their mother, they have food and a roof over their heads, but not much else.

The bright spot every week is the arrival of the latest issue of the Burrell's Build-It-at-Home Encyclopedia. Through the encyclopedia, Lenny and Davey experience the wonders of the world - beetles, birds, quasars, quartz - and dream about a life of freedom and adventure. But as Davey's health deteriorates, Lenny realises that some wonders can't be named.

A big-hearted novel about loving and letting go by an award-winning author.

'A gorgeous, heartbreaking, and heartwarming book.' - R. J. PALACIO

'Such a big heart and not a beat out of place.' - MELINA MARCHETTA

'Tough, tender and beautiful.' - GLENDA MILLARD

'Unforgettable.' - ANNA FIENBERG

'Karen Foxlee, you're a genius.' - WENDY ORR

Heartbreaking and uplifting – this book is everything every reviewer has said....and more.

In Lenny’s Book of EverythingKaren Foxlee wanted to convey love in all its forms, sibling love, motherly love, neighbourly love and what it means to love someone who is different and the emotions that go with it. What I find she has also conveyed was the feelings of shame and self loathing when sometimes that love slips and you are left feeling embarrassed, even annoyed by this person you are meant to love.

Foxlee’s writing is reminiscent of Sofie Laguna’s The Eye of the Sheep (one of my all time favourite reads) only it’s not as complicated making it excellent for younger readers.
‘She was thin with worry our mother. She was made almost entirely out of worries and magic.’  - Lenore Spink

The story is narrated by Lenny as she worries about her mother, her brother and her absent father. She tells the story of her brother’s ‘growing’ as it is at first brushed off as tall family genes, then visits to the specialist, stays in hospital and how a community comes together to give help.

Foxlee has created a likeable and realistic cast of characters. Cynthia Spink with all her worries, Mrs Gaspar, the Hungarian neighbour, and her strange dreams, Lenore and her beetle mania and Davey, it was easy to see why everyone loved him.

In Lenny’s Book of Everything Foxlee captures life in the early 70’s where man has recently landed on the moon and knowledge comes from encyclopedias (not the internet) via weekly instalments arriving through the mail. Lenny’s family won their set of encyclopaedia which would have been akin to winning the lottery. A set of encyclopedia on your bookshelf in the 70’s was like a status symbol and I remember eagerly purchasing the new issue from the newsagent each week and like Lenny and Davey poring over the facts and pictures in each book.

Lenny comes across as a bit of a tomboy, a deep thinker and a deep feeler. She bristled, she felt ashamed, she took on a lot of her mother’s stoicism but mostly she loved.

Lenny’s Book of Everything is a heartbreaking and wonderful read full of the kindness of people everywhere. 

Age : 10 - 14 years and older.

My Rating  5/5                🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 


  Lenny's Book of Everything is book #34 in the Australian Women Writers challenge

and part of the Book Lover Book Review Aussie Author Challenge


Photo courtesy of author website
Karen Foxlee is an Australian author who writes for both kids and grown-ups. Her first novel The Anatomy of Wings won numerous awards including the Dobbie Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book. Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy, Karen's first novel for children, was published internationally to much acclaim while her second novel for younger readers, A Most Magical Girl, won the Readings Children's Fiction Prize in 2017 and was CBCA shortlisted the same year.

Karen lives in South East Queensland with her daughter and several animals, including two wicked parrots, who frequently eat parts of her laptop when she isn't looking. Her passions are her daughter, writing, day-dreaming, baking, running and swimming in the sea.