Monday 30 March 2015

It's Monday

It's Monday! or ngày thứ hai as they say in Vietnam.

This week I hope to read, or at least browse through my travel guides for Vietnam to prepare for our upcoming holiday. 

Yes, excitement levels are rapidly rising - the anticipation is as delicious as a green papaya salad!

If you have been to Vietnam and have any great tips on things to do or must see suggestions, I would love to hear them below. 

I also love to read literature from or by local authors. 
Any reading suggestions would also be welcome, especially contemporary stories or ones about the French Colonial period of Vietnamese history.

But in the reading week will hopefully contain....

 A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman

Cornwall, 1947. 
Marvellous Ways is a ninety-year-old woman who's lived alone in a remote creek for nearly all her life. Recently she's taken to spending her days sitting on the steps of her caravan with a pair of binoculars. She's waiting for something - she's not sure what, but she'll know it when she sees it. 

Freddy Drake is a young soldier left reeling by the war. He's agreed to fulfil a dying friend's last wish and hand-deliver a letter to the boy's father in Cornwall. 
But Freddy's journey doesn't go to plan, and sees him literally wash up in Marvellous' creek, broken in body and spirit. 

When Marvellous comes to his aid, an unlikely friendship grows between the two. 

Can Freddy give Marvellous what she needs to say goodbye to the world, and can she give him what he needs to go on?

Something Special Something Rare: Outstanding Short Stories by Australian Women

Something Special, Something Rare presents outstanding short fiction by Australia’s finest female writers. These are tales of love, secrets, doubt and torment, the everyday and the extraordinary.

A sleepy town is gripped by delusory grief after the movie being filmed there wraps and leaves. A lingering heartbreak is replayed on Facebook. An ordinary family walks a shaky line between hopelessness and redemption.

Brilliant, shocking and profound, these tales will leave you reeling in ways that only a great short story can.

Kate Grenville * Mandy Sayer * Penni Russon * Favel Parrett * Tegan Bennett Daylight * Sonya Hartnett * Isabelle Li * Gillian Essex * Brenda Walker * Gillian Mears * Fiona MacFarlane * Joan London * Karen Hitchcock * Charlotte Wood * Tara June Winch * Cate Kennedy * Alice Pung * Anna Krien * Delia Falconer * Rebekah Clarkson

The Frangipani Hotel by Violet Kupersmith

From the story about a beautiful young woman who shows up thirsty in the bathtub of the Frangipani Hotel in Saigon many years after her first sighting there, 
to a young woman in Houston who befriends an old Vietnamese man she discovers naked behind a dumpster, 
to a truck driver asked to drive a young man with an unnamed ailment home to die, 
to the story of two American sisters sent to Vietnam to visit their elderly grandmother who is not what she appears to be, 
these stories blend the old world with the new while providing a new angle of insight into the after-effects of the war on a generation of displaced Vietnamese immigrants as well as those who remained in Vietnam.

I also plan to spend the next couple of weeks finishing off all my half started (or is that half finished) books. 

I will not start any more new books until I have finished all the current books underway!!


I often read a great review but then forget who, where & when, so I've decided to add a shout-out feature to my It's Monday post.

My first shout-out is actually a half-hearted curse sent to Melissa @Avid Reader's Musings for tantalising me with the idea of rereading The Lord of the Rings trilogy!

Part of my bloggiesta plans for this past week were to get better at using the goggle+ reader.
Thanks to spending time with it last Tuesday, I found these fascinating reviews...

Sandra @Writing With A Texas Twang reminded me about Snow Child which I've been meaning to read for years.

Sim @Chapter 1 - Take 1 has got me duly excited about the upcoming Wolf Hall mini-series by her review of Bring Up the Bodies.

And Nadia @A Bookish Way of Life has got me rethinking about whether or not to give up on Maisie Dobbs with this very emotional response to the latest book.

Tania @Girlxoxo has created a master list of Book Blogging Memes for Bloggiesta. It's a fabulous resource for those bloggers interested in participating in the wider blogging community.

What are you reading this week?


  1. The Snow Child is excellent. I read it in January. :)

  2. Bahaha, I'll take that half-hearted curse! It was such a joy to reread them. I can't wait to hear about your trip!!!

  3. I'm watching Wolf Hall, I think hubby is a bit bored with it so it's probably one I'll finish on my own ... I love historical series! When are you off to Vietnam? Have a great week and happy reading :)

  4. Good luck finishing things off!

    Read on...
    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  5. I like the sounds of all of your books and look forward to reading what you think of them. Enjoy Vietnam. imagine it's amazing.

  6. Oh, Vietnam sounds great. I haven't been there since 1997 - and my trip was only a week so very fleeting!


  7. Vietnam looks beautiful, it's become a real vacation destination in the last few years. I'm excited for the Wolf Hall mini-series, too!
    Thanks for visiting!

  8. Vietnam sounds like so much fun! And I'll second the recommendation of The Snow Child. Such a wonderful, wonderful book.

  9. What a great week of reading and holidaying lays ahead of you! I've just finished Gemma Bovery and am now meant to be reading Jane Gardam's Bilgewater, but don't have much time at the moment, life is being busy just now.

  10. Love the new shout-out feature! I have Snow Child in my tbr, too.

  11. That is so exciting, I hope you have a fantastic time in Vietnam!


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