Post Script: Life, Law and Not Enough Shoes

PLife Law and Not Enough Shoes

Life, Law and Not Enough Shoes: Life As A Criminal Lawyer

Judith Fordham

New Holland

ISBN: 9781741105391

 

Description:

Judith Fordham has worn zebra –print shoes into a courtroom, represented transsexuals, bikies, alleged murderers and rapists, and raised four children on her own…this is her story, from early life struggling on welfare to becoming a barrister and Associate Professor of Forensics.

Her bold approach to life and law is inspiring, and her stories about the world of crime and justice are fascinating. From a well-known baby-shaking case to the forensic science of decomposing flesh, this is a no holds-barred account of crime and the law.

And then there’s the shoes. In lighter moments, she tells of suing a pink shoe phone in her early career (much to the annoyance of her then boss). Now she has the State Director of Public prosecutions sipping champagne out of her designer shoe.

Judith Fordham has managed to find fun outside the dark world of forensics and crime.

 

 

My View:

Reading an honest and open creative memoir is a joy, a little like sitting with an old friend, enjoying afternoon tea and reminiscing. Life, Law and Not Enough Shoes is one such read – some laugh out loud moments, a peak at the judiciary system from within, some heartrending moments and a quick look at an inspiring life – I almost want to go back to university to learn forensics, almost 🙂  Thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining reading.

 

 

 

 

Post Script: Understory: A Life With Trees – Inga Simpson

A unique and special memoir.Understory

Understory

A Life with Trees

Inga Simpson

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780733635960

 

Description:

A journey of staying in once place, told through trees.

 

Each chapter of this nature-writing memoir explores a particular species of tree, layering description, anecdote, and natural history to tell the story of a scrap of forest in the Sunshine Coast hinterland – how the author came to be there and the ways it has shaped her life.

 

In many ways, it’s the story of a tree change, of escaping suburban Brisbane for a cottage on ten acres in search of a quiet life. Of establishing a writers retreat shortly before the Global Financial Crisis, and losing just about everything.

It is also the story of what the author found there: the literature of nature and her own path as a writer.

 

“I see the world through trees. Every window and doorway frames trunks, limbs, and leaves. My light is their light, filtered green. My air is their exhalation.”

 

 

My View:

I am a fan of the Inga Simpson’s previous works – Nest and Where the Trees Were (I have yet to read Mr Wigg – a book which has garnered much praise). I now have a little understanding of where those narratives came from, yet I was surprised to discover the depth of passion that Inga Simpson has for the environment. I don’t think I have ever met anyone with such passionate views, with such determination, with such a strong bond with the landscape they live in, a landscape that has determined so much of Inga Simpson’s life and lifestyle; quite amazing!

 

Every chapter of this engaging memoir connects the reader to a particular species of tree, the memories it evokes, personal anecdotes shared, the chaotic life of a writer juxtaposed against the solidness, the strength and longevity of the tree… what a unique way of looking at and presenting, Inga’s world to her readers.

 

A unique and special memoir.

 

Post Script: The Many Ways of Seeing – Nick Gleeson with Peter Bishop

The Many Ways of Seeing

Nick Gleeson with Peter Bishop

Ventura Press

ISBN: 9781925384963

 

Description:

In desperation, I look up into mum’s face. A small face – a loving face —

                                   

And the lights go out. Her face is the last image I will ever see in my lifetime.

 

Blind since the age of seven, Nick Gleeson has spent his life learning to ‘see’ without seeing.

 

Growing up in the working-class Melbourne suburb of Broadmeadows, Nick’s young life was defined by touch and smell: learning the shape of each shoe so he knew left from right. Holding the huge, rough hand of his father. Smelling the well-worn vinyl in the family car. Gently feeling the smooth top and soft underbelly of a mushroom he has picked.

 

When Nick meets Peter Bishop, Creative Director of Varuna, the Writers’ House, many years later, he has led an amazing life of physical adventuring. He’s scaled basecamp at Everest and the top of Kilimanjaro; he’s been a Paralympic athlete, a marathon runner, a skydiver. And, most recently, he’s been on an expedition to the Simpson Desert.

 

In a unique blend of memoir, conversation and insights into the writing process, together Peter and Nick have collaborated to share Nick’s compelling life journey with its many challenges, loves and losses.

 

The Many Ways of Seeing is an inspiring true story about determination in the face of hardship, the importance of trust and friendship and the wonderful relationship between a mentor and writer.

 

My View:

If you are seeking a read that will inspire you, will motivate you, that will, at times, bring tears to your eyes and will encourage you to see the world from a different perspective, then this book will meet your criteria – and then some.

 

Poignant, honest and open, Gleeson takes us on a journey of incredible fortitude, everyday courage.  Nick Gleeson is a remarkable role model… page after page of incredible accomplishments yet they are shrugged off as if ordinary.

 

Such lyrical writing – descriptive, poignant, engaging.

 

All the characters in this book, including the writers, demonstrate that warmth, love and trust is freeing, is enabling and promotes personal growth and happiness. Isn’t that what we all want?  I look forward to reading more of your work Nick Gleeson – and if ever we chance to meet – a hug will come your way 🙂

 

Post Script- Get A Life – Vivienne Westwood

Get A Life

The Diaries of Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood

Allan & Unwin

Serpents Tail

ISBN: 9781781854981

 

Description:

Vivienne Westwood began Get A Life, her online diary, in 2010 with an impassioned post about Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Since then, she has written two or three entries each month, discussing her life in fashion and her involvement with art, politics and the environment.

 

Reading Vivienne’s thoughts, in her own words, is as fascinating and provocative as you would expect from Britain’s punk dame – a woman who always says exactly what she believes. And what a life! One week, you might find Vivienne up the Amazon, highlighting tribal communities’ struggles to maintain the rainforest; another might see her visiting Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy, or driving up to David Cameron’s house in the Cotswolds in a full-on tank. Then again, Vivienne might be hanging out with her friend Pamela Anderson, or in India for Naomi Campbell’s birthday party, or watching Black Sabbath in Hyde Park with Sharon Osbourne.

 

The beauty of Vivienne Westwood’s diary is that it is so fresh and unpredictable. In book form, generously illustrated with her own selection of images, it is irresistible.

 

 

My View:

Stunning production qualities alone make this book very collectable.  And then there are the personal colour photographs, fashion, celebrities, musings and reflections; the passion that is Vivienne Westwood.

 

Add it to your bookshelf.

 

 

Brenda’s Top Ten Aussie Author Reads of 2016

It has been a great year for Aussie authors and readers alike. Here is guest reviewer  Brenda’s Top Ten picks of 2016. In no particularly order ( click on links to see Brenda’s reviews on Goodreads.)

fear-is-the-riderFear is the Rider

Kenneth Cook.

 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1506198294?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

scared-to-deathScared to Death

Rachel Amphlett

 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1774526984?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

red-dirt-odysseyRed Dirt Odyssey

Kath Engebretson

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1819270982?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

the-last-crocodile-hunter

The Last Crocodile Hunter

Bob Irwin and Amanda French

  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1795309647?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

fearlessFearless

Fiona Higgins

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1696711298?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

the-chocolate-tin

The Chocolate Tin

Fiona McIntosh

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1654937999?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

the-art-of-keeping-secrets

The Art of Keeping Secrets

Rachael Johns

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1682401798?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

the-wifes-tale

The Wife’s Tale

Christine Wells

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1613736070?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

the-game-you-played

The Game You Played

Anni Taylor

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1622987075?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

Darkest Place

Darkest Place

Jaye Ford

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1476681496?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

Thanks Brenda, there have been some awesome books written by Australian authors this year, it must have been a real task to choose just ten. 

 

 

 

Doesn’t Time Fly?

Here it is December 2016 already.  I cant believe it – this year has flown by, life has been busy; a grandson was born and he is now 8 months old.  Recipes have been tried and tested and many books have been read and reviewed – around the one hundred seventy mark thus far.

I am enjoying sharing the joy of reading with my grandson (with  appropriate titles) – it is never too early to encourage a love of reading.

Recently I invited a couple of ardent readers to share some of their favoruite reads on my site – to broaden the type of book reviews available here.  I hope you find some new favourite books and authors.  Thank you Bec and Brenda.

 

The reading year has not yet wound up – there is a blog tour ahead; the launch of Rachel Amphlett’s new police procedural series, Scared to Death. There is a   Q & A with debut Perth writer Anthea Hodgson, a Christmas menu to compile and share and a series of “best of 2016 reads” for you to comment on and…more reviews.

scared-to-death-blog-tour4-19-23-dec

 

Seasons greetings to you.

Christmas pavlova

 

 

Post Script: The Last Crocodile Hunter – Bob Irwin with Amanda French – Guest Reviewer

“Anyone who has ever heard of Steve Irwin should read (this).”

the-last-crocodile-hunter

The Last Crocodile Hunter: A Father & Son Legacy

Bob Irwin with Amanda French

Allen & Unwin AU

ISBN: 9781760292379

 

Description:

‘When the world lost Steve, the animals lost the best friend they ever had, and so did I. But he’s still here with me and knowing that means that I am able to gain strength from him, and harness the same passion and drive that he and I both had together. There are so many people who have been inspired and are still being inspired by Steve Irwin and that makes me feel really, really proud.’ – Bob Irwin

Bob Irwin grew up in the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria, Australia, where his passion for wildlife and its environment was born. A near-death experience while working as a plumber made Bob realise he needed to follow his dreams, so he and his wife Lyn uprooted their young family and moved to Queensland where they opened a Reptile and Fauna Park on the Sunshine Coast.

Bob’s passion for reptiles grew with his ever expanding collection and he soon became involved with various venom labs, for which he would catch the snakes that were later milked for the production of life-saving anti-venom. Growing up within the Beerwah Reptile & Wildlife Park, and with Lyn caring for orphaned wildlife at home, passion for the environment and all animals was a way of life for the Irwin children. This unique upbringing had a profound impact on his son Steve, who followed in his father’s footsteps and along the way became famous around the world as educator and wildlife warrior, the Crocodile Hunter.

Bob nearly didn’t survive the sudden death of his adored wife Lyn, and could have gone under again when a routine filming session for Steve’s TV show ended in his tragic death in 2006 at the age of 44. In each instance was the natural world and the animals within it which helped Bob to keep going, and since then he has continued to fight for his beloved Steve’s legacy of protecting the wildlife, environment and planet on which our own survival depends.

Entertaining, moving, impassioned and inspiring, The Last Crocodile Hunter goes to the heart and soul of a great Australian character, father and fighter, and raises issues that are crucial to us all.

 

Brenda’s View:

The Dandenong Ranges in Victoria was where Bob Irwin grew up, and his love of the Australian wildlife and surrounding bush was in him from a very young age. As the years passed, Bob became a plumber and worked with his father. But eventually Bob knew he was no longer happy in his job, so after much discussion with his wife Lyn, in late 1972 they headed for Queensland with the children. The Beerwah Reptile and Fauna Park began on just three and a half acres of land; the hard work was done by the family as they slowly built it to where it could be opened to the public. The family survived on the bare minimum as neither Lyn nor Bob had an income, but they had a passionate vision of the future.

Bob and Lyn’s three children, Joy, Steve and Mandy, all shared their parents’ love of wildlife and conservation, but Steve was a sponge, soaking up everything his father taught him and always wanting more. Bob took Steve on his camping trips when they were contracted to remove crocodiles from particular creeks and rivers – Steve loved it. The two of them had a unique relationship; not just father and son, they were best mates as well.

As the Park expanded Australia Zoo was born – Steve’s famous Crocoseum became a world-wide attraction. But all the while, the animals were the top priority – teaching humans about the lives and habitats of the wild animals we live with was Steve and Bob’s ultimate goal. And they made a difference…

The Last Crocodile Hunter is the most comprehensive, interesting and heart wrenching memoir I have ever read. Emotional, profound and deeply moving, Bob Irwin’s words and memories have come to life with the help of Amanda French, who travelled with Bob throughout the outback, visiting old sites he had been to with Steve, chatting and imparting it all around the campfire. A quiet man, never one for the spotlight, son Steve was the complete opposite – they complemented each other well. Now seventy seven years of age, Bob Irwin continues his fight to preserve the legacy left by Steve for the well-being of our planet, the environment but mostly for the animals on it. The Last Crocodile Hunter is a memoir I highly recommend, and one I feel anyone who has ever heard of Steve Irwin should read. I very much enjoyed this 5 star read.

With thanks to Allen & Unwin for this copy to read in exchange for my honest review.