Post Script: Lily And The Octopus – Steven Rowley

Lily and the Octopus

Lily And The Octopus

Steven Rowley

Simon & Schuster Australia

ISBN: 9781471146640



Combining the emotional depth of The Art of Racing in the Rain with the magical spirit of The Life of Pi, Lily and the Octopus is an epic adventure of the heart.


When you sit down with Lily and the Octopus, you will be taken on an unforgettable ride.


The magic of this novel is in the read, and we don’t want to spoil it by giving away too many details. We can tell you that this is a story about that special someone: the one you trust, the one you can’t live without.


For Ted Flask, that someone special is his aging companion Lily, who happens to be a dog. Lily and the Octopus reminds us how it feels to love fiercely, how difficult it can be to let go, and how the fight for those we love is the greatest fight of all.


Remember the last book you told someone they had to read? Lily and the Octopus is the next one.




My View:

I laughed and laughed…then I cried and not just a little tear but torrents of sadness.


But don’t get me wrong this is largely an incredibly funny and intelligent read – the observations of life with dogs, searching for a soul mate, and Lily’s enthusiastic response to everything are sharp, hilarious, and often poignant; Lily and Ted do satire and sarcasm really well.


It is the banter, the dialogue between Lily and her human companion that is so engaging and cute; but there is a depth and wisdom in the conversations here. Scratch just below the surface (you don’t have to dig too far) and the cuteness is quickly revealed as a mask that tries to hide Ted’s loneliness, depression, his battle to come to terms with his best friends devastating diagnosis and the journey through grief to acceptance.


Does this sound like too much sharing and caring?  It actually isn’t – Lily is a bright foil to Ted’s darkness and despair (and a great device that enables the reader to understand Ted’s perspective on life).  The book is full of brilliant observations and it is a credit to the author that the reader cares so much for Lily and Ted.


The novel ends on a decidedly positive note, a great emotional read.  (Even the husband enjoyed it! High praise.)

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Julie Goodwin

Julie Goodwin's Homemade Takeaway

 Welcome Julie Goodwin to my blog. As the first winner of Australian Masterchef Julie needs no introduction – her name is synonymous with fresh food and fun family friendly recipes which she shares in her five acclaimed cook books.  Thank you Julie for spending some time with us today.

Ten things You Didn’t Know About Julie Goodwin


I was born in Sydney


I have written 5 cookbooks . Our Family Table, The Heart of the Home, Gather, 20/20 Meals and Home-made Takeaway.


When I was young I played clarinet in Hornsby Concert Band.


My favourite ingredients to cook with are garlic, lemons, eggs.


My biggest cooking disaster was when I opened the door to my dinner guests and the dog got up on the table and ran away with a whole roast chicken in his mouth.


When I am not cooking I am hanging out with my boys and my dogs.


My charity work involves doing various things for Oxfam, ChildFund, McGrath Foundation, Cure for MND Foundation, Coast Shelter.


My favourite book is Beach Music by Pat Conroy


My Masterchef highlights are when I won the cupcake challenge with my Lemon Diva, and cooking at the Hong Kong Jockey Club.


The most treasured items in my kitchen are my teacups and saucers. Some belonged to my nan, some to Mick’s grandma and mother, and others I have collected from various places over the years.

If you would  like to leant more about Julie – her recipes, cooking school (Julie’s Place),blog, charity work and more please click on the link below.


Post Script: Our Dog Knows Words- Peter Gouldthorpe, Lucy Gouldthorpe

Our Dog Knows Words

Our Dog Knows Words

Peter & Lucy Gouldthorpe

Hachette Children’s Books

Lothian Children’s’ Books

ISVB: 9780734416346



Meet our very clever dog. He always knows just what we’re saying to him. He knows, but does he always obey?


A funny story about a clever (but not always obedient) dog, from a father-daughter team of dog lovers.

From playing in the park to dinnertime, bath time and bedtime – this very smart dog knows what’s going on!




My View:

Fun, charming and a delight to read. This is a perfect book to read to your toddler or for your pre-schooler to read along with you. Anyone who has a dog or loves dogs will smile and nod their head in agreement as they agree with the sentiments and observations expressed here.


Put this one of your Christmas shopping list – (it comes in hardback and paperback), and watch the smiles on Christmas morning.



Post Script: The Hand That Feeds You – A J Rich

Do not deny that urge to adopt a rescue dog!

Cover The Hand That Feeds You

The Hand That Feeds You

A J Rich

Simon & Schuster Aust


ISBN: 9781471148576



Morgan’s life seems to be settled – she is completing her thesis on victim psychology and newly engaged to Bennett, a man more possessive than those she has dated in the past, but also more chivalrous and passionate.


But she returns from class one day to find Bennett savagely killed, and her dogs – a Great Pyrenees, and two pit bulls she was fostering – circling the body, covered in blood. Everything she holds dear in life is taken away from her in an instant.


Devastated and traumatised, Morgan tries to locate Bennett’s parents to tell them about their son’s death. Only then does she begin to discover layer after layer of deceit. Bennett is not the man she thought he was. And she is not the only woman now in immense danger…



My View:

A great psychological drama.

A J Rice is the pen name of two authors  – Amy Hempel and Jill Ciment, together these two authors have a written a  seamless narrative of manipulation and intrigue; a great psychological  thriller.   But this book is so much more than a suspenseful narrative; the writers manage to pack the book with information on dogs, dog handling, dog refuges, forensic evidences, pathology, university study/clinical psychological studies, psychoanalysis and relationship studies. Irony abounds – the master’s student whose thesis on victim psychology, in particularly identifying what makes a victim is a “victim” herself, self-realisation is a major character in this novel.


The opening scenes are mind-blowing: the situation that Morgan discovers when she returns to her flat is so serve it causes a psychotic break, and the event that occurred in her recent past (no spoilers here) is traumatic, violent and demeaning and informs/determines so much of her later behaviours. So much action and intrigue occurs in these first few chapters that the book has effortlessly hooked you in. What occurs thereafter is just a bonus! The only fault I found with this narrative was how quickly the conclusion was presented – it felt rushed and the timing felt out of sync with the rest of the novel.

Be warned after reading this you will feel an uncontrollable compulsion to adopt a dog from a dog rescue centre. Do not deny this urge.