by Kerry Tolson @kerrytolson.com
In her debut book 'Love at First Flight' Tess Woods takes the reader on an emotional roller-coaster ride as the intense love-at-first-sight obsessive relationship of Mel and Matt wrecks all in its path.
Consumed by the self-centeredness of their feelings, Mel and Matt rip apart the happy, contented lives of others, crushing their family's stability and betraying the love and trust of their long-term partners as they hurtle headlong into a selfish lust-filled affair that will leave repercussions reverberating for years to come.
This book is an examination of marriage - what we anticipate it will be when we say I do and what becomes the actual reality. It is the realisation of what real love is and how being 'in-love' is a myth. And it is the exploration of what we think we need to be feeling in order to be happy and how getting it can be the destruction of the happiness of others.
From the moment I open the first page, I was hooked. This is one of the most compelling, emotive and intense books I've read where the main characters - Mel and Matt - are flawed and selfish to the point of being almost unlikable and yet, I wanted their relationship to work and for them to have a happy ending. The scenario of meeting someone on a plane and instantly finding a connection is so plausible and real - it does happen, and this book left me with lots of 'what if it was me' questions. Would I risk destroying all if I thought this was true love?
I can't wait to read more from this author - Tess Woods.
by Kerry Tolson @kerrytolson.com
"We are all so much more than the sum of our fragile parts.
We are all our journeys, hopes and dreams, clad in mortal wrapping paper."
Oh my, what a beautiful, breathtaking, heartfelt book this is -
Penguin Bloom "The odd little bird who saved a family"
Exquisite beyond words. I was given this book by a friend to 'have a look through' and upon first turn of the page I devoured its heartbreaking but uplifting story of family whose 'world' was crushed and changed in the instant of a breath.
The Bloom family - Cameron, Sam and their boys; Rueben, Noah and Oliver - were living the ideal dream of many an Australian; embarking on world travel, experiencing new cultures, being in the moment and giving out to the world. Creating glorious memories with their children. Then, in Thailand, their idyllic life is shattered, the simplest of movements on a balcony changes their lives irrevocably forever.
Three little boys witness the most horrific injury imaginable to their mother.
A husband faces losing the love of his life. Sam becomes paralysed.
Returning back to Australia after months in a Thai hospital, and then another seven months in the spinal unit of an Australian hospital, the family finally bring Sam home but she is little more than a shell of her former self and the family is heart-broken. The darkest of thoughts plagues Sam.
Then a little baby magpie called Penguin enters their life and with her brings new hope and energy.
I cried and laughed reading this. I was enthralled. I felt uplifted. I felt intense gratitude and I felt immense pain for this family and that beautiful little bird. This is a book that will make the reader think of the blessings in their own life and how to find gratitude in the smallest of things that come into 'our' lives. This is a book about reaching down deep ourselves and really finding true compassion for others.
Not only is the story and message uplifting, but the beautiful photographs of Miss Penguin Bloom interacting with her 'brothers' - Rueben, Noah and Oliver - and with Sam are gently captivating - I could look at them over and over again and continually feel the spark of joy they emit upon revisiting them.
This is book I will be buying not just for my own shelf, but one I'll buy over and over again to give to others. This is a story to be shared.
I picked this book up after hearing a recent news story about the owners of cinema in Australia being hounded and abused (complete with death threats) by social media when a comment by a disgruntle customer went 'viral'. The family who owned the cinema suffered so much embarrassment and stress from the 'viral' post that their lives were made hell to the extent they closed their business, the staff lost their jobs and the town lost the only cinema it had, which also meant the community lost not only where they went to see pictures on the big screen, but a number of charity organisations also lost a 'fund-raising' venue.
So why did that incident (and news story) encourage me to pick up Helen Fitzgerald's book - Viral. Like many of the reviewers here, it was the very first line that grabbed me (along with the 'what if the worst thing you did went...) and it got me wondering - "What is it about social media and the internet that can send an average person into a pack mentality mob follower and help destroy the life of another being?"
Su is a good girl - the perfect daughter.
Leah is the wild child - a parent’s constant worry.
Both have just finished school
- university awaits,
for one, acceptance into a prestigious university.
A bright future is forecasted.
But first, it's celebration time - schoolies week. A week of all out partying, losing inhibitions, finding freedom, being young and carefree - all before adulthood sets in. Later in life this week will be looked back upon as one crazy time when 'you' thought you'd be invincible and anything you did would be passed off as just being 'young and silly'.
Both belong to the 'snap generation' where everything is snapped, twittered, instagramed, filmed, streamed and uploaded. And Shared.
Everyone is connected.
Everyone has a comment.
What if the worst thing you did went viral....
Will that thing you did ever go away. . . and how will it define you?
Accidently becoming 'viral' could happen to any of us, our children, our friends, our neighbours - in an instant-agram our everyday lives, futures and dreams could disappear just by the click of the hit and share button.
In cyberspace we are all connected - how we click could change the path of someone else's life.
This book will have you thinking, 'what if?' I loved it.
Bhutan is a country that is covered in mystery; barely raising its 'head' from under its cloak. It is an isolated and expensive country for the average person to visit and unless you hold an Indian, Bangladeshi or Maldivian passport, the only way to visit Bhutan is to go on a booked tour, to have a guide and driver, who will escort you to every sight/activity and town. Bhutan does not issue its visas to 'independent' travellers to wander at will around its stunningly beautiful, intriguing, mystical country, that is unless you garner a personal invitation from a Bhutanese person (or company) you have known for a length of time. Because of this, a visit to Bhutan does not enable the average tourist to see the 'real' Bhutan. What is so wonderful about Bunty Avieson's "The Dragon's Voice" is that she quietly and gently lifts the hem of Bhutan's cloak and allows the reader a more in-depth insight of this isolated country.
I devoured this book just prior to my own recent trip to Bhutan and found it fascinating and informative, and I must say delightfully humorous in parts. I loved learning about Bhutan's strong belief in the "Gross National Happiness" doctrine and how it is implemented (and is at times floored) into the country's lifestyle as well as its staunch environmental values, I was intrigued and curious about the strange dating techniques of night hunting and impressed by the clarity and compassion Bunty Avieson showed when describing her observance, understanding and personal experience in challenging the myth that Bhutan is the perfect utopia many in the west believe it to be.
This is a fabulous book, highly recommended to anyone who is thinking of visiting this incredibly stunning country, it will give an invaluable insight to the culture, beliefs and the hidden reality of Bhutan. But even if one is not planning a visit to Bhutan, this book is still a delight to read.
(To read more about my thoughts and recent journey to Bhutan click HERE.)
A little dash of gladsome
This is my page of delight - things that tickle my fancy, favourite books to take me on inner journeys, art that lifts me up, and tib-bits to make me giggle. It'll be random, fanciful, joyful and delightfully inspiring.
Hello! I'm Kerry
. . . a plan-nothing, have no idea where I'm going travelholic.
A daughter of the gypsies and the wife of a workaholic, I'm forever wondering 'What's over there?' and devising ways to squeeze through the barbed-wire fence of small-business ownership responsibilities and every-day life tangles to discover it.
and this is my book