New Year, new books!


I mentioned before that last year I read a pitiful amount of books! I intend on improving that for this year.  I got a couple of new books from Santa, as well as a great find at a bargain bookstore!


Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich was a present from Santa, and just like all her other books, I really enjoyed it.  It does seem a bit repetitious after the other stories in the series, but I can’t pass up the humor!  I moved on to Michael Connelly’s A Darkness More Than Night after that, which my aunty lent me when I couldn’t get to a bookstore!  This was also a pretty quick read because it wasn’t easy to put down – surprising for an author I haven’t read before – so I’m keeping my eye out for more of his books.  If you like detective novels, then you’ll like this one too.  Of course, I have to have a James Patterson in the pile as well.  This was an early birthday present from my in-laws, and I finished it in less than a week!  I’d read some negative reviews about Cross My Heart after I got the book, saying that the end came up very quickly, and the unfinished story was just a ploy by the author to get you to buy the next book.  I didn’t think the ending was rushed, although it was a little strange having two storylines overlapping the way it does.  I would have bought his next book anyway because I really enjoy the Alex Cross character.  Warning – there are parts of this book I had to devote more time to because I just couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out what happened!  Just as gripping as all his others.


These all came from an op shop!  One of the greatest places to find book bargains, in my opinion – $7 for ALL of these!  $3 for each of the Dan Brown’s (at the moment they’re $10 each in book stores), and $1 total for the rest.  It’s a good way to ‘try out’ new authors without committing to full price if you find you don’t enjoy them.  I started reading My Legendary Girlfriend because I wanted something light-hearted after all the crime drama, and although it’s been reviewed as ‘the female Bridget Jones’, I’m just not getting into it!  I’m almost ready to move on to another one.


…or, when I get a house and some kind of craft room set up!  These were Christmas presents from my aunty and my sister, who obviously know me pretty well!  The projects in these books are just gorgeous, I can’t wait to try them out.

I think all these should keep me out of mischief for a little while! What’s on your reading list for this year?

Trina xo





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Busy butterfly!

Although things have been a bit quiet on the blog, life has been pretty busy! With so much going on I thought I’d catch you up in one go.  SO – there’s been lots of…

  • Crocheting…

Making a hexagon blanket from this pattern.  No recipient in mind, just a good acrylic stash-busting project!  I plan on adding a border of cream hexagons to match the individual borders.


  • Knitting…

I made a hat to match this shrug pattern a couple of years ago, but it got snatched away by my sis almost as soon as it came off the needles! I finally got around to making myself another one, with a matching scarf.

Knitting 2013

And this – since it’s getting pretty cold here, our new puppy has been feeling it!  More photos to come soon, but project details here.


  • Reading…

I got this pile of books from my almost-sister-in-law as a late birthday present! I’ve started on “Along Came A Spider” – great so far, as to be expected from one of my favourite authors.


  • Sewing…

This t-shirt blanket has been on the books for ages! This was supposed to be a Christmas present for sis, then a birthday present, then Christmas present again the following year, and it’s finally been completed – and it was well received!

Pre-sewn: I used a favourite book from childhood as a template for cutting out all her childhood t-shirts…


After sewing: I used a flannel blanket for extra padding in the middle, with a cute chunky hem, just the right size for a double bed!


  • Wedding prep…

13 weeks to go, and still SO MUCH to do!  Much of my wedding is DIY, so there’s been lots of cutting…


… folding…


… and sheet music cut-outs!


When things settle down a bit, I’d really like to take on another challenge and get into some style posts, but in the meantime, you can check out these favourites that I read all the time – they are great inspiration!

Or check out my “My Style” Pinterest board to see what I love!


PS: since it’s the beginning of the month I’ve updated my Popular Posts on the side bar – who knew my “Snapshots of my day” post would be my second most popular post in the last month! Should I do another one?

New books (+ 24 hour book sale!)

I mentioned that over Christmas I got a few new books – time to show them off!



The latest dramas of the witty Stephanie Plum! Yes, there are more cars exploding. Yes, there is more tension in the Stephanie-Ranger-Morelli love triangle.  Yes, Grandma Mazur and Lula are still hilarious.  What more can you expect from this series! Still my favourite series ever, and I was stoked to be able to buy it with some Christmas vouchers.  In this book Stephanie goes back to work for Ranger, and what starts as purely a job ends with her life in danger, as always, but also with her wearing a ridiculous bridesmaids dress!  On top of that she’s trying to find out more about patients disappearing from hospital beds, which gets her working with both Morelli and Randy Briggs, who finds he’s small enough to fit into a mail chute.  Add in some time at an embarrassing nudist beach, and a tiki that keeps bringing bad luck, and you’ve got another awesome read.

I couldn’t put it down – I read the whole thing in one sunny afternoon! Highly recommended, as always.

This is the latest instalment in the Women’s Murder Club series.  I admit I haven’t read any of these books yet, but I’m collecting them so that I can read them all through from number one – just haven’t found that one yet!  The blurb says “Detective Lindsay Boxer finally gets married.  But a missing newborn and a series of violent attachs push the Women’s Murder Club back to full throttle before the wedding gifts are even unwrapped.” (Apparently I have a thing for buying books that mention weddings at the moment!).  Really looking forward to starting this series.

This book was a bargain – $3.50 at a clearance sale!

“Welcome to 77 Shadow Street… where every 38 years a terror descends.  December 1897 – A family abducted, never to be found.  December 1935 – A household slaughtered in their beds.  December 1973 – Terrified workmen see a glimpse of hell.  December 2011 – Is 77 Shadow Street destined to be a death house once more?  This is not a ghost story.  It is something scarier by far.”  While I sometimes find Koontz’s work a little overrun with adjectives, this looks like a gripping tale.

This was a bargain too – also $3.50 at the clearance sale!

I picked this up while browsing one day, and flicking through it I found his interview with Audrey Hepburn! Looking further I found transcripts with Heath Ledger, Oprah, Jodi Foster, Madonna and Michael Crawford, among others.  Can’t wait to get into this! Though I’ll probably just pick it up occasionally and read an interview at a time, since the book is too heavy to cart around easily!

This was my biggest bargain – I originally saw it in a store on sale for $40 (down from $50), so I wrote it down to keep an eye out for it, only to find it at the same clearance sale for $7!

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So – onto details of the sale! I got an email from Book Depository the other day alerting me to their upcoming sale WHICH STARTS TODAY!!  Every 15 minutes for 25 hours a new book bargain will go up – and you have to get in quick to get it!  As always their free worldwide delivery applies.  Click below to find out more details… then come back and let me know what you snagged!

Book Depository SALE








(FYI – affiliate links)

On the nightstand + Book Fair haul


“The official story of flight 353 is a lie.  They say it was an accident.  It was not.  They say there were no survivors.  There was one.  She is a scientist with a secret.  A secret that will change the world.”

At the top of the pile is the Dean Koontz I’m reading at the moment, ‘Sole Survivor’.  Its about a guy whose wife and two young daughters die in a plane crash, and he doesn’t cope too well.  When he visits their graves one day he finds someone there taking photos (the scientist, I presume), and when he asks her what she’s doing she replies that he’ll find out in time like the others.  As she leaves he realises that someone is following her, and they begin to give chase.  That’s all I’ve read so far, but I’m really enjoying it!

Book Fair

There are a few things you can say if you want to get my attention quickly.  One is Bradley Cooper.  Another is book fair.  I clean for a lady once a week and while I was working today she mentioned there was a book fair going on at the racecourse next door, and straight away I knew I wasn’t going to be able to avoid it!  It was a fundraiser for Red Cross, and at just $3 per book it was a really good deal.  Its really clear that I have weird taste in books, when you look at the titles I got.  Two by James Patterson – one Alex Cross storyline and one Women’s Murder Club storyline – and another two by Dean Koontz.  And then two biographies!  I’ve been a fan of Goldie Hawn since I saw her in ‘Foul Play’ and ‘Death Becomes Her’, so it will be great to read her background.  As for Dawn French, well, ‘Vicar of Dibley’ – say no more!  She’s hilarious, and the other bios I’ve read have been quite serious, other than Ellen of course, so it will be nice to mix a bit of humour into the pile.

Exciting times ahead!

What are you reading at the moment?

On the nightstand… April-June

With study being so busy over the last couple of months, I have regularly fallen into bed and gone straight to sleep.  Some nights though, I’ve needed something to take my mind of assignments, so I’ve managed to get through a few more books.  Now that’s its holidays I’ve just started on another couple too.

Latest books I've read

‘Explosive Eighteen’ by Janet Evanovich

One of my favourite authors ever!  I love the tangle between Stephanie, Morelli and Ranger at the start of the book, and the way that Stephanie can seem to stay on everyone’s good side – even the fake FBI agents who are after her!  Definitely one to read if you have read some of the others in the series; it may be a bit confusing otherwise.

‘Alex Cross’s Trial’ by James Patterson

Another one of my favourite authors.  This is a really interesting story, not told by Alex Cross, but based on a story that his grandmother used to tell him.  It revolves around a trial set at the time of lynchings in the deep south, and the rules of segregation there.  I thought it was relevant to read, since we’d just been studying that kind of thing in my History of Blues and Jazz class – the day after I started reading it we listened to Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday on the same subject! (Amazing imagery in that song by the way…)

‘Olivia’ by Tim Ewbank

I spotted this in a book store in Melbourne a few years ago, but it was out of my price range, so I left it -but never forgot about it, I’m a big fan of Olivia Newton-John.  Much to my amazement I came across it at a book clearance store down the road from my house – a bargain at just $5!!  A great book, some really interesting information on her background, both personally and professionally.  I like reading about behind the scenes stuff from my favourite movies – for the record, I think Grease is the greatest movie ever!

‘And Furthermore’ by Judi Dench

A similar book as above – and also a bargain from the same clearance store! Although it took me a while to get through it, I laughed a lot – she’s such a funny lady, and pulls pranks on people in the theatre a lot! A great insight into her career, especially if you’re a fan of her movies. (I just realised I cut off her head in the photo – how awful!)

‘The Power of a Praying Wife’ by Stormie O’Martian

This, and its partner ‘The Power of a Praying Husband’ were engagement presents to us from friends from church.  I just started reading this, and it seems like it will help our relationship a lot.  There are different chapters in the book associated with different areas to pray for as needed, rather than a book to just read from start to finish.

‘Unchain my Heart’ by Andiee Paviour

Just started reading this one too – really interesting so far.  Its the true story of a lady whose son got abducted by her ex-husband, the boy’s father, back in 1990, and she hasn’t been able to see him since.  Quite close to home, since it’s set in Australia, and her son would be the same age as me now…. I can’t wait to find out what happened!

Who else is reading an interesting book at the moment?

Three on Thursday: Books

Starting this to help me with the PostAWeek2011 challenge.

One of my favourite things to do in the holidays is to settle in with a good book.  Christmas brought with it a few new ones, which I’ve been working my way through.

Four Blind Mice – James Patterson

I got this book with a voucher from my secret Santa!  It was the next in the series of Detective Alex Cross books, which I love, and I got through it in about a week, it was hard to put down!  You don’t need to have read the previous books in the series to understand whats going on, its pretty well explained, but its good to have a background on who everyone else is.

Recommended if: you like detective ‘who-dunnit’ stories, though its rated PG for some violence.

What Would Audrey Do? – Pamela Keogh

I found this book while I was away on Christmas holiday, and its one of the best books I’ve read in a long time!  A mix of Audrey Hepburn trivia, and tips on how to emulate her lifestyle and fashion.  Did you know – she took 52 suitcases with her when she traveled, smoked right up until she died, and hated watching her own movies!  A really interesting book, also hard to put down.

Recommended if: you’re a big Audrey Hepburn fan like me!!

The Wish List – Martina Reilly

A present from Andrew – I’m still reading this one, although I’m over halfway through.  So far its an interesting story about a husband who is a drug addict, and his family who are dealing with it.  They have to move house because of debts and now live next door to a man who their 8 year old son thinks is Santa!  There’s been some funny moments so far, so I’m looking forward to the ending.

Recommended if: you like a good light-hearted story thats not too deep, but still entertaining.

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Do you love Jodi Picoult? Jessica at A BookLover’s Diary has an Advanced Reading Copy of Picoult’s new book ‘Sing You Home’ to give away.  Check it out here!




347 Words Per Minute

That is my reading speed, according to this online speed reading test.  Why don’t you take the test, and let me know what your score is?

You may be wondering what made me test this….

It has come to my attention that i’ve read an awful lot of books in recent months.  This is because I used to go to sleep with the TV on in my room – I hit snooze for 30 or 60 minutes (depending how tired I was!) so it turned itself off after I was asleep.  But when I moved into my new flat that wasn’t possible anymore (possibly due to the fact that I dropped the TV when I was moving… ahem…) so I took up reading before going to sleep.  Its amazing how many books you can get through with no other distractions, and at just a chapter or so each night!

Here’s what i’ve read, since about July…


  • Jack and Jill by James Patterson
  • The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer
  • Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich
  • Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
  • False Memory by Dean Koontz
  • Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  • Stolen by Lesley Pearse
  • Promises To Keep by Jane Green

I found another couple of books on sale recently to add to my reading pile – though they are Christmas presents from Andrew so I won’t be able to get into them until early next year.

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What’s your bedtime routine? Do you read, or watch TV, or do something else to help you get to sleep – or are you one of those lucky people who can just turn off the light, put your head down and hit sleepy town straight away?

~Trina ~