Book Haul – 1 to 7 November 2020

Despite the best of intentions, I only read one book this week. I, like so many others, have experienced election anxiety for the first time in my life. I’m usually someone who avoids any talk of politics and limits the amount of news I’m exposed to because it only serves to bring me down. This week? I’ve found myself refreshing my newsfeed every other minute to see if anyone had finally called it. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be living in America right now.

I managed to drag myself away from my newsfeed long enough to go to the beach the day after we had a downpour. The foam in the waves was the weirdest colour; almost like iced coffee. I spent about half an hour simply watching the waves come in, absolutely fascinated by its consistency. It reminded me a bit of the slime in Ghostbusters II. As it made its way across the sand it was folding over on itself, looking almost alive.

Sorry about the quality of the photos. I only had my nine year old phone with me. Its battery does as it pleases so I was lucky it didn’t decide to shut down on me after the first photo.

I kinda like the photo below though because it shows the difference in colour between the dry sand, wet sand and the foam. You can’t really tell in the photo but the sparkly bits in the foam were little bubbles of shimmering rainbows.

Word of the Week: halcyon. “The word halcyon comes from a story in Greek mythology about the halcyon bird, which had the power to calm the rough ocean waves every December so she could nest. Like those calm waters, halcyon has come to mean a sense of peace or tranquility. People often use the phrase halcyon days to refer idyllically to a calmer, more peaceful time in their past.” (from vocabulary.com)

Bookish Highlight of the Week: I’ve started reading Jess Hill’s See What You Made Me Do and it’s a real eye opener.

Recent Read:


Book Mail

In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the Eastwood sisters – James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna – join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote – and perhaps not even to live – the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.


Kindle Black Hole of Good Intentions

Eight self-drive cars set on a collision course. Who lives, who dies? You decide.

When someone hacks into the systems of eight self-drive cars, their passengers are set on a fatal collision course.

The passengers are: a TV star, a pregnant young woman, a disabled war hero, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife – and parents of two – who are travelling in separate vehicles and a suicidal man. Now the public have to judge who should survive but are the passengers all that they first seem?


At the office of Safe Steps, Victoria’s dedicated 24/7 family violence response call centre, phone counsellors receive a call every three minutes. Many women are repeat callers: on average, they will go back to an abusive partner eight times before leaving for good.

‘You must get so frustrated when you think a woman’s ready to leave and then she decides to go back,’ I say.

‘No,’ replies one phone counsellor, pointedly. ‘I’m frustrated that even though he promised to stop, he chose to abuse her again.’

Women are abused or killed by their partners at astonishing rates: in Australia, almost 17 per cent of women over the age of fifteen – one in six – have been abused by an intimate partner.

In this confronting and deeply researched account, journalist Jess Hill uncovers the ways in which abusers exert control in the darkest – and most intimate – ways imaginable. She asks: What do we know about perpetrators? Why is it so hard to leave? What does successful intervention look like?

What emerges is not only a searing investigation of the violence so many women experience, but a dissection of how that violence can be enabled and reinforced by the judicial system we trust to protect us.

Combining exhaustive research with riveting storytelling, See What You Made Me Do dismantles the flawed logic of victim-blaming and challenges everything you thought you knew about domestic and family violence.


Welcome to the Ballador Country House Hotel. Nestled in the highlands of Scotland, it is unlike any other lodging. Guests can expect wonderful scenery, gourmet food, and horrifying nightmares – guaranteed. Daring travellers pay thousands to stay within the Ballador’s infamous rooms because of the vivid and frightening dreams the accommodations inspire.

Before Josephine Teversham committed suicide, she made a reservation at the hotel for her husband, Australian magnate Victor Teversham. Once he arrives at the hotel, Victor finds himself the target of malevolent forces, revealing the nightmares – and their purpose – to be more strange, personal, and deadly than anyone could have guessed. 


In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. 

If they are awakened, and the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. 

The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. 

Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain?


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