Tag Archive | non-fiction book review

The Silver Moon – Book Review

The Silver Moon - ReviewI was in Kmart looking for a short book to read. It was the name ‘Bryce Courtenay’ and the Sub-title ‘Reflections on Life, Death & Writing’ that caught my eye.

‘The Silver Moon’ is 123 pages long. And oh, what magnificent pages they are!

This is Bryce Courtenay’s last book. I thank him very, very much.

I like the theme ‘Reflections’. It’s much better than an autobiography because you get closer to his heart and soul.

There is a short Forward summarising his life. Then there are quotes; snippets; how he came to writing; what the title means; writings on his pets and his love of gardening; how his first book ‘The Power of One’ turned from a doorstop to a published novel and 17 pages on ‘How to Write a Work of Popular Fiction’.

The two chapters that touched my heart the most (and I can hear it singing now) are on Words. I love words. I love writing and I love reading good stories. For me, I have never read anything more beautiful, imaginative and powerful as these 12 pages on Words.

Here’s a mixed sample – ‘some words run softly on tip-toe; some are so rounded at the edge and softened by wear; some stick like burrs; some remain forever unspoken and some phrases clunk … but they’ve all come to work.’

Bryce sums himself up simply – ‘I am a storyteller.’ And he says ‘I can’t conceive not doing it. It is a compulsive and impulsive thing’. Yes! We do need good storytellers.

‘The Silver Moon’ is 123 pages of sheer delight, courage and never giving up. If you love words and storytellers, read this book.

PS – I have only read two of Bryce Courtenay’s books. They are  the short ones –  ‘The Family Frying Pan’ and ‘Smokey Joe’s Café’. Time now to start reading the long ones, starting with ‘The Power of One’.

PPS – Here’s my favourite Bryce Courtenay words in a graphic.

Bryce Courtenay Quote

 

marg - oslo 2014Are YOU a Baby Boomer Woman looking to Confidently Shine?

(While I enjoy writing a personal Blog about life topics, including my love of reading, I also send out a regular Newsletter called  – ‘Baby Boomer Personal Style’ every Thursday. Don’t miss out on receiving fashion and dressing advice for the modern business and professional Baby Boomer woman.

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Book Review – The Meaning of Luck

‘The Meaning of Luck: Stories of Learning, Leadership & Love’

by Steve Waugh

'The Meaning ofLuck' bu Steve WaughSteve Waugh, former Australian Cricket Captain, explores through stories of the challenges of his wife, people he has met and his cricketing career, what he has learnt about ‘luck’.

The sub-heading of the book is a guide to tell you it is not about miraculous escapes, lucky chances or being ‘favoured habitually by fortune’.

It starts with the first two chapters about his wife’s life-threatening brain bleed in 2006 and ends with the Epilogue story of Keziah De Guia and the work of the Steve Waugh Foundation. In between are chapters about people Steve has met, admired and interacted with. Interspersed are stories of Steve’s cricketing career.

All demonstrate that it’s not what happens to you that counts.  It is how you deal with it that enriches your life and inspires others. He reminds us that it is the chances you take and what you do when no one is looking that creates what others falsely label as ‘luck’.

There is laughter, friendship and support in the stories for you cannot do it alone and are not meant to.

Because of this book, I have changed my opinion of cricket. I thought it was boring but I have come to appreciate its chess-like qualities. A cricket captain is a leader who moves his players to stay ahead of his opponents and the playing conditions while employing subtle and strategic mind-games to secure a victory.

Read, ponder and enjoy.

Below is a Affirmation graphic I created from some words in the book that spoke to me.

Smarter People

marg - oslo 2014Are YOU a Baby Boomer Woman looking to Shine Confidently?

(While I enjoy writing a personal Blog about life topics, including my love of reading, I also send out a regular Newsletter called  – ‘Baby Boomer Personal Style’ every Thursday. Don’t miss out on receiving fashion and dressing advice for the modern business and professional Baby Boomer woman.

CLICK HERE or on my photo to sign up for the ‘Baby Boomer Personal Style’ Newsletter.)

The Happiest Refugee – Book Review

'The Happiest Refugee' by Ahn DoThe Happiest Refugee’– A Memoir by Ahn Do

Whenever you see Aussie comedian, Ahn Do, on television he is always so happy. ‘The Happiest Refugee’ is just the perfect title for his book.

It’s not all lightness and laughter. He does not gloss over his tough upbringing; his family’s struggles in poverty during the Vietnamese war; the perilous boat trip to Malaysia through pirate-infested waters and finally being accepted into Australia (though his father thought they were going to Austria).

There are stories of how his father’s ‘you can do anything’ attitude and his mother’s ‘look after those less fortunate’ outlook got him into trouble. Then there is his family always celebrating coming second or a partial win because you gave it your best shot.

No life is perfectly happy and neither is Ahn’s. There is separation and fear but also encouraging words from a teacher that planted a seed – ‘Ahn, you’re a very talented storyteller’. It sprouted when he discovered how many hours a week a good comedian worked.

Throughout the book are the family stories. Ahn has been privileged to discover the courage, the sadness and the regret of family circumstances that help us all to respect and have empathy for those most important to us.

Lastly he includes what we all want – insider stories, usually humorous, of the work of a much-loved Australian comedian and film-maker.

Read it! You will enjoy it and have tears of happiness on the last page.

 

marg - oslo 2014Are YOU a Baby Boomer Woman looking to Shine Confidently?

(While I enjoy writing a personal Blog about life topics, including my love of reading, I also send out a regular Newsletter called  – ‘Baby Boomer Personal Style’ every Thursday. Don’t miss out on receiving fashion and dressing advice for the modern business and professional Baby Boomer woman.

CLICK HERE or on my photo to sign up for the ‘Baby Boomer Personal Style’ Newsletter.)