Valle Laguna Book Club March Review

Valle Laguna Book Club March Review

 

If ever we needed some escapism it’s now.

Self-isolation might be the perfect opportunity to catch up on books, but even without guest here, there are still plenty of jobs to do here at the farm. We’ve taken the opportunity to get out in the garden, and tick off the odd jobs that somehow never find their way onto the official “To Do” list.

I set my Bluetooth Speaker up outside and listen while I’m doing the odd jobs or pottering in the gardening.

This is what I’ve been reading, watching & listening to over the last few weeks.

I hope it goes a small way to relieving any anxiety, boredom or sadness you may be dealing with at the moment.

Kylie

Reading:

The Girl Who Lived by  Christopher Greyson

Psychological thriller. Twist and turns. A number of moments that are so suspenseful my heart was racing and my breath was shallow…  I didn’t pick the killer until it was revealed at the end. Normally this would be a good thing but I was a little disappointed because there weren’t enough “ah ha” moments throughout the plot to make me think “Of Couse! Why didn’t I see that coming?”  That said I still recommend reading it.

The Girl in The Painting by Tea Cooper

Tea Cooper is a local of the Wolombi Valley. Why have I not read her books before?? This book is absolutely fantastic!!!!

I particularly loved one of the main characters, Jane Piper. She’s described as a “mathematical savant” and has a somewhat quirky personality so she provides the perfect contrast to the more controlled and traditional character of Elizabeth.

I can’t really think how to describe this book so here is what Harper Collins had to say

Ranging from the gritty reality of the Australian goldfields to the grand institutions of Sydney, the bucolic English countryside to the charm of Maitland Town, this compelling historical mystery in the company of an eccentric and original heroine is rich with atmosphere and detail.

A few months ago I started to read another book by Tea Cooper called The Naturalist Daughter, but I couldn’t get into it so I put it aside. I was disappointed because it’s set in the Wollombi Valley and I was keen to get an insight to what our valley looked like back then. Anyway I’ve started reading it again and I can report that I’m hooked!

Less By Andrew Sean Greer

Despite all of the hype around this book, I’ve put it aside for now. I just found the main character a bit to irritating for my headspace at the moment…I will revisit and let you know how I go. Anyone else read it?

Apps:

Calm.

I love this app so much!! I started using the free version a few years ago but quickly upgraded to the paid version. It has a new 10-minute mediation each day; sleep stories, guided meditations of varying lengths and so much more. The soundscapes are also very relaxing…rain falling, fire crackling, thunderstorms, or waves gently breaking on the beach.

 

Watching on Netflix:

The Goop Lab- Better than I expected.

Miss Americana- Even if you don’t listen to Taylor Swift’s music this is a MUST WATCH.

Virgin River- Romantic escapism…defiantly one for the ladies.

 

YouTube:

Yoga with Adrienne

Cole Chance Yoga

Podcasts:

The Food Medic-Dr. Hazel Wallace discusses all thing heath related, with a focus on fact verses fiction.

How I Built This with Guy Raz- Interviews with people who have built some of the worlds most successful companies.  Many set out to build big companies, others slowly evolve and a few just take off leaving even the founders baffled.

 

2020 Valle Laguna Book Club-January Reads

Book 1 for 2020

I love a good book. Reading has always been one of my favorite pastimes and I know that many of our guests love nothing more than settling in with a good book. We keep the bookshelves in the villas well stocked. Guest will often leave books behind and I’ll add mine once I’ve finished them.  

I get through a lot of books over a 12-month period. Those that followed my blog way back (before I stopped writing it!) will remember I often did book reviews and recommendations.  

So with that in mind I’m starting a 2020 Valle Laguna Book Club. I’ll let you know what I’m reading for the coming month and give you a brief overview of books I’ve read.

So first up for January 2020 is “Talking to Strangers” by Malcom Gladwell. 

First thing I’ll say is that it’s not light summer reading!

The book looks at society and how as humans we are programmed to judge, analyze and form perceptions of people based on certain signals. This can be everything from how someone looks, acts or responds to a certain situations, or simply their race and religion. These assumptions are so ingrained in us, but often we get it SO WRONG. 

 Gladwell uses many example to highlight this including UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s prediction that having met Adolf Hitler a number of times, and having obtained a signed agreement, he was adamant that there would not be another world war. Gladwell then goes on the give examples based around Bernie Madoff, Sandra Bland, Larry Nassar and Amanda Knox. These cases are all American (but made headlines around the world.) but I have to say that the name Lindy Chamberlain came to my mind as I was reading theses cases. All of these people were judged rightly or wrongly by how they acted rather than the hard evidence. 

So, would I recommend this book? Yes but only to those with a keen interest in human behavior.  I’d give it 3/5 Stars

The February book is something completely different. 

I’ll be reading “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Ownens

February 2020 Valle Laguna Book Club

Has anyone else read either of these books? Let me know if you have or if you want to join me in reading  “Where The Crawdads Sing” in February, I’d love to compare notes.