Category: Books

My Top Six Books for 2021

It’s that time of the year when we reflect on our “top things” for the past twelve months. Unsurprisingly, three months of COVID lockdown is not on my list. But when ABC Book Clubbers started posting their six favourite books for 2021, I joined in with my top six paper-based, e- and audiobooks.

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Favourite Audiobooks

My son loved books. And I loved reading to and with him in his early years and watching him grow into an independent reader. However, in his teenage years, he became a “reluctant reader”. Thankfully, my son found audiobooks. And with a family account, he and I are building libraries of our favourites.

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The Longest Book Read

A question posted by Penguin Books Australia in 2017 popped up in my Facebook timeline memories: What’s the longest book you’ve ever read? Back then, I’d responded Gone with the Wind. But after sharing the old post on the ABC Book Club, I realised there are longer books, and I’d read one of them.

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Favourite Olive, Mabel & Me Quotes

My son called a few days before my birthday: “Without giving anything away, dad, would you like a book about a couple of famous labs?” I laughed: “Well, without giving anything away, son, I’ve been hoping you’d give me THAT book.” And so, on my birthday, I was delighted to unwrap Olive, Mabel & Me.

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My Love Affair With Somerset Maugham

I discovered Somerset Maugham in my early twenties when I borrowed a copy Of Human Bondage from a friend (which, to my shame, I never returned). The novel captivated me with its beautifully crafted tale of thwarted artistic ambition and unrequited love and sent me on a journey to read more Maughams.

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The White and Blue Niles

In 1987, my wife and I shouldered our backpacks and set off from Australia. The plan was to live and work overseas in England for two years, using it as a base for UK and wider world travels. And the widest of these were inspired by reading books like Alan Moorehead’s The White Nile and The Blue Nile.

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Favourite Books of 2020

The downside bedtime reading is dozing off midway through a chapter, paragraph or sentence. And when combined with my habit of juggling several books at once, it takes me a long time to read a book. But I love reading. And although it wasn’t a favourite year, I thought I’d share my favourite books of 2020.

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To Kindle, or not to Kindle?

Amazon discounted Kindles during the Black Friday-Cyber Monday sales. I have several ebook apps, including the Kindle app, on my tablets and phones. And I have a small library of ebooks, from Amazon and elsewhere. But I’ve never read an ebook from cover to cover. Could a Kindle help me enjoy ebooks?

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Reflecting on NAIDOC Week

NAIDOC Week is a celebration of Indigenous Australian culture and survival and usually takes place in July. But being an unusual year, NAIDOC Week 2020 was postponed to November. It remained an opportunity for Australians to acknowledge our Indigenous people, and to reflect upon a sad and shameful history.

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Council Clean-ups and Recycling

One fine mid-October Sunday, I returned home from my morning walk to be greeted with the news our annual council clean-up was on Monday. After previous clean-ups, I thought we had nothing left to throw out. And so I looked forward to a long day of writing. Until I had another look in the attic and shed!

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My 500th Instagram Post

On 11 January 2018, I posted my first #bookcovers and #firstsentences book to Instagram, On the Beach by Nevil Shute. On 5 October 2020, I celebrated my 500th with The Boy Behind The Curtain by Tim Winton. The homage series spans fiction and nonfiction, adult and children’s, traditional and e-book titles.

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Published April 2021

I look forward to the Writer's Centre's monthly Furious Fiction competitions because I've become addicted to the escapism of writing short stories! ~ Robert Fairhead

Twelve Furious Months by Robert Fairhead
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Published March 2020

This slim book is hard to put down. And the only regret we may feel after reading it is that we reached the end too quickly! ~ Denise O'Hagan

Both Sides of the Story by Robert Fairhead
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There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ~ Maya Angelou

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