Last night, in the A Box Of Bookclub Facebook chat group we discussed Trent Dalton's "Boy Swallows Universe" it was a quick but robust discussion. Have you read it? What did you think?
The general consensus was that it took a little bit of getting into but once you did you were hooked. Dalton, as a journalist, has a particular style but as one person said "once I was in tune I rode the wave to the end". Other feedback ranged from becoming very invested in the boys going on to have a good life to "Slim’s character was one of such warmth and love, despite his background, that really proved to be the guiding light. More kids need that love in their lives"
"Also as a Queenslander I knew where he was talking about so lived that part too. A great story."
"When he (Eli) met Caitlin Spies and she asks him to surmise his story in three words. I thought that connection to the book title, chapter titles and his background was very clever". It is a very cleverly written book with so many interesting characters that all have interesting stories too. After the first 30 or so pages the pace picks up and you get caught up in the emotional journey.
It's an amazing effort as a first novel and one that I recommend you persevere with and read.
The next group read is entirely different again. I'm very excited to announce it, which, given that I've been spruiking the latest gift box curation, may not be a surprise for some of you.
The Botanist's Daughter by Kayte Nunn. The official blurb is...
"Discovery. Desire. Deception. A wondrously imagined tale of two female botanists, separated by more than a century, in a race to discover a life-saving flower . . .
In Victorian England, headstrong adventuress Elizabeth takes up her late father's quest for a rare, miraculous plant. She faces a perilous sea voyage, unforeseen dangers and treachery that threatens her entire family.
In present-day Australia, Anna finds a mysterious metal box containing a sketchbook of dazzling watercolours, a photograph inscribed 'Spring 1886' and a small bag of seeds. It sets her on a path far from her safe, carefully ordered life, and on a journey that will force her to face her own demons.
In this spellbinding botanical odyssey of discovery, desire and deception, Kayte Nunn has so exquisitely researched nineteenth-century Cornwall and Chile you can almost smell the fragrance of the flowers, the touch of the flora on your fingertips . . ."
I have read it, loved it and especially enjoyed the historical references and while I've not really been into botany before the descriptions are vivid and delightful. Personally, I also enjoyed being able to picture the places where some of the story took place, Sydney, Kew Gardens, Cornwall but I've yet to visit Chile. You?
I've also had the pleasure of interviewing the inspiring author Kayte Nunn. Stay tuned for that on the blog later this week.
Now while I'd love you to get "The Botanist's Daughter" Book Box as a gift for yourself, you, of course, can still be part of the group read if you don't! Shall we aim for Sunday 16th December for the Facebook Group discussion?
Speaking of inspiring ladies, Tania the talented artist behind Cave & Reki has exclusively hand painted bookmarks for the gift boxes. Each one is unique & has been made with intricate care & love.
We are giving one away to the first person to order The Botanist's Daughter Book Box after reading this. They are divine and something to be treasured, all you need to do is buy a Botanist's Daughter gift box and put READER1 in the notes section so that I know you have come from here and a beautiful bookmark will be on it's way to you.
As usual we've also put together the regular reading / viewing / listening suggestion list. Anyone else listened to "My Dad Wrote a Porno"? I've only listened to the first 2 episodes but had tears of laughter, not such a good thing while driving in the car!
I'm hooked on Bodyguard as well, have you watched it?
If anyone is interested in a holiday / festive season reading challenge I'm planning on putting a list together. Hit me with your suggestions I'm thinking 5 books in 5 weeks? Do-able????
Finally, do you know about the new line of business that we have got into? A Box Of Bookclub Book Box Subscriptions - the perfect present for biblophiles, makes for great teachers gifts, are a bit of a unique present for someone going through a hard time & also a delightful gift for yourself.
We've created 3 options:
You can read more about the whole concept here and if you want to sign up in time for a Christmas delivery the closing date is 5th December.
Happy reading book lovers xx