Review: Home Work: A Memoir of my Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews

In this follow-up to her critically acclaimed memoir, Home, Julie Andrews shares reflections on her astonishing career, including such classics as Mary PoppinsThe Sound of Music, and Victor/Victoria.

In Home, the number one New York Times international bestseller, Julie Andrews recounted her difficult childhood and her emergence as an acclaimed singer and performer on the stage. 
With this second memoir, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, Andrews picks up the story with her arrival in Hollywood and her phenomenal rise to fame in her earliest films–Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Andrews describes her years in the film industry — from the incredible highs to the challenging lows. Not only does she discuss her work in now-classic films and her collaborations with giants of cinema and television, she also unveils her personal story of adjusting to a new and often daunting world, dealing with the demands of unimaginable success, being a new mother, the end of her first marriage, embracing two stepchildren, adopting two more children, and falling in love with the brilliant and mercurial Blake Edwards. The pair worked together in numerous films, including Victor/Victoria, the gender-bending comedy that garnered multiple Oscar nominations.

Cowritten with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, and told with Andrews’s trademark charm and candor, Home Work takes us on a rare and intimate journey into an extraordinary life that is funny, heartrending, and inspiring

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Let’s Talk: Bookish Consumerism and the Library System

As a blogger and instagrammer, it’s kind of expected to have lots of books. You need books to make the content needed for those platforms, and the common way in doing that is spending money on books. I’ve recently been thinking about how much I spend as a consumer on books, and how, realistically, it’s not financially viable all the time. 

I’ve recently joined the library nearest to my work, making it the third library I have access to in person and the fourth library I have access to digitally, and I love it. The library is a safe, welcoming space for everyone, and it’s time we give it the hype and attention it deserves.

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Let’s Talk: DNF’ing Books

DNF or did not finish, is a widely debated topic in the book community. Some are for it, some are against it. I can understand the division, especially if you have been asked by a publisher to review a book. You’ve been asked to do a task, so you can’t just not read it, right? Well, I’m of the belief that you should be able to have the option of not finishing. Let’s discuss why.

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Review: The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

*Please note, I have not yet read book 2 and would appreciate no spoilers for it please! 

I haven’t been captivated in a book just from the first page alone in a very long time. The Gilded Wolves broke this pattern, leaving me anxious to continue on in the story to see where the plot goes. To put this review simply, The Gilded Wolves is a masterpiece, carefully constructing a world that is both magical and realistic, with a band of characters that is simply a delight to read about. It’s honestly a very strong contender for my favourite book of the year. 

Set in a darkly glamorous world The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance. To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts:

An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive*

*Summary from Roshani Chokshi’s website!

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Recommendation: My Favourite Audiobooks

As someone who is pretty much always on the go, audiobooks have been a lifesaver. You just pop your earphones in and off you go transported into another world while your train to work chugs along slowly. At the beginning of the year, Caitlyn introduced me to scribd and oh boy did it change my reading life. For the fee of $10 a month ($15 AUD) you get unlimited books and audiobooks, allowing you to read to your heart’s content. In my opinion, it’s a completely superior deal than audible — but that’s another blog post in itself. (This post is in no way affiliated with scribd, I just think their service is super great! If you’re interested in joining scribd, feel free to use our referral code which will get you 2 months free!)

Anyway, without further ado, here are three of my favourite audiobooks that you should check out! 

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Let’s Talk: My favourite reads of 2020 (So far)

I don’t think I will ever stop commenting on how far into the year we are – how are we nearly at the end of November already? It has whizzed past, and I hope everyone is continuing to be safe, wearing their masks and socially distancing! I thought it might be nice to reflect on the year thus far and talk about a few of my favourite reads this year. Without further ado, let’s get into it! 

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Let’s Talk: Reading Slumps

I am notorious for being in a reading slump. I’m not sure why, but every few months my brain decides it has had enough imagination for the time being, and puts me off reading for a long period of time. It’s the most annoying thing in the world, if I’m being honest, because I love books. Not only do I love reading books, but I love talking about books. Nothing makes me happier than finding a new book to be obsessed with, and then sharing it with my close group of friends, it just brings me joy – which is why reading slumps are the absolute worst. 

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Review: The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night

Thank you to NetGalley and StoriesUntold for this eARC! 

In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret… 

For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic—and her life—is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.*

*Summary from Goodreads! 

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Spotlight: The Girl from the Well

Hi, hello! It’s Mary here with my contribution to All Hallow’s Read! My pick for this showcase is The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco, a delightfully spooky and interesting read! 

You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night. 

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out. 

The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as “Dexter” meets “The Grudge”, based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.*

*Summary taken from Goodreads!

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Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

*PLEASE NOTE: This review does not adequately discuss the lack of representation and diversity within this novel, and for that I apologise. For a review that does acknowledge the lack of diversity and representation, I recommend THIS one, written by Aentee over at readatmidnight. Because I’m white, my review does not properly highlight the damaging amount of exclusion of BIPOC in this book. I acknowledge that I have a lot of privilege to be in a position where I do not think twice about being represented in media, so I deeply apologise for overlooking it. I will absolutely learn from this mistake, and do better to continue educating myself and continue to critically analyse mass media.

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name*

* Review from Goodreads

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