The best of… no, wait, all the books I read this year

Last week I wrote about the books my kids loved this year - 28 recommendations from my kids to yours - so this week I thought I'd post about the books I loved in 2018. There are lots of "best books" newspaper articles and blog posts at the moment, and at first I thought about trying ...

28 Book Recommendations From my Kids to Yours

One night a few months ago, I made a third attempt to get my six-year-old interested in Cabin Fever, a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book by Jeff Kinney. I read it for him as his bedtime story, promising he could have a second story if he didn't like it. There may have been an ulterior ...

Instructions from a ten-year-old

When I was about thirteen, I remember reading Flowers in the Attic and realising pretty quickly that it was a good thing my parents didn't know what it was about. I'd been stopped from reading Judy Blume's Forever a few years ago, and had learned to be more careful about revealing my reading choices. It's ...

The Photo Not Taken

Marina di Venezia Andrea Mara Office Mum

Two summers ago, we spent a glorious fortnight in Marina di Venezia, a campsite near Venice that's situated right on the beach. About five days into our holiday, I was lying awake in bed, cranky after a bad night's sleep, and irrationally irritated that everyone else was still snoring (including the four-year old source of my ...

Book launches and being horizontal

Anyone who knows me in real life will know that I'm not exactly horizontal in the chilled out stakes. I'm somewhere between about 45 and 80 degrees. And depending on the situation (organising a kid's party, organising a barbecue, trying to get out the door when we have a babysitter...) I'm really quite the opposite ...

Human birthdays and book birth-days

Sun and showers and sun showers, school runs snaking in and out between parked cars, windows down, temperatures up, singing voices raised, tempers frayed. June is everywhere and we are exhausted. It's time to wind down towards summer holidays, but at this time of year, it always feels like it's ramping up instead. Not the homework, ...