SUNDAY SHOUT OUT: A MEMOIR AND A CONFIDENCE BOOSTER

Is there ever such a thing as too many books? I don’t think there are too many books to read, but there can definitely be too many to review. Often I’m sent books and, with an already sagging review shelf, these unsolicited books often often don’t fit in to my schedule. Other times, I am unable to finish a book I intended to review (for various reasons), or I don’t have time for a full review. Sunday Shout-Out aims to acknowledge these books and the publishers who have sent them to me.

Sunday Shout Out is a bookish meme hosted by Monique of Write Note Reviews. If you’re a book blogger and you want to join in, just:

  • Share the title, author, blurb and image from a book (or more than one) you want to acknowledge
  • Share the genre, price and link to the publisher so readers can follow up if they like the sound of the book
  • Ping back to Write Note Reviews in your post.

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Tennis elbow continues to impact on my reviewing and looks set to remain an issue for a while. Reading’s not an issue, but typing is, so I’m having to reconsider my reading priorities and review approach for the time being.

1. The House on Carnaval Street by Deborah Rodriguez, Bantam RRP $29.99. Available from Random House Australia here.

The House on Carnaval Street, Deborah Rodriguez

When her family faces kidnap threats after the publication of her first book, Deborah Rodriguez is forced to flee Kabul, leaving behind her friends, her possessions, the beauty school she helped found and her two beloved businesses: a beauty salon and a coffee shop. But life proves no easier ‘back home’. After a year living on top of a mountain in the Napa Valley and teetering on the edge of sanity, Deborah makes a decision. One way or another she’s going to get the old Deb back. So, at the age of forty-nine, she packs her life and her cat Polly into her Mini Cooper and heads south to a pretty seaside town in Mexico. Home is now an unassuming little house on Carnaval Street. There she struggles to learn Spanish, works out with strippers and spends her Sunday nights watching clowns. And maybe – just maybe – the magic of Mexico will finally give her what she’s always dreamed of: a life on her own terms …

Rodriguez writes with a disarming, honest style and her life is certainly one with plenty to write about. There’s a passage in which she speaks to her mum about not wanting to be a hairdresser for the rest of her life, and it’s clear to me, that life was just preparing her to be a writer. If you like memoirs and you’re drawn by a chatty, engaging manner, The House on Carnaval Street may just be your next read. As a fiction lover, I’m going to seek out The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul.

2. Unlock Your Style by Nikki Parkinson, Hachette RRP $29.99. Available from Hachette Australia here.

Concerned that your clothes don’t reflect the real you? Want every occasion to be wardrobe-worry free? Need help to make sure you always look your best? Australian fashion expert Nikki Parkinson of stylingyou.com.au will help you to UNLOCK YOUR STYLE. Let Nikki be your own personal stylist as she shows you how to: Work out what’s right for you and your shape; get your wardrobe into line; look great without breaking the bank; dress for any occasion; and have fabulous hair and make-up in minutes. Packed with Nikki’s tales from the fashion trenches, this illustrated guide will have you looking and feeling your fashionable best in no time.

Although this is not a book I’d generally buy, I must confess to noting a few handy hints when I scanned this one. From a list of wardrobe staples to helpful hints on dress codes, there’s plenty of good information in there for anyone who’s somewhat fashion conscious but wants to find out “what works for them”. At the end of each chapter are worksheets (style work) so readers can put into practice some of the tips. It is aimed at the “everyday” woman, so don’t fear that it’s written by, and aimed at, someone with a model-thin figure; in the same way, the book acknowledges that not everyone has buckets of money to spend on fashion. A good gift for someone who wants to overhaul their wardrobe, a teenage girl, or anyone fashion conscious. Once I’m done with it, I know exactly who I’ll be passing this on to.

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Which of these books would you read?