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12 Days & 12 Books 4 Xmas – Carolyn’s Summer Reading Choices

Wit of WhitlamThe choices I have made for this summer are available from the Avoca Hill Bookstore, which recently opened in South Yarra and most good bookstores. I have listed them randomly, not in any order of preference.

Some are available in Kindle format, although personally I still enjoy the tactile qualities of holding a book in my hands, rather than a piece of technology.

As I spend most of my days writing and publishing online, I also enjoy the break and falling back on the traditions so important to my own life’s journey.

Goodness, what a wonderful array there is to choose from this Xmas.

As a tribute to the late trend setting politician Gough Whitlam you may like to pick up a copy of The Wit of Whitlam, published by Melbourne University Press.

It’s appropriately a ‘self-proclaimed international treasure’ from Gough Whitlam who never shied away from a pun, a put-down or a witticism’ proclaiming “I never said I was immortal, merely eternal.”

It works well alongside Gough Whitlam: The Definitive Biography – a Two Volume Box Set, which contains the definitive biography of the man himself.

It was written by the author of other major political biographies Jenny Hocking, a Research Professor and ARC Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) Fellow at the National Centre for Australian Studies.

ArmstrongFor those who enjoy the ideas of conquering the final frontier of space there  is Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight by Jay Barbree with a forweword by fellow astronaut John Glenn.

Neil Armstrong has long been admired for his modest demeanour, despite being an American modern hero and history’s most famous space traveller.

Armstrong said of his friend and author “Barbree is history’s most experienced space journalist”.

Together they have made a new history of experience,  one that took 20 years in the planning.

They discuss everything from the years of World War II until the definitive space journey that meant Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the Sea of Tranquility on the moon.

This is sure to become a firm favourite, especially for all young men who like to dream.

harlow-sage-and-indiana-Harlow and Sage (and Indiana) is a ‘true story about best friends’…three dogs who have taken the facebook and instagram world by storm.

Talk about cute, cheeky and captivating charm, and you are introduced to Harlow the Weimaraner, and his mate Sage, who has now passed on, and the dutiful daschund Indiana.

Brittni Vega started posting images of her pets Online in March 2013

The images are important to the story about the bonding amount a trio of pooches that will resonate long with dog lovers all around the world.

“Now we are obsessed” The Huffington Post

Rock on and read more

Wonder365 Days of Wonder: Mr Browne’s Book of Precepts by R.J. Palacio is a companion to his New York Times bestselling novel – Wonder.

Mr Browne has compiled 365 principles to live by and he shares them here with the world.

This is a gem for young readers (suggested age range 8 – 12 years and grade levels 3 – 7).

The text is drawn from popular songs, from fortune cookies, from children’s book and Egyptian tombstones.

It highlights and celebrates our humanity and the power of our choices.

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Wooleen Experiment – Saving the Land, Environment & People

Davd & Frances Wooleen 6

David and Frances – courtesy Wooleen Station

In the Australian outback on Wooleen Station David Pollock and Frances Jones are a young couple with a visionary approach to investing in each other, the natural environment and the property’s future sustainability.

They are ‘nursing’ and nurturing the land, which had been decimated by over grazing and the breakdown of natural eco systems over the last 100 years.

They are putting in place one of the most ambitious land rehabilitation experiments in Australia.

The story became a feature for the ABC’s television program Australian Story.

This happened for the first time in 2012, and again in November, 2014 when the television team checked on their progress.

They wanted to see how David and Frances have been surmounting the challenges this quarter of a million acre cattle property was facing.

David & Frances Wooleen

David and Frances gauging the rain levels courtesy Wooleen Station

This is a story demonstrating how two Australians are holding hope and love high.

These two brave people are ‘playing a leading role in preserving and sustaining the unique ecology of the region.

David and Frances have been masterminding a ‘radical venture’ that will see them ‘return the rangelands to good health by de-stocking the property and replicating original natural ecosystems’.

The couple are currently battling a drought, and every little bit of rain helps.

In November they posted on the Wooleen Station facebook site that they had ‘15.4mmls in our gauge!

Enough for us to get our rain jackets out and celebrate’

Keeping the ‘wolf from the door’ is achieved by taking in paying guests offering guests a wonderful way to experience life in the Australian outback.

They are offering a true Aussie experience in a place that is at the centre of the ‘heart and soul of Australia’s’ country life.

Listed by the National Trust of Australia (W.A.), the five star heritage homestead is an oasis.

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Passionate Pursuits

Fashion Elixir Quick Snippets of Culture Carolyns Conversations


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