Cheryl Shares Notable Books with The Australian

Cheryl Shares Notable Books with The Australian

Cheryl is so thrilled to be sharing some notable reads each week with The Australian. There’s some fabulous books in this week’s edition. See the full list here…

This Much is True by Miriam Margolyes

BAFTA award-winning actor Miriam Margolyes, OBE, has delivered a hilarious and heartwarming memoir. In This Much is True, she shares her incredible life story – or, more accurately, the stories the lawyers allowed her to retain. It’s a gossip fest of famous actors, theatre tales, and entertaining anecdotes. She doesn’t diminish her struggles, but the wisdom of age gives her a refreshing take on any heartbreak, homophobia, and misogyny she’s experienced. Margolyes writes: “From the very beginning, I always wanted to connect with people using language and humour and naughtiness. I hope people will like me, but if they don’t, I want them to notice me.” Just like its author, This Much is True is funny, naughty, and so very likeable.

The Attack by Catherine Jinks

Robyn Ayres is the camp caretaker on Finch Island, located off the coast of Queensland. She’s working with troubled teens when she recognises one of them, Aaron, as a former student. The history between Robyn and Darren, as he’s now known, is at the heart of The Attack and makes for some tense reading. Taking place in both 2009 and 2019, the past Robyn has escaped is slowly revealed to the reader. The novel tackles the heavy topics of child abuse and toxic relationships with great sensitivity. With The Attack, Catherine Jinks has cemented herself as a must-read Aussie crime writer. Atmospheric and hard-hitting, if you’re a fan of Australian crime thrillers, don’t miss this.

All Of This Is For You by Ruby Jones

“It won’t be like this forever.” After the March 2019 Christchurch terrorist attacks, Wellington-based artist and writer Ruby Jones shared an illustration featuring two women embracing, penned with the words: “This is your home and you should have been safe here.” It went viral and lead to her being asked to illustrate a cover for Time magazine. In her first book, released in this special collector’s edition during Covid, Ruby acknowledges how overwhelming life can be, but how kindness and compassion can make a difference. All Of This Is For You is a stunning collection of beautifully observed illustrations and practical advice. The perfect gift for yourself or others during these times.

Backyard Bees by Doug Purdie

The pandemic has sent Australians into a backyard blitz of gardening, home improvements and sustainable living. Now you can add bees to that list. There has been about a 30 per cent increase in the interest of urban beekeeping across Australia and it’s continuing to grow. Doug Purdie’s bestselling beginner’s bee book has been fully revised and updated, taking in the urgent need to protect our dwindling bee population. He offers practical advice on how to install a hive in your garden, or how to simply encourage more bees to your garden by planting bee-friendly plants. It also contains information on native bees, and a section of seriously delicious honey recipes.

Muddy People by Sara El Sayed

Sara is coming of age in a household with a lot of rules. No bikinis, no boys, and no life insurance, not even when her father gets cancer. But the divide between her strict Egyptian Muslim family and her easy-going Brisbane lifestyle is vast. El Sayed eloquently tells the story of her family, of emigrating to Queensland from Egypt, and of growing up and finding her place. Muddy People is written in short succinct chapters, each titled with the rules that governed her family home, such as ‘Rule #1: Don’t Touch Alcohol,’ and ‘Rule #2: Good Girls Don’t Wear Bikinis.’ It’s an illuminating and heart-warming memoir about being caught between two cultures.

Return to Berlin by Ellen Feldman

Ellen Feldman is the acclaimed author of Scottsboro (shortlisted for the Orange Prize). Her latest novel is set in post-war Berlin and examines anti-Semitism, survivor’s guilt, blame, and forgiveness. The novel follows Meike, now known as Millie, who escaped from Germany years earlier, as she assists the Americans with de-Nazification efforts and attempts to find out what happened to her family. Millie is a resilient protagonist who is haunted by past trauma and suffering from survivor’s guilt. Over the course of the novel, Millie sets aside her anger and comes to recognise in the German people a shared sense of humanity. With Return to Berlin, Feldman has delivered yet another powerful and moving wartime story.

This article was originally published in The Australian.

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