Friday Fiction – Comfort books and a Sibling War

Welcome to Friday Fiction #5

Book fun

During April I was nominated by Donna, from Retirement Reflections, to join in a fun Facebook challenge. The rules were to post a book cover every day for seven days and then nominate someone else to share their books.

Little did I know what I would uncover and the resultant sibling book war!

As I’m a bit contrary sometimes, I decided to feature my favourite books from my teenage years and after the first few days I gave up nominating someone, opening it up to anyone who felt so inclined 🙂

Day 1
Accepting this challenge from Donna, my blogging friend in Canada, to post books that I love, one per day, for seven days. No exceptions, no reviews, only covers.
Each day I am to ask a friend to accept the same challenge. In this time of social isolation, and closed libraries, let’s share what we are currently reading or books we have loved from our childhood (that might just be a clue right there).

  • Day 1 – Anne of Green Gables series by L M Montgomery
  • Day 2 – Pastures of the Blue Crane by H F Brinsmead
  • Day 3 – Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner
  • Day 4 – Trixie Belden series by Julie Campbell Tatham
  • Day 5 – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Day 6 – Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene
  • Day 7 – Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

I had a great time remembering, then finding and photographing my old favourites. The responses from many of my facebook friends was heartening, they also enjoyed remembering and being reminded of long lost books from our past. It was also interesting to see what books others shared.

I also started a sibling book war!

When I posted my Day 4 book, one of my many Trixie Belden favourites, I inadvertently found that it was in fact my sister’s book, given the inscription inside the front cover.

After my sister’s way out of proportion reaction, given how old she is and how long ago it was, I decided to check some of my other old faves and blow me down, I found another few books that were actually hers – OOPS!!! Well that went down well with my sister – NOT – and she even told mum on me 😲

I have since promised to return said books after these isolation restrictions are lifted, but hopefully she’ll forget in the intervening months and my stash of old faves can stay together in my book case where they have been for over 40 years!!

It certainly brightened our lives for a week and we needed it! Life is so different at the moment and we’re all still trying to get our heads around it.

Anything that makes us laugh, even a sibling war between two sisters who are old enough to know better, has to be celebrated in these social distancing/isolating times 🙂

Thanks to Donna for the fun and to everyone else who also joined in.

Non Fiction Updates

Teacher: One woman’s struggle to keep the heart in teaching by Gabbie Stroud

Our bookclub book this month is Gabbie Stroud’s Teacher, and although we aren’t actually meeting together in person like we usually do, we are still making the effort to catch up but it’s now moved online, like much of our lives these days!

Teacher: One woman's struggle to keep the heart in teaching

In 2014, Gabrielle Stroud was a very dedicated teacher with over a decade of experience. Months later, she resigned in frustration and despair when she realised that the Naplan-test education model was stopping her from doing the very thing she was best at: teaching individual children according to their needs and talents. Her ground-breaking essay ‘Teaching Australia’ in the Feb 2016 Griffith Review outlined her experiences and provoked a huge response from former and current teachers around the world. That essay lifted the lid on a scandal that is yet to properly break – that our education system is unfair to our children and destroying their teachers.

In a powerful memoir inspired by her original essay, Gabrielle tells the full story: how she came to teaching, what makes a great teacher, what our kids need from their teachers, and what it was that finally broke her. A brilliant and heart-breaking memoir that cuts to the heart of a vital matter of national importance. Goodreads

We need to talk about Mum & Dad by Jean Kitson

We Need to Talk About Mum & Dad: A practical guide to parenting our ageing parents

I have now finished We Need to talk About Mum and Dad: a practical guide to parenting our ageing parents written by Jean Kitson. I enjoyed the information she shared from her own experiences and the way she told it too. It wasn’t depressing or boring, it was told with humour and absolute love for her parents.

Everything you need to know about supporting ageing parents, from author and comedian Jean Kittson.

This warm and witty practical guide is a one-stop shop for information on how to support your ageing loved ones: how to protect their health and wellbeing, keep them safe and secure, and enable them to be self-determining and independent for as long as possible.

So what are you currently reading?

I’m an avid reader and have set myself a goal of 100 books for my 2020 Reading Challenge. You’re very welcome to follow along on my progress or even join me on Goodreads.

I started this Friday Fiction series a while ago, to share what I’ve been reading, what has taken my fancy or what I’d like to read. This is post number 5 so far in my series. I don’t post every Friday, just when I feel I have something to share.

This series was sparked by an item on my list – 12 things to do before turning 60 – which was to write more book reviews and share them on my blog.

I’m loving the clever creative types who are sharing themselves reading or singing online to anyone who wants to join in, much like Joe offering PE classes online everyday, we really are lucky to have technology at our fingertips.

Over to you

Leave me a quick comment with what you’re reading at the moment and how it’s going.

Are you reading more at the moment, or reading a different genre to your usual fare? How has your reading changed since the pandemic hit us and changed our lives? Some people aren’t able to read at all due to lack of concentration, distractions, and feelings of overwhelm.

As well as looking back at my old favourites I’m loving watching Anne with an E on Netflix as a continuation of my need for comfort, much like many others are comfort eating during this time. You too?

Thanks for joining me for Friday Fiction and I look forward to reading with you again soon.

Deb xx

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Debbie in rock chick mode

Everyone has a story to tell! Deb is a young-at-heart & active 60+ blogger/retiree, after being made redundant from her 22-year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre (jail). She now spends her time reading, blogging, riding her ebike and travelling. Deb was awarded a Bravery Award from the Queen when she was 17 after a tragic accident – a definite life changing moment! She is married with 3 grown-up daughters & has 4 grandchildren. She never imagined being Granny Debs would bring so much joy to her life! You can read more of Deb’s story here

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19 Replies to “Friday Fiction – Comfort books and a Sibling War”

  1. I had to laugh when i read that you are thinking maybe your sister will forget that you have her books. Reminds me of my son. He borrows tools and such from my hubby then hopes that he will forget he loaned them out. I see that you say “blow me down” and I don’t know when or why that phrase became part of my vocabulary but I say that all the time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dee, I’m hoping she won’t read my post but that’s unlikely!! Yes we use that term here too and nice to know we have it in common. Have a lovely weekend and good luck with trying to get those tools back from your son!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Deb I’m currently reading A Mother’s Story by Amanda Prowse and also over the last few weeks have read Place of Execution by Val McDermid plus Recipe for the Perfect Housewife which was one of those books that ended too abruptly for me. I like an ending with a nice neat bow! Have a lovely weekend. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always enjoy Amanda Prowse books! Not sure if I’ve read that one though! I also finished a book that left the ending completely open and I was torn between thinking it was a brilliant ending and being disappointed that I didn’t get to tie it all up nicely! Hope all is well with you. xx


  3. I’m reading non-fiction at the moment – primarily travel-related given that I can’t actually travel. At the moment it’s The Anglo Files by Sarah Lyall. It’s ok, but a tad US-focused and I think misses a bit of the point about Britain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it interesting how we change our reading to suit the situation Jo? I’ve heard many people can’t concentrate to read at all and others are reading, like you, because they can’t travel at the moment. I’m reading so much more than ever, in between zoom group exercises with family, walks and bike rides when the weather permits. Thanks for sharing your current book.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, Debbie – I was delighted that you enthusiastically took on the Book Cover Challenge. Interesting about the ‘sibling stuff’ that resulted. That certainly should give you a great story for you and your sister to share for years to come. (Somehow, I don’t think that she’ll forget about that you have a few of her books.) 😀
    As one of my ‘Pandemic Goals,’ I decided to read, in advance, all 22 of the 2020 Reading List books for both of my book clubs. I’m currently on ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine,’ giving me 4.5 books left to go. As my book club books tend to dominate my reading priorities, that will provide me with the rest of the year to read whatever I like.
    I’m looking forward to that! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the nomination in the first place Donna! I had a great deal of fun and my sister and I have an ongoing relationship that this just fitted right in! How are you finding Eleanor, I must say I enjoyed it immensely once I got into it. You are very clever getting your book club reads out of the way min advance! Unfortunately we don’t get a list in advance otherwise I might have done the same. Great to have you join in and I loved seeing what you (and others) shared along the way. 🙂


    1. Oh that’s on my library borrow list to read soon Jennifer! Glad you understand the sibling war 😂 we really do love each other. Yes I’m trying to do the same – light, easy to digest and escapist all the way at the moment. Glad you got a laugh out of it!


  5. A fun challenge, Deb. I read every single Nancy Drew as a young teen. I had forgotten about Trixie Belden series. Yes, anything that makes us laugh is welcome. I am reading about 5 books from my elibrary and they are all due about the same time. My middle of the night, insomnia read. I find it quite comforting and distracting. You have inspired me to check out “Anne with an E” on Netflix. Take care and happy reading.xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a lot of fun Erica! And the memories…I am tempted to go back and read some of those old books now that I have some time to see if they still speak to me as they did back then.
      I know the feeling of bulk library ebooks, I have a few in May that all come available at the same time!
      I hope you can find Anne with an E and let me know what you think. Take care xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I laughed out loud when I read that Deb! Your blogging friends are right – I won’t forget. Mind like an elephant (and a butt to match).

    I re-read one of the books on the list I posted on the Facebook Challenge – Josh. I still love it so much. It’s so beautifully complex within a very seemingly simple story. Apart from that I’m not reading at the moment, although I might make it a challenge to read through the other books on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you got a laugh from it!! I’m sure you will remember 😂 I’m tempted to re-read all my Anne books now and maybe a Trixie Belden or a Nancy Drew just for old times sake and before I have to hand some of them over!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think that is hilarious that you made off with your sister’s books as your own. Well clearly she had not been missing them all these years. As you say good to have a laugh, especially these days.
    To be honest I have not been reading much. My concentration seems jumbled and I am currently doing better tackling projects such as going through decades of photo albums, sorting, scanning and then saying goodbye to hard copies. A mix of catharsis and emotion all wrapped into one.
    Sending best wishes from Canada Deb. I’ll see if I can settle myself in with a good read one of these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sue, I get that it’s hard to sit and read and I’m only able to read a selection of books, nothing too deep! My sister is still complaining about me ‘stealing’ her books but I honestly don’t know how I ended up with them!
      That’s a huge job you’re doing with photos and I can understand the cathartic response, something you need to do while you have the time I guess. Thanks for your good wishes from Canada, right back at you from Australia. xx

      Liked by 1 person

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