What I’m reading

How is your August going? It’s a rather busy month for me as I work on Pinot Palooza – an event that we are bringing to five cities across Australia and for the first time – Auckland! It’s a fun way to find the Pinot Noir that rocks your taste buds- so I hope to see you at one of our events!

In the meantime I thought I’d cast a light on the books that I have been reading because I have come across some GREAT reads!

Do you read much? A few months ago I was feeling like I wasn’t reading enough so I have made a concerted effort to try. My favourite way to find books to read is to visit a bookshop  and seeing what catches my eye. I actually bought a Kindle a few months back but to be really honest, it is still brand new in its packaging. At first I wasn’t sure what books I wanted to download then once I made a list, I realised that as much as a Kindle would likely make it easier and significantly less bulky to travel with, I love curling up with a physical paper book. There’s something about words on paper versus words on a screen that makes me feel less rushed which makes the process a lot more enjoyable IMO.

I make my lists of what to read based on podcasts I have listened to or visits to the bookstore or library. The podcast, “So You Want To Be A Writer” features interviews with authors and has led me to many a good book. Whenever I’m in a new city I love checking out local bookstores but as I spend almost a whole day each month in airports; I love having the excuse of browsing the bookstore there. That said airport bookstores can be pricey so often those titles will go onto my Book List in my Evernote (such a handy app that I use on my iPhone, laptop and iPad!)  I am organised I purchase my books via Booktopia  or if it’s an older book, I’ll pick it up from the local library. That said I have discovered that Auckland Libraries do an excellent job of getting some very new titles!

I’m open to all sorts of genres and love getting immersed in other worlds and where possible, learning a thing or two that I can apply to my every day life. Whether it’s business tips, new general knowledge or even just new vocab.

Here’s a look at some books I’ve read and rated recently AND what I find rather exciting in this day and age; some recognition from the authors themselves! Seriously!

Breakthrough book Marina Go Success 20 Strategies for Female Leaders

Break Through: 20 Success Strategies for Female Leaders

Author: Marina Go

“Maybe she’s born with it, may be she’s just smart, confident and adaptable.” That’s kind of the jist of what was playing through my mind as I read this helpful autobiography/career advice from one of Australia’s most successful women in media. It might help if I explain that Marina Go achieved her goal of becoming a magazine editor at the age of 23 – but not just any magazine mind you – growing up it was her dream to edit Dolly. And as a reader of the magazine, my teenage self delighted in hearing what went on behind-the-scenes! Marina has built an impressive career in Australian media but also in the corporate world as the General Manager of the Bauer/Hearst brands as well as being the first female Chair of an NRL Club. However no career is as perfectly orchestrated as a Tom Ford launch party; we are often faced with less than ideal situations. In Break Through Marina,  shares her experiences of navigating her career through the challenges of returning to work after having children, the political world of journalism, following one’s instinct and juggle of self-study. It is a wonderfully candid book – akin to hearing from a very down-to-earth and generous mentor or close girlfriend – but also helpfully distilled at the end of each chapter with a list of take-aways for the reader. Break Through is a must-read for any professional woman looking for a valuable reference book to turn to during inevitable career highs, lulls and lows progress in their career from someone who has reached stellar heights. I thoroughly enjoyed Marina’s columns for Women’s Agenda and this book is a wonderful collection of her experiences and advice, all in the one place. 

Stoned Jewelry Book Aja Raden emerald reader

Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession and How Desire Shapes the World

Author: Aja Raden
“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” or so the lyrics famously sung (purrred?) by Marilyn Monroe go. After reading this book I wondered whether this iconic  line was actually a placement orchestrated by the PR firm hired by De Beers to market their bounty of small diamonds to post-WWII Americans… That’s one example of how Stoned will get you looking at jewellery and history in a different way! The book is pretty-shiny-things-meets-historical-Freakonomics. Aja Raden is a talented writer, chattily mixing the scientific composition of emeralds with stories of how the Spanish marketed the New World to bounty hunters. I couldn’t put this book down and then pushed it upon my Dad who is also interested in odd histories and general knowledge and he loved it too. I’m already looking forward to Aja Raden’s next book – a reference on gems- which comes out in October.

Perfume Patrick Sueskind Penguin Classics

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Author: Patrick Süskind

And now an oldie but a classic and must-read in my opinion. We had to read this as part of our German syllabus at Uni but boy has this book stayed with me. The language, the plot, the psychology is FASCINATING. It is disturbing, hypnotic and horrifying. I can’t recommend it highly enough. The writer has since become a recluse – I couldn’t find Patrick on Instagram (!) and well after reading this, I can also kind of understand why!

What have you read recently and loved?

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