Book Stack :: What we were reading on retreat

If you follow me over on Instagram you will likely have seen that I’ve been away on a bookish retreat with friends this weekend (I might have been overgramming, who can say?  haha). We had the best time – we rented an Airbnb just outside Canberra from Friday evening until Sunday morning and spent the whole time reading, writing (a couple of my friends are writers working novels, and the rest of us bloggers) and snacking, and it was so wonderful and relaxing! The setting was absolutely perfect for a reading/writing retreat (or, you know, a horror movie!) and the home we stayed in was super comfortable and cosy.  
Of course the gorgeous setting and stacks of books everywhere meant there were so many opportunities to snap some pretty books stacks (and, bonus, since we’re all book lovers nobody thought you were weird for doing it!).
This pile here was the result of the books we’d all been reading before breakfast being stacked out of the way when the food was ready. I was impressed with how well they matched each other – and the table cloth haha! Keep reading below for the Goodreads summary on each of these books =)

Fierce Fairytales :: Nikita Gill
Traditional fairytales are rife with cliches and gender stereotypes: beautiful, silent princesses; ugly, jealous, and bitter villainesses; girls who need rescuing; and men who take all the glory.

But in this rousing new prose and poetry collection, Nikita Gill gives Once Upon a Time a much-needed modern makeover. Through her gorgeous reimagining of fairytale classics and spellbinding original tales, she dismantles the old-fashioned tropes that have been ingrained in our minds. In this book, gone are the docile women and male saviors. Instead, lines blur between heroes and villains. You will meet fearless princesses, a new kind of wolf lurking in the concrete jungle, and an independent Gretel who can bring down monsters on her own.

Complete with beautifully hand-drawn illustrations by Gill herself, Fierce Fairytales is an empowering collection of poems and stories for a new generation.

This book was completely gorgeous, and was passed around over breakfast for us all to read on of the short pieces in it, which we all loved – I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for it!

Dry :: Neil and Jarrod Shusterman 
The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers.

Until the taps run dry.

Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbours and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive. 

This one is new out – I have a review copy from Walker Books and I’m looking forward to reading it (it is on my October tbr!)

The Second Cure :: Margaret Morgan
A pandemic is racing through our world, changing people subtly but irrevocably. The first sign for some is losing their faith. For others it comes as violent outpourings of creativity, reckless driving and seeing visions.

Scientist Charlotte Zinn is close to a cure when her partner becomes infected. Overnight her understanding of the disease is turned upside down. Should she change the path of evolution?

As Australia is torn apart, reporter Brigid Bayliss is determined to uncover the dark truth behind the religious response to the outbreak.

Brigid and Charlotte find themselves on the frontline of a world splintering into far left and far right, with unexpected power to change the course of history. But at what cost?  

The Second Cure also featured in my book stack last week, since it was our October book club read – I’ll share more of my thoughts on this one soon (it was one of the reviews I worked on over the weekend)

The Rift :: Rachael Craw 
For generations, the Rangers of Black Water Island have guarded the Old Herd against horrors released by the Rift. 

Cal West, an apprentice Ranger with a rare scar and even rarer gifts, fights daily to prove he belongs within their ranks. 

After nine years away, Meg Archer returns to her childhood home only to find the Island is facing a new threat that not even the Rangers are prepared for. 

Meg and Cal can’t ignore their attraction, but can they face their darkest fears to save the Island from disaster?

This is what I was reading yesterday. I have a review coming closer to the release date (which I’m pretty sure is 1 Nov.). My review copy of this one was also sent to me by Walker Books.

Terra Nullius :: Claire G Coleman 
The Natives of the Colony are restless. The Settlers are eager to have a nation of peace, and to bring the savages into line. Families are torn apart, reeducation is enforced. This rich land will provide for all.

This is not Australia as we know it. This is not the Australia of our history.  

I started reading this one back in April or May when I was heading to the Sydney Writers Festival and Claire G Coleman was on a panel I had booked. Unfortunately I came across a spoiler which made me want to put it down for a little while, but I’m looking forward to picking it up again soon!

One more thing on the topic of bookish retreat – I bought these gorgeous handmade fabric corner bookmarks from Trim and Thread on etsy so that we would each have a little bookish retreat souvenir. Melissa was an absolute delight to buy from – she whipped up a set of 5 matching but different bookmarks as a custom order for me. She was so attentive to detail and checked to make sure that what she had made was exactly what I was after. They shipped so quickly – I think it was the next day, which completely blew me away since it was a custom order – and they arrived just a few days later. Melissa also makes beautiful book sleeves, and a bunch of other homewares, and obviously I would definitely recommend buying from her!
All that’s left to say is that bookish retreat was AMAZING – I think everyone should try to get their friends together for a mini getaway like this once in a while! It was even better and more relaxing than we expected, and I’m looking forward to doing it again.
xo Bron

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