Book Lovers Reading List
Book Gift Ideas

Book Gift Ideas

Book reading list to inspireMinus the expense of diamonds and the mess of canines, books make the ideal companion. But with access to so many great books, how do you choose just one?

Here at She Inspires we thought we would help you, by putting together a selection of our favourite reads. With so many wonderful choices it wasn't easy, but we've finally assembles a list of choices from novels that are capturing literature lovers worldwide, Cookbooks with recipes for every occasion, to storybooks for the kids; we've got something for the whole family. We hope you enjoy our choices!

For Independant bookstore lovers and who enjoy saving on postage and ordering through bookstores, Check out this list of bookshops and find one close to you. For the tech savvy that prefer to shop online we've linked the books to independent bookshops and publishers to make it easy for you.

Novels to escape with


Raising Angels A Novel Filled with Love and the Wisdom of AngelsRaising Angels


A Novel Filled with Love and the Wisdom of Angels

Paul Morris Segal RRP $19.99

Predicted to follow in the success of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Raising Angels is a charming novel set amongst the warmth, challenges and love of everyday family life. It illustrates how angels can be messengers for peace and love.

The story gently unfolds after Raphael begins his quest to bring an angel he finds by the side of the road back to life. Become immersed in the characters' lives as they move along an incredible journey of love, loss and hope.

Starting now by Debbie MacomberStarting Now

Debbie Macomber RRP: $32.93 AU

How far would you go to discover what is truly important in life?

For years, Libby Morgan dreamed only of making partner in her competitive, high-pressure law firm. She sacrificed everything for her career - her friends, her marriage, her chance of a family. So nothing can prepare her for the shocking news that she's been let go and must rebuild her entire life, starting now. 

With no job prospects in sight, Libby reaches out to old friends and spends her afternoons at A Good Yarn, the local knitting store. There, she forms a close bond with Lydia, the sweet-natured shop owner, Lydia's spirited teenage daughter, Casey, and Casey's best friend, Ava, a shy yet troubled girl who will shape Libby's future in surprising and profound ways. 

As A Good Yarn becomes a second home - and the women a new kind of family - Libby relishes the different person she's become. She even finds time for romance with a charming and handsome doctor who seems to be her perfect match. But just as everything is coming together, Libby must make a choice that could forever change the life she holds so dear.

About the Author

Debbie Macomber is one of today's most popular authors, writing heart-warming stories of small-town life, home, family and enduring friendships - and women who knit! Debbie is a regular resident on the bestseller lists. Three of her novels have scored the no.1 slot on the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly lists the first week on sale. 

She is the first-ever recipient of the "readers' choice" Quill Award for Romance Fiction, for 44 Cranberry Point, the fourth book in her highly popular Cedar Cove series. Debbie has also been honored with a RITA for her 2005 holiday hardcover, The Christmas Basket; an RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award and is a multiple winner of both the Holt Medallion and the B. Dalton Award. 

In July 2010, the Romance Writers of America presented Debbie with their prestigious Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award.

Darien Gee - The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking ClubThe Avalon Ladies ScrapBooking Society

Darien Gee RRP: $28.00

At Madeline's Tea Salon, the cozy hub of the Avalon community, six women find their memories are shaping their future.

Young Connie Colls, fiercely independent and full of promise longs for a past she never had. Isabel Kidd is anxious to move forward but is still paralysed by the consequences of her late husband's love affair. After spending many years living a life on her own terms, Yvonne Tate finds that she can't outwit her past. 

For Ava Catalina, reaching out to hold on to precious memories means rekindling old hurts while Frances Latham sees her dream for a daughter dashed when tragedy strikes. And then there's irascible Bettie Shelton, founder and president of the Avalon Scrapbooking Society, who helps others create lasting memories of their past but finds the pages of her own albums empty. 

As the women gather to scrapbook the details of their lives, they discover that things are not always as they seem.

By turns humorous, wise, and deeply moving, The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society is a luminous reminder that the things we hold most dear will last a lifetime.

About the Author

Darien Gee lives in Hawaii with her husband and three children. She is the bestselling author of three previous novels written under the name Mia King. 

Darien's first Avalon novel, Friendship Bread, was published by Allen + Unwin in 2011.

Madam Bovary's HaberdaseryMadame Bovary's Haberdashery

Maurilia Meehan RRP: $29.95 AU

Zac, a translator of Flaubert, can’t believe his luck. He ends up sleeping with Odette, a beautiful but capricious ceramic artist, and her best friend, Cicely, a talented knitter and author of an erotic novel. As well as an interest in Madame Bovary the three share a brief ménage à trois. 

That is, until things unravel in unexpected ways, Cicely adopts the logical detection methods of a Miss Marple, and we come to know the delightful Miss Ball and her haberdashery.

In a plot that plays with the conventions of the mystery, and delightfully subverts one of its treasured finales, this delicious novel is not afraid to be literary and fun and sexy all at once.

 Award-winning novelist Maurilia Meehan deftly pays homage to both Christie and Flaubert, while also creating a true original: the first in a series of delightful page-turners for lovers of noir, passion and great literature.

About the Author

Maurilia Meehan is the author of four critically acclaimed novels - Fury, The Sea People, Adultery, and The Bad Seed. She had been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, The Age Fiction Prize, The Australian Vogel Award and has also won the State of Victoria Short Story Award. Her work has been translated into French, German and Chinese.

Book of the WeakBook Of The Weak

Joe Reich RRP: $24.95


Dr Moss Lane Lives the so-called good life, with a busy medical practice, an attractive wife and a modern luxury home in the Melbourne suburbs. And yet despite all this, Moss is trying desperately to escape a reality many would aspire to. 

Examining the internal life of a man so weighed down by his past that he is cut adrift from his present, as the story, and his life, unravels, a lack of attention to those around him has consequences for Moss, both comic and tragic.

About The Author

Joe Reich is a practising ophthalmologist in Melbourne. Most of his writing has been in the field of medical education, lightened by comedy debates. 

Other interests include painting in acrylics and watercolours. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Women’s Weekly Short Story Competition. His first novel, I Know Precious Little, published in 2011, was described by the Sydney Morning Herald as a ‘darkly comic novel full of social and psychological insight.’ Book of the Weak is not a sequel, but rather another medical-themed tale set once more in the affluent Eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

Crime of Privilege by Walter WalkerCrime of Privilege

Walter Walker RRP $32.95

In the tradition of John Grisham and Scott Turow, Crime of Privilege is a stunning thriller about power and corruption - and the dangerous ways they come together.

George Becket is a young lawyer, toiling away in the basement of the Cape & Islands district attorney's office. He wasn't born to privilege, but he's benefited from it in ways he doesn't like to admit.

For twelve years ago he witnessed a crime linked to one of America's most influential families, and he – like the police and the prosecutors – chose to turn a blind eye.

Now he's been approached by the father of a young woman murdered nine years earlier. Her death has never been explained and obvious leads never explored - leads that point in the direction of a single family ...

This time George cannot look the other way, and what begins as a search through the highly stratified layers of Cape Cod society soon has him racing from Idaho to Hawaii, Costa Rica to France to New York City.

And for George it's not just a hunt for a killer – it's his last chance at redemption …

About the Author

Walter Walker is a trial lawyer in San Francisco. He lives in Marin County, California, and on Cape Cod.

The Son by Philipp MeyerThe Son

Philipp Meyer RRP $32.95

An epic journey spanning a century and a half in Texas, America.

Eli McCullough was born in 1836, the year that the Republic of Texas was declared an independent state. He was the first child of this new republic. Eight years later he and his brother are kidnapped. They are left with nothing, barely their lives, whilst Eli watches his sister being raped and killed.

Slowly he learns the ways and life of the Comanches as they battle to survive themselves against the incursions of the white settlers. But his progress within the tribe is matched by the tribe's own perilous journey, as an epidemic endangers their future. 

Eli is forced to leave the tribe and pursue his life elsewhere. He falls in love has children and becomes a Ranger working for the Government, but finds it hard to break his Comanche memories and ways. He lives to be 100 and tells his remarkable story.

Eli's son Peter McCullough endures the First World War and several Mexican attacks. His diaries tell of momentous and dangerous times as he tries to maintain the dynasty begun by his father, now named the Colonel.

At the age of eighty-six Jeanne Anne McCullough is the fifth richest woman in Texas, She has had a fall and is perilously close to death.

She goes in and out of consciousness and tells her own history; battling to keep the family alive; battling to prevent the large-scale acquisitive oil companies from buying her land; battling to hold on to her largesse and her legacy.

Three stories of one family combine to produce nothing less than a standout epic of and for our time.

About the Author

Philipp Meyer grew up in a working class neighborhood in Baltimore. His mother is an artist; his father worked as an electrician, cabinet maker, and art installer before becoming a college science instructor. The neighborhood, Hampden, had been devastated by the collapse of various heavy industries, and crime and unemployment were rampant.

Meyer attended city public schools until dropping out at age 16. He spent the next five years working as a bicycle mechanic and occasionally volunteering at Baltimore's Shock Trauma Center. At age 20, he began taking classes at a variety of colleges in Baltimore and decided to become a writer. He also decided to leave his hometown, and at 22, on his third attempt at applying to various Ivy League colleges, he was admitted to Cornell University. He graduated with a degree in English and a mountain of debt and headed for Wall Street to pay off his student loans.

After getting a job with the Swiss investment bank UBS, Meyer did training in London and Zurich and was assigned to an elite group of derivatives traders, jokingly referred to as the genius desk.o After several years at UBS, he'd paid off most of his student loans and decided to pursue his dream of becoming a writer. When his savings ran out he took jobs as an emergency medical technician and construction worker.

He was preparing for a second career as a paramedic when he received a fellowship at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, TX. In 2008 he received an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers. In 2010 he received a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

He has also received fellowships or residencies from MacDowell, Yaddo, Ucross, Blue Mountain Center, and the Anderson Center for the Arts. His novels include American Rust and The Son.

Entwined with YouEntwined with You

A Crossfire Novel

Syliva Day RRP $19.99

The worldwide phenomenon continues as Eva and Gideon face the demons of their pasts and accept the consequences of their obsessive desires . . .

From the moment I first met Gideon Cross, I recognised something in him that I needed. Something I couldn't resist. I also saw the dangerous and damaged soul inside - so much like my own. I was drawn to it. I needed him as surely as I needed my heart to beat.

No one knows how much he risked for me. How much I'd been threatened, or just how dark and desperate the shadow of our pasts would become.

Entwined by our secrets, we tried to defy the odds. We made our own rules and surrendered completely to the exquisite power of possession . . .

About the Author

Sylvia Day is the New York Times & Sunday Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels. A wife and mother of two, she is a former Russian linguist for the U.S. Army Military Intelligence. Sylvia's work has been called an "exhilarating adventure" by Publishers Weekly and "wickedly entertaining" by Booklist.

Her stories have been translated into thirty languages. She's been honored with the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, the EPPIE award, the National Readers' Choice Award, the Readers' Crown, and multiple finalist nominations for Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA(R) Award of Excellence. Visit the Sylvia Day website today.

For the Kids

The Saurus Street Series:

The Very Naughty Velociraptor
Saurus Street : Book 3

Nicholas Falk, Tony Flowers RRP: $12.95

Saurus Street is just like any other street . . . except for the dinosaurs!

Tom and Tam are horrified when they find out Great Aunt Gertrude is coming to stay. She's got bad breath, smelly feet and her false teeth like to bite.

It's time for the twins to put their thinking caps on. They need to get rid of her, fast. Luckily they've got a secret weapon – their very own velociraptor – but it's a naughty one and it keeps getting them into trouble.

In a fight between a vicious velociraptor and a ferocious great aunt, there can only be one winner!

An Allosaurus Ate My Uncle
Saurus Street Series : Book 4


Nicholas Falk, Tony Flowers RRP: $12.95


When Susie won't hand over her pocket money to her mean cousin Walter, he locks her in the attic.

But when a gigantic meat-eating dinosaur turns up, Walter's the one who gets scared. And when the dinosaur gobbles up Uncle Colin, it's time for Susie to save the day.

Romans, rampaging triceratops and magic door handles are all part of the wildest Saurus Street adventure ever!

About the Saurus Series Author

Nick is a professional psychologist and amateur acrobat. He once balanced on one leg for a whole minute before falling over. Nick lives with his wife and two small boys. The boys demand a new story every night. One prefers dragons and one prefers trolls. So he's kept on his toes.

About the Saurus Series Illustrator

Tony is an internationally aclaimed illustrator and artist. His drawings are loved in Japan for their detail and humour and he has recently won an award in the USA for his street chalk art. Tony has worked on educational, chapter and picture books in Australia and he has a Masters degree in Visual Communication. He lives in Sydney with his wife, his dog and two sons.

For The Baking Enthusiasts and Cooking Lovers:

The Bookery CookThe Bookery Cook

Jessica Thompson, Maxine Thompson, Georgia Thompson RRP: $39.99

Family meals have always played a significant role in the lives of the Thompson sisters - Jessica, Georgia and Maxine. So much so that they created a blog, thebookerycook.com, to celebrate their love of food. Instead of photographing their chosen dishes, however, they made contact with artists all over the world, who supplied dedicated artworks, in a huge variety of styles and media, to illustrate the recipes.

This book will appeal to lovers of art as much as lovers of food, and will find its place equally in the kitchen or on the coffee table.

About the Author

Jessica, Georgia and Maxine Thompson share a love of cooking and sharing food. They were raised in Queensland on a tropical hinterland farm, but are now based in Melbourne, Brisbane and New York respectively. Their blog, The Bookery Cook, explores cooking, creativity and community.

Cook with LoveCook with Love


Pete Evans RRP: 49.99

This book bring together the classics, the favourites and the best of Pete Evans' previous six titles in the relaxed and friendly style for which he is known.

Cook with Love brings together 150 of Pete Evans's favourite recipes from a lifelong love affair with food. This beautifully designed volume features chapters devoted to breakfast, lazy lunches, family feasts, the barbecue, seafood and more. Like all Pete's dishes, the recipes are simple, unfussy and utterly delicious with plenty of tips for novice and experienced cooks alike.

About the Author

Pete Evans is a household name in Australia for his role as judge and host of Channel Seven's My Kitchen Rules, now in its fourth season. 

For many years he was co- owner and executive chef of the Hugo's group of restaurants, specialising in relaxed, modern Australian food and pizzas. He is the author of six cookbooks: Fish, My Table, My Grill, My Party, My Kitchen and Pizza.


From IndiaFrom India: New and Traditional Food


Kumar Mahadevan, Suba Mahadevan RRP: $59.99

The skilled restauranteurs behind 'hatted' restaurants Abhi's and Aki's, present traditional and modern Indian recipes alongside the personal story of their arranged marriage, international adventures and their ultimate move to Australia.

From the talented chef behind Sydney's most iconic Indian restaurants, Abhi's and Aki's, comes a spicy blend of contemporary food and authentic cooking. 

Kumar Mahadevan weaves a full array of recipes with the unique tale of his family's journey from India to Australia. This book offers a full range of traditional curries, contemporary seafood dishes and interesting vegetarian meals. From India is a beautiful, surprising and flavoursome trip from the regional fare.

About the Author

Kumar Mahadevan was raised in a Brahmin family in southern India. He trained as a chef in Madras and later worked at Bombay's Taj Mahal hotel where he gained skills in all aspects of international cuisine. 

He worked in war-torn Iraq before moving to Australia. Kumar and his wife Suba opened their first restaurant, Abhi's, in Sydney in 1987 and their second, Aki's, in 2003.

Low Fodmap Recipes by Dr Sue ShepherdLow Fodmap Recipes

Dr Sue Shepherd $35.00

Sue Shepherd is a highly regarded dietitian who suffers from coeliac disease. She has devoted much of her career to finding a way for people with dietary restrictions to enjoy life without feeling they are missing out. 

In 1999 Sue developed the Low-FODMAP Diet to cater for people with intolerances to fructose, wheat, lactose, sorbitol and other FODMAPs - making it possible for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to cook with confidence. 

This diet is recommended by doctors worldwide as one of the most effective dietary therapies for IBS. In addition, all the recipes are gluten free, so they are suitable for people with coeliac disease to enjoy as well.

In this collection, Sue brings together 150 of the most popular recipes from her two self-published cookbooks, Irresistibles for the Irritable and Two Irresistible for the Irritable.

Written with the whole family in mind, these updated recipes include simple soups and salads, hearty casseroles and pasta dishes, wicked desserts and a tempting array of cakes and biscuits. This is great-tasting food that is good for you. 

 

About the Author


Sue Shepherd is the author of Allergy-free Cooking Recipe Book, Food Intolerance Management Plan, Gluten-Free Cooking, and The Gluten-Free Kitchen.

Not Quite Nigella Blog book by Lorraine ElliotNot Quite Nigella

Lorraine Elliott RRP:29.99

From passionate home cook to Australia's most popular food blogger, Lorraine Elliott has her cake and eats it too – and she's never been happier.

Lorraine Elliott has long been a food enthusiast who believes cakes belong in an art gallery. Not so long ago she decided to ditch her day job as a highly-paid media strategist to follow her passions and become a full-time flogger (foodie + blogger). 

Her fabulous food blog Not Quite Nigella is now the go-to cyber destination for hundreds of thousands of foodies from around the world.

Not Quite Nigella, the book, is the story behind this journey. It contains the key to baking perfect macarons, the secret to winning a man's heart through food, tips on hosting unforgettable dinner parties and a how-to guide to creating a successful blog.

More than a celebration of food, Not Quite Nigella is chick lit come true - the inspiring and delightful story of a woman who finds the courage to follow her dreams.

About the Author

Not Quite Nigella is Lorraine Elliott, a cake and food enthusiast who believes that cakes belong in an art gallery. Lorraine worked in advertising as a consultant and media strategist before launching her blog, which is now her more than full time job.

She loves kitsch and unusual things, travelling far and wide for an unusual meal and cooking and eating food from different countries all around the world. Her favourite cuisine is French and Japanese (or a fusion between the two). She lives in Sydney with her food-apathetic husband who takes most of the restaurant photos for her blog whilst she takes all the still photos of the food that she cooks.

Visit the NotQuiteNigella.com blog

Wholefood BakingWholefood Baking: Wholesome Ingredients for Delicious Results

Jude Blereau RRP: $45.00

Trusted author and inspiring food educator, Jude Blereau, turns her skilled hand and discerning eye to the popular field of baking in this fourth beautifully photographed (and thoroughly tested) book as she explores organic and wholefood philosophy in everyday recipes.

Wholefood Baking combines two of wholefoods expert Jude Blereau's great loves. Thoroughly researched and beautifully photographed, this book includes failsafe recipes for more than 120 cakes, scones, biscuits and pastries as well as delectable creams and icings and jams. 

This book is ideal for every passionate baker, but especially those of us who want to cook for our families and friends in the healthiest way possible.

About the Author

Jude Blereau is a natural foods chef, author, food coach, cooking teacher and real food activist who has been involved with the organic and wholefoods industry for more than 18 years. In 1997, Jude co-founded The Earth Market, a much loved wholefood store and caf? in Perth, Western Australia. In 2001 she founded the Whole Food Cooking school and website.

Her focus is on helping people learn about good food - what it truly is, where to get it, how to use it - and to give them the tools and information they need to make healthy eating a part of their everyday lives. The author of three cookbooks, she also writes for a number of magazines including Spice and Nova.

Mastering the Basics Pies and TartsMastering the Basics : Pies, Tarts & Pastries
Basics to Brilliance, Techniques, Tips and Trusted Recipes

RRP $24.99

Mastering the Basics: Pies, Tarts & Pastries is a collection of sweet and savoury recipes that guide the reader through the basics of pastry making to impressive results with clear instructions and step-by-step photography.

Mastering the Basics: Pies, Tarts & Pastries is a clear and comprehensive collection of pastry recipes for both the novice cook and the skilled patissier. Featuring step-by-step photography, expert tricks and tips, easy-to-follow instructions and a range of sweet and savoury recipes from the classic lemon meringue pie to Cornish pasties, Mastering the Basics: Pies, Tarts & Pastries demystifies the delicate art of pastry.

Methodical photography and a useful basics chapter that contains all the building blocks, techniques and basic recipes provide extra help to ensure success every time the oven is turned on.

Making It Happen

Pull Your Finger OutPull Your Finger Out: 100 Principles for Constructing Your Best Life

Craig Harper RRp: 29.99

What do you want to change today?

Want to stop wasting your time, talent and opportunities?
Want to break the cycle of almost, but never quite, getting things done?
Want to take control of your career, your body and your life?
Want to overcome your fears and succeed in your goals?
Want to stop making and breaking the same promises?
Craig Harper is here to tell you how.
He presents 101 no-nonsense, straight-talking ways to help you get the most out of yourself - from breaking habits and getting motivated to developing self-knowledge and learning when to say no.

Drawing on his vast experience as a motivational speaker, AFL conditioning coach, educator, corporate consultant and presenter, Craig offers practical, personal and effective advice that will set you on the road to realising your potential.

The self-help book for people who hate self-help.

About the Author

Craig Harper (B.Ex.Sci.) is the #1 ranked Motivational Speaker by Google. He is a qualified exercise scientist, author, columnist, radio presenter, television host and owner of one of the largest personal training centres in the world.

Waging PeaceWaging Peace

Anne Deveson RRP: 29.99

One of Australia's most highly regarded media people looks back on her life through the prism of an intellectual journey and personal memoir.

Looking back on a long and active life, Anne Deveson draws on a rich vein of public and private experiences to reflect on what made her the bold social commentator she became. Central among her lifelong preoccupations have been the questioning of war, and the promotion of peace.

Deveson describes her childhood during the Second World War in Britain, which prompted her family's evacuation to Malaya just before invasion by the Japanese, and futher evacuation to Australia as refugees in 1942. 

At the end of the war, they returned to a devastated London to find people lining the pavements begging for food and, during the coldest winter on record, sleeping in the streets.

Returning to Australia in 1956, Deveson built a career (unusual in the 1960s for a young mother) as a provocative commentator on issues of social justice and equality, and, as a member of the groundbreaking and controversial Commission into Human Rights, she argued passionately for the disadvantaged.

We share with her, through dramatic filming experiences in Africa, horror at the traumas of conflict and the need to understand its resolution. Deveson reflects on human yearning for a peaceful space in which ordinary family life may be lived - often taken for granted, too often lost.

Deveson's unique voice, her humour and humility shine through this memoir of experiences and ideas. She argues persuasively that, were we to wage peace with all the resources and passion that we wage war, differences could be resolved, and peace restored.

About the Author

Anne Deveson spent her childhood in Malaya, Australia and England, but for most of her adult life she has lived in Sydney. A writer, documentary filmmaker and former head of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, she has had a long involvement in social justice. 

Through her television and radio work, her books and articles and role with numerous organisations and boards, she has illuminated many social issues and influenced policy across a wide range. Her films have won three UN Peace awards and her books have been widely praised.

They include the bestselling Tell Me I'm Here - about her son's struggles with schizophrenia - which won the 1992 Human Rights Award for nonfiction and was shortlisted in five major literary awards. Another bestseller, Resilience weaves together research and reflection into a thought-provoking intellectual and personal story. Anne was made an officer of the Order of Australia for her work in community health and for increasing the pub.

Ambitions of Jane FranklinThe Ambitions of Jane Franklin

Alison Alexander RRP $35

A genius at publicity before the term existed, Jane Franklin was a celebrity in the mid-19th century. This is her remarkable life, including her extensive travels, her years in Tasmania as the governor's wife, and her very public battle to save husband, the Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin, from accusations of cannibalism.

'An engrossing biography of a fascinating and fearless modern woman. Alison Alexander provides a thoroughly researched and engagingly written account of a famous yet fraught life'. - Professor Marilyn Lake, La Trobe University In a period when most ladies sat at home with their embroidery, Jane Franklin achieved fame throughout the western world, and was probably the best travelled woman of her day. 

Alison Alexander traces the life of this inimitable woman, from her birth in late 18th century London, her marriage at the ripe age of 36 years to Sir John Franklin, to her many trips to far-flung locations, including Russia, the Holy Land, northern Africa, America and Australia.

Once Jane Franklin married, her original ambition - to live life to the full - was joined by an equally ardent desire to make her kind and mild husband a success. Arriving in Tasmania in 1837 when Sir John became governor, she swept like a whirlwind through the colony: attempting to rid the island of snakes; establishing a scientific society and the Hobart regatta; adopting an Aboriginal girl, and sending a kangaroo to Queen Victoria. 

She continued her intrepid travels, becoming the first white woman to travel overland from Melbourne to Sydney.

When her husband disappeared in the Arctic on an expedition to discover the Northwest Passage, she badgered the Admiralty, the public and even the President of the United States to fund trips to locate him, and then defended his reputation when remains of the expedition were located, and there were claims of cannibalism. 

Single-handedly, she turned him from a failure into one of England's noblest heroes. She continued travelling well into her 70s and died at age 84, refusing to take her medicine to the last.

About the Author

Alison Alexander is one of Tasmania's best-known historians. She is author of Tasmania's Convicts and editor of the Companion to Tasmanian History.

Rendezvous with DestinyRendezvous with Destiny

How Franklin D. Roosevelt and Five Extraordinary Men Took America into the War and into the World

Michael Fullilove RRP: $29.99

The period between Hitler's invasion of Poland and the attack on Pearl Harbor was the turning point of the twentieth century. While the American public and Congress were eager to isolate themselves from the conflict, President Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to bring their considerable might to the aid of the Allies.
To build a case, Roosevelt threw out the diplomatic playbook, turning to five unlikely men, only one of whom had any diplomatic background, and sent them on a series of remarkable journeys:
Sumner Welles, the diplomat whose buttoned-down appearance belied a libertine spirit, who met with Mussolini, Hitler and Chamberlain in the spring of 1940, but failed to broker a peace deal;

William 'Wild Bill' Donovan, war hero and future spymaster, who visited Britain in the summer to determine whether Churchill could hold out against the German advance, and convinced FDR that America's help was needed;

Harry Hopkins, the frail social worker, sent to Churchill to explain the Lend-Lease deal that would make America the 'Arsenal of Democracy', and whose later meeting with Stalin, after Hitler's invasion of Russia, gave Roosevelt the confidence to gamble on aiding the Soviet Union;

Averell Harriman, the ambitious banker and railroad heir, dispatched to run the massive aid program out of London; and

Wendell Willkie, the charismatic man FDR had just defeated in the presidential election, whose visit to London and Dublin lifted British morale and bound Americans to the cause.

Roosevelt's five emissaries are unforgettable characters. Taken together, their missions plot the arc of America's transformation from a reluctant middle power into a global leader. Drawing on vast archival research, historian Michael Fullilove has rescued these men and their missions and given them back to history. 

At the centre of everything, of course, is FDR himself, who moved his envoys around the globe with skill and élan. Rendezvous with Destiny is narrative history at its most delightful, stirring and important.

About the Author

Michael Fullilove is the executive director of the Lowy Institute in Sydney, and a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. A Rhodes scholar and a former prime ministerial adviser, he writes widely on global issues for publications such as The New York Times, Financial Times, The Daily Beast and Foreign Affairs.

The Cost of BraveryThe Cost of Bravery

Allan Sparkes RRP $29.99

Allan Sparkes didn't think twice about rescuing an 11-year-old boy from a flooded storm water drain – the courageous policeman put his life on the line and saved the kid. 

He became one of only five people to be awarded Australia's highest decoration for bravery, the Cross of Valour, but the rescue would signal a downward spiral into post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Here was a man with many professional accolades, who had thrived on never knowing what his next call would involve – murder, bombings, junkies and robberies were often part of a day's work for this detective, yet he suddenly lost his 20-year career and all sense of self-worth.

Allan's recovery from debilitating mental illness was a rollercoaster ride of personal challenges that tested his courage and resolve over more than a decade. With the unwavering support of his wife, he faced his demons and rebuilt his mind, body and soul. Today, Allan is back to being his adventurous self, prepared to face whatever comes his way. This is his inspiring story.

About the Author

Allan Sparkes was an innocent country boy when he joined the police force. For 20 years he was a front line cop, working in Kings Cross, crime squads and the north coast, and was presented with some of the highest police awards for service. In 1996 he received the prestigious Cross of Valour – Australia's highest decoration for bravery – for rescuing a boy from a flooded storm water drain.

When Allan's police career ended, he set out to rebuild his life. Seventeen years and several career paths later he has found his calling, inspiring people with his story of personal triumph over adversity.

Allan aims to help those who are suffering and those who are trying to support them. He inspires people not to give up, but rather to search for the opportunities that change presents. His presentations often receive standing ovations.

Allan is a volunteer for the Beyond Blue Voices program, The Starlight Foundation and Spinal Cure. He lives in Sydney with his wife and two daughters. Join Allan online at allansparkes.com

50 Philosophy Classics50 Philosophy Classics: Thinking, Being, Acting, Seeing - Profound Insights and Powerful Thinking from Fifty Key Books

Tom Butler-Bowdon RRP: $19.99

Explore the Literature of Possibility!

The sixth in the bestselling 50s series, and a lively entry point to the field by exploring the works of 50 of the most significant philosophers; including those that show us how to think (Descartes, Foucault and Wittgenstein); how to be (Aristotle, Spinoza, Satre); how to act (Bentham, Kant, Singer) and how to see (Baudrillard, Hegel, Taleb).

The whole spectrum of thinking, from the classical philosophers who defined the field, through the 20th century greats, all the way to the writings of some of the most exciting contemporary thinkers including Julian Baggini, Harry Frankfurt, Peter Singer and Slavoj Zizek.

About the Author

Tom Butler-Bowdon is recognised as an expert on the personal development literature. His 50 Classics series has been hailed as the definitive guide to the literature of possibility, and has won numerous awards including the Benjamin Franklin Self-Help Award and the Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year Award. 

A graduate of the London School of Economics and the University of Sydney, he lives and works in both the UK and Australia.

The Miracle of LoveThe Miracle of Love
A Mother's Story of Grief, Hope and Acceptance

Ondine Sherman RRP $29.99

When her daughter was a toddler, Ondine Sherman felt like her life was complete. She was married to a man she adored, had a loving extended family and was living her dream of doing things for animals having set up the animal advocacy organisation, Voiceless.

Delighted to find she was pregnant again, she was shocked to find out she was having twins. But never in her wildest dreams could she have envisaged the heartache to come when her twin sons, Dov and Lev, were diagnosed with a rare genetic condition that meant they might never walk or talk.

Miracle of Love is Ondine's story of the rollercoaster ride she experienced as doctors tried to work out why her beloved boys weren't meeting the normal milestones. It is also an intimate account of her spiritual journey as she deals with her sons' condition, which ultimately leads to acceptance, love, meaning and a new understanding of 'miracles'.

About the Author

Ondine Sherman is the mother of three children; a daughter and identical twin sons with a rare genetic disorder. She has a BA in Communications and an MA in Environmental Education. She is the co-founder of the animal advocacy organization, Voiceless.


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About the Books

About the Books

Just as with any magazine's regular book reviews, many of the books featured in our book reviews are provided to us from a range of publishers while others have come from my personal library.

I try to choose books I think you, my reader, will enjoy but as the She Inspires reader has her own tastes and times for reading, I try to include a range of topics that you'll want to read or find that perfect book gift idea - what better present is there than a book?

If there are types of books that you'd love to see more of in our reviews then please let me know because I do find it a tad challenging sometimes making sure I am picking out books outside of my own favourite categories! Who would have thought?

So what happens with the books after we've reviewed them? If we're running an event they'll go in the goodie bags, otherwise some are given to the smaller country libraries on my regional trips, some to kids reading programs while others are passed around with friends and families - what matters is the sharing of them.

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