PODCAST UPDATE! Eat your words

Have a listen to the full review of my latest podcast on ABC Radio’s ‘Overnights’ featuring Rod Quinn

This podcast looks at one of my favourite books of all time and introduces a new way of how I source my reading material- Netflix.

‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman was a sensation when it first published in 2017. It tells the story of an odd woman called Eleanor, whose need for routine  and eccentric way of thinking isolates her from friends and those she works with- just the way she likes it. Her character is not unlike that of Sheldon from the ‘Big Bang Theory’ who eccentricities are irritating and annoying but counteracted but an endearingly lovability. Eleanor’s life is turned around when she saves a man’s life and, despite her best efforts, her life changes.

The other book I reviewed I found after watching the Australian Netflix series ‘Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’, this cooking series is based on the book of the same name by renowned NY cookery writer Samin Nosrat. This cookbook does not stand out from the shelves because of any new qualities it brings to the table (pun intended) but it does have a beautiful style and sweet illustrations by Wendy MacNaughton, making it a visual pleasure to have on the kitchen counter. The cookbook brings it back to the four basic and essential elements of cooking (can you guess what they are?). The ultimate take away I got from this book was the confidence to form my own recipes with what you have in the pantry or with what you pick up at the market, once you have an understanding of these four basic elements; salt, fat, acid and heat.

Definitely a couple of crowd favourites.



Have a listen to the full review of Vanessa’s holiday reads: ‘Heather, The Totality’ by Matthew Weiner, ‘Ostro’ by Julia Busuttil Nishimuraand ‘Dunkirk’ by A.D. Divine on ABC Radio’s ‘Overnights’ featuring presenter Rod Quinn.

‘Heather, The Totality’ is the first book by television director Matthew Weiner (creator of the famous TV show Mad Men) and tells the short story of Heather, who’s energy and force can revolve the lives of those around her.

‘Ostro’ is a great new cookbook on the scene that incorporates a variety of cultures and influences from Italian to Japanese to Maltese- highly recommended!

‘Dunkirk’ is a military history story by a WWII journalist and commander of one of the Little Ships from the famous Dunkirk evacuation. The one the ground experience provides a fascinating insight into this part of history. A very relevant story.

PODCAST UPDATE! The Diviners- Eternity, Love and Beauty

Have a listen to Vanessa’s full review of ‘The Infinite Monkey Cage’ by Brian Cox and Robin Ince, ‘The Passage of Love’ by Alex Miller and ‘Grace Kelly Hollywood Dream Girl’ by Jay Jorgensen and Manoah Bowman on ABC Radio’s ‘Overnights’ featuring presenter Rod Quinn.

PODCAST UPDATE! Love and pain prevail in any decade

Have a listen to Vanessa’s full review of ‘A Little Life’ by Hanya Yanagihara and ‘The Convict’s Daughter’ by Keira Lindsey on ABC Radio’s ‘Overnights’ featuring presenter Rod Quinn.

Two engrossing novels that highlight the impact love and pain has on our lives and the fact that it hasn’t changed throughout history

PODCAST UPDATE! A Summer of Fish and Veggies

Have a listen to Vanessa’s full review of ‘The Sound of Summer’ by Jim Maxwell, ‘The Vegetarian’ by Han Kang and ‘The Australian Fish and Seafood Cookbook’ on ABC Radio’s ‘Overnights’ featuring presenter Rod Quinn.

Jim Maxwell is a renowned Australian cricket commentator whose voice and comments about the sport are synonymous with Australian summers. Vanessa was lucky enough to chat with Jim about his new memoirs and to understand a little more about why cricket captures the hearts of so many people.

‘The Vegetarian’ won the Man Booker International Prize in 2016 and is a succinct, poetic read

Vanessa has a passion for cooking and tried and tested recipes from the ‘Australian Fish and Seafood Cookbook’ as part of her review

PODCAST UPDATE! Holiday Reads (…but really anytime reads)

At Christmas time last year I had a special book review segment that focused on Books for the Holidays. Basically, new books that would make great gifts. None of these books have a Christmas theme but were chosen based on a variety of genres and interests. It was a challenging review because not all of these are my kind of books but it was fun to give them a go (:


The list included:

-‘The Riviera Set’ by Mary S. Lovell, glamour, glamour, glamour…think real life Great Gatsby. A luxury hotel on the French Rivera, owned by an actress and hosted some famous guests such as Winston Churchill and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Highly recommend

-‘The Hidden Life of Trees’ by Peter Wohlleben, not really a me book but this was incredibly popular over the Christmas period and one that I’m quite pleased to have on my bookshelf because I know I’ll refer to it again someday

-‘The Arrival’ by Ted Chiang, this was actually a short story that subsequently became the great film starring Amy Adams. This is a collection of short stories by Chiang, who is a renowned science fiction writer

-‘Tokyo Style Guide’ by Jane Lawson, I asked for this one book in preparation for my trip to Japan and found it had some great tips of Tokyo. I even was given the chance to interview Jane and found out she’s an expert on all things Japan, she also runs a tour group through Kyoto that finds hidden gems! The book is laid out like a blog and isn’t as formal as your typical Lonely Planet guide book. It has some great walks around different suburbs that I tried and tested when in Tokyo. I highly recommend and hope Jane writes more about Japan in the future


-‘The Nakano Thrift Shop’ by Hiromi Kawakami, another Japan book (…I was very excited about my trip) This was an incredibly quirky read that almost felt like a Japanese Seinfeld. Each chapter telling the different happenings and eccentric customers that come through the thrift shop. What I’d call a ‘raw read’

-‘A Monster Calls’ by Patrick Ness, this one I did in preparation for the film that was about to be released. Poetically beautiful, this book deals with death and mourning in an incredibly delicate way. Ness finished the story that was originally started by Siobhan Dowd, who unfortunately passed away passed away in 2007. I wouldn’t call this your average young adult, it’s much more

PODCAST UPDATE! Up all night with love and tears

Have a listen to Vanessa’s full review of ‘The Life of I’ by  Anne Manne and ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ by Dr Paul Kalanithi on ABC Radio’s ‘Overnights’ featuring presenter Rod Quinn.

Two engrossing stories- one non-fiction, the other a memoir that both will have a profound effect on any reader!

PODCAST UPDATE! What Women Want (it’s not always what you think)

Have a listen to Vanessa’s full review of ‘The Animators’ by Kayla Rae Whitaker and ‘The Dangers of Truffle Hunting’ by Sunni Overend on ABC Radio’s ‘Overnights’ featuring presenter Rod Quinn. Vanessa was lucky enough to interview Sunni about her writing process and inspiration for sensuous novel. Both books have strong female leads and shys away from the stereotypical idea that it’s love and relationships that complete a woman.