Book Bloggers Abroad Guest Post (1) – Australia

Book Bloggers AbroadWelcome to the weekly guest post in the Book Bloggers Abroad series. Every week a  book blogger from a different country will be featured who will talk about what it’s like to be a book blogger where he or she lives.

AUSTRALIA

Our first guest blogger is Rachel from Australia. She has a really nice book blog called And the plot thickens… Her genres are mainly contemporary fiction and mystery. Go and have a look!


My name is Rachel and I live in Sydney, Australia. I live with my fiancé and our two cats. I live in the suburbs just outside the city of Sydney, which I like because the city itself, the mountains and the beach are just a drive away. The suburb I live in is quite large and busy, but the street I live in is tucked away just outside of the town centre, and is very quiet.

View from Rachel's window

Here is the view of my street from my house. This is what I see what I am reading in the lounge room. Often the palms are full of rosellas during the day and bats at night. Apparently the fruit is quite tasty.

I get the majority of my books from Book Depository (www.bookdepository.com). Books in Australia are quite expensive so buying them online means I can get two books for the price of one, here. There is a library here and a few bookstore chains, but no second-hand bookstores. There used to be quite a few but they all went out of business. That just makes me sad.

Library near Rachel

Here is a picture of my local library. It really only takes up a small part of the building and its selection is quite poor. Sadly, I do not live in a town where people like books very much.

The time I have to blog varies. I am a trained high school English teacher but I am currently working as a relief (substitute) teacher. This means I never know where I will be working, or when. Some weeks I am lucky and get five days’ work, others I don’t get any. It’s not very pleasant being on call and relying on others to get sick in order to get work!

I also work as a tutor three nights a week, where I teach English and creative writing, to get me through the weeks where I don’t get called into a school. This means some days I work 11 hour days (and that’s not including lesson planning or marking)! Let me tell you, those days are exhausting and I do not get any blogging or reading done! I am really looking forward to getting that sought after “full time permanent” English teaching position so I have set hours and stability.

The best thing about being a teacher though is the 12 weeks holidays we get a year! This means although during term I don’t have much time, come holidays I have plenty of time to read and blog.

As I am an indoor person, I much prefer reading curled up in a comfortable chair with a good book to being outside. I am also a winter person. Give me a wood fire, soft blanket and daggy jumper over summer heat any day! Of course, being in Sydney, we have more ‘summer’ than ‘winter’.

I would like to recommend The Book Thief by the Australian writer Marcus Zusak. This is a wonderful book about Nazi Germany and a little girl who loves books. Although, if you are looking for a book not only by an Australian writer but Australian “themed” I would go for something by Bryce Courtenay.

Rachel's Favorite Things

This photo, I feel, describes me as best I can in one shot. I love to cook, I love wine, I love my fiancé and I love books. I love cookbooks, history, philosophy, feminism, Japanese literature and good, well written stories that transport you to other places and times. I love to read.

Australia-Sydney

Click on the world for a Google Maps picture!

Thanks, Rachel for letting us have a look at your life as a reader and blogger. I love the picture from your window and would consider moving to Australia just for that view!

Don’t forget to take a look at Rachel’s blog. If you have any questions or comments for Rachel, just leave them in the comments section.

Next week Rikki from Germany will be visiting us for the second Book Bloggers Abroad guest post. Don’t miss it!

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com. In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

34 Responses to Book Bloggers Abroad Guest Post (1) – Australia

  1. gnoegnoe says:

    Wow Rachel, I’d love to have more summer than winter but (hardly) no 2nd hand bookshops… I guess I’ll stay in my own small country, Holland! New books aren’t cheap here either, but not as expensive as in Australia.

    Are you participating in de Japanese Literature Challenge as well? And/or Women Unbound? I guess I need to go check out your blog!

    I hope you’ll find that much desired teaching position a.s.a.p. 🙂

  2. Rikki says:

    OMG, what a nice view you have looking out onto your street! Now I’m envious… But more summer than winter wouldn’t be for me. I like to live where there are four seasons.
    Not easy never knowing when and how much work you’ve got at any given time.
    The Book Thief is on my wishlist, Ive only heard good things about it, but, to be honest, I’m usually shying away from books about Nazi Germany.

    • leeswammes says:

      Rikki, The Book Thief is one of the only books I’ve read about Nazi Germany, but I found it a real eye opener. We Dutch have no high opinion of the Germans during the war but this book shows that there were enough Germans just trying to survive the situation they are in. It sounds odd, maybe, but the book made me realize that there were also “normal” people in Germany, not just Nazis. I should have known this, had I thought about it a bit. I liked the book for pointing that out to me. I didn’t like the book as much as some people, though.

      • Rachel says:

        Judith, I agree on that point, I didn’t “love” this book as most people seem to but I think it is a good story that is well worth the read. I almost feel like I need to read it again as I feel I must have missed something since I didn’t “love” it… if you know what I mean? 🙂

        Rikki, give it a go! you might like it.

      • Rikki says:

        Judith, you crack me up. “no high opinion about the Germans during the war”. You are putting it mildly…

  3. Tes says:

    Again another great blogger guest! My friends were talking about ” The Book Theif”, too. I guess I will have to go and find this one soon. And wow what a peaceful nighborhood, it will be so great reading in the porch with those palm trees in the background.

  4. Carin B. says:

    Oh I have been wanting to read The Book Thief for a long time! I heard it’s fantastic! I had no idea the author was Australian. I own a Bryce Courtney book, but it’s about South Africa. I will have to look for some other books by him.

    I also love the view outside your window. Your library is beautiful too. Looks like paradise!

    That’s too bad about second-hand bookstores though. I love them. How expensive are books in Australia?

    • Rachel says:

      ‘The Power of One’ ? I LOVED that book 😉 I read and reviewed an Aussie book called ‘Smokey Joe’s Cafe’ by Bryce Courtney recently. It is about the aftermath of the Vietnam was on Aussie vets, how they were treated, the effect of the war etc. very sad. But if you want a real Aussie outback story try ‘Jessica’.

      Books here are roughly between $20-$40AU depending on the book.

  5. Emidy says:

    Wow, gorgeous view! I’d love to visit Australia.

    I’m so glad you recommended The Book Thief – I have that book on hold at the library and can’t wait to read it!

    • leeswammes says:

      Yes, isn’t that view amazing? For me it’s totally exotic. But Rachel probably finds it normal. 🙂

      • Rachel says:

        haha yes, unfortunately it isn’t very exotic to me. Funny thing is though, palms aren’t even native to Australia. They were all planted here many years ago (they must have been popular in the 70’s as nearly every house in this area has palms)

  6. Amanda says:

    The Book Thief is one of my favourite books – and it really does bring to life the fate of ordinary Germans who didn’t particularly like the Nazis, and the bullying/fearful tactics that were used in them if they didn’t comply with what the Nazis wanted them to do.

    I can second what Rachel says: books ARE expensive in Australia and I too use The Book Depository.

    Judith, I’ve written my version of this – just have to snap a few picture of the town library and my favourite bookstop and then you can have a guest post from Outback Australia, too!

    • leeswammes says:

      Great! I wonder what the Outback library looks like! 🙂

      • Rachel says:

        ooh I am looking forward to this one Amanda!

        I actually lived in a regional NSW town for 6 years (I grew up in Sydney though and came back)… I enjoyed living out there a lot but needed to move back to Sydney for work.

        I am actually teaching the Holocaust and Schinlder’s List to one of my students at the moment. We have been discussing the role of the German people and how so many were just trying to survive. Not everyone was ‘for’ Hitler’s regime. It’s all very interesting. Bernhard Schlink does a great job in his novels (and on the lecture circuit) talking about these issues and about how current day Germans have to live with this horrible legacy.

  7. Chachic says:

    Great post! I haven’t sent my answers to your questions yet, Judith. I know that books in Australia because my friend lives there. In general, books are reasonably priced here in the Philippines but availability is a problem and The Book Depository doesn’t deliver here.

    I haven’t read The Book Thief but I have a copy of it somewhere. Another Australian author that I love is Melina Marchetta.

  8. Nymeth says:

    Thank you for introducing me to Rachel! Her blog is new to me, but I’ll be off to visit it asap. I can tell I’m going to enjoy this series.

    And yes, The Book Thief is wonderful!

  9. Kaleido says:

    What a wonderful view Rachel! Looks and sounds pretty cozy. I’m a winter person too, but we have more ‘Summer’ than ‘Winter’ where I am as well.

    The Book Thief has been on my TBR for quite some time. Looking forward to reading it!

  10. Margot says:

    How nice that was to meet Rachel, all the way from Australia. I like this new feature of yours. It should be great becoming acquainted with various bloggers from around the world.

    • Rachel says:

      It is a great feature, isn’t is Margot! 🙂 Thanks again Judith, looking forward to seeing which country and blogger is next!

  11. Pingback: Another International Book Bloggers’ Event! « Leeswammes's Blog

  12. Novroz says:

    That’s a very good view…I envy you on that Rachel

    Maybe you have to live in a developing country in order to find secondhand book stores.

    • Rachel says:

      There are plenty of second-hand bookstores in Sydney and Australia.. just not where I live. But as I said, people around here don’t seem to read much. Maybe it’s the demographic? I don’t know.

  13. Bellezza says:

    I loved getting to know a little bit more about Rachel! What a great idea this guest post of yours is, so that we can get to know each other even better. I love the photographs too. Thanks, Rachel! Thanks, Leswammes!

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