[00:00:02] Welcome to our next bonus episode of Two Booked Up, the podcast about Business and Personal Development books, and the conversations they ignite. I'm Shelley Tonkin Smith.
[00:00:14] Rowena: And I'm Rowena Mabbott. Today on Two Booked Up, we are sharing the nonfiction and fiction books that are on our summer reading lists.
[00:00:24] Shelley: That's right here in the southern hemisphere. It is summertime, and this means that the kids are on school holidays and most people are taking a vacation break from their business or from their jobs.
[00:00:36] Rowena: I know I do. Summertime is a quiet period for a lot of businesses, and many here in Australia are encouraged to enjoy some time off, relax and recharge, which of course is the perfect excuse to lie on the beach or next to the pool, and read a great book.
[00:00:52] Shelley: And so today we thought we'd share the books that we are looking forward to reading over the summer break. And of course, if you're listening from the wintery Northern hemisphere right now, well, it's the perfect time for you to curl up with a good book, with a cup of something hot and delicious.
[00:01:09] Rowena: Yes, snuggle up under a blanket next to the fire and join us as we chat about our holiday reads. Shelly, will you kick us off with what's on your list of fiction reads?
[00:01:20] Shelley: All right, so my list of fiction reads, I have actually gotten some very good recommendations from my husband, Garren lately, and so I'm letting him recommend more.
[00:01:35] The first one of those is Stardust by Neil Gaiman. Now from the blurb, it says that this is an enchanting adult fairytale about a young man who travels beyond the boundaries of his small village to find a fallen star and win the heart of the woman he loves.
[00:01:54] So I thought that sounded quite delightful and magical, and to be honest, really stretching me out of my comfort zone. But after Nettle and Bone, that one was a really great read, a little bit more in this fantasy realm, and this idea of a fairy tale really appeals to me at the moment.
[00:02:11] So on that note, my next read that I've got queued up is actually called Fairytale by of All people, Stephen King . And yes, this continues my little slight fascination with fairy tales at the moment. Also a recommendation from Garren, and this is convenient because we've got a family Kindle account, so it's already there, ready to go and ready to read.
[00:02:37] I will say that I enjoyed. It's called 11 22 63. I can never remember those numbers, but it's the date John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and that's also by Steven King and that book involved time travel. So this person had to go back to the 22nd of November, 1963 to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. But of course, it's never as simple as that and it's like 900 pages worth of, not simple as that. And it was a wonderful read. So I'll give Fairytale by Stephen King a try after enjoying 11 22 63 if you are also interested in that one.
[00:03:19] And then a little something more specifically up my alley is The Librarian Spy by Madeline Martin. Now, I dunno if I've mentioned this in a past episode, but I loved The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin. It was a beautiful story from World War II, about, a woman who takes over the running of a bookshop.
[00:03:43] Now, the Librarian Spy is also set during World War II and involves a librarian from the US Library of Congress, and she's recruited as a spy in Lisbon. And then another woman apprenticing at a printing press in occupied France. And then the two women connect through coded messages and share their experiences of the war and kind of support each other in that way.
[00:04:10] And so really this kind of historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine. So this is the one I'm kind of looking forward to as my chill out read and just sit and be soaked up and enjoy. So yeah, those are the three that I've got lined up, but I want to now hear what's on your list, Ro, maybe I'll add some of those to mine.
[00:04:32] Rowena: Well, I think I might be adding The Librarian Spy to my list because that sounds fantastic, and I agree that sounds like the sort of one you could really get your teeth stuck into an escape, which for me is pretty much what I look for in a summer read. I love books that help me escape to a different world, and so for fiction, the books I've already got to go beside my bed are The Good Wife of Bath by Karen Brooks.
[00:04:58] Now this is a recommendation and gift from my very well read mother, and I am looking forward to reading it, but it is quite chunky, so it's a pretty hefty book. So it might be too heavy for me to carry down to the beach.
[00:05:09] But the blurb says, "In the Middle Ages, a poet told a story that mocked a strong woman. It became a literary classic, but what if the woman in question had a chance to tell her own version? Who would you believe? A mostly true story." So it's basically taking The Wife's Tale by Chaucer and reinterpreting it and making it her own story.
[00:05:30] So I think, given it's told through a modern lens, but set in that time and with similar language, it's gonna be potentially a challenging read, but also quite fun. So I'm looking forward to that.
[00:05:40] And then the other one I've got ready to go, I've actually got the book sitting there in paperback, is French Braid by Ann Tyler.
[00:05:47] This is a recommendation and a gift from my very well read aunt, who is my mom's older sister. And this one, I haven't read any of Ann Tyler's books before, but I'm excited to try a new author and she's a very well known international best seller and this book is about a wife and mother who is slowly moving herself out of the family home.
[00:06:06] So it's set in current times, but it then flashes back to stuff in the 1950s and she discovers that basically, even though she thought she was free of the family, as she slowly kind of extracted herself, you never really are. So it sounds to me like it's a bit of a family drama and I quite like those as well.
[00:06:24] So I'm looking forward to reading that. And then ever so subtle hint that anybody who's listening who might be inclined to give me a present. Hello family, if you're listening, the books I'm really hoping to read as they're the perfect summer read and they're by some of my favorite female authors, are.
[00:06:44] The first one is Murder in Williamstown by Kerry Greenwood. Now these Kerry Greenwood and her Phryne Fisher, novels are some of my favorites since I was a kid. They're set in 1929 in Victoria in Australia, and Ms. Fisher is Australia's favorite detective. She's absolutely gorgeous and glamorous, and they've even turned it into a TV series and a movie.
[00:07:06] But I still love the books the best because that's what I fell in love with. So, reading one of these books, this is the 23rd book, featuring her, it's like slipping back in with old friends. And I just always get that little thrill of like, Oh, it's so nice to read about them, so I can't wait to read that.
[00:07:23] And then there's another one called Murder Most Royal by SJ Bennett. Now at the time of recording this book has not been released yet. And I discovered this author this year and absolutely devoured the first two books in what's called the "Her Majesty, the Queen Investigates Series." So the premise is that the late Queen Elizabeth was a detective.
[00:07:44] Now the book is obviously set some time ago. And this is the Murder Most Royal is the third mystery book, and it looks just as enjoyable, because there's a murder at her beloved Sandringham house, which threatens to ruin Christmas for the Queen. So it's as she goes through the machinations to resolve the mystery, without letting anybody know that she's the detective. So I can't wait. I've read the other two and I, as I said, I loved them. I sat up late one night reading them, so I can't wait.
[00:08:11] And you might get a sense from these titles that the type of books that I love to read when I'm on vacation tend to lean towards the detective novels.
[00:08:20] Shelley: Oh, yes. And a Christmas theme, Isn't that great that the series, the Murder Most Royal like ends up being a Christmas theme to read over your Christmas holiday is very fitting!
[00:08:30] Rowena: I know, I thought that was perfect myself,
[00:08:33] I also wanna just note that all four of my books that I can't wait to read are written by women authors. So I only just noticed that as we were recording, as I thought through my list, I thought, yeah, I'm supporting my female authors, so that's great.
[00:08:46] Anyway, what about you, Shelly? What are you thinking about in terms of what else you might be reading through the summer? Cause I know you're not just reading fiction.
[00:08:54] Shelley: I love my non-fiction books, of course, which is why we have the Two Booked Up podcast. And I do find that the holidays are a good chance to get stuck into some non-fiction reads that might be a little bit more intellectually demanding. You know, sometimes when you're in the thick of work you're like, Ugh, I just need some escapism.
[00:09:11] But I find on holiday, it's sometimes a nice time to dive in. Like I can remember reading the Four Tendencies by Gretchen Ruben on a Christmas vacation, and the next year actually at the same place reading The Bullet Journal Method. And it was really nice to be learning new stuff, even on vacation. I think I'm such an nerd! yeah, I, I, I've got, I've got a whole list of non-fiction books lined up,
[00:09:34] This podcast has been a great way for me to essentialize my own summer reading list. I've whittled it down to four books that I want to mention today, and one of which, at the time of recording, I'm already listening to. So I'm listening to a book called Workstyle by Alex Hirst and Lizzie Penny. And this is all about the case for the individualization of work. They make the case that we no longer have to work in the way our industrial age forebears did. And instead, we can choose to create our own workstyle.
[00:10:06] So, similar to the idea of creating and choosing your own lifestyle. And of course this resonates hugely with me, with my Playful Mompreneur work, with all the intentionality that we both bring into our businesses, in our lives. And in Workstyle, they have some clear arguments and they've done some really great studies to show that when we design our own work style, have more autonomy, we see great improvements in both wellbeing and in productivity.
[00:10:36] The next one I've got ready on my Kindle is called A Place to Belong, Celebrating Diversity and Kinship in the Home and Beyond by Amber O'Neill Johnston. So from the blurb, this is, This is a guide for families of all backgrounds to celebrate cultural heritage and embrace inclusivity in the home and beyond.
[00:10:58] So Amber is an African American homeschooling mom and a thought leader in the homeschooling community and I'm very eager to read this book, because of course, while I know it's going to be written within the American context, the topic of celebrating and embracing diversity is top of mind here in South Africa, the so called Rainbow Nation, um, and of course the world over. So excited about that one.
[00:11:23] And then from your, one of your highlights this year, Ro, is 4,000 Weeks Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkman. So I'll leave listeners to go and listen to our episode on our favorite fiction reads of 2022. That one was one of Rowena's favorite reads, Uh, 4,000 weeks. That's pretty much what we've got if we hope to live to 80. So let's use those wisely, and mindfully, perhaps.
[00:11:51] And then talking about mindfulness, is Things That Matter by Joshua Becker also purchased on Rowena's recommendation from episode 16. I've got a hardcover copy waiting for me on my nightstand and yeah, I think Ro, you said it was a nice easy read, so I think it can squeeze its way onto my summer reading list.
[00:12:13] And then I have another very special book on my nonfiction reading list for summer. It's called The A to Z of Career and Life Confidence by an author called Rowena Mabbott! So Rowena has written a beautiful guide that you can download for free on her website, rowenamabbott.com. So how about that guys? A completely free. Book to read, a little mini ebook. Would you consider it Rowena?
[00:12:41] Rowena: Yeah, I'd say it's a mini ebook. It's about 27 pages, but it's got reasonably small writing , so definitely very doable and very easy to read in a short time.
[00:12:51] Shelley: Lovely. And I think what I like about it, because I've been a beta reader and there is plenty of opportunity to dive deeper into some of your blog posts and your other writing. So it's like lovely spider web of like choose your own adventure, whatever interests you, you can then go and read more and read deeper into, So The A to Zed (or the A to Zee!) of Career and Life Confidence by Rowena Mabbott. It's on my
[00:13:13] Rowena: list.
[00:13:14] Oh, thanks Shelly. And I would just follow up with that saying please do feel free to go and download it to our listeners. It is free. You just need to go over to my website and it'll be immediately sent to you.
[00:13:27] And just following up on some of the other books you mentioned, Shelly, the Things That Matter is a lovely easy read and I think it's a great one to start the New Year with. And I have just added Workstyle to my summer reading list, based on what you've just described, I think that one sounds incredibly interesting . So I'll do a late amendment adding that in too.
[00:13:46] Shelley: Oh, yay. Awesome. But now tell us what is on your summer nonfiction reading list.
[00:13:52] Rowena: Oh, okay. So the first one that I have again, ready on shelf ready to dive into is called Spiritually Loose Uncover the Path to Your Divine Life by another Australian author named Susan Pearse. Now I met Susan, I felt very fortunate, I met her at a recent conference and enjoyed a lovely dinner with her and my dear friend, Helen Joy Butler.
[00:14:15] So I can't wait to dive into this beautiful book and really devote some time to uncovering what it means to be spiritually loose .
[00:14:24] And then similarly, there's a book that I have got on my shelf ready to go, and I think it's probably. It's probably not a summer holiday kind of read, to be fair, but it is called Back Yourself Advice and Inspiration to Create the Business You've Been Dreaming Of.
[00:14:42] And 27 different women business leaders have contributed to it . So yeah, it definitely doesn't feel like a relaxing summer read. But as you say, Shelly, it can be really fun to dive into a book like this over the holidays, and I'm hoping that it might be giving me some inspiration for the new year as well.
[00:15:00] One little thing I wanna note is, because I know we'll have some other episodes coming up about audiobooks and eBooks, but all the books on my summer reading list, I'm gonna aim to read in print additions because, my summer involves lots of time either on the beach or near the beach and I really want the flexibility to throw my book into my beach bag without worrying about sand or water slipping into a device and potentially kind of breaking it.
[00:15:27] So listeners, let us know if any of the books that we've mentioned here sound appealing to you and if they might make their way onto your summer or winter reading list. And we'd love to know what you're reading over the holidays. I'm not sure we can fit any more books onto our lists, but we've got a whole new year ahead of us, so we'd love to know what you're reading.
[00:15:46] Shelley: Yeah, so connect with us online and let's continue talking books. You can find me on Twitter at ShelleyTSmith or sign up to my newsletter at shelleytonkinsmith.Com. And if you'd like to learn more about my copywriting services, then head on over to ShelleySmithCreative.com.
[00:16:05] Rowena: And I'm rowenamabbott.com and RowenaMabbott on Instagram. Come over there and tell me what you're planning to read next. And if you're keen for an extra book that's super easy to read, make sure you grab my free download book on rowenamabbott.com called The A to Z of Career and Life Confidence. It's available just by subscribing.
[00:16:25] Speaking of subscribing, remember to subscribe or follow Two Booked Up in your podcast player, and then you'll automatically have the next bonus episode download straightaway for you. Of course, you can also tune in via the podcast website at twobookedup.com. That's where you'll find show notes with the books we've mentioned today and a transcript of this episode.
[00:16:46] And now Shelly, I'm gonna have to let you go because it sounds like we've both got a lot of reading to do.
[00:16:52] Shelley: Yes, I think we both do. Isn't it wonderful? So thanks for listening today, everyone. Rowena and I will be back again with another bonus episode in a couple of weeks time. Bye for now.