on the reading list–June 2012

As I wind down to the birth of our second child (due today), I’ve been getting in as much reading as possible. That’s just one of the upsides to not watching TV anymore – lots of time to read after the little fella goes to bed.

Today, instead of the regular post, I thought I would share with you some of the books I’ve been reading lately.

frugavoreFrugavore : how to grow your own, buy local, waste nothing and eat well

by Arabella Forge

I’ve had this book recommended to me quite a few times. It is a great book, but I found that much of it is stuff we’re either doing already or wasn’t relevant to living with only a small yard (oh, I would love to keep chickens!).


outback cafeMark Olive’s Outback Cafe : a taste of Australia

by Mark Olive.

Lots of yummy bush tucker recipes and info on ingredients.



allergy friendlyAllergy-friendly food for families : 120 gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, and soy-free recipes everyone will love

by the editors of Kiwi Magazine

A lot of great recipes in this book. We don’t have food allergies in our household, but I wrote down many recipes from this book to try anyway as they look so yummy! Many recipes are non-allergy recipes by default, i.e. are all about fruit and vegetables rather than specialty foods. In other words, recipes anyone can enjoy, which is good if you have only one or two people in the household with allergies.


boogie knightsBoogie knights

by Lisa Wheeler; pictures by Mark Siegel.

I’m in love with this kid’s book. While it’s a bit over the little fella’s head, it’s clever and enjoyable for us to read – a plus when you read the same book over and over again.


first fruitFirst fruit : the creation of the Flavr savr tomato and the birth of genetically engineered food

by Belinda Martineau.

I assumed when I picked this book up it would be anti GMO, but it’s actually written by a a scientist on the team that created the first GMO food – the Flavr Savr tomato. While I’m still not pro GMO, it’s interesting and informative to read things from the other side of the fence.


super freedomSuper freedom : a woman’s guide to superannuation : create a worry-free financial future in 6 steps

by Trish Power.

This book ‘runs the numbers’ (and shows you how you can too) in order to show women how to make the most of their super, no matter what their age or circumstances. It’s also a realistic look at super for women. The author also writes for Super Guide, which, according to their about page, is the only independent website for consumers on Super.


garbologyGarbology : our dirty love affair with trash

by Edward Humes.

I’ve only just started reading this book and already I’m finding it a fascinating (yet scary) read. It’s interesting that one of America’s biggest exports is its garbage!

Trying to comprehend the sheer volume of waste that goes into municipal landfills each and every day across the globe is mind-blowing as well as motivating to think twice about what we buy and the rubbish we are producing.


one magic squareOne magic square : grow your own food on one square metre

by Lolo Houbein.

This is an Australian book about square foot gardening. It’s set out so that you can be up and gardening in a matter of hours. It has some great garden planting suggestions like the ‘salad garden’ or the ‘pizza garden’ or the ‘soup garden’.


eating animalsEating animals

by Jonathan Safran Foer.

I’ve read that reading this book will turn you into a vegetarian. For a long time I’ve been putting off reading this book for that reason – I wasn’t ready to be confronted by what it had to say.

It’s true, the book certainly makes you question whether it’s ok to eat meat as it is produced today. And, as Safran argues, even if you do find eating meat ok (which I do), it can be difficult and expensive to source ethically produced meat (which it is!). Vegetarianism is the cheaper, easier and often healthier alternative.

This book has lead me on a quest to read up on Australian production standards (which I’ll share with you in the future) Our food production is certainly much, much better than the American food system, although far from ideal. I hope that doesn’t change for the worse.


classic preservesClassic preserves : jams, chutneys, relishes

by Australian Women’s Weekly

It’s not often that I want to purchase a cookbook anymore (I borrow them from the library if you’re wondering how I read all these), but this is an exception – there are lots of yummy recipes and info on sterilising etc. Even the little fella asks to ‘read the berry book’. One day I want a pantry full of homemade preserves.


fabric selectorThe fabric selector : the essential guide to working with fabrics, trimmings, & notions

by Dana Willard.

A different fabric per page with a description of each fabric: suggestions for what sewing the fabric is best suited to, as well as handling suggestions (shrinkage, what needle to use etc). This is useful if (like me) you are overwhelmed by where to start when walking into a fabric store or you pick up a remnant and wonder just what to make of it.


positive disciplinePositive Discipline A-Z: 1001 Solutions to Everyday Parenting Problems

by Jane Stephen Glenn Nelsen

The little fella is now nearly two and a half and we’ve been needing a few more parenting tools in the toolbox to navigate this age. After doing extensive researching on different books, I bought this one (eBook format) and it really resonated with our personal parenting style. Tantrums have been greatly reduced in our house (without us being permissive, which is what positive parenting can sometimes be confused with) by putting some of the practices in this book to work.

The first 40 pages or so are overarching principles – the best part of the book actually, the rest deals with specific problems, which I found less helpful.

The best parenting book is usually the one that resonates with your own parenting style.


wilderness gardenThe wilderness garden : beyond organic gardening

by Jackie French.

This is the third time I’ve borrowed and read this book. I’m really motivated to put some of the suggestions in this book into practice, like creating ‘groves’. The challenge: to tailor the ideas to suit a small courtyard in a totally different climate to the one the author lives in.


Have you read any good books lately? I’m always looking for good books to read.


  1. says

    Some interesting books and topics in this selection, will have to follow up! I also have to catch up on reading the end of your e-book (Plan, Cook, Save!) which has been fantastic so far!

    All the very best with the birth of your new little one ~ hope to see an announcement up here very soon!

  2. says

    I have a signed copy of Mark Olive’s cookbook. He is a friend of a friend. I went to buy a copy last year as a birthday gift only to discover they’re out of print and unavailable everywhere. Such a shame, it’s a brilliant cook book incorporating native foods.

    • says

      I’ve read quite a few bush tucker books lately and I think this one was by far the most useful – at least in introducing me to how to cook with the ingredients. Loved it!