Sunday, October 4, 2009

My Giveaway!!

My Mum wrote a book.
A real book that will be published next month by Scribe Publications and available in book shops all over Australia and maybe one day all over the world.

The book is called Alzheimer's: A Love Story and this is what it says on her website about it;

When the last of Vivienne Ulman’s four children left home, she and her husband were poised to enjoy their freedom. Then her mother’s Alzheimer’s intervened.

In Alzheimer’s: a love story, Ulman records with tender lyricism and searing honesty the progress of her mother’s Alzheimer’s, her own grief over the gradual loss of her beloved mother, and the way in which her parents’ enduring love for each other sustained them.

Into this she weaves an account of her family’s history, in particular her father’s rise from farm boy to confidant of prime ministers — achievements made possible by the loving strength of the woman by his side. In a reversal of roles, he now amply returned this support.

This inspiring Australian story is a tale for the sandwich generation, squeezed on one side by concerns for their children and on the other by anxiety about their parents. It is about illness, grief, and hardship, but it is also about love, determination, and joy.

I have one, signed by the author, advanced reading copy (the draft before the final draft) of Alzheimer's: A Love Story to give away. To make this a gift from me and my girls too I will include in the package a crocheted flower brooch and a t-shirt designed and screen printed my girls.

I am happy to post it anywhere, all you have to do is leave me a comment telling me the name of a book you loved, that inspired you, or you have been dying to read. I will randomly choose the winner on the 23rd of October.

I am so proud and inspired by my Mum and know that I am the type of Mother and person I am today because of the creativity she surrounded us with when we were growing up.


  1. I love UNO's Garden by Graeme Base for the kids but for me there has been so many.....The art of happiness by the dalai Lama is possibly one of my favorites!

  2. It's hard to pin point a favourite book for me so I will go with a book that gave me an interesting and fresh perspective on human nature and behaviour - 'Shadows of forgotten Ancestors' by Carl Sagan.

  3. What a fantastic achievement for your Mum. I would love to win this book for my Mum, as her own mother suffered from the disease for many years, passing away earlier this year. A book that has inspired me is To Have and To Hold, by Walter Mikac, who lost his family at Port Arthur.

  4. Perfume by Patrick Susskind. A classic tale of scent and smell-the main character is ... well you have to read it- you will love it or hate it- while reading it you cannot help but be overwelmed by your sense of smell.
    My fave. Plus it has the most amazing twist at the end - best I have ever read.
    Yay to your Mum GO MUM!!!!!

  5. How about one of each...?!

    Book I loved; The Abortion By Richard Brautigan. It is my favourite book, ever. If I could only read one thing for the rest of my life, that would be the book. It's not evern really about an abortion... thankfully.

    Book that inspired; A recent read - Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule, a gorgeous book that sparks so many ideas for practical craft made with love.

    Book I'm dying to read; There really are too many to mention, and growing all the time. There are so many books & so little time..!

  6. Well, being part of Mikes Book club, I do really have to admit I absolutely loved The Time Travellers Wife. Possibly one of my favourite books ever.

    Congratulations to your Mum, I know my Mum has often considered trying to get published (for childrens books) but has never quite had the guts (yet!) It's a big deal to put your thoughts out there.

    Great prize too, fingers crossed!

  7. Wow!!! I'm feeling a tad teary reading that!!
    I've not been reading much this year. Mainly craft books, kids books and reading for work.
    But I did absolutely devour "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini. Amazing storyteller.
    Send your mum my best.
    Andi x

  8. Congrats to your mum! My mum wrote a book, too, back in 1966, when I was ten years old. It's no longer in print, but we have found several on ebay. It's "Ghosts Who Went to School" and as my mum now has Alzheimer's, we read it aloud to her, and she usually remembers that she wrote it. It is a children's book, but our whole family still enjoys reading it. Alzheimer's decline is gradual, giving us some very good days, and some not so good.

  9. How kind of you Kate, your mum and your girls. I guess one book that inspired me and gave me hope and faith in supporting a loved one with mental illness, would be: Recovered, Not Cured: A Journey Through Schizophrenia by Richard McLean. On a different genre, the best fantasy trilogy would be The Axis Trilogy by Sara Douglass.
    1.Battleaxe 2.Enchanter 3.Starman. That took me to a different world, it was an incredible read.

  10. Congratulations to your Mum for publishing your family's story. I am sure you are very proud of her.

    My favourite book would have to be 'Broken' by Shy Keenan (Woman of the Year 2008). One of the most heartbreaking yet inspirational books I have ever read. This woman is truely AMAZING.

  11. That book sounds like a fantastic read I will have to keep an eye out for it when it comes out. (That is if I dont win o course) :)

    Now my favourite book would have to be... She's come undone, by Wally Lamb. That man is a genius and write like a woman. His insight into the mind of one womans suffering is incredible! I haven't read it for a while. I may just pick it up again now.

  12. Awww, you should be so proud of your mum - quite an accomplishment to write a book!
    My fav book is: The Old Man & The Sea by Hemmingway - how can such a small book provide such big imagery??

    But to be truthful, I'm entering your comp cos I really love your kids owl print!

  13. Congratulations to your mum on being such an inspiring writer Kate. It sounds like an intriguing story. I used to read lots of books but havent had the time lately, although I did enjoy the one where the partner dies and he leaves her little notes each month, cant think of the name of it right now as I read it so long ago and it was wonderful and sad at the same time. I love that green owl too, he is so cute. He will have to become your trademark I think!

  14. I love what you've written about your mum and I hope to get a chance to read her book sometime. It's so hard to say what is my favourite book as there are so many I love & have enjoyed over the years. One I have read many times is The Endless Steppe by Ester Herzog. It's about a Jewish girl whose family are sent to Siberia during World War II. Her experiences, the poverty & hardship, hope & love really moved me and it's a book I often think about. PS. Lovely to see you all today xo

  15. Hi Kate,
    Your Mum sounds like an inspirational woman :-)
    One of my favourite books is A Hole Is To Dig by Ruth Krauss with pictures by Maurice Sendak. I really really love it.

  16. Such a touching post. Your mum sounds like an amazing woman. Sounds like a wonderful book. No wonder you feel so proud.

    My favourite book is cloud street. I love it on so many levels and i read it every few years. I always get something new each time i read it.

    Lovely giveaway!


  17. It is really tricky choosing a single book because there have been so many best beloved over the years soI shall go with one of the books I put on my blog profile - Colours by Victoria Finlayson (Finlay?). It is a history of the colours used in painting and her style of writing makes it a socialogical, cultural and historical exploration of human history. Plus she tells a cracking story.

  18. such a wonderful thing for your mum to have done it sounds like such an inspirin read. My mum nursed my nan through this disease and it was so very hard. A book I have found inpsiring recently (there have been a few would be Salvation Creek by Susan Duncan, actually there is two, the follow up as well, The House at Salvation Creek. Your giveaway gifts are fabulous

  19. Hi and congrats to your mum! I don't read much, but a long long time ago I read Sally Morgan's My Place - it was enthralling!

  20. Congrats to your Mum for writing a book about a subject obviously dear to her heart. My favourite book is "Goodnight Mister Tom" by Michelle Magorian - I read it every couple of years!

  21. Congratulations to your mum on publishing her book, it sounds like it would be a beautiful, yet sad read. I'll be keeping my eye open for this one.

    As far as inspirational books go, gosh I really couldn't choose. Years ago I read a book called Chris a rose with thorns that was so beautiful and so very sad, it's never quite left me. As for recent reads, I've just finished Red Dust by a new writer Fleur McDonald - the author has inspired me as I'm on a quest to become a published writer (oh who am I kidding, it's a far off pipe dream... maybe one day!!)

    BTW love the kiddies screenprint!

  22. congratulations to your mum, it sounds like a beautiful (and sad) read.
    A book that I loved was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer - an amazing book with an ending that will forever reduce me to tears.

  23. It's so hard to choose a favorite book because I love so many for different reasons. I'm currently reading 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' by Steig Larsson and thoroughly enjoying it. Well done to your Mum - it's a condition we all should try to understand more about

  24. Wow, congrats to your Mum :-) I recently finished The Time Traveler's Wife and I, too, would thoroughly recommend it - it's the kind of book that's hard to put down, and that 'stays with you' for a while after you've finished it. Thanks for the chance to win!

  25. Congratulations!
    I'm currently reading The Chosen by Chaim Potok and it taught me a lot about life and silence.

  26. Sounds like a very powerful book.
    Congratulations to your talented mum.
    My favourite book is an aussie story "Robbery Under Arms" by Rolf Boldrewood.
    I bought my copy in a book exchange while traveling in the area the story is set in, its a 1954 edition with quite small print.
    I love that green print too :)

  27. love your post, very moving, thank you for sharing this with us.
    I also loved the art of happiness, but another that has remained in my mind for years is "not without my daughter".
    hugs to you and your family ♥

  28. The book that is endless favourite for me is Persuasion by Jane Austen. I love the idea of love lost and found again, and of staying positive when all hope seems lost.

    How wonderful re your mother's book and I look forward to finding it in the bookshops.

  29. Congratulations to your Mum for achieving her ambition of publishing a book and her courage to write such a personal tale.

    I've enjoyed looking at everyone's comments and what each person likes to read. I love reading, but haven't had a great deal of time lately, although I have just finished "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" which I thoroughly enjoyed.

  30. How brave and wonderful of your mum and how lovely you are to be just as supportive in a different way. I've enjoyed reading all the comments and people's book choices and after a quick look over my shelves, I have to nominate Kate Atkinson's 'Behind the Scenes at the Museum' as one of my all time favourites.

  31. Congrats to your Mum... You must be so proud... *^_^*

    'Back from the Brink' and 'Beyond the Brink' (the follow up) both by Peter Andrews would have to be my 2 most recent books that inspired the hell out of me... Both books are amazing and definetley worth a read for anybody living on land, be it 1 acre or 1 million...

    Take Care
    Jodie :)

  32. Mmmm... too tricky to choose a favourite - there are so many & really what is a 'favourite' all depends on the mood I'm in at the time!!!
    "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton was a book that inspired my love of reading. It was the first book ever that I read cover to cover twice in the course of a night. I finished reading only minutes before the sun came up & I had to get ready to go to school.
    Congratulations to your Mum - what a wonderful achievement. So many of us dream of writing a book or a novel but very few of us have the stamina to actually do it!

  33. I have secretly been looking forward to this book of your mums since I heard about it on Meg's blog. What a fantastic acheivement for your mum and such a relevant topic in our ageing communities.
    Books are one of my true life long passions that sadly fall by the wayside in the rush of all the baby growing that goes on around here:(....
    I recently fell into the characters in Host by Stephanie Meyer.... and during my last pregnancy I was inspired by Living the Good Life by Linda Cockburn that I dog eared nearly every page!! What a great giveaway ;)

  34. Love your blog Kate! Had to have a read as I'm a Kate too. Hmmm bookwise I have a few fav's - "My Sister's Keeper" is one but I also loved "The Tea Rose" as well. Well done to your Mum as well.

  35. Choose one book? That's too hard!! I'll give you two, one from either end of my reading life to date. One that I read recently that I really enjoyed is The Book Thief - really enjoyed the process of reading it, and thought the end was fitting too! The other is a book I loved as a child - Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt. This was one of the few books I read several times as a kid - maybe I should read it again now! There are many other books in between, but if I started on those we'd both be here forever!!!

    It's lovely seeing the name of someone you love in print. My husband had his PhD published as a book a few years ago, and it was really exciting, even if there is no way I'd read it ;-) It must be even better when the content is interesting for more than a handful of people! Congratulations to your mum - it's a wonderful achievement.

  36. This post is proof of a creative gene, shown here spanning 3 generations. I love and am continually inspired by Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.

  37. Hi - I just found your blog via Ric Rac. And just in time to enter your giveaway too. What a great achievement for your mum to have a book published. You must be very proud of her.

  38. Congrats for your mum :)

    I loved Roald Dahl's books when I was younger, I used to read Matilda & The witches cover to cover over and over. I have recently rediscovered his short stories for adults, and am loving them.

    As for other authors (can't pick just one of their books), I love Margaret Atwood's writing style & Jodi Picoult's exploration of difficult/controversial themes.

    At the moment, I'm reading "When elephants weep: The emotional lives of animals" by Jeffrey masson & Susan McCarthy :)

  39. As a child I loved anything by Madeline L'Engle...really great reads...early 20s I love Jane Austen (still do) especially Pride and Prejudice and since Ive had kids, I don't find as much time to read...pity...I do listen to books on cd when time allows though (usually coincides with the few hours I get to sew!) Thanks for the chance at your great prize package and congrats to your mom!

  40. I am currently helping my mum come to terms with the fact that dad's symptoms of Alzheimers are rapidly worsening and how to cope. She is finding her whole world is turned upside down...from just the most simple of things...
    I would love to win this book as a gift for her.

    Perhaps the most inspirational book I have read for some time is Desert Flower by Waris Dirie.
    ( she suffered female circumcision ( mutilation) at 5 , and now campaigns to stop the practice )

    tell your daughter I love the green owl !

    x PJ x

    just returned from your mum's post ...I am a bit teary after reading her post about her father reading the book !

  41. What an amzing thing for your mum to do, she's obviously a brave lady. Good on her for tackling a heartbreaking and personal subject. Thanks for this giveaway. I can't tell you my very favourite- I have different favourites for different genres- but being a crafty thrifter, I LOVE the childrens book 'The Cherry Dress' I think it's by Elizabeth Honey, I give it as a gift to little girls a fair bit!
    I am re reading the Time Traveller's wife- so better get off the computer because I think I will finish it tonight! I really like it. Charlotte's web- that's lovely.

  42. Firstly - A massive congratulations to your Mum.. We can empathise over here that is for sure.
    My favourite book - "A fortunate Life" by A.B Facey. still the best re telling of a really tough life I heave ever read and re-read a multitude of times..The man lived through many a nightmare and in the shadows of loss and the unknown and still called his life 'fortunate'...
    Thanks for the chance. Peta

  43. Congrats to your Mum. I will certainly be on the look-out in the bookshops for it.

    An inspiring book for me was 'Lucky Man' Michael J. Fox. Loved him as an actor and think he is even more likeable now with his battle.

  44. Congrats to your mum, you must be so proud of her. A book that inspired and moved me, until I found that it was less real than first thought was A Million Little Pieces by James Frey about battling addiction, which is a journey I have been on with my partner. Thankfully he made it out the other side and has a whole new life, but the book dealt with so many issues that we could relate to.

    Thankyou for this extremely generous giveaway. I will look out for the book in the stores.

  45. I would sooo love to win this one. My mum, my older sister and I all love autobiographical stories and we share books amongst ourselves....
    Its so hard to pick an absolute favourite book, but my favourite book that I've read in the last year is The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls - a true story of a family from childhood to adulthood dealing with parents with mental illness.

  46. I was very moved to see your mother has written of the journey she has been on with her mother, your grandmother. Love does oil the wheels of all family tragedies I know, how would we get through otherwise?
    Books that I have enjoyed or been inspired by, where do I start! I read The Lace Reader whilst in NZ with Kate, [Greedy For Colour] and loved it. Im going to check out some of the books others of your readers have suggested.
    I love all the blogs that you all write,
    Lucy and Kate's Mum

  47. A big Congratulatiosn to your Mum - what a wonderful achievement!

    A book I read recently and adored was Cloudstreet by Tim Winton. I felt like I was part of one of the families in it, it was written so vividly. I couldn't put it down, but was so disspaointed when I finished it - I will have to read it again soon!

  48. Would love to read your mum's book.
    I read knitting books and crafty blogs for inspiration. one book that does stick out is “No Going Back” by Mhairi Collins.A true story of the journey to
    recovery from traumatic brain

  49. Congratulations to your mum - what a wonderful achievement. We have friends going through this with their dad, very sad times.
    Wow, 'A' book that I loved, where to start!
    Ok let's go with "A hospital by the river" by Dr Catherine Hamlin. It's ispiring and yet heartbreaking too. Dr Hamlin moved to Ethiopia in 1959 with her husband to treat women who had been left to labour for many days and subsequently suffered terrible injuries and were then cast out by families and spouses.
    So sad that something taken for granted here - the right to safe childbirth - causes so much grief over there.

  50. This giveaway is very close to home for me. I am currently a caregiver to a Mother with early-onset Alzheimer's. Every day is a struggle and it's nice to know that stories are being told out there for the benefit of those struggling. It can feel pretty lonely 'here' and to know that others commiserate is comforting. Thank your mother for that.

  51. Hi, congratulations to your mum on her new book. One book I love at the moment is a book written by my mum, Lorraine Marwood called Star Jumps - it's about life on our farm and the hardships and impact of drought on the farm.

  52. How wonderful of your mum to put it out there for the world to read!! Congrats to her Hun!! I don't get to read very often but I am currently reading "Kingdom of The Golden Dragon" by Isabel Allende. I bought it for my husband because he said he really enjoyed her books it not realising there was one before it!! So I went back and bought the first one and read it before my husband then was inspired by the Spanish names and named my son after the main character hehe... Phew!! I haven't been around anyone with Alzheimer's but the read would be enriching.

    xo Steph

  53. what a lovely giveaway. congrats to your mum {my hubby needs a book like this right now}.
    i love anything by joyce carol oates, most especially 'middleage' {sounds mildly drab as a title, but it's a great book!}

  54. What a wonderful book! and how fabulous to have your family history in print. Just gorgeous. Yes please, I'd love to go in the draw. Fabulous giveaway :) K

  55. so many i could choose, but i have a thing for kids books and " Bugs In a Blanket " won my heart recently and inspired me to make some wee felt people that feature in the book. What a sweet giveaway. Thankyou norma

  56. my grandmother had dementia, and my sister and i were the ones looking after her. its a fantastically brave thing for your mum to have done - to write about the journey. well done to her.

    as for books - i have so many great books i love. two spring to mind. for inspiration "life is so good" by George Dawson and Richard Glaubman (about George's life, who was born in 1898, and only learnt to read at 98) and for fun "all fun and games until somebody looses and eye" by Christopher Brookmeyer

  57. Yay mum! And yay you for supporting her :)
    Right now I've just started My Creative Family. Been on my list for 12 months so really excited to stuck in to it.
    And I just love the owl! Hoot hoot xox

  58. Gosh, what a special giveaway Kate, thank you.
    It's very hard to choose one favourite book! But one that has stuck with me since childhood that I adore is Playing Beatie Bow, a wonderful Australian story.

    Also high on my list are Jessica by Bryce Courtenay, The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve and anything by Jodi Picoult.

  59. Wow.Congrats to your mum and what an awesome giveaway. I love Roald Dahl so will pick James and the Giant Peach as an example of one of my fave Dahl books.

  60. Anything by Alain de Botton, or Haruki Maurakami. They would have to be two of my favorite authors. And for a laugh, Kinky Freedman! I never thought I would read cowboy detective books, but Kinkys books are fantastic! Thanks to my sister for introducing me to him. :)

  61. A Prayer for Owen Meany. Only because it was one of those laugh/cry out loud affairs that still sits with me fifteen years after the first reading.

    And way to go Kate's Mum.

  62. Can't believe I nearly missed this giveaway...
    I don't really have a fav book...
    I have lots that I have enjoyed...
    April fools day...would be close to it as I did enjoy it so much I read it a second time...and cryed just as hard the second time around...
    And of course I adore Winnie the Pooh books and poems...

  63. Wow, your Mum must be amazing, and you must be very proud of her.
    I loved reading The Time Travellers Wife, and now that it is a movie I can't wait to see it either! I could not put it down.

  64. Hi Kate, well done to your mum - a great achievement. It's a brave thing to put such a personal story out there. I really like the cover - the black and the white and the hazy grey.
    One of my all time favourite books is Tracks, by Robyn Davidson - her story of crossing Australia with camels. She writes beautifully.

  65. wow your mum sounds amazing well done to you all!!
    I love mums- love mine- love being one - love talking to other mums about all the mum things that really only mums get!!! I also adore owls as does my little girl indy!
    If we won we would feel blessed!!
    Love your blog also!!
    xo courtney

  66. Hi Kate, I just found your blog whilst looking for 'local blogs'. My mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer's last year and it breaks my heart to watch her. I will buy your mum's book even if I don't win your generous giveaway. I read a lovely book recently titled 'Water for Elephants' by Sara Gruen. Nice story set in a traveling circus touring the backblocks of mid America during the Great Depression. Just a story full of love, hate, trains and circuses and just one elephant 'Rosie'. Recommend it.

  67. Am I allowed to enter??

    A book I recommend? I'll go with the one I just finished: The Female Brain, a great insight into what makes us who we are.

  68. Please count me in, I'd love to read this book. Even if I don't win I'll keep an eye out for its release.
    Your girls are very talented by the way!!
    If you pop by tomorrow night you can enter my giveaway and win some earrings for your girls :)

  69. I would love to win your mum's book, please!

    A book that inspired me:
    The Long Way by Bernard Moitessier.

    The self told account of the mad-genius sailor who, about to win a competitive around-the-world single-hand yachting race, forfeited the prize and media frenzy, opting to keep the journey and all it meant, for himself.

    Amazing legend of a man. Good prose. Inspiration in a bottle.

  70. When things of the spirit come first
    Simone de Beauvoir.

    but dont pick me, I would like to buy the book
    from my favorite bookstore and walk down the street with it, and find a nice place
    to start reading it
    all the while thinking,
    'wow, the internet is like making a giant collective quilt, how fantastic to have the resources to be apart of it everyday'.

    P.S I have seen 5 owls this year, 5!
    isn't that amazing, I think so!

  71. Oh, I read an interview with your mum I think, about this book - it sounds amazing. I would love to read it in full. My favourite book is the one that you read in a bath that someone else ran for you, when you got home tired and cranky from work, and they're making you dinner while you escape for a while amongst the gentle steam and heat .....

  72. oh! wow! what a wonderful story - and a wonderful giveway!

    i have an uncle who has alzheimers and i would love to read this book and pass it on to his wife and daughter.

    Peace Like a River by Leif Enger - is one of my favorite books ever!

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