The 5 In 50 Challenge

I’ve signed up to the ‘Brothers N Books’ #5in50Challenge readathon taking place from 01 Sep 21 to 20 Oct 21 to raise much needed funds for Legacy Brisbane (Australia).

Legacy is a voluntary organisation formed in 1923 to provide services to Australian families who “suffer financially or socially after the incapacitation or death of a spouse or parent during or after their defence force service. Legacy, Brisbane supports 6,226 family members of fallen and injured veterans across South-East, Central and Western Queensland” This support for families ranges the vast time span from veterans who served during World War II, through to present day military personnel.

Stack of the 10 books I’ll be choosing from

The challenge is to read 5 books every 10 days over 50 days. Hmmm, seems I may have misread the instructions, as I thought the challenge was to read 10 books in 10 days, but here are the books I’ll be choosing from:

Smoky the War Dog by Nigel Allsopp – Completely intrigued by the blurb about how a tiny Yorkshire Terrier became a hero on the frontline “In March 1944, deep in the New Guinean jungle, a little Yorkshire Terrier was found hiding in a foxhole. Her presence there was a mystery . . .” ** Smoky’s adorable smiling face on the cover also has me hooked

Captain Tom’s Life Lessons – I was truly inspired by Captain Tom Moore’s determination last year to walk 100 laps of his garden to raise money for the NHS. I’m looking forward to reading his reflections and guiding principles as a source of reassurance, hope and encouragement especially during these challenging times. After all, as Captain said “Tomorrow will be a good day”

Restless by William Boyd – This is a book that has travelled with me since 2007 across homes in 3 countries, and one I come back to every now and then, when I want to curl up on a sofa and forget about the world around me briefly. A spy novel beginning in 1939 with a twist from a female operative’s perspective. As you can see this copy is well “seasoned”, but every time I read it I discover a new layer to the story. Luckily I grabbed my copy recently on a trip back home in between Lockdowns, and I have it to sustain throughout the current situation in Melbourne.

Swipe Right on Your Best Self by Eric Winters – I was first introduced to Eric Winters work earlier this year through a webinar he ran on LinkedIn about this topic and shortly afterwards again through the Career Development Association of Australia’s webinar he presented on. Eric is so engaging and his ‘Swipe Right . . ..” webinar really resonated with me, and I wish Eric’s book was available at a time not so long ago, when my life felt like it was thrown completely upside down.

Chapter One by Daniel Flynn – I’ll be honest, I’m not really sure what has drawn me to this book that belongs to a friend. Maybe it is the subtle quote on the cover “You have the power to change stuff”, maybe it is the beginning of the blurb on the back “The world probably doesn’t need another book. And while this object you hold in your hand might look like on, it’s so much more.” Perhaps it is the fact that it is the story of 3 “kids” from Melbourne, Australia (where I currently live) with no experience in business, or perhaps simply the fact that once past the cover, you have to turn the book into landscape orientation to read it is what has drawn me to the book. Who knows!

How to Get a Good Job After 50 by Rupert French – I recently came across this book during an E-forum meeting run by the Career Development Association of Australia about supporting older workers with their career transitions. It concerns me greatly about how in some reports, people in Australia from the age of 45 yrs and beyond are considered “older workers”. After listening to Rupert’s input into the forum, I promptly had to grab a copy of his book, and look forward to diving into it.

Victory Cookbook by Marguerite Patten OBE – I still remember the day in 2008 when walking with my friend Tina in Gillingham during a lunchbreak with my friend from my job with the Royal Engineers Association, based at Brompton Barracks in Chatham, Kent, I spotted this in a bookshop. I love this book so much, as it helps to me get in touch with my heritage and feel closer to my father who was born in Leicester in England in 1939, as well as feeling close to my grandparents. All three of them meant so much to me, and even though they are no longer alive, having this connection, helps me to see how this period in their lives, has also shaped mine. I enjoy not only reading the thrifty recipes, but also the other bits and pieces included like advertisements, cartoon, tips for making do an mend, as well as stories of what it was like living in Britain during the war years.

Metaphor Making: Your Career Career, Your Life, Your Way by Norman E. Amundson – I picked this book and the associated card sort pack up last year, and am looking forward to coming back to it with a deeper sense of understanding as I am about to begin Doubleknotworks Certification in Hope-Action Theory & Practice, which looks at the use of metaphor making as a career intervention in the career decision making process. Until recently, I had not realised how often metaphors are used in our daily lives, and I’m interested in discovering metaphors and their meanings from other cultures

Creative Career Coaching: Theory Into Practice by Liane Hambly & Ciara Bomford – I purchased this book in May/June of last year between Melbourne’s first & second lockdown, it really helped me through, and also helped prepare me for my Grad Cert in Career Development Practices. As a former teacher, I took a creative whole-brain approach to the delivery of my lessons such as teaching literacy through the arts, and a holistic approach including Thai Chi, and the “worry tree” as part of a “Anger Management” program I ran in a primary school I taught at. For me personally, a whole-brain approach to supporting clients with their career development, really resonates with me.

Career Recovery: Creating Hopeful Careers in Difficult Times by Spencer Niles, Norman Amundson, Roberta Neault & Hyung Joon Yoon – I was first introduced to Hope Action Theory at the beginning of my postgraduate studies last year, and then shortly after attending a Career Industry Council of Australia run webinar by Spencer Niles about Hope Action Theory, I was completely hooked. As soon as Spencer said this book was being released that week, I had to get an e-copy whilst waiting for the hard copy to arrive (I’m a hardcopy book kind of a person). Having Hope as the centre anchor of career development competencies, makes so much sense to me. I’m really excited to be starting next week the Certification course in Hope-Action Theory & Practices with Spencer Niles, Norm Amundson and Andrea Fruhling through Doubleknotsworks.

Gourmet Pilgrim Germany – Finally but not lastly, I’m glad have included the Gourmet Pilgrim in my list. Not only does it have so many delicious recipes to try from different regions of Germany, but it also includes information about the different regions, their history, interesting facts and cuisine specialities. Like most people in Australia, we certainly can’t travel now or anytime soon beyond our borders (in many cases not even beyond our state regions), but this book reminds of happy times in my life, and gives me something to look forward to in the future.

Muenster where I lived in Germany is located in NordRhein Westfalen.

I love cooking from different regions, and I truly believe that German cuisine is very underrated despite it being delicious. I’ve made the Grandmother’s Noodle Salad before, and have developed a liking for Herring Rollmops since trying them a few months ago at the Gasthaus on Queen in Melbourne.

Grandmother’s Noodle Salad is a recipe I love preparing, when I want a happy pick me up
Herring Rollmops – I’ll admit I used to think I wouldn’t like them, but my mind has been changed

So, as you can see, I have an eclectic range of books to choose from – something for all weathers and how I’m feeling at the time.

Find out more about Legacy Brisbane and the Readathon challenge at

1 thought on “The 5 In 50 Challenge

  1. Thank you @Wandering Ambivert and @Sebastian for liking my post. Let’s hope I don’t mix up the narratives between books along the way! 🙂


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