Andrea Mara

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Fiction / Books

60 Book Recommendations from my Kids to Yours

Three years ago I put together a list of 28 books or series my kids love and two years ago, I added more to bring it up to 50. This year, due to an edits deadline, I asked my twelve-year-old if she would help out with adding more reviews. She said no.

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Andrea Mara

How to Write a Book

The three things I’m asked most often, here on OfficeMum, and on Facebook and on Instagram, are as follows: 1. Which is the best campsite 2. How do you get into freelance writing and 3. How do you write a book – or: I’ve written a book, what do I

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Snow Daze

Date: February 28th 2018 Time: 7:15 am Sound: Earsplitting shrieks This is a little story about the snow that led to a very different story about the snow. We’d gone to bed the night before, wondering if it would really, really happen this time. The promise of snow. Or depending on

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50 Book Recommendations from my Kids to Yours

Last year I put together a list of 28 books or series my kids love. This year, I’m adding their favourite books of 2019, along with the original 28, so if you’re buying books for kids, this list of 50 may be of use. For reference, at time of posting, my

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Andrea Mara

The best of… no, wait, all the books I read this year

Last week I wrote about the books my kids loved this year – 28 recommendations from my kids to yours – so this week I thought I’d post about the books I loved in 2018. There are lots of “best books” newspaper articles and blog posts at the moment, and

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Andrea Mara

28 Book Recommendations From my Kids to Yours

One night a few months ago, I made a third attempt to get my six-year-old interested in Cabin Fever, a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book by Jeff Kinney. I read it for him as his bedtime story, promising he could have a second story if he didn’t like it. There

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Days Like This

So I could couch this in all sorts of domestic and parenting terms. I could tell you a story about the challenging day I had last Thursday; dashing home at 3 o’clock to make a curry, make school lunches, and supervise baking for the school cake-sale. I could tell you

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Instructions from a ten-year-old

When I was about thirteen, I remember reading Flowers in the Attic and realising pretty quickly that it was a good thing my parents didn’t know what it was about. I’d been stopped from reading Judy Blume’s Forever a few years ago, and had learned to be more careful about

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Back at the scene of the crime

Exactly two years ago this week, I was on this same beach (give or take a bit of sand) when I saw a woman in a deckchair and almost took her photo. Then I got worried – what if I shared her photo online and it had unexpected repercussions on her life

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Andrea Mara

The Photo Not Taken

Two summers ago, we spent a glorious fortnight in Marina di Venezia, a campsite near Venice that’s situated right on the beach. About five days into our holiday, I was lying awake in bed, cranky after a bad night’s sleep, and irrationally irritated that everyone else was still snoring (including the

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My Book-Baby Reveal

It’s struck me many times over the last 18 months that writing books is a little like having a baby (albeit in a non-human-creating, non-life-altering way). The writing is like the pregnancy (only it feels even longer) and the last round of edits are like the final push of childbirth.

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Book launches and being horizontal

Anyone who knows me in real life will know that I’m not exactly horizontal in the chilled out stakes. I’m somewhere between about 45 and 80 degrees. And depending on the situation (organising a kid’s party, organising a barbecue, trying to get out the door when we have a babysitter…)

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Andrea Mara

Human birthdays and book birth-days

Sun and showers and sun showers, school runs snaking in and out between parked cars, windows down, temperatures up, singing voices raised, tempers frayed. June is everywhere and we are exhausted. It’s time to wind down towards summer holidays, but at this time of year, it always feels like it’s ramping

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