Book Shelf: Chooks in Stilettos. GWAS Book of the Year

It's a big call, guys, but I'm going to make it: Carolyn Donovan's Chooks in Stilettos is the GWAS Book of the Year. Not a Pulitzer contender, but my favourite book for 2010. Granted, it's only May. But I read a lot of books. To what can I attribute this accolade? Its author, of course.

Donovan is to the Australian modelling industry what Mia Freedman is to magazines: and Chooks in Stilettos is her answer to Mama Mia: A Memoir of Mistakes, Magazines and Motherhood. She is so utterly likable, so refreshingly real and fun and honest, that you will not want her book to end. Ever. In fact, I will be keeping it in my little pile of Books I Read When I Feel Crap, along with India Knight's The Shops and, erm, The Bible, for a reassuring pick-me-up.

This is the sort of book you might get Tim Tam smears and coffee stains all over because it's such great company – in fact, it practically invites you to. Mother, model, writer, animal lover, impulse shopper, intrepid traveller, eater of Doritos and evader of exercise, Donovan is the kind of girl you want to befriend, because she gets so much joy out of life – even amidst its messiness. Even when you know she is beautiful and clever and successful and married to a muscly plumber who can put together Ikea furniture: you CANNOT HATE HER. Because she is endearingly humble. In fact, she's the epitome of HUMILITY. If euphemisms could cause spontaneous combustion, I would be exploding all over the floor.

The Sunday Mail recently called Chooks In Stilettos “the best kept secret since Sandra Bullock’s baby adoption”, so I'm not alone in my conviction. Not that I needed the reassurance. The book speaks for itself. Donovan, who published her first book, Journey of a Princess, in 2007, seamlessly melds hilarious vignettes from her life with embarrassing anecdotes from her friends, quirky quotes and random lists. Chapters include 'It's Not My Fault They Book Me', 'If Love Is Blind... Marriage Is a Real Eye Opener' and 'Why Didn't I Think of That?'.

Picking out favourite parts to share with you is nigh on impossible, so just trust me on this one. Turn a forgiving blind eye to the few misplaced apostrophes (which only add to the character of the book, published by the small Ark House imprint – along with your Tim Tam smears), and go buy it for your mum, sister, aunt and best friend.

Coming soon... a chat with Carolyn.

Chooks in Stilettos, $22.95, Ark House.

Yours truly,
Girl With a Satchel


anna said...

Sounds like a great book, and reading the interview above, she sounds lovely. Will be looking out for this one at the bookstore :)