Weekly check-in

Sunday, July 5, 2015 Permalink

A few new books arrived the other day. I was speaking to my mother later that night, mentioning I’d been to the post office. “Thank God they’re not published until July,” I told her, saying I had an inordinate number of books to read at the moment.

There was a pause… “Oh shit, it’s July already isn’t it?” I asked.

Book review: Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

Saturday, July 4, 2015 Permalink

Joseph Addison said, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” And there are a million similar quotes espousing the benefits of being a reader. In my case, reading nourishes my soul. It allows me to be absorbed into another world where I get to experience things I’d never normally do or see. And… just for good measure…. I learn stuff.

Start as you plan to continue

Friday, July 3, 2015 Permalink

Back when I worked in international aid and development I went for an interview with an international non-government organisation. It was one of the ones you’ll have heard of and they do a lot of great work in developing countries.

Book review: The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

Thursday, July 2, 2015 Permalink

A compelling and beguiling voice shines through Debbie Howells‘ psychological thriller, The Bones of You. Unfortunately the voice is also one of regret and heartbreak because it belongs to 18 year old Rosanna (Rosie); who dies before we meet her.

The book’s been compared to Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones for that reason. (Australian novel, What Came Before by Anna George is another which comes to mind featuring someone who’s *supposedly* dead.)

Book review: Friday on My Mind by Nicci French

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Permalink

In my review of the Nicci French novel, Thursday’s Children I was fairly blunt in relation to my antipathy toward psychologist, Dr Frieda Klein. Prickly and unlikeable I struggled to care a lot about her (and her welfare). I still enjoyed the book—predominantly because the Gerrard / French combo can still spin an absorbing tale. Despite Frieda.

Unfortunately I’m assuming Frieda’s going to stay in play right through the week, so we have a Saturday and Sunday to get through yet. <Insert sigh here.> However… on a happier note, I actually found her less grating this time around and almost… almost cared whether she lived or died found myself on her side.

Book review: The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop

Monday, June 29, 2015 Permalink

I used to avoid Australian books like the plague. They were too familiar, their landscapes too prosaic and characters too mundane. I didn’t want to read about my own backyard. I wanted something different. I needed to escape.

But slowly and surely I’ve found myself reading Australian author after Australian author and bewildered at the talent on my doorstep. I’ve been entertained by fascinating stories and enchanted by beautiful words and phrases.

And this offering by Stephanie Bishop, The Other Side of the World, is no different.

Weekly check-in

Sunday, June 28, 2015 Permalink

I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed on the reading and reviewing front of late. My books have been piling up and it feels like a very busy time on the literary calendar.

Book review: In My House by Alex Hourston

Sunday, June 28, 2015 Permalink

Some who’ve read Alex Hourston’s debut novel In My House, have been disappointed that it’s not been more of an expose on the important issue of human trafficking. The marketing of disempowered and vulnerable women is certainly the genesis of the book, but I wasn’t disappointed when it focussed instead on the less-dramatic issue of human frailties.

Book review: What Doesn’t Kill Her by Carla Norton

Friday, June 26, 2015 Permalink

Eleven years ago 12yr old Reggie LeClaire was kidnapped by Daryl Wayne Flint and kept in his basement for four years. Her rescue was fortuitous, having been found in the trunk of Flint’s car after an accident. Flint suffered brain damage in the accident allowing him to be incarcerated in a mental institution rather than prison.

He’s festered away there for seven years, a model and placid patient until one day he kills a visitor, steals his ID and escapes.