Book review: The Museum of Forgotten Memories by Anstey Harris

Friday, May 29, 2020 Permalink

I really loved Anstey Harris’s The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton, released in early 2019. It is an understated book. If I wanted to sound wanky I’d say it’s about the human condition. Or perhaps it’s about all of those things that happen in our lives that make us the people we are. That make us ‘why’ we are.

The Museum of Forgotten Memories offers something quite different. Again though there’s some quirk, past secrets and a focus on relationships.

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four-stars

Book review: The Hunted by Gabriel Bergmoser

Thursday, May 28, 2020 Permalink

This book is garnering a lot of praise and it’s deserved. It’s bloody exciting. Heart-in-mouth pacing. The action does not stop.

I recently watched the new Chris Hemsworth movie, Extraction on Netflix. At the time I commented that it felt like one long action sequence. I’m someone who normally fast-forwards car chases and fight scenes… waiting for the dialogue to recommence. That didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the movie. I did, but it was what it was.

I felt the same about The Hunted by Gabriel Bergmoser. It is almost one long action-packed scene. It wasn’t until later I discovered the author is also a scriptwriter and a film based on the book is already under development. The Hunted is certainly a very visceral experience. So perhaps he visualised the entire thing, as if an action-sequence.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Sticks and Stones by Katherine Firkin

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 Permalink

I suspect Sticks and Stones by Katherine Firkin will eventually become Detective Emmett Corban #1, but as this is Firkin’s debut novel it’ll probably be updated once the next book in the series comes along. And—in case you’re wondering—I believe there will be another book as Emmett is eminently likeable and Firkin creates an engaging support ensemble to assist in the series’ longevity.

I read Sticks and Stones before Buried by Lynda La Plante and in that review I commented on the fact that our lead detective (Jack) was kinda ungrateful for the opportunity he’d been given in the Serious Crimes Squad. I said that with Emmett in mind… as he’d been keen for a place in the Homicide or Cold Case Squad after a promotion… instead finding himself heading up the Missing Persons’ Unit which he ‘finds’ (#sorrynotsorry) less-than-exciting.

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four-stars

Book review: Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld

Sunday, May 24, 2020 Permalink

I don’t read non-fiction. On the whole I dislike memoirs intensely. I hear great things about some, such as Michelle Obama’s Becoming or Reckoning by Magda Szubanski. And yet… I avoid them like the plague. I’ve made some recent attempts (Bri Lee’s Beauty and Clare Bowditch’s Your Own Kind of Girl) but they either feel like a university case study or I struggle with their logic and structure. Although, perhaps I’m just too self-absorbed to be that interested in someone else’s life. Who knows?

I would normally have eschewed Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld, assuming it to be yet another memoir. But thankfully a book-blogging friend Simon (Written by Sime) had mentioned this book and his love for it a while ago. So I knew it was fiction. About the road not taken. A reimagining if you like.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Buried by Lynda LaPlante

Thursday, May 21, 2020 Permalink

I adore Lynda LaPlante’s Prime Suspect series, along with her ‘young’ Jane Tennison prequels (set in the 1970s) so was excited to see her new release Buried – kicking off a brand new series.

Here we’re introduced to Detective Jack Warr. He’s a bit of an unlikely lead character: he’s not really ambitious and somewhat ambivalent about his career in the Met’s Serious Crimes Squad though many would probably envy the opportunity.

His team is presented with a case however, that intrigues him a little. Even more so when it seems to have personal links to his own family history.

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three-half-stars

Sharing some snaps: a reflection of me

Monday, May 18, 2020 Permalink

I’m trying to keep my blogging momentum going. Or get it started. Something like that anyway. I was working on something far more profound but it’s led me in so many circles I decided to stick to Denyse Whelan’s link-up theme today and I’m sharing some snaps. Not just any snaps… some that offer some insight into moi. Kinda.

The first two things I found when tidying my study a while ago. They were part of a heap of stuff my mother had handed me to me (report cards and the like, which I ditched).

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Book review: Dear Child by Romy Hausmann

Sunday, May 17, 2020 Permalink

I was worried I was offering up spoilers by saying Dear Child by Romy Hausmann very much reminded me of Room by Emma Donohue. And then I read the media release and discovered it’s promoted as ‘Gone Girl meets Room’.

It certainly reminded me of Room – initially at least. Of course I’ve read other similar books as the theme of women / children in long-term captivity (having escaped) was pretty popular for a while. (And sadly it seemed fiction was mirroring what we were reading in the newspapers for a while.)

Interestingly this book (originally written in German—translated by Jamie Bulloch—and set in a town near the Czech border) offers something slightly different, as we fairly quickly learn that many of the assumptions we make aren’t—in fact—correct.

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four-stars

Book review: The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan by Lisa Ireland

Thursday, May 14, 2020 Permalink

I’d requested The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan by Lisa Ireland for review but unfortunately didn’t receive it. I have a rule that I’m not allowed to buy any books until the end of the year and then I’m only allowed to buy those that might make my ‘best of the year’ post. My weird logic is two-fold. I’m not really working at the moment so can’t justify buying many books PARTICULARLY when I receive so many for review. And my to-be-read (TBR) pile stresses me and I don’t want or need to add to that guilt – although there are quite a few books on there I’ve not requested and are outside of my usual reading genre.

Anyhoo, I’ve really loved Lisa Ireland’s last two books The Shape of Us and The Art of Friendship and met Lisa and also really like her. (I’ve mentioned before if I tend to like someone in person I generally find I like their writing!) So, when a friend suggested I borrow her copy of The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan I jumped at the chance. And thank god I did as I loved it! In fact it’s probably my favourite of the three (of Lisa’s books) I’ve read.

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four-half-stars

Back to school – returning to study?

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 Permalink

I completed my MBA (Master of Business Administration) in 1998. Apparently that is more than a decade ago. Even more than two decades ago. Apparently.

I’d started the MBA before heading overseas to work in international development so completed it by distance and have vivid memories of trying to explain to a lecturer – via fax or telephone (ie. before internet) – that I was living in Mozambique. A Portuguese-speaking country and had no access to any English texts or literature of any kind.

Anyhoo… it’s a long time since I’ve done any formal study. And I should admit, I hated study. Hated it. I always did far better at subjects requiring understanding and ‘doing’ rather than ‘learning’.

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