Cranky old woman

Thursday, October 22, 2020 Permalink

It’s eight years this week since I left my former life in my state’s capital and made my seachange. I still think it’s the best thing I’ve done but—as I’ve mentioned before—I probably didn’t realise how hard it was going to be to find employment here.

Without a doubt it’s been the main issue and I’ve only worked full-time for one year during that time, part time / contract for two to three years.

It’s a bit of a jolt to one’s self-esteem to feel unemployable, despite having a pretty decent CV.

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Book review: Playing Nice by JP Delaney

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 Permalink

Playing Nice is the fourth book by Anthony Capella, writing as JP Delaney. I’ve enjoyed them all, two of them garnering very rare 4.5 stars from me.

I initially approached this a little nervously. Babies swapped accidentally at birth, felt a little ‘done’, but Delaney lulls us into a bit of a false sense of security before throwing in a few surprises.

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four-stars

A status update

Monday, October 19, 2020 Permalink

It’s been a while between non-bookish posts and I hope to get back into more so thought I’d start with a bit of a status update. Anyone following me on social media will know I’ve been struggling with overwhelm these past few months.

It’s something I feel guilty about when many others have been grappling with far bigger issues. For me it’s been a combination of things.

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Book review: The Mother Fault by Kate Mildenhall

Saturday, October 17, 2020 Permalink

I must admit I hadn’t requested The Mother Fault by Kate Mildenhall for review. I hadn’t read the blurb so assumed it to be another book about a mother ‘losing’ a child or a child being hurt and – very literally – the mother being blamed, or at fault.

As someone without kids I struggle a bit with all of the books about parenthood and its highs and lows. But I kept hearing amazing things about this book so finally decided to give it a try. And I am soooo glad I did because I loved it and only later realised ‘fault’ was less about blame, than a geological reference. D’oh!

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four-stars

Book review: Trust by Chris Hammer

Thursday, October 15, 2020 Permalink

Trust is the third novel by former journalist Chris Hammer. If you’ve sufficient time on your hands you can check out my reviews of Scrublands (2018) and Silver (2019).

Because of Hammer’s own background he’s effortlessly able to instil a realism in his lead, investigative journalist Martin Scarsden. It reveals itself in everything from the way Scarsden has strange memorabilia from warzones around his old apartment, to the way he’s able to find information from sources at the drop of a hat, to the instinctive hunt when he’s on a case.

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four-stars

Book review: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Saturday, October 10, 2020 Permalink

I’d certainly heard of Matt Haig’s non-fiction books but hadn’t realised he already written adult fiction novels before I read his latest, The Midnight Library.

I was a tad worried as though I liked the sound of it from the blurb, it was classified as ‘fantasy’, a genre with which I struggle to read (but not watch… which is weird I realise). But I needn’t have worried as the plot of this was way within my comfort zone – as someone who’s far too often pondered the concept of ‘what if’. Or indeed, the do-over.

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four-stars

Book review: Don’t Look for Me by Wendy Walker

Saturday, October 3, 2020 Permalink

I’ve read a couple of books by Wendy Walker now (All is Not Forgotten and Emma in the Night giving them 4 and 4.5 stars respectively!) and after several weeks of minimal reading and a lot of university assignment angst her latest, Don’t Look for Me was exactly what I was in the mood to read.

I settled into the bathtub and read it in an easy and entertaining sitting. There were a couple of moments that made me worry it was going to be too predictable but Walker throws in a few curves to avoid some of the usual cliches.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Burning Island by Jock Serong

Friday, October 2, 2020 Permalink

I’ve always regretted I didn’t read The Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong*. It won’t surprise those who know how literarily illiterate I am that – because it came out late in the year – I actually assumed it was one of the Christmas-time sports books aimed at an easy gift for dads. 🙄

I’ve only heard amazing things about it so leapt at the chance to read Serong’s latest release. What I hadn’t realised about The Burning Island however, was that it is historical fiction (which isn’t a favourite of mine) and that it is actually the sequel to his earlier work Preservation.

It meant I probably didn’t appreciate the story on offer as much as I might otherwise have but I could certainly appreciate his beautiful prose and vivid descriptions of the islands of the Bass Strait and harsh coastline and living conditions of the time.

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four-stars

Book review: All our Shimmering Skies by Trent Dalton

Monday, September 28, 2020 Permalink

Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe was one of my favourite books of 2018. Possibly my favourite book. I’ve long been a fan of Dalton’s writing and though I avoid non-fiction, am generally riveted by his pieces in weekend newspapers. Articles or non-fiction essays about seemingly ordinary people and places, made extraordinary through his telling.

Dalton’s second novel, All Our Shimmering Skies is quite different to his first. It’s far more fantastic and mystical. It’s deeper and requires more intellectual translation in many ways. As my taste is fairly prosaic and comprehension very literal I was probably less drawn to the plot. The characters however, are as bewitching as I expected and (again) Dalton’s writing is beyond beautiful.

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four-half-stars