Book review: The Girl on the Page by John Purcell

Monday, October 22, 2018 Permalink

I had no idea what to expect going into this book. I’d seen some reviews around but most really only touched on the fact that John Purcell (who’s well-known and heavily involved in the book / publishing industry here in Australia) had offered us an insider’s view into that world. Almost all reviews I’d seen though, were overwhelmingly positive.

As someone who tends to spurn Literary fiction (with a capital L) because I don’t usually understand what the f*ck I’m reading, I was intrigued about this book which kinda centres around the perception there are two extremes to publishing…. the sell-out prolific commercial fiction author who makes lots of money vs the Literary fiction author, who’s somewhat esoteric and learned, who wins literary prizes but makes no money.

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four-stars

Book review: The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village by Joanna Nell

Saturday, October 20, 2018 Permalink

This blurb on the backcover of this likens it to the TV show Grace and Frankie and book The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. None of which I’d watched or read, or really found appealing.

That’s not to say I don’t like books about ageing ‘disgracefully’ or the quirks that come with old age. One of my favourite books is one called Elizabeth is Missing, about a woman grappling with dementia, in addition to Fredrik Backman’s books about grumpy old men and women (A Man Called Ove and Britt-Marie Was Here).

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three-stars

Better stronger and healthier

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 Permalink

Completely irrelevant backstory: I developed an irrational hatred of men (anyone, but mostly men) with clefts in their chins because when I was at University (living at a residential college) a guy – who was perfectly nice to me – made a comment that has stayed with me. It was during a game of netball and I was an okay player so I’m assuming he was just trying to be funny when he said…. “We’ve made her better, stronger, fatter than she’s ever been before….”

Fuckwit. 

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Book review & giveaway: Treasury of Bedtime Stories by Enid Blyton

Monday, October 15, 2018 Permalink

I suspect if you asked many people of my generation (and perhaps those born a decade or so before / after) we’d say that Enid Blyton was one of the biggest influences on our reading lives.

I have VERY vivid memories of going to our former library to borrow Noddy books and I LOVED the Faraway Tree, Wishing Chair, Secret Seven and Amelia Jane (though her less so, cos she WAS naughty) but most particularly The Famous Five.

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Book review: Greenlight by Benjamin Stevenson

Sunday, October 14, 2018 Permalink

Greenlight by Benjamin Stevenson was released just before I went on holidays. I usually receive info about upcoming books a few months before their release but suspect I assumed the book was in fact a ‘true crime’ / non-fiction book, rather than a fictional account of a true crime documentary. (Cos I don’t ‘do’ non-fiction.)

Anyhoo… I was revoltingly stressed before my holidays so only got to many August / September emails in October (on my return) and had one from Penguin Random House about this book. I knew the book had been released to glowing reviews so I snapped up a copy when it was offered. And what a great debut novel it is.

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four-stars

Book review: Bright Young Dead by Jessica Fellowes

Saturday, October 13, 2018 Permalink

Last year I reviewed The Mitford Murders by Jessica Fellowes…. which I described as ‘faction’…. a fictional account of a murder set around real life characters and events.

I’d not heard of the Mitford sisters at the time and was somewhat intrigued.

More interesting though was that the main character wasn’t one of the sisters, but rather their nursery maid or companion, Louisa. And in my review I commented that the Mitford sisters, particularly the elder, Nancy seemed to play a bigger role on the mystery-solving front along with an ambitious young police officer, Guy Sullivan. (And – at the time, as it was billed as #1 – I wondered who might feature in the next book in the series….)

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three-half-stars

5 ways I plan to bring the holiday vibe back home

Thursday, October 11, 2018 Permalink

I talked a little about this while still on my recently holiday… the fact that there were so many moments I attempted to commit to memory so that I’d have comfort on the long hard cold winter nights after I returned to the stark fun-free desert that is Australia. (Joking obvs… cos it’s almost summer here!)

There were moments, but there were also experiences. And ‘things’. Things that – I realised – I could actually be doing in my everyday life.

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Book review: Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 Permalink

I probably should start this review by confessing that I haven’t read the much-lauded The Book Thief (regular readers of my reviews will know how I feel about historical fiction!).  I did see the movie however and yes, know it’s not the same thing, though it did give me a sense of the book’s themes.

I was happy to receive an advance copy of Markus Zusak’s Bridge of Clay, but it wasn’t until I read this interview with him the weekend before its release that I REALLY wanted to read this book which was 13 years in the making.

And I was most certainly not disappointed.

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five-stars