Book review: Something to Live For by Richard Roper

Sunday, June 2, 2019 Permalink

Something to Live For by Richard Roper is being billed as ‘the most uplifting and life-affirming debut of the year’. And given it’s about a man whose job it is to visit the homes of recently deceased who have no obvious family / friends, to try to find a single person who knew them or a will (or money to pay for the funeral); it could be very depressing.

But it’s not. It’s a reminder that while there’s crappy stuff happening in the world and… yes, people die alone all of the time, there are still kind and generous people to be found. Not to mention the fact that people live small, rich and happy lives, or sad and loud lives we may know nothing about.

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four-stars

Book review: Look Alive 25 by Janet Evanovich

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 Permalink

It’s kind of depressing knowing we’re not going to get a final book in the Kinsey Millhone (alphabet) series by Sue Grafton – following the author’s death last year. It was one of my staples – along with Robert B Parker* Spenser & Jesse Stone series’, JD Robb’s In Death series, and Jane Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books.

Thankfully Evanovich and her ‘bail enforcement agent’ are still in partnership and continue to offer we readers enjoyable respite from the tedium of our lives.

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three-half-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

Book review: Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce

Thursday, April 19, 2018 Permalink

This delightful book was not on my radar until a friend mentioned she’d read several positive reviews about it. I’d received a copy so opened it tentatively… normally eschewing ‘historical’ fiction in favour of psychopathic serial killers. And similar.

However, (un)surprisingly, AJ Pearce’s debut novel – through its characters and charm and beguiling prose – won me over and I lapped it up in a sitting.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak

Sunday, October 8, 2017 Permalink

I went to my friend’s house last weekend to ‘interview’ (using the term loosely) my godson about a book I’d been given for review. (In related news, check out our Finn and Puss book review, if you missed it.)

While I was there 6yr old Pickle dragged out another story he wanted me to read. As it happened his mother had already told me she’d bought this book, and I suspect I’d come across it via the same person / site as I’d recently heard of it for the first time as well.

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Book review: Amber and Alice by Janette Paul

Friday, June 23, 2017 Permalink

I think if I’d known rom-com author Janette Paul was also Jaye Ford – Australian suspense / crime fiction author I might have tucked into this book earlier. And not wavered quite so much in the early stages.

I’m afraid I may have been put off by the cover… which was way too glossy and bright (for me!) and reminded me of a UBD or travel guide or something. Of course that latter part is probably with good reason, because the book does offer a bit of an insider’s guide into the Northern Territory and central Australia.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion

Saturday, May 6, 2017 Permalink

For reasons unknown this book wasn’t on my radar when it was released in Australia in 2016. Like many I’d loved Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project, but was not quite as enamoured with the sequel, The Rosie Effect.

It wasn’t until I mentioned I had an electronic copy of this book that a friend commented that she’d read it last year. And she wasn’t a fan, which made me a tad reticent. As it happens, I can understand her antipathy but enjoyed elements of the book nonetheless…

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three-half-stars

Book review: Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 Permalink

I’ve struggled a little with a couple of the series Janet Evanovich has co-authored in recent times, but her Stephanie Plum novels never seem to fail to deliver. They’re ‘light’ reads usually – not macabre – and generally more about the antics of Stephanie and her merry band of misfits rather than the mystery at hand. And that’s the way we fans love this series, which is now up to its 23rd instalment!

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three-half-stars

Book review: Curious Minds by Jane Evanovich and Phoef Sutton

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 Permalink

I’ve confessed my love of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum before. I enjoy the series and the books consistently offer me the escapism I need. They’re fun and written in an entertaining and comedic way that help overlook any glitches in plot or realism.

I note she’s going down the James Patterson route of writing books with other authors and I’ve tried a few of the different series on offer, so was interested to see yet another creation, this time with award-winning television writer Phoef Sutton.

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three-stars