Book review: The Guncle by Steven Rowley

Tuesday, June 7, 2022 Permalink

I ADORED Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley giving it a rare 4.5 stars. It was astoundingly clever and such a delight. Rowley wrote with humour and sensitivity and – though not a dog / animal lover – I was completely enchanted by Ted the human and Lily the dachshund. (And, sadly… the octopus that ‘consumed’ her.)

I leapt at the chance to read The Guncle. The blurb had me wondering if it’d be like RWR McDonald’s wonderful ‘The Nancys’ series… featuring Uncle Pike and his partner Devon… albeit without the whodunnit.

four-stars

Book review: Here Goes Nothing by Steve Tolz

Sunday, May 8, 2022 Permalink

I don’t read much satire. I like humorous books, but usually tend to gravitate to those written in first person by someone who’s self-deprecating or where the narrative voice is snarky or sarcastic. Here Goes Nothing by Steve Tolz was a different kind of read for me. If pressed I’d describe the humour as ‘arch’ rather than funny, though note others have found it hilarious.

In fact… I’m not sure I enjoyed it. (As such.) But I must concede it’s good nonetheless. (And yes, I do think it’s possible to know/think a book is good without liking it.) It’s exceedingly clever and confronting. In terms of social commentary it reminded me of some of my recent reads by Inga Simpson, Sarah Foster and Mitch Albom.

four-stars

Book review: The Very Last List of Vivian Walker by Megan Albany

Tuesday, February 22, 2022 Permalink

The Very Last List of Vivian Walker by Megan Albany involved a lot of sniggering. Which is kinda weird given it’s about a woman who’s terminally ill with cancer with just months (or less) to live.

But it’s the no-holds barred approach to death and dying Albany – via Vivian – that’s both shocking and smile-inducing. Albany’s writing is sassy and chock-full of snark rather than poignancy. It’s all delivered through Vivian’s voice. And Vivian’s dry sense of humour is certainly a blessing because…. well… (hmmm…. how to put this?) she’s actually a bit of a bitch.

three-half-stars

Book review: Love and Other Puzzles by Kimberley Allsopp

Saturday, January 29, 2022 Permalink

I had a sleepless night after reading Love and Other Puzzles by Kimberley Allsopp. Not because of the book itself… I just had a heap of stuff on my mind; but it means it got the full post-reading Deborah over-thinking / over-analysis treatment because my mind wouldn’t shut down. (So I apologise for that in advance!)

I very much enjoyed this debut novel by Allsopp. It’s probably a little different than my usual reading fare, which is probably why I didn’t receive a print copy for review. And though Rory is a couple of decades (at least two, maybe three) younger than me, I could kinda relate to the messiness of her life and the denial in which she’s wrapped herself… assuming everything will work out and she’s on the right track.

four-stars

Book review: Game On: Tempting Twenty-Eight by Janet Evanovich

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 Permalink

I thought I’d only missed the most recent Stephanie Plum  adventure but according to Goodreads the last I read was #25. And in the two books I’ve missed Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur has been married and widowed. Again.

Things seem to have progressed with one of Stephanie’s love interests as well. Though here, it’s not the Ranger vs Morelli dilemma we’re used to, but someone called Diesel raises his apparently handsome head. And I found myself wondering where he fits into things, though have a vague memory of him – perhaps in a different series or a standalone book?

three-half-stars

Book review: The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

Sunday, October 10, 2021 Permalink

I ADORED The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, released in 2020. I loved the comfort and familiarity of his characters and writing.

The Man Who Died Twice is the second in the series but it doesn’t matter if you’ve not read the first. Other than having met the characters before, there’s no backstory really required to pick things up with the residents of Coopers Chase community known as the Thursday Murder Club… a quartet that revisits cold cases from the comfort of the restaurant of their retirement village, usually with a few bottles of wine to lubricate their minds.

four-half-stars

Book review: Nancy Business by RWR McDonald

Friday, June 4, 2021 Permalink

Let me just start by saying, when I grow up I want to be 12 year old Tippy Chan. Or at least occupy her world along with her pragmatic mother Helen, her eccentric Uncle Pike and his mostly over-the-top partner (and Tippy’s honorary sissy) Devon.

It’s so easy to get lost in the world RWR McDonald creates, that it seems very real. I feel sad at the thought of leaving them behind each time I turn the last page. Although – in reality – it feels as if it’s I’m the one being left behind.

four-half-stars

Book review: Contacts by Mark Watson

Wednesday, December 16, 2020 Permalink

Contacts by Mark Watson is going to be hard to review because though I enjoyed it – to an extent – my main issue with it is the content (underlining premise) itself. I can’t decide whether I think it’s ill-conceived, irresponsible and totally inappropriate or perhaps cathartic or helpful.

Either way it needs a big trigger warning as the entire book is about someone planning to suicide and how they got to that point.

three-stars

Book review: The Miseducation of Evie Epworth by Matson Taylor

Friday, November 27, 2020 Permalink

I’m not sure why I wasn’t drawn to The Miseducation of Evie Epworth earlier. I’m a sucker for a weird book title. Think, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. Not to mention almost everything by Swedish writer Fredrik Backman.

One of my friends loved this debut novel by Matson Taylor but it still took me months to get to it and I am so thankful I did. In fact, although I was keen for something light… a good psychological thriller about some murderous psychopath; from the opening lines of this novel I was transported into Evie’s world. It’s written in first person from 16 year old Evie’s point of view and almost akin to stream-of-consciousness thinking. Taylor gives Evie a really delightful voice and this is a quirky and often-funny read. At the same time however, there are moments of poignancy, some of which come as a result of life experience and realising things young Evie does not.

four-half-stars