The Upside of Over (not exactly a book review)

Thursday, June 7, 2018 Permalink

I was planning to sit down and write one of my usual (exceedingly eloquent and learned) book reviews, this time of The Upside of Over by JD Barrett, but realised much of what I wanted to say is really not about the book, but about the notion itself.

Given I already inject far too much of myself into my reviews I figured I’d touch v.briefly on this book – which I enjoyed – a well-written and easy read – perfect for a sunny day at the beach or when cocooned under blankets in a cold house with rain falling outside…. but really talk more a little about the concept:

That sometimes what feels like the very worst thing that could happen to us, is – in fact – the best.

three-half-stars

Book review: The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Permalink

I enjoyed Natasha Lester’s second book, Her Mother’s Secret, but I’d really really loved her first book, A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald. At the time I very much appreciated the insight it offered into the plight of women who’d come less than a century before me – not just through career-limitations but also through society’s beliefs and values, and sadly, its norms.

I reflected on this as I steamed through The Paris Seamstress. It’s most certainly saga-like. It doesn’t centre around topics as heavy and lesson-laden as Lester’s debut novel and yet I adored it and could not put it down.

I was rivetted. By the story of Estelle – a wannabe fashion designer in the 1940s – and her granddaughter Fabienne, a young woman wanting to make her own mark on the world.

four-half-stars

Book review: The Greatest Gift by Rachael Johns

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 Permalink

I wasn’t sure if I’d struggle with this book. I was in my early 40s before I gave up on meeting the man of my dreams. Or just someone who wanted to spend their life with me…. and started contemplating motherhood solo.

Dreary stories about sperm donors, artificial insemination and IVF aside… it didn’t happen for me and – as a result – I’m occasionally bitter and twisted about the whole thing. (Something others take for granted etc etc).

So, it was with some trepidation I embarked upon this story on motherhood.

four-stars

Audiobook review: The Paris Wedding by Charlotte Nash

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 Permalink

It will surprise those who regularly follow my reviews to see this book pop up as it’s more than a-stone’s-throw outside my usual / preferred genre. I’ve talked before about why I don’t read ‘straight’ romance novels… and in summary it’s sadly because my default state-of-mind is far too cynical and insufficiently tolerant or wistful enough for romance.

However, I’m trying to broaden my horizons and hoping to do that via audiobooks as I drive a bit for work. And because I knew I had a 6hr drive to attend an author event as well as some work travel I put in a request for this audiobook. Which – incidentally – I enjoyed, though tried not to think about the fact I could have read it in 2-3 hours, not 10-11hrs stretched over 3 weeks of driving and a few lunchtime walks.

three-half-stars

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.

three-half-stars

Book review: Twist by Kylie Scott

Monday, April 10, 2017 Permalink

I was a little surprised when this book arrived. I often receive books I haven’t requested and many are outside of my usual (crime / thriller) reading genre, however Kylie Scott’s Dive Bar series – and her novels in general – are so far outside of my realm of experience (aka comfort zone) they might as well be dystopian fantasy or big L-Literature and written by a dead Russian. Or similar.

However… I decided to give it a try. Expand my reading repertoire if you like. I’ve talked before about the fact I struggle with ‘romance’ and why, but have also read a few romance novels I’ve quite enjoyed. Plus I met Kylie at the Australian Romance Readers Convention I attended in February and she seemed very nice and quite witty.

three-half-stars

Book review: Wish You Were Here by Joanne Tracey

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 Permalink

Joanne (Jo) Tracey and I have been virtual blogging buddies for half a dozen years. We’ve not yet met in person but we’re the same age and have similar interests. Well… in that we both love reading and writing and have backgrounds in project management. Jo’s also a music-loving foodie and far more into hiking and travelling than yours truly.

But she feels like a close friend. Despite the not-having-met thing.

Wish You Were Here is Jo’s third book and – as an observer from afar – I can see the growth in her writing and character development with each new release. The thing that draws me to her blog (and her I guess) is a sense of familiarity in her writing: an informality that engages me and draws me in. And her books offer that same level of intimacy.

four-stars

Book review: Miss You by Kate Eberlen

Saturday, August 27, 2016 Permalink

Kate Eberlen’s Miss You has been compared to the very popular One Day by David Nicholls. I know that book’s been made into a movie and there’s another similar movie circling around my brain that I just can’t put my finger on…. And it’s not the 1978 movie, Same Time Next Year... which I recall being popular when I worked on the VHS / Beta video counter at a local electronics store sometime in the early-mid 1980s.

Anyhoo.. it is reminiscent of such movies though even more frustrating for the romantics out there because our erstwhile lovers don’t even really meet…. in the beginning.

three-half-stars