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: The Last Woman in the World by Inga Simpson

Saturday, October 30, 2021 Permalink

The Last Woman in the World is the third book I’ve read by Inga Simpson. I saw her speak at a bookshop locally around the time of her 2014 release Nest. I commented in that review about how inspiring I found her in person (and appreciated her blunt honesty about the challenges of becoming a published author), how much I loved her writing and her ability to instil in readers a sense of place.

I confess in my review of Where the Trees Were (2016) that I’m actually not a lover of nature. Of flora and fauna. And I’ve admitted on many occasions that I’m not a visual reader so not able to picture what I’m reading.

four-stars

Book review: I Shot The Devil by Ruth McIver

Monday, October 4, 2021 Permalink

The manuscript of I Shot The Devil by Ruth McIver won the coveted Richell Prize for Emerging Writers in 2018. It certainly has it all. McIver’s writing is eloquent and stylistic, we’re offered an intriguing plot as well as interesting and complex characters.

I found the pacing a little rushed as we neared the conclusion and was a tad confused about who did what, but that’s probably more about my attention span than anything else.

four-stars

Book review: The Last Guests by JP Pomare

Saturday, August 14, 2021 Permalink

The Last Guests by JP Pomare is the fourth book by the NZ born, Australian dwelling writer who’s deservedly building a reputation for being one of the region’s go-to authors of thrillers and novels of suspense.

This is probably my favourite of Pomare’s novels. It starts with a bit of a surprise before settling into something a little more familiar and then suddenly takes readers somewhere we didn’t expect, casting doubt on everything that came before.

four-stars

Book review: The Others by Mark Brandi

Sunday, July 4, 2021 Permalink

If I understood the genesis of the term waxing lyrical (and wasn’t too lazy to google it) I would say I would be doing just that about The Others by Mark Brandi. Because I adored this book.

Brandi’s given us an amazing narrator in 11 year old Jacob and I do have a penchant for books written from a child’s point-of-view. It has to be done well though because their voice can very easily seem off. It can hard to capture innocence and naiveté of the young, when some – like Jacob – have good cause not to be.

five-stars

Book review: When You Are Mine by Michael Robotham

Friday, July 2, 2021 Permalink

One of Michael Robotham’s very popular standalone books The Secrets She Keeps, examines an unlikely friendship between two women. His latest release When You Are Mine is similarly themed, featuring a toxic friendship that shifts into obsession.

It occurs to me some of Robotham’s best work seem to be less about the solving of crimes and more about people; human nature – the best of it and the worst – and it’s this insight into our behaviour, that make his books addictive reads.

five-stars

Dear Mum, edited by Samuel Johnson

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 Permalink

Mother’s Day is approaching here in Australia, so those with mothers and mother-like influences in their lives are busily scouring catalogues for potential gifts. Books are often a no-brainer because, well… who doesn’t like reading?! Please note that’s a rhetorical question and I remain in denial there are people out there who don’t.

Dear Mum, comprising letters by well-known Aussies is a timely release from Hachette; one I’m sure isn’t coincidental. I was worried this would be a bit sentimental for me, so I asked my own mother (who’s an avid consumer of books) to read it and offer me her thoughts. She enjoyed it and tells me there’s something for everyone.

Book review: Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray

Thursday, March 11, 2021 Permalink

Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray is being compared to Gail Honeyman’s popular 2017 novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and I’d also suggest similarities to The Truth and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris and The Cactus by Sarah Haywood.

The likeness—I suspect—is drawn because the lead character Amy is quirky. And rather prickly. She’s a hoarder and her life has become so focused on her accumulation of things that she’s retreated into herself and her home, and adept pushing people away.

four-stars

Book review: Faithless in Death by JD Robb

Saturday, February 20, 2021 Permalink

Faithless in Death is JD Robb/Nora Roberts’ 52nd book in the Eve Dallas / Roarke (In Death) series and it’s probably the best I’ve read for some time.

I appreciate that Robb manages to come up with new plots and offers readers something different in each outing and I suspect it’s that, along with the like-ability of her main cast that keeps readers like me coming back. Again and again. And again and again. Well, 52 times.

four-stars