• 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 & 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
  • 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
  • Book review: All That Was Lost by Alison May

    Monday, October 8, 2018 Permalink

    I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from All That Was Lost by Alison May. I suspect I was drawn to the blurb; about past secrets coming back to haunt their keepers (thinking there was a mystery to be solved).

    But it was quite different to what I was expecting. Not in a bad way…. it was just a different sort of book from my usual read, which is probably a good thing.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: Under My Skin by Lisa Unger

    Sunday, October 7, 2018 Permalink

    There was a moment or two after I started this book that I worried it was one by Lisa Unger I’d already read – one, in fact, I’d heard her introduce at a writers festival I attended in Brisbane in 2008 or so (ed: which I later discovered was Die For You).

    I knew I’d read a recent book of hers with a similar name (ed: which I’m now assuming was In The Blood, #blood #skin #whatevs) and wondered if this was a re-release though it seemed different enough that I didn’t remember it in enough detail to have read it before.

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    four-stars
  • Book review: A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

    Saturday, October 6, 2018 Permalink

    Jodi Picoult is probably known best for some of her early work and I too was an early adopter, reading anything and everything she wrote in the early 2000s.

    I drifted away for a while, but was impressed with her 2016 novel Small Great Things which centred around race and the related notions of privilege and guilt.

    Her latest, A Spark of Light is set in a women’s centre, one of a few remaining clinics in Mississipi to offer a range of reproductive choices to women, including terminations.

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    four-half-stars
  • Book review: The Sunday Girl by Pip Drysdale

    Friday, October 5, 2018 Permalink

    I downloaded this book onto my e-Reader some time before my Italian holiday, along with a few other books, planning to do some reading while away. As it happened however, I didn’t even turn my iPad on until my flight home…. over 3wks after I’d left.

    I didn’t remember seeing this book as a hard copy on offer for review but requested an electronic copy when it started to appear everywhere and thank god I did as it helped one of the two legs of my flights from Rome to Brisbane pass really quickly.

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    four-stars