Air fryer newbie

Wednesday, September 1, 2021 Permalink

I won something recently which reminded me how long it is since I’ve won something. Of course I don’t actually enter much. Which I guess is why I’m not winning lotto and being able to retire and live a life of luxury. Or travel the globe. (Covid permitting.)

Those who follow me on social media may have seen the pictures and those who don’t… then why the bloody hell not? Just kidding. My social media feeds are as boring as batshit. I’m not a visual person so crap at Instagram. I’m only intermittently on Facebook so never comment or engage. I do however trawl Twitter a lot as it’s my social media platform of choice.

But back to my good fortune.

Book review: The Housemate by Sarah Bailey

Tuesday, August 31, 2021 Permalink

Sarah Bailey is one of my favourite Australian novelists. I’m a fan of her Gemma Woodstock series which may – or may not – have ended after the third instalment last year. She seems to also be a generous person and happily answered questions for a piece I was writing for my Masters last year (about how / when crime writers decide to end a series).

At the time she was focussed on a new novel, The Housemate, released today in Australia. Again she offers up a likeable but flawed female lead and bounces her off several strong personalities that bring out the best, and worst, in her. I know the whole journey analogy is wanky but I very much liked the journey (well, personal development arc!) Bailey takes our lead, Olive (Oli), on here and the way it complements the unfolding mystery.

four-stars

Book review: A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

Monday, August 30, 2021 Permalink

Zimbabwean-born, London-dwelling author Paula Hawkins is best-known for her debut novel, The Girl on the Train, a book which seemingly paved the way for a slew of unreliable narrators in popular fiction.

A Slow Fire Burning is her third novel and again she offers us strong, flawed and sometimes-unlikeable female characters. In fact there are several on offer here as – like Hawkins’s second book, Into the Water – this unfolds from multiple points of view all offering very different voices, personalities and views on life.

four-stars

Book review: Unholy Murder by Lynda LaPlante

Friday, August 27, 2021 Permalink

Unholy Murder is the seventh in the (young) Jane Tennison series. It wasn’t until I started writing this review that I reflected on how Jane’s changed over the course of the books (ie. her career to date). I’m actually quite sure how LaPlante is pacing these but we’re in the 1980s now and obviously getting closer to the original Prime Suspect books and series time-wise.

This series is also a bit of a study in culture and society as – unlike the earliest books – Jane seems to be readily accepted as a police officer now. Definitely respected by her contemporaries and not viewed as an anomaly by the public.

three-half-stars

Self-motivation

Wednesday, August 25, 2021 Permalink

I asked a question on Twitter a little while ago. It (both) was and wasn’t meant to be rhetorical as many of the thoughts I put into the ether are. Sometimes you get responses. Helpful suggestions that may or may not work for you. Or comments from those who feel the same and have no answers. Or there’s the proverbial deafening silence.

Book review: Cutters End by Margaret Hickey

Monday, August 23, 2021 Permalink

Critically acclaimed and popular novels by the likes of Jane Harper and Chris Hammer have seen the rise of outback noir on bookstores’ shelves – both in Australia and overseas. It’s so weird to admit this now but until about 2014/15 I didn’t read Australian novels. Particularly not crime fiction or thrillers. I used to say it was because I read to escape and I didn’t want to read about baddies running around the streets of my state capital, Brisbane or back alleys in inner-city Sydney or Melbourne.

That changed at some point (I probably should check when and why) and now I read A LOT of Australian authors, whether their work is set overseas or here in Australia.

Cutters End is Margaret Hickey’s debut novel and is set in South Australia. Its sense of place and the gritty and parched feel of the outback is central to the tone of the novel and is something Hickey manages to sustain throughout.

four-stars

What I’m reading – August 2021

Friday, August 20, 2021 Permalink

A few blogging friends have started a monthly link-up sharing what’s on their bookshelves. My bookshelves are actually packed. I even have a to-be-read (TBR) bookshelf and – once they’re in my immediate future – a TBR bath trolley.

I figured instead I’d share some of my reading highlights of the past month and some coming up.

Book review: Rabbit Hole by Mark Billingham

Tuesday, August 17, 2021 Permalink

I tend not to buy books if I don’t get them for review because I just have too many books in my TBR pile. I’m also usually either bitterly disappointed if I’ve missed something I’ve requested; or petulant to the point I decide I’m never going to review another book again. #realmature

The blurb for Rabbit Hole by Mark Billingham leapt out at me when I saw it advertised but I was very worried I’d missed it until I had it in my fat little (well, medium-sized) hands. It certainly seemed to be offering something quite new and as soon as I started reading I fell in love with the way Billingham has written this book – from the point-of-view of Alice – who’s resplendent with quirks and a smidge of ‘crazy’.*

four-half-stars

Life lately – the August 2021 edition

Monday, August 16, 2021 Permalink

I really wanted to write something today but am too lazy to think about anything too deeply. I had some genius ideas last night while I was unable to sleep, but they have either disappeared from my memory, require further pondering, or are things that I don’t really NEED to (over)share.

So, welcome to ‘life lately’ – my semi-regular mind-dump, in which I write about random crap… which actually screws with my website (SEO) stats, though thankfully I seem to care little.