Life after Covid

Monday, November 9, 2020 Permalink

We’ve been really fortunate here in Australia in terms of the impact of the Coronavirus. I’d suggest—in addition to our physical wellbeing—we’ve even not fared badly in terms of the emotional and financial impact… compared to other countries. When one of our southern states’ numbers peaked several months ago they went into a hard lockdown. It received a lot of criticism and it’s still debated if it was in place too long, but that aside… they got their numbers under control.

Similarly other states are only reporting overseas-acquired cases. All picked up in compulsory hotel quarantine before overseas arrivals are let loose into the wild.

Of course it doesn’t mean we won’t see a second or third wave, and perhaps I’m jinxing things with this post, but talk here is increasingly turning to a vaccine.

Continue Reading…

Book review: The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly

Friday, November 6, 2020 Permalink

I’m a fan of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch novels, though I was a latecomer to the series. And I absolutely adore Detective Renee Ballard. I also gave a rare 4.5 stars to the third in the (journalist) Jack McEvoy series earlier this year.

I just commented in another review that I like the way Connelly crosses characters over and has them appear, a little or lot, in other series.

The Law of Innocence is a Mickey Haller (aka Lincoln Lawyer) novel. And it wasn’t until I read this I realised I’ve only read one other in this series. Haller’s featured in other books I’ve read—briefly—but it occurred to me when reading this… I don’t actually like him all that much. And I wonder if Connelly intends for us to find him a tad disagreeable and socially-challenged, or if I’m alone in my antipathy. Or perhaps, because Haller’s own freedom is on the line here, he’s more self-absorbed and indignant than usual?

Continue Reading…

three-half-stars

When the world is going to shit

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 Permalink

I hate Donald Trump. I hate his whole smug family. I hate their arrogance and their hypocrisy. I’ve been watching their name-calling and accusations from afar and gobsmacked that they’ve been castigating their opponents when they overtly do far worse things. And by that I mean… work for their father when they’re not qualified and financially gain from doing so.

But there’s no point in me bitching about it. Far more learned and famous voices than I have talked about Trump and his inability to provide tax returns, about his bankruptcies and debts. And about the money his hotels and kids’ businesses have made from his presidency.

Continue Reading…

Book review: The Shearer’s Wife by Fleur McDonald

Tuesday, November 3, 2020 Permalink

West Australian-based author Fleur McDonald has two series featuring outback detective Dave Burrows on the go. One is set in the present and the other in the past – not long after Burrows became a cop. The present day series is interrelated so Burrows is usually investigating a case but there are other characters central to the plot of that particular novel. In the last outing in that series, Starting From Now, we met investigative journalist Zara Ellison, who returned to small-town Barker to be near her dying brother. The likeable Zara stayed and returns to play a lead role here as well.

Continue Reading…

four-stars

Book review: Snow by John Banville

Sunday, November 1, 2020 Permalink

I saw Irish author John Banville interviewed on television just over a decade ago. I’m not sure if he spoke about a book in particular or his creative process but I was sufficiently intrigued to borrow his recent release, The Infinities, on my next library visit.

Now I’m fairly obtuse so usually shy away from anything metaphorical and I’m not quite sure I knew what I was getting myself into. But I do recall being enchanted by the book… which is ostensibly about a dying man and his family. Not to mention some meddlesome immortals or gods. In my blissful haze I borrowed his better-known Booker Prize winning The Sea. I wasn’t using Goodreads at the time so my reaction isn’t there but I’m fairly sure (from memory) I barely made it a chapter or two when I put it aside. Its…. weighty slang-ridden prose far too erudite for moi.

Continue Reading…

three-half-stars

Book review: Flying the Nest by Rachael Johns

Saturday, October 31, 2020 Permalink

I think I’ve read all of West Australian author Rachael John’s standalone novels. She always offers readers interesting characters. They’re very real and complex. We often meet them at a time their world has been upended and they’re hitting rock bottom, but she ensures they are resilient. In short they’re generally women I think I’d like.

Continue Reading…

four-stars

October 2020 done and dusted

Thursday, October 29, 2020 Permalink

I had great plans to blog more regularly. To write more personal posts here, rather than just book reviews. But it feels everything I contemplate is emotionally treacherous and would require a lot self-reflection. Added to that, most would be for my benefit… cos I need to get stuff out of my head or ponder it more and I’m not sure that would offer entertaining reading.

Continue Reading…

Book review: Daylight by David Baldacci

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 Permalink

I’ve really been enjoying David Baldacci’s series featuring FBI agent Atlee Pine. Daylight is the third in the series and pairs her up with another of Baldacci’s regulars, Army CID officer John Puller.

Although the first two books in this series have also featured stand-alone investigations, they’ve been set against a backdrop of a mystery spanning thirty years and one driving Pine. She made some significant progress in the last book in this series A Minute to Midnight and she’s got time off to follow through here. Those who haven’t read any other books in the series need not worry however, as Baldacci recaps Pine’s backstory easily and most of this book is devoted to a new investigation.

Continue Reading…

four-stars

Book review: Honeybee by Craig Silvey

Monday, October 26, 2020 Permalink

I didn’t receive Honeybee by Craig Silvey for review but had only seen positive comments about it so leapt at the chance when a friend suggested I borrow her copy.

On contemplating this book I was very much reminded of a comment I made after reading Favel Parrett’s When The Night Comesabout people coming into our lives when we most need them. Here, for Sam it’s ostensibly Vic. But through Vic it’s also nurse by day and drag queen by night Peter / Fella Bitzgerald and Vic’s neighbour, young Aggie.

Continue Reading…

four-half-stars