Book review: Fair Warning by Michael Connelly

Sunday, May 10, 2020 Permalink

We first met journalist Jack McEvoy in The Poet (published in 1996), one of the first books I read by Michael Connelly. Jack reappeared in The Scarecrow (2009) but he’s been kinda quiet ever since. (Though I know there was a crossover or two with Harry Bosch.)

I’ve actually got very vivid memories of reading The Poet (which is rare given I read a lot of books that are quite similar, AND it was a long time ago) so was keen to be reintroduced to Jack (all of these years later) in Connelly’s new release, Fair Warning.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan

Tuesday, May 5, 2020 Permalink

I keep vowing to stop reading books about parenting. I realise actual parents probably enjoy them and can definitely relate; but the mummy (mommy) wars and good vs bad parenting dilemma aren’t really high on my relevance agenda. Having said that, I do read a lot of books about sociopaths damaged by bad parenting, so…. I guess there’s that.

As it happens, I decided to read Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan however because I’d read and enjoyed a previous novel, Anatomy of a Scandal, by the former political reporter.

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three-half-stars

Book review: If It Bleeds by Stephen King

Sunday, May 3, 2020 Permalink

I don’t read short stories. And yes I know, it’s weird and makes no sense. However as I launched into Stephen King’s newest release If It Bleeds, I was reminded that much of his early work, that I loved, were (in fact) short stories.

The title’s namesake, If It Bleeds, is in fact possibly almost a novella and is a sequel to The Outsider. It’s complemented by three other shorter stories and I actually… preferred a couple of those as I’m not a huge fan of the fantasy / horror genre. Twisty yes, but I’m a lover of logic so I like trying to wrap my head around something mysterious or even mind-bending, rather than fantastical. If that makes sense.

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three-half-stars

Online fatigue

Thursday, April 30, 2020 Permalink

Even before I officially started working from home as a contractor I worked (a little) from home in a less-official capacity. During my time with government (pre seachange), though I was never permitted to work remotely, I usually had to monitor emails and respond out of hours… or be pretty much available as required.

So… you’d think I’d be used to spending my days at my desk.

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first, we make the beast beautiful by Sarah Wilson

Monday, April 27, 2020 Permalink

I’ve mentioned it a zillion times so you may be aware I don’t read non-fiction. I had heard however, a lot of good things about first, we make the beast beautiful by Sarah Wilson. And given everything happening at the moment, it seemed like a good time to dive into the beast-infested waters.

Wilson is of course known best for her I Quit Sugar initiative, program and books. For some reason I’d thought she’d separated herself from that movement but it’s mentioned a bit here. Although this book was first released in 2017.

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Book review: Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen

Sunday, April 26, 2020 Permalink

There was so much I loved about Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen. Her writing is stunning. We alternate between three individual narrators and move to third person plural at times – which is something you don’t come across often. Those sections of the book…. the voices of the women in the marsh, are desperately tragic but also poignant. Not bitter, but strangely hopeful.

There is a sisterhood among them, these women in the marsh. Each time he brings another one, they understand what she has seen. p 160

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four-stars

Book review: Seven Lies by Elizabeth Kay

Friday, April 24, 2020 Permalink

Debut author Elizabeth Kay works in the publishing industry so knows what works and what doesn’t.

It’s obvious our host Jane is one of the increasingly popular ‘unreliable’ narrators. She tells us that herself at the beginning. About the lies she’s told and what happens as a result. My own thoughts on Jane changed and morphed however… there’s a reluctance initially, to engage. But then we get to know her. We learn her story and it’s hard not to warm to her and like her. But then… well, then things change again. And if you’re like me you can kinda sympathise yet grimace at the same time!

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four-stars

Book review: The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Monday, April 20, 2020 Permalink

Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare was one of my THREE favourite books of 2019. Unfortunately – and unfairly for her – it meant she had a lot to live up to with the release of her second book.

Fortunately for her (and thankfully for me), O’Leary certainly didn’t fall into the dreaded second-book trap (ie. in which it’s a disappointment: either an ‘actual’ disappointment, or just in comparison to the debut) as I was absolutely smitten with her new novel, The Switch.

I read it over two nights – which is unusual for me as I’m normally all about instant gratification. However, I had to put it aside on the first night and returned to it the next and….  those who know me would have seen my tweet (below)… I was enjoying it so much that I didn’t want it to end.

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four-half-stars