Sorry it has been a long time since book updates but I read a lot while in Italy (all those train journeys) and while I have been back in Melbourne packing up my apartment – which I left today:(.
Watch the blog for what I do next – suffice to say, I still haven’t got rid of my travel bug:)
As usual always keen to get ideas on what to read from anyone reading this.
SOMETIMES I LIE – ALICE FEENEY
This was my favourite thriller of the year. The story is told by someone who is in a coma and flips back and forth in time. Kept me guessing until the very end. More twists and turns than you can imagine but sparingly written so easy to follow although some seem confused about the ending? I’m sure you won’t be but don’t read any spoilers beforehand. Love it.
THE GIRL BEFORE – J P DELANEY
I wanted another good thriller after the one above and so picked this book. It was good but not as good as Sometimes I lie. This one is also and “then and now” story about an apartment in London which is too good to be true – and we all know that cannot possibly bode well for anyone who lives there. Enjoyable
CLOUDSTREET – TIME WINTON
Obviously a modern Australian classic but as I hadn’t read any Tim Winton I thought it was time to do so. It took a bit of time to get used to his writing style which is sometimes a stream of consciousness but once I did I enjoyed the rhythm of his writing. The story is about two families in the same town and spans a fairly long period of time and I found it especially helpful that I was listening to this book as a good reader is important to the language.
WHITE GARDENIA – BELINDA ALEXANDER
An easy read about a young Russian emigre woman whose adventures take her from Shanghai to the Philippines to Australia in the 50s. If you like historical novels this one is for you and I learned a bit about what it might have been like to be a refugee in Australia at that time.
BOOKS ON MY KINDLE
THE LIFE CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING – MARIE KONDO
Recommended to my by my friend Margot it is a wondrous book if like me you are throwing lots out and trying to simplify your life. I loved it but then I love things about how to roll socks in your drawers so it is not for everyone. I also enjoyed her approach to getting rid of old clothes – thank them for their service to you in the past – then move them along!
DEATH IN VENICE – DONNA LEON
Recommended to me by my friend Sylvie as I was going to be spending time in Venice. This is the first in a series of detective novels about Guido Brunetti and gives you an excellent feel for the murkiness that can be Venice in the Winter. Good story too and I will probably read more of them for the feel they give you of Venice as a local as well as the actual murder mystery part. If you are heading to Venice on holiday – give it a go.
THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 – RUTH WARE
Another thriller – must be a theme going on here? This one is set on a luxury cruise ship so was of interest to me given I have been on one or two over the last 12 months. A page turner where no-one believes the story being told by the main protagonist due to her previous mental state. An enjoyable read. Not too stretching and it hasn’t put me off cruising either!
THE BREAK – MARION KEYES
Who doesn’t enjoy a book by the Irish writer Marion Keyes. Yes this is chick lit – but of a high quality and often quite funny. A good holiday read about a wife whose husband decides to take a break to find himself after 20 years of marriage. Yes there does appear to be a male menopause too. The difference is that we ladies go out and buy an new handbag or lipstick and get on with it!
UNTOLD STORY – MONICA ALI
Interesting novel based on the assumption that the Diana, Princess of Wales actually survived the car crash but faked her death a few months later and what happened to her after that. Quite interesting insight into what might have made her tick. Will leave you to read it to determine what the conclusion is.
SUSHI FOR BEGINNERS – MARION KEYES
My friend Margot gave me this one after I read the Break. Not as good as The Break but again nice holiday reading about life in fashion publishing in Dublin – Keyes does Dublin life very well. She obviously has lived there and is entertaining when comparing it to London life.
EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU – CELESTE NG
Ng has a new novel out called Little Fires which is getting a lot of good press so I read this one – her first i think. It is about a mixed race Chinese American family in the 70’s and starts with the knowledge that their daughter has been found dead in the local lake. However this is not a murder mystery story so much as an insightful view of how difficult it can be to “fit in” or “be different” to others in our society. Interesting perspectives about whether you should do what is expected of you by your parents – and indeed they do seem to f@#k up some peoples lives.
ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS ABSOLUTELY FINE – GAIL HONEYMAN
This novel seems to be getting a lot of traction and it is a delightful read. if you liked the Rosie Project you will like this. I laughed out loud a couple of times. While this is about a woman who has some “issues” and acts in ways that some find a bit weird – you find out she has her reasons by the end of the book.
I AM PILGRIM – TERRY HAYES
This one is indeed a murder spy mystery story that I really enjoyed. I think that Hayes has written other books about the main protagonist who is an ex spy. I liked the pace of this story and it looks like it may be coming out as a movie quite soon so read it first – books are (nearly) always better.
THE NIX – NATHAN HILL
This was a good debut novel. It is set across various decades from the 60s to end of the century and follows the life of a man who is estranged from his mother but due to certain circumstances needs to make contact with her again. It is a very interesting historical backdrop and you get a good feel for life during that period from the Chicago riots to the addicts who play complex war games for hours at a time. Very enjoyable. I am sure he will churn out more good stuff over time. Has a similar storytelling style to John Irving. Sweeping tales over time with a lot of amusement along the way.
HOW TO BE LOST – AMANDA EYRE WARD
I actually read this one (and the Break) in paper format! That is rare these days and usually happens when friends pass on their books to me – some of mine refuse to use kindles – I couldn’t live without mine and have become so used to it that when I read a paperback recently I found myself tapping the page expecting the page to change! Anyway this is another easy read about a child who goes missing when she is 5 and the impact that has on her mother and two sisters twenty years later. It was ok at best.