2015 reading

January 26, 2016 at 3:44 am (Uncategorized)

7 Dec2015 Arkie’s pilgrimage to the next big thing / Lisa Walker. Did not like this book. Only finished the first few chapters and then gave up. It’s quirky and would appeal to some people but just not in the right space for that right now.
27 Nov 2015 The other half of me / Morgan McCarthy. This book was quite absorbing but very slow paced. I found myself skipping through but wanting to finish it. The characters are very well developed and the storyline is interesting.
28 Aug 2015 The truth according to us : a novel / Annie Barrows. Started this enormous novel and haven’t yet finished it. Bit of a slog but I did enjoy what I read.
25 Jul 2015 The year I met you / Cecelia Ahern. Standard (great) fare from Ms Ahern
25 Jul 2015 The one plus one / Jojo Moyes. Always good to read something by Ms Moyes
29 Jun 2015 Family likeness / Caitlin Davies. Started to read it but didn’t finish.
29 Jun 2015 The secret shopper affair / Kate Harrison. Not really my forte. A little too chic lit for my liking.
29 Jun 2015 The proper care & maintenance of friendship : a novel / Lisa Verge Higgins. A definite chick lit novel, but reasonably well written and I enjoyed the concepts in the story.
29 Jun 2015 The two week wait / Sarah Rayner. Interesting novel about two women trying to conceive a baby
8 May 2015 Can you keep a secret? / Caroline Overington. Took this out of the library but didn’t read it ..
8 May 2015 Burial rites / Hannah Kent. Loved this – offbeat and quirky but wonderful
8 May 2015 The wishing tide / Barbara Davis. Took this out of the library but didn’t read it ..
8 Apr 2015 A farewell to arms / Ernest Hemingway. I skimmed through this to see if my 12 year old could/would want to read it. I like Hemmingway’s prose but the content didn’t appeal to me.
2 Apr 2015 Another night, another day / Sarah Rayner. Interesting novel – I felt the characters were a bit superficial and the author was intent on passing on some knowledge, albeit about valuable topics like mental health, but it felt a bit forced.
2 Apr 2015 Tara’s fortune.  I mistakenly read this book, which is the second in the series, before reading the first. Hate that ! It was good but it would be infinitely better to read the books in order !!
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Ebooks I’ve read

April 26, 2014 at 11:54 am (Uncategorized)

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A few comments :

The Mother’s Group was captivating and tragic – extremely well defined and identifiable characters.

Judith Lucy’s book falls into the category of amusing but mediocre memoirs.

I didn’t read the Star Wars book !

Burqalicious was a tongue in cheek, over zealous expat tale.

Love Barbara O’Neal’s writing.

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And more books I’ve read in the last year

April 26, 2014 at 11:19 am (Uncategorized)

18 Mar 2014 The whole golden world / Kristina Riggle. I was fascinated by this book. It reads somewhat like a Jodi Picoult novel, with a central, controversial issue turning the world upside down. In this case, it’s a teacher having an affair with a student. I enjoyed the complexity, the various angles, the telling of the story through a difficult time. 18 Mar 2014 Daniel isn’t talking : a novel / Marti Leimbach. A book about about a boy with autism. More of a saga about how a mother deals with a diagnosis and how a family in cross copes but a bit distanced. 18 Mar 2014 May contain nuts / John O’Farrell A completely ridiculous but amusing parody of a mother obsessed with the welfare of her children in the midst of her own anxiety. There is a moral of sorts which detracts from the parody somewhat as it’s fairly obvious. It was strange to me that this book was written by a man but it was far more engaging than most of this genre. 17 Feb 2014 Family baggage / Monica McInerney. A very enjoyable family saga involving a travel agency, a daughter in crisis and various family dramas. Again, a predictable love story. Sigh. But otherwise, a book I was happy 6 Dec 2013. Bittersweet / Colleen McCullough. Discovering The Thorn Birds in my teens means that I have a deep connection to Colleen McCullough’s books, despite the overly dramatic nature. It had been a while since I’d read one of her books and I confess to enjoying it very much. The is something so inherently Australia about her books. This one involves two sets of twins who take up nursing positions and the drama that follows heir life. As with many sagas I felt that some of the story lines were left a little quickly and not tied up as nicely as I’d like but otherwise it was a great read. 1 Nov 2013 Moab is my washpot / Stephen Fry. I’m definitely a Stephen Fry fan. I have had mixed experiences with memoirs and autobiographies however. Whilst this very much read with classic Stephen Fry spirit, I can’t say I enjoyed it as much I had hoped to. 1 Nov 2013 No child of mine / Susan Lewis. An utterly engaging story about a social worker who is drawn to a small child, us we horrifying circumstances. I was completely absorbed and fascinated, as well as being horrified by the back story. 1 Nov 2013 Girl in translation / Jean Kwok. The story of a woman and her daughter who emigrate from China to America. Almost abject poverty and manipulation from family, the daughter attempts to succeed at school and overcome her circumstances. Absorbing and interesting. 14 Oct 2013 Beautiful as yesterday : a novel / Fan Wu. Another Chinese immigrant story, but this one invoking two sisters and a mother. A bit more vaguely interesting than most others but not a favourite. 1 Jul 2013 This child of mine / Sinead Moriarty. A young woman discovers she has a different family history than she thought. Thought provoking and relatable characters. 20 May 2013 My life in a pea soup / Lisa Nops. An expat with an autistic child. An interesting read.

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More recent-ish reads

April 26, 2014 at 11:16 am (Uncategorized)

8 Apr 2013 Tuscan rose / Belinda Alexandra.
I really enjoyed some of Belinda Alexander’s earlier novels and then I got a bit stuck with the historical context, which is not always my favourite, and I didn’t read any books of hers for a while. I did, however, enjoy this one. Set in Mussolini’s time period, it is a dramatic saga, as is her usual format.

20 Mar 2013 Lola’s secret / Monica McInerney.
A little glib again, with a meddling grandmother and various strong willed family members. A good read.

20 Feb 2013 Once in a lifetime / Cathy Kelly
The usual Cathy Kelly storyline and characters. Not better or worse than the others.

13 Feb 2013 Sh*tty mum : the parenting guide for the rest of us / Laurie Kilmartin [et al.].
Vaguely amusing parenting guide written by real mothers. Not as hilarious as I’d hoped.

31 Jan 2013 At home with the Templetons / Monica McInerney
I enjoyed this family saga more than most.

6 Dec 2012. The last letter from your lover / Jojo Moyes.
A story of a woman who wakes up from an accident without any memory of her former life and then finds a letter from her lover that turns her upside down. A slightly confusing book, that didn’t hold my attention as much as I would have liked.

29 Oct 2012 The insufficiency of maps : a novel / Nora Pierce
This is one of those quintessentially American books that always makes me feel like an outsider (admittedly being Australian does make me an outsider). Apparently torn between two worlds, a girl who grew up In dysfunctional Native American family is placed with a white foster family. Uh huh.

29 Oct 2012 Sing you home / Jodi Picoult
I have read all of Jodi Picoult’s books, with a mixture of absorption, fascination and slight abhorrence. This is not one of my favourites. It’s been touted as a flagship for gay rights and centres around fertility and the validity of using reproductive tissue in unintended circumstances. It felt a little glossy, little shiny and a little “look at this issue”.

28 Aug 2012 Birds of paradise : a novel / Diana Abu-Jaber.
A runaway child and her left behind family. I felt quite distanced from this story and unsure about whether I actually enjoyed it or not.

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Books I’ve read lately

April 26, 2014 at 10:21 am (Uncategorized)

8 Apr 2014 Faith singer / Rosie Singer
An odd book, quite disconcerting. Tells the story of an alcoholic woman. Living in Kings Cross, Sydney she attempts to save the life of a young addict. The are all kinds of complications to her life. Somehow the book didn’t grab me and draw me in. Instead I kind of skim read it, put it down, read something else, picked it up again. Not bad enough to abandon altogether but not as gripping as I’d hoped.

26 Mar 2014 Catch me before I fall / Rosie Child’s
The story of a woman who is abandoned by her husband when she becomes obsessed with her autistic son and how to best help him. She is clearly depressed herself, probably well before the autism diagnosis. The story takes a bit too predictable of a turn. The characters are realistic but not well defined enough to draw me in and relate to them closely.

10 Mar 2014 Letters from Skye / Jessica Brockmole
A simple wartime love story that is told in two time periods. Despite it being a very straightforward story, it was wonderfully written and a delight to read.

21 Feb 2014 The Finkler question / Howard Jacobson.
Couldn’t finish it. Couldn’t even get past a couple of chapters.

21 Feb 2014 Me before you / JoJo Moyes
A young woman desperate for work takes a job a a carer for a disabled man. Jojo Moynes has a talent for the slightly more sophisticated chick lit format and this book was certainly more thought provoking than most. Enjoyed it.

21 Feb 2014 The venetian house / Mary Nickson
The Venetian house is the primary character’s childhood home (of sorts). Weaving a complex tale of two families with lots of divergent story lines, this was a solid book with interesting moments. The only downside was a somewhat predictable love story. I have a dislike for the overly predictable. Otherwise, quite the saga.

31 Jan 2014 The love wife : a novel / Jen Gish
I’ve always had a thing for books with some link to China. In this case, the adoption of Chinese children and a Chinese grandma who live in America seemed like the valid basis for a story. However, I found myself bored after the first few chapters and couldn’t grasp enough of the details to finish.

31 Jan 2014 The wife’s tale / Lori Lansens.
Woman waiting for her husband to come home goes on a life changing journey in her attempt to save her marriage. Not quite as interesting as I’d hoped but very plausible, exaggerated characters and engrossing.

31 Jan 2014 The English teacher : a novel / Lily King.
A troubled woman marries and creates a blended family. The characters were very fraught and the story lines very disconcerting. Not a book I particularly enjoyed.

14 Nov 2013 Odd one out / Monica McInerney
Monica McInerney writes novels I would classify as chick lit, with an Australian setting. This one is a novella and follows a woman who feels like the odd one out in her family. Good solid read.

14 Nov 2013 The girl you left behind / Jojo Moynes
Loved this book. With a wartime setting, complexities of motivation and compelling characters I was utterly drawn in.

14 Nov 2013 The red house : a novel / Mark Haddon.
I’m not a huge Haddon fan so I approached with book with some hesitancy. However, I found it more realistic than I expected. Not my favourite book, but a good enough read. Tells the story of two estranged families drawn together.

5 Oct 2013 Greetings from somewhere else / Moica McInerney .
Slightly cheesy story of a woman who is forced to run a B&B on the other side of the world to claim her family’s inheritance. Was engrossing enough but not amazing.

12 Aug 2013 All good things / Sarah Turnbull.
I’d read Sarah Turnbull’s previous book, almost French, and enjoyed it. This one covers her move to an exotic island paradise and is complicated by infertility issues. Whilst it was amusing in parts and felt a bit invasive in others, the glib descriptions of expat life really put me off.

19 Jul 2013 Someday, someday, maybe : a novel / Lauren Graham.
I admit to having a crush on Lauren Graham and I was naturally keen to read her book. It wasn’t terrible, but neither was it wonderful. I was disappointed because I had high expectations.

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The Boy Who Fell To Earth by Kathy Lette

October 12, 2012 at 12:31 am (Uncategorized)

20121012-082745.jpg I knew this book was about a single parent with an autistic son. When I started to read it, it made me in dinky uncomfortable because the subject was dealt with so superficially and I almost felt insulted at the thought that someone could do that. A friend told me that Kathy Lette has an autistic son, and then it began to make sense. The book is alternatively horrifying, funny, sarcastic and glib. The author delves in detail into the sex life, or lack thereof, of the main character. There are odd storylines and twist and over the top characters. It was sort of amusing and sort of terrible. It’s well written and probably realistic, but I just didn’t know what to make of it.

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Full House by Maeve Binchy

October 12, 2012 at 12:26 am (fiction, Recent Reads)

20121012-082541.jpg this is a short story which I picked up as a EBook for a couple of dollars. It’s typical Binchy style and quite bizarrely amusing in the tale of a family whose adult children are still living at home and behaving like surly teenagers.

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Night Music by Jojo Moynes

October 12, 2012 at 12:24 am (fiction, Recent Reads)

20121008-093738.jpg the more I read of Jojo Moynes, the more I like what I am reading. This book is the story of a newly widowed violinist and her two children who are left poor and then, suddenly inherit a house in the middle of the English countryside. Unfortunately the neighbours thought they were going to inherit the house and meanwhile there are complex relationships, grief, crazy renovations and strangely compelling minor characters. It’s not literature but it is good solid, easy to read fiction.

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Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacman

October 8, 2012 at 2:24 am (Biography, Recent Reads)

20121008-102148.jpg I’m a big apple convert. I have two iMacs, an iPad and an iPhone. I’m writing this on an iPad app. It was natural that I would want to read Steve Jobs biography. It was long. Long. And some parts of it were tedious. But that might depend on your perspective. Overall, however, I found it fascinating and engrossing. I understand the products I use every day so much more. I understand the genius and craziness of the man who created them. I understand the history of computers and silicone valley in a whole new way. I highly recommend reading it if you are at all interested in how and why we came to be a race of people who are so apple focused.

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Rescue by Anita Shreve

October 8, 2012 at 2:21 am (fiction, Recent Reads)

20121008-101905.jpg Anita Shreve’s books are always good and always slightly daunting. There is bound to be something slightly uncomfortable within them. In this case, the troubled characters and the dramatic meeting of two people through a car accident left me feeling quite disturbed throughout the book. Nonetheless the story was well written and the characters are believable and relatable, if if I don’t want to admit it.

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