Tag Archives: All things books

What ya reading Wednesday….

I saw this little ‘poster’ online somewhere and felt it summed up the past few weeks.

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As well as spending a good bit of my time recently with needles in my hand and chasing up long lost ancestors …..I ‘discovered’ another sister of one of my GT Grandmothers…..there has always a book close at hand for quiet moments when I wanted to retreat from all the ongoing madness.

Two that I read were written by new to me authors  – well not new in that I had never heard of them – just new in that I’d never read any of their works before.  And just by chance both books were the authors’ first novels and also the first in a series.

Jo Nesbø -The Bat

Book Blurb:-  Detective Harry Hole Is meant to keep out of trouble.  A young Norwegian girl on a gap year in Sydney has been murdered and Harry has been sent to Australia to assist in any way he can…..when the team unearths a string of unsolved murders nothing will stop Harry from finding out the truth.

Such an easy read, Harry Hole sent to observe but becomes involved.   It starts slowly but moves along dramatically/ violently/ humourously even at times- twisting and turning to a very surprising end.  Introduces the reader to Harry’s past which influences his present.  The other characters (the police he is working with) were very Australian, their language full of local expressions,  not quite what he was used to and the more he learns about the first death the more he unearths about previous killings giving him reasons to become more involved in finding the killer.

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Michael Robotham – Suspect/The Suspect

Book Blurb:- Joseph O’Loughlin appears to have the perfect life- a beautiful wife, a loving daughter and a successful career as a clinical psychologist.  But nothing can be taken for granted.  Even the most flawless existence is only a loose thread away from unravelling.  All it takes is a murdered girl, a troubled patient and the biggest lie of his life. 

If I’d known I’d be reading the same story twice I might have thought twice about actually reading this book.  The thing is it was what made the book what it was.

A really good read!

The first chapter certainly draws you in – meeting the main character on a window ledge trying to talk someone out of jumping!  Later he becomes involved in what appeares to be the murder of a prostitute but is actually someone he knew a few years previously.  Add that to the fact he’s recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and the book is off and running.  It follows his daily life seeing patients- one in particular is marked in his mind as the killer but after a conversation with the investigating police officer it’s he who becomes the suspect.  Cue part two!

After his arrest the ‘story’ is rewritten – same people places with different dialogue, thoughts, reasoning and explanations.  Of course Joe O’Loughlin is innocent, he proves the one he suspected is guilty in a very surprising ending.

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Have any of you read either of these books?  I’m hoping the library reopens soon as I’d like to order more of these authors works/series.

Until then I’m plodding through the large pile here at home.  Next in line are two from my ‘give the girls a go‘ idea.

The Hunters Wife – Kathleen Scholes

Daughters of Australia – Harmony Verna

 

What ya reading Wednesday….

Unlike some of my coffee drinking friends, my very good friend the librarian didn’t think I was strange when she heard about my reading challenges for this year. ‘Are you up for another one?’ she asked, ‘do you mind what genre the books are?.  If not I’ll keep my eye  open for some you might be interested in’

I had two recommendations for an A and a B one word title sent in an email- put them on hold please I replied.

The first one Alice by Christine Henry  is described as:- A mind-bending new novel inspired by the twisted and wondrous works of Lewis Carroll

Book Blurb :-  In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

So then it was on to the second one Bliss by Peter Carey

Book Blurb:- This novel, by the author of Oscar and Lucinda, tells the story of a man who, recovering from death, is convinced that he is in hell. For the first time in his life, Harry Joy sees the world as it really is, and takes up a notebook to explore and notate the true nature of the Underworld.

i saw one classed as Horror/Fantasy – the other as Satire/Black Humour in the form of literature.

Both arrived the other day but I haven’t picked them up yet,  I’m trying to finish off my February female first 😊

How about you.  Are you reading anything out of the ordinary ?

Giving the girls a go….

Each January for the past few years (just for the fun of it) I’ve been giving myself little reading challenges. Not an original idea I know but things like A to Z of author’s surnames or A to Z of book titles (sometimes known as the Alphabet Soup Challenge)  Among other things,  last year was about trying to finish more books from series I’d begun…..finally getting to the last of the Ann Cleeves Shetland series was one.  If you’d like to see what I’ve read over the past few years I’ve gathered all the previous ‘books read pages’ together and placed them in a seperate page which you can find up there under the header picture.

And this is last years in a different format – https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2019

This year I’ve decided it’s all about the titles!

Trying to find books with one word titles corresponding to letters of the alphabet is going to be fun – following on and extending that theme I thought The *plus* titles would also be fun.  Just by luck I found two in the ship’s library that fit the bill – Devotion (Louisa Young) and The Disappeared (M.R. Hall) both quick reads which meant that where ‘that’ challenge is concerned I’m off and running at a good rate of knots 😊

But what I’m really excited about is Giving the Girls a Go!

Reading books with a description of a female status in the title!  There seem to be more and more of them in the library catalogue so I’m aiming for one a month…12 in all.

I read The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter ( Hazel Gaynor) last week so that’s January taken care of 😊

A tale of two women and their involvement with lighthouses about a century apart.  Two stories with lots of twists and turns linking each to the other.  Lots of social statements on female roles and current (at the relevant time) attitudes to ‘the way things were’  Good read!

The Clockmaker’s Daughter (Kate Morton) has been sitting on a shelf here at home for a few months now. It’s another of the Historical Fiction genre I enjoy, I’ve set it aside for February and as it’s a fairly thick book it might take me most of the month to finish.l

 

I know there are lots of books about Mothers, Sisters, Nieces, Wives and Widows out there  so there’s  bound to be one for each month of the year!

Do you plan your reading or do you just go with the ‘pick a book any book’ method?

It’s time…

Time has passed quite quickly recently…..here we are in the third week of December…….not much left of 2019 to get through.

Get through being the optimal words as my ‘invisible ailment’  (lumbar spinal stenosis )   is making itself known again.  After a fair while of no symptoms, now when I need to be on my feet and mobile the dreaded heavy hot numb then tingling legs and feet have returned…..thankfully not the sharp, make you jump and screech, don’t know when it’s coming, electric shock down your leg pains when the sciatic nerve is involved.  All of which unfortunately limits my walking (which makes it worse) so consequently I’ve not done half the things I’d planned.  I have however read a couple of good books plus knit two baby cardigans…..and watched a fair bit of cricket.

The GP agreed with me that part of the problem really is because I haven’t been doing any regular exercise since we came back from Bowen  I cancelled my gym membership before we left (not a contract one) meaning to reinstate it and my latest swimmimg pass had been used up, both of which I’ve just haven’t got round to renewing.  I have been doing some  physio recommended ‘simple’ exercises at home as well as using some light weight  dumbbells but they obviously aren’t enough.  What’s needed is a more structured method- one where I can’t stop and make a cup of tea when the going gets tough – well, I can stop, for a while – but it’s a bit awkward going to the attached cafes for a cup of tea when you’re all sweaty or dripping wet – and then making your way back to start all over again.  Best get it over and done with, then enjoy the tea when I get home 😊

Do you remember my dear friend who died recently ‘gifted’ her stash of wool to her friends and family.   Well the yarn knit up beautifully but was such a non descript, rather plain bland colour I had to put a pattern on each of them so they didn’t look flat and uninteresting.  You’ll find the previous two towards the end of this post, so all done now  and these two along with anymore I knit in the meantime will go off to the charity later in the new year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And of course I read more than two books….these were the two from a pile of random library picks that stood out from the rest 😊

Sorry fot the dead – Nicola Upson.  Josephine Tey #8

In the summer of 1915, the sudden death of a young girl brings grief and notoriety to Charleston Farmhouse on the Sussex Downs. Years later, Josephine Tey returns to the same house–now much changed–and remembers the two women with whom she once lodged as a young teacher during the Great War. As past and present collide, with murders decades apart, Josephine is forced to face the possibility that the scandal which threatened to destroy those women’s lives hid a much darker secret”

A cast of almost all female characters, set in various ‘times’ with the murder as the central focus of the book.   It covered attitudes toward women and their roles, very early women’s lib, developing female ‘friendships’ –  both open and covert – and how they were seen by society.  Lots of twists and turns with a surprise last chapter that tied in with the first one.  The only flaw for me was the jumping from decade to decade (sections set in different times) which I lost track of with having the same characters turning up each time.  Having to turn back to the front page of each ‘part’ to remember which year I was in was a bit of a nuisance.

Last seen alive – Claire Douglas

Libby and James Hall can’t believe their luck when the leaflet comes through the door. Swapping their tiny city flat for a beautiful house by the sea? Who would say no? But once they arrive at The Hideaway Libby starts to get jittery and increasingly paranoid. She is sure that someone is watching them. Something here isn’t right. And when she suspects their lives to be in danger they swiftly decide to return to Bath. But they can’t pick up their old life so easily. Because this isn’t just a casual house swap. This is something much, much more sinister.”

This one started out quite slowly (almost like the holiday it was supposed to be) then it changed.  Very subtly it became more of a mystery (touted as a psychological thriller) with a murder thrown in for good luck  Twists and turns as the story moves on – secrets are revealed- previous lives and deeds come into play    You never know what’s going to happen with each page turn.   Definitely recommended.

🎄 🍦 🎄 🍷🎄 ⛱ 🎄

I’ve really enjoyed your company (and comments) this past year but I’m feeling a bit tired and weary so think now is the right time to push the seasonal pause button

My love to you all – I’ll be back again in the middle of January

Merry Christmas and a very Happy Healthy Prosperous New Year