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Archive for the ‘My Week In Review’ Category

Here is my reading summary for the week ending 6th May 2012

Each week I give a short summary for each book I have finished and a bit of a blurb for each. I will also give you a sneak peek of all the books I am currently reading (as I never read just one book at a time) and I will also share any quotes or internet links that catch my eye.

A= Excellent Stuff – a real page turner and read in one sitting

B= Really Good Read

C= Average – very readable and enjoyable

D= it was OK, a bit of a struggle to finish.

1. This week I have finished:

  • The Wanderer by Pippa Dee (YA Science Fiction) – A

Sasha and Andy have been friends for ever – they spend all their school time and spare time together and share everything. Justine has just arrived in town and she is finding it tough to make friends in the small country town where everyone has known each other for ever. The three fourteen-year-olds are drawn together when the wanderer arrives to destroy all that they love. Sasha opens an email attachment and is infected by the Wanderer who has just escaped from his prison of a thousand years. His sole goal is to spread a deathly sickness – but this is not the first time a wanderer has caused havoc. Justine and Andy have to look to the past to save the future. After a bit of a confusing start I was quickly sucked into this incredibly fast paced story. Everything got put to one side as I flipped my virtual pages to see what was going to happen next, how on earth the story was going to be resolved. The first in a proposed series, The Wanderer was a great debut for Pippa Dee and aimed at teens from 13 to 15 – and those of us who wished we still were! Although at the end there is an opening that you know is the link to the next book, overall the ending is complete with no loose ends. An Australian author, Pippa Dee has written five fantastic crime fiction books featuring Sophie Anderson – an FBI profiler – under the name of PD Martin.

Disclaimer – I was given a copy of this book for review – and I made no promise that it would be favorable. Mind you that did not become a problem as the book is great and I can’t wait until the release of the second in the series later this year.

  • The Blood Countess by Tara Moss (YA Paranormal) – A

The Blood Countess is the first book in the new Pandora English YA series by author Tara Moss, known for her bestselling crime novels; and what an entertaining read it is – I loved it. Pandora is an orphan and has been living with her aunty in rural USA. She has now left school and wants a job in the fashion world. She is invited to New York to live with her great-aunt Celia and has soon settled in and has a new job as an assistant at Pandora magazine (yes a huge coincidence). There are a few indications that Pandora’s life is a little off beat – her aunt’s apartment building is a creepy looking building in a quiet misty suburb called Spektor that no New Yorker taxi driver can find. Her aunt is very young looking for an old lady and only comes out at night; she also has an extreme reaction to garlic. And we won’t even mention the good-looking man who visits Pandora’s bedroom at night – who’s been dead since the Civil War! A very clever story – with mentions of The Addams Family, Anne Rice and numerous other clever references – loved the Sesame Street connection – laughed myself silly over that one. The sequel is out ‘The Spider Goddess’ and I have it on reserve at the library – yes reserve – always an indication of a well liked book.

  • Whiskey Island by Emilie Richards (Mystery) – C

WHISKEY ISLAND has it all – suspense, mystery, history and romance. The Whiskey Island Saloon is been run by Megan Donaghue, a 5th generation Irish-American. She shares ownership with her two sisters, Casey and Peggy, who had both left home many years ago. The story opens with the two sisters returning, with a little girl in tow, and immediately being attacked in the carpark of the saloon. A former priest, Niccolo Andreani, is passing by when it happens and he goes in to rescue the women. The carjackers are eventually overcome, but Niccolo claims he had help from a homeless person. The story then follows the lives of the three sisters, Ashley the little girl, Niccolo and a sixth character, Jon Kovats – childhood friend of Casey and a prosecutor – in the present day; and also flashes back to the 1880s and tells the story of Terry and Lena Tierney, Irish immigrants who are struggling not only to make on Whiskey Island in the 1880s but to save money to bring their families to America. How these two stories connect, and how a murder is solved is the focus of WHISKEYISLAND and it is an enjoyable read and not confusing at all despite the two threads. There is a sequel to this – The Parting Glass.

2. My Current reads:

Blurbs from the books I am currently reading are:

Devil-Devil by G.W.Kent (Mystery) – a mystery set in the Solomon Islands in the 1960s. Sergeant Ben Kella of the Solomon Islands Police Force is only a few days into a routine patrol, yet already he has been cursed by a magic man, stumbled across evidence of a cargo cult uprising and failed to find an American anthropologist who has been scouring the mountainous jungle in search of a priceless pornographic icon. To complicate matters further, at a local mission station Kella discovers the redoubtable Sister Conchita secretly trying to bury a skeleton then a mysterious gunman tries to kill her.

Ruby Blues by Jessica Rudd (Chick Lit – Australian Author) – In the first book in the series (Campaign Ruby) the very fabulous Ruby Stanhope got the Leader of the Opposition elected and fell in love with Luke. In Ruby Blues she is back for more cocktail spills and political thrills. Two years into his first term, the new PM is on the nose. And Luke is demanding romantic dinners at home rather than takeaway on the run. What’s a girl to do when she’s about to turn thirty, when her wardrobe turns drab, her love life turns luke-warm and the government is leakier than a cheap umbrella? Can she find her inner Nancy Drew in time to save her boss? Will she succumb to temptation when Elliot, the hot vet, enters the scene? Luke? Elliot? Work? Love? Unladdered stockings? Can she have it all? And, more importantly, what should she wear to the Midwinter Ball?

Thin Rich bitches by Janet Eve Josselyn (Chick Lit) – An uproarious romp through the minefield of female one-upmanship! Leaving her cheating husband in Boston with the paralegal he impregnated, Pippin Snowe and her son move to a ramshackle farmhouse in the exclusive community of Dover, Massachusetts. Pippin finds employment with a local architect, designing kitchen renovations for wealthy Dover women who treat her as they treat the rest of the hired help. Concluding that social climbing is just another sport that she is no good at, Pippin opens a country club for dogs that offers services that the Dover women didn’t know they wanted until they found out that admission was required and spaces were limited. With irreverent wit, Thin Rich Bitches is a humorous chronicle of one woman’s quest to find her place within a community of people who are more blessed physically and financially, while learning valuable lessons about life, love, competition, and canine couture.

3. Quote/s and links for the week

First some links:

Looking for a book set in a particular country? Doing one of the many ‘reading around the world’ challenges? These links may possibly be for you:

http://www.bookssetin.com/

http://www.bibliotravel.com/places.php

Why are some of the award winning books going out of print?

A loss for words: winning books hit the dust:

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/a-loss-for-words-winning-books-hit-the-dust-20120428-1xs13.html

Finally, the world’s smallest library is seen here: http://t.co/wGtcWaXo

Now some quotes:

The first is from pg 18 of DEVIL-DEVIL by GW Kent

“…Peter Oro looked at Kella. All traces of the youth’s truculence had vanished. Suddenly he was just another frightened village boy brought against his will into contact with ghosts. The magic man has cursed you, Sergeant Kella,’ he said, his voice shaded by misery and despair. ‘Now surely you will die!’ The schoolboy turned and ran…”

The next is the opening line of ‘Thin Rich bitches’ by Janet Eve Josselyn:

“…I have never done club drugs, younger men or Botox. But I have done other stupid things, like a marry a morally promiscuous frat boy who came to believe that his sexual prowess shouldn’t be squandered solely on his wife…”

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Here is my reading summary for the week ending 29th April 2012

Each week I give a short summary for each book I have finished and a bit of a blurb for each. I will also give you a sneak peek of all the books I am currently reading (as I never read just one book at a time) and I will also share any quotes or internet links that catch my eye.

A= Excellent Stuff

B= Really Good Read

C= Average

D= it was OK, a bit of a struggle to finish.

1. This week I have finished:

  • Flying The Coop by Ilsa Evans (Women’s Fiction) – A

Chris Beggs is a divorced mother of two who in an impulsive, spur of the moment decision to annoy her ex-husband buys a free-range chicken farm. Chris knows nothing about farming and her only experience with a chicken as a child was not a happy one. She tries desperately to get out of it but her children think it is great and a few months later they leave the big smoke and head for the country. Then the fun starts – early morning egg collections, bossy neighbours, a revengeful accountant, possum poo and a psychotic alpaca all add to her steep learning curve. So many things I liked about this book – the one that sticks in my mind is that Chris’s seven year old son plays with toy cars in the dirt and does really stupid things like falling in ponds – so normal and a refreshing change from being portrayed as a techno geek. He does love his computer games – but is just as happy using his imagination. All in all a very enjoyable read. Ilsa Evans is a new discovery for me, but luckily she has been writing for a few years now so I have a few books I can go back and read. Flying the Coop is her 5th book – but she has written a total of 8 books plus an e-book of short stories. Have the first two of the laundry series on order – so that should get me started. I never cease to be amazed how many really good Australian female authors there are – and I shouldn’t be, we Aussies are a talented mob!

  • How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (YA Dystopian) – A

‘How I Live Now’ is set in modern day England, slightly in the future. 15-year-old Daisy has been sent to England to stay with her Aunty and cousins from her home in New York as her father and step-mother don’t know what to do with her. Daisy has issues, she is guilty that her mother died giving birth to her and she is intensely jealous of her father marrying again and now a new baby is coming. She is collected from London airport by her cousin Edmond and taken to her Aunt Penn’s country farmhouse and meets her other cousins. There are rumors of war, which like most young teens they are not concerned with, in fact think of it as some sort of Internet game rather than reality. Daisy falls in love with Edmond but their special link is soon broken when the rumored war becomes reality (NB – love between first cousins is NOT incest – in fact they can legally marry). The aggressor is never named and the reason for the aggression is never really revealed – only that it is world wide. Soon the four cousins are living in occupied England

This is a terrific read. I read it in one 24 hour period. It is hard to read in the sense of the odd punctuation, capital letters all over the place at the oddest times – but taking into consideration the age, education and trauma experienced of the narrator (Daisy) it all adds to the mood of the book. Teenage angst, love, shock and horror is followed by a terrifying battle against an unnamed enemy and coping with witnessing atrocities that no human should have to see, or experience. The author engulfed me her world and even compelled me to shed a tear or two.

2. My Current reads:

Blurbs from the books I am currently reading are:

Whiskey Island by Emilie Richards (Mystery) – Once a struggling community of Irish immigrants, Lake Erie’s WhiskeyIsland has a colourful past. The Whiskey Island Saloon has been a local gathering place for many generations, and it is now run by the Donaghue sisters, whose lives have been shaped by family tragedy and a haunting mystery. The book opens with an act of violence sets the wheels of fate in motion, Megan Donaghue, a woman unwilling to trust in love, and Niccolo Andreani, a man unwilling to trust in himself, are determined to learn the truth about one fateful night in the family’s long-forgotten past. As an old man struggles to protect a secret as old as Whiskey Island itself, a murder that still shadows too many lives is about to be solved–with repercussions no one can predict.

Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna (General Fiction) – A story set in Freetown, Sierra Leone featuring two triangular relationships separated by a generation and a Civil War, with parallel accounts set during the political unrest in 1969 at the time of the Apollo 11 moon landing and during the period 1999 to 2001 following the vicious civil war. The 1960s story features Julius Kamara and Elias Cole who have only one thing in common; their love for Saffia. The later story features Adrian, a disenchanted Psychologist from London who takes advantage of an overseas government sponsored post in Sierra Leone to research Post Traumatic Stress disorder. He befriends Kai Mansaray a dedicated and accomplished young trauma surgeon who works tirelessly at the city hospital. The past meets the present through memories of love.

Devil-Devil by G.W.Kent (Mystery) – Sergeant Ben Kella of the Solomon Islands Police Force is only a few days into a routine patrol, yet already he has been cursed by a magic man, stumbled across evidence of a cargo cult uprising and failed to find an American anthropologist who has been scouring the mountainous jungle in search of a priceless pornographic icon. To complicate matters further, at a local mission station Kella discovers the redoubtable Sister Conchita secretly trying to bury a skeleton then a mysterious gunman tries to kill her.

3. Quote/s and links for the week

First a link or maybe two:

I was one of the early members if Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/) – but it is becoming very trendy these days. And now there is a Pinterest challenge!!! As far as I know it is the first one – and I am certainly going to challenge myself to cooking something I have pinned!!

http://www.lovelaughterinsanity.com/2012/04/pin-it-and-do-it-pinteresting-challenge.html?spref=tw&m=1

Also my friend Lisa Hill is a ‘words and writings’ finalist in the 2012 best Australian Blogs competition for her blog ANZ Litlovers Litblog. Winners will be announced 10th May, all of us in the ANZ Litlovers yahoo group are very proud of her: http://tinyurl.com/83dah3g

Now some quotes:

The first is from pg 19 of ‘Memory of Love’ by Aminatta Forna:

"…A fly is trapped, one moment frenziedly hitting the window, the next hurtling across the room above Adrian’s head. He swats at it and misses. Now his concentration is broken and so he sets down his pen, crosses to the window and prises it open…"

The second is from WhiskeyIsland by Emilie Richards – is an e-book so is at 32% read position:

"…There was nothing more she could say right now. She had been manipulated, extolled, critiqued, confided in and kissed. It was more emotion, more conversation, than she had experienced during her entire marriage…"

The last one is from pg 121 of ‘How I Live Now’ by Meg Rosoff.

“…If you haven’t been in a war and are wondering how long it takes to get used to losing everything you think you need or love, I can tell you the answer is no time at all…”

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Here is my reading summary for the fortnight ending 21st April 2012

Each week I give a short summary for each book I have finished and a bit of a blurb for each. I will also give you a sneak peek of all the books I am currently reading (as I never read just one book at a time) and I will also share any quotes or internet links that catch my eye.

A= Excellent Stuff

B= Really Good Read

C= Average

D= it was OK, a bit of a struggle to finish.

Last week I was away on leave sipping cocktails in the tropics so this week is actually a fortnight’s worth.

1. This fortnight I have finished:

  • Nightsiders by Sue Isle (Science Fiction/Short Stories) – C

This book is the first volume in the Twelfth Planet Press’s series of short collections by Australian female authors. The instructions given to each of the authors was to write 4 short stories of up to 40,000 words in total. This collection is set in the near future in Perth. Because of global warming the west coast of Australia has been evacuated to the east coast and all the infrastructure and services have long gone. Still, a few thousand people remain, trying to stay alive anyway they can.

The Painted Girl – this story is set around a young girl who has been stolen from her parents while a baby. This story sets the reader up for the lengths that people have gone to in order to survive the harsh conditions.

Nation of the Night – A young man has been born in a woman’s body, the lengths he has to go to in order to have his sex change, and gives us a glimpse of life in the rest of Australia

Paper Dragons – back to Perth and this time we see life through an acting troupe who put on a play about how life was before the evacuation.

The Schoolteacher’s Tale – This was my least favourite story, two characters from the troupe decide to marry and live outside the city.

Overall, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I did ‘Love and Romanpunk’ by Tansy Rayner Roberts but there are still 10 more in the series to go – so will work my way through all of them. For more information on the Twelve Planets series, visit: http://www.twelfthplanetpress.com

  • Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins (Paranormal/Young Adult) – B

In the first book of the series ‘Hex Hall’ Sophie Mercer always thought she was a witch who couldn’t control her powers, she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent paranormal children. There she discovered that she is actually a powerful demon, just like her dad, and they are the only two in the world. Utterly scared of her powers, and after the events of the first book, scared of what she could potentially become, in Demonglass Sophie requests that her powers be removed; a very dangerous procedure that could end up with her being very dead. Her dad flies her to London along with her friend Jenna, and Cal. There she discovers that two more demons have been raised and this is very worrisome indeed. The eye is still looking for her and a war between the two movements is imminent. Lots of twists, turns edge of the seat danger and betrayals that leave the reader set up for the final book in the trilogy.

  • Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich (Mystery) – B

I have to say upfront that I am a Stephanie Plum fan through and through and have enjoyed every book in the series, some less than others admittedly, but the slapdash humour and silliness is why I read them. This book begins with the Stephanie returning after being in Hawaii and during the return flight a man sticks an envelope with a photograph in Stephanie’s bag. She sees it when unpacking and comments the man in the photo is a hunk and then throws it away. The man turns up dead and people are looking for the photograph and don’t believe Stephanie when she says she tossed it. This scenario immediately sets Stephanie up as a target for some crazy photo hunters – Russian, fake FBI and the real FBI. What happened in Hawaii is a bit of a mystery too – Ranger, Joe and Stephanie are all tip-toeing around each other – and wounds, and a wedding ring tan mark, are there for all to see. Throw into the mix a car full of horse manure, some bail dodgers, an arch enemy moving into Stephanie’s flat, a love potion and Lula and grandma and you have one silly, crazy and funny story.

  • Mudbound by Hillary Jordan (General Fiction) – A

The story opens just after the end of WWII with a grave being dug. That the character is disliked by the two gravediggers is obvious – but why the character is dead and why they are disliked is the foundation of the story. Told from six points of view, Laura is the voice heard the most often. Laura is a city woman who accepts Henry’s proposal and settles down to rural life in urban Memphis as a wife and eventually mother. She is not aware of Henry’s dream to own a farm and is shocked to find that she, Henry, their daughters and Pappy (Henry’s hateful father) are soon living in a mud-ridden cotton farm rural Mississippi. The other voices telling the story are Laura’s husband Henry; Jamie, Henry’s much younger and charming brother, a returning war hero with a serious drinking problem; Hap, a middle-aged black tenant farmer and part time preacher, and his wife Florence who acts as a midwife to the poorer people in the area and as housekeeper for Laura. Finally, there is Ronsel, son of Hap and Florence, who is also a returning war hero but is finding it hard to return to his expected subservient position after seeing the greater acceptance of blacks in Europe and other parts of the United States. So there you have it – Laura is not coping living in a constant quagmire with an uncaring husband, no electricity, no running water and a nasty father-in-law. Jamie is not coping with the memories of war and being in love with his brother’s wife, Ronsel is not coping with being thought of as less than human. Henry is oblivious and the tensions start to rise. I could not put this book down!!!

  • The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Tough by Neta Jackson (Christian Chick Lit) – B

I love the world of the Yada Yada prayer group, for each of the ladies life is not perfect they have their problems, but stand together to face whatever is thrown at them. This time the ladies have to get tough as they face the threats from a white supremacy group to interracial churches sharing the same church premises, wining the lottery, teen romances and unplanned pregnancies and the violent attack on one of their husbands that leaves him in the ICU.The ladies of the group still manage to find the time each week they need to get together and pray over all the hot issues in their lives. This book will make you laugh, get very angry and even shed a tear or two, but I defy you to read it through and not feel any emotion.

  • The Murder at the Murder at Mimosa Inn by Joan E Hess (Mystery) – C

This is the second in the Claire Malloy series, and is not my favourite. I happily read series out of sequence so this is the sixth one I have read. Claire decides to go to a murder mystery weekend at the Mimosa Inn and drags her less than enthusiastic teenage daughter with her. Claire is determined to solve the mystery and win the prize, a bottle of champagne. Her boyfriend Peter (a police investigator) ridicules the whole idea of pretend murder games which only makes Claire more determined. The game commences and the ‘victim’ turns up dead – really dead; so all the hotel guests are now suspects – real suspects. The storyline had so much potential, and I really enjoyed the other books I have read, its just that this one fell a bit short for me.

  • Dead Heat by Bronwyn Parry (Mystery) – A

Bronwyn Parry is fast becoming one of my must buy authors. I am very reluctant to call this book a romance. Sure there is attraction between the two main characters but the focus is on suspense and murder with the opening murder being a grizzly one indeed. National Parks ranger Jo Lockwood stumbles across a mutilated body in an isolated park in north-west region of New South Wales while on a routine inspection of camping grounds. The victim had been tortured before his death and a stash of drugs are found near the scene. Detective Nick Matheson is brought in to investigate the crime and soon realises that that Jo is at risk from the murderer as it would appear she had spoken to him without realizing it. As the body count rises it becomes clear there is a leak in the task force. Jo and Nick have to find out where the murderer, and his increasingly growing gang, is and stop him. They also have to battle against snipers, bushfires and finally one-on-one combat as they struggle to expose police corruption and thwart an illegal drug smuggling route being set up. This is a fast-paced and exciting story with some unexpected twists that kept me on the edge of my seat for a four hour flight.

2. My Current reads:

Blurbs from the books I am currently reading are:

Flying the Coop by Ilsa Evans (Light Fiction) – All Chris wanted to do was teach her ex-husband a lesson, but somehow she ends up with a free range chook farm – when her only poultry experience is a childhood rooster that was repeatedly violated by the resident rabbit. So soon Chris finds herself in the country where the neighbours have deep secrets, her teenage daughter is bent on world domination, the bookkeeper is bent on revenge, and the alpaca is psychotic. By flying the coop she may have put all her eggs in one basket. And they’re each about to hatch.

Whiskey Island by Emilie Richards (Mystery) – Once a struggling community of Irish immigrants, Lake Erie’s WhiskeyIsland has a colourful past. The Whiskey Island Saloon has been a local gathering place for many generations, and it is now run by the Donaghue sisters, whose lives have been shaped by family tragedy and a haunting mystery. The book opens with an act of violence sets the wheels of fate in motion, Megan Donaghue, a woman unwilling to trust love, and Niccolo Andreani, a man unwilling to trust himself, are determined to learn the truth about one fateful night in the family’s long-forgotten past. As an old man struggles to protect a secret as old as Whiskey Island itself, a murder that still shadows too many lives is about to be solved–with repercussions no one can predict.

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Here is my reading summary for the week ending 8th April 2012

Each week I give a short summary for each book I have finished and a bit of a blurb for each. I will also give you a sneak peek of all the books I am currently reading (as I never read just one book at a time) and I will also share any quotes or internet links that catch my eye.

A= Excellent Stuff

B= Really Good Read

C= Average

D= it was OK, a bit of a struggle to finish.

1. This week I have finished:

  • A Lie for a Lie by Emilie Richards (Cozy Mystery) – B

This the 4th book in the cozy ‘Ministry for Murder’ series starring Aggie Sloan-Wilcox, wife of a small town Minister and mother of two school-aged daughters. She is cajoled by a committee to drive around a celebrity, Grady Barber – who once lived in Emerald Springs, to save costs for a fund raising event. He is rude, tyrannical and demanding, so Aggie is not surprised when someone murders him. The main suspect is his ex-wife who has just moved to town. Aggie decides to prove the ex-wife’s innocence, but there is a long list of people who would have like to kill the victim!!! In the background she has to deal with a family upset when her husband uses their daughter Deena as a shining example in one of his sermons – Deena is horrified and ends up being grounded and giving her parents the silent treatment. Oh so familiar to parents of teens! I love the characters in this book and Richards makes them all come alive on the page

  • Addition by Toni Jordan (Chick Lit) – C

Addition is an unusual romance. Grace’s whole life is defined by numbers – numbers give her a sense of being. Numbers dictate how many steps she takes, how many poppy seeds are in her cake, how many slices of zucchini she eats. She is so ruled by her obsession that she has lost the ability to live a ‘normal’ life. Life for Grace is predictable, with no room for spontaneity, but she doesn’t think her life is bad – she is so busy counting. Then she meets Seamus and slowly life changes. But is it for the better?

  • Fire and Fog by Dianne Day (Mystery) – B

The second in the Fremont Jones series and Fremont is woken up in the early hours of dawn in 1906 to find San Francisco being shaken to bits and she narrowly misses being killed when her heavy cupboard falling over. Fremont is ordered out of her accommodation as the huge fires are burning out of control through the city, so she is quickly made homeless. However, this doesn’t stop her from almost immediately becoming engulfed in a mystery that includes missing people, a crazy woman, a marriage proposal, ninjas and treasure.

  • Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts (Fantasy/Short Stories) – B

This is the second of Twelfth Planet Press’s series of short collections by Australian female writers. Tansy writes four short stories that all interconnect, they are:

Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary – the true story of the Caesars, my least favourite story, but understood later it set up the rest of the tales.

Lamia Victoriana – two sisters, Fanny and Mary, run away from London with a mysterious poet and his sister.

The Patrician – My favourite story – In the Australian bush a replica RomanCity has been built using some bricks from ancient Roman ruins. It’s a popular attraction – except for the monsters.

Romanpunks – But waits there more, the last hurrah

For more information on the Twelve Planets series, visit: http://www.twelfthplanetpress.com

  • Desperate Pastors’ Wives by Ginger Kolbaba and Christy Scannell (Christian Chick Lit) – B

Mimi, Felicia, Jennifer and Lisa all live in Red River, Ohio. They are also all the wives of Pastors from different Christian denominations. Once a month on a Tuesday they secretly escape to the next town and have lunch together at Lulu’s Cafe. They are a support group as no one can understand the problems they have, except another pastor’ wife. The four women use some very unorthodox methods to solve their problems, proving that God really does move in mysterious ways. There are tears, anguish and laughter before the story comes to an end. The first in a series, there are two more books to follow.

  • Fire me Up by Kate MacAlister (Paranormal/Mystery/Romance) – B

Ashling has left her want-to-be Dragon mate Draco, and headed for Hungary for a paranormal conference to find a mentor to train her for her role as a Guardian. With her is Jim, a demon she has raised by accident, in the form of a Newfoundland dog. Her uncle has given her an amulet to deliver to a customer of his. Trouble is the customer is a hermit with no fixed address. First person she sees on arrival is Draco, who tells her that she can’t walk away from being his mate. Ashling ignores him and continues to search for a mentor however trouble usually follows her and it would appear she is lusted over by any and all eligible males – both human and paranormal! Then throw in a couple of murders and a Dragon war and this book keeps you enthralled until the end. I have the next two lined up ready to go.

2. My Current reads:

The books I am currently reading are:

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins (YA Paranormal) – Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch and when she couldn’t control her powers she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent paranormal children. Turns out she is a powerful demon, just like her dad, the only two in the world. Sophie travels to London with her father who is head of the Paranormal Council where she hopes her powers will be removed in a dangerous procedure that could end up with her being very dead.

Nightsiders by Sue Isle (Science Fiction/Short Stories) – Nightsiders is the first volume in the Twelfth Planet Press’s series of short collections by Australian female writers. This collection of four stories is Science Fiction – set in the near future in Perth – the west coast has mostly been evacuated to the east coast and all the infrastructure and services have long gone. Still a few thousand people remain – scrapping a living anyway they can.

3. Quote/s and links for the week

No links this week – so here are some quotes:

The first is from pg 187 of ‘Addition’ by Toni Jordan

“…When white pills – when 22 little white pills – hit the toilet bowl, they float…When I push the button, they hesitate for a moment then huddle together in a paroxysm of fear. They shudder. They’re going down! Bracing themselves, they hurl violently clockwise before disappearing in a scream and a gurgle…”

The opening lines of ‘Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary’ in LOVE AND ROMANPUNK by Tansy Rayner Roberts are:

"…Let us begin with the issue of most interest to future historians: I did not poison my uncle and husband the Emperor Claudius. Instead, I drove a stake through his heart. In my defense, several of my close relatives have been vampires, and I have had little occasion to kill any of them. Claudius was a particular case…"

From pg 86 of ‘Romanpunks’ in LOVE AND ROMANPUNK by Tansy Rayner Roberts

"…Here’s a tip: don’t spike a whole bar’s worth of wine with those devious silver droplets. Unless you want a zeppelin full of silver-blooded vampiric women soaring over your city…"

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Here is my reading summary for the week ending 1st April 2012

Each week I give a short summary for each book I have finished and a bit of a blurb for each. I will also give you a sneak peek of all the books I am currently reading (as I never read just one book at a time) and I will also share any quotes or internet links that catch my eye.

A= Excellent Stuff

B= Really Good Read

C= Average

D= it was OK, a bit of a struggle to finish.

1. This week I have finished:

  • The Seeds of Time by John Wyndham (Science Fiction/Short Stories) – C

These are a collection of 10 short stories written by John Wyndham, they cover romance, time-traveling, racism, alien invasion, robots and advanced medical treatments that go horribly wrong. I originally read it years ago; I am renewing my acquaintance with these wonderful tales. Like all short stories some are great and others not so great. My two favourite ones were "Dumb Martian", which is a satire on racism, featuring an Earthman who buys a Martian wife and then goes off to a remote posting; and "Survival", set on a spacecraft marooned by an engine failure in orbit around Mars.

  • The Missing by PD Martin (Mystery) – B

This quick read has two Sophie Anderson short stories – the first is set before Body Count (the first in the series) and the other is set after Body Count. Both involve the abduction of a young girl. The first story set in Australia Sophie has to locate a missing child as a favour to her boss, her reward if she succeeds is permission to attend the FBI profiling course. The second takes place in the USA and a US senator’s daughter has been taken – PD Martin has included two alternative endings to this story, my favourite was the first one.

  • Exact Same moon: Fifty Acres and Family by Jeanne Marie Laskas (Non-Fiction) – B

This is the sequel to ‘Fifty Acres and a Poodle’ where Jeanne Marie Laskas shared with us how she and her partner decided to move from the city to the country and survived their first year of getting back to nature at Sweetwater Farm. Now Jeanne’s mother falls critically ill and Jeanne comes to terms with the fact her biological clock is ticking. She and her now husband launch into the process of adding a child to their family unit – not easy as Mother Nature is working against them. I enjoyed this much better than the first in the series.

2. My Current reads:

The books I am currently reading are:

A Lie for a Lie by Emilie Richards (Cozy Mystery) – the 4th book in the ‘Ministry for Murder’ series starring Aggie Sloan-Wilcox, wife of a small town Minister and mother of two girls. She is asked to drive around a celebrity to save costs for a fund raising event when he is found dead. The main suspect is his ex-wife who has just moved to town. Aggie decides to prove the ex-wife’s innocence, but there is a long list of people who would have like to kill the victim!!!

Addition by Toni Jordan (Chick Lit) – Just picked this up and I am only a few pages in – the blurb says: Grace Lisa Vandenburg counts. She counts the letters in her name (19). The steps she takes every morning to the local café (920); the number of poppy seeds on her slice of orange cake, which dictates the number of bites she’ll take to finish it. Grace counts everything, because numbers hold the world together. And she needs to keep an eye on how they’re doing. Then comes along Seamus Joseph O’Reilly (also a 19, with the sexiest hands Grace has ever seen) who thinks she might be better off without the counting.

3. Quote/s and links for the week

First a link:

You have heard of the slow food movement? Well Maura Kelly proposes a slow books movement – 30 minutes a day to read classic books:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/03/a-slow-books-manifesto/254884/

next – some quotes:

The first is from the first page of ‘The Trader’s Wife’ by Anna Jacobs, in fact it is the opening line:

“…The steamy heat of Singapore wrapped itself round Isabella Saunders like a warm blanket as she walked to the interview…”

The next is from page 10 of Cherry Ames, Student Nurse by Helen Wells:

“… For all her dreams and hopes, she still was not sure nursing was for her. All the tales she had ever heard flashed through her mind – you see so much suffering, you scrub floors, you might give the patients the wrong medicine, and all the other nightmares…”

Finally from page 214 of ‘The Exact Same Moon: Fifty Acres and a Family’ by Jeanne Marie Laskas:

"…I lower my head onto the steering wheel. And it’s here, outside an abandoned coal mine, sitting in a car next to a beagle wearing a bright red bow, that I sob the sob of a lifetime…"

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Here is my reading summary for the week ending 25th March 2012

Each week I give a short summary for each book I have finished. I will also give you a sneak peek of all the books I am currently reading (as I never read just one book at a time) and I will also share any quotes or internet links that catch my eye.

A= Excellent Stuff

B= Really Good Read

C= Average

D= it was OK, a bit of a struggle to finish.

1. This week I have finished:

  • Cherry Ames, Student Nurse by Helen Wells (Mystery/Adventure) – A

I devoured these teen ‘career’ books in my teens. There are 27 books in the Cherry Ames series and I did read all of them. Cherry Ames, Student Nurse is the first book and we are introduced to Cherry and her friends. The series was started in the early 1940s at the height of WWII and were originally designed to encourage girls to become nurses and join the war effort. Each story has a set of challenges to conquer and a mystery to solve, in this book Cherry has to convince a grumpy head surgeon she is ok as a nurse and break the rules to save a life.

  • The Trader’s Wife by Anna Jacobs (Historical Romance) – B

Anna Jacobs is a new Australian author for me I read this book because it starts out being set in Singapore in 1865 and I am reading books set in Singapore prior to my upcoming visit there in a few weeks. The first of a new historical romance series we are introduced to the orphaned English girl, Isabella, who has been living with a Chinese trader’s family teaching them all English. Mr Lee took her in when the European community turned its back on her welfare after the death of her parents. Trouble is the European community considers her to be a ‘fallen’ woman and believe she is the trader’s mistress – which is not true. Mr Lee and his mother are anxious about her reputation and look for ways to reinstate Isabella with her own kind. Mr Lee meets a nice young man called Bram who has left Ireland and newly arrived in Singapore to seek his fortune by setting up as a trader between Singapore and Western Australia. Bram rescues Isabella from being mugged so Mr Lee has now said he will help Bram set up his business in exchange for Bram marrying Isabella – Bram thinks Isabella is a bit of OK and Isabella isn’t displeased with Bram, so the two agree to the wedding and sail to Australia where further adventures await. I have to confess I got a little confused at the start of the book – obviously some of these characters have appeared in previous books and I was expected to know them. Once I got over this I settled in and enjoyed the different interconnecting storylines.

  • The Song of Silver Frond by Catherine Lim (Historical) – B

A story set in 1940′s Singapore about how a very poor, young and beautiful village girl, Silver Frond, becomes as the fourth wife to a rich elderly man and how she unwittingly alters the existing relationships within this family. The book gives an outsider insight into a vanished world, where traditions and custom dictate relationships, and more than one wife for the rich is considered normal. The Song of Silver Frond focuses less on Singapore the place and more on the characters and how they interact with each other. Silver Frond is very innocent and totally out of her depth and has no idea who to trust for advice. The story bogged down occasionally, and was a bit repetitive at times but that was all part of the lyrical flow of the story – a written version of a Chinese opera. I will certainly be looking up more of her work.

2. My Current reads:

The books I am currently reading are:

The Seeds of Time by John Wyndham (Science Fiction/Short Stories) – These are a collection of 10 short stories written by John Wyndham, they cover romance, time-traveling, racism, alien invasion, robots and advanced medical treatments that go horribly wrong. Read it years ago, I am renewing my acquaintance with these wonderful tales.

A Lie for a Lie by Emilie Richards (Cozy Mystery) – the 4th book in the ‘Ministry for Murder’ series starring Aggie Sloan-Wilcox, wife of a small town Minister and mother of two girls. She is asked to drive around a celebrity to save costs for a fund raising event when he is found dead. The main suspect is his ex-wife who has just moved to town. Aggie decides to prove the ex-wife’s innocence, but there is a long list of people who would have like to kill the victim!!!

The Missing by PD Martin (Mystery) – Two Sophie Anderson short stories – one set before book 1 in the series (Body Count) and one set after Body Count.

3. Quote/s and links for the week

This blog is owned by a gentleman who has a rare and used books store and he photographs the unusual, and sometimes quite moving, things that he finds in the books – http://www.forgottenbookmarks.com/

And this is a wonderful description of how much books mean to a bookworm -

http://www.sarahaddisonallen.com/so_you_know.html

Now to some quotes:

The first is from the first page of ‘The Trader’s Wife’ by Anna Jacobs, in fact it is the opening line:

“…The steamy heat of Singapore wrapped itself round Isabella Saunders like a warm blanket as she walked to the interview…”

The next is from page 10 of Cherry Ames, Student Nurse by Helen Wells:

“… For all her dreams and hopes, she still was not sure nursing was for her. All the tales she had ever heard flashed through her mind – you see so much suffering, you scrub floors, you might give the patients the wrong medicine, and all the other nightmares…”

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Here is my reading summary for the week ending 18th March 2012

Each week I give a short summary of the books I have finished and a bit of a blurb for each. I will also give you a sneak peek of all the books I am currently reading (as I never read just one book at a time) and I will also share any quotes or internet links that catch my eye.

A= Excellent Stuff

B= Really Good Read

C= Average

D= it was OK, a bit of a struggle to finish.

1. This week I have finished:

  • The SingaporeSchool of Villainy by Shamini Flint (Mystery) – A

This is the third Inspector Singh investigation, and second that I have read. The senior partner of an International law firm has been murdered – battered to death at his desk on the upper floor of an office block that is only accessible by someone with a swipe card. Inspector Singh has been put on to the high profile case and there are no shortages of suspects – all of the murder victim’s fellow partners along with his ex-wife and new trophy wife all have a reason to kill him. There are more lies and secrets revealed than during a political campaign. Scruffy Inspector Singh drinks coffee, spills food down his shirt and smokes like a chimney as he follows one lead after another to get his murderer. A nice touch was the way the author brought home that there is still a death penalty in Singapore and the book ends up at the gallows. Just whose neck is not revealed until after heaps of twists, turns and red-herrings – or should that be red Singapore Chili crab?

  • Birthmarked by Caragh O’Brien (YA Dystopian) – A

The story takes place about 4,000 years into our future after global warming has changed the structure of human society into the haves that live in side ‘The Enclave and the have-nots that live outside. Life is harsh for those who live outside the ‘Enclave’ but Gaia is a trainee midwife and has always believed that the rules imposed by the Enclave are for the good of all, even though the emphasis on perfect children means that she is an outcast because of a disfiguring scar on her face. Then her parents are arrested and Gaia starts to question everything she thought right. She decides to sneak into the Enclave and somehow rescue her parents only to find out that the grass really isn’t always greener on the other side.

  • Bad Faith by David and Aimee Thurlo (Mystery) – B

The first in a series, Sister Agatha is one of the Sisters of the Blessed Adoration, a convent located in the desert of New Mexico. Sister Agatha is one of the order’s two nuns who can travel outside the cloistered community to act on behalf of the nunnery, the rest of the order are not permitted to speak to anyone outside. Father Anselm is the chaplain for the order and the book opens as he arrives to celebrate Mass for the sisters and collapses and dies. Everyone is shocked by the young priest’s death, but even more horrified when they learn that it was murder. The local sheriff, Tom Green, is an ex-lover of Sister Agatha from before she joined the order, he is still angry that she chose the nunnery over him. In her former life Sister Agatha was an investigative journalist so the Mother Superior asks her to do some private snooping to clear the convents name. This sets the reader up for some clashes with the Sherriff.

  • What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (Women’s Fiction) – A

It is 2008 and Alice is riding a stationery bike at her Friday Gym session when she falls off and bangs her head. When she wakes up she is convinced it is 1998 and she is pregnant with her first child and she and her adored husband Nick are trying to decide on names. She is taken to hospital and she soon finds out that she has lost 10 years of her life. She is not pregnant with her first child she actually has three children who she has no recollection of. And she and her beloved nick are in the throes a very nasty divorce. The story follows Alice as she struggles to remember and also struggles to understand why she has become a person who ten years ago she would have hated. An excellent read.

2. My Current reads:

The books I am currently reading are:

Cherry Ames, Student Nurse by Helen Wells (Mystery Adventure) – I devoured these teen ‘career’ books in my teens. There are 27 books in the Cherry Ames series and I did read all of them. Cherry Ames, Student Nurse is the first book and we are introduced to Cherry and her friends. They were started in the early 1940s at the height of WWII and were originally designed to encourage girls to become nurses and join the war effort. Each story has a mystery for Cherry to solve and this one involves a secret patient.

The Seeds of Time by John Wyndham (Science Fiction/Short Stories) – These are a collection of 10 short stories written by John Wyndham, they cover romance, time-traveling, racism, alien invasion, robots and advanced medical treatments that go horribly wrong. Read it years ago, I am renewing my acquaintance with these wonderful tales.

The Trader’s Wife by Anna Jacobs (Historical Romance) – A new Australian author for me I am reading this book because it starts out being set in Singapore. The main characters are about to head off to Australia though. Set in the 1860s a Chinese trader who has been mentoring Isabella in exchange for English lessons has arranged a marriage between Isabella and Bram. Isabella and Bram are not ready to settle but are attracted to each other so have agreed.

3. Quote/s and links for the week

Time Out New York has come up with a list of what it says are the top 50 books for kids – do you agree and how many have you read? I have to admit that I haven’t heard of some of them.

http://timeoutnewyorkkids.com/things-to-do/213059/the-50-best-books-for-kids

Staying with lists here is a link to a list of the 100 greatest kid’s books ever ranked by Scholastic Parent & Child magazine, haven’t heard of some of these either :)

http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/story/2012-02-14/100-greatest-books-for-kids/53095042/1

Finally have a look at the 20 most beautiful bookshops in the world:

http://disseminus.com/2012/02/02/the-20-most-beautiful-bookstores-in-the-world/

Now to some quotes:

The first is from page 212 of ‘Birthmarked’ by Caragh O’Brien:

“…A burst of realization hit her: the camera didn’t reach the bathroom…”

The next is from ‘What Alice Forgot’ by Liane Moriarty which is an e-book without page numbers so this quote is found at the 23% point:

“…It was as unforgettable a fact as I have three children and my husband whom I adore has moved out of our house, but somehow she’d forgotten it. None of it could be true. It must all be an absolutely huge, elaborate practical joke. It must be an incredibly realistic dream. A vivid hallucination. A nightmare that kept going and going…”

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Here is my reading summary for the week ending 11th March 2012

Each week I give a short summary of the books I have finished and a bit of a blurb for each. I will also give you a sneak peek of all the books I am currently reading (as I never read just one book at a time) and I will also share any quotes or internet links that catch my eye.

A= Excellent Stuff
B= Really Good Read
C= Average
D= it was OK, a bit of a struggle to finish.

1. This week I have finished:

  • The Good Life: Up the Yukon Without a Paddle by Dorian Amos (Non-fiction) – D

Dorian Amos was a cartoonist from Cornwall, he and his wife decided that they were in need of adventure, so they gave up their comfortable life and traveled to Yukon Territory in the remote Canadian wilderness. I found myself aghast at some of the really, really stupid and irresponsible things they did, it is a wonder they survived, BUT they had an unshakable belief in their dream to live in the Yukon and they did not give up at all in following that dream – though they did think about it.

  • Emma the Easter Fairy by Daisy Meadows (Children’s Fantasy) – B

A delightful story for little girls! Rachel and Kirsty are looking forwards to Easter but the two friends are shocked to find that the nasty Jack Frost has stolen the Easter Bunny and the 3 magical Easter eggs made by Emma the Easter Fairy have been lost. The three friends have to outwit the tricky goblins, find the missing eggs and rescue the Easter Bunny or there will be no Easter this year.

  • Ravensdale Spring by Kate Fielding (General Fiction) – B

I really enjoyed this thrilling village read. When a couple of children fall ill with cancer it looks as though they have one thing in common – they each had a parent that works in a nearby nuclear power station. Laura Grant is a doctor in a small medical practice in Ravensdale and as she watches as the emotions of the frightened villagers get to of control she finds she is not so sure that the media and villagers are being objective in their hunt for a reason for the cancer. Pretty soon she is being threatened despite the fact that she is not front-line and centre with the investigative group. Kate Fielding gets inside the heads of all those connected; the parents of the children, the doctors that fight to save the children, and their friends and family. No one is unaffected, children struggle with lack of attention during their sibling’s illness, their parents struggle to keep their love intact, and doctors struggle to find the right words to say when asked why. A very good read.

  • Castles, Follies and Four-leaf Clovers by Rosamund Burton (Non-Fiction) – C

Born in Ireland and now living in Australia Rosamund Burton is given a map of the ancient highway and pilgrim route in Ireland called ‘St Declan’s Way’ and decides to walk it to get in touch with her Irish heritage. The story follow’s her adventures as she traces the footsteps of St Declan. The track is not an easy stroll – she climbs mountains, looks for fairy forts, castles, wells that perform miracles and talking statues. Ireland demonstrates why it is the ‘Emerald Isle’ as much of the walking is done in torrential rain. But when the sun comes out life is good. Rosamund even convinced me that fairies and leprechauns may really exist.

2. My Current reads:

The books I am currently reading are:

Bad Faith by David and Aimee Thurlo (Mystery) – Sister Agatha is one of the Sisters of the Blessed Adoration, located in the desert of New Mexico. Sister Agatha is one of the order’s two nuns who can travel outside the cloistered community, the rest of the order are not permitted to speak to anyone outside the cloistered community. Father Anselm is the chaplain for the order and the book opens as he arrives to celebrate Mass for the sisters and collapses and dies. Everyone is shocked the young priest’s death, but more aghast to learn that the local sheriff, Tom Green, believes the death to be a homicide. Before she became Sister Agatha she and Tom had a torrid love affair and twenty years later he is still holding a grudge. The two of them now find they have to work together to solve the crime. A lovely little cosy.

The Singapore School of Villainy by Shamini Flint (Mystery) – the third Inspector Singh investigation. The senior partner of an International law firm has been murdered – battered to dead at his desk on the upper floor of an office block that is only accessible by a swipe card. Inspector Singh has been put on to the high profile case and there are no shortages of suspects – all of his fellow partners along with his ex-wife and new trophy wife have reason to kill him. Scruffy Inspector Singh drinks coffee, spills food down his shirt and smokes like a chimney as he follows one lead after another. I am about half way through and really enjoying the tale.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (Women’s Fiction) – It is 2008 and Alice is riding a stationery bike at her Friday Gym session when she falls off and bangs her head. When she wakes up she is convinced it is 1998 and she is pregnant with her first child and she and her adored husband Nick are trying to decide on names. She is taken to hospital and her suster has just arrived who soon tells Alice the truth – she has lost 10 years of her life, she has not one but three children and she has just looked at a photo she found in her backpack and they are like perfect strangers, and she and Nick are going through a nasty divorce. I have left Alice sitting in her hospital bed crying at the discovery.

3. Quote/s for the week

The first is from page 8 of ‘What Alice Forgot’ by Liane Moriarty:

“…“How old are you, Alice?”
“I’m twenty-nine, Jane.” Alice was irritated by Jane’s dramatic tone. What was she getting at? “Same age as you.”
Jane sat back up and looked at George Clooney triumphantly.
She said, “I just got an invitation to her fortieth birthday.”
That was the day Alice Mary Love went to the gym and carelessly misplaced a decade of her life…”

The next is from pg 113 of ‘The Singapore School of Villainy’ by Shamini Flint:

"…The dark clouds that had been gathering so ominously on the horizon unleashed their full might over the Republic Tower. Rain lashed against the reinforced glass. It appeared as if someone was chucking buckets of water at the window; individual drops were all but indistinguishable. From time to time, the sky was lit up by sheets of lightening. It was so dark outside, night might have fallen. Annie stopped to admire the ferocity of the storm…"

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Here is my reading summary for the week ending 4th March 2012 (well is two weeks really because I didn’t finish any the previous week)

Each week I give a short summary of the books I have finished and a bit of a blurb for each. I will also give you a sneak peek of all the books I am currently reading (as I never read just one book at a time) and I will also share any quotes or internet links that catch my eye.

A= Excellent Stuff

B= Really Good Read

C= Average

D= it was OK, a bit of a struggle to finish.

1. This week I have finished:

  • Silent Fear by Katherine Howell (Mystery/Thriller) – A

What can I say – book 5 in the series and Katherine Howell just keeps on getting better. Silent Fear drew me in from the first page and did not let me go until I had finished. It was unputdownable! It opens on a stinking hot December day in Sydney, paramedic Holly and her partner are sent to a suspected heart attack victim in a park, when they arrive they discover the victim has been shot in the head. Detective Ella Marconi returns to take part in the investigation, but this is more Holly’s story this time, a woman with a hidden past who has to find the strength to bring the past into the present and become a stronger person for it. Katherine worked as a Sydney paramedic herself so she knows her stuff, Silent Fear is a fast paced thriller with several sub-plots going on complete with twists and turns as the stories intersect briefly and then part again. Thank GOODNESS she is already working on the next book!

  • Under a Different Sky by Meira Chand (Historical Saga) – B

Getting ready for my upcoming holiday in Singapore I have a small pile of novels that are set there to work through. This saga follows three different people, each from different nationalities starting with the Chinatown riots in the 1920s through the war years and the Japanese occupation and on to the independence rally’s of the 1950’s. Howard is a hard-working middle-class Eurasian boy whose mother runs a boarding house, Mei Lan is a rich Chinese girl. They first meet as children when their bus is caught up in riots instigated by the Chinese communists. Also on the bus is Raj, a poor recent immigrant from India. Over the next 30 years their lives, and those of their families, intersect against the backdrop of the, at times violent, journey of Singapore to independence.

  • The Shelly Beach Writer’s Group by June Loves (Hen’s lit) – B

Hens lit is Chick lit for the mature reader – when Gina’s husband dumps her for his much younger PA; almost immediately their jointly-owned company goes belly up and the publication of her first novel is cancelled. Gina agrees to be a house-sitter for six months in a cottage complete with dog at the tiny beachside hamlet of Shelly Beach. Her idea is to wallow in self-pity and decide what to do with the rest of her life – alone. She soon learns that ‘alone’ is not an option – the dog has a demanding schedule of his own, babysitting the bossy child next door is part of her duties, as is convening the Shelly Beach writers’ group. Soon her social life is as busy as ever and life starts to look good again.

2. My Current reads:

The books I am currently reading are:

Unsaid by Neil Abramson (General Fiction) – Helena has died, but her spirit remains as she watches her husband struggling to cope with her death. Have just started this one for a bookclub read, and not into it yet. Will see how we go – I understand it is a tear jerker.

The Good Life: Up the Yukon Without a Paddle by Dorian Amos (Non-fiction) – Dorian Amos was a cartoonist from Cornwall, he and his wife decided that they were in need of adventure, so they gave up their comfortable life and traveled to Yukon Territory in the remote Canadian wilderness.

Castles, Follies and Four-leaf Clovers by Rosamund Burton (Non-Fiction) – Rosamund is given a map of the ancient highway and pilgrim route ‘St Declan’s Way’ and decides to walk it. The story follow’s her adventures as she traces the footsteps of St Declan. The track is not an easy stroll – she climbs mountains, looks for fairy forts, castles, wells that perform miracles and talking statues. The blurb says “…Stories of goddesses, ghosts and fairies are intertwined with the eccentricities and daily lives of everyday people…”

3. Quote/s for the week

The first is from page 165 of ‘Under a Different Sky’ by Meira Chand:

“…Although the MDU had been forced to disband, the commitment to Independence was now even stronger. The future lies under a different sky, a bespectacled Chinese had told him on that first MDU meeting Krishna had taken him to. Perhaps, Howard thought, behind the thin clouds drifting above him, that the unknown sky already lay waiting….”

The next is from pg 1 of ‘Unsaid’ by Neil Abramson:

"…Every living thing dies. There’s no stopping it…"

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Here is my reading summary for the week ending 19th February 2012.

Each week I give a short summary of the books I have finished and a bit of a blurb for each. I will also give you a sneak peek of all the books I am currently reading (as I never read just one book at a time) and I will also share any quotes or internet links that catch my eye.

A= Excellent Stuff

B= Really Good Read

C= Average

D= it was OK, a bit of a struggle to finish.

1. This week I have finished:

  • Into The Forest by Jean Hegland (YA Science Fiction) – A

Into The Forest by Jean Hegland focuses on two teenage sisters living alone in their remote Northern California forest home. Nell and Eva struggle to survive as their parents die and society begins to decay and collapse around them. No single event causes society’s fall. There is talk of a war overseas, local political upheavals and then flu epidemics kill thousands. One day the electricity and petrol runs out. The sisters stay in the house, and wait for the power to return. They fear what is in the forest – but maybe the forest will keep them safe. Nell writes her recollections of the events in the book. It is beautifully descriptive piece of work, Hegland mostly shows rather than tells – but when she does tell (i.e. the conversations between the two girls) so much is revealed in just a few words.

  • A Round-heeled Woman by Jane Juska (Memoir) – D

An interesting concept – this is Jane Juska’s memoir about when the sixty-six year old retired teacher decides she needs lots of sex before she turns sixty-seven and places an ad in a New York paper to this effect. The memoir then describes the series of dalliances she had with men ranging in age from a toy-boy thirty-three to an elderly eighty-two. Apparently round-heeled is an older descriptive word for a loose or promiscuous woman – which is certainly an apt title. I didn’t have a problem with her age – I did have a problem with her just having sex with a man for the sake of it. That doesn’t make her wanton or loose – just not something I would do. I didn’t like her style of writing. She tried to be light-hearted about it but just didn’t pull it off. I wonder if she told the men she slept with (or tried to sleep with) that they were going in a book?

2. My Current reads:

The books I am currently reading are:

Doc by Mary Doria Russell – The real story of Doc Holliday, concentrates on the known facts in relation to the history of the time. It is a story written around the social aspect of his life. I am not a lover of westerns – but I am enjoying this read.

Silent Fear by Katherine Howell – unfortunately for ‘Doc’ I picked Katherine Howell’s latest book up this morning and I am already at page 98 so I can see that this will be a book that will be read exclusively until it is finished.

3. Quote/s for the week

What do you read when traveling on a plane? A link of interest:

http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/travel/high-brow-lit-for-high-fliers-not-me.html

The first is from page 165 of ‘Into the Forest’ by Jean Hegland:

“…Several times in the days between then and now, I’ve been swept by a worry so strong and cold it felt like getting caught in an ocean wave, tumbling in a wash of icy water and gritty sand, unable to breath, fighting to find which way is up…”

The next is from pg 187 of ‘Silent Fear’ by Katherine Howell:

"…They faced the body, pale and still and naked on the cold steel table, the motionless chest waiting for the knife…"

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