(ACK! Just spent over an hour writing this and wordpress crashed! Fortunately I had saved a bit of it.)
As threatened I’ve compiled a list my July/August (to date) reading.
Holy!Goodness! I hadn’t realised how much I’d read. Little wonder I’m not accomplishing much else (though when on a roll I do read while folding laundry, cooking, doing dishes, doing squats and sit-ups and whereever else I can manage).
I’m learning a (fortunately not expensive!) lesson about bargain novels! And that I really need to keep notes as I go.
On with the show:
✪ Paddy Manning: Born to Rule: The unauthorised biography of Malcolm Turnbull (strangely now doesn’t seem to be available on amazon.com.au).
I have a lot of feelings about this.
Bought in December when it was such a relief to have the urbane, educated, moderate Turnbull as PM after the National Embarrassment of Tony (SirPrincePhilip) Abbott. I’d really enjoyed Annabel Crabb’s 2009 essay on Turnbull – which I now realise was a bit of a hagiography – and expected kind of similar.
The book went on hold while I spent a few months ploughing through War and Peace. Started reading just before the Federal election was called and it took an age to get through. I think this was because the combination of the contents and the campaign left my with quite the sour taste and not a little loathing. Why I did not abandon it and move on to something else is something I need to work on!
And then it was onto something a little lighter:
✪ Viveca Sten: Still Waters (Sandhamn Murders Book 1). Not terrible, not brilliant. I found it to be quite a bit like Camilla Lackberg, but admittedly that could be a translation thing.
✪ Viveca Sten: Closed Circles (Sandhamn Murders). On a kick. Didn’t think this quite measured up to the first. Fortunately there were no more in the amazon store, else I would have probably bought them just to finish the series.
✪ Elizabeth Edmondson: A Man of Some Repute (A Very English Mystery Book 1). Seduced by cover and ridiculously cheap price of $1.49. I suspect full of anachronisms, but I couldn’t be bothered confirming because I wasn’t that engaged. A little clunky and ham-fisted in parts, occasionally charming. I regret not book-marking some of the more terrible lines.
✪ Elizabeth Edmondson: A Question of Inheritance (A Very English Mystery Book 2). Clearly I was engaged enough to lash out an extra $1.49 and read the next in the series. Again, thankfully there were only two. More clunky, less charming. Not awful.
✪ Janie Bolitho: Plotted in Cornwall (Rose Trevelyan Series). Somewhat hard going. Desperately needed the services of a good editor. Another example of books being under $5.00 for a reason.
✪ It was here that I did something I rarely do – abandoned a truly dreadful book after the second chapter and requested a refund from Amazon. Even though the book cost, like $0.99, it was the principle of the thing. By all that is right and good, avoid Karen Charlton: The Heiress of Linn Hagh (The Detective Lavender Mysteries Book 1). Awful.
✪ Jorn Lier Horst: Dregs (William Wisting Mystery). More Nordic. Another one of my bargains ($2.89). Rather more gritty than the Vivica Sten. I can’t say I was really engaged. This is a series, and miraculously I avoided getting the rest because …
Oh shiny! …
✪ Liane Moriarty: Truly Madly Guilty. Pre-ordered as soon as amazon told me it was a thing. I don’t know what it is, but I really respond well to her characters – she does Sydney and its inhabitants really well.
✪ Liane Moriarty: The Hypnotist’s Love Story. I then went on a bit of a Liane Moriarty frenzy and read the entire back catalogue. I guess I would call it charming (possibly a bit twee, but enjoyable twee).
✪ Liane Moriarty: What Alice Forgot. The conceit of this is that Alice hits her head at the gym and loses her memory of the last 10 years. This lead to a whole lot of speculation of what 10 years ago carolbaby would think of current carolbaby’s life – which I should add to that list of things to post about (I’d actually been thinking about that .
Fave quote: “Whereas Alice was from the stodgy northwest, home to happy-clappy Christians, middle managers, CPAs and conveyancers”. Nailed it.
✪ Liane Moriarty: The Last Anniversary. This is an earlier novel and I wasn’t a huge fan of it – though infinitely better than my bargain novels!
✪ Liane Moriarty: Three Wishes. Least favourite – a little bit frenzied, verging on the manic (which kind of suited the characters, so perhaps intentional). Later novels are definitely better.
✪ Clive Cussler: The Emperor’s Revenge: Oregon Files #11 (The Oregon Files) (oops – read #11 before #10) – deliciously terribly written and absolutely preposterous plots as ever. Fave quotes: “Because I’ve got my eye on a thirty-acre estate in Sydney”. “It caught him in midflight, chopping him to pieces in a spray of blood and gore. Nothing larger than a hand made it to the ground”.
I’ve just started Helen Russell: The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country after reading a sample chapter.
I do like the whole “read a sample chapter” thing. I should employ it more often to avoid disappointment!
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