Category Archives: Books

Our 2013 Books so far – Listed & Rated!

Marie lists everything we read, then every year or 6 months we individually rate them out of 5 – it’s an event as prestigious as the Oscars and the Booker combined!

Click on the image below for a (slightly) larger version of our list (still learning about the technicalities of uploading to the Blog!). (RH)

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 10.21.16 AM

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July 26, 2013 · 12:15 am

Madmen Murder Mystery…with Martinis!

I picked up Liza Klaussmann’s ‘Tigers in Red Weather’ at Sydney airport in the way up to Queensland, wanting something easy but not total trash to read on the plane.  After quite a while of perusing a lot of trash OR a more literary style I didn’t feel in the mood for, this was the only one that looked like it would deliver… and it definitely did!

It went far beyond my ‘easy but not total trash’ label, so not only was I glued to it, but I was also really impressed with the writing, the twisting plot and the flawed, believable characters, especially Nick, the central female character.  What I found especially convincing and compelling was the sense of time and place Liza Klaussmann creates with her depiction of post-WWII American lives, values and marriages eased and brought down by the constant assembling and consuming of martinis or whisky sours at any time of day!

Told through the voices of 5 different main characters, each having their own section of the novel, it gave a strong feel of watching a very extended, more complex episode of ‘Madmen’, with a murder influencing everyones lives and decisions.  I thoroughly recommend it and have given it to Sally to pass on to next Book Club in my ABSENCE (sob!). (RH)

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July 25, 2013 · 11:22 pm

Erin Morgenstern’s blog

Click on the title of this post to go to the blog of wonderful author Erin Morgenstern (as mentioned in our post below about the Night Circus).  She is a fascinating and talented lady! (RH)

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May 11, 2013 · 11:06 pm

Recent reads and all-time faves

We love The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion! So far three of us have read this looney and loveable romp of a book – rom-com on steroids!  While none of us would meet all of Prof Don Tillman’s criteria for a ‘punctual, non-drinking, non-smoking female’ (well, we are female), at least one of us finds Don’s highly systematised approach to meal planning very appealing.  Don is a hoot, as is his search for a wife, and while the ending is somewhat predictable, it’s the journey that’s engaging, at times hilarious, at times poignant, at all times entertaining.  A PPBC rating of 5/5 so far. (BMcK)

Wonder by RJ Palacio could almost tip into the category of ‘tear-jerker’, it doesn’t though.  It’s leavened with humour and pathos, and fine dashes of ‘reality’ from the lead character Auggie (August).  ‘I won’t describe what I look like’ Auggie tells us, and as his story unfolds (several chapters told in his own voice) we learn he has a challenging and unusual appearance, the result of a fluke combination of genes.  Auggie has always been home schooled, and now his parents have decided he should attend a small private junior school.  The book chronicles his rocky road to acceptance among a brace of teens to whom appearance is oh so important.  It’s a teen novel, and as adult readers we all found it immensely moving, amusing, and at all times ‘real’.  It’s themes are universal:  acceptance, resilience, and the plight of those who do not meet society’s ‘norms’ for whatever reason.  A highly recommended read with a PPBC rating of 5/5. (BMcK)

The Night Circus, written by Erin Morgenstern is extraordinary.  It’s one of those novels where the reader is left pondering  ‘how on earth did the author come up with such amazing, rich, imaginative and utterly unique ideas?’  It’s an adult fairy tale of sorts, with an old-fashioned ‘fight to the death’ theme at its core.  It’s a book bursting at the seams with magic and mystique, a fantasy world populated by the circus troupe who perform incredible feats.  Erin Morgenstern is the consummate conjurer, her illusory world is a wonderful place in which to lose yourself reading this enchanting book.  Another PPBC rating of 5/5. (BMcK)

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