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Monday, August 4, 2014

Books read in July

These are the books I read in July. My favourite was The Signature of All Things, I got it for Christmas and had been saving it till I had time to devote to it, and I'm so glad I did.

 This novel takes place in my favourite time period- Victorian, and it did evoke the setting and period really well. The women characters were strong and realistic, I liked reading a book with so many determined and tough women. I loved the first half of the book, but the second half was almost like a different book, which I didn't enjoy so much.

This is the second book in the Gower Street Detective series. A nice, light read, I love the relationship and banter between Grice, the detective and his ward, March. March is a great female character, strong,  intelligent and interesting.The Victorian setting is done well, and the mystery was suspenseful, I can't wait till the next book in this series comes out!

A quick, motivating, inspirational read. Sophia Amoruso's story is fascinating and encouraging - she gives so many helpful tips that can be applied to life in or career in general, not just starting your own business.

I loved everything about this book. The main character, Alma, is fascinating, and I loved the focus on botany. Even though this was quite long, it was well-written and easy to read, and never dragged. The exotic locations were described so well, and the characters were well-rounded and realistic. I'll be writing a more thorough review in the next couple of days.

I've just realised that all of these, except #GIRLBOSS were historical fiction, and a very similar time period - oops! I'll have to make sure my reading in August is a bit more varied.

UPDATE:  Somehow, I totally forgot that I also read Currawong Manor by Josephine Pennicott
A great Australian historical mystery that takes place in the Blue Mountains of NSW. Very suspenseful and lots of twists!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

2014 Australian Womens Writers Challenge

I've signed up to the Australian Womens Writers Challenge which encourages people to read and review Australian women writers. 

I already read a lot of women writers, and am keen to read and support more Australian women writers, so this challenge is right up my alley!

I'm starting with the level of Stella: reading 4 books and if reviewing, review at least 3, as this should be achievable, especially since I am joining halfway through the year!

Review: Currawong Manor by Josephine Pennicott

I was really looking forward to this book after reading and enjoying another of Josephine Pennicott's books, Poet's Cottage.

Her latest, Currawong Manor takes place in the Blue Mountains in NSW, a place I have spent quite a bit of time in, which really added to my enjoyment of this story.

The main character, Elizabeth, is a photographer who is hired to take photos at her grandfather's house, where the whole family died or mysteriously disappeared one night decades ago. Her grandfather was a famous artist, and we have flashbacks through one of his muses, Ginger, who is finally telling her story.

I loved the descriptions of the Australian bush and the whole house, and enjoyed the art references. The cover captures the atmosphere of the novel with its moody colours and the house seen through the mist.

The mystery was compelling and at some points quite spooky, I found myself racing through the second half of the novel to discover what had happened in the past. Very suspenseful with lots of twists.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Guardian's Best Holiday Reads

The Guardian recently published its annual list of best holiday reads, as picked by authors. I really like this list, many authors recommended books that I might otherwise not heard of.

Here are some of the books that I have now added to my TBR:

Paying Guests by Sarah Waters (recommended by Philip Hensher and Charlotte Mendelson)
Well, this book was already on my list, I love Sarah Waters and can't wait for her new book, which is coming out in the next few weeks. I'm so excited about this one!

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey (recommended by Ruth Rendell)
I had already heard about this book too - it's been getting great reviews and the premise is fascinating. An elderly woman suffering from Alzheimers has left notes for herself about a missing friend.

Cold Earth by Sarah Moss (recommended by Penelope Lively)
This book is a few years old, but it sounds so interesting - a group of archeologists in isolated Greenland begin to suspect that a virus may be wiping out everyone back in civilisation.

A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie (recommended by Jeanette Winterson, Shami Chakrabarti and Antonia Fraser)
I hadn't heard of this one, but it was recommended so many times I thought I should check out a proper synopsis. It sounds great!

Are there any books on this list that you would like to read?