All posts filed under: Books

Book Review – ‘The German Girl’

Title: The German Girl Author: Armando Lucas Correa (translated by Nick Caistor) Genre: Fiction (historical) Release date: 1st December, 2016 Rating: ★★★★  “Before everything changed, Hannah Rosenthal lived a charmed life. But now the streets of Berlin are draped in swastikas and Hannah is no longer welcome in the places she once considered home. A glimmer of hope appears in the shape of the St Louis, a transatlantic liner that promises Jews safe passage to Cuba. The Rosenthals sell everything to fund visas and tickets. At first the liner feels like luxury, but as they travel the circumstances of war change, and it soon becomes their prison. Seven decades later in New York, on her twelfth birthday Anna Rosen receives a package from Hannah, the great-aunt she never met but who raised her deceased father. Anna and her mother immediately travel to Cuba to meet this elderly relative, and for the first time Hannah tells them the untold story of her voyage on the St Louis.” (Simon & Schuster) First, here’s a couple of reasons you should read this: With …

My Top 10 New Releases of 2016

I’m getting in early with my Top 10 New Releases for this year for three reasons. I don’t think I’ll read any more new releases this year, and I suspect that any I do won’t be up to the standards of my top ten. I’ve started studying again and blogging takes up a lot of time (if you let it), so I’ve written this in the past (i.e. last week) before my class starts so I can prioritise reading loads of potentially less exciting stuff. This is probably going to be my last post for a while which means there will soon be tumbleweeds rolling through this little corner of the internet. I’m helping you guys out! Maybe there’ll be a book on here you can ask someone to sneak under the Christmas tree for you (or you can sneak it under there yourself), or maybe there’s the perfect book on here for a reader you know. If you don’t do Christmas, maybe there’s a book on here you can buy just because (which, as …

Top Ten Tuesday: The last 10 books added to my Goodreads TBR

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is to post about “Ten Books I’ve Added To My To-Be-Read List Lately”. I decided to focus on the ten that I’ve most recently added to my ever growing to be read shelf on Goodreads. Surprisingly they’re a bunch of books that I will more than likely read, rather than some that I’ve just clicked “Want to Read” for the heck of it. 10. The Damned Volume I: Three Days Dead by Cullen Bunn. [Goodreads] WHY I ADDED IT: because NetGalley likes to tempt me every now and then with an email FILLED with new graphic novels and comics and they got me this time. Also, it’s written by Cullen Bunn who is the writer for another comic I read, Harrow County, which is super creepy and amazing. Also ALSO, the main character in The Damned has no soul; add to that the demons that appear in it and the pretty snappy looking noirish artwork and I can’t think of a reason to not …

Six Degrees of Separation // ‘Never Let Me Go’

Six Degrees of Separation is hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. It goes like this: “On the first Saturday of every month, a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. Readers and bloggers are invited to join in by creating their own ‘chain’ leading from the selected book.” Then you head on over to Kate’s blog and link up. Easy. Unsurprisingly (if you happen to have seen my last two Six Degrees posts), I haven’t read this month’s starter book, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. Neither have I read the book I’m linking it to, this one another of Ishiguro’s – The Buried Giant. I do own a copy of that book though, so it’s a start. The link to the next book is fairly obvious – it too has the word “giant” in the title. In The Giant O’Brien by Hilary Mantel, two characters are facing off: the titular giant, Charles O’Brien (based on a real life giant named …

Book Review – ‘Wayward Heroes’

Title: Wayward Heroes Author: Halldór Laxness (translated by Phillip Roughton) Genre: Fiction (literary) Release date: 1st November, 2016 Rating: ★★★★ “This reworking of Iceland’s ancient tales, set against a backdrop of the medieval Norse world, complete with Viking raids, battles enshrined in skaldic lays, saints’ cults, clashes between secular and spiritual authorities, journeys to faraway lands and abodes of trolls, legitimate claimants and pretenders to thrones, was written during the post-WWII buildup to the Cold War, and Laxness uses it as a vehicle for a critique of global militarism and belligerent national posturing that was as rampant then as now. This he does purposefully, though indirectly, by satirizing the spirit of the old sagas, represented especially in the novel’s main characters, the sworn brothers Þormóður Bessason and Þorgeir Hávarsson, warriors who blindly pursue ideals that lead to the imposition of power through violent means. The two see the world around them only through a veil of heroic illusion covering their eyes: kings are fit either to be praised in poetry or toppled from their thrones, other men only to kill or be killed by, while women are more …

Teaser Tuesday // Rivers of London

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jen at Books and A Beat. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share two sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers! This week (I hope) sees the release of the next book in the ‘PC Grant’ series by Ben Aaronovitch. So it seemed like a good time to set out on a reread of the entire series (actually, I should have started this months ago, but the release date of the new book kept getting pushed back, so I procrastinated), starting out with the first book, Rivers of London. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this series, it’s kind of like ‘Harry Potter’ meets ‘The Bill’. It’s magical and dark, and definitely not for the kiddies. So if you’re after a new series to read I can highly recommend this one – you’ll devour it in no time. Here’s just the first sentence (it’s …

The round up // October 2016

Another month has gone by in a blur. Surely someone has hit the fast forward button on the last two months of 2016, which can only be a good thing. This year has been like a scary rollercoaster ride with loads of ups and downs that doesn’t seem like it’s going to end, but then all of a sudden it’s over and you just walk around in a daze for a bit, coming down from the adrenaline rush. October was ok, I think. I got loads of reading in, was reasonably productive at work and around the home, and that’s all there is to report really. Oh, I did participate in my first Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon which was fun. I had a much more casual approach to it than I have for the 24 in 48 Readathon; I was so casual about it in fact, that I didn’t even keep track of how much time I actually spent reading over the 24 hours, and I didn’t write a wrap up post. It was really …

Little reviews // October 2016

I’ve got three little reviews this month – one a new release that I’ve been waiting for for a year, and two audiobooks that were spur of the moment downloads and were both fantastic. ALL OF THESE WERE FIVE STAR READS!! Can you believe that?? The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life Author: John le Carré Genre: Non-fiction (autobiography/memoir) Release Date: September 8th, 2016 Rating: ★★★★★ [Goodreads] I wanted to dedicate a whole post to this book, because it’s so special to me and it deserves it. But the reality is that a post of any great length would have just been a gush fest with very little substance to it. So a short post it is – being succinct is sometimes best with books we love. Although this book falls best into the memoir category it isn’t really a memoir; as the title suggest it’s more like a collection of stories. Any fan of le Carré is guaranteed to enjoy this book. Not only are we given an insight into his writing process, but along …

Book Review – ‘The Mystery of the Three Orchids’

Title: The Mystery of the Three Orchids (Commissario De Vincenzi #12) Author: Augusto De Angelis (translated by Jill Foulston) Genre: Fiction (mystery/crime) Release Date: 8th August, 2016 (first published in 1942) Rating: ★★★ “Death is in the air at one of Milan’s great fashion houses. As a new collection is unveiled, and the wealthy rub shoulders with the glamorous, owner Cristiana O’Brian escapes upstairs to discover the strangled body of her servant slumped on her bed – a single orchid by his side. When Inspector De Vincenzi is called in to investigate, the brilliant detective is puzzled; why is Cristiana behaving so suspiciously? And what is her estranged ex husband doing there? As two further corpses appear, each accompanied by an orchid, De Vincenzi must see through dirty tricks and slippery clues in order to uncover the real killer. Augusto De Angelis’s notorious sleuth returns in a cryptic murder mystery teeming with blackmail, deceit and revenge.” (Pushkin Press) This is the third book in the ‘Inspector De Vincenzi’ series that I’ve read (the others were The …

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon // October 2016

IT’S READATHON THIS WEEKEND YOU GUYS. This’ll be the first time I’m participating in Dewey’s. The last couple I’ve had something on so I haven’t been able to participate. BUT I’M GOING TO DO IT THIS TIME. What is Dewey’s? You can check out all the details on the official website (you should sign up while you’re there), but basically it’s, wait for it, a 24 hour readathon. Whuuuut? Yes. For 24 hours you just. have. to. read. (and snack.) Thrilling, right? This one has an official start and finish time so everyone reads together. SOOOO if you’re in Australia, please come read with me! It starts at 11pm Saturday night Sydney time, so it’ll be a slightly earlier starts for those of you in Brisbane and the westerly states. I’ll be having midnight mac & cheese which I’m really excited about. Here’s a picture of my potential reading stack: I’ve got a few books on the go at the moment so I’d like to make a dent in those – War & Peace in …