It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

 

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

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This flu is stubborn, and though I have felt better in the last day or so I’m still rather phlegmy. I’m honestly even more certain I do not want to catch CoVid, and so despite the looks of disapproval, I’ll keep masking when I grocery shop.

I’m looking forward to my daughter coming home at the end of this week for her mid semester break. She’ll be here for about a month or so.

Otherwise everything is fairly ordinary. It’s winter here so it’s cold, especially at night (by Australian standards), and I’m enjoying the warmth of my electric heated throw while I sit on the lounge. I may only use it for about a month every year but it’s so worth it.

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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The Surgeon’s Daughter by

The Fallback by DL Hicks

Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor

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New Posts…

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Review: Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Review: One Foot in the Fade by Luke Arnold

Review: The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentil

Review: Scrubbed by Dr Nikki Stamp

Bookshelf Bounty

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 


A gripping contemporary novel from a magnificent new talent that tackles the almost unbreakable loyalty of female friendships, the generosity of community and the lengths we will go to save a child.

Ren will do anything for her best friend, Anna. The news that Anna’s daughter Charlotte has terminal brain cancer sends them on a desperate hunt for a cure and their only hope lies in an expensive European drug trial.

Ren jumps on board Anna’s fundraising efforts, willing to put everything on the line – her reputation in their close-knit community and all the money she can beg or borrow – to secure Charlotte’s place. When the local charity drive quickly becomes a nationwide campaign, townspeople start asking questions about the trial. And Anna’s past. Questions Ren can’t answer.

The more she uncovers, the more Ren realises the truth is darker than she could ever imagine. Are there any lines that won’t be crossed in their fight for Charlotte?

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Based on a true story, a spellbinding historical novel about the world’s first female investigative journalist, Nellie Bly.

In 1887, young Nellie Bly sets out for New York and a career in journalism, determined to make her way as a serious reporter, whatever that may take.

But life in the city is tougher than she imagined. Down to her last dime and desperate to prove her worth, she comes up with a dangerous plan: to fake insanity and have herself committed to the asylum on Blackwell’s Island. There, she will work undercover to expose the asylum’s wretched conditions.

But when the asylum door swings shut behind her, she finds herself in a place of horrors, governed by a cruelty she could never have imagined. Cold, isolated and starving, her days of terror reawaken the traumatic events of her childhood. She entered the asylum of her own free will – but will she ever get out?

An extraordinary portrait of a woman ahead of her time, Madwoman is the story of a quest for the truth that changed the world

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Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Grant. That is, he loves spending time with them when they come out to Palm Springs for weeklong visits, or when he heads home to Connecticut for the holidays. But in terms of caretaking and relating to two children, no matter how adorable, Patrick is honestly a bit out of his league.

So when tragedy strikes and Maisie and Grant lose their mother and Patrick’s brother has a health crisis of his own, Patrick finds himself suddenly taking on the role of primary guardian. Despite having a set of “Guncle Rules” ready to go, Patrick has no idea what to expect, having spent years barely holding on after the loss of his great love, a somewhat-stalled career, and a lifestyle not-so-suited to a six- and a nine-year-old. Quickly realizing that parenting—even if temporary—isn’t solved with treats and jokes, Patrick’s eyes are opened to a new sense of responsibility, and the realization that, sometimes, even being larger than life means you’re unfailingly human

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Just how do you become a barrister? Why do only 1 per cent of those who study law succeed in joining this mysteriously opaque profession? And why might a practising barrister come to feel the need to reveal the lies, secrets, failures and crises at the heart of this world of wigs and gowns?

Nothing But The Truth charts an outsider’s progress down the winding path towards practising at the Bar, taking in the sometimes absurd traditions of the Inns of Court, where every meal mandates a glass of port and a toast to the Queen, to the Hunger Games-type contest for pupillage, through the endlessly frustrating experience of being a junior barrister – as a creaking, ailing justice system begins to convince them that something has to change 

Full of hilarious, shocking and surprising stories, Nothing But The Truth tracks the Secret Barrister’s transformation from hang ‘em and flog ‘em, austerity-supporting twenty-something to campaigning, bestselling, reforming author whose writing in defence of the law is celebrated around the globe. It asks questions about what we understand by justice, and what it takes to change our minds. It also reveals the darker side of working in criminal law, and how the things our justice system gets wrong are not the things most people expect.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance #SomeoneElsesChild #Madwoman #TheGuncle #NothingButtheTruth

Bookshelf Bounty


 

Every third Sunday of the month I share my Bookshelf Bounty – what’s been added to my TBR tile recently for review from publishers, purchases or gifts.

This month I’m linking up with Mailbox Monday

Click on the cover images to view at Goodreads

For Review 

(My thanks to the respective publishers)




 

 

Review: Scrubbed by Dr. Nikki Stamp

 

Title: Scrubbed

Author: Dr Nikki Stamp

Published: 1st May 2022, Allen & Unwin 

Status: Read May 2022 courtesy Allen & Unwin 

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My Thoughts:

“How did this happen? How did I get here? Hell, how did we all get here? It’s almost unfathomable that a group of people who largely started on this pathway in medicine and surgery could be anything other than kind. After all, we exist every day to make people better. What happens to make people do the exact opposite?”

Scrubbed is an honest and thought-provoking account of Dr Nikki Stamp’s career in medicine and her journey from an idealistic student to a disillusioned surgeon.

Nikki Stamp dreamed of becoming a surgeon from childhood. She endured the hard work of medical school, the punishing regime of residency, and gained a place in the prestigious fellowship program to become one of three female cardiothoracic surgeon’s in Australia, only to step away after twenty odd years to save her sanity.

Dr Stamp is not the only health professional in recent years to draw attention to the problems in the culture of the Australian medical system. I am infuriated and exhausted by the archaic, and often toxic environment, Stamp describes. Not just the prevailing culture of misogyny, but also the unreasonable, and sometimes dangerous practices, passed off as ‘tradition’ that excuses unrealistic expectations, exploitation, harassment and bullying.

I’m not at all surprised that Dr Stamp’s mental health suffered under such unrelenting pressures, and leaving her career is not just a great personal loss for Nikki, but also for those patients who may have otherwise benefited from her hard earned expertise. Such attrition, which it seems is widespread, is shameful, and completely preventable.

While the CoVid pandemic has highlighted funding and staffing problems across the spectrum of health services, from hospitals to general practice, and the stress this places on medical professionals, it’s clear that they are but two of many systemic issues plaguing the service.

I’m glad Dr Stamp has found a new passion, and is happier and healthier for it, but I remain angry at the reluctance of the system to change despite the benefits it would clearly provide to everyone, health professionals, patients and society at large.

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Available from Allen & Unwin RRP AUD$32.99

Or help support* Book’d Out

*Purchase from Booktopia*

*As an affiliate of Booktopia I may earn a small commission on your purchase at no additional cost to you.*

 

Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Medical memoir

Review: The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

 

Title: The Woman in the Library

Author: Sulari Gentill

Published: 7th June 2022, Poisoned Pen Press

Status: Read May 2022 courtesy Poisoned Pen Press/Netgalley

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My Thoughts:

 

Metafiction is a rare narrative technique, and often difficult to execute successfully, but The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill does so with ease, offering a clever and compelling mystery novel.

In this story within a story (within a story), Australian author Hannah Tigone is writing a murder mystery, inspired in part by her correspondence with American aspiring author and fan, Leo Johnson. In Hannah’s developing manuscript, Australian author Winifred ‘Freddie’ Kincaid, is in Massachusetts on a writers’ scholarship, when she becomes embroiled in a murder mystery that takes place in the Boston Public Library. As Hannah completes each chapter, Leo provides feedback via emails, the tone of which grow more imperious, and disturbing, as the story develops in ways he doesn’t like.

As Freddie, along with psychology student Marigold, law student Whit, and published author Cain whom she meets when a scream disturbs the quiet of the Boston Public Library Reading Room, tries to solve the murder of a young journalist, it’s testament to Gentill’s skill that I was invested in the story, and often forgot it’s place in the novel’s structure, in fact I occasionally resented the reminder when disrupted by Leo’s missives. With its air of a ‘locked room’ mystery, I was deftly led astray by Gentill’s misdirects, and found myself eager to discover who, how, and why the murder was committed.

I feel I have to mention the adroit way in which Gentill navigated the world events of 2019/2020, the years in which this book was set, with the CoVid pandemic, the BLM protests in the US, and the fires that ravaged the Eastern coast of Australia, all acknowledged in interesting ways.

Ingenious and intriguing, The Woman in the Library is a terrific read.

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Available from Poisoned Pen Press

Or help support* Book’d Out

*Purchase from Booktopia*

*As an affiliate of Booktopia I may earn a small commission on your purchase at no additional cost to you.*

Review: One Foot in the Fade by Luke Arnold

 

Title: One Foot in the Fade {Fetch Philips Archives #3}

Author: Luke Arnold

Published: 26th April 2022, Orbit

Status: Read May 2022 courtesy Hachette/Netgalley

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My Thoughts:

“An Angel had fallen in Sunder City: bloody, broken, and the best thing to happen in seven long years.”

One Foot in the Fade, the third instalment of the Fetch Philips Archives fantasy series, from Luke Arnold, picks up about a year after Dead Man in a Ditch ended.

‘Man for Hire’ Fetch is as determined as ever to bring magic back to Sunder City, and rescue it from the grasp of industrialist, Niles. When an angel plummets to the ground at his feet, Fetch dares to hope that redemption may finally be within reach.

While mostly retaining the same noir tone of previous books, One Foot in the Fade leans more into adventure as Fetch, after catching a jewellery thief, sets out on a cross-country quest to claim a magical artifact, and save the world he broke. Accompanied by a librarian, a genie, a werewolf, and a young college student, Fetch encounters dragons, amalgams, crazed wizards, golems, and a Minotaur in pursuit of a crown hidden in a castle in Incava.

Convinced he has a real chance of rectifying his past mistake, Fetch seems to lose what little good sense he had. Already an anti-hero, Fetch steps closer to villainy, ignoring the means in favour of his ends. I was initially disappointed to see him lose ground made in previous novels, as Fetch, impulsive and abrasive at the best of times, becomes careless and sometimes cruel. Too caught up in his dream of magic returning, Fetch brushes over the harm he is doing until he’s forced to tally the cost of his actions.

This isn’t a series I’d recommend picking up midway as Arnold expands his world with each book, but more importantly, each story relies heavily on the character growth of Fetch.

With its entertaining mix of adventure, drama and dark humour, I enjoyed One Foot in the Fade. Though Arnold may have originally planned the Fetch Phillips Archives as a trilogy, I don’t think this is necessarily the last we will see of Fetch, a possibility hinted at in the last few pages.

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Available from Hachette UK

Or help support* Book’d Out

*Buy from Booktopia*

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Review: Book Lovers by Emily Henry

 

Title: Book Lovers

Author: Emily Henry

Published: 12th May 2022, Penguin UK

Status: Read May 2022 courtesy Penguin/Netgalley

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My Thoughts:

 

“Sometimes, even when you start with the last page and you think you know everything, a book finds a way to surprise you.”

‘Five stars aren’t enough’ is what I wrote on Goodreads when I marked Emily Henry’s Book Lovers as ‘read’.

An entertaining plot, witty characters, incisive writing, and the combination thereof, all play their part, and of course no book lover can resist a book about books, but the ability to articulate why I had such a strong reaction to Book Lovers eludes me.

Told with distinctive blend of insight, heart, and wit, Henry had me smiling, laughing, aching and I even shed a tear or two.

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Available from Penguin UK

Or help support* Book’d Out

*Purchase from Booktopia*

*As an affiliate of Booktopia I may earn a small commission on your purchase at no additional cost to you.*

 

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

 

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

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I got my flu shot on Tuesday, but it seems I was too late. I woke up on Wednesday with cold/flu symptoms, I was concerned CoVid had finally caught up to me but three RAT’s have been negative so it seems it’s just a regular cold/flu. It’s hit hard though, and even now I still feel pretty awful with body aches and a fuzzy head.

(And I’ve just now realised I accidentally scheduled this post for next Monday, instead of today)

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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The Change by Kirsten Miller

The Emma Project by Somali Dev

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

The Surgeon’s Daughter by Audrey Blake

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New Posts…

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None

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 


Deep down, there’s something we’d all kill for.

I know I would. I know I have. I know I will.

Recovering addict Eric Johnstone is turning his life around until one small moment sends him down a dark path. Just months after he takes a job at the retirement village in Point Imlay, the ebbing tide reveals Eric’s body, trussed to the town’s oyster beds.

When Senior Detective John Darken’s business card is discovered in the dead man’s pocket, J.D. transfers to Point Imlay to help with the investigation. But J.D.’s life is in shambles: his job is precarious, his marriage is on the rocks, and his past haunts him constantly.

Two men whose lives are entwined – but how does one end up dead?

Together, J.D. and homicide detective Emma Capsteen – another unwelcome new face in the sleepy seaside town – work to unravel the final days of Eric’s life. But instead of answers, all they uncover are more questions. Why does a local bikie have free reign? What are the residents at Seascape Gardens retirement village hiding? And, in a town whose beating heart is community, why isn’t anyone prepared to tell the truth?

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Bloomsbury Books is an old-fashioned new and rare book store that has persisted and resisted change for a hundred years, run by men and guided by the general manager’s unbreakable fifty-one rules. But in 1950, the world is changing, especially the world of books and publishing, and at Bloomsbury Books, the girls in the shop have plans:

Vivien Lowry: Single since her aristocratic fiance was killed in action during World War II, the brilliant and stylish Vivien has a long list of grievances – most of them well justified and the biggest of which is Alec McDonough, the Head of Fiction.

Grace Perkins: Married with two sons, she’s been working to support the family following her husband’s breakdown in the aftermath of the war. Torn between duty to her family and dreams of her own.

Evie Stone: In the first class of female students from Cambridge permitted to earn a degree, Evie was denied an academic position in favor of her less accomplished male rival. Now she’s working at Bloomsbury Books while she plans to remake her own future.

As they interact with various literary figures of the time – Daphne Du Maurier, Ellen Doubleday, Sonia Blair (widow of George Orwell), Samuel Beckett, Peggy Guggenheim, and others – these three women with their complex web of relationships, goals and dreams are all working to plot out a future that is richer and more rewarding than anything society will allow.

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For the first time in her life, Evie McCarthy sees Death coming for her. Clear as day. She just wants enough time to help her family realise the important things in life.

Her big-hearted granddaughter Rosie is in love again. She falls in love too quickly and this time it’s serious.

Rosie’s married sister, new mum Molly, is sleep deprived, exhausted and wondering what happened to her life.

Rosie and Molly’s mum, Yvonne, is hiding her own devastating secret. Something so shameful she can’t face the consequences.

Between the jigs and the reels, they pull one another up and over and come to understand that sometimes you have to give up the life you planned to get the life that’s meant for you.

Funny, poignant, real and engaging, Family Matters is a thoroughly captivating story of three generations of women, each facing down their troubles to find the power of family.

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My best friend wore her name, Esther, like a queen wearing her crown at a jaunty angle. We were twelve years old when she went missing.

On a sweltering Friday afternoon in Durton, best friends Ronnie and Esther leave school together. Esther never makes it home.

Ronnie’s going to find her, she has a plan. Lewis will help. Their friend can’t be gone, Ronnie won’t believe it.

Detective Sergeant Sarah Michaels can believe it, she has seen what people are capable of. She knows more than anyone how, in a moment of weakness, a person can be driven to do something they never thought possible.

Lewis can believe it too. But he can’t reveal what he saw that afternoon at the creek without exposing his own secret.

Five days later, Esther’s buried body is discovered.

What do we owe the girl who isn’t there?

Character-rich and propulsive, with a breathtakingly original use of voice and revolving points of view, Hayley Scrivenor delves under the surface, where no one can hide. With emotional depth and sensitivity, this stunning debut shows us how much each person matters in a community that is at once falling apart and coming together.

Esther will always be a Dirt Town child, as we are its children, still.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance #TheFallout #BloomsburyGirls #FamilyMatters #DirtTown

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

 

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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One of Us by Kylie Kaden

The People on Platform 5 by Clare Pooley

Scrubbed by Nikki Stamp

Overboard by Sara Paretsky

A Stone’s Throw Away by Karly Lane

The Change by Kirsten Miller

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New Posts…

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Review: A Stone’s Throw Away by Karly Lane

Review: Remember Me by Charity Norman

Review: Wake by Shelley Burr

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #5

Review:

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

Can you stop a murder after it’s already happened?

It’s every parent’s nightmare.

Your happy, funny, innocent son commits a terrible crime: murdering a complete stranger.

You don’t know who. You don’t know why. You only know your teenage boy is in custody and his future lost.

That night you fall asleep in despair. Until you wake . . .

. . . and it is yesterday.

Every morning you wake up a day earlier, another day before the murder. Another chance to stop it.

Somewhere in the past lie the answers, and you don’t have a choice but to find them . . .

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No one can call Vansh Raje’s life anything but charmed. Handsome—Vogue has declared him California’s hottest single—and rich enough to spend all his time on missions to make the world a better place. Add to that a doting family and a contagiously sunny disposition and Vansh has made it halfway through his twenties without ever facing anything to throw him off his admittedly spectacular game.

A couple years from turning forty, Knightlina (Naina) Kohli has just gotten out of a ten-year-long fake relationship with Vansh’s brother and wants only one thing from her life…fine, two things. One, to have nothing to do with the unfairly blessed Raje family ever again. Two, to bring economic independence to millions of women in South Asia through her microfinance foundation and prove her father wrong about, well, everything.

Just when Naina’s dream is about to come to fruition, Vansh Raje shows up with his misguided Emma Project… And suddenly she’s fighting him for funding and wondering if a friends-with-benefits arrangement that’s as toe-curlingly hot as it is fun is worth risking her life’s work for.

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Women’s work is a matter of life and death.

Nora Beady, the only female student at a prestigious medical school in Bologna, is a rarity. In the 19th century women are expected to remain at home and raise children, so her unconventional, indelicate ambitions to become a licensed surgeon offend the men around her. Under constant scrutiny, Nora’s successes are taken for granted; her mistakes used as proof that women aren’t suited to the field.

Everything changes when she allies herself with Magdalena Morenco, the sole female doctor on-staff. Together the two women develop new techniques to improve a groundbreaking surgery: the Cesarean section. It’s a highly dangerous procedure and the research is grueling, but even worse is the vitriolic response from men. Most don’t trust the findings of women, and many can choose to deny their wives medical care.

Already facing resistance on all sides, Nora is shaken when she meets a patient who will die without the surgery. If the procedure is successful, her work could change the world. But a failure could cost everything: precious lives, Nora’s career, and the role women will be allowed to play in medicine.

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Rattled tells a frighteningly honest story of what it feels like to be pursued by a stalker.

What if your life were suddenly transformed by anxiety and fear? The fear of being alone, the anxiety compelling you to stay in public places and avoid predictable routines. The horrible uncertainty of not knowing whether you should fear for your life, and maybe even the lives of your children. The dreadful knowledge that, ultimately, you are powerless to escape.

Ellis Gunn’s world is turned upside down when she realises that she is being followed by a man she doesn’t know-and that she can’t make him stop. The experience conjures up other incidents of sexual harassment and abuse that she has endured, incidents she often accepted as ‘normal’. Spurred on to look deeper, she discovers that stalking is part of an underlying misogyny that more than half the population is dealing with on a daily basis.

Alarming, and at times even darkly amusing, Rattled is a thought-provoking, heart-in-your-throat memoir that begins in outrage and ends with a celebration of the howling winds of change sweeping the globe.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance #WrongPlaceWrongTime #TheSurgeonsDaughter #TheEmmaProject #Rattled

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #5

 

Welcome to the Monthly Spotlight for the

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge!

Each month I’m highlighting some of the reviews shared for the challenge in the linky

Don’t forget to link each book you read as you read during the year!

I encourage you to support all participants who have shared what they are reading for the challenge. Give them a like, leave them a comment, share their posts on Facebook, twitter, or instagram #ReadNonFicChal

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IN MAY…

 


[WILD ANIMALS]

Stranger Than Fiction read Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky, and wrote, “If I ignore that the sub-title of this book is A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, then I would say it is a very interesting history of the codfish, cod-fishing, fishing vessels, and the businesses that were created related to them. It is written in a very accessible way, sometimes reading like an adventure story.

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[SOCIAL HISTORY]

“This book, with it’s details and personal accounts of the day, some previously unpublished, put me right in the middle of the events. This is a powerful book.” writes BookShelfDiscovery of On Bloody Sunday -A New History Of The Day And Its Aftermath – By The People Who Were There by Julieanne Campbell

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[GEOGRAPHY]

Rose by Suzanne Falkiner is the biography of Rose de Freycinet who dressed as a man and stowed away on her husband’s ship, becoming the first woman to circumnavigate the globe, and to leave a record of her adventures. Says DeniseNewtonWrites, “This is a thoroughly researched book and readers get a fascinating insight into how such a voyage was planned and prepared for; maritime traditions and practices in the nineteenth century; questionable (but common) medical practices; the drive to add to scientific and navigational knowledge; the intriguing customs and manners of the people encountered in places such as Brazil, French colonies, ‘New Holland’ (now Australia), the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), Guam and the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii), for example.”

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[WILD ANIMALS]

Sue of Book by Book read Six Walks: In the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau, by Ben Shattuck which she describes as, “a beautifully written memoir that combines nature, travel, literature, and personal experience.”

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[SOCIAL HISTORY]

Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917 by Sally M Walker is a book about the collision of two ships in Halifax Harbour that resulted in the deaths of nearly 2,000 people. Bibliographic Manifestations writes, “This is a horrifying event in Canadian history told with compassion and attention to human detail.”

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What will you be reading in June?

Need some inspiration? Check out these posts

SOCIAL HISTORY and POPULAR SCIENCE

LANGUAGE and MEDICAL MEMOIR

CLIMATE/WEATHER and CELEBRITY

REFERENCE and GEOGRAPHY

LINKED TO A PODCAST and WILD ANIMALS

ECONOMICS and PUBLISHED IN 2022

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #1

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #2

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #3

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #4

Review: Wake by Shelley Burr

 

Title: Wake

Author: Shelley Burr

Published: 27th April 2022, Hachette Australia

Status: Read April 2022, Hachette Australia

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My Thoughts:

 

Wake, which won the CWA Debut Dagger in 2019, is a gripping crime novel from first time author, Shelley Burr.

Wilhelmina ‘Mina’ McCreery was nine years old when her twin sister vanished from their family farm in remote NSW. Nearly two decades later, the odd circumstances of Evelyn’s disappearance continue to haunt Mina, and she lives and works at the family farm, a virtual recluse.

Lane Holland makes his living as a private investigator, and with a younger sister who has just started university to support, the two million dollar reward on offer to solve the mystery of Evelyn’s fate is a challenge he can’t ignore, especially when it may also provide information he needs.

Wake offers a taut, well-crafted mystery that centres on the cold case involving Evelyn McCreery disappearance, but also explores the themes of family, trauma, grief, guilt, and the legacy of violence.

Mina is a sympathetic character, the trauma of her sisters disappearance, her mother’s subsequent neglect and notoriety, and the judgement of community and strangers alike, has led her to become an introvert. It’s not surprising that Mina reflexively dismisses Lane initially, and remains guarded even as she begins to hope he may find the answers that have eluded her.

Lane is determined to solve the mystery of Evelyn’s disappearance, and while he’s content for others to believe the reward is his only incentive, he a connection to the case and a hidden motive, adding an effective twist to the story. Lane works hard to earn Mina’s trust, accepting an unexpected challenge she throws at him involving another missing child, but as the pair begin to work together, he starts to feel guilty about the secret he is keeping.

I quickly became absorbed in this story, invested in the characters, and the growing tension as secrets were revealed. Clever plotting kept me guessing as to the resolution of the mystery, and Wake concludes with an extraordinary confrontation that is both harrowing and satisfying.

Atmospheric, with complex characters, and an intriguing, layered plot Wake is a compelling novel, and a fine addition to the rapidly growing genre of Australian rural noir.

++++++++

Available from Hachette Australia 

Or help support* Book’d Out

*Purchase from Booktopia*

*As an affiliate of Booktopia I may earn a small commission on your purchase at no additional cost to you.*

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