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)

 



 

 

Won

 

Thanks Reinvented Reader

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 (print)

(My thanks to the respective publishers)


 

 

For Review (ebook)


 

 

Won/Gifts

Six Degrees of Separation: Rodham to Life or Death

Hosted by Kate at booksaremyfavouriteandbest, on the first Saturday of every month, a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form Six Degrees of Separation. Readers and bloggers are invited to join in by creating their own ‘chain’ leading from the selected book.

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I had no idea where to go with Rodham since it’s unlike anything I choose to read, then, when on Goodreads I decided to page through the ‘Readers Also Enjoy’ feature of the book page, and found something I’d actually read, so let’s start there.

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I doubt Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen actually has anything in common with Rodham. Set in Atlantic City, it’s a dark, gritty story of two young women drawn into the orbit of a serial killer.

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Caitlin Doughty also writes about death, but she blends the tales of her experiences as a crematory operator, and later as a licensed mortician, with a brief historical, cultural and philosophical overview of death rituals, in Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.

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In contrast, in Drink, Smoke, Pass Out, Australian comedienne Judith Lucy writes about life, recounting her journey from hard drinking youth to a more moderate middle age as her rekindled interest in spirituality vies with her deeply ingrained cynicism.

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Lucy is the name of a supporting character in Hermit, a debut novel from S.R. White. Set in rural Australia, most of the action in Hermit takes place within a police interrogation room as Detective Dana Russo carefully coaxes information from a psychologically frail murder suspect. It results in a series of tense and unusual exchanges between the two as a tentative rapport develops, despite their nominally adversarial relationship.

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Australian bank robbers, Ray Denning and Russell ‘Mad Dog’ Cox were no strangers to the inside of a police interrogation room. In the fascinating and unexpectedly entertaining true crime book, Public Enemies, author Mark Dapin explores the lives of these anti-heroes, from childhood through to adulthood.

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International bestselling author Michael Robotham was a cadet journalist covering the night shift when he received a call from Ray Denning, who had escaped prison and was on the run. I have to wonder if his stand alone novel, Life or Death, about a prison escapee, may have been inspired in part by his connection with the notorious criminal.

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Next month the Six Degrees of Separation meme will begin with

Six Degrees of Separation: How To Do Nothing to Rohan’s Echo

Hosted by Kate at booksaremyfavouriteandbest, on the first Saturday of every month, a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form Six Degrees of Separation. Readers and bloggers are invited to join in by creating their own ‘chain’ leading from the selected book.

This month the chain begins with How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell.

“When the technologies we use every day collapse our experiences into 24/7 availability, platforms for personal branding, and products to be monetized, nothing can be quite so radical as… doing nothing. Here, Jenny Odell sends up a flare from the heart of Silicon Valley, delivering an action plan to resist capitalist narratives of productivity and techno-determinism, and to become more meaningfully connected in the process.”

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Based on the synopsis, my instinct is to leap to The Moment of Everything by Shelly King. Her protagonist is unemployed after being made redundant by a Silicon Valley tech start-up. In this charming romantic novel, Maggie knows what she doesn’t want – a marriage like her parents or to work in a bookstore. She thinks she wants a casual, fun relationship and the status and wealth of a career in high tech. It is only when she decides to make the Dragonfly profitable while waiting for ‘the’ job that she discovers that the store is exactly what she needs, and only when she nearly loses it all, what she really wants, what will make her happy.

Owning a bookstore would certainly make me happy, though few of the bookstore owners in books I’ve read seem to be so. Shaun Bythell, the author of Confessions of a Bookseller, for example, rarely seems to be anything but morose or stressed.

Working in a library would also make me happy, especially if it was one of the magnificent libraries featured in Library Architecture + Design by Manuela Roth. From the blurb, “This volume from the Masterpieces series presents outstanding examples of revolutions in library design and renovation, an architectural challenge to strike the finest balance between functionality and aesthetics.”


Architecture is the link to The Lubetkin Legacy by Marina Lewycka, a quirky, rather rambling novel which centres on characters who live in a social housing block of flats in North London named Mandelay Court. One of them is Berthold Sidebottom who has lived in the top floor apartment with his mother, Lily, for most of his life, named after the building’s architect, Berthold Lubetkin, with whom his mother claimed to have an affair.

Lily King is the author of Euphoria, a fascinating novel about three cultural anthropologists studying native tribes in Papua New Guinea in the 1930s, based loosely a real-life love triangle involving renowned anthropologists Margaret Mead, Reo Fortune, and Gregory Bateson.

Rohan’s Echo by Joanne Van Os features a forensic anthropologist. Catriona Kelso’s curiosity is roused when she learns her next assignment will be the exhumation and identification of the hundreds of World War 1 soldiers buried en masse on the French battleground, and that her great grandfather’s twin brother may be among them. Excited by the possibility, Cat begins to ask questions about her family, but uncovers more than one long buried secret.

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Next month the Six Degrees of Separation meme will begin with Curtis Sittenfeld’s latest novel, Rodham.

Six Degrees of Separation: Normal People to The Colorado Kid

 


Hosted by Kate at booksaremyfavouriteandbest, on the first Saturday of every month, a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form Six Degrees of Separation. Readers and bloggers are invited to join in by creating their own ‘chain’ leading from the selected book.

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This month’s chain begins with Normal People by Sally Rooney. Having learnt that the novel doesn’t use speech marks, I knew I wouldn’t read it, however I did watch the television series adaption and found it quite mesmerising.

 

I simply didn’t get around to read The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Gailbraith (aka JK Rowling) before binging on the tv adaption series, C.B. Strike, which I enjoyed.

 

I have read at least the first book in M.R.Hall’s Jenny Cooper series which begins with The Coroner. Interestingly though the books are set in England, the tv series, also called The Coroner, is set in Canada.

 

One of my (many) guilty viewing pleasures is When Calls the Heart, a period show set in Canada during the early 1900’s, which is inspired by a book series, Canadian West, written by Janette Oke.

 

Set during a similar timeframe in Australia, I adore the TV show Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries but I really wasn’t a fan of the book series on which it is based, which begins with Cocaine Blues, authored by Kerry Greenwood, and have read no more than a handful.

I have read (and own) the entire series of Robert G. Barrett’s book series which starts with You Wouldn’t Be Dead For Quids, featuring knockabout country bloke Les Norton though, and I enjoyed the recent TV adaption.

 

Perhaps my favourite TV series based loosely on a single novel, The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, is Haven. I binge watch the supernatural drama series at least once a year.

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What’s your favourite page to TV adaption?

Next month (July 4, 2020), the chain will begin with with What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt (inspired by a recent post by A Life in Books).

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 (print)
(My thanks to the respective publishers)

 


For Review (ebook)


Dear Santa…

 

The truth is my family and friends believe I have enough (ie. too many) books so I never receive any for Christmas (or birthdays), but each year there are books that I failed to get my hands on and remain on my wishlist.

Here are (just) ten books published during 2019 that I would still like to add to my (overflowing) shelves (in no particular order)… you know, just in case you were wondering what to get me 😉

{click the cover to view on Goodreads}

 

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood

The Weekend explores growing old and growing up, and what happens when we’re forced to uncover the lies we tell ourselves. Sharply observed and excruciatingly funny, this is a jewel of a book: a celebration of tenderness and friendship that is nothing short of a masterpiece.

 

Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman

A stunning, multi-voiced thriller – tackling race, gender politics, and the volatility of mid ’60s America – from one of today’s most interesting crime writing voices.

The Wife and the Widow by Christian White

Brilliant and beguiling, The Wife and The Widow takes you to a cliff edge and asks the question: how well do we really know the people we love?

 

The Inn by Candice Fox and James Patterson

An ex-detective is starting over in a small town, but his past won’t let him go in this captivating new stand alone from the world’s bestselling thriller writer.

 

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

a story of raw courage,  fierce strength, and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere — even back home.

 

Too Much Lip by Melissa Luschenko

Gritty and darkly hilarious, Too Much Lip offers redemption and forgiveness where none seems possible.

 

The Institute by Stephen King

As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.

 

River of Salt by Dave Warner

‘Dave Warner captures the heyday and spirit of the surf music scene perfectly. This is a pitch-perfect crime thriller of epic twists and turns.’ Jim Skiathitis, composer, guitarist,
The Atlantics

 

Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton

A novel of love, crime, magic, fate and coming of age, set in Brisbane’s violent working class suburban fringe – from one of Australia’s most exciting new writers.

 

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd

Blending darkness and light, history and folklore, Things in Jars is a spellbinding Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale to stunning effect and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.

 

Are any of these on your list?

Six Degrees of Separation: Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland to Putting Alice Back Together

 

 

It would be a rare reader who is not at least a little familiar with Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland. I can’t remember when I was first introduced to it but it was likely when I was quite young. To be honest it’s never been a favourite of mine, I find it a little too nonsensical, though I know for many that is part of the charm.

Choosing the first link in my chain was this month was easy. Still Alice by Lisa Genova is the story of a fifty year old wife, mother and renowned linguistics professor at Harvard University, whose life is turned upside down when she develops early onset Alzheimer’s. The shifts between lucidity and disorientation as the disease progresses could be said to have something in common with Alice’s adventures down the rabbit hole.

Still Alice leads me directly to Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante. In this unique mystery novel, Jennifer White is a suspect in her best friend’s murder, but Jennifer suffers from rapidly advancing Alzheimer’s, and slipping in and out of awareness, can’t quite hold on to her memory of what happened the last time she saw her friend alive.

In What Alice Forgot by bestselling Australian author Liane Moriarty, the titular Alice loses her memory of the past ten years after a fall, leaving her struggling to reconcile her 29 year old mind set with her 39 year old self. The style of writing here gives the impression of a lighthearted chic lit novel, but it disguises a story with surprising insight, and I think it is one of her best novels to date.

An award-winning Australian writer, essayist and journalist, Alice Pung’s first fiction novel Laurinda, features a teenage girl, Lucy Lam, who is awarded the inaugural ‘Equal Access’ scholarship to an exclusive Ladies College, where she struggles to fit in. Part satire, magnifying the pretensions of private school and the aspirations of immigrant families, part poignant coming of age tale, Pung draws on her own experiences which gives the story a sense of authenticity.

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous (later revealed as a fictional novel by Beatrice Sparks) was probably the most shocking coming of age tale of my generation, it chronicled a teenage girl’s descent into drug addiction. I was only about eleven when I read it, and I believed every word of it was true. While today’s teens would probably it consider rather ridiculous, it certainly had a lasting effect on me.

In Putting Alice Back Together by Carol Marinelli, another Australian author, a young woman is struggling to maintain a facade of happiness and success. Plagued by anxiety attacks, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and sabotaging her career and relationships, her life is falling apart, as hiding a secret from her past takes its toll.

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So this month links all have an obvious connection, either the main protagonist of each book is named Alice, or the author’s first name is Alice. Without realising it I also created links using A words … Alzheimer’sAmnesiaAustralianAdolescence… and Addiction. That was clever of me! LOL. Oh and this month I have actually read all of the books in my chain.

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Join in by posting your own six degrees chain on your blog and adding the link in the Linky section (or comments) of each month’s post at booksaremyfavouriteandbest . If you don’t have a blog, you can share your chain in the comments section. You can also check out links to posts on Twitter using the hashtag #6Degrees

Sunday Spotlight

It is a sad truth that I have a number of unread books on my shelf, a few are probably destined to remain unread not being of any particular interest to me, but I honestly hope to read most eventually. So, until that day, I’ve decided to choose three unread books at random from those backlist titles to spotlight on the fourth Sunday of every month.

Please let me know what you think about the titles, and feel free to share your links in the comments if you have reviewed them.

(Covers are linked to Goodreads)

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Noah is four and wants to go home. The only trouble is he’s already there.
Janie’s son is her world, and it breaks her heart that he has nightmares.
That he’s terrified of water.
That he sometimes pushes her away and screams that he wants his real mother.
That it’s getting worse and worse and no one seems to be able to help.
In desperation, she turns to someone who might have an answer – but it may not be one she’s ready to hear.
It may also mean losing the one thing she loves more than anything.
Noah.
A novel that spans life, death and everything in between, The Forgetting Time tells an unforgettable story – about Noah, about love, and, above all, about the things we hold onto when we have nothing else.

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From the bestselling author of Pieces of Blue and Wildhorse Creek comes an evocative and heartfelt story about how in the remotest of places lives can be lost…and found.
When Sara Blake takes up a position as governess on Redhill Station in Central Australia, she isn’t expecting to encounter a family in crisis, or to uncover a tragedy of her own.
With the owners’ son critically ill, Sara is called upon to take care of their young daughter. As the family struggles to make a living from the drought-stricken land, everyone pitches in – and Sara finds herself letting people in to the empty spaces in her heart.
But the longer she spends out bush, the more she becomes plagued by elusive visions of her dark and troubled childhood. The fragments of memory lead her deep into the red centre of Australia, where at picturesque Kings Canyon she must confront the horrifying secrets of her past

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Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to my village, looking for a wife. When Lo-Melkhiin – a formidable king – arrives at her desert home, she knows that he will take her beautiful sister for a wife. Desperate to save her sister from certain death, she makes the ultimate sacrifice – leaving home and family behind to live with a fearful man. But it seems that a strange magic flows between her and Lo-Melkhiin, and night after night, she survives. Finding power in storytelling, the words she speaks are given strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. But she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king …if only she can stop her heart from falling for a monster.
Set against a harsh desert backdrop, A Thousand Nights by E K Johnston is an evocative tale of love, mystery and magic that would not feel out of place if Scheherazade herself were telling it. And perhaps she is…

 

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You are welcome to post your own spotlight of course, leave a link in the comments if you do.

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 (print)
(My thanks to the respective publishers)

 

 

For Review (Electronic)
(My thanks to the respective publishers)

 

 

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