2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #1

 

Welcome to the Monthly Spotlight for the

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge!

Each month I highlight 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

—————

IN JANUARY…


[THE ARTS]

As a fan, Tracey at Carpe Librum says “Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera Companion [by Martin Knowlden]  is a book I’ll never part with and I’m so glad I now have my own ready reference to all of the lyrics….Highly recommended!”

 


[CRIME AND PUNISHMENT]

Carol of Carol’s Notebook listened to Scoundrel: How a Convicted Murderer Persuaded the Women Who Loved Him, the Conservative Establishment, and the Courts to Set Him Free by Sarah Weinman narrated by Gabra Zackman, and found it to be a, “well-researched book. [but] would have liked a bit more discussion about how his experiences fit in with the larger issues regarding prison reform, race, and politics of the era.”

 


[HISTORY]

Amy at A Novel Start recommends The Sixteenth Century in 100 Women by Amy Licence “Absolutely, without reservation.” she writes, “The diversity in this book is amazing. The care and research Licence put into the book is clear.

 


[MEMOIR]

“This isn’t just my opinion; this is the consensus of my book group — everyone should read this book.”, writes Joy of Joy’s Book Blog about Disablity Visibility: First-Person Stories From the Twenty-First Century edited by Alice Wong.

 

[SCIENCE]

Though she cites some flaws, Janette of Wicked Witch’s Blog says, “ I did enjoy [The Darkness Manifesto by Johan Eklof translated by Elizabeth DeNomo ] and certainly learned a lot from it. It is obviously an important issue and I especially liked the final part which is his Darkness Manifesto, a series of simple actions that anyone can do.”

______________

What will you be reading in February?

Need some inspiration? Check out these posts

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #HISTORY #MEMOIR

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #SCIENCE #CRIME&PUNISHMENT

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #HEALTH #TRAVEL

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #FOOD #SOCIALMEDIA

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #SPORT #RELATIONSHIPS

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #THEARTS #PUBLISHEDIN2023

Just a reminder, it is helpful when you post your review if you indicate which category it fulfils for when I put together the Monthly Spotlight.

And don’t forget to share your latest read/review in the Linky

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #TheArts #Publishedin2023

 

I’m delighted to welcome you to the 2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge.

The challenge asks participants to read up to 12 books over the year, each from a different category (or can opt to just read whatever you want)

This years categories are: 

History
Memoir/Biography
Crime & Punishment
Science
Health
Travel
Food
Social Media
Sport
Relationships
The Arts
Published in 2023

Click here to learn more about the 2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge, sign up and join in the fun.

For the next few weeks I will post some titles for each category that might inspire your own selections. Use your best judgement as to whether a book fits a particular category or not, this is supposed to be a challenge, not a chore, and you only really need suit yourself.

Please feel free to comment with your own recommendations or suggestions . You can find more inspiration via other participating bloggers, and lists such as Goodreads Listopia, Library Booklists.


Click the covers to learn more at Goodreads

ARTS


 **

PUBLISHED IN 2023

 

**

Just a reminder, it is helpful when you post your review if you indicate which category it fulfils for when I put together the Monthly Spotlight.

And don’t forget to share your latest read/review in the Linky

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #HISTORY #MEMOIR

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #SCIENCE #CRIME&PUNISHMENT

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #HEALTH #TRAVEL

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #FOOD #SOCIALMEDIA

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #SPORT #RELATIONSHIPS

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #THEARTS #PUBLISHEDIN2023

Review: Taken by Dinuka McKenzie

 

Title: Taken {Detective Kate Miles #2}

Author: Dinuka McKenzie

Published: 1st February 2023, HarperCollins Australia

Status: Read 2023 courtesy HarperCollins/Netgalley

++++++++

My Thoughts:

Taken is the second thrilling book to feature Detective Sergeant Kathryn Miles who was introduced in Dinuka McKenzie’s bestselling debut, Torrent.

Picking up several months after the dramatic final scenes of the previous book, Kate has just returned to work following maternity leave and is eager to return to active duty. A domestic disturbance call gives Kate the opportunity she needs to prove herself ready, and results in her being assigned as co-lead detective in an infant abduction.

Four month old Sienna Ricci, her mother, Ellisa reports, was taken from her home while she showered. As the team investigates, Kate’s partner becomes convinced the baby’s father, Aaron Ricci, is responsible for the abduction and she is taken off the case, even though Kate believes she has a viable alternative suspect in Jason Veliu, a violent man Kate recently had cause to arrest.

With a child’s well-being at stake, the tension is high in Taken. The plot is well thought out with several red herrings, though I found it relatively easy to discern who was responsible early on. The story has good momentum and there is action too as Kate finds herself risking her life in two separate confrontations with desperate people. Sensitive readers should be aware that domestic violence, adultery and postnatal depression are among the issues that are raised in the crimes Kate is investigating.

Kate is under a lot of personal pressure in Taken. While struggling with the effects of PTSD, she is also trying to find a balance between the needs of her husband and children, and the demands of her career. On top of this, the media have picked up on a story involving her father’s late partner’s business activity which could implicate them both in a corruption scandal, amplifying her concerns about the family’s finances. Determined not to be seen as lacking, Kate doesn’t always make sensible decisions, but she acts for the right reason.

Suspenseful, fast paced and gripping, Taken is an excellent read, perfect for fans of Australian crime fiction from authors such as Jane Harper, Chris Hammer and Emma Viskic.

++++++++

Available from HarperCollins 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.*

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #Sport #Relationships

 

I’m delighted to welcome you to the 2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge.

The challenge asks participants to read up to 12 books over the year, each from a different category (or can opt to just read whatever you want)

This years categories are: 

History
Memoir/Biography
Crime & Punishment
Science
Health
Travel
Food
Social Media
Sport
Relationships
The Arts
Published in 2023

Click here to learn more about the 2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge, sign up and join in the fun.

For the next few weeks I will post some titles for each category that might inspire your own selections. Use your best judgement as to whether a book fits a particular category or not, this is supposed to be a challenge, not a chore, and you only really need suit yourself.

Please feel free to comment with your own recommendations or suggestions . You can find more inspiration via other participating bloggers, and lists such as Goodreads Listopia, Library Booklists.


Click the covers to learn more at Goodreads

SPORT



 

RELATIONSHIPS

Parents, friends, lovers, colleagues, neighbours, siblings


 

**
Just a reminder, it is helpful when you post your review if you indicate which category it fulfils for when I put together the Monthly Spotlight.

And don’t forget to share your latest read/review in the Linky

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #HISTORY #MEMOIR

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #SCIENCE #CRIME&PUNISHMENT

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #HEALTH #TRAVEL

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #FOOD #SOCIALMEDIA

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #SPORT #RELATIONSHIPS

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #THEARTS #PUBLISHEDIN2023

 

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #Food #SocialMedia

**

’m delighted to welcome you to the 2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge.

The challenge asks participants to read up to 12 books over the year, each from a different category (or can opt to just read whatever you want)

This years categories are: 

History
Memoir/Biography
Crime & Punishment
Science
Health
Travel
Food
Social Media
Sport
Relationships
The Arts
Published in 2023

Click here to learn more about the 2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge, sign up and join in the fun.

For the next few weeks I will post some titles for each category that might inspire your own selections. Use your best judgement as to whether a book fits a particular category or not, this is supposed to be a challenge, not a chore, and you only really need suit yourself.

Please feel free to comment with your own recommendations or suggestions . You can find more inspiration via other participating bloggers, and lists such as Goodreads Listopia, Library Booklists.


Click the covers to learn more at Goodreads

FOOD

Any subject related to food or the food industry, this can include recipe books.


 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

 




 

Just a reminder, it is helpful when you post your review if you indicate which category it fulfils for when I put together the Monthly Spotlight.

And don’t forget to share your latest read/review in the Linky

xxx

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #HISTORY #MEMOIR

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #SCIENCE #CRIME&PUNISHMENT

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #HEALTH #TRAVEL

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #FOOD #SOCIALMEDIA

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #SPORT #RELATIONSHIPS

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #THEARTS #PUBLISHEDIN2023


Just a reminder, it is helpful when you post your review if you indicate which category it fulfils for when I put together the Monthly Spotlight.

And don’t forget to share your latest read/review in the Linky

 

Review: Headland by John Byrnes

 

Title: Headland

Author: John Byrnes

Published: 10th January 2023, Allen & Unwin

Status: Read January 2023 courtesy Allen & Unwin

++++++++

My Thoughts:

Is pulp rural noir fiction a thing? If not perhaps Headland by Australian author John Byrnes is the first of its kind. Dark, lurid, gritty and violent, this debut novel includes elements of both crime fiction subgenres, if you don’t know what to expect, Headland is likely to shock.

Detective Senior Constable Craig Watson is the novel’s compromised protagonist, a drug addict whose poor performance has seen him exiled to a small coastal town hours from Sydney, to relieve a colleague. He’s not a character that endears himself to anyone, seemingly corrupted by his habit, and the slow revelation of a twisted relationship that haunts him, even a shred of redemption seems impossible, at least at the outset.

It’s already been raining for days when Craig arrives in Gloster, but he isn’t given any time to settle in. The town is on flood watch, there’s a missing teenage girl who could be a runaway or the victim of a kidnapping, a recent fatal accident that’s declared not to be an accident, and an assault on a councillor. Even high, Craig quickly recognises that something is off in Gloster, including the behaviour of his station boss, Sergeant Thomas Philby, and begins to unravel a conspiracy of corruption, fraud, sexual exploitation and murder.

The action in the story really gets underway after the river breaks it banks, and Craig, along with his colleagues Constables Ellie Cameron and Larissa Brookes, find they have been left behind in the evacuation. They think they are alone until Ellie vanishes leaving behind a trail of blood, and it becomes clear they are trapped with a desperate killer. The momentum then rarely lets up with daring rescues, furious gun battles, and brutal confrontations fraught with tension. The driving rain creates a close atmosphere, the town Byrnes describes is laid out much like my own, and I almost expected to look up from the book’s pages to see the streets flooding (as they do once or twice a year).

Be aware however, there are several confronting, and even affronting, characters and scenes in Headland. Few in the cast come off well, particularly those who we are usually predisposed to trust, and there are quite graphic descriptions of misogyny, abuse, violence, sex, and sexual assault, all of which is expected from the pulp genre.

Headland may not appeal to everyone but I found it aggressive, fast paced and gripping, I couldn’t put it down.

++++++++

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.*

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #Health #Travel


I’m delighted to welcome you to the 2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge.

The challenge asks participants to read up to 12 books over the year, each from a different category (or can opt to just read whatever you want)

This years categories are: 

History
Memoir/Biography
Crime & Punishment
Science
Health
Travel
Food
Social Media
Sport
Relationships
The Arts
Published in 2023

Click here to learn more about the 2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge, sign up and join in the fun.

For the next few weeks I will post some titles for each category that might inspire your own selections. Use your best judgement as to whether a book fits a particular category or not, this is supposed to be a challenge, not a chore, and you only really need suit yourself.

Please feel free to comment with your own recommendations or suggestions . You can find more inspiration via other participating bloggers, and lists such as Goodreads Listopia, Library Booklists.


Click the covers to learn more at Goodreads

HEALTH

Any subject related to physical or mental health or wellbeing.



TRAVEL

This can include travelogues or guides


 

 

xxx

 

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #HISTORY #MEMOIR

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #SCIENCE #CRIME&PUNISHMENT

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #HEALTH #TRAVEL

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #FOOD #SOCIALMEDIA

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #SPORT #RELATIONSHIPS

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #THEARTS #PUBLISHEDIN2023

 

Just a reminder, it is helpful when you post your review if you indicate which category it fulfils for when I put together the Monthly Spotlight.

And don’t forget to share your latest read/review in the Linky

Review: The Drift by C.J. Tudor

 

Title: The Drift

Author: C.J. Tudor

Published: 19th January 2023, Michael Joseph

Status: Read January 2023 courtesy PenguinUK/Netgalley

++++++++

My Thoughts:

 

I read The Drift by C.J. Tudor on a 30 degree day – that’s 30° Celsius, so around 86F, but I was quickly chilled to the core.

“At the start, there is simply relief at being alive.”

Hannah slowly regains consciousness to discover the bus she was travelling in, carrying a dozen or so students from Invicta Academy heading to The Retreat, has careered off the road and rolled part way down a mountainside in the middle of a blizzard. Hannah is trapped in the mangled bus with a handful of survivors, the bus driver is missing, and one of the dead shows signs of a deadly infection.

“As ever in this life, if you wanted to be saved, you had to do it yourself.”

The last thing Meg, an ex police officer and recovering drug addict, remembers is having breakfast in her hotel room, so she’s disoriented when she wakes in a stalled cable car as a snow storm rages outside. She’s not alone, there are four others stirring, all volunteers headed for The Retreat, and the body of a man she once knew.

“You’re either a good guy or you’re a survivor, someone had once told him. The earth is full of dead good guys.”

It’s Carter’s turn to ski down the mountain to stock up on provisions for the residents of The Retreat, a chore he hates given the threat of what lurks in the woods outside of the electric wire fence. On his return he finds the chalet is dark, Julia is dead and Nate is badly injured, but worse, the basement locks have been released.

In a post apocalyptic setting amid falling snow, three storylines eventually converge in an unexpected way in The Drift, telling a story of loss and hope, betrayal and compassion, death and survival.

Suspense wars with horror as each claustrophobic situation poses obvious and hidden dangers to the characters. The dynamics of each group are tense, confused and fascinating. Everyone is suspect, and has an agenda of some kind, assumptions are a mistake. The body count is high.

The complexity of the overarching plot is impressive. Each story thread exposes a new piece of information that often answers the questions others raise, and adds to our understanding of their world, one ravaged by a deadly uncontrollable virus, killing millions. One mystery will appear to resolve, only for another to be triggered. There is a cascade of surprises and shocks with the pacing well balanced between all three storylines.

With a compelling blend of horror and mystery, The Drift is an atmospheric, frightening, and clever novel.

++++++++

Available from Penguin Books 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.*

Review: Saha by Cho Nam-Joo

 

Title: Saha

Author: Cho Nam-Joo {Translated by Jamie Chang}

Published: 30th November 2022, Scribner

Status: Read January 2023 courtesy Simon & Schuster Australia

++++++++

My Thoughts:

Saha is a disquieting dystopian story from Korean author Cho Nam-Joo that explores oppression, privilege, humanity and suffering.

Saha Estate, a decaying block of housing units, is home to a disenfranchised assortment of residents, ‘nobodies’, who eke out an existence on the fringes of an independent, corporate controlled country, ruled by an anonymous board known only as The Council of Ministers, and referred to as ‘Town’.

The narrative begins with Jin-Kyung, a young woman whose younger brother, Do-kyung, survives a suicide pact with his high status girlfriend only to be accused of murdering her.  When he disappears, Jin-Kyung’s anger at yet another injustice festers, and compounds, until she gathers her courage to confront its architects.

A series of character vignettes follows, illustrating the lives of past and current Saha outcasts including Do-kyung and his girlfriend Su, the building’s caretaker simply called “Old man”, long-time resident, Granny Konnim, and her unusual adopted granddaughter, Woomi. I was quite caught up in these heartbreaking tales of bad luck, prejudice, violence and desperation. To me each sketch highlights the ways in which somebody can become nobody, sometimes through no fault of their own.

Though there is death and secrets in Saha, I would not label it as a mystery. The focus of Saha is on exploring themes that echo current social issues, including the inequity of rampant capitalism, the effects of the pandemic, and the struggle of disenfranchised populations, especially immigrants.

Despite some interesting elements, I found Saha to be a generally grim, bleak story. Though only a short novel it is not a quick read, and offered what I felt was little payoff.

++++++++

Available from Simon & Schuster 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.*

 

Review: Just Murdered by Katherine Kovacic

 

Title: Just Murdered {Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries #1}

Author: Katherine Kovacic

Published: 10th January, Poisoned Pen Press

Status: Read January courtesy Poisoned Pen Press/Netgalley

++++++++

 

My Thoughts:

 

A screen to book adaption by Katherine Kovacic of the first episode of the Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries television series (written by Deb Cox and created by Deb Cox and Fiona Eagger), which itself was inspired by Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, the TV series, which is based on the Phryne Fisher mystery books by Kerry Greenwood, Just Murdered is a delightful murder mystery set during the 1960’s in Victoria Australia introducing Ms Peregrine Fisher, the niece of Miss Phryne Fisher.

“She had never been one to play by the rules—at least, not unless they suited her.”

When Peregrine Fisher discovers an oft forwarded letter addressed to her late mother that requests a meeting with regards to an inheritance, her first instinct is to dismiss it as a joke, but at a loose end, having been fired that same day from her position in a hairdressing salon, Peregrine decides to accept the invitation. Upon her rather dramatic arrival at The Adventuresses’ Club of the Antipodes, Peregrine is informed that her mother’s estranged half sister, Phryne Fisher, is missing in Papua New Guinea, presumed dead, and Peregrine is her heir.

“I’ve tried hard all my life to be someone or belong somewhere…”

The murder of a young model at Blair’s Emporium, for which one of the Adventuresses is under suspicion, is just the opportunity Peregrine needs to prove herself to The Adventuresses’ Club of the Antipodes. She has big shoes to fill but it’s soon evident that though Peregrine may lack the sophistication of her aunt, she is just as bold, clever and resourceful. A genuine delight, I love her sassy attitude. Much like her aunt Peregrine refuses to be told who she is and what she is capable of, especially by men.

“Now I just have to convince Birdie and the rest of the Adventuresses that I can do my aunt’s old job. I mean, it’s not really that hard, is it?”

I enjoyed the well plotted mystery for which there several suspects. Another murder increases the stakes, especially for Peregrine, who then goes undercover to expose to the truth, despite being forcefully warned off by Chief Inspector Sparrow and Detective James Steed of Central Police.

The writing is a great reflection of the television episode, and I thought Kovacic translated the characters and events well to the page. She captures the entertaining balance of humour and tension that is the appeal of this series. The settings are well rendered, and the sense of time and place are distinct.

I expect fans of the original Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries will enjoy this spin off as I have. You can stream Seasons 1 and 2 of Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries on Acorn TV in several countries, but I would welcome continuing print instalments of this series.

++++++++

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.*

 

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