2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration Part #2

I’m delighted to welcome you to the 2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge. The challenge asks participants to read up to 12 books over the year, each from a different category

Categories

1. Biography 2. Travel 3. Self-help 4. Essay Collection 5. Disease 6. Oceanography 7. Hobbies 8. Indigenous Cultures 9. Food 10. Wartime Experiences 11. Inventions 12. Published in 2021

Click here to learn more about the 2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge, sign up and join the fun!

For the next four weeks I will post some titles for each category that might inspire your own selections.

Click here for Part #1 – Biography, Travel, Self Help/Self Improvement

You can find more suggestions via other bloggers, and lists such as Goodreads Listopia, Library Booklists. Use your good faith judgement as to whether a book fits a particular category or not.

Essay Collection

Contemporary essay collections are a collection of personal or academic observations, usually linked in theme or subject.



Disease

A simple definition of disease is an illness or sickness characterised by specific signs or symptoms. It negatively affects the structure, function or system of the body and can be caused by a bacteria, virus, or genetic mutation.

Oceanography

Oceanography is the study of the physical, chemical, and biological features of the ocean, including the ocean’s ancient history, its current condition, and its future.

 

Feel free to add your own recommendations and suggestions in the comments

2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration Part #1

 

I’m delighted to welcome you to the 2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge. The challenge asks participants to read up to 12 books over the year, each from a different category.

Categories

1. Biography 2. Travel 3. Self-help 4. Essay Collection 5. Disease 6. Oceanography 7. Hobbies 8. Indigenous Cultures 9. Food 10. Wartime Experiences 11. Inventions 12. Published in 2021

Click here to learn more about the 2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge, sign up and join in the fun.

For the next four weeks I will post some titles for each category that might inspire your own selections.

You can find more inspiration via other participating bloggers, and lists such as Goodreads Listopia, Library Booklists. Use your good faith judgement as to whether a book fits a particular category or not.

Click the cover to learn more at Goodreads

 

Biography

A biography is the life story of a person written by someone other than the subject.



 

Travel

A narrative about a journey, and/or a place, often from someone unfamiliar with the region. Can also include destination guides.



 

 

Self Help/ Self Improvement 

A self-help book is one that is written with the intention to instruct its readers on solving personal problems.

 

Feel free to add your own recommendations and suggestions in the comments.

 

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: End of Year Spotlight

I want to thank all of you who participated in the first year of the Nonfiction Reader Challenge.

There were 42 sign ups, and while the pandemic scuppered some reader’s plans, most of you hung in there!

Over 150 links have been shared via the Linky’s HERE and HERE over the year (and I’m sure there were more books actually read/reviewed that people forgot to add).

Congratulations to those of you who met your goal as a Nipper, a Nibbler or a Know-It-All. You can celebrate your achievement with the Completed Challenge badge.

And even if you didn’t quite make it, congratulations for making the attempt!

The Linky’s for adding your review posts and your wrap up posts will remain open for another week or so, at which time the challenge post will be archived (under Challenges >Archived Challenges 2020).

I hope you will decide to join me for another year and sign up for the 2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge.

A look back….

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #10

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #9

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #8

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #7

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #6

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #5

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #4

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #3

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #2

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #1

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 1 #Memoir #DisasterEvent #Social Science #Related to An Occupation

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 2 #History #Feminism #Psychology #Social Science

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 3 #Nature #True Crime #Science #Published in 2020

Review: The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper

Title: The Arsonist: Mind on Fire

Author: Chloe Hooper

Published: 15th October 2018, Viking

Status: Read December 2020

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My Thoughts:

Bushfires are practically synonymous with Summer in Australia, and there have been several severe and deadly conflagrations since its settlement including the recent large scale fire of 2019/2020. Of these blazes however, Black Saturday has the dubious distinction of claiming the most lives in recorded history.

On Saturday 7th February 2009, as temperatures soared to the mid 40’s, there were as many as four hundred separate fires burning in Victoria. By the time they were extinguished 450,000 ha (1,100,000 acres) of land had been razed, over 3500 structures (including homes, commercial premises, and agricultural buildings) were destroyed, stock and crops were lost, and 173 people lost their lives while hundreds more were injured.

One of the blazes, known as The Churchill Complex fire, started in the early afternoon on 7 February 2009 in the Latrobe Valley. The fire travelled rapidly, impacting on several towns in south east Victoria. Eleven people died as a result of the fire, 145 houses were destroyed, and more than 25,861 hectares were burnt. Less than a week after the fire began, investigators were able to determine that it was caused by arson.

In The Arsonist: Mind on Fire, Chloe Hooper tells the story of this disastrous event, and its devastating impact on its victims. She then details the investigation that identified Brendan Sokaluk, a Churchill local, as responsible, and his subsequent trial and conviction.

The statements from those that lost loved one’s, and property, are heartbreaking to read. Survivors, including the rural firefighters who fought the blaze, were forever changed by their confrontation with the fire, and the event continued to take a toll long after the fire was extinguished.

In Australia, Hooper reports, around 13% of vegetation fires are maliciously lit and it’s estimated that only one per cent of bushfire arsonists are ever caught. This is often because the fires are started in unpopulated areas, and the subsequent blaze conveniently destroys any evidence that may have remained. In the case of the Churchill Complex fire, investigators quickly suspected arson was at play and their attention was drawn to the suspicious behaviour of a man identified as Brendan Sokaluk.

Hooper takes us through the investigation, drawing on a number of perspectives to show how the police reached their conclusions about the cause of the fire, and who was to blame. Brendan Sokaluk, a 39 year old local resident, was seen in the area of ignition, by multiple witnesses, and met the general profile of an arsonist – he was from a disadvantaged background, unemployed, and anti social. During his initial interview, Sokaluk confessed to setting the fire ‘accidentally’, and then retracted his admission, but while it became clear to officers that Brendan had some level of cognitive deficiency, several suspected he was exaggerating his inability to comprehend the investigating detectives questions. Nevertheless the police felt they had enough information to charge Sokaluk with ten counts of arson causing death, and 181 other charges, the majority relating to criminal damage (plus a charge of possession for child pornography found on his computer that was later dropped).

While a psychiatric assessment declared Sokaluk fit to stand trial, his lawyers were never confident that he understood the gravity of the charges against him, nor the mechanics of the legal proceedings. Brendan never took the stand, and no true motive for starting the fire was ever established. The trial began in 2011, nearly three years after Sokaluk’s arrest, and Hooper leads the reader through the process that eventually saw him convicted and sentenced to 17 years plus time served (3 years). With his fourteen year minimum, Sokaluk will be eligible for parole in 2023.

I found The Arsonist to be a well-written and balanced account of Black Saturday, though I was expecting Hooper would a provide a little more detail and context to the disaster itself. I do think her reportage on the investigation was concise, and of the trial, nuanced. She is respectful of those who were most affected by the blaze, but not without empathy for Brendan Sokaluk and his family.

Fire is a merciless beast, one the Australian landscape is particularly susceptible to, especially as we head towards even more extreme temperatures in a changing climate. Having ignored much of the Aboriginal wisdom in managing the land with fire, there is ample fuel for people to ignite for any one of the complicated reasons arsonists do so, and Hooper suggests we ignore the risks at our peril.

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Available from PenguinRandomHouse Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I HiveUK I Indiebound

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #10

I’m delighted with the response to the inaugural Nonfiction Reader Challenge, and I hope you’ll join me again next year…you can SIGN UP NOW for 2021!

There are still 26 days of the 2020 challenge to go, so keep reading!

I’ve created a permanent page for the challenge, you can CLICK HERE, or select the menu link at top left. The Linky to add your 2020 review to can be found on the permanent challenge page. Look for the text in orange, or CLICK HERE

On the first Saturday of each month, I highlight a handful of Linky submissions, but I encourage you to support all participants who have shared what they have been reading for the challenge. Give them a like, leave them a comment, share their posts on twitter, Facebook or instagram #2020ReadNonFic

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In November…

DeniseNewtonWrites says of Phosphorescence by Julia Baird, “It’s a broad ranging exploration of what gives joy, wonder, passion, hope, purpose; especially what keeps people going during the hard times…..[it] is a book to be savoured, enjoyed, mulled over and returned to again and again.”

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The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan is about the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC, and the people involved with it. Barbara of StrayThoughts felt it was “…. a flowing and fascinating story…..

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Beyond the Call [by Lee Trimble and Jeremy Dronfield] is the well-written, fast paced account of one of the 20th century’s little known rescue operations. Consider it must reading for anyone interested in World War II, or a thrilling rescue story.” writes Maphead

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Tracey of Carpe Librum recommends How To Breakup With Friends by Dr Hannah Korrell, “For those who have never confronted a friend over their poor behaviour and have felt powerless to stop friends treating them badly, this is a must read! It will empower you to ditch your toxic friend and re-invest that time somewhere else.”

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“Reading Family in Six Tones [by Lan Cao and Harlan Margaret Van Cao] immerses us in the refugee experience…..the loss, the trauma, the fear, the uncertainty, the confusion, and the longing for home.” writes Carol at The Reading Ladies Book Club, “It is an honest, heartfelt, detailed, and ambitious read.”

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Have you completed your challenge goal?

Please share your link to the COMPLETED challenge LINKY HERE or CLICK HERE and feel free to download this ‘Completed’ badge to add to your sidebar.

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What will you be reading in December ?

Click here to see what else other participants have been reading!

In case you missed it….

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #9

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #8

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #7

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #6

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #5

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #4

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #3

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #2

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #1

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 1 #Memoir #DisasterEvent #Social Science #Related to An Occupation

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 2 #History #Feminism #Psychology #Social Science

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 3 #Nature #True Crime #Science #Published in 2020

Nonfiction November 2020 Week #4: Wrap-Up


Hosted by Katie @ Doing Dewey Decimal

November has passed too quickly! I barely made it halfway through the list of nonfiction books I hoped to read. Here are the books I did get to… (click on the cover to read my review)



I have enjoyed another year of participation in Nonfiction November, I’ve again found some new bloggers to follow, and I have, of course, added a slew of new books that piqued my interest to my WTR list.

(The cover links to the blogger’s post)

 


Thank you to our hosts, Katie of Doing Dewey Decimal, Julie of JulzReads, Rennie of What’s NonFiction, and Leeann of Shelf Aware. I’m looking forward to next year again already!

If you’ve enjoyed Nonfiction November you might be interested in joining the 2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge. You can learn more, or sign up, now by clicking HERE.

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #9


I’m delighted with the response to the inaugural Nonfiction Reader Challenge, and I hope you’ll join me again next year…you will be able to sign up for 2021 near the end of this month.

I’d welcome your suggestions for next year’s category’s, please comment below!

If you hadn’t yet noticed, I’ve created a permanent page for the challenge, you can CLICK HERE, or select the menu link at top left.

The Linky to add your review to can be found there. This new link will remain active for the rest for the year’s submissions. Look for the text in orange, or CLICK HERE

On the first Saturday of each month, I highlight a handful of Linky submissions, but I encourage you to support all participants who have shared what they have been reading for the challenge. Give them a like, leave them a comment, share their posts on twitter, Facebook or instagram #2020ReadNonFic

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In October …

Carol from ReadingLadies writes “Overall, The Salt Path is an inspiring, realistic, dramatic, and well-written memoir. Fans of extreme hiking and outdoor enthusiasts will especially enjoy the story. Readers who live in the area and who have had an opportunity to walk part of the trail will certainly appreciate it!”

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“Hidden Valley Road is an outstanding book and should easily make my year-end list of favorite nonfiction. Please consider it highly recommended.”, writes Maphead’s Book Blog

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Of Anti Racist Ally by Sophie Williams, DeniseNewtonWrites states, “This is literally a pocket sized book. Don’t let its diminutive size fool you, though. At a time when painful truths about racism in the past and the present are being confronted world-wide, Anti Racist Ally gives some sound advice for anyone who wants to be able to do more than watch #BlackLivesMatter protests on TV news or bemoan the shocking rates of Black deaths in custody.”

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Have you completed your challenge goal?

Please share your link to the COMPLETED challenge Linky HERE (look for the green text) or CLICK HERE

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I’m currently participating in Nonfiction November hosted by Hosted by DoingDeweyDecimal, JulzReads, What’s NonFiction, and Shelf Aware. You can learn more about it HERE , it may be just the motivation you need to meet your Nonfiction Reader Challenge goal!

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What will you be reading in November?

Click here to see what else other participants have been reading!

In case you missed it….

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #8

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #7

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #6

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #5

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #4

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #3

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #2

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #1

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 1 #Memoir #DisasterEvent #Social Science #Related to An Occupation

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 2 #History #Feminism #Psychology #Social Science

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 3 #Nature #True Crime #Science #Published in 2020

Review: Dr. Karl’s Surfing Through Science by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki


Title: Dr Karl’s Surfing Through Science

Author: Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

Published: 29th October 2020, ABC Books

Status: Read November 2020 courtesy BFredericksPR

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My Thoughts:

Few a Australians would be unfamiliar with the multi-talented and slightly eccentric, enthusiastic champion of science, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. With degrees in Physics and Maths, Biomedical Engineering, Medicine, and Surgery, he is a media host, an author of over 30 books, and a Fellow at UTS.

Dr Karl’s Surfing Through Science is an informative, and entertaining, exploration of specific subjects within varied branches of science. With topics ranging from Coffee-Grinding the Perfect Cup, to Past Plagues and Coronavirus, from Black Holes Have No Size, to The Amazing Disappearing Anus, there is truly something for everyone.

Dr Karl’s enthusiasm for the subjects comes across, as does his ‘dad’ sense of humour, but without compromising the information. The text is well presented, providing concise explanation and details, with the minimum use of jargon. Sub headings help with organisation, and inset columns offer additional but still relevant information. The accompanying images and illustrations are clear and relevant. I found the large format paperback easy to handle, and the pages are a pleasing thickness.

Not content to wow his readers with science fact, Dr Karl has introduced science fiction into his latest book. By downloading an app and hovering over the title pages of each topic with a smartphone or tablet, a ‘hologram’ of Dr Karl appears and talks about some of the chapter’s key ideas. It’s a fun and unique element of the book that will especially appeal to primary school aged children. Question marks also appear on the screen, and tapping them leads to additional relevant information online, which will benefit teens or adults interested in further detail (I’ve included a short demonstration video below). This clever feature also allows Dr Karl to provides updates on the information in the book, if necessary. The only downside, as such, to the augmented reality feature is that it does require an internet connection and an up-to-date Apple or Android device (with minimum OS requirements) to access these interactive elements, though the book is perfectly useful and entertaining without it.

Dr Karl’s Surfing Through Science would be a stellar gift for a budding scientist, or really anyone with a curious mind who might wonder are Murder Hornets – Lethal But Tasty?

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Available from ABC Books and HarperCollins Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #8

I’m delighted with the response to the inaugural Nonfiction Reader Challenge so far, and since sign-ups are open until December 1st, a few more may decide to join us during the year.

If you hadn’t yet noticed, I’ve created a permanent page for the challenge, you can CLICK HERE, or select the menu link at top left.

The Linky to add your review to can be found there. This new link will remain active for the rest for the year’s submissions. Look for the text in orange.

On the first Saturday of each month, I will be highlighting a handful of Linky submissions, but I encourage you to support all participants who have shared what they have been reading for the challenge. Give them a like, leave them a comment, share their posts on twitter, Facebook or instagram #2020ReadNonFic

 

In September…

 

Maya at Bookshelf Life strongly recommends The Twins of Auschwitz by Eva Mozes Kor. She found it to be an absolutely heart breaking story, but an important learning experience.

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In Lucid Dreaming Made Easy – A Beginner’s Guide to Waking Up in Your Dreams by Charlie Morely, Tracey of Carpe Librum discovered, “… there’s sooooo much more to lucid dreaming and I’ve only been scratching the surface.”

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To Sir With Love [by E.R.Braithwaite] is an inspiring and articulate true account of a man who rose above bitterness, dealt with his own arrogance and prejudice, and enabled a bunch of feral teenagers to embark on adult life with dignity and hope. A book well worth reading and a great story for a future (or present) teacher to immerse themselves in.” writes Carol from Journey-and-Destination

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Anjana at Superfluous Reading read The Case of the Vanishing Blonde: And Other True Crime Stories by Mark Bowden. Of the six articles included, she preferred the ‘ straightforward investigative cases’

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“There are stories in this examination of domestic abuse in Australia that will never leave my mind. They are horrific, and Hill’s telling of them is powerful. Some chapters stand out, in particular the section on Indigenous Australians.” Writes Kate of BooksAreMyFavouriteandBest about See What You Made Me Do by Jess Hill

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Do any of these interest you? What will you be reading in October?

Click here to see what else other participants have been reading!

In case you missed it….

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #7

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #6

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #5

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #4

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #3

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #2

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #1

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 1 #Memoir #DisasterEvent #Social Science #Related to An Occupation

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 2 #History #Feminism #Psychology #Social Science

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 3 #Nature #True Crime #Science #Published in 2020

Review: A Woman of Force by Mark Morri

Title: A Woman of Force

Author: Mark Morri

Published: 22nd September 2020, Macmillan Australia

Status: Read September 2020 courtesy Macmillan/Netgalley

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My Thoughts:

A Woman of Force is ‘The True Story of Deborah Wallace, the Cop Known as The Gangbuster’, penned by veteran journalist/crime writer, Mark Morri.

Illustrating Deborah Wallace’s remarkable thirty six year career as a NSW police officer, from general duties street cop to Detective Superintendent in charge of Strike Force Raptor, a specialised unit which played a major role in dismantling the state’s most dangerous bikie gangs, this a fascinating biography of a woman’s success in a unique role.

Beginning her career in Blacktown in 1983, Deborah enjoyed community policing and thought she would remain a uniform cop but after being invited to assist in the task force investigating the high profile case involving Anita Cobby’s shocking rape and murder (she was the police woman who re-enacted Anita’s journey towards home that night for the media), she earned her detective credentials just three years later.

I may actually have crossed paths with Deborah during her next assignment in Cabramatta when I worked in the suburb from 1994-1996. While she earned the nickname ‘Madam’, I was called ‘Missy’ by my exclusively Chinese and Vietnamese preschoolers and their family’s. I was well aware of the crime that plagued the area, we had to check the grounds and the sandpit each morning for used syringes or weapons that may have been thrown over the fence.

From Cabramatta, Wallace moved up to the South East Asian Crime Squad before taking command of The Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad in 2008, and then the Gang Squad in 2014, which also brought Strike Force Raptor under her leadership. I found her experiences, -sometimes exciting, often dangerous, and occasionally surprising-, within these units, to be engrossing,.

Wallace presents as intelligent, compassionate, resourceful, tough and dedicated. Though she was not immune from some targeted harassment (possibly more from professional jealousy than just plain sexism), it’s also clear that she readily attracted respect from the majority of her colleagues by proving herself to be a strong and supportive leader.

Personal details are sprinkled lightly through the book, including how Deborah met her husband, a little about her family, her friendships with Anita Cobby’s mother and Father Chris Reilly, and her involvement in organisations related to supporting youth, but the focus is on her career.

Deborah Wallace had an extraordinary career and I admire her significant contributions to the prevention, and curtailing, of crime. Interesting, and entertaining, I enjoyed reading A Woman of Force.

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Available from PanMacmillan Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository

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