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

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? meme is hosted at BookDate

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

Let’s start with the good news!

You’ll be pleased to know my inane anxiety with regards to our new mattress has proven unfounded! Both of us find it very comfortable, though hubby does grumble because it’s about 5 inches higher than our old mattress.

Even better news!

My eldest daughter’s surgery wound has finally healed, which means she won’t have to have a second more invasive surgery in the near future.

And the best news!

My youngest daughter received an early acceptance for entry to her top university/course pick after she graduates this year. It takes so much pressure off her for her final exams in October knowing she has a guaranteed place.

 

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

 

The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea

Boys & Sex by Peggy Orenstein

Playing Nice by J.P. Delaney

 

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New Posts…

Review: The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

Review: The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea

Review: Boys & Sex by Peggy Orenstein

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #7

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

 

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

It’s 1966. Hal and his little brother, newly arrived in Moorabool with their parents, are exploring the creek near their new home when they find the body of a dog.

Not just dead, but recently killed. Not just killed, but mutilated.

Constable Mick Goodenough, recently demoted from his city job as a detective, is also new in town—and one of his dogs has gone missing. He’s experienced enough to know what it means when someone tortures an animal to death: it means they’re practising. So when Hal’s mother starts getting anonymous calls—a man whistling, then hanging up—Goodenough, alone among the Moorabool cops, takes her seriously.

The question is: will that be enough to keep her safe?

Nostalgic yet clear-eyed, simmering with small-town menace, Greg Woodland’s wildly impressive debut populates the rural Australia of the 1960s with memorable characters and almost unbearable tension.

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We all put our faith in the criminal justice system. We trust the professionals: the police, the lawyers, the judges, the expert witnesses. But what happens when the process lets us down and the wrong person ends up in jail?

Henry Keogh spent almost twenty years locked away for a murder that never even happened. Khalid Baker was imprisoned for the death of a man his best friend has openly admitted to causing. And the exposure of ‘Lawyer X’ Nicola Gobbo’s double-dealing could lead to some of Australia’s most notorious convictions being overturned.

Forensic scientist Xanthé Mallett is used to dealing with the darker side of humanity. Now she’s turning her skills and insight to miscarriages of justice and cases of Australians who have been wrongfully convicted.

Exposing false confessions, polices biases, misplaced evidence and dodgy science, Reasonable Doubt is an expert’s account of the murky underbelly of our justice system – and the way it affects us all.

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This is what I want to do. I want to go home. I want you to come with me.

‘I want to go from here . . .’ Finger on Cape Reinga. ‘. . . to here.’

Finger at the bottom of Stewart Island, right at the bottom of the map.

It’s been years since Alex was in New Zealand, and years since he spent any one-on-one time with his twin sister, Amy. When they lose their parents in a shock accident it seems like the perfect time to reconnect as siblings. To reconnect with this country they call ‘home’.

As they journey the length of State Highway One, they will scratch at wounds that have never healed – and Alex will be forced to reckon with what coming home really means.

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I wake up, and for a few precious seconds I don’t realise there’s anything wrong.

The rumble of tyres on bitumen, and the hiss of air conditioning. The murmur of voices. The smell of air freshener. The cool vibration of glass against my forehead.

A girl wakes up on a self-driving bus. She has no memory of how she got there or who she is. Her nametag reads CECILY. The six other people on the bus are just like her: no memories, only nametags. There’s a screen on each seatback that gives them instructions. A series of tests begin, with simulations projected onto the front window of the bus. The passengers must each choose an outcome; majority wins. But as the testing progresses, deadly secrets are revealed, and the stakes get higher and higher. Soon Cecily is no longer just fighting for her freedom – she’s fighting for her life.

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Thanks for stopping by!

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

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? meme is hosted at BookDate

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

xxxxxxxxxxx

Life…

So I bought a new mattress this week, it is being delivered later today and I’m nervous. We were in desperate need, our current mattress is 16 years old, springs have started making their way through the padding, and there are crater-like impressions from our years of sloth. But choosing a new mattress (on a small budget) has been unexpectedly anxiety inducing. Hubby said he didn’t care and left it to me so I’ve been obsessively reading reviews for months in advance of our tax return. In the end I made what amounts to an impulse purchase yesterday after lying on it for about five minutes, mostly because it was a discounted floor model, and I had been awake for around 35 hours.
What if we hate it?

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

 

Croc Country by Kerry McGinnis

Miss Graham’s Cold War Cookbook by Celia Rees

Deadman’s Track by Sarah Barrie

In the Clearing by J.P. Pomare

 

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New Posts…

 

Review: Croc Country by Kerry McGinnis ★★★1/2

Review: Miss Graham’s Cold War Cookbook by Celia Rees ★★★★

Review: Deadman’s Track by Sarah Barrie ★★★★1/2

Review: In the Clearing by J.P. Pomare ★★★★★

 

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

A chilling murder in a prestigious prep school is at the heart of this riveting new novel from acclaimed author Charlie Donlea, featuring forensic reconstructionist Rory Moore and her psychologist partner, Lane Phillips.

Inside the walls of Indiana’s elite Westmont Preparatory High School, expectations run high and rules are strictly enforced. But in the woods beyond the manicured campus and playing fields sits an abandoned boarding house that is infamous among Westmont’s students as a late-night hangout. Here, only one rule applies: don’t let your candle go out–unless you want the Man in the Mirror to find you. . . .

One year ago, two students were killed there in a grisly slaughter. The case has since become the focus of a hit podcast, The Suicide House. Though a teacher was convicted of the murders, mysteries and questions remain. The most urgent among them is why so many students who survived that horrific night have returned to the boarding house–to kill themselves.

Rory, an expert in reconstructing cold cases, is working on The Suicide House podcast with Lane, recreating the night of the killings in order to find answers that have eluded the school, the town, and the police. But the more they learn about the troubled students, the chillingly stoic culprit, and a dangerous game gone tragically wrong, the more convinced they become that something sinister is still happening. Inside Westmont Prep, the game hasn’t ended. It thrives on secrecy and silence. And for its players, there may be no way to win–or to survive. . . .

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Pete Riley answers the door one morning to a parent’s worst nightmare. On his doorstep is a stranger, Miles Lambert, who breaks the devastating news that Pete’s two-year-old, Theo, isn’t his biological child after all – he is Miles’s, switched with the Lamberts’ baby at birth by an understaffed hospital.

Reeling from shock, Peter and his partner Maddie agree that, rather than swap the children back, it’s better to stay as they are but to involve the other family in their children’s lives. But a plan to sue the hospital triggers an official investigation that unearths some disturbing questions about just what happened on the day the babies were switched.

And when Theo is thrown out of nursery for hitting other children, Maddie and Pete have to ask themselves: how far do they want this arrangement to go? What are the secrets hidden behind the Lamberts’ smart front door? And how much can they trust the real parents of their child – or even each other?

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Chris Flood – a married father of two with plummeting self-esteem and questionable guitar skills – suddenly finds himself in the depths of polyamory after years of a near-sexless marriage. His wife, Sarah – a lover of the arts, avid quoter of Rumi, and always oozing confidence – wants to rediscover her sexuality after years of deadening domesticity.

Their new life of polyamory features late nights, love affairs and rotating childcare duties. While Sarah enjoys flings with handsome men, Chris, much to his astonishment, falls for a polydactylous actor and musician, Biddy.

Then there’s Zac Batista. When Chris and Sarah welcome the Uruguayan child prodigy and successful twenty-two-year-old into their lives they gratefully hand over school pick-up and babysitting duties. But as tensions grow between family and lovers, Chris begins to wonder if it’s just jealousy, or something more sinister brewing…

A searing and utterly engrossing debut, Poly is a raw, hilarious, and moving portrait of contemporary relationships in all their diversity, and an intimate exploration of the fragility of love and identity.

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Peggy Orenstein broke ground with her bestselling Girls & Sex, exploring young women’s right to pleasure and agency in sexual encounters. Now she turns her focus to boys with an examination of how young men are navigating sexual culture in these changing times – and what we need to do help them.

Drawing on comprehensive interviews with young men, psychologists and experts in the field, Boys & Sex dissects ‘locker room talk’; pornography as the new sex education; the role of empathy; boys’ understanding of hookup culture and consent; and their experience as both perpetrators and victims of sexual assault.

By presenting young men’s experience in all its complexity, Orenstein unravels the hidden truths, hard lessons and important realities of young male sexuality in today’s world. The result is a provocative and paradigm-shifting work that offers a much-needed vision of how boys can truly move forward as better men.

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Thanks for stopping by!

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

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? meme is hosted at BookDate

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

Well it’s been a week. That’s it..just a week. At this point I’m no longer sure if I am being responsible with regards to social distancing or I am just leaning into lifelong hermitage.

Right now my state of New South Wales is on tenterhooks, concerned about the possibility of a second wave of Covid-19 to follow Victoria’s. I live about 300kms north of Sydney, and about 900kms north of the Victorian border, which has been closed, so the risk is low for my area, but I guess it only takes one.

Anyway, I want to thank whomever recommended the TV show Miss Scarlet & the Duke in their post last week, I binged it in a night (smitten particularly with the Hugh Jackman lookalike lead). I also took a chance on Stumptown which I’ve been enjoying over the weekend. As a couple, my husband I are watching Humans.

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

 

The Bluffs by Kyle Perry

Finding Eadie by Caroline Beecham

What You Wish For by Katherine Center

The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish

 

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New Posts…

 

Review: The Bluffs by Kyle Perry

Review: Finding Eadie by Caroline Beecham

Review: What You Wish For by Katherine Center

Review: The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish

Book Bounty

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

Alone in the wilderness, they are picked off one by one … Gripping, standalone romantic thriller from an author at the top of her game.

A tragic accident, a terrible crime, an unknown threat …

Scarred by a recent tragedy on Federation Peak, Tess Atherton is reluctant to guide a group of young hikers in the wild Tasmanian winter, but it seems safer than remaining amid the violence that threatens them in Hobart. Little does she know that she has brought the danger with her …

Detective Senior Sergeant Jared Denham is closing in on a serial killer, but someone doesn’t want him getting to the truth and the case is becoming personal. He already owes Tess his life, and wants to return the favour – but when it comes to enemies, Jared may be looking in the wrong direction.

Time is running out, and death is stalking them both …

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A striking historical novel about an ordinary young British woman sent to uncover a network of spies and war criminals in post-war Germany that will appeal to fans of The Huntress and Transcription.

World War II has just ended, and Britain has established the Control Commission for Germany, which oversees their zone of occupation. The Control Commission hires British civilians to work in Germany, rebuild the shattered nation and prosecute war crimes. Somewhat aimless, bored with her job as a provincial schoolteacher, and unwilling to live with her overbearing mother any longer, thirtysomething Edith Graham applies for a job with the Commission—but she is also recruited by her cousin, Leo, who is in the Secret Service. To them, Edith is perfect spy material…single, ordinary-looking, with a college degree in German. Cousin Leo went to Oxford with one of their most hunted war criminals, Count Kurt von Stavenow, who Edith remembers all too well from before the war. He wants her to find him.

Intrigued by the challenge, Edith heads to Germany armed with a convincing cover story: she’s an unassuming Education Officer sent to help resurrect German schools. To send information back to her Secret Service handlers in London, Edith has crafted the perfect alter ego, cookbook author Stella Snelling, who writes a popular magazine cookery column. She embeds crucial intelligence within the recipes she collects. But occupied Germany is awash with other spies, collaborators, and opportunists, and as she’s pulled into their world, Edith soon discovers that no one is what they seem to be. The closer she gets to uncovering von Stavenow’s whereabouts–and the network of German civilians who still support him–the greater the danger.

With a unique, compelling premise, Miss Graham’s Cold War Cookbook is a beautifully crafted and gripping novel about daring, betrayal, and female friendship

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Amy has only ever known what life is like in the Clearing. She knows what’s expected of her. She knows what to do to please her elders, and how to make sure life in the community remains happy and calm. That is, until a new young girl joins the group. She isn’t fitting in; she doesn’t want to stay. What happens next will turn life as Amy knows it on its head.

Freya has gone to great lengths to feel like a ‘normal person’. In fact, if you saw her go about her day with her young son, you’d think she was an everyday mum. That is, until a young girl goes missing and someone from her past, someone she hasn’t seen for a very long time, arrives in town.

As Amy and Freya’s story intertwines the secrets of the past bubble up to the surface. This rural Aussie town’s dark underbelly is about to be exposed and lives will be destroyed.

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Dublin, 1918: three days in a maternity ward at the height of the Great Flu. A small world of work, risk, death and unlooked-for love, by the bestselling author of The Wonder and ROOM.

In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city center, where expectant mothers who have come down with the terrible new Flu are quarantined together. Into Julia’s regimented world step two outsiders—Doctor Kathleen Lynn, on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney.

In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other’s lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. With tireless tenderness and humanity, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work.

In The Pull of the Stars, Emma Donoghue once again finds the light in the darkness in this new classic of hope and survival against all odds.

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Thanks for stopping by!

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

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? meme is hosted at BookDate

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

My life is incredibly uneventful. The only deviation from routine this week was a visit from my parents. Though we have no CoVid-19 cases within a several hundred kilometres of us, because my oldest daughter works in retail I still enforce social distancing when they visit, just in case, so we had afternoon tea outside and I made Choc-chip Banana Muffins and Creamy Lemon Tarts. I love lemony things and these tarts are so easy.

Creamy Lemon Tarts

24 shallow pastry cases, baked and cooled

1 395g can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup (125ml) fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp icing sugar

Mix all ingredients with an electric beater on a high setting for approx 3 minutes or until mixture thickens. Spoon into pastry cases and refrigerate for minimum 1 hour before serving. Drizzle tarts with lemon curd, for a fancier finish (I didn’t have any on hand unfortunately)

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

 

The First Time He Hit Her by Heidi Lemon

The Silk House by Kayte Nunn

The Farm at Peppertree Crossing

The Cold Vanish by Jon Billman

The Bluffs by Kyle Perry

 

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New Posts…

Review: Love & Other Crimes by Sara Paretsky

Review: The First Time He Hit Her by Heidi Lemon

Review: The Silk House by Kayte Nunn

Review: The Farm at Peppertree Crossing by Leonie Kelsall

Review: The Cold Vanish by Jon Billman

 

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 


London 1943: War and dwindling resources are taking their toll on the staff of Partridge Press. The pressure is on to create new books to distract readers from the grim realities of the war, but Partridge’s rising star, Alice Cotton, leaves abruptly and cannot be found.

Alice’s secret absence is to birth her child, and although her baby’s father remains unnamed, Alice’s mother promises to help her raise her tiny granddaughter, Eadie. Instead, she takes a shocking action.

Theo Bloom is employed by the American office of Partridge. When he is tasked with helping the British publisher overcome their challenges, Theo has his own trials to face before he can return to New York to marry his fiancee.

Inspired by real events during the Second World War, Finding Eadie is a story about the triumph of three friendships bound by hope, love, secrets and the belief that books have the power to change lives.

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Why would the police come back looking for a dead man?

Young widow Tilly is making a new life for herself, keeping house for the rangers at the Binboona Wildlife Sanctuary in the isolated wilderness of the north-western Gulf Country. Caring for injured wildlife and helping to run the popular tourist campsite are just the distraction she needs from everything she left behind when her husband, Gerry, and young daughter were lost at sea.

But when the police show up asking questions about Gerry, the peaceful routine she’s built is disrupted as she begins to question what really happened to her family. The arrival of botanist Connor stirs up even more emotion and has Tilly questioning who she can trust. When she and young ranger Luke stumble across evidence of wildlife smugglers on a visit to the local caves, suddenly her sanctuary is no longer safe and it becomes clear the past has well and truly come back to haunt her.

Set against the lush backdrop of the Northern Territory with its vibrant birds and deadly wildlife, this is a chilling and highly evocative family mystery about the wild and dangerous things that can happen in the most remote and untamed corners of our country.

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Samantha Casey loves everything about her job as an elementary school librarian on the sunny, historic island of Galveston, Texas—the goofy kids, the stately Victorian building, the butterfly garden. But when the school suddenly loses its beloved principal, it turns out his replacement will be none other than Duncan Carpenter—a former, unrequited crush of Sam’s from many years before.

When Duncan shows up as her new boss, though, he’s nothing like the sweet teacher she once swooned over. He’s become stiff, and humorless, and obsessed with school safety. Now, with Duncan determined to destroy everything Sam loves about her school in the name of security—and turn it into nothing short of a prison—Sam has to stand up for everyone she cares about before the school that’s become her home is gone for good.

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On the morning of Monday 23rd December, Jamie Buckby takes the commuter riverboat from his home in St Mary’s, southeast London, to work in Central London, noting that his good friend and neighbour Kit Roper has not turned up for the 7.30am service they usually catch together.

At the London Eye, where he disembarks for his job in a café behind the South Bank Centre, Jamie is met by the police. Kit has been reported missing by his wife.

As Jamie is taken in for questioning, he discovers someone saw him arguing with Kit on the boat home late on Friday night. The other passenger believes Jamie committed murder.

But what really happened?

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Thanks for stopping by!

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

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? meme is hosted at BookDate

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

School holidays begin today. We don’t have any plans, my husband has work as usual, as does my oldest, who is still healing but doing much better. My other daughter has study plans as the HSC trials are next term, and the boys will keep themselves busy.

I need to do some catching up, I’m at least two weeks behind in reading and reviewing.

 

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

 

The Cake Maker’s Wish by Josephine Moon

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood

Love & Other Crimes by Sara Paretsky

 

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New Posts…

Review: Better Luck Next Time by Kate Hilton

Review: The Cake Maker’s Wish by Josephine Moon

Review: The Weekend by Charlotte Wood

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #6

Six Degrees of Separation: What I Loved to The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

At the bottom of the world, there is an island. It is a land of rugged wilderness, of ice and snow and blistering heat … They say extinct tigers still roam there. They say other things roam, too.

When a school group of teenage girls go missing in the remote wilderness of Tasmania’s Great Western Tiers, the people of Limestone Creek are immediately on alert. Not long ago, six young girls went missing in the area of those dangerous bluffs, and the legends of ‘the Hungry Man’ still haunt locals to this day.

Now, authorities can determine that the teacher, Eliza Ellis, was knocked unconscious, so someone on the mountain was up to foul play. Jordan Murphy, father of missing student Jasmine and the town’s local dealer, instantly becomes prime suspect, but Detective Con Badenhorst knows that in a town this size – with corrupt cops, small-town politics, and a teenage YouTube sensation – anyone could be hiding something, and bluffing comes second nature.

When a body is found, mauled, at the bottom of a cliff, suspicion turns to a wild animal – but that can’t explain why she, like all victims past and present, was discovered barefoot, with her shoes found nearby, laces neatly tied.

What happened up there on the bluffs? Somebody knows… unless the local legends are true.

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An unexpected inheritance, a traumatic past and a family whose secrets are kept by the town

After a fractured childhood spent in foster homes, city-girl Roni has convinced herself that she has no need of anyone – other than her not-as-tough-as-he-looks rescued street cat, Scritches, and her unborn baby, who she’s determined will feel all the love she’s been denied.

Despite facing a bleak future, Roni distrusts the news of a bequest from an unknown aunt, Marian Nelson. But, out of options, she and Scritches leave Sydney behind, bound for the 800-acre property on the edge of the wheat fields of South Australia.

However, this is no simple inheritance: Marian seeks to control her legacy from beyond the grave by setting tasks that Roni must complete before she can claim the property and a life that could change her future. With everything at stake, Roni must learn to trust in the truth of Marian’s most important lesson: everyone deserves love.

A captivating story of family, friendship and forgiveness.

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Thanks for stopping by!

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

 

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? meme is hosted at BookDate

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

 

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Life…

I’m well and truly glad to put June behind me, it was, on balance, a lousy month.

It’s the last Monday of the month, so time for a challenge update

Nonfiction Reader Challenge: 7/12

Australian Women Writers Challenge: 31/50

Aussie Author Challenge: 15/24

Nerd Reading Challenge: 21/52

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: 16/25

Social Justice Challenge: 1/5

SwordsnStars Challenge: 3/10

 

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

 

Bottlebrush Creek by Maya Linnell

The Convict Valley by Mark Dunn

Sticks and Stones by Katherine Firkin

I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman

Better Luck Next Time by Kate Hilton

The Cake Maker’s Wish by Josephine Moon

 

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New Posts…

 

Bookshelf Bounty

Review: Bottlebrush Creek by Maya Linnell

Review: The Convict Valley by Mark Dunn

Review: Sticks and Stones by Katherine Firkin

Review: I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman

 

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

People went on about death bringing friends together, but it wasn’t true. The graveyard, the stony dirt – that’s what it was like now . . . Despite the three women knowing each other better than their own siblings, Sylvie’s death had opened up strange caverns of distance between them.

Four older women have a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank and steadfast. But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining three. Can they survive together without her?

They are Jude, a once-famous restaurateur, Wendy, an acclaimed public intellectual, and Adele, a renowned actress now mostly out of work. Struggling to recall exactly why they’ve remained close all these years, the grieving women gather for Christmas at Sylvie’s old beach house – not for festivities, but to clean the place out before it is sold.

Without Sylvie to maintain the group’s delicate equilibrium, frustrations build and painful memories press in. Fraying tempers, an elderly dog, unwelcome guests and too much wine collide in a storm that brings long-buried hurts to the surface – and threatens to sweep away their friendship for good.

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.

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Tara Costigan was the woman next door. A hard worker. Quick to laugh and easy to like. She was happy, confident, strong. A woman who always looked after herself and her kids. Close with her family and her friends, she was much loved. Then, in 2013, she met Marcus Rappel. A local tradie, he was charming and sincere, they dated and fell in love. That should have been the end of a happy-ever-after story. But for Tara, it was much uglier. And for her family it would be devastating.

A year later, Tara was pregnant to Marcus. Her family had been worried for a while, but Tara didn’t tell anyone how Marcus’s jealousy was souring the relationship. She tried to keep it quiet. Despite everything, she never imagined he would be physically violent – he would never hurt her.

Tara was wrong. One fine day, the last day of summer in 2015, she was holding their newborn baby in her arms when he attacked her with an axe. Her murder seemed to come out of the blue. But as this extraordinary, often shocking book reveals, it did not.

THE FIRST TIME HE HIT HER is an attempt to understand why dozens of women are murdered each year by men who profess to love them

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New York Times bestselling author Sara Paretsky is the master of twisting suspense and compelling plots. She has been hailed by the crime community as “a legend” (Harlan Coben) and “one of the all-time greats” (Karin Slaughter). Her acclaimed novels featuring detective V.I. Warshawski have become one of the most celebrated series in modern fiction. Now in this spellbinding collection, Paretsky showcases her extraordinary talents with fourteen short stories, including one new V.I. story and seven other classics featuring the indomitable detective.

In “Miss Bianca,” a young girl becomes involved in espionage when she befriends a mouse in a laboratory that is conducting dark experiments. Ten-year-old V.I. Warshawski appears in “Wildcat,” embarking on her very first investigation to save her father. A hardboiled New York detective and elderly British aristocrat team up to reveal a murderer in Chicago during the World’s Fair in “Murder at the Century of Progress.” In the new title story, “Love & Other Crimes,” V.I. treads the line between justice and vengeance when the wrongful firing of a family friend makes him a murder suspect.

For longtime fans of V.I. Warshawski, new readers discovering her for the first time, or any lover of crime and bone-chilling suspense, Love & Other Crimes is a celebration of Paretsky’s exceptional storytelling skill and a searing exploration of the dark conspiracies and desperate human acts hiding in plain sight.

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Australian history teacher Thea Rust arrives at an exclusive boarding school in the British countryside only to find that she is to look after the first intake of girls in its 150-year history. She is to stay with them in Silk House, a building with a long and troubled past, where the shadows hide more mysteries than she could ever imagine.

In the late 1700s, Rowan Caswell leaves her village to work in the home of an English silk merchant. She is thrust into a new and dangerous world where her talent for herbs and healing soon attracts attention.

In London, Mary-Louise Stephenson lives amid the clatter of the weaving trade and dreams of becoming a silk designer, a job that is the domain of men. Arriving in the market town of Oxleigh, she brings with her a length of fabric woven with a pattern of deadly plants that will have far-reaching consequences for all who dwell in the silk house.

Intoxicating, haunting and inspired by the author’s background, THE SILK HOUSE is the exceptional new gothic mystery by Kayte Nunn

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Thanks for stopping by!

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

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at BookDate

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

 

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Life…

So it’s been quite the week, feel free to skip the following litany of woe.

We’re still waiting for results after my husbands surgery last week.

On Wednesday we had to take my oldest daughter to hospital and she ended up having emergency surgery due to an abscess that threatened sepsis. She remained in hospital til yesterday, and while she’s home now she requires daily wound care visits and may still have to have further surgery early next week.

On Thursday my father called to say my mother was being admitted to hospital in a lot of pain. Thankfully that situation resolved itself without the need for surgery (for now) and she too was released on Saturday.

On Friday we received word that our nephew (who is only 30) had undergone heart surgery after suffering a stroke. He is currently doing well, though will be hospital for a while.

And then on Saturday our best friends let me know their beloved dog passed away.

As a result, I just did not have the head space this past week to do anything much except stare mindlessly at the TV. The stress has caused my chronic condition to flare and triggered a worsening of my insomnia. Frankly this week might be a write off too.

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

 

Sticks and Stones by Katherine Firkin

 

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New Posts…

None

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What I’m Reading This Week…

Same as last week

In 1790, five convicts escaped Sydney by boat and were swept ashore near present day Newcastle. They were taken into the local Aboriginal clan, marrying and starting families. Thus began a long and often dramatic series of encounters between Aboriginals and convicts in the Hunter Valley, the second European settlement after Sydney. This book tells the story of the Hunter’s first 50 years—a rich account of relations between the convicts, land owners (many former convicts), and Aboriginal clans. Not a simple recounting of frontier conflict, it also shows how some Aboriginal families found ways to survive the loss of their land by subtle forms of resistance, or by working for the European settlers. Based on meticulous and extensive primary research which has uncovered many new stories,The Convict Valley is a new Australian history classic.

xxxxxx

 

On a Barbarous Coast is an alternative retelling of Captain James Cook’s story co-written by Craig Cormick and Harold Ludwick in the tradition of imagined histories.

We were becoming the wild things we most feared, but could not see it at the time.

On a night of raging winds and rain, Captain Cook’s Endeavour lies splintered on a coral reef off the coast of far north Australia. A small disparate band of survivors, fracturing already, huddle on the shore of this strange land – their pitiful salvage scant protection from the dangers of the unknown creatures and natives that live here.

Watching these mysterious white beings, the Guugu Yimidhirr people cannot decide if they are ancestor spirits to be welcomed – or hostile spirits to be speared. One headstrong young boy, Garrgiil, determines to do more than watch and to be the one to find out what exactly they are.

Fierce, intriguing and thoughtful, On a Barbarous Coast is the story of a past and future that might have been.

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Thanks for stopping by!

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

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at BookDate

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

Life…

I know I was rather cryptic in my update last week but thankfully all went well. It‘s not quite resolved as we wait for results, but it looks promising. The situation sort of consumed my whole week, but there was some good news. My youngest son (14) started his first part time job for a local newsagency. The hours are brutal, 4am to 6am three mornings a week, sorting and rolling newspapers for delivery. He is really looking forward to having money of his own though, and it will be character building.

It’s the Queens Birthday long weekend here, but we have no plans. We are still practicing social distancing, or at least that’s the excuse we are using.

 

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

 

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

The Extraordinary Hope of Dawn Brightside

Bottlebrush Creek by Maya Linnell

 

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New Posts…

 

Review: Heatstroke by Hazel Barkworth

Review: The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

Review: The Extraordinary Hope of Dawn Brightside by Jessica Ryn

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #5

Six Degrees of Separation: Normal People to The Colorado Kid

 

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

‘He didn’t have to be normal, the boy realised. He just had to pretend.’

It’s winter in Melbourne and Detective Emmett Corban is starting to regret his promotion to head of the Missing Persons Unit, as the routine reports pile up on his desk.

So when Natale Gibson goes missing, he’s convinced this is the big case he’s been waiting for – the woman’s husband and parents insist the devoted mother would never abandon her children, and her personal accounts remain untouched.

But things aren’t all they seem. The close-knit Italian family is keeping secrets – none bigger than the one Natale has been hiding.

Just as the net seems to be tightening, the investigation is turned on its head. The body of a woman is found . . . then another.

What had seemed like a standard missing person’s case has turned into a frightening hunt for a serial killer, and time is running out.

But to really understand these shocking crimes, Emmett and his team will need to delve back through decades of neglect – back to a squalid inner-city flat, where a young boy is left huddling over his mother’s body . . .

xxxxxxxxxx

 

In 1790, five convicts escaped Sydney by boat and were swept ashore near present day Newcastle. They were taken into the local Aboriginal clan, marrying and starting families. Thus began a long and often dramatic series of encounters between Aboriginals and convicts in the Hunter Valley, the second European settlement after Sydney. This book tells the story of the Hunter’s first 50 years—a rich account of relations between the convicts, land owners (many former convicts), and Aboriginal clans. Not a simple recounting of frontier conflict, it also shows how some Aboriginal families found ways to survive the loss of their land by subtle forms of resistance, or by working for the European settlers. Based on meticulous and extensive primary research which has uncovered many new stories,The Convict Valley is a new Australian history classic.

xxxxxxxxxx

 

On a Barbarous Coast is an alternative retelling of Captain James Cook’s story co-written by Craig Cormick and Harold Ludwick in the tradition of imagined histories.

We were becoming the wild things we most feared, but could not see it at the time.

On a night of raging winds and rain, Captain Cook’s Endeavour lies splintered on a coral reef off the coast of far north Australia. A small disparate band of survivors, fracturing already, huddle on the shore of this strange land – their pitiful salvage scant protection from the dangers of the unknown creatures and natives that live here.

Watching these mysterious white beings, the Guugu Yimidhirr people cannot decide if they are ancestor spirits to be welcomed – or hostile spirits to be speared. One headstrong young boy, Garrgiil, determines to do more than watch and to be the one to find out what exactly they are.

Fierce, intriguing and thoughtful, On a Barbarous Coast is the story of a past and future that might have been.

———————————————

 

Thanks for stopping by!

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


The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at BookDate

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

 

I am just at a loss this week.

I don’t have the words to articulate my feelings of sorrow, and anger, and frustration, and fear, not only in regards to the effects of the pandemic across the world, and the divisiveness currently tearing America apart, but I’m also facing a personal situation midweek that I’m extremely anxious about.

I am doing the best I can.

 

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

 

The Hunted by Gabriel Bergmoser

When Grace Went Away by Meredith Appleyard

Heatstroke by Hazel Barkworth

 

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New Posts…

 

Review: The Long Shadow by Anne Buist

Review: The Hunted by Gabriel Bergmoser

Review: When Grace Went Away by Meredith Appleyard

 

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What I’m Reading This Week…

(Click the cover to view at Goodreads)

 

Based on the true World War II story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, this is the unforgettable story of romance, friendship, family, and the power of literature to bring us together.

PARIS, 1939 Odile Souchet is obsessed with books, and working at The American Library in Paris for the formidable director Dorothy Reeder is all she has ever dreamed of. The Library and its thriving community of students, writers, diplomats and book lovers provide her with a safe haven. When war is declared, the Library is determined to remain open. But then the Nazis invade Paris, and everything changes. The Nazi ‘Library Protector’ changes the rules overnight, declaring a war on words making the librarians risk their lives to do their jobs.

Under the courageous guidance of Miss Reeder, Odile and her fellow librarians defy the authorities to make sure all their subscribers, even those deemed no longer desirable, get access to books and remain part of their community, whatever the cost.

Choices as black and white as the words on a page become a murky shade of grey – choices that will put many of the wrong side of history, and the consequences of which will echo for decades to come.

THE PARIS LIBRARY illuminates a seldom-seen slice of history: the role of women and their fate during the war. It also recounts the consequences of unspeakable betrayal, when the people we count on for understanding and protection fail us.

xxxxxxxxx

 

A pitch-perfect rural romance of changing relationships and family ties from the bestselling author of Wildflower Ridge.

Between managing a bustling beauty salon, hectic volunteer commitments and the lion’s share of parenting two-year-old Claudia, Angie McIntyre barely has time to turn around. And with each passing month, she feels her relationship with fly-in, fly-out boyfriend Rob Jones slipping through her fingers.

When Rob faces retrenchment, and the most fabulous fixer-upper comes onto the market, Angie knows this derelict weatherboard cottage will be the perfect project to draw their little family together.

There’s just one catch: the 200-acre property is right next door to Rob’s parents in south-west Victoria.

It doesn’t take long for rising tensions to set a wedge between the hard-working couple. Angie and Rob have to find out the hard way whether their grand design will draw them closer together or be the very thing that tears them apart.

A sparkling rural romance of changing relationships and family ties from the bestselling author of Wildflower Ridge.

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Thanks for stopping by!

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

 

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? meme is hosted at BookDate

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

 

——————————————-

 

Life…

None to speak of.

 

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

The Long Shadow by Anne Buist

 

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New Posts…

 

Review: I’d Give Anything by Marisa de los Santos

Review: Who We Were by B.M. Carroll

 

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

She’s gone … will her family pull together, or fall further apart?

Classic, women-centred fiction, a complex, multi-layered story about family and community, from the author of the warmly received Home at Last.

‘Functionally dysfunctional.’ That’s how financial analyst Grace Fairley describes her family in the small South Australian farming community of Miners Ridge – a family fractured by tragedy and kept that way by anger, resentment and petty jealousies. As the eldest sibling, Grace tries to keep the family in touch, but now she’s accepted a promotion to the London office. Time-zones and an enormous workload mean she’s forced to take a step back, although she finds time to stay in contact with Miners Ridge landscape gardener Aaron Halliday.

Sarah Fairley, Grace’s mother, fled Miners Ridge and her embittered husband eight years ago. Now, in the absence of Grace, she finds herself pulled back to the small town where her estranged children and grandchildren live. Drawn into the local community, and trying to rebuild family relationships, she uncovers a long-kept secret that could change her world …

Can Grace, Sarah and their family find a way to heal? Who will have the courage to make the first move?

xxxxxxx

 

The summer burns with secrets…

It is too hot to sleep. To work. To be questioned time and again by the police.

At the beginning of a stifling, sultry summer, everything shifts irrevocably when Lily doesn’t come home one afternoon.

Rachel is Lily’s teacher. Her daughter Mia is Lily’s best friend. The girls are fifteen – almost women, still children.

As Rachel becomes increasingly fixated on Lily’s absence, she finds herself breaking fragile trusts and confronting impossible choices she never thought she’d face.

It wasn’t supposed to happen like this.

Intoxicating and compulsive, Heatstroke is a darkly gripping, thought-provoking novel of crossed boundaries, power and betrayal, that plays with expectations at every turn.

xxxxxxx

 

She’s always looking on the bright side…

Dawn Elisabeth Brightside has been running from her past for twenty-two years and two months, precisely.

So when she is offered a bed in St Jude’s Hostel for the Homeless, it means so much more than just a roof over her head.

But with St Jude’s threatened with closure, Dawn worries that everything is about to crumble around her all over again.

Perhaps, with a little help from her new friends, she can find a way to save this light in the darkness?

And maybe, just maybe, Dawn will finally have a place to call home….

xxxxxxx

 

Whether working the mobs of cattle with the stockmen, playing cattleduffing on horseback or singing and doing lessons at their School of the Air desks, Tanya Heaslip and her siblings led a childhood unimaginable to many Australians. Growing up on a vast and isolated cattle property just north of Alice Springs, Tanya tells of wild rides, of making far-flung friends over the Air, of the dangers, the fun and the back-breaking work. As the eldest child, her added responsibility was to look after the littler ones, so she was by their sides dealing with snakes, the threat of bushfires and broken bones.

Tanya’s parents, Janice and Grant ‘the Boss’ Heaslip, were pioneers. They developed Bond Springs Station where water was scarce, where power was dependent on generators and where a trip to town for supplies meant a full day’s journey. Grant was determined to teach his children how to survive in this severe

environment and his lessons were often harsh. In a childhood that most would consider very tough, Tanya tells of this precious time with raw honesty, humour, love and kindness. This is the story of an Alice girl.

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Thanks for stopping by!

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