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

 

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

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Life…

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This horrid flu is still lingering, I feel exhausted a lot of the time, and my ribs ache from coughing. Thank goodness winter is nearly over!

On the weekend we attended a lunch to celebrate my Great Uncle’s 95th birthday. He was delighted to have so much family in attendance, and it was nice to catch up with some relatives we haven’t seen in years, though I had to keep my distance for obvious reasons.

The HSC Trial exam period (in the UK I think you call them Mocks – I’m not sure what the US equivalent would be) has started for my eldest son. He had his Drama performance on Friday night which consisted of a group performance and an eight minute monologue, and over the next two weeks has exams for all his subjects. As he is hoping to get early entry offers for university, he is studying hard.

My youngest son left for a week long school ski trip to Thredbo yesterday. It will be his first time seeing snow, little lone attempting skiing/snowboarding. I’m just hoping he doesn’t break anything!

Daughter #2 is back at uni, and this week was awarded a place on the Dean’s Merit List for the 2021 academic year. It looks like she is in track for this year too as her mid year results were stellar. We are so proud of her, especially given all the challenges due to CoVid, bushfires and floods!

I’m still trying to catch up on reviews, and failing!

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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All of Me by Cadance Bell

The Unbelieved by Vicki Petraitis

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

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New Posts…

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*placeholders for now*

Review: The Surgeon’s Daughter by Audrey Blake

Review: The Fallback by DL Hicks

Review: Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor

Review: Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 


Things are getting slippery for Stella. With her husband away she’s juggling a full-time job, a tricky stepdaughter and a relentless four-year-old – all while trying to find her footing in her spouse’s shiny world. Joining the throng of local mothers, she reluctantly hires an au pair in the hope that it will lighten the load.

Stella’s mother-in-law, Elise, thinks this is a rotten idea. An industrial chemist and staunch feminist, she finds the ethical murkiness surrounding the au pair solution difficult to swallow. But she’s promised her son not to meddle, has her own career battles to slay and ghosts of her own past to contend with.

For Ava, life in Sydney as an au pair could help fill the void left by the loss of her mother. With her family recipes in her hand and hope in her heart, she sets off to reinvent herself in a place far away.

Three women, drawn together by impossible circumstances, will discover that the greatest comfort can often be found in the mess.

Perfect for fans of Meg Mason and Sally Hepworth; a powerful and heart-rending story about how food connects us and assumptions divide us – and how true family can come from where you least expect it.

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Dark Deeds Down Under, a groundbreaking anthology, brings together internationally-renowned Aussie and Kiwi crime writers and their beloved characters.

This stunning anthology includes 19 short stories from some of the brightest storytelling talents from Australia and New Zealand: including international bestsellers and award winners.

Through the prism of page-turning crime, mystery and thriller stories you will roam from the dusty Outback to South Island glaciers, from ocean-carved coastlines and craggy mountains to sultry rainforests and Middle Earth valleys, and via sleepy villages to the underbellies of our cosmopolitan cities.

In these all-new stories you’ll spend time with favourite series cops, sleuths and accidental heroes, and meet some new and edgy standalone characters.

This vibrant showcase includes: Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman, Garry Disher’s ‘Hirsch’, Vanda Symon’s Sam Shephard, Sulari Gentill’s Rowly Sinclair, RWR McDonald’s ‘Nancys’, Lee Murray & Dan Rabarts’ Penny Yee & Matiu, Katherine Kovacic’s Alex Clayton, Dinuka McKenzie’s Kate Miles, and a rare appearance from Shane Maloney’s Murray Whelan.

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NEW YORK CITY 1921: The war is over, fashions are daring, and bootleg liquor is abundant. Here four extraordinary women form a bridge group that grows into a firm friendship.

Dorothy Parker: renowned wit, member of the Algonquin Round Table, and more fragile than she seems. Jane Grant: first female reporter for the New York Times, and determined to launch a new magazine she calls The New Yorker. Winifred Lenihan: beautiful and talented Broadway actress, a casting-couch target. And Peggy Leech: magazine assistant by day, brilliant novelist by night.

Their romances flourish and falter while their goals sometimes seem impossible to reach and their friendship deepens against the backdrop of turbulent New York City, where new speakeasies open and close, jazz music flows through the air, and bathtub gin fills their glasses.

They gossip, they comfort each other, and they offer support through the setbacks. But their biggest challenge is keeping their dear friend Dottie safe from herself.

In this brilliant new novel from the bestselling and acclaimed author of Jackie and Maria and The Secret Wife, readers will fall right into Jazz Age New York and into the inner lives of these groundbreaking, influential women.

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As a photographer, Stevie’s been to enough bush weddings to last a lifetime. When’s it going to be all about her?

With her ex soon to be married, her mum back on the dating scene, and her best friend threatening to settle down with the Most Boring Man Alive, Stevie is feeling left behind.

To top it off, her old uni mate Johnno West, whom she hasn’t seen for years, keeps turning up as best man at Stevie’s jobs. And he is looking so good.

Perhaps their youthful pact – that if they were both still single in their early thirties they’d get together – is not so crazy after all?

Then the enigmatic Charlie Jones walks into the frame …

Capturing the heartbeat of rural Australia, Five Bush Weddings is an uplifting romantic comedy about looking for love, second chances, and what really matters when the bouquet has been thrown, the swag’s been rolled up and the party’s over.

 

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance #FiveBushWeddings #ARecipeForFamily #DarkDeedsDownUnder #TheManhattanGirls

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

 

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

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Life…

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I’m sick again! Another bad cold (multiple RAT’s have come up COVID negative), it seems maybe even the same one as last month. I swear I catch stuff more often from my kids now that they are adults than I did when they were little. It started Wednesday night with a headache and an occasional throat tickle, on Thursday I felt like I’d swallowed razor blades, and I started coughing so hard I lost my voice. By Friday my nose started flowing, but today my head is a bit clearer and I haven’t been coughing quite as often, so hopefully it’s nearly done with me. I hope so because I’m my ribs are really sore, and I’ve barely slept for days.

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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Confidence by Denise Mina

Blood Sisters by Cate Quinn

All of Me by Cadance Bell

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New Posts…

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Review: The Change by Kirsten Miller

Review: The Emma Project by Sonali Dev

Review: Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

Review: Rattled by Ellis Gunn

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #7

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

This is not a romance, but it is about love

Two kids meet in a hospital gaming room in 1987. One is visiting her sister, the other is recovering from a car crash. The days and months are long there. Their love of video games becomes a shared world — of joy, escape and fierce competition. But all too soon that time is over, fades from view.

When the pair spot each other eight years later in a crowded train station, they are catapulted back to that moment. The spark is immediate, and together they get to work on what they love – making games to delight, challenge and immerse players, finding an intimacy in digital worlds that eludes them in their real lives. Their collaborations make them superstars.

This is the story of the perfect worlds Sadie and Sam build, the imperfect world they live in, and of everything that comes after success: Money. Fame. Duplicity. Tragedy.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow takes us on a dazzling imaginative quest as it examines the nature of identity, creativity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play and, above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love.

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‘So you believed the alleged rapists over the alleged victim?’ Jane’s voice took on an indignant pitch. ‘Girls lie sometimes.’ I nodded. ‘And rapists lie all the time.’

When Senior Detective Antigone Pollard moves to the coastal town of Deception Bay, she is still in shock and grief. Back in Melbourne, one of her cases had gone catastrophically wrong, and to escape the guilt and the haunting memories, she’d requested a transfer to the quiet town she’d grown up in.

But there are some things you can’t run from. A month into her new life, she is targeted by a would-be rapist at the pub, and realises why there have been no convictions following a spate of similar sexual attacks in the surrounding district. The male witnesses in the pub back her attacker and even her boss doesn’t believe her.

Hers is the first reported case in Deception Bay, but soon there are more. As Antigone searches for answers, she encounters a wall of silence in the town built of secrets and denial and fear. The women of Deception Bay are scared and the law is not on their side. The nightmare has followed her home.

Chilling, timely and gripping, The Unbelieved takes us behind the headlines to a small-town world that is all too real – and introduces us to a brilliant new voice in crime fiction.

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As a photographer, Stevie’s been to enough bush weddings to last a lifetime. When’s it going to be all about her?

With her ex soon to be married, her mum back on the dating scene, and her best friend threatening to settle down with the Most Boring Man Alive, Stevie is feeling left behind.

To top it off, her old uni mate Johnno West, whom she hasn’t seen for years, keeps turning up as best man at Stevie’s jobs. And he is looking so good.

Perhaps their youthful pact – that if they were both still single in their early thirties they’d get together – is not so crazy after all?

Then the enigmatic Charlie Jones walks into the frame …

Capturing the heartbeat of rural Australia, Five Bush Weddings is an uplifting romantic comedy about looking for love, second chances, and what really matters when the bouquet has been thrown, the swag’s been rolled up and the party’s over.

xxxxxxxxx

 

A private investigator returning to the hometown he fled years ago becomes entangled in the disappearance of two teenage girls in this stunning literary crime thriller.

Reid left the small town of Manson a decade ago, promising his former Chief of Police boss he’d never return. He made a new life in the city, became a PI and turned his back on his old life for good.

Now an insurance firm has offered him good money to look into a suspicious car crash, and he finds himself back in the place he grew up – home to his complicated family history, a scarring relationship breakdown and a very public career-ending incident.

As Reid’s investigation unfolds, nothing is as it seems: rumours are swirling about the well-liked young woman who was driving the car which killed her professor husband, while a second local student has just disappeared. As Reid veers off course from the job he has been paid to do, will he find himself in the dangerous position of taking on the town again?

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I’m sorry if I haven’t visited you recently, I’m trying to get back on schedule.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance #TheWrongWoman #FiveBushWeddings #TheUnbelieved #TomorrowandTomorrowandTomorrow

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

 

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

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Life…

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I am currently 21 reviews behind schedule, but I’m working on it!

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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Godmersham Park by Gill Hornby

The Littlest Library by Poppy Alexander

Do As I Say by Sarah Steel

Yours Mine Ours by Sinead Moriarty

Criminals by James O’Loughlin

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New Posts…

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Review: One of Us by Kylie Kaden

Review: The People on Platform 5 by Clare Pooley

Review: Overboard by Sara Paretsky

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

The tiny outback town of Dead Tree Creek is a rough place – and the locals are even rougher – but they’ve never seen anything like this . . .

When a man is found gruesomely murdered in the local pub, all fingers point to the backpackers working behind the bar that night – two American girls who skipped town before the body was discovered.

Despite all the evidence against them, rookie cop Tara Harrison knows there must be more to this case than a pair of sorority sisters who couldn’t take a joke. She’s determined to uncover the truth, and is soon on the trail of a devastating secret that could tear her hometown apart.

But sorority sisters Lauren and Beth have their own dark secrets and they’ve made an oath to take them to the grave – which they will, all too soon, unless Tara can stop it .

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This is not a romance, but it is about love

Two kids meet in a hospital gaming room in 1987. One is visiting her sister, the other is recovering from a car crash. The days and months are long there. Their love of video games becomes a shared world — of joy, escape and fierce competition. But all too soon that time is over, fades from view.

When the pair spot each other eight years later in a crowded train station, they are catapulted back to that moment. The spark is immediate, and together they get to work on what they love – making games to delight, challenge and immerse players, finding an intimacy in digital worlds that eludes them in their real lives. Their collaborations make them superstars.

This is the story of the perfect worlds Sadie and Sam build, the imperfect world they live in, and of everything that comes after success: Money. Fame. Duplicity. Tragedy.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow takes us on a dazzling imaginative quest as it examines the nature of identity, creativity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play and, above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love.

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The unforgettable memoir that redefines ‘she’ll be right’.

What’s it like to grow up in an Aussie family that has a man of every flavour? A bank robber, an infamous sports umpire, several different breeds of drug addict (collect the whole set!), a roster of crafty swindlers, an attempted murderer and the local town drunk. And what if you had a secret so ghastly that you feared it made you more disgraceful than all of your roguish ancestors combined?

Seven years ago, Ben was a millennial with a death wish. He was loveless, overweight, crashing in his parents’ rumpus room and blinking his life away in a haze of marijuana vape. Then one day Ben decided to change everything – starting with the Ben bit. Becoming Cadance was more than a gender transition: it was a transition in every way, fear to acceptance, from self-loathing to love, anger to kindness. She was determined to experience the all of it.

Written with dazzling creativity and exuberance, The All of It is a wild coming-of-gender memoir like no other. Tender, tragic, hilarious and life-affirming, it will leave you understanding a little more about trans people, rural Australia, family, millennials and the beautiful contradictions of our kaleidoscopic world.

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‘So you believed the alleged rapists over the alleged victim?’ Jane’s voice took on an indignant pitch. ‘Girls lie sometimes.’ I nodded. ‘And rapists lie all the time.’

When Senior Detective Antigone Pollard moves to the coastal town of Deception Bay, she is still in shock and grief. Back in Melbourne, one of her cases had gone catastrophically wrong, and to escape the guilt and the haunting memories, she’d requested a transfer to the quiet town she’d grown up in.

But there are some things you can’t run from. A month into her new life, she is targeted by a would-be rapist at the pub, and realises why there have been no convictions following a spate of similar sexual attacks in the surrounding district. The male witnesses in the pub back her attacker and even her boss doesn’t believe her.

Hers is the first reported case in Deception Bay, but soon there are more. As Antigone searches for answers, she encounters a wall of silence in the town built of secrets and denial and fear. The women of Deception Bay are scared and the law is not on their side. The nightmare has followed her home.

Chilling, timely and gripping, The Unbelieved takes us behind the headlines to a small-town world that is all too real – and introduces us to a brilliant new voice in crime fiction.

———————————————

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance #BloodSisters #TomorrowandTomorrowandTomorrow #AllofIt #TheUnbelieved

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

 

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

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Life…

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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Nothing But The Truth by the Secret Barrister

The Angry Woman’s Choir by Mel Bignell

Counterfeit by Kirsten Chen

Unmask Alice by Rick Emerson

The Family String by Denise Picton

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New Posts…

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2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #6

Bookshelf Bounty

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

On 21 January 1804, Anne Sharpe arrives at Godmersham Park in Kent to take up the position of governess. At 31 years old, she has no previous experience of either teaching or fine country houses. Her mother has died, and she has nowhere else to go. Anne is left with no choice. For her new charge – twelve-year-old Fanny Austen – Anne’s arrival is all novelty and excitement.

The governess role is a uniquely awkward one. Anne is neither one of the servants, nor one of the family, and to balance a position between the ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’ members of the household is a diplomatic chess game. One wrong move may result in instant dismissal. Anne knows that she must never let down her guard.

When Mr Edward Austen’s family comes to stay, Anne forms an immediate attachment to Jane. They write plays together, and enjoy long discussions. However, in the process, Anne reveals herself as not merely pretty, charming and competent; she is clever too. Even her sleepy, complacent mistress can hardly fail to notice.

Meanwhile Jane’s brother, Henry, begins to take an unusually strong interest in the lovely young governess . . .

And from now on, Anne’s days at Godmersham Park are numbered.

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A little red telephone box full of stories, a chance to change her life…

Jess Metcalf is perfectly content with her quiet, predictable life. But when her beloved grandmother passes away and she loses her job at the local library, Jess’ life is turned upside down.

Determined to pick up the pieces, Jess decides it’s time for a new beginning. Unable to part with her grandmother’s cherished books, she packs them all up and moves to a tiny cottage in the English countryside. To her surprise, Jess discovers that she’s now the owner of an old red phone box that was left on the property. Missing her job at the local library, Jess decides to give back to her new community–using her grandmother’s collection to turn the ordinary phone box into the littlest library in England.

It’s not long before the books are borrowed and begin to work their literary magic–bringing the villagers together… and managing to draw Jess’ grumpy but handsome neighbor out of his shell.

Maybe it’s finally time for Jess to follow her heart, let go of her old life, and make the village her home? But will she be able to take the leap?

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At the heart of being human is the desire to belong. It can make us unspeakably vulnerable to the manipulations of others. Cult leaders prey on this desire, but so do many unscrupulous operators hiding in plain sight.

Sarah Steel, the creator of the popular ‘Let’s Talk About Sects’ podcast, has researched the cults you’ve heard of–and dozens you haven’t. What strikes her most are not the differences between bizarre cult behaviour and ‘normal’ behaviour but the depressing similarities. Her work reveals that we are all susceptible to the power of cult dynamics.

In Do As I Say, Steel tells the human tale behind the sensationalism. Sharing deeply personal stories, gathered over years of interviews with survivors, and some shocking tales about the world’s most famous cults, she sheds light on the high cost of unchecked coercive behaviours to individuals and communities at large.

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What’s another branch on the family tree?

Things are finally looking up for Anna. Seventeen miserable years of marriage to man-child Connor have left her drained and ready for a new start. So when they separate, she couldn’t be more thrilled to move in with James, a handsome lecturer who is everything her ex-husband is not: kind, thoughtful, and above all, reliable.

But Anna and James’s kids hate living with the loved-up couple and the new set-up. Their teenage daughters – one a studious high achiever and the other a cool rich girl unbothered by grades or exams – have nothing in common. And Anna’s wild football-mad nine-year-old son declares war on bookish James.

Nobody said step-parenting was easy; Anna and James are about to find out exactly how complicated it can be. With exes, new partners-of-exes and money all in the mix, home life is fast becoming a minefield and their new-found happiness hangs in the balance. Do they have what it takes to make their blended family work?

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance #GodmershamPark #TheLittlestLibrary #DoAsISay #YoursMineOurs

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

 

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

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Life…

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After another week of illness -not CoVid but the flu, with all the aches, fever and vertigo courtesy of whatever new strain is floating around. Still I had plans for today to start catching up in earnest. Then while going to pick up my youngest from a friends house early this morning I was rear-ended, and now I’m a bit sore and shaken. Posting this might be all I can manage today.

Let’s hope tomorrow is better.

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor

The Guncle by Steven Rowley

Madwoman by Louisa Treger

Someone Else’s Child by Kylie Orr

Nothing But The Truth by the Secret Barrister

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New Posts…

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None

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

By the acclaimed author of Welcome To Nowhere River comes a heart-warming and uplifting story about a remarkable group of women who discover they are all capable of incredible things – if they’re strong enough, and angry enough, to take up the cause.

Once in a while, everyone needs to be heard.

Freycinet Barnes has built herself the perfect existence. With beautiful children, a successful husband and a well-ordered schedule, it’s a life so full she simply doesn’t fit.

When she steps outside her calendar and is accidentally thrown into the generous bosom of the West Moonah Women’s Choir, she finds music, laughter, friendship and a humming wellspring of rage. With the ready acceptance of the colourful choristers, Frey learns that voices can move mountains, fury can be kind and life can do with a bit of ruining.

Together, Frey and the choir sing their anger, they breathe it in and stitch it up, belt it out and spin it into a fierce, driving beat that will kick the system square in the balls, and possibly demolish them all.

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Two teens. Two diaries. Two social panics. One incredible fraud.

In 1971, Go Ask Alice reinvented the young adult genre with a blistering portrayal of sex, psychosis, and teenage self-destruction. The supposed diary of a middle-class addict, Go Ask Alice terrified adults and cemented LSD’s fearsome reputation, fueling support for the War on Drugs. Five million copies later, Go Ask Alice remains a divisive bestseller, outraging censors and earning new fans, all of them drawn by the book’s mythic premise: A Real Diary, by Anonymous.

But Alice was only the beginning.

In 1979, another diary rattled the culture, setting the stage for a national meltdown. The posthumous memoir of an alleged teenage Satanist, Jay’s Journal merged with a frightening new crisis—adolescent suicide—to create a literal witch hunt, shattering countless lives and poisoning whole communities.

In reality, Go Ask Alice and Jay’s Journal came from the same dark place: Beatrice Sparks, a serial con artist who betrayed a grieving family, stole a dead boy’s memory, and lied her way to the National Book Awards.

Unmask Alice: LSD, Satanic Panic, and the Imposter Behind the World’s Most Notorious Diaries is a true story of contagious deception. It stretches from Hollywood to Quantico, and passes through a tiny patch of Utah nicknamed “the fraud capital of America.” It’s the story of a doomed romance and a vengeful celebrity. Of a lazy press and a public mob. Of two suicidal teenagers, and their exploitation by a literary vampire.

Unmask Alice . . . where truth is stranger than nonfiction.

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Money can’t buy happiness… but it can buy a decent fake.

Ava Wong has always played it safe. As a strait-laced, rule-abiding Chinese American lawyer with a successful surgeon as a husband, a young son, and a beautiful home–she’s built the perfect life. But beneath this façade, Ava’s world is crumbling: her marriage is falling apart, her expensive law degree hasn’t been used in years, and her toddler’s tantrums are pushing her to the breaking point.

Enter Winnie Fang, Ava’s enigmatic college roommate from Mainland China, who abruptly dropped out under mysterious circumstances. Now, twenty years later, Winnie is looking to reconnect with her old friend. But the shy, awkward girl Ava once knew has been replaced with a confident woman of the world, dripping in luxury goods, including a coveted Birkin in classic orange. The secret to her success? Winnie has developed an ingenious counterfeit scheme that involves importing near-exact replicas of luxury handbags and now she needs someone with a U.S. passport to help manage her business–someone who’d never be suspected of wrongdoing, someone like Ava. But when their spectacular success is threatened and Winnie vanishes once again, Ava is left to face the consequences.

Swift, surprising, and sharply comic, Counterfeit is a stylish and feminist caper with a strong point of view and an axe to grind. Peering behind the curtain of the upscale designer storefronts and the Chinese factories where luxury goods are produced, Kirstin Chen interrogates the myth of the model minority through two unforgettable women determined to demand more from life

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Meet Dorcas, a spirited 12-year-old struggling to contain her irrepressible humour and naughty streak in a family of Christadelphians in 1960s Adelaide. She is her mother’s least favourite child and always at the bottom of the order on the family’s string of beads that she and her younger siblings Ruthy and Caleb reorder according to their mother’s ever-changing moods.

Dorcas, an aspiring vet, dreams of having a dog, or failing that, a guinea pig named Thruppence. Ruthy wants to attend writing school, and Caleb wants to play footy with the local team. But Christadelphians aren’t allowed to be ‘of the world’ and when their older brother Daniel is exiled to door knock and spread the good word in New South Wales after being caught making out with Esther Dawlish at youth camp, each try their hardest to suppress their dreams for a bigger life. But for a girl like Dorcas, dreams have a habit of surfacing at the most inopportune moments, and as she strives to be the daughter her mother desires, a chain of mishaps lead to a tragedy no one could have foreseen.

This is a superb coming of age story that explores a fraught mother-daughter dynamic, and the secrets adults keep from their children. It is about resilience, and the loves that sustain us when our most essential bonds are tested, and how to find the way back through hope and forgiveness.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance #TheAngryWomansChoir #TheFamilyString #Counterfeit #UnmaskAlice

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

 

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

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Life…

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

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

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

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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The Surgeon’s Daughter by

The Fallback by DL Hicks

Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor

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New Posts…

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Review: Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Review: One Foot in the Fade by Luke Arnold

Review: The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentil

Review: Scrubbed by Dr Nikki Stamp

Bookshelf Bounty

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thanks for stopping by!

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

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

 

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

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Life…

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

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

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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The Change by Kirsten Miller

The Emma Project by Somali Dev

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

The Surgeon’s Daughter by Audrey Blake

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New Posts…

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None

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thanks for stopping by!

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

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

 

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

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Life…

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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One of Us by Kylie Kaden

The People on Platform 5 by Clare Pooley

Scrubbed by Nikki Stamp

Overboard by Sara Paretsky

A Stone’s Throw Away by Karly Lane

The Change by Kirsten Miller

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New Posts…

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Review: A Stone’s Throw Away by Karly Lane

Review: Remember Me by Charity Norman

Review: Wake by Shelley Burr

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #5

Review:

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

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

It’s every parent’s nightmare.

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

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

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

. . . and it is yesterday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thanks for stopping by!

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

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

 

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

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Life…

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It’s just been an exhausting two weeks. I had just one day off during the fortnight of working prepoll, and was rostered on til 8pm every night. I finished my contract with the day of the election, working from 7am to 11pm on Saturday night, and then slept for almost 12 hours through most of yesterday.

I’m delighted it’s all over and we have a new Labor government, which will hopefully be the antithesis of the conservative, corrupt, climate-change denying mob we just voted out.

Now to get myself back on track…

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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One Foot in The Fade by Luke Arnold

The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentil

One of Us by Kylie Kaden

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New Posts…

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Bookshelf Bounty

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

The revealing, compelling memoir of one of Australia’s foremost cardiothoracic surgeons, Dr Nikki Stamp.

Scrubbed is a raw, honest account of a life lived at the very edge of modern medicine, where heart surgeons tread the thinnest of lines between life and death, and yet where the greatest challenge can be the medical system itself.

From the drama of the operating theatre, filled with both triumph and tragedy, to the brutal realities of surgical training, and the sacrifices needed to reach the pinnacle of Nikki’s vocation, to the grinding nature of hospital bureaucracy and politics, Scrubbed is one of the most revealing books yet to be published about the real life and experiences of a surgeon

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Big Little Lies meets The Witches of Eastwick–a gloriously entertaining and knife-sharp feminist revenge fantasy about three women whose midlife crisis brings unexpected new powers–putting them on a collision course with the evil that lurks in their wealthy beach town.

In the Long Island oceanfront community of Mattauk, three different women discover that midlife changes bring a whole new type of empowerment…

After Nessa James’s husband dies and her twin daughters leave for college, she’s left all alone in a trim white house not far from the ocean. In the quiet of her late forties, the former nurse begins to hear voices. It doesn’t take long for Nessa to realize that the voices calling out to her belong to the dead–a gift she’s inherited from her grandmother, which comes with special responsibilities.

On the cusp of 50, suave advertising director Harriett Osborne has just witnessed the implosion of her lucrative career and her marriage. She hasn’t left her house in months, and from the outside, it appears as if she and her garden have both gone to seed. But Harriet’s life is far from over–in fact, she’s undergone a stunning and very welcome metamorphosis.

Ambitious former executive Jo Levison has spent thirty long years at war with her body. The free-floating rage and hot flashes that arrive with the beginning of menopause feel like the very last straw–until she realizes she has the ability to channel them, and finally comes into her power.

Guided by voices only Nessa can hear, the trio of women discover a teenage girl whose body was abandoned beside a remote beach. The police have written the victim off as a drug-addicted sex worker, but the women refuse to buy into the official narrative. Their investigation into the girl’s murder leads to more bodies, and to the town’s most exclusive and isolated enclave, a world of stupendous wealth where the rules don’t apply. With their newfound powers, Jo, Nessa, and Harriet will take matters into their own hands…

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Nobody ever talks to strangers on the train. It’s a rule. But what would happen if they did?

Every day at 8:05, Iona Iverson boards the train to go to work. Every day, she sees the same people and makes assumptions about them, even giving them nicknames. But they never speak. Obviously.

Then, one morning, Smart-but-Sexist Surbiton chokes on a grape right in front of Iona. Probably-a-Psychopath-New-Malden steps up to help and saves his life, and this one event sparks a chain reaction.

With nothing in common but their commute, an eclectic group of people learn that their assumptions about each other don’t match reality. But when Iona’s life begins to fall apart, will her new friends be there when she needs them most?

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Legendary detective V.I. Warshawski uncovers a nefarious conspiracy during the Covid pandemic, in this thrilling novel from New York Times bestseller Sara Paretsky.

On her way home from an all-night surveillance job, V.I. Warshawski’s dogs lead her on a mad chase that ends when they discover a badly injured teen hiding in the rocks along Lake Michigan. The girl only regains consciousness long enough to utter one enigmatic word. V.I. helps bring her to a hospital, but not long after, she vanishes before anyone can discover her identity. As V.I. attempts to find her, the detective uncovers an ugly consortium of Chicago powerbrokers and mobsters who are prepared to kill the girl. And now V.I.’s own life is in jeopardy as well.

Told against the backdrop of a city emerging from its pandemic lockdown, Double Dirty lays bare the dark secrets and corruption buried in Chicago’s neighborhoods in masterly fashion.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance #Overboard #Scrubbed #ThePeopleonPlatformFive #TheChange

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

 

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

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Life…

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As expected it’s been a little busier than usual around here.

My daughter went back to uni last weekend, and the boys are back at school now too.

On Thursday/Friday we checked out the University my son hopes to attend next year, it was also his 18th birthday on Saturday, and we went to the movies for the first time since 2019 to watch Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.

Today for Mother’s Day, my parents visited and we enjoyed fish and chips in beautiful Autumn weather by the river (but we forgot to take a photo again!).

I’ve completed the training for the temporary job I start today. Wish me luck!

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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Remember Me by Charity Norman

Wake by Shelley Burr

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan

One Foot in the Fade by Luke Arnold

Rising Dust by Fleur McDonald

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New Posts…

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Review: The Nurses War by Victoria Purman

Review: Till Death,or a little light maiming, Do Us Part by Kathy Lette

Review: The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan

Review: Wildfire by Monique Mulligan

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #4

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

The revealing, compelling memoir of one of Australia’s foremost cardiothoracic surgeons, Dr Nikki Stamp.

Scrubbed is a raw, honest account of a life lived at the very edge of modern medicine, where heart surgeons tread the thinnest of lines between life and death, and yet where the greatest challenge can be the medical system itself.

From the drama of the operating theatre, filled with both triumph and tragedy, to the brutal realities of surgical training, and the sacrifices needed to reach the pinnacle of Nikki’s vocation, to the grinding nature of hospital bureaucracy and politics, Scrubbed is one of the most revealing books yet to be published about the real life and experiences of a surgeon

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In every person’s story, there is something to hide…

The ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is quiet, until the tranquility is shattered by a woman’s terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers sitting at the same table, pass the time in conversation and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer.

Award-winning author Sulari Gentill delivers a sharply thrilling read with THE WOMAN IN THE LIBRARY, an unexpectedly twisty literary adventure that examines the complicated nature of friendship and shows us that words can be the most treacherous weapons of all.

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Big Little Lies meets The Witches of Eastwick–a gloriously entertaining and knife-sharp feminist revenge fantasy about three women whose midlife crisis brings unexpected new powers–putting them on a collision course with the evil that lurks in their wealthy beach town.

In the Long Island oceanfront community of Mattauk, three different women discover that midlife changes bring a whole new type of empowerment…

After Nessa James’s husband dies and her twin daughters leave for college, she’s left all alone in a trim white house not far from the ocean. In the quiet of her late forties, the former nurse begins to hear voices. It doesn’t take long for Nessa to realize that the voices calling out to her belong to the dead–a gift she’s inherited from her grandmother, which comes with special responsibilities.

On the cusp of 50, suave advertising director Harriett Osborne has just witnessed the implosion of her lucrative career and her marriage. She hasn’t left her house in months, and from the outside, it appears as if she and her garden have both gone to seed. But Harriet’s life is far from over–in fact, she’s undergone a stunning and very welcome metamorphosis.

Ambitious former executive Jo Levison has spent thirty long years at war with her body. The free-floating rage and hot flashes that arrive with the beginning of menopause feel like the very last straw–until she realizes she has the ability to channel them, and finally comes into her power.

Guided by voices only Nessa can hear, the trio of women discover a teenage girl whose body was abandoned beside a remote beach. The police have written the victim off as a drug-addicted sex worker, but the women refuse to buy into the official narrative. Their investigation into the girl’s murder leads to more bodies, and to the town’s most exclusive and isolated enclave, a world of stupendous wealth where the rules don’t apply. With their newfound powers, Jo, Nessa, and Harriet will take matters into their own hands…

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Behind the tall hedges of the affluent, gated community of Apple Tree Creek, not all is as it seems …

Out of the blue, Gertie’s husband decides they need a break and he’s leaving her with their three children. Two streets east and three gardens down, successful businesswoman Rachael discovers her husband has cheated on her – again – even though she’s pregnant with his third child. Thrown together by a chance encounter, the two women bond over the shared disaster that is their marriages.

But did one husband push his wife too far?

When the ambulance sirens cut through the serenity of Apple Tree Creek, the small community is shocked at the violence that’s played out in their midst. CCTV reveals no outsiders visited the estate that night, confirming that the assailant must have been one of their own. Is the culprit still living among them? And why didn’t any of the cameras, designed to keep them all safe, catch anything?

As the web of neighbourly relationships unravels and the workings of their inner lives are exposed, questions will be asked, but not everyone wants to learn the answers.

You can only push people so far.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance #Scrubbed #TheWomanIntheLibrary#TheChange #OddOneOut

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