After a smashing start to the year and getting through my 2019 goal in four months or so, I seemed to hit a wall, and didn’t read much beyond my NovelTea Book Club commitments. With not much reading going on, It didn’t seem worthwhile doing a book report round-up, and somehow it’s been a whole 3 months since I’ve blogged about the books I’ve been reading! My goodness!
To Be Read At Dusk – Charles Dickens :: this was one of two books in my final NovelTea rep package, and I was a bit leery to start with – scary stories and I do not have a good history! But I was committed to reading it as part of being a rep, so I waited until I had a decent chunk of time in the bright light of day, and got hooked in. It is a collection of three short stories, and thankfully for my delicate constitution, weren’t terrifying horror, but reminded me very much of the ghost stories we used to tell at girl guide camps around the campfire. It was a fun little spine tingling read, overlaying the every day with the paranormal, in just the right balance that, like all good fireside ghost stories, you could almost believe it was real.
White Nights – Fyodor Dostoyevsky :: The second of the two book s in my final NovelTea package, I found this one harder going. The writer’s style demanded more attention from me, than the Dickens’. I think I need to read it again, in one sitting, to help keep the threads of the story straight, as i read it in dribs and drabs, and found it hard to muster much sympathy or connection for the main character. It wasn’t an unenjoyable read, I just picked the wrong time to try and read it I think – a 6 hour road trip with four children isn’t conducive to quality, well-considered reading time!
Salem Falls – Jodi Picoult :: This book was gifted to me back in March. A friend who was travelling through our area camped at our farm for a few nights, and as she was leaving she offered me this book. It then sat on my shelf for a while before I picked it up and read it in a weekend. I used to read a lot of Picoult, but towards the end of that phase, I felt the stories were becoming somewhat predictable and interchangeable, so have taken a break. I did enjoy this one, though it made me uncomfortable in parts, which I guess is the mark of a good writer. It felt a couple of plot points weren’t quite resolved enough to answer the questions that had been raised, and the twist in the final paragraph I had picked from about halfway through, but overall it was an ok read, not one I would revisit but also not one that made me feel like I’d wasted my time. If you are fan of Picoult, it would be worth checking out.
The Burnt Country – Joy Rhoades :: a new release that I discovered via our local paper, it became an Auguts readalong. The Burnt Country is a rural drama, set in country NSW in the mid-40s, and focuses on the the main charcter, and the trials of being a single female farmer, using methods outside the box of the time, in a small country town. I really enjoyed this book, and will be checking out the author’s other works. I found it engaging and enjoyable to read, and found myself getting sucked into the protagonist’s frustrations right along with her. Would highly recommend for fans of Australian fiction.
Everything You Are – Kerry Anne King :: A Kindle First find, Everything You Are was a rollercoaster of emotion, and had me hanging on the end of every chapter wanting to see what was around the next corner. The underlying muscian’s curse is never fully resolved, but I also don’t think I really wanted it to be. Sometimes tragedy is simply tragedy, but we humans like to find meaning and reason even when there is none, and it’s hard to know which way I wanted it to be. Was it all just a terrible, tragic, coincidence, or was the curse really at play. I closed the back page with my heart aching for the characters and their journey to healing, and while much of the subject matter was rather dark, the author dealt with it quite sensitively. I feel like to say I enjoyed it would be not quite the right phrasing, but it was a very good read and one I would recommend.
Any Ordinary Day – Leigh Sales :: I grabbed this one through the library on BorrowBox, and after so long waiting to read it, it was as good as I was hoping it would be. Following survivors of both well-known and less-so Australian disasters, Leigh traces what it happens when we wake up, on any ordinary day, without an inkling that our live are about to change, and in an instant, we are turned upside down. It was confronting, heartbreaking, encouraging, uplifting. Definitely worth a read.
The Man With No Borders – Richard C Morais :: another Kindle First find, this novel was an exploration of how we prioritise our time and balance the warring commitments in our lives, and how those choices have impacts far into the future beyond the moment of making a choice. It reflects on love, loss, betrayal and secrets, and how they influence our relationships. I enjoyed this novel, even when I wanted to shake the main character out of his self-absorption!
There was also a whole lot of life going on, but I am rediscovered my bookish mojo and my kindle is loaded with some fabulous finds. I am also at my limit of stockpiled credits with Audible, so I’m about to skip over there and grab a couple of audiobooks too.