Author Archives: loupie
The end of September always catches me out – I’m amazed as ever to realise that we are three quarters of the way through the year. I had an unsettled month of reading again – I somehow managed to accumulate … Continue reading
OK, so I’m aiming for 52×3=156 books for 2012. Here’s what happened reading-wise in August: #94 Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute by Maggie Groff (Read 2/08/2012) It took me a while to get into this book … Continue reading
I’ve been cracking along with my reading, if not with writing up my reviews, averaging three books a week, and staying on track for meeting my reading challenge of 52×3=156 books for 2012. Here, finally, are my reviews of the … Continue reading
We’ve gone past the half way point for the year! Time to look and see if I’m on target to make my challenge number of books for 2012 – I threw down a gauntlet of 3 x 52, meaning an … Continue reading
Welcome to our seasonal reads for winter!
There’s no better time to curl up with a good book, so here are some books that we have enjoyed. We hope one, or more, of them is just perfect for you to enjoy while the weather is chilly.
Serena by Ron Rash (recommended by our Broadbeach librarian)
Serena is the newly-wed bride of timber tycoon George Pemberton in this depression-era historical novel set in the North Carolina mountains. She is a woman to be reckoned with, taking the business and its employees in hand, but her ruthlessness leads to the downfall of anyone unfortunate enough to stand in her way. Rash’s noir-ish novel is so descriptive that you will feel the chilly mountain air, and it is an insight into the harsh conditions of the time.
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (recommended by our Burleigh Waters and Burleigh Heads librarian)
When it’s winter on the Gold Coast it’s summer in Paris. A good enough reason to read a book set in Paris. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain is set in the decadent world of 1920s Paris. The wife is Hadley Richardson, the first of four wives of Ernest Hemingway. Told from Hadley’s perspective it covers Hadley’s, and Hemingway’s, time in Paris. It is an evocative and well written tale of the slow disintegration of the marriage between the quiet and mature Hadley and the younger, brash, ambitious, and ego-driven Hemingway
The Spider Goddess by Tara Moss (recommended by our Helensvale librarian)
The Spider Goddess is the perfect bone-chilling read for you this winter! Follow Pandora English as she has some fun with knitwear, designers and supermodels while battling it out with the supernatural weirdness that has plagued her life since she moved in with her great-aunt Celia. With the help of her aunt and a good looking ghost named Lieutenant Luke, Pandora realises she is the heir to a great gift. It’s recommended that you read this one tucked up in bed to really appreciate the scariness. There are scenes that made my skin crawl, and if you have a particular phobia of spiders be warned there are some absolute spine-tingling moments. While Tara Moss gives her central character, Pandora, the main focus the supporting characters are also well developed. The reader will learn more about Lieutenant Luke’s visits, great-aunt Celia’s strange relationship with the undead, and interesting details of ancient legends and mythology. It’s an amazing reinterpretation of the classic horror, and the names like Pandora, Morticia and Deus provide an additional spooky element. This series can be read by all ages, and dabbles in various genres – supernatural, chick-lit, historical fiction, fantasy and thriller.
The Fall Girl by Toni Jordan (recommended by our Mobile librarian)
Toni Jordan does a great contemporary Australian novel. The Fall Girl is an amusing tale set in modern day Sydney. It opens with biologist, Ella Canfield, approaching millionaire Daniel Metcalfe to apply for funding for an obscure project she is passionate about. But neither Ella Canfield nor Daniel Metcalfe are on the level, and an amusing farce unfolds as the con-artist becomes the mark, while the two try to ignore the growing attraction between them. A lovely, light-hearted way to while away a winter’s day.
The Complete Short Stories by Dame Muriel Spark (recommended by our programs librarian)
The Complete Short Stories of Muriel Spark are collected together like, well, an assortment of chocolates would be the wrong metaphor. Spark is a clever, cruel, ascerbic writer and her stories are more like acid drops than chocolate. But this is a great book to have handy to dip into, maybe with a little trepidation, and sample Spark’s razor-sharp wit and discerning eye. Some of the stories are as short as two pages, others reach fifty pages, and they cover almost every genre including fantasy, dystopia, thriller, ghost story, murder mystery, and social commentary.
The Spy Who Came In From the Cold by John Le Carre (recommended by our Robina librarian)
Looking for a chilling thriller this winter? Try The Spy Who Came In From the Cold (1963) by John Le Carre. Set in London and Germany in the late 1950s/early 1960s, during the Cold War, this tale involves disgraced head of the British Secret Intelligence Service (the Circus) in West Berlin, Alec Leamas, being directed to stay in the cold (defect) and provide false intelligence to the East German Communists, resulting in the exposure of suspected double agent Mundt. This espionage thriller shocked readers, used to romanticised secret service James Bond novels, with its psychological realism. The Spy Who Came In From the Cold was selected by TIME Magazine as one of the All-Time Best 100 Novels, and in 2006 was named Best Spy Novel of All-Time by Publishers Weekly. Positively chilling!
White Truffles in Winter by N.M.Kelby (recommended by our Runaway Bay librarian)
If you enjoy winter, food and a good love story, read on. The author has managed to entwine these three delicious subjects together with intrigue, ambition and passion in equal measures. The main character is based on a chef of the same name, famous in the culinary world of the 1900’s. The author recreates the life of the French chef reaching the pinnacle of his craft working at both the Savoy and the Ritz. His arranged marriage partner and mistress are his companions through his illustrious career. As Auguste ages, he reflects on his life of fame and fortune and neglect of his true love. As a final tribute he creates a dish to name and honour his mistress. What dish could express all that he feels, has endured, and pursued for love?
The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz (recommended by our Southport librarian)
Check out the new Sherlock Holmes – The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz for a great winter read. If you’re a fan of Victoriana, Conan Doyle and mystery, the chances are high that you’ll greatly enjoy this book. Holmes and Watson work together to uncover a mystery involving an American train robbery, an art dealer, a stalker and a missing orphan in London. What is the House of Silk and what is the connection between these seemingly unrelated people and events? While not as exquisitely crafted as a Conan Doyle original, this is a wonderful and exciting “missing” adventure of Sherlock Holmes by an acclaimed author and clear Conan Doyle enthusiast.
Share your favourite read this season with us, in the comments section below. Continue reading
Who would believe it’s June already? May turned out to be quite a good reading month, and I have high hopes for the coming winter – when better to curl up with a book in one hand and a coffee … Continue reading
Here are reviews for the books I read in April towards my 52 x 3 reading challenge for 2012: #37 Complete Feltmaking:easy techniques and 25 great projects by Gillian Harris (Read 1/04/2012) The beauty of the lovely patterns in this … Continue reading