Terra nullius by Claire G. Coleman

Cynthia Terra NulliusI don’t want to give away too much about this thoughtful novel. It was completely different to the style of book I usually read. The author does a good job of grounding the reader into the story and then pulling you into something completely different. The concepts were therefore familiar to me at the beginning of the story, keeping me reading when things were revealed to be not as they seemed.

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The Wolverine

Amy WolverineI love the X-Men movies, but fell behind with watching them, so am catching up now. Struggling to deal with the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, Wolverine is enticed to Japan where he encounters much fighting, a little romance and some great scenery. I think the Wolverine films aren’t as much fun as the X-Men films, and this one is less emotionally affecting than Logan, the final Wolverine film, but it was still enjoyable.

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Big little lies by Liane Moriarty

Amy Big Little LiesA suburban primary school’s trivia night degenerates so badly that someone ends up dead; if only all school events were so exciting! This is a murder mystery with characters and a setting so familiar, suspense, humour, twists and turns. It deals with the complex issues around domestic violence and also about school politics, parenthood, marriage and friendship. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable read, definitely not just for women!

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Belle

Amy BelleThis is a British period drama, not unlike a Jane Austen or Elizabeth Gaskell. It’s based on a real life portrait of Dido Belle, a mixed-race niece of the Lord Chief Justice of England, and her blonde cousin. There is a lovely romance, but it is also about a decision the Chief Justice made in the courts, which contributed to the eventual abolition of the slave trade. It’s a great story, with lots of familiar British actors.

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Into the water by Paula Hawkins

Kate Into the WaterI chose the audiobook of ‘Into the Water’ by Paula Hawkins, not as one who had read ‘The Girl on the Train’, but seen (and loved) the movie. Being the first audiobook I’ve listened to with not one but four narrators, with so many characters telling the story from their point of view, I actually thought that was clever. As each spoke in their own unique manner and voice, it helped recognise who was then telling the story, something I’ve seen others find confusing when reading the book. It was not quite the thriller I had hoped it would be, but I throughly enjoyed getting to know all the diverse characters (and such a range of accents) and wondering about, to quote the synopsis, ‘the stories we tell about our pasts and their power to destroy the lives we live now’.

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Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Amy Oryx and CrakeOh dear. Margaret Atwood has imagined where the world might end up, and it isn’t pretty. The earth’s resources depleted, scientific progress over-reaching, greed and arrogance are unchecked until it goes too far. One man is left, caring for a created race of people, dodging the burning sun and dangerous spliced animals, pondering what went wrong. It’s horrific, imaginable and scarily entertaining.

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The wild air by Rebecca Mascull

Cynthia The Wild AirIf you love historical novels with a strong female lead then this is the story for you. The early years of aviation and the theatres of World War I are wonderfully described – the research by the author shining through. The horror of war and its affect on people is handled well – with an uplifting sentiment at the end that was not cheesey (if only everyone’s war horror could end in hope!). Della was a great character who had the strength and support to follow her dream of becoming a pilot in an arena where men ruled the skies. Women like Della (most of whom are not part of our history lessons) are important and I thank them for paving the way for us modern day women.

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