Dead men don’t order flake by Sue Williams

cynthia-dead-men.jpgAn off-beat, very Australian crime novel. Cass owns a takeaway shop and is Rusty Bore’s unofficial private detective and is asked to look into a road accident that took the life of Natalie. Natalie’s father believes it was murder and not an accident. We are taken into the lives of the characters of Rusty Bore and the neighbouring rural towns as Cass looks into the accident. The story was not a smooth read but contained enough to keep me reading, with a few giggles along the way.

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Between a wolf and a dog by Georgia Blain

Amy Between a wolf and a dogBetween a Wolf and a Dog is the story of a Sydney family dealing with loss, betrayal, purpose, and the many complications of life. It is contemplative, poetic and descriptive, atmospheric, nostalgic, and sad, though not depressing. For those who read for language, inner journeys, and messy, complicated people.

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Big sky by Kate Atkinson

amy-big-sky.jpgIt has been a long time since we had a Jackson Brodie book, and I am so glad he’s back. Brodie is now living in a village in Yorkshire, sharing his sullen teenage son and old labrador with his ex-partner. He saves a man from jumping off a cliff, and begins to uncover something horrific. Kate Atkinson is brilliant at character development, and I loved not only the recurring characters, but many more that she introduced in this book. The scenery is gorgeous, the aging Brodie so relatable, and the numerous mysteries intriguing and satisfying. You will get more out of it if you have read the first books in the series, I have loved them all, and found them clever, funny, and moving.

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A basket by the door by Sophie Hansen

amy-a-basket-by-the-door.jpgI love the idea of this; ‘Recipes for comforting gifts and joyful gatherings”. Sophie Hansen left Sydney and now lives on a farm in Orange, living the ultimate country life. Perhaps it just wasn’t the right time, but I found the book a little too trendy and beautiful. The food suggested to drop over to a friend in need, seems a little over the top; not as practical as I had expected. Look, the book is full of gorgeous pictures of food, country landscapes, beautiful farm houses and happy people. If I didn’t work outside the home full-time, I might have found this more appealing. I did make the triple ginger loaf, and found the recipe strange, and the result dry (to be fair, she does suggest toasting it and spreading it with butter). I think a lot of people will love this book, but it wasn’t for me.

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The arrivals by Melissa Marr

cynthia-the-arrivals.jpgA mix of western, fantasy and love story – not what I normally read, but it gives the brain a workout to read something different. People from different eras suddenly find themselves transported to an alien world. Although the charcters were intresting and the setting well described, the story could of been handled in so much more depth. I did not fall completely into the story which was such a shame.

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Three summers

cynthia-three-summers.jpgI had high hopes for this movie written by Ben Elton and featuring a stellar Aussie cast. But. The dialogue seemed a bit forced and there were multiple storylines that did not all mix together. The movie takes place over 3 summers of a folk festival in WA – Westifal. It covers a lot of themes – romance, family, racism, refugees, excepting change and celebrating differences. It was enjoyable but not the best Aussie movie I’ve watched.

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The overstory by Richard Powers

amy-the-overstory.jpgThis is a novel about trees. It begins by slowly introducing a series of characters and their connection to trees, goes on to connect the characters to each other, and ends up connecting everything. It is grand and vast, with an interesting structure, but also digs deep into each character’s life and heart. It is climate fiction without being dystopian; thought-provoking and a warning, but also hopeful. A slow, but beautiful read.

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