The undertaking by Audrey Magee

cynthia-the-undertakingWar is not pretty and this novel embodies this concept. The story does not end on an uplifting note – it is quite bleak. The descriptions are sparse and the conversations match, creating a somber mood. The story is from a German viewpoint which gave me a different view of World War II. The change in feeling in people as the war ground on was interesting, but overall a very bleak story.

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The 65-storey treehouse by Andy Griffths

bethany-65-storey-tree-houseThe 65-storey Treehouse is about a fun filled treehouse with 65 storeys! Andy and Terry (the main characters) don’t have a building permit for their treehouse. An inspector comes along and says it has to be demolished, so Andy and Terry (along with the inspector) go back 6 ½ years to get the permit to save the treehouse. I enjoyed this eAudiobook a LOT. Mostly because the funny narrator, Stig Wemyss was reading it. Stig is extremely funny and so are the sound effects.

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Wishful drinking by Carrie Fisher

amy-wishful-drinkingI borrowed this from the library for my holiday reading, with no inkling of what would happen to Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds just weeks later. Wishful Drinking is one of Carrie’s memoirs, and is a funny, gossipy, self-deprecating, touching account of the ups and downs of her life. A wild ride, read in an hour or so. What a life she had; I’m glad she shared it.

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Olmec obituary by L.J.M. Owen

caitlin-olmec-obituaryApple tea, a phrenic library and flash backs to Aztec life 3,000 years ago, this debut novel by Australian author LJM Owen is written for those who love crime, history or contemporary literature.

Olmec Obituary is the first in a series about Dr Elizabeth Pimms – Intermillenial Sleuth (the second was released in November 2016). The first few chapters start off slow, but the plot, for me, was promising enough to persevere. Described by the author as a cross between Bones and Midsomer Murders, Elizabeth is an archaeologist and librarian who solves really cold cases.

When Elizabeth moves back to Canberra from her dig in Egypt after her father dies suddenly, she takes up work in the Mahoney Griffin library (a fictional setting). Continue reading

You will know me by Megan Abbot

amy-you-will-know-meIt’s not hard to imagine that the world of serious, competitive gymnastics has dark possibilities. This is the story of Devon (no, I never got over the fact that this character has the name of a cheap, processed “meat”), a sixteen year old gymnast on the brink of real success, and her family, both biological and gym-related. A fatal car accident sets off a series of events and revelations that show how many secrets people can have from each other. It is a suspenseful book, and while I didn’t find the resolution shocking or powerful, I did enjoy the journey.

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Earthly delights by Kerry Greenwood

kerry-greenwoodKerry Greenwood is best known for her first series of books, The Phryne Fisher mysteries. Earthly delights is the first book in her second series, introducing us to Corinna Chapman, a divorced ex accountant turned baker and reluctant investigator.

Greenwood manages to combine mystery, food, humour, witchcraft, Goths, vampires, drugs, death and love. Her descriptive writing that I love so much in her Phyrne Fisher mysteries, transporting me to another time and place, isn’t lost in modern day Melbourne, exploring the quirky, weird and delicious. Continue reading

Betty & Coretta

betty-and-corettaThis is a television movie based on the lives of Betty Shabazz and Coretta Scott King, the wives, and then widows of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. It starts off while their husbands are still alive and goes on to show their struggles after the assassinations, and how they continued the fight. It’s a fascinating look at a lesser known aspect of the civil rights movement in the US.

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Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley

amy-stilettoI really love this series; I do hope there will be more! This time, Myfanwy Thomas is not the main focus, but she is still awesome, bringing together two secret organisations that traditionally hate each other. We follow two new characters, one from each organisation, through supernatural and scientific shenanigans, always with humour and imaginative detail. The London setting, the wild and wonderful powers, the tough women and the humour make this such a fun read.

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