The last wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

Amy The Last WishI watched the first season of the television series, and was surprised to find many of the the episodes were based on stories in this book. It is hard to know where to start with an older series that has books published out of chronological order, but I went with this book of short stories. It’s high fantasy, full of monsters, magic, fighting, and yearning. There is a plenty of dry humour, endearing relationships, deeper thoughts about life, and it is less gory and bawdy than the television adaptation.

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No friend but the mountains by Behrouz Boochani

Amy No Friend but the mountainsThis is a really hard book to read; largely because it is a relentlessly bleak situation, and also because it is both academic and poetic. Behrouz Boochani survived two frightening, and dangerous boat journeys to reach Australia for asylum, but was sent straight to Manus Island, where he and the other prisoners were treated abominably. It is a shameful situation for Australia, there is no doubt of that, and while the book itself is mostly without hope, yesterday we learned that Behrouz is in New Zealand. I hope he has freedom, peace, and rest.

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Lullaby by Leila Slimani

Amy LullabyThis book starts with a murder scene; the nanny kills her two young charges before attempting to kill herself. What follows is the lead up to the horror, and it is a clever and disturbing look at the struggles of modern parenthood, career, city living, and the fascinating situation of inviting someone into your one to care for your children. I raced through it to the abrupt, but not unsatisfying, end.

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Escape from Sunset Grove by Minna Lindgren

cynthia-escape-from-sunset-grove.jpgI knew from the first page that this would be an entertaining read. The story about a group of residents from an aged facility undergoing a retrofit was both funny and sad. I was disappointed, though, with the investigative part of the story that was slow moving and did not involve much investigating – but I guess that is what you get with a cast of characters that are 90 years+.

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The reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

Amy Reader on the 6.27Guylain Vignolles lives alone, apart from his goldfish, and hates his job. Each day he gets pleasure from reading aloud, on the train, from pages of books he has rescued. One day he discovers entries from a young woman’s diary, and goes on a quest for love. Set in Paris, with a host of quirky characters, I expected this to be an awful lot sweeter and more heartwarming than I found it. It was rather more coarse, and didn’t deliver on the promises I thought the plot had made, especially about the power of books. It was a quick, and pleasant read, but disappointingly unaffecting.

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One hundred days of happiness by Fausto Brizzi

Caitlin one hundred days of happinessWhat would you do in the last one hundred days of your life? That is, in part, the premise of this novel by Italian director and first time novelist Fausto Brizzi.
Lucio Battistini is dying- he has made mistakes (for which he still wants to atone), he has sporting goals (as coach of a water polo team), and his father-in-law bakes him donuts every morning for breakfast – all valid reasons to keep on keeping on. Continue reading

The trap by Melanie Raabe

Vicki The TrapLinda Conrad is a famous reclusive author who recognises her sisters killer twelve years after her brutal murder. The case goes unsolved and Linda decides to set a trap for the killer by writing a thriller about the unsolved murder of a young woman.

This is a great psychological thriller full of twists and turns, that will have you questioning till the end. I thoroughly enjoyed Melanie’s debut novel, and highly recommend it.

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