Book Bingo Round 23

Today’s square is Nonfiction book about an event, I didn’t have a lot of choice, but found one on my bookshelf which appears to have been a school text for my neice when she was in high-school. A pretty harrowing event, the book I picked is Hiroshima by John Hersey.

I really knew nothing about this event other than it happened, thousands upon thousands died, were injured and suffered for the rest of their lives as well as their progenies lives.

John Hersey tells 6 peoples stories, from moments before the bomb to the end of their life. It was a horrific event and the aftermath was pretty for none of them, though many worked hard to help others for the rest of their working life. They all suffered terrible illnesses as a result of the bomb.

It puts things into perspective and makes you pray to whatever entity you believe in, that this never happens again.

The way the Japanese military and governing people as well as the Americans covered this event up, swept it under the carpet and gave the people affected no support or recompense for many years is just disgusting.

The Japanese people, the everyday people who this affected definitely are strong and resilient people.

 

Book Bingo Round 22: Prize winning novel

 

I am so glad I left this square until the end else I would have possibly missed out on featuring this fabulous novel in Book Bingo, thought I could have use it for two squares this week, Author under 35 would have worked but I chose Prize Winning Novel as it definitely deserves its prize unlike some prize winning novels I have read. 

Invisible Boys by Holden Sheppard was an absolutely fabulous read. it left me feeling very emotional.

I think this is an important novel that everyone should read, gay or straight, old or young. I’m glad Holden Sheppard survived his journey to write this novel, I hope it helps give a voice to those who feel like they don’t have one – the Invisible ones.

This is a coming of age story, a coming-out story, a story of discovering who you are, or at least the start of discovering who you are.

It brings with it so many emotions, good and bad. It made me angry and disappointed at the adults who should have known better, especially the parents who should have supported their children regardless of their sexuality. It made me mad at the kids who were so cruel to Charlie, especially his so-called two best friends and bandmates. It made me hopeful when some of the kids stood up for and by Charlie. It made me sad that one or more of the characters couldn’t accept who he was. But it ended with hope.

Please check out my full review here.

Book Bingo Round 21: Literary

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The squares for this years book bingo have slowly been crossed off and now I’m down to the final few, a couple I know just what I’m going to read for, but there are still a few unknowns, especially Comedy, Non fiction book about an event and Themes of Justice, so if anyone has any suggestions for thiese squares, then please let me know in the comments.

Anyhow, on to this fortnights square Literary is being crossed off by Wearing Paper Dresses by Anne Brinsden. This square was slightly difficult as I don’t tend to read a lot of literary books. I have judged this one as literary because of the way it is written. 

My Review:

Anne Brinsden: Wearing Paper Dresses

This was a difficult read for me. I struggled with the narration style of the novel, it did nothing to draw me in and took a good 90 pages for me to get used to the style of narration and the ‘being told a story’ rather than feeling part of the story.

The prose was lyrical and at times it had some profound things to say such as “Because Marjorie saw that some people are chipped and damaged, cracked and frayed, exquisite and talented. But they care. They love whatever they can. In spite of their madness and their sadness, they still try. But some people are just mean bastards.”

But its lyrical way of being narrated didn’t work for me, I wasn’t really drawn into the story until nearly halfway and even then I wasn’t really enjoying it, just reading because I wanted to get to the end and find out what, if anything, happened. And really for a novel of nearly 400 pages, not too much did happen.

It is a story about mental illness, the struggles it can cause not just for the person suffering, but those who care for that person. Elise has a serious mental illness and this is the cause of a massive tragedy, it is also the cause of many smaller tragedies that affect her children, her husband, and her father-in-law. The people in the country weren’t particularly kind people, they were judgemental and cruel at times, and at others banded together, but often too late.

It’s definitely not a happy story and it mostly focuses on Marjorie who is at times cruel and unfeeling, but I think this can be related to the struggles of dealing with her mother.

Many people have thoroughly enjoyed this novel, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.

Thanks extended to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Macmillan Australia for providing me with a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

Book Bingo Round 20

I’m a bit late with my book Bingo post this fortnight as I was away down at Margaret River from last Wednesday at a creativity retreat and was sick for nearly a week before that so I wasn’t able to plan ahead. Slack I know, but these things happen.

So this fortnight I chose the square Themes of Culture. And I picked the book The Kabul Peace House by Mark Isaacs. This is a story of hope and resilience in Afghanistan, a country constantly under siege from within and without.

This was an eye opening read which caused many emotions from sadness, anger, joy, hope, disbelief and much more. One man trying to make a difference, to bring about peace through drawing together young people from the different Afghan ethnic groups and having them work and live together, to recognise their sameness rather than their differences. It is written wih a mix of observations, dialogues with many of the young people and Insaan, the man making this possible, along with facts and figures that really make you wonder what our world is coming to.

Until next fortnight (I will be on time next time) happy reading.

Book Bingo Round 19

It’s book bingo time again and this week I chose the square Book written by an Australian woman IMG_20190914_101547more than 10 years ago, the book I chose was one I found on my bookshelf when I was tidying up and has huge sentimental value. Inside it is written To my mum from Claire in 1984, it was Master of Ransome by Lucy Walker and was written well and truly over 10 years ago in 1968 with my copy being published in 1983.

I vaguely remember my mum reading Lucy Walker, but I had no idea she was Australian and from Kalgoorlie of all places.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from a romance novel written so long ago. But I really enjoyed it. It is the original rural romance and I was surprised to find that in 50 years, not much has changed in the genre, it also had a storyline that was completely familiar.

I’m so glad I found this book and chose to read it. I loved the characters and the dynamics between everyone, it was so familiar that I slipped into the story easily. I think this story has definitely stood the test of time.

Until next fortnight, happy reading

Book Bingo Round 18 & Book Review – Spoilt For Love by Monique Mulligan

 

Book Bingo time came round too fast for me this fortnight, I’m halfway through a nonfiction book I was reading for the Themes of culture square, but I’ve managed to find one for a different square on short notice. Last night I read a novelette by Australian author Monique Mulligan called Spoilt For Love. So I’m using this to mark off a really easy square, since the majority of my reading is indeed Written by an Australian Woman, this square has been waiting for me to use as my wildcard. 

This was a very short and sweet read, with characters I really enjoyed meeting. In the town of Heart Springs, Maggie, the owner of a travel agency, sees a guy she missed her chance with 6 years previously in Glasgow, everywhere she turns, until one day she turns around and there he really is. Rafe was a delightful leading man and I was rooting for him and Maggie from the sidelines during this short read. It only took about 45 minutes to read, so it’s bite-sized, but Monique Mulligan has still managed to pack in plenty to make this an enjoyable love story. For those who don’t believe in destiny, this story shows perhaps it really is a thing.

 

Book Bingo round 17 and New Release Book Review: Singapore Sapphire by A.M. Stuart

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This fortnight I am crossing off the square Book with a place in the title, author Alison Stuart pointed out that this would be the perfect book for that square.The choices are getting smaller. If you have any suggestions for the remaining squares, I’d love to hear them.

Early twentieth-century Singapore is a place where a person can disappear, and Harriet Gordon hopes to make a new life for herself there, leaving her tragic memories behind her–but murder gets in the way.

Singapore Sapphire (Harriet Gordon Mystery #1)Singapore Sapphire is book #1 in the Harriet Gordon Mystery series and was a great introduction to this new character and setting of 1910 Singapore. I enjoyed this novel a great deal and thought Harriet was a great character, she was a contradiction of the times and definitely not one to be kept in a box. Harriet takes things into her own hands doing some investigating of her own to try and figure out who the murderer is.

My favourite character after Harriet was Inspector Robert Curran who is in charge of the murder investigation. He was another character who was ahead of the times and didn’t always toe the line. I really enjoyed his interactions with Harriet and how he realised it would be helpful to have her on his side rather than trying to make her stand on the sidelines.

This isn’t a simple murder though and there are many twists and turns, people who aren’t who they seem to be and mysteries that arise from the past.

The imagery that Ms Stuart manages to portray through her words was wonderful and I could absolutely see Singapore as it was in 1910. The characters of the ‘good guys’ and the ‘bad guys’ were well written, I definitely wouldn’t have wanted to be on the bad guys hit list.

I look forward to the next Harriet Gordon Mystery.

Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for providing me with a digital copy in return for an honest review.

Amazon AU

Amazon US

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