25 September 2019

My book of the month: September

What a delightful story! May Attaway decides to reconnect with four friends. In the process, she reviews her inward-facing life and starts to engage with more people face-to-face as she ponders the purpose of friendship.

The changes to May's life are profound, as she continues to work as a gardener and observe the growth around her. It's a beautiful story.

Read more about Rules for Visiting on Goodreads.

09 September 2019

On grief

We all experience it in different ways and use varied methods to help us deal with it. Your grief is not my grief and mine is not yours. Mourning doesn't become easier; it simply becomes a part of life.

My father died late last year. I am his first-born and I adored him. He taught me so much about life; practical skills that I still use to this day as well as behaviours that have served me well. I miss him every day.

When someone this important to me died, although we knew it was coming for most of a year, I felt diminished. This man, who had loved me unconditionally every day since I was born, was no longer here. 

It's unpredictable. Today the grief hit me with a punch. The bluebell bulbs that he had given me from his garden opened their blooms in my ground. My dad isn't here to see them and never will be. 

Somehow my memories of him aren't enough to console me today. That's one of the unforeseeable impacts of grief.

19 August 2019

My book of the month: August

I do enjoy a psychological thriller, where the answer to the puzzle continues until the end of the story. I've read several of Chris Brookmyre's Jack Parlabane series (must start reading these from book 1; somehow I missed the first few) but Fallen Angel is a stand-alone novel. It's a ripper of a story. 

Read more about Fallen Angel on Goodreads.

27 May 2019

My book of the month: May

Ghost Wall is is the latest story by Sarah Moss. It's a slender book but it packs a punch!

For two weeks, Sylvie and her family join a group of university students to re-enact life as it could have been in Iron Age England. Her father is obsessed with the archaeology and anthropology of the times and he joins with an equally-obsessed academic to lead the group.

It's an unsettling story, as the group starts to unravel and we get a glimpse of where the men's decisions could lead. Satisfyingly creepy.

You can read more about Ghost Wall on Goodreads.

09 April 2019

My book of the month: April

My favourite stories are those that have a strong sense of place, either real or imagined. That's why I found Home Fires engrossing; well, that and the believable characters.

The story is set in the Victorian town of Myrtle, where a catastrophic bushfire destroyed not only the buildings and the landscape but also the lives of the residents. Through a combination of chapters of before, after and during the fire, the story reveals the tragedies in Myrtle.

Read more about Home Fires on Goodreads

02 April 2019

2019 reading challenge

At the beginning of this year I joined the 2019 reading challenge on Goodreads. I don't usually keep track of how many books I read but I thought this might be fun. I chose a target of 100 books so, if I read regularly, I should have reached 25% of my target by the end of March. Instead, I am ahead!

Do you record your reading? Visit my challenge page to see what I've read this year. 

25 March 2019

My book of the month: March

I haven't found a good Gothic thriller for years, until I read The Stranger Diaries. It has all the elements of the genre: fear, terror, death, gloom, the supernatural, romance, and emotion. Ooh, it's shiveringly good!

Elly Griffiths is the author of one of my favourite series, the Ruth Galloway series, so I knew she could write great mysteries. Still, I wasn't prepared for the scary pleasure of immersing myself in the world of Clare Cassidy. Make sure you have all the lights on when you read it!

Read more about The Stranger Diaries on Goodreads.