Sample Saturday – three stories about books

Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye. This week, all three samples are ones that I’ve had for years, and all three are stories based around books. Continue reading

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart – a literary mix tape

There’s nothing I can say about Douglas Stuart’s 2020 Booker Prize winning novel, Shuggie Bain, that hasn’t already been said. Know that I laughed, I cried, and I ached for Shuggie, his alcoholic mother, Agnes, and his siblings. This story is raw and tender and hopeful and heartbreakingly sad.

In my tradition of not reviewing books that have a squillion reviews on Goodreads, I have instead put together a mix tape, drawing on some favourite passages in the book. Needless to say, I had dozens to choose from in Shuggie.

5/5 Shuggie has my heart. Continue reading

The Dressmakers Secret by Rosalie Ham

There’s always a risk with sequels, particularly when you love the bit that came first. And I enjoyed The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham – her signature blend of rural Australian noir, satire, and the lampooning of small-town politics was good fun. With Ham’s stories, there’s never any doubt as to who the ‘goodies’ and the ‘badies’ are – it’s the book equivalent of a pantomime, where you’re shouting “He’s behind you!”

The Dressmaker’s Secret follows Ham’s formula – there’s a bit of mystery and intrigue; and you know the villains will eventually get their comeuppance. Continue reading

Some more quick reviews

I’ve struggled to write reviews for much of this year. I blame working from home. After a day of work, I have no desire to stay sitting at my desk. And so, I’ll continue to keep a record of what I’ve read with short reviews (these are very, very short). Continue reading

Disturbing the Peace by Richard Yates

It’s time for my AY (that’s Annual Yates, not Young Adult).

I limit my reading of Yates because I find his stories intensely depressing. But I admire them for exactly the same reason.

Given that most of the year has been spent in lockdown, I decided I hardly needed to add a Yates-induced-existenital-crisis to the mix, so chose to re-read one of the first books I read by him (pre-blogging) – Disturbing the Peace. Continue reading