Friday Freebie

Friday the 29th of May 2015 Give Away

2015 Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival

To celebrate the start of the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival I have a Friday Freebie book give away by Festival participant  Fiona Palmer.  I have one copy of Fiona’s latest book –The Sunnyvale Girls courtesy of her publisher, Penguin Random House up for grabs. To enter simply reply to this question in the comments section of this blog or my on face book post, ” Name another book written by Fiona.” ( Hint you can find out all about Fiona and her books here: http://www.fionapalmer.com/ )

The Sunnyvale Girls: FionaPalmer

This giveaway is open to Australian residents only. The giveaway will close midnight Monday 1st of June and I will contact the randomly selected winner on the following Tuesday. Good luck and happy reading. See you at the Festival.

In The Mailbox This Week 28th May 2015

Another great selection of books arrived in the mail this week – do any of these tempt you? I have just started to read the short story collection – Lost Boy and Other Stories- Margaret River Short Story Competition  2015 – keen to have idea of this book before I attend the launch of the festal where the winners of the short story competition will be announced. On  Saturday I will also attend   12.00-1.00 session where Award winning poet Nandi Chinna and the Margaret River Short Story Competition winners discuss whether there is a revival in the popularity of short prose – has a new season dawned for poetry and the short story? I am already thinking maybe poetry is having  a revival….what do you think?

 

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Post Script: Theodore Boone:The Fugitive – John Grisham

Great YA read.

Book Cover Theodore Boone The Fugitive -John Grisham

Theodore Boone: The Fugitive

(Theodore Boone #5)

John Grisham

Hodder & Stoughton

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9781444767674

 

Description:

He was supposed to be having fun with his friends, not playing detective and stalking a killer.

Theodore Boone – teenage lawyer and courtroom hero- is on a class trip seeing the sights of the capital city. But he hadn’t counted on seeing the most wanted man in history of his home town, Strattenberg.

Suddenly Theo is caught in the hunt for an accused murderer, alongside the FBI. Theo know he’s getting in deep – and things could become even more dangerous. Because if this case goes back to court, it will be down to him.

Will justice finally be done…or will the killer’s criminal allies be out for revenge?

 

My View:

What a great YA novel – I wish there had been books like this around when I was a kid! This is an interesting mix of history, the mechanisations of law and how courts are run and some great social commentary mixed into a crime novel that any 10-12 year (I am guessing the age group here) would love to read. John Grisham is amazing – author of twenty seven novels including this YA series! The Fugitive is the 5th novel in the Theodore Boone series and yet can easily be read as a standalone without feeling that you have missed out on major parts of the story.

If this hasn’t already been recorded as an audio book – it should be – a great one for the kids to listen to on long trips. A suggestion John Grisham – next YA series – can we have a female protagonist?

 

 

Post Script: Musings From The Inner Duck – Michael Leunig

Reflections, laughs, social commentary and beautiful imagery combine.

Musings From The Inner Duck: Michael Leunig - Penguin Random House Australia

Musings from the Inner Duck

Michael Leunig

Penguin Random House Australia

ISBN: 9780143573173

Description:

Musings From the Inner Duck, Michael Leunig’s poignantly hilarious new cartoon collection, ranges from Curly Flat to the global positioning sausage, accompanied by the direction-finding duck.

This collection of 138 cartoons tilts towards the whimsical, the wise and the sublimely misaligned; it’s less heavily political than previous collections, although the political system cops a serve here and there. Mr Curly features often. There’s the Global Positioning Sausage. The Effect of the Carbon Tax on Your Sausage. Duckwhistle Politics. A Soliloquy for Strange Times. The Ordinary Oddness of Existence. In a nutshell: all the questions (and some very funny answers) that can be put about human existence.

Cartoons, reflections, musings, suggestions, reveries, rhymes, blessings, jokes, lamentations, theories, mysteries, tributes, lapses, and experiments.

 

 

My View:

Witty, poignant and intelligent observations mixed in with some pertinent social commentary all sandwiched into glorious cartoons that say it all so simply. A delight to read. (I particularly like the colour images.) You need to read this yourself to appreciate the cleverness, the cover gives you an idea of just what to expect – and that is, the unexpected. :)

 

 

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher.

Post Script: The Mountain Story – Lori Lansens

Haunting

Book cover The Mountain Story - Lori Lansens - Simon & Schuster

The Mountain Story

Lori Lansens

Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 9781471138003

 

Description:

From New York Times bestselling author Lori Lansens comes a harrowing survival story about four strangers who spend five days lost in the mountain wilderness above Palm Springs.

 

Four go up the mountain, but only three will come down;

On the morning of Wolf Truly’s eighteenth birthday, he boards the first cable car to head up the mountains just a few miles from his sun-bleached trailer home in the desert community outside of Palm Springs. Armed with nothing but the clothes on his back, Wolf’s intention that morning was to give up on life; specifically at the mountain site of his best friend’s tragic accident one year ago. But on that shaky ride up the mountain, fate intervenes and Wolf meets three women that will leave an indelible imprint on the rest of his life. Through a series of missteps, the four wind up lost and stranded among the forested cliffs; in sight of the desert city below, but unable to find a way down.

As the days pass without rescue, we come to learn how each of them came to be on the mountain that morning. And as their situation shifts from misadventure to nightmare, the lost hikers forge an inextricable bond, pushing themselves, and each other, beyond their limits.

Reminiscent of John Krakauer’s modern classic Into the Wild and Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling Oprah-endorsed Wild, Lori Lansen’s The Mountain Story is a deeply affecting novel that pays homage to the rugged beauty and utterly unforgiving nature of the wilderness, and considers the question: What price are you willing to pay not only for the ones you love, but for a complete stranger?

My View:

I first became acquainted with this novel when I discovered a book trailer on the web – I was intrigued by the story and by the voice of the narrator. Several more “teasers” were released – I loved listening to these, the setting are so realistic, the narrators voice stayed with me as I read the book, the hand held video camera style of shooting are perfect in instilling a sense of mystery and isolation. The final sound – a lonesome bird call – is eerie. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYt10aAE0-W24LiSYLqF8rTixae_rnvqC

The book was a must to read.

And I was not disappointed! I loved the writing style – effectively a father is writing a letter to his son sharing a story so emotional he cannot voice the words out loud; poignant, effective and times heart breaking such is the back story of Wolf’s upbringing that you cannot help but be affected by this drama. The author jumps between past and present – telling us Wolf’s family history and how he ended up on the mountain blending in scenes from what is happening on the mountain to the stranded hikers. It is an awesome, exciting tale – the Mountain another character cast in this drama. Mystery, fear, sadness, heroism and redemption of sorts…a great mystery set in an awe inspiring location. Listen and you can hear the crows,  look up and you can see the carrion birds flying up above you.

 

 

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher.

Post Script: The Lost Swimmer – Ann Turner

The Lost Swimmer

The Lost Swimmer

Ann Turner

Simon & Schuster (Australia)

ISBN: 9781925030860

 

Description:

Rebecca Wilding, an archaeology professor, traces the past for a living.

But suddenly, truth and certainty are turning against her. Rebecca is accused of serious fraud, and worse, she suspects – she knows – that her husband, Stephen, is having an affair.

Desperate to find answers, Rebecca leaves with Stephen for Greece, Italy and Paris, where she can uncover the conspiracy against her, and hopefully win Stephen back to her side, where he belongs. There’s too much at stake – her love, her work, her family.

But on the idyllic Amalfi Coast, Stephen goes swimming and doesn’t come back.

In a swirling daze of panic and fear, Rebecca is dealt with fresh allegations. And with time against her, she must uncover the dark secrets that stand between her and Stephen, and the deceit that has chased her halfway around the world.

 

My View:

This is a another book that is a slow burn – it took me a very long time to get involved in this narrative and after I finished reading I was not sure what the book was trying to achieve, what genre this was trying to fit into- mystery, thriller, romance…there was a little bit of everything here. My biggest issue with the narrative was about the relationship between Rebecca and her husband Stephen – for a relationship that was largely rock solid, supportive and trusting (at least at the beginning of the book and at the point the investigation of fraud begins) I could not believe that Rebecca would withhold details of this major investigation from her husband, it just didn’t make sense to me and I could not suspend my disbelief to go along with this aspect of the narrative. I know she was sworn to secrecy but….I just could not accept this. Further there were too many red herrings, too many threads that were left hanging or just not followed up or explained for my enjoyment.

 

However moments of extremely beautiful prose and breathtaking scenery saved this book from being mundane. It is clear that the author writes with a cinematic view of the world, such is the vividness and realism of the description of the drive along the Amalfi coast that I never want to venture there – I hate cliff tops and narrow windy roads which hug the coastline – sheer drops inches away, tourist coaches honking with bravado as they bulldoze their way around hairpin bends, an accident just waiting to happen. Some extremely evocative writing, the author’s love of this countryside is very obvious.

 

 

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher.