Some good & not so good reads - September 2019

When I was younger, I used to be an avid reader. There was nothing better than lounging on my bed and reading a great book. I'd spend hours getting lost in the story, imagining all of the characters. 

I distinctly remember my mum telling me to put my book down and go do something. Anything. And by that, she probably meant, put the book down and go help do jobs around the house.

These days, I try to inspire my kids to read. It's torturous - they act as though I'm punishing them by making them read for a 1/2hr before bed. They'll thank me... one day... maybe?

I read a few blogs which share their latest reads, so I thought I'd do the same. I doubt that I'll be committed enough to post regularly, but every so often, I might just pop in here and list all of the books I've read (or listened to) in the past couple of weeks. 


Six Minutes by Petronella McGovern

How can a child disappear from under the care of four playgroup mums?

One Thursday morning, Lexie Parker dashes to the shop for biscuits, leaving Bella in the safe care of the other mums in the playgroup.

Six minutes later, Bella is gone.

Police and media descend on the tiny village of Merrigang on the edge of Canberra. Locals unite to search the dense bushland. But as the investigation continues, relationships start to fracture, online hate messages target Lexie, and the community is engulfed by fear.

Is Bella's disappearance connected to the angry protests at Parliament House? What secrets are the parents hiding? And why does a local teacher keep a photo of Bella in his lounge-room?

What happened in those six minutes and where is Bella?

The clock is ticking…

This gripping novel will keep you guessing to the very last twist.

I really, REALLY enjoyed this book. Once I started reading, I found it difficult to put down. I won't go into too much detail as I don't want to give away the twist.  

I think what made this so tense and gripping (for me) was that it was set in a small regional town (much like where I live) in a playgroup setting with a few local women and their children. My kids are at school now, be we used to go to playgroup when they were little. For me, this story presented a scenario that seemed wholly possible, playing on every mum's worst fears.


Bridge Burning & other hobbies by Kitty Flanagan

From running with a bad crowd in kindergarten to her junk food modus operandi at kids' parties and enduring a 'Yoga Guantanamo' camp, the fabulous anecdotes from Kitty Flanagan's life will take you on a hilarious trip down memory lane.

Kitty Flanagan is one of my favourite comedians. We saw her show earlier this year and there were moments I found it hard to breathe from laughing so hard. 

In Bridge Burning & other hobbies, she recounts stories of her life. Starting from being a younger than average kindergartener, through school (I have visions of her Year 10 formal dress ensemble), right through to travelling with boyfriends and breaking off relationships. 

Honestly, there were moments in this book that I laughed so hard, I had tears running down my face. Highly recommend this book. It's completely light hearted and the perfect remedy for when you might need cheering up.


Kiss Me Kill Me by J.S. Carol

When Zoe meets Dan, he's everything she is looking for in a man - intelligent, charming, supportive.

It's only after they're married that she realises that he's controlling, aggressive, paranoid.

And there's no way out.

Or is there?

I listened to this book while working in the sewing room. I have a Bolinda account through my local library which is a wonderful  resource. If you want to try audiobooks, perhaps contact your local library to see if they have this available to you.

I chose this book when it appeared as a suggestion when I logged in, plus it was available for instant download. Win, win!

It was an unusual storyline, but not necessarily my 'cup of tea'. The female character seemed a little 'weak' to me not standing up for herself right from the start. This is my own personal view though, so other people may absolutely love her character.

The story seems to be in two halves - the beginning story line moves along well and had me quite interested - then things take a very strange twist. I continued listening for a while, but then found my mind wandering, waiting for the story to finish after I'd invested so long in it already. It had a satisfactory ending, but I think I was hoping for more.


A Life of Her Own by Fiona McCallum

When knowledge gives you the power to change your life ...
Alice Hamilton loved being a mature-age student, but now she's finished her university degree she needs to find herself a career. But the job market is tough and it doesn't help that her partner David keeps reminding her about their sizeable mortgage. When she's offered a role in a major real estate agency, she jumps at the opportunity. David is excited by her prospects in the thriving Melbourne housing market, and Alice is pleased that she'll be utilising her exceptional people skills.
But Alice quickly realises all is not as it seems. What is she doing wrong to be so out of sync with her energetic boss, Carmel Gold, agent extraordinaire? 
Alice is determined to make it work, but how much will it affect her values?

Set in Melbourne is the story of Alice. Finishes uni, gets a full time job in an office but doesn't seem to understand the dynamic of busy city office politics and the 'games' which can go on. A boss who is manipulative and narcissistic, which leads Alice to learn more about this condition and discovers that she must attract narcissists, because she's had a few in her life.

I don't know. I think I wanted to like this book, more than I actually did. Fiona McCallum is a fantastic Aussie author and I look forward to reading more of her books.


Storm Front by John Sandford

In Israel, a man clutching a backpack searches desperately for a boat. In Minnesota, Virgil Flowers gets a message from Lucas Davenport: You're about to get a visitor. It's an Israeli cop, and she's chasing a man who's smuggled out an extraordinary relic — an ancient inscribed stone revealing startling details about the man known as King Solomon.

With a main character called Virgil Flowers, how can you go wrong? Virgil works for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and is contacted by his boss to apprehend a dying archeologist who has smuggled an artifact from Israel into the US. He plans to sell it to the highest bidder to help out family after he's passed away. These bidders come from all over the place and before long, Virgil is caught up in the middle of these strange (and dangerous) people.

I enjoyed this book and found it to be easy to read, quite quick paced and even humorous at times. I'd not read anything by this author before, so I look forward to checking out some of his earlier books.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him.... 

What a great read! And what a fantastic twist that I didn't see coming. 

The book is suspenseful and very well paced. It had me turning pages faster than usual and is the sort of book that will have you stopping what needs to be done around the house and reading until you know what happens at the end. 

I highly recommend this psychological thriller. 


I'm currently reading The One by Kaneana May (really, REALLY enjoying it) and while in the sewing room, I'm listening to The Chef by James Patterson.

I'll let you know about these books next time.

What have you been reading lately? 
Do you have some good suggestions for books to read at bedtime or listen to while sewing?


  1. I love good book reviews and am always looking for a new author. I can highly recommend The Sixth Lamentation by William Brodrick, it is about a barrister turned monk who is trying to discover the truth about an incident in the second world war.

  2. I loved The Silent Patient too. It got bad reviews which confused me. Thanks for sharing some great books. I'll add them to my must read list 😊

  3. Anorina, I have not been reading. ...unless you mean blogs hahahahaha
    I love this list of books and I love reading book reviews.

  4. I just listened to The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel. Such a wonderful story that stays with you long after the last word is read or heard.

  5. Good to have the suggestions, particularly as not ones that are obvious on UK bookshelves.
    When my son was starting to read more interesting books, I managed to snare him to read by asking this. ' Come and help me get supper,- or if you'd rather read your book to me while I get supper' It worked like a charm, he read aloud for half an hour,and then we had books to discuss.

  6. Hi Anorina they sound like great bbooks i have encouraged my children to read and they are in their 40's and they all read as do the grand children,hope your day is a good one my friend xx


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