Book Review: Zeroes

My latest book review is of one of the books I picked up in my last post: Zeroes by Chuck Wendig. Zeroes

I’m a regular reader of Chuck’s blog, and when I saw this in Dymocks I had to have it. I was a little disappointed they didn’t have more of Chuck’s books (although I did see Star Wars: Aftermath in a different section). On to the review…

Chance Dalton is small time, a nobody who unveiled a dirty little secret in his football loving town. DeAndre Mitchell is a credit card skimmer and black-hat hacker who’s trying to make a better life for his Mom. Aleena Kattan is a Spring Arab hacktivist. Reagan Stopler is an online troll. Wade Earthman is a veteran, a survivalist, and an old-school cipherpunk with a network of secrets. When these five are detained by the US Government to work as white-hat hackers in a secret complex called the “Lodge”, they become involved in something none of them ever expected, and realize the stakes are much higher than a lengthy prison term. Continue reading Book Review: Zeroes

Lunch & Liane Moriarty

Last Friday I took a little trip into the city. It doesn’t happen any where near as much as I would like these days, so I admit I was a little excited. The Sydney Dymocks store is a lot bigger than my local one, and I have fond memories of it from my younger years living in the city, so of course I spent over an hour browsing through the books. I had one staff member ask if I was okay, and when I turned with my arms overflowing to face him he smiled and said, “yes, I see that you are.”

But carrying that many books around the city with me was a little impractical. Especially since I still had more shopping to do and a luncheon to attend. Continue reading Lunch & Liane Moriarty

Book Review: The Thorn Birds

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough is an Australian classic. I have always wanted to read it, but at 743 pages it appeared daunting. I saw this copy at the library (hence the less than perfect cover image below – the Goodreads entry for this copy doesn’t have an image so I took a terrible one with my phone). I’ll note that I had heard of the book because it’s Australian and well-loved, but I had no idea what it was about before I began to read.

thornbirdsThe Thorn Birds begins with the Cleary family living on a farm in New Zealand in 1915. Meggie is the only girl and has four big brothers, a stern father in Paddy, and a stoic and untouchable mother in Fee. Her big brother Frank is the light in her mother’s life, and Meggie’s protector. A change in the family’s circumstances comes when Paddy’s sister, Mary Carson, invites the family to come and live on Drogheda; a homestead on an enormous property in the Australian outback. It is here the story primarily takes place. Meggie grows older and falls in love with Father Ralph de Bricassart, a priest who wants nothing more than to become a Cardinal. The Cleary family experiences drought, dust, and flies, along with it’s fair share of happiness, prosperity, and sadness. The Thorn Birds is a story of family first and foremost, hope, love, and tragedy over three generations.

“… I’ll beat God yet. I’ve loved Ralph since I was ten years old, and I suppose I’ll still be loving him if I live to be a hundred. But he isn’t mine …”

Continue reading Book Review: The Thorn Birds

Book Review: Dirt Music

I’ve been meaning to read a novel by Tim Winton for a long time. Dirt Music was on my list for the Eclectic Reader Challenge and I managed to pick it up at the library. 

This description of Dirt Music comes from Goodreads: Georgie Jutland is a mess. At 40, with her career in ruins, she finds herself stranded in White Point with a fisherman she doesn’t love and two kids whose dead mother she can never replace. Her days have fallen into domestic tedium and social isolation. Her nights are a blur of vodka and pointless loitering in cyberspace. Leached of all confidence, Georgie has lost her way; she barely recognizes herself. In prose as haunting and beautiful as its western setting, Dirt Music confirms Tim Winton’s status as one of the finest novelists of his generation. Continue reading Book Review: Dirt Music

Book Review: Last Woman Hanged

Last Woman HangedI rarely read non-fiction, preferring instead to lose myself in a fictional world and with fictional characters. But historical non-fiction is one area that I do enjoy. As part of the Australian Author Challenge in my Aussie Goodreads group and the Eclectic Reader’s challenge, I chose Caroline Overington‘s re-telling of the Last Woman Hanged.

Louisa Collins first husband, Charles Andrews, was a butcher. Louisa was young (by modern standards) at the time of her marriage and did so at her mother’s urging. She remained married to Charles for close to twenty years and bore him many children before he died suddenly. The doctor determined the cause of death acute gastritis. Louisa buried Charles and quickly remarried her lover, Michael Collins. She was four months pregnant at the time of the second marriage. After burying their young child who fell ill and died, Michael died in similar circumstances, displaying similar symptoms to Louisa’s first husband, Charles. His death was ruled to be by arsenical poisoning. Upon suspicions of the doctor tending Michael, and some of the Collins’ neighbours, Louisa was arrested for the murder of Michael. She sat through three separate trials, two for the murder of Michael and one for the murder of Charles, in which none of the jurors could reach a unanimous verdict based on the lack of evidence. Her children were forced to give evidence at the trials against her. A great deal of emphasis was paid to the evidence provided by Louisa’s eleven year old daughter, May. A fourth trial was conducted in which a conviction was finally obtained for the murder of Michael Collins. All of the jurors in each trial were picked from a small pool of privileged men. Louisa was sentenced to die, but maintained her innocence until she became the last woman hanged in New South Wales.

Continue reading Book Review: Last Woman Hanged