Book Reviews

Recent reads roundup – part 2

This is the second half of my book review extravaganza to help you find your next great read. If you missed Recent Reads Roundup Part 1, never fear! A link is here. Now, on to the reviews. Remember, click the image of a book you’d like to read to buy it on Amazon. Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig I read Chuck’s blog regularly as he provides a lot of funny insights about being a writer. So I decided to read his first (I think) novel, a dark urban fantasy featuring Miriam Black, who sees how you will die the first time she touches you. It’s an intriguing idea, and of course it gets her in trouble when she meets truck driver Louis one day and finds out he says her name just before he’s horribly murdered in a week’s time. I have two main complaints about this book: One, it’s filthy –…

Recent reads roundup – part 1

I’ve been a bit lax with my book reviews lately, but it’s not because I haven’t been reading. In fact, it’s because I’ve been so engrossed in so many books that I haven’t taken the time to write reviews of each one. Rather than posting 13 different book reviews, I thought I would give you two grand roundups of my recent reads. Hopefully these blogs help you find a great new book to get stuck into! I will publish Part 2 later this week. Each of the titles below links to where you can buy the book on Amazon (US). Room by Emma Donoghue This book has been getting a lot of attention lately since the film came out and won a host of awards, and rightly so. Inspired after she read the horrible real-life story of Josef Fritzl, Donoghue wrote a novel that views the world through the eyes of a six-year-old boy who’s spent his…

Review – A Darker Shade of Magic

For my 2015 Reading Challenge, I had to read a book written by someone under 30. Finding a writer in that age bracket, it turns out, was incredibly easy on Twitter. Within minutes of asking for recommendations, I had a flood of tweets coming in. But when someone told me I should read A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, I was sold. I’ve followed her for quite some time on Twitter and she’s easy to talk to, funny, and generous with her time. To me, this is proof that while social media itself doesn’t sell books, authors being on social media is a good idea. All the other recommendations I got sounded good, but I knew I wanted to buy V.E. Schwab’s book because I had chatted with her. I felt like I knew her. It made me want to support her work. Aspiring authors who aren’t sure whether they should spend…

Between the World and Me – 2015 Reading Challenge

I’ve gotten really into podcasts lately, including This American Life, a long-standing radio show with more than 500 episodes. I recently listened to an episode about status changes, and one of the producers talked about his friendship with the suddenly famous author, Ta-Nehisi Coates. I hadn’t heard of him before, which I will blame on the fact that I’m not living in America right now, so my knowledge of new books is largely limited to Australian fiction and non-fiction. When I heard the description of Between the World and Me, I knew I had to read it. It was one of those times where you just have to have the book — right now. So I walked down to the closest bookshop on my lunch break at work and bought this surprisingly thin memoir that has caused such an incredible stir, particularly in the USA, but also internationally. First, let me say…

Waiting for Godot – 2015 Reading Challenge

Some of you may know that my background before I went and did my MFA in Creative Writing was as a theatre major. It seems like forever ago (almost a decade actually — yikes) that I went off to study being an actor, but I did. And I quickly learned that I absolutely loved absurdist theatre. So, when I saw on the 2015 Reading Challenge checklist that I had to read a play, it was an easy choice for me. I was rarely willing to admit that I had never read Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, probably one of the most famous plays in the world that wasn’t written by Bill Shakespeare. Being a ‘theatre person’ and never having read Waiting for Godot is kind of like being a movie buff and never having seen Apocalypse Now or Psycho. It’s not absolutely imperative that you do, but people look at you a little funny when you admit…

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