Monday, March 31, 2014

Moving Among Strangers: Randolph Stow and My Family by Gabrielle Carey

Moving Among Strangers: Randolph Stow and My Family
Gabrielle Carey
UQP, 2013

100+ Challenge

About The Book
Longlisted for the 2014 Stella Prize.

As her mother Joan lies dying, Gabrielle Carey writes a letter to Joan’s childhood friend, the reclusive novelist Randolph Stow. This letter sets in motion a literary pilgrimage that reveals long-buried family secrets. Like her mother, Stow had grown up in Western Australia. After early literary success and a Miles Franklin Award win in 1958 for his novel To the Islands, he left for England and a life of self-imposed exile. 

Living most of her life on the east coast, Gabrielle was also estranged from her family’s West Australian roots, but never questioned why. A devoted fan of Stow’s writing, she becomes fascinated by his connection with her extended family, but before she can meet him he dies. With only a few pieces of correspondence to guide her, Gabrielle embarks on a journey from the red-dirt landscape of Western Australia to the English seaside town of Harwich in a quest to understand her family’s past and Stow’s place in it.

Moving Among Strangers
 is a celebration of one of Australia’s most enigmatic and visionary writers. (from

My Thoughts
The only novel I've read by Randolph Stow so far is Merry-Go-Round in the Sea. We read it for book group a few years ago and I remember being impressed by his writing. There is something about Western Australian writers and their way with words!  I also felt a bit of a connection with him when I found out that we share a birth day and month and that he was interested in the shipwreck of the Batavia.

After reading Moving Among Strangers, I really want to read more of his writing and to find out more about him. It is such as shame that most of his books are out of print... and that there are so many books that I want to read. 

The book isn't really about Randolph Stowe, it's about how Gabrielle Carey got to know her mother through her relationship with Randolph. I haven't read her previous book about her relationship with her mother, but I'll add it to my To Be Read list.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler's Wife

Audrey Niffenegger
Vintage, 2004

Reading Challenges
100 + Challenge

About The Book
This extraordinary, magical novel is the story of Clare and Henry who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself pulled suddenly into his past or future. His disappearances are spontaneous and his experiences are alternately harrowing and amusing. The Time Traveler's Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare's passionate love for each other with grace and humour. Their struggle to lead normal lives in the face of a force they can neither prevent nor control is intensely moving and entirely unforgettable. - See more at:

My Thoughts
We are reading this book for book club this month. It is only the third or fourth time I've read it and it feels like I've come back to visit old friends. Yet there were still parts that I had forgotten about, as well as parts that I remembered quite well.

We've talked about this book in both of the book groups I run at work and I think there have been mixed responses each time. This time one lady was rather concerned about the fact that Henry appeared before a very young Claire without any clothes and her thoughts immediately went to child a. Other responses have been that the characters aren't very nice and that it isn't a happy love story.

All of these views are valid. Although I don't happen to agree with them... well ok they aren't nice people... but they aren't completely repellant, so that I am able to suspend belief enough to really enjoy the story... And well hello it's about time travel!! Really the characters could have been really bad and I still would have enjoyed it because it makes time travel some what of a fictional reality.

It isn't a happy love story and this time I guess I was struck by the fact that both Henry's father and Claire don't recover from the death of their spouse. By recover I mean move on with their lives. I believe in true love but I don't believe that there is just one person for everyone. We don't really see enough of Henry's parents relationship to know why his father never moved on. With Claire, we know that there is the possibility that Henry will see her again, that keeps her waiting for him. Perhaps Henry telling her that he will come back was his perverse way of keeping her for himself.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane

The Night Guest
Fiona McFarlane
Hamish Hamilton, 2013

Reading Challenges
100+ Challenge
AWW Challenge

About The Book
Shortlisted for the 2014 Stella Prize
One morning Ruth wakes thinking a tiger has been in her seaside house. Later that day a formidable woman called Frida arrives, looking as if she's blown in from the sea. In fact she's come to care for Ruth. Frida and the tiger: both are here to stay, and neither is what they seem.

Which of them can Ruth trust? And as memories of her childhood in Fiji press upon her with increasing urgency, can she even trust herself?

The Night Guest
 is a mesmerising novel about love, dependence, and the fear that the things you know best can become the things you're least certain about. (from

My Thoughts
The back of this book intrigued me with the talk of a tiger being in a house by the beach in Australia. I don't do well with unreliable narrators at the best of times, but found myself questioning things through the novel. When I finished it I wasn't at all sure how I felt about it. I think I was a little underwhelmed as I quite like knowing what is going on in novels and I wasn't sure I did with this one.

 I am writing this review now a few weeks after having finished the book and am now thinking that it was quite well done. As I read the book I always had the feeling that I wasn't quite sure what was going on, and what was real. For a while I thought that Frida might have been like the tiger, a figment. However she did interact with Ruth's son and the neighbour who found Ruth's husband. There were scenes that had me flicking back through the book to check I hadn't missed anything. I thought that Frida was such an interesting character. I really wanted to like her but felt that something wasn't quite right with her.  I think that is how readers are supposed to feel about her. The whole feeling of confusion or uncertainty about what was going on is I guess meant to show Ruth's decline.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Third Angel by Alice Hoffman

The Third Angel

Alice Hoffman
Random House, 2008

Reading Challenges
TBR challenge
100+ Challenge

About The Book
This haunting, poignant and addictive story travels effortlessly across three generations and through time. Unravelling the years from the present to the 1950s, The Third Angel is a compelling novel, set mainly in London, about girls and women who make the wrong choices and have to live with the sometimes unbearable consequences.The Third Angel opens in London in the present day, when an envious sibling comes to her sister's wedding. Their mother's illness cast a shadow over their childhood, and both Madeline and Allie are still searching for something missing in their lives. Back in the Swinging Sixties, the bridegroom's conventional English mother, Frieda, behaves in a wholly unconventional way, and the ghosts of that era still haunt all their lives and a Knightsbridge hotel. Even before that, the seeds of tragedy are sown in the Fifties, when twelve-year-old Lucy first visits London and the same hotel. Precocious, impatient, wise beyond her years, Lucy becomes a go-between for two star-crossed lovers and then holds herself agonisingly responsible for what happens... - See more at:

My Thoughts
The first Alice Hoffman book I read was Ice Queen. It was about a woman who got struck by lightning who has a love affair with another lightning survivor. However, where she feels she is turning to ice, the man burns. I'm not sure I understood everything in the novel, but I liked the world that the author creates. There is always the sense that the supernatural is simmering just below the surface. I have read a couple of other books by Alice Hoffman and quite enjoyed them all.

I really enjoyed reading The Third Angel. I liked the three stories and how they were all interlinked by the hotel and the events that happened there. Although I have to admit to feeling a little cheated towards the end, which I won't go into. The book, I think was about love - not just romantic love, but love and relationships between siblings and parents. Although in most cases in this book, it is about how love goes wrong and the consequences of that.

When entering the world of Alice Hoffman's books, everything feels a bit lyrical. The stories come alive and anything is possible. I didn't really warm to any of the characters in the first story. Reading about sisters always makes me think about my relationship with my sister. I think my favourite story was the second story. Frieda, when she was young, made things happen and didn't just go along with things.

Monday, February 10, 2014

For The Love of a Son by Jean Sasson

For The Love of a Son
Jean Sasson
Random House, 2010
292p but I read the ebook

Reading Challenge
100+ Challenge

About The Book
From the time she was a little girl, Maryam rebelled against the terrible second-class existence that was her destiny as an Afghan woman.She had witnessed the miserable fate of her grandmother and three aunts, and wished she had been born a boy. As a feisty teenager in Kabul, she was outraged when the Russians invaded her country. After she made a public show of defiance, she had to flee the country for her life.A new life of freedom seemed within her grasp,but her father arranged a traditional marriage to a fellow Afghan, who turned out to be a violent man. Beaten, raped and abused, Maryam found joy in the birth of a baby son. But then her brutal husband stole him away far beyond his mother's reach. For many long years she searched for her lost son, while civil war and Taliban oppression raged back home in Afghanistan. (From Random House website)

My Thoughts
This was the first selection of the Wednesday book group I run at work. It is non-fiction which is a bit of a departure for the group. I worried a bit about the subject matter as the discussion could have so easily turned in to a rant. It managed not too, I think... and we did say a couple of times that all religions have their shortfalls and that there are violent and rude people in every culture.

I always find these books a bit hard. I have read a few over the years, especially the ones that get talked about a lot. One reason I read fiction is that, it is fictional and things that happen don't necessarily happen in the "real world". With books like "For The Love of A Son" which are non-fiction, there is no way around the fact that the events actually happen and that people can be really cruel.

This one differs a bit from what I can remember of the other similar books like this I've read, in that there is a lot of Afghanistan's history covered in it. The book starts with Maryam's grandmother who was born either in the late 1800s or early 1900s and finished in about 2007. I really enjoyed reading the history aspects of the book.  

*spoiler alert*
I find reading the people aspects really hard. Especially when from the outside I can see how things could have been different. How could she risk her family's lives again by slashing the tire of a communist car? How could her father who went against tradition when he married now insist that Maryam follow the same tradition he despised? Why didn't she move out of her father's house when he first allowed her husband  to kidnap her son? How could she ever forgive her father and sister for allowing themselves to be charmed by her husband again? Because I think it would be quite a natural reaction to never want to see the people who were instrumental in allowing a child to be kidnapped again. The book doesn't talk about how she managed to forgive either of them. Surely that's an important point? Surely that would help readers understand her actions more?

What was a bit more surprising was that although the name of the book is For The Love Of A Son the son bit is a fleeting part of the book. More than half of the book is about Maryam's grandmother, and father's life and then her childhood. I guess since she didn't have such a wonderful reunion with her son, I can understand why it wasn't the main focus of the book, but perhaps a better title should have been used?

It may sound like I didn't like this book very much. It's hard to say I enjoyed it because it seems wrong in the face of the hardships Maryam faced. I do think this and books like it are important. Not only to bring into the open how women are treated in countries like Afghanistan, but also to help Westerners have an understanding of where people come from.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bay of Fires by Poppy Gee

Bay of Fires
Poppy Gee
Hachette, 2013

Reading Challenges
100+ Challenge
TBR Challenge
AWW Challenge

About The Book
When the body of a backpacker washes ashore in an idyllic small town in Tasmania, the close-knit community starts to fall apart. As long-buried secrets start to come out, the delicate balance of their fragile lives is threatened...
Deep in a national park on the east coast of Tasmania, the Bay of Fires is an idyllic holiday community. There are no more than a dozen shacks beside the lagoon - and secrets are hard to keep; the intimacy of other people's lives is their nourishment. The fact that Sarah Avery has returned, having left her boyfriend and her job, is cause for gossip in itself. Then, the bikini-clad body of a young girl is found washed up on the beach a year after another teenage girl went missing. Journalist Hall Flynn is sent to the coast to investigate, and all too quickly the close-knit community turns in on itself. (from the Hachette Website)

My Thoughts
A few years ago I wrote a story where the main character went out dancing often on weekends and occasionally drank a lot. I gave it to a friend to read and she didn't like it because she didn't get the character's lifestyle. Reading Bay of Fires helps me to understand how my friend felt reading my story. I didn't really understand the motivation behind Sarah's actions, namely the amount she drank... and she didn't seem to do much reflection on why she was drinking. It was like she was emotionally detached from it.

I thought the novel was a good read. I enjoyed it, even if I didn't really like it that much. None of the characters were particularly likeable. Although I do think the best drawn one was Roger Coker and his "otherness" made him the focus of the town's attempts to try and solve the murders. I sort of picked the likely suspect early on just because they annoyed me and the writing was trying to not make them stand out too much.

What I do think was well done was the community itself, with it's claustrophobic nature where everyone knows everyone else, but also everyone had their opinion as to who had committed the murders. Namely the outsider Roger. It also felt like everyone had a secret and we didn't always find out what the secrets were. I'm still sure that Don was up to no good! The town itself was also well described, with the landscape coming to life.

It is not a traditional mystery novel and I have read reviews written by readers who like mysteries who didn't really enjoy this book, so I wouldn't recommend it to mystery readers.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

Summer Knight - Bk 4 in The Dresden Files
Jim Butcher
ROC, 2002

Reading Challenges
100+ Challenge
TBR Challenge
Series Challenge

About The Book
This is the fourth book in The Dresden Files series. Harry has been moping and feeling sorry for himself after what happened to Susan. When he ventures out it rains toads, which is never a good thing. His three o'clock appointment is one of the faerie queens who wants Harry to solve a murder. Can Harry solve it before midnight on Midsummer night?

My Thoughts
It was nice to dip back into this series. The writing and the characters were familiar. I like how the crime solving in this one wasn't so straight forward.  

I'm really a fan of Harry's support cast; namely Billy The Werewolf, Murphy, Mister and Bob. I think Bob gets some of the best lines! I hope we get to see more of Bob. 

This book focuses on firstly the White Council. Harry finds himself up in front of them again. They aren't his biggest fans. We also get to know more about the Faerie... and Toot Toot from Storm Front makes a reappearance. I did enjoy this one, although the action didn't move as fast as the previous books. I'm looking forward to book 5!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Addition by Toni Jordan

Toni Jordan
Text, 2008

Reading Challenges
100+ Challenge
TBR Challenge
AWW Challenge

About The Book
Grace Lisa Vandenburg counts. The letters in her name(19). The steps she takes every morning to the local cafe(920); the number of poppy seeds on her slice of orange cake, which dictates the number of bites she'll take to finish it. Grace counts everything, because numbers hold the world together. And she needs to keep an eye on how they're doing.

Seamus Joseph O'Reilly (also a 19, with the sexiest hands Grace has ever seen) thinks she might be better off without the counting. If she could hold down a job, say. Or open her kitchen cupboards without conducting an inventory, or make a sandwich containing an unknown number of sprouts.

Grace's problem is that Seamus doesn't count. Her other problem is... he does.

My Thoughts
Some times reading is just easy and it almost feels like you are swimming through the words. Other times it's difficult and feels like you are walking on dry sand. At the moment, for me it is easy. I just swam through Addition. It was funny and heartwarming and sweet and serious and I feel like I'm leaving friends behind now that I've finished it. I will have to read it again!

Grace Lisa Vandenburg is funny and sweet but blunt and counts everything. Seamus Joseph O'Reilly is sweet and strong and likes Grace. I giggled to myself quite often throughout the novel. I love the quirky humour in this book, which starts quite near the beginning with a scene in the supermarket when Grace realises she has only 9 bananas in her basket but that Seamus, who is in the line behind her, has a single banana. She decides to take his banana so that she has her full quota of 10.

I saw Toni Jordan at the Sydney Writer's Festival in 2008, just after Addition was released. She was on a panel with Chris Womersely and maybe someone else..., talking about first books and the road to publication. It was a good talk... but then I always find hearing an author talk about their work makes me so much more intersted in reading it. That being said... it's taken 5 years to take my copy off the shelf and start reading it.

A lot of reviews I've read say that Addition is about counting. I'm not really sure I agree with that. Sure counting plays an important part in the book but it is more Grace's comfort system as she can only cope in a world where she knows the numbers involved. I think it's more about being who we are and doing what we need to do to cope with life. 

The most poignant moment of the novel comes near the end when Grace says:
Most people miss their whole lives, you know. Listen, life isn't when you are standing on the top of a mountain looking at the sunset. Life isn't waiting at the altar or the moment your child is born or that time you were swimming in deep water and a dolphin came up beside you. These are fragments. Ten or twelve grains of sand spread throughout your entire existence. These are not life. Life is brushing your teeth or making a sandwich or watching the news or waiting for the bus. Or walking. Every day, thousands of tiny events happen and if you're not watching, if you're not careful, if you don't capture them and make them count, you could miss it. 
You could miss your whole life. (p217)


Monday, January 20, 2014

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project
Graeme Simsion
Text, 2013

Reading Challenges
100+ Challenge
TBR Challenge

About The Book
Don Tillman is a professor of genetics and lives his life by a strict schedule. He may have Aspergers but is undiagnosed. He decides he wants to find a wife and comes up with a foolproof way of finding one. Only things don't go according to schedule when Rosie Jarman visits his office.

My Thoughts
And now for something completely different to the Dresden Files... The Rosie Project was a well written light read. It was sort of like Sheldon Cooper falling in love.... only I don't think Sheldon would be as willing to give up his schedules as Don was.

I can see why this book was talked about so much last year. I really enjoyed it! It took a little while to warm up to Don's voice, but once I did I was hooked and was torn between wanting to keep reading but not wanting to finish it. It was funny and heartwarming as socially awkward Don learns how to be less awkward and falls in love. I really liked both Don and Rosie and enjoyed their story. There were some funny moments, such as the Jacket Incident. I liked how Don at one stage referred to Rosie Time - which is when they ate dinner at a late hour, as my fiance and I have "Casino Time" which is eating dinner at 9pm or later.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Grave Peril (Book 3 of the Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher

Grave Peril - Dresden Files Bk 3
Jim Butcher
Orbit, 2001

Reading Challenges
100+ Challenge
Series Challenge
TBR Challenge

About The Book
Ghosts are being stirred up and tormented by The Nightmare. Harry, Chicago's only wizard for hire, is on the case. He has to solve it before it attacks any more mortals.

My Thoughts
I read on Good Reads that this is the beginning of the series getting really good. I don't know if I read too many Dresden Files books too close together, but this one didn't really do anything for me. It was good, and had the action I've come to expect after 2 books. Book 2 was just so great that I guess this one had a lot to live up to and it didn't quite make it for me at least. I think that it is a problem with me, not with the book.

We do get to find out more about Harry's background in this book and I like the way his character is being developed. Susan annoyed me in the first half of the book. Is she really just dating Harry to get a story? I found that a bit too much and began not to like her. I like how the author puts his own spin on vampires and werewolves to give the myths a new lease on life. This one focused on ghosts and vampires. With vampires being an ugly creature underneath the human exterior.

I am going to take a break from this series for a little while and will come back to it later.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Fool Moon (Book 2 of The Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher

Fool Moon - Bk 2 of The Dresden Files
Jim Butcher
Orbit, 2001
p 391

Reading Challenges
Series Challenge
TBR Challenge

About The Book
Harry Dresden, Chicago's only wizard for hire, is asked by the Special Investigations Unit to investigate murders that happen at the time of the full moon.

My Thoughts
WOW! Talk about action packed!! I really didn't want to put this book down to do boring things like work and sleep. One night I read this before going to bed and then couldn't sleep because my head was buzzing from a particularly tense action scene.

This book picks up where book one, Storm Front, left off but steps up the action tenfold. This one focuses on werewolves but the author puts his own spin on the usual myths. Who knew there were so many types?

There was a bit of repetition of some of the things that were covered quite comprehensively in the first book - such as wizards affecting electrical equipment, his relationships with Murphy of the Special Investigations Unit, but the story really picked up after that. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014

As you might be starting to realise I can't resist a good challenge... I'm not very good at finishing them but am enthusiastic about starting them. Since I'm not so good at completing the I will start with the lowest level and aim for a Stella Level which is to read 4 (and review at least 3) books by Australian Women writers. 

For details and signup information visit the challenge's webpage -

I hope to read
Addition by Toni Jordan (finished 17/1/14)
Bay of Fires by Poppy Gee (finished 26/1/14)
Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks (finished 6/8/14)
All That I Am by Anna Funder (finished 9/7/14)

If I think I can make it to the Franklin Level (read 6) I'll try and read
Piano Lessons by Anna Goldsworthy
Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

TBR Reading Challenge

I am going to attempt the TBR reading challenge this year as I have many bookshelves and boxes full of books that I am yet to read and want to read. This challenge is hosted by Evie Bookish and the details about the challenge can be found here

I am aiming for a minimum of  A Firm Handshake (1 -10 books) but hoping for A Friendly Hug (11 - 20 books).

I have made a start on the challenge before signing up and have read

Storm Front by Jim Butcher
Fool Moon by Jim Butcher

I also plan on reading:
The other books in the Dresden Files Series
Liar Bird by Lisa Walker
Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
Addition by Toni Jordan
House Rules by Jodi Picoult

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Storm Front (Bk 1 of The Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher

Storm Front - Book 1 of The Dresden Files
Jim Butcher
Orbit, 2000

Reading Challenge:
100+ Challenge
Series Challenge

About The Book
Harry Dresden is the best as what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity of capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things – and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a – well whatever.

There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get… interesting.

My Thoughts
I bought the first eight books in this series from a street fair a couple of years ago and have been meaning to get around to them ever since. I thought about taking them home with me to read over Christmas… for the past two years but never did. It looks like 2014 will be the year to read them! I was at the beach when I started reading this book and within no time I was up to page 48 and it was time to go. It didn't take long to finish it, just another day and a half!

I quite enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of the series. There was quite a bit of time spent setting up the premise of the Dresden Files world. Some of it was repeated a bit, but once the story got going I was hooked. It is an Urban Fantasy tale, which has humour throughout, to keep it from getting too dark.

The book moved at quite a quick pace. I didn’t even mind that it was told in first person… and I really don’t like first person narration. I guess it is because Harry Dresden doesn’t spend a lot of time on self reflection and that is a refreshing change.

Right on to book 2… 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Freda's Voice 100+ Book Challenge

 Freda’s Voice is hosting the 100+ Book Challenge in 2014. I’ve unofficially been attempting this challenge in 2012 and 2013, but I thought I’d sign up again this year.

So the rules are as follows:

1. Create a post, but list as you read, either a blog or GoodReads, somewhere I can see it, and leave your url to that post in the Linky below.
2. Read some books. Any books. No limit in pages, even the phone book counts if that is your fancy. Just read!
3. That's it!

You can find more details here -

I will list the books here and also on GoodReads with the tag 100+ Challenge.  


            Storm Front

            4 of 5 stars

            Storm Front

            by Jim Butcher



            4 of 5 stars

            Fool Moon

            by Jim Butcher





2014 Series Reading Challenge

Well it’s reading challenge signup season again. It’s been a couple of years since I joined a challenge and I thought I might give it a go again, because my life won’t be busy enough this year…

So I’m going to give the Series Challenge a go. It is hosted by Read Sleep Repeat. The details page is -

I have a couple of series that I would like to start, and finish… namely

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Wool Trilogy by Hugh Howey – I have read the first one Wool, but have Shift and Dust to go.

2013 Roundup

Huh, it's been 9 months since I last posted. That's pretty bad. I could have had a baby in that time... I didn't though!! I got engaged and have been busy with wedding plans and well life really... oh and reading!!

I read a total of 60 books in 2013, which is quite good. Although I only managed to finish 16 books in the second half of the year! I may get around to posting the reviews I wrote offline, but I may not...

One of the members of the Wednesday book group asked if I had the Guinness World Record for the number of unfinished books! Shamed. However, I only had one month where I didn't finish any books. That's less than last year!!

There is a mix of fiction and non fiction titles in this list, as apparently I've been in the mood to read a bit of non fiction lately. As I went through my list, I thought a couple of times to myself 'oh was that this year?'. My favourite titles from this year are, in no particular order: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, Oranges & Sunshine by Margaret Humphries, The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do, Local Wildlife by Robert Drewe, Wool by Hugh Howey and both the Danny Wallace books. 

Here is a round up of the titles I finished.

The Tournament - Matthew Reilly
Burial Rites - Hannah Kent
Floodline - Kathryn Heyman

Animal Farm - George Orwell

The End: The human experience of death - Bianca Nogrady
Navel Gazing: One woman's quest for a size normal - Anne Putnam
The Book of Why - Nicholas Montemarano
The Happiest Refugee - Anh Do


Into My Arms - Kylie Ladd
Coming Clean - Kimberley Rae Miller
Local Wildlife - Robert Drewe
Etiquette & Espionage - Gail Carriger
More Awkward Situations for Men - Danny Wallace
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barbery
The Last Runaway - Tracy Chevailer

Fractured - Dawn Barker
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
Little Coffee Shop of Kabul - Deborah Rodriguez
Awkward Situations for Men - Danny Wallace
Fever - Mary Beth Keane

Legacy - Larissa Behrendt
Listening to Country:A journey to the heart of what it means to belong - Ros Moriarty

Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood
No, I Don't Need Reading Glasses - Virginia Ironside
Sister - Rosamund Lupton
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce

Books Can Be Deceiving - Jenn Mckinlay
The Dinner - Herman Koch
The Engagement - Chloe Hooper
Great House - Nicola Krauss
Sex, Lies and Bonsai - Lisa Walker
The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating - Elisabeth Tova Bailey
Get Well Soon: My (un)brilliant career as a nurse - Kristy Chambers
Jew - D. O. Dodd
The Library of Unrequited Love - Sophie Divry
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Off the Road: a modern day walk down the pilgrim's route into Spain - Jack Hitt

State of Wonder - Ann Patchett
The Young Widow's Book of Home Improvement - Virginia Lloyd
The Starlite Drive-In - Marjorie Reynolds
The Good Psychologist - Noam Shpancer
Wool - Hugh Howey
Oranges and Sunshine - Margaret Humphries
8 States of Catastrophe - Karenlee Thompson
The Help - Kathryn Stockett
The Flight of Gemma Hardy - Margot Livesey


Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green & David Leviathan
The Lighthouse - Alison Moore
This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You - Jon McGregor
The Maltese Falcon - Dashiel Hammett
Everyday - David Leviathan
Travels in the Scriptorium - Paul Auster
Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips journal - Chris Colfer
Unholy Pilgrims: How one man thought walking 800 kilometers across Spain would sort out his life - Tom Trumble
Then - Julie Myerson
We Don't Live Here Anymore - Matt Nable
The Cleaner of Chartres - Sally Vickers
The Light Between Oceans - M. L. Stedman
A Corner of White - Jaclyn Moriarty