The Walk [DVD] – The Walk is based on an exciting true story but there are a few issues that disturbed me. The main actor, for example, is trying to pull off being French and almost succeeds. I have to hand it to him; he must have worked on his accent very hard. I mean, I’ve been in this country for almost nine years and I cannot pull the Australian accent. However, I have to ask: why not just hire a French actor to do the job? Because it is Hollywood, you will tell me and famous people sell better. It annoyed me.
The story-line is good but it felt like a movie to make money rather than to tell a story. The Walk was enjoyable but I expected more.
Big Baby / Charles Burns – Big Baby is a boy named Tony, who finds himself entangled in various adventures including summer camp murders and backyard burials. I’ll say it again, Burns is a genius! If you enjoyed the ‘twilight zone’ or ‘naked lunch’, then you will love Charles Burns books.
My name is Mahtob / Mahtob Mahmoody – As a teenager, I was fascinated by the story of Betty and Mahtob Mahmoody in ‘Not without my daughter’. I read the book multiple times and watched the movie so I when I realised that Mahtob had written the story from her side, I was keen to read it. It was very interesting to discover what happened during the rest of her life and how it was shaped by her experiences in Iran.
Zoe’s tale / John Scalzi – Every time I read a science fiction novel, I think I should read more science fiction novels. It looks like I will be reading more SF in the immediate future as this book is #4 in a series (which I only discovered after I finished it, as the ebook version’s cover didn’t mention it was part of a series), and now I need to go back and start at the beginning because I really want to find out more about this universe and these characters.
Lagoon / Nnedi Okorafor – I recently read Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor, a Nigerian-American science fiction author. Imagine aliens landing on Earth. Did you immediately think of Independence Day? The X-Files? US government cover-ups and crazy conspiracies? Lagoon takes all that and throws it on its head. Aliens land in the sea off the shore of Lagos, Nigeria, and within a day, the whole city knows, filming it on their mobile phones, sharing footage online, gathering in crowds to protest or to welcome, twisting and turning it to their own advantage, until even the land beneath their feet is responding… A fascinating insight into what life might be like outside the American movies.
Jane Austen’s Emma / Jack and Holman Wang – It’s from a series of board books by Jack and Holman Wang called “Cozy Classics”, which, as the name suggests, are adaptations of classic literature titles. Each novel is distilled down to twelve simple words with accompanying picture (beautifully hand-made needle-felted figures). I can now say I have read several classic titles without technically lying, and each one only takes a minute to read! They are also, surprisingly, quietly funny for the adult reader.
We have several new titles in this series that will be available soon.
Perfumers Secret / Fiona McIntosh – Great timing. Jumped into my BorrowBox App just when I had finished my last audio book. A sensory listen with a historical love story woven with perfume and the Great War. Against her will, Fleurette Delacroix marries Aimery De Lasset to unite two prestigious perfume families of Grasse. Fleurette is the only daughter of the Delacroix perfume dynasty. She has the best nose, but her skills are under-utilized until war breaks out and there’s no man to continue creating the perfumes of Grasse. Intoxicating.
Do no harm : stories of life, death and brain surgery / Henry Marsh – This is the first non-fiction book that I could not put down. Neurosurgeon Henry Marsh recounts 20 + years of operations on the most complex organ in the body; the brain. Super interesting read that gives a fascinating insight into what it is like to be a brain surgeon.
Fated, Cursed, Taken, Chosen and Hidden from Alex Verus series / Benedict Jacka – Apprentice mages, Dark and Light forces of magic, urban fantasy set in modern day London and a troubled hero. Fans of Jim Butcher’s Dresden files will enjoy this fast paced, magical and sometimes emotional ride.
The idealist : Aaron Swartz and the rise of free culture on the Internet / Justin Peters – This book updated comprehensively on what I knew about freedom of information in the digital age. Highlighting the suicide of Aaron Swartz of Creative Commons, it flows to the complex historical survey of copyright culture and zooms down to the freedom of information in the digital culture.
The Protected / Claire Zorn – This book won The Children’s Book of the Year Awards in the Older Readers Category. It centres around 15 year old Hannah, whose family is torn apart when her older sister Katie dies in a car crash. Hannah was also in the car and her dad was driving. Seemingly, neither Hannah or her dad can remember what happened. Hannah’s mum sinks into a deep depression, her dad is badly injured and Hannah is consumed with guilt. Hannah’s story is heart wrenching. She endures relentless bullying prior to Katie’s death and surely no-one can blame her for not wanting to go to school on the fateful day of the crash. But Hannah believes it is because she was a coward that her sister is dead. Thank goodness for Josh and his friendship. Moving, real, gritty and full of raw emotion.
Tragic songs of life ; Satan is real [sound recording] / The Louvin Brothers – A classic collection of Gospel inspired country music, by the brothers Louvin. The Baptist firebrands were a walking contradiction, with Ira Louvin noted as a drunken, violent, womanising madman. His third wife shot him four times in the chest and twice in the hand after he allegedly tried to strangle her with a telephone cord. I’m a staunch atheist but I love The Louvin Brothers. Their vocals and harmonies are a pure joy. Check “Satan is real” and “The Christian Life” as standout tracks.
Blood To Bone [sound recording] / Gin Wigmore– I’ve liked every one of this New Zealand singer-songwriter albums but this is by far my favourite. She has an unusual voice which she uses beautifully on all the songs. My favourite would be ‘Written in the Water’ but I also love ‘I Will Love You’.
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