Six books this week! Another week of all-Aussies. I may have to break the Aussie streak next week, due to some reading requirements for work which is devastating! But they’ll still be the first to leave the TBR for the rest of the year. Only one negative experience – with a prize-winner! I often have love-hate relationships with prize winners though…
Taronga – Victor Kelleher (Australian author) (4 stars)
I adored this book as a child. When I found a damaged copy that needed a home, I picked it up, thinking I might reread it. Taronga has aged incredibly well. It is a dystopian novel, set in and around Sydney. Something called Last Days has occurred where a significant portion of the human population died, and those remaining have become violent scavengers. Ben has an affinity with animals – he can Call to them, make them feel safe or scared. From the bush, he can hear one scream of freedom every night at dusk. And so he follows it into the heart of the city, ending up at Taronga Zoo. There he meets Raja, a gorgeous tiger who rejects his Call; it is a battle between beast and man, that calls into question who exactly is the beast. I think I might have loved this book even more as an adult and would strongly recommend it to anyone looking for an Australian children’s classic.
The Capsule Wardrobe – Wendy Mak (Australian author) (3 stars)
This book was very informative. I want to simplify my life as part of my year of happy, and that definitely includes the insane wardrobe I possess. While not all of the options Mak suggests will work for me – I detest wearing shorts, for example, and beige isn’t a colour I would ever choose for myself willingly – it has made me reconsider how much I truly need in my wardrobe. In the next few weeks I will be purging my wardrobe, and hopefully feeling much freer in the process! I have a habit of hanging onto clothes that no longer fit in the hopes that one day they will – those need to go! This book has also made me consider different ways to put outfits together; while my wardrobe will never get down to thirty pieces, I think these ideas will be incredibly good for travel!
The Memory Artist – Katherine Brabon (Australian author) (2 stars)
This book won the Vogel’s Literary Award last year. I had such great success with the 2015 winner: When There’s Nowhere Left to Run by Murray Middleton, and I was supremely excited to read this offering. It fosters great reflection on memory and manipulation of the past, but it was incredibly slow and lacked a decent story. The characters were flat, and the protagonist was disinterested and separated from his own story. It was a struggle to finish. I could have put it down and never picked it up again at multiple points, but I try not to DNF.
Gaysia – Benjamin Law (Australian author)(4 stars)
I got this one through Audible. Normally when I listen to a book I zone out a few times. This non-fiction was so interesting that not once did I find myself zoning out. NOT ONCE. An incredible insight into the lives of gay men and women in Asia – funny, sad and heartening. I learned so much.
The Extinction Gambit – Michael Pryor (Australian author) (3.5 stars)
I really enjoyed this book but it truly has NOTHING on my favourite of Michael Pryor’s series, The Laws of Magic. However, it had a really cool Neanderthal twist – (I am pretty into Neanderthals and if I were a writer it is a Neanderthal story I would tell). The main characters, Kingsley and Evadne, were also pretty wonderful, especially Evadne. And Kipling made an appearance! Now all I want to do is reread The Laws of Magic. And buy the sequel to this book.
The Hating Game – Sally Thorne (Australian author) (4 stars)
Anyone who follows my blog will know that I am NOT a big romance fan. But this book gave me really happy feels and has completely and utterly encouraged me to try more. It probably helps that the two main characters work in a publishing house. And I do like an enemies-to-lovers trope. BUT SO CUTE! Just a warning that some scenes aren’t appropriate to read at the work lunch table – don’t make my mistake! But truly sweet, and a bit sexy too.
What did you read this week?