Monthly Archives: October 2018

Lethal White – Robert Galbraith

Lethal White – Robert Galbraith

I read the first of these and thought I would read more, but 2 and 3 passed my by. I enjoyed this one, but it is too long. Too much extraneous information.

Here’s the blurb …

“I seen a kid killed…He strangled it, up by the horse.”

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.

Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott—once his assistant, now a partner in the agency—set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside.

And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been—Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much trickier than that.

I still like the relationship between Robin and Strike (although it has turned a bit romantic) and I didn’t guess the villain (which in my books is a good thing).

Another review …

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/sep/17/lethal-white-robert-galbraith-review-jk-rowling

 

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Filed under Miscellaneous

The Paris Seamstress – Natasha Lester

The Paris Seamstress – Natasha Lester

This novel was on sale, and it had a pretty cover, and it was about fashion, so clearly I had to have it.

Here’s the blurb …

How much will a young Parisian seamstress sacrifice to make her mark in the male-dominated world of 1940s New York fashion? From the bestselling author of A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald and Her Mother’s Secret.

1940. Parisian seamstress Estella Bissette is forced to flee France as the Germans advance. She is bound for Manhattan with a few francs, one suitcase, her sewing machine, and a dream: to have her own atelier.

2015. Australian curator Fabienne Bissette journeys to the annual Met Gala for an exhibition of her beloved grandmother’s work – one of the world’s leading designers of ready-to-wear. But as Fabienne learns more about her grandmother’s past, she uncovers a story of tragedy, heartbreak and secrets – and the sacrifices made for love.

Crossing generations, society’s boundaries and international turmoil, The Paris Seamstress is the beguiling, transporting story of the special relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter as they attempt to heal the heartache of the past.

I went to a session at the Perth writers  festival where Natasha Lester and Amy Stewart were speaking. I must admit to judging Ms Lester’s novels before reading them – it’s the covers (beautiful as they are they do imply a particular type of novel). This novel was well-researched and I found much to admire and enjoy. It is a plot driven romance, which is not my reading cup of tea, but I know it will appeal to a large number of people. So if you like romance, intrigue and beautiful clothes then this is the novel for you.

Another review

http://www.kateforsyth.com.au/kates-blog/book-review-the-paris-seamstress-by-natasha-lester

 

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Filed under Fiction - Light, Historical Fiction

The Narcissist Test – Craig Malkin

The Narcissist Test – Dr Craig Malkin

I was fascinated by this book. It was very accessible – easy language and case studies to illustrate his points.

Here is the blurb …

What exactly is narcissism? An incurable disease set to ruin your future, a habit to be curbed, or a trait to be nurtured? And how can you tell if your partner, child, or even you are a narcissist? Dr Craig Malkin offers a new picture of narcissism, showing us why being called a ‘narcissist’ isn’t necessarily such a bad thing after all.

Narcissism is all around us. We are a selfie-obsessed generation, surviving on a steady diet of watching reality shows that celebrate attention-seeking know-and-do-nothings and posting a whopping 500 million tweets a day to document our every thought and whim. But is narcissism really as bad as we have been led to believe?

In this groundbreaking book, clinical psychologist Dr Craig Malkin offers a radically new picture of narcissism, defining it as a spectrum of self-importance, and explaining that everyone falls somewhere on the scale between utter selflessness and total arrogance. He reveals why it is essential to embrace some level of narcissism in order to maintain a healthy sense of self-worth. Feeling special, to a degree, can make us better lovers and partners, courageous leaders, and intrepid explorers.

As supportive as it is illuminating, The Narcissist Test is the first and only book to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy narcissism, and offers clear, step-by-step guidance on how to promote the healthy kind in your partner, children, and in yourself. From advice tailored to parents, social media users and even schools, this is the definitive text to help you overcome the bad – and embrace the good – about feeling special.

Dr Craig Malkin is a clinical psychologist hailing from Harvard with over two decades of experience helping individuals, couples and families.

Definitely worth a read if you or someone you know (work with) is a narcissist.

 

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Filed under Non-Fiction

The Givenness Of Things – Marilynne Robinson

The Givenness of Things – Marilynne Robinson

I have enjoyed all of Ms Robinson’s novels and enjoyed listening to her on the BBC World Book Club. I was keen to read her essays.

Here is the description from Goodreads …

A profound essay collection from the beloved author of GileadHouskeeping and Lila, now including Marilynne Robinson’s conversation with President Barack Obama.

Robinson has plumbed the depths of the human spirit in her trilogy of novels – Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead, Orange-Prize winning Home and National Book Critics Circle Award-winning Lila – and in her moving essay collection When I Was a Child I Read Books.

Now, in The Givenness of Things, she brings a profound sense of awe and an incisive mind to the essential questions of contemporary life and faith. Through fourteen essays of remarkable depth and insight, Robinson explores the dilemmas of our modern predicament. How has our so-called Christian nation strayed from so many of the teachings of Christ? How could the great minds of the past, Calvin and Locke-and Shakespeare-guide our lives? And what might the world look like if we could see the sacredness in each other?

Exquisite and bold, these essays are a necessary call for us to find wisdom and guidance in our cultural treasures, to seek humanity and compassion in each other. The Givenness of Thingsis a reminder of what a marvel our existence is in its grandeur – and its humility.

I will say from the outset that I am not a christian and I think most of the world’s ills are caused by white, christian men, but if anyone could convert me it would be Ms Robinson. And if all christians were christian like her the world would be a better place.

It took me a long time to read this book and I am not sure reading it cover to cover is the best way of reading it. Each essay required focus and concentration and it might be better to dip into it from time to time reading one essay at a time.

It is academic, thoughtful and thought-provoking.

More reviews …

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/oct/16/givenness-of-things-marylinne-robinson-review

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Recommended, Serious