Theme Reveal 2023 #atozchallenge

Best Bookish Blog went into what was meant to be a very short hiatus, just as the world was struck by the pandemic. All the worry about Covid and what was ahead for us, caused me to lose my way a bit, and there hasn’t been a blog post here since then.

That is all about to change, as I’m now intending to revive the blog, and continue to add to my book reviews. If you would like to check out the reviews done so far, they are listed here

The other announcement is that, once again, I will be participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. The April A-Z Challenge, requires me to post every day in April, except Sunday, to a chosen theme, using the letters of the alphabet from A-Z. Some bloggers choose not to have a theme and that’s ok too.

I have participated in the A to Z Challenge every year since 2015, on my other blogs, but on this blog only two times. In 2016 I participated on two blogs. I can say that the challenge of posting two posts a day for a month was more stress than anyone needs. I most probably won’t be doing that again.

I really do enjoy this challenge for many reasons. Aside from the discipline it takes to be organised sufficiently to post every day, Mostly, I love the opportunity to connect with other bloggers. These bloggers are blogging on a very diverse range of topics, with most being vastly different to the blogs that I usually read.

My theme for 2023 will be book reviews. All reviews will be on books that I have read, some new releases, and also older books that are still available.

All reviews will be my own opinions. I receive no payments for reviews, nor do I receive free books to review, unless otherwise stated.

I would love you to join me, and hopefully find a book in my reviews that sounds interesting to you. So you don’t miss anything, you are able to follow me, by entering your email address in the sidebar.

© 2023 Copyright. all rights reserved:

Book Review: Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

The Sense of an Ending


This intense novel follows a middle-aged man as he contends with a past he has never much thought about – until his closest childhood friends return with a vengeance, one of them from the grave, another maddeningly present. Tony Webster thought he’d left all this behind as he built a life for himself, and by now his marriage and family and career have fallen into an amicable divorce and retirement. But he is then presented with a mysterious legacy that obliges him to reconsider a variety of things he thought he’d understood all along, and to revise his estimation of his own nature and place in the world.

A novel so compelling that it begs to be read in a single sitting, with stunning psychological and emotional depth and sophistication, The Sense of an Ending is a brilliant new chapter in Julian Barnes’s oeuvre.
– Goodreads

Published in 2012 by Vintage
Softcover, 150 pages


This is the second time that I’ve read this book. As the above summary suggests, both times that I have read this book, I have felt compelled to read this book in a single sitting. This novel is totally unputdownable, even on the second read.

Sense of an Ending is a short book, with just 50 pages and could even be described as a novella. It didn’t feel like reading a novella, even though it was a quick read. So much happened to the main character Tony, as the story followed from adolescence to his old age. At the end of the book, I felt that I was friends of all characters, which was unexpected, considering the short length of the book.

Today, when I pick this book up, the first thing I notice, other than the fantastic cover, is how it still looks brand new. To flick through the pages is to see the pages of a book that has been read in such a short time, that the pages are still very stiff, as though I have just brought it home from the book store.

The end of Sense of an Ending, has caused lots of discussion amongst readers. I would love to write my opinion here, but would hate to spoil the book for those who haven’t read it yet. I will leave it up to you to decide.

I loved and still love this book I enjoyed the story line, the characters and I especially loved the writing. I just know that I will definitely read this book again.


“A masterpiece….I would urge you to read and re-read The Sense of an Ending”
Daily Telegraph

“A precise, poignant , portrait of the costs and benefits of time passing, of friendship, of love. A masterpiece” – Erica Wagner, The Times

STAR RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Julian Patrick Barnes is a contemporary English writer of postmodernism in literature. He has been shortlisted three times for the Man Booker Prize— Flaubert’s Parrot (1984), England, England (1998), and Arthur & George (2005), and won the prize for The Sense of an Ending (2011). He has written crime fiction under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh.

Following an education at the City of London School and Merton College, Oxford, he worked as a lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary. Subsequently, he worked as a literary editor and film critic. He now writes full-time. – Goodreads

All books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library, unless otherwise stated.

Find me here: Facebook and Instagram and Goodreads

Images and author information: Goodreads

You can find my other blogs here:
Next Phase In Fitness & Life
and Tracking Down The Family

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Crazy house Series by James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet #audiobook #youngadult

Crazy House Series


Crazy House  ( Crazy House #1)

Seventeen year old Becca  disappeared from her small hometown. She found herself in maximum security prison and on death row with other kids her age. Until her execution, Becca is told to fit in and say nothing, and above all, ask no questions. But Becca has never been known to follow instructions.

Her sister Cassie was the perfect one, who would have asked no questions. Not Becca! Becca continually holds out hope that Cassie will come looking for her and find her. Until then, she must endure whatever her captors decide is her fate.

Published in May 2017 by Hachette Book Group
Audiobook published August 2018.


The Fall of Crazy House Part 2 (Crazy House #2)

Becca and Cassie escape from the Crazy House with their lives, but only just. Thanks to the cruelty they endured in the Crazy House, they are now highly trained and tough fighters with a fear of nothing or nobody.

Becca is sent to Assassinate the President of the United cell. Cassie is looking for her, and not far behind. Together the sisters are the key to success but can they find each other and if they do get together, can they join their talents and overthrow the despotic government in order to free the people? 

Published in April 2019 by Little, Brown and Company
Audiobook published April 2019

My Thoughts

I chose The Crazy House as my next audiobook, with no idea that it was a young adult book.  I chose the book quickly and without reading what it was about, as I was about to head off on a walk. It wasn’t until I was two chapters in, that it dawned on me that this book was book written for young adults.

The story is a very fast paced dystopian novel, with great characters. I found myself hooked completely and invested in what would happen to the twins. The adventure story is a roller coaster, especially the second book. There were many times that I had my heart in my mouth and couldn’t listen, just in case I heard something that I didn’t want to hear. Crazy House could be described as a non-stop carnival ride.

At the end of the first book, there was a cliffhanger and nothing at all was solved, making it obvious that there would be part 2. Fortunately, I was able to listen to part 2 immediately. The story wasn’t totally resolved in book 2 which leaves me wondering if there is a third book coming. If not, then I’m slightly annoyed by the ending.

I’m not a huge fan of reading Young Adult or anything with a dystopian theme, but I have to say that I loved both of these books. I have noticed there are many negative reviews online which I don’t agree with. I put that down, to not being a regular reader of YA and not being the target audience.

This audiobook was read by Therese Plummer, who read all the roles. Each person was read in a very different tone, so I had no problem at all recognising who was speaking. This can sometimes be an issue in single reader audiobooks.

 Star Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About the Authors

James Patterson

James Patterson is the world’s bestselling author and most trusted storyteller. He has created more enduring fictional characters than any other novelist writing today, with his Alex Cross, Michael Bennett, Women’s Murder Club, Private, NYPD Red, Daniel X, Maximum Ride, and Middle School series. He has sold over 380 million books worldwide and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers. In addition to writing the thriller novels for which he is best known, among them The President Is Missing with President Bill Clinton, Patterson also writes fiction for young readers of all ages, including the Max Einstein series, produced in partnership with the Albert Einstein Estate. He is also the first author to have #1 new titles simultaneously on the New York Times adult and children’s bestseller lists. – Goodreads

Gabrielle Charbonnet

Gabrielle Charbonnet lives in Carolina USA. She has written many books prior to Crazy House under her pen name Cate Tiernan. This is not her first collaboration with James Patterson. Gabrielle has written about 75 books in total, under her own name, and  many varied pen names.


All books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library, unless otherwise stated.

Find me here: Facebook and Instagram and Goodreads

Images and author information: Goodreads and Wikipedia

You can find my other blogs here:
Next Phase In Fitness & Life
and Tracking Down The Family

© 2020 Copyright. all rights reserved:

Book Review: A Life At the Edge of the World by Michelle Scott Tucker


In 1788, a young gentlewoman raised in the vicarage of an English village married a handsome, haughty and penniless army officer. In any Jane Austen novel that would be the end of the story, but for the real-life woman who would play an integral part in establishing Australia’s wool industry, it was just the beginning 

John Macarthur took credit for establishing the Australian wool industry and would feature on the two-dollar note, but it was practical Elizabeth who managed their holdings—while dealing with the results of John’s manias: duels, quarrels, court cases, a military coup, long absences overseas, grandiose construction projects and, finally, his descent into certified insanity.- goodreads

My Thoughts

As soon as I finished reading A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville, I knew that I must read A Life at the Edge of the World. I really wanted to get to know the real Elizabeth, after reading about Kate Grenville’s imagined version.

This is the true story of a strong woman, who was truly a farmer, and not just a farmer’s wife, in the days when women weren’t expected to do much more than socialise and entertain. The Macarthur farming enterprise into Merino Sheep would not have happened or been successful without Elizabeth at the helm. She did the work, but then stood back and allowed her husband to take the credit, without a complaint.

I thought Elizabeth’s life, although priveleged, to be very sad. Her husband was away in London often, and for long periods of time, while Elizabeth stayed home and managed the farm, while caring for a large family of children. Four of her children died, and her boys also spent time away from her, in London.

Michelle Scott Tucker, has captured Elizabeth Macarthur perfectly, due to her meticulous research. This is evident in the bibliography, the notes which contained a huge amount of detail, and the comprehensive index.

I learnt about John Macarthur at school, but knew nothing of his wife Elizabeth. I’m so pleased that I read this book to set that wrong right. Elizabeth Macarthur’s story should be taught in history lessons, along with the story of her husband. Elizabeth was as much a pioneer of the wool industry and of this country, as was her husband.

Quotes From The Book

“As her daughter’s health improved, Elizabeth turned her energies and focus to the farms. That is not to say, with John away, she hadn’t already been working. Apart from a handful of aristocrats, Elizabeth and the other women of her era never stopped working. They worked every day of their lives and worked extraordinarily hard. The so-called ‘farmer and his wife’ were, in reality, both farmers and then, as now, the wife’s labour inside and outside the home was crucial to the running of the farm and the economic wellbeing of the family. Elizabeth Macarthur was no exception. She was, at that time, again, merely one of a number of women who had sole responsibility for their families’ farms”. (p.208)

“Australian history has been, until recently, very much the history of white men working—as farmers, as soldiers, as miners, as explorers. Women and other outsiders were largely written out, as if they were merely peripheral to the real story. In the history of Australian farming, though, women very much were the real story. Elizabeth Macarthur is only one of many women who were—and are—crucial to the family farming enterprise. In her ambition, her fortitude and her love for her family she was just like many other strong and intelligent farm women”. (pp. 329-30)

 Star Rating: 4.5 stars


About the Author

Michelle Scott Tucker

Michelle is a writer, a mother, a company director, a feminist, a policeman’s wife, a gardener, a management consultant, a horsewoman and an indifferent cook. She lives on a small farm in regional Victoria.


Published in 2018 by Text Publishing.
Softcover, 385 pages, including bibliography, notes and index.

All books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library, unless otherwise stated.

Find me here: Facebook and Instagram and Goodreads

Images and author information: Goodreads .

Aussie Author Challenge

You can find my other blogs here:
Next Phase In Fitness & Life
and Tracking Down The Family

© 2020 Copyright. all rights reserved:

Book Review: Lovesong by Alex Miller



Strangers did not, as a rule, find their way to Chez Dom, a small Tunisian cafe in Paris. Run by the widow Houria and her young niece, Sabiha, the cafe offters a home away from home for the North African immigrant workers at the great abattoirs of Vaugirard, who, as with Houria and Sabiha themselves, have grown used to the smell of blood in the air. When one day a lost Australian tourist, John Patterner, seeks shelter in the cafe from a sudden Parisian rainstorm, a tragic love story begins to unfold. – from the blurb

My Thoughts

I came to this book with a slight bias, as I have been an Alex Miller since reading two earlier novels of his – Coal Creek and The Passage of Love. This book, as I expected, didn’t disappoint at all. This is my second read of this novel. I love Alex Miller’s style of writing and his characterisations. Passages of writing in this book are extremely beautiful and slowed down my reading, as I was compelled to read them over and over.

“John was the quiet type … Except when he was telling me his story. Even then there was something quiet and private in the way he spoke about himself and Sabiha; as if he was telling himself the story; going over it to find its meaning for himself. Looking for something he’d missed when it was happening to him”.

I felt empathy for the main characters, as their inner dialogue made me understand their turmoil. I didn’t love every character, but it was the author’s writing that had me form my opinions. I did have a love/hate relationship with some of the characters, but that only added to my enjoyment of the story.

This story is more than a love story. It’s also about power, struggle and loneliness and how they affect a love story. It is also a story within a story, which I found compelling.  This novel stayed with me and had me thinking long after I had finished reading it.

I read the hardcover version of this book. It is a beautifully presented book and will have a permanent position on my bookshelf. I’m sure I will read it again in the future for the beautiful writing.

Published 2009, by Allen & Unwin. Hardcover, 354 pages


“Miller belongs with Gunter Grass, Ismail Kadare and JM Coetzee. He is essential reading” – The Australian

“Alex Miller is one of our most profound and interesting writers” – Australian Book Review


New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award for Christina Stead Prize for Fiction & People’s Choice Award (2011)
Miles Franklin Literary Award Nominee (2010)
Prime Minister’s Literary Awards Nominee for Fiction (2010)
The Age Book of the Year (2010)
Australian Book Industry Award (ABIA) Nominee for Literary Fiction (2010)

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About the Author

Alex Miller

Alex Miller is one of Australia’s best-loved writers, and winner of the Melbourne Prize for Literature 2012. He is twice winner of Australia’s premier literary prize, The Miles Franklin Literary Award, first in 1993 for The Ancestor Game and again in 2003 for Journey to the Stone Country. He is also an overall winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, in 1993 for The Ancestor Game. His fifth novel, Conditions of Faith, won the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction in the 2001 New South Wales Premier’s Awards. In 2011 he won this award a second time with Lovesong. Lovesong also won the People’s Choice Award in the NSW Premier’s Awards, the Age Book of the Year Award and the Age Fiction Prize for 2011. In 2007 Landscape of Farewell was published to wide critical acclaim and in 2008 won the Chinese Annual Foreign Novels 21st Century Award for Best Novel and the Manning Clark Medal for an outstanding contribution to Australian cultural life.  Miller  is published internationally and widely in translation. 

Have you read this book? If so, I’d love to hear what you thought of it. I promise to reply to all comments left.

© 2019 Copyright. all rights reserved:

Book Review: Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George


Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.- goodreads

My Thoughts

I was immediately drawn to this book when I picked it up in my favourite second hand bookshop. I love to read books about books or bookshops or bookclubs, and I was intrigued by the premise. I was expecting to read a book about an eccentric old man who handed out books to people who needed solace. The books would be exactly the type of book they needed at the time.

That theme was probably about one quarter of the story. It could have been really great if that particular story line had been developed. Instead it turned into some kind of weak, pathetic romance. I know weak and pathetic are harsh words but they are the first that come to mind.

I struggled to finish this book but continued on, in the hope that it would improve. After all, I had read many great reviews.

I dislike writing negative reviews and usually I don’t. This review is my first negative, and I only write it because there are so many positive reviews out there, that I feel I must share my opposite view.


“There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books.”:

”Books keep stupidity at bay. And vain hopes. And vain men. They undress you with love, strength and knowledge. It’s love from within.”


Star Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

About the Author

Nina George was born in 1973 in Bielefeld, Germany and is a prize-winning and bestselling author, and freelance journalist.  She has published 26 books (novels, mysteries and non-fiction) as well as over hundred short stories and more than 600 columns. George has worked as a police reporter, columnist and managing editor for a wide range of publications.

Published in June 2015 by Crown, 392 pages.

Have you read this book? If so, I’d love to hear what you thought of it. I promise to reply to all comments left.

© 2019 Copyright. all rights reserved:

Book Review: The Black Swan of Paris by Karen Robards

The Black Swan of Paris by Karen Robards


A World at war.
A beautiful young star.
A mission no one expected.
Paris 1944

Celebrated singer Genevieve Dumont is both a star and a smokescreen. An unwilling darling of the Nazis, her position of privelege allows her to go undetected as an ally to the resistance.
When her estranged mother, Lillian de Rocheford, is captured by Nazis, Genevieve is shaken. She knows it won’t be long before the Gestapo succeeds in torturing information out of Lillian that will detail the upcoming allied invasion. The resistance movement is tasked with silencing her by any means necessary – including assassination.
But Genevieve refuses to let her mother become yet one more victim of the war. Reuniting with her long lost sister, she must find a way to navigate the perilous cross currents of occupied France undetected – and in time to save Lillian’s life. – from the blurb

My Thoughts

I am a huge fan of historical fiction and particularly when the setting is France during WW2. I’m especially interested when the story line is about the French resistance during the war. Unsurprisingly then, I was really looking forward to reading this book.

I enjoyed the themes of WW2, spies and family disfunction. Most of the connections and history were told by using flashbacks. At first I found it a little confusing, but soon became accustomed to the style and enjoyed each chapter as the true story was revealed.

The stories of the Nazis and their tactics were believable, but at times difficult to read due to the cruelty of the Nazis. The conflict between them and the Parisians and French people was at times heartbreaking.

The strength of three women was a theme that I enjoyed also. Their characterisations and believability had me glued to the page. None of these female characters were predictable or ordinary but they were entirely believable and relatable.

The only thing that detracted from my enjoyment of this book was the romantic theme which I didn’t think was necessary to the story line. After it was introduced, I became quite annoyed and could have lost interest. I’m glad I persisted to the end as the finale action scene is fantastic. This was the reason for a lower star rating.


“A truly outstanding novel, brilliantly written, that captured me and held me in its grip from page one. At its heart this story is about family love and the umbilical cords that stretch but never break. So much can be learnt from the telling of this story of what is truly important whether we live in a privileged, safe environment or in a theatre of conflict. The Black Swan of Paris reminds us of the power of love, hope and courage.”
Heather Morris, #1 bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz

“Long a master of suspense, Karen Robards turns her formidable talents to the Second World War. The Black Swan of Paris tells of singer Genevieve Dumont, who must navigate a tangled web of torn allegiances, painful secrets and a past that refuses to set her free, as she struggles to save all she holds dear from the Nazis. Boldly conceived and richly realized, Robards establishes herself in a single sweep at the forefront of World War II novels with an emotional and powerful tale.”
Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

Published in Great Britain by Hodder & Stoughton in 2020.
Paperback, 473 pages

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

About the Author

Karen Robards

Karen Robards is a best selling author of more than fifty books and one novella. Karen has been writing since she was very young, and was first published nationally in the December 1973 Reader’s Digest. She sold her first romance novel, ISLAND FLAME, when she was 24. It was published by Leisure Books in 1981 and is still in print. After that, she dropped out of law school to pursue her writing career.
Karen was recently described by The Daily Mail as “one of the most reliable thriller….writers in the world.”

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The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernan

The Good Turn (Cormac Reilly, #3)

The Good Turn (Cormac Reilly #3) by Dervla McTiernan


Police corruption, an investigation that ends in tragedy and the mystery of a little girl’s silence – three unconnected things that will prove to be linked by one small town.

While Detective Cormac Reilly faces enemies at work, and trouble in his personal life, Garda Peter Fisher is relocated out of Galway, with the threat of prosecution hanging over his head. But even that is not as terrible as having to work for his overbearing father, the local copper for the pretty seaside town of Roundstone.

For some, like Anna and her young daughter, Tilly, Roundstone is a refuge from trauma. But even this village on the edge of the sea isn’t far enough to escape from the shadows of evil men. – Goodreads

My Thoughts

Having read the first two books in the Cormac Reilly series, I was looking forward to the thIrd being published, and it didn’t disappoint. McTiernan continued her realistic and relatable characterisations. The story line is believable, and as usual her research of police proceedure is impeccable.  Cormac is trying to solve the crime of a child abduction with an understaffed and inexperienced team. He is also dealing with his superiors and their lack of support. At the same time, he is having huge problems in his personal life.

I was gripped by the story line, and couldn’t wait to read what would happen next. Each time I thought I hold solved the mystery, there would be another twist. There are many small story lines running through the novel, and it was not clear, where they all fit in, until the end, when they are tied up perfectly. There were so many things, throughout this novel, to think and wonder about.

The Cormac Reilly series has been brilliant, but The Good Turn is next level.  I really enjoyed the Irishness of each book. Looking forward to #4 in this series.


‘With her third novel Dervla McTiernan confirms she’s a born storyteller’
Val McDermid

‘Taut, tense and darkly addictive’ — Candice Fox

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

About the Author

Dervla McTiernan is the author of  The Ruin, The Scholar and The Good Turn. The Ruin was published in 2018 and is the first in the detective Cormac Reilly series. The Ruin was a top ten bestseller and an Amazon Best Book of July 2018. Dervla was a New Blood Panellist at Harrogate Festival. The Scholar was published in 2019 and was a top five bestseller. The Good Turn was published in 2020. The Ruin has been optioned for TV by Hopscotch Features

Published in February 2020 by Sphere
Paperback, 400 pages

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Book Review: A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville


“What if Elizabeth Macarthur – wife of the notorious John Macarthur, wool baron in the earliest days of Sydney – had written a shockingly frank secret memoir? And what if novelist Kate Grenville, had miraculously found and published it? That’s the starting point for A Room Made of Leaves, a playful dance of possibilities between the real and the invented.
Marriage to a ruthless bully, the impulses of her heart, the search for power in the society that gave women none, this Elizabeth Macarthur manages her complicated life with spirit and passion, cunning and sly wit. Her memoir lets us hear – at last – what one of those seemingly demure women from history might really have thought.
At the centre of A Room Made of Leaves is one of the most toxic issues of our own age, the seductive appeal of false stories. This book may be set in the past, but it’s just as much about the present, where secrets and liws have the dangerous power to shape reality”. – from the blurb

My Thoughts

This fictional account of the life of Elizabeth Macarthur seemed very real to me. I would love to believe that the real Elizabeth Macarthur had the spirit and confidence of this fictional version. The story of the life of Elizabeth Macarthur starts at the beginning, in England when young Elizabeth met John Macarthur and how she came to marry the pompous and arrogant man. We followed them during their hellish voyage to Australia, and as they began their life in the new country, that, at first, was far less comfortable than expected.

As is usual for Kate, this book is well researched and very clearly tells the story of life in Sydney, in the very early days of settlement. I very much enjoyed reading about these times through the eyes of a strong female.

Historical fiction is my favourite genre and especially Australia historical fiction. I’ve read Kate Grenville’s books Secret River and The Lieutenant, and have been a fan ever since. This book didn’t disappoint at all. I found it totally engrossing and felt sad when I had read the last page. My opinion is that this wonderful novel is historical fiction at it’s best.

Next on my ‘to be read’ pile is the real biography of Elizabeth Macarthur which I’m keen to read.


‘This story, told through Grenville’s sharp lens, is one that will stay with the reader for a long time.’  – Readings

‘An ingenious tapestry of history and invention, A Room Made of Leaves is a novel of womanhood, motherhood, secrets, lies, obsession, transformation and the loss of innocence. It’s a true pleasure to read Grenville’s writing, and this one’s been well worth the wait!’ Booktopia

“Grenville’s prose is elegant and meticulously crafted…Despite the trappings of history in A Room Made of Leaves and Grenville’s impressive use of the archive to conjure the novel, her achievement here is not a historical one. A Room Made of Leaves questions,  rhetorically, how to live ethically with a history that is unfair.  Saturday Paper

 Published in 2020 by Text Publishing Company, Melbourne, Australia
Hardcover, 317 pages

My Star Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About the Author

Kate Grenville is one of Australia’s most celebrated writers. Her international  bestseller The Secret River was awarded local and overseas prizes, has been adapted for the stage and as an acclaimed television miniseries, and is now a much-loved classic.
In 2017 Grenville was awarded the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. She lives in Melbourne. –

To keep up with the latest book reviews, please pop your email address in the box on the sidebar. This will ensure you are notified of updates.

All books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library, unless otherwise stated.

Find me here: Facebook and Instagram and Goodreads

Images and author information: Goodreads .

Aussie Author Challenge

You can find my other blogs here:
Next Phase In Fitness & Life
and Tracking Down The Family

© 2020 Copyright. all rights reserved:





australian reading challenge

Reading During a Pandemic

I feel very disappointed to say that I  haven’t posted here since May 7. That’s almost three months! I feel dreadful that it’s been so long. Actually, I was shocked to see how long it had been. Of course, I knew that it had been a while, but never imagined that 11 weeks had passed since I wrote a post. All day today, I’ve been wondering why I didn’t post for so long. I love reading and I really love writing reviews of the books I’ve read. So why would I stop writing them?

It’s not that I haven’t been reading, though I must admit to reading much less than usual during isolation. When I first realised that I would have to self isolate, back in early April, I imagined all the time that I would have on my hands. And spare time, of course means more reading time. At last I would have time to read each of the books in the pile on my bedside table, plus the unread books on my kindle. There would also be  time to read some of the many books that have sat on my bookshelf, unread, for far too long.

As it turned out, all that spare time didn’t equate to reading time. I know that I could have found time to read. I’ve always been able to find time to read, so why would a pandemic make that much difference. As far as I can work out, there is one reason. My head has been full of worries about the pandemic, about family and friends, and about the world. Every day, there has been so much bad news on TV, in the papers and on Social Media.

I’m fairly sure that with all that bad news, constantly in my brain, the thought of putting anything else in there is the last thing I’ve wanted to do. So because of this, reading has taken a back seat. 

Though, I have managed to read a few books during the pandemic, just a few. Interestingly, I’ve wanted to read different genres to what I would usually read.  I’ve read a couple of romance novels, chick lit, and comedies, all of which I wouldn’t usually read.  But I think the need for escape from the reality of life, has led me down a different reading path, which I have suprisingly quite enjoyed.

As I have finished reading each book, during the pandemic, I really haven’t been able to put my mind to writing a review. The thought of increasing the stress that I was already feeling, by using my brain to write a review, seemed to be one step too far. I didn’t seem able to do it. That is, until now. I’m now feeling ready to hit re-start.

My last blog posts were the A-Z Challenge posts. Even though I was prepared for the challenge this year, I found it difficult, also due to the worries of the pandemic. There seemed to be much more important things to worry about than a mere blog challenge.

As I said, I’m now feeling ready to get back into my reading and reviewing routine. My first book review since May, will be published next week.  I hope you will be interested enough to come back and check it out.

My other blogs can be found here:
Next Phase In Fitness & Life
and Tracking Down The Family

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