The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared

Jonas Jonasson
Allen & Unwin
Published 12th September 2012 (in Australia)
Gifted by Allen & Unwin (thank you!)

The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared – this title pretty much wraps up the book. My friend started to ask me what it was about, saw the title, and was like “ah. I got it.” But the question on everyone’s lips – the director of the nursing home, the police, the media – is where did he go?

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Lyrebird Hill

Lyrebird Hill
 Author: Anna Romer
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Star Rating: 4/5
Date Read: August 24th to 25th, 2014
Read Count: 1
Review:
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my review in any way.

Anna Romer has written an intriguing story of family secrets, lies and tragedy that takes place at Lyrebird Hill, a three thousand acre property that has been in Ruby’s family since her great-grandmother’s time. After discovering her boyfriend is a cheating prick and also finding out her sister’s death on that same property eighteen years ago may not have been the accident she always thought it was, Ruby returns to Lyrebird Hill seeking answers she had locked away in a vault in her head after suffering amnesia from a head injury that same day her sister died. As her memory returns, she also uncovers family secrets from the diary and letters of a relative from the late 1800s that show that violence, tragedy and death are no strangers to their family. Ruby must search her memory and herself to face the truth of her sister’s death.

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The Romances of George Sand

 

The Romances of George Sand

Author: Anna Faktorovich
Publisher: Anaphora Literary Press
Star Rating: 3/5
Date Read: July 18th to 28th, 2014
Review:
Thank you to LibraryThing and the author for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my review in any way.

 Who is George Sand? Before I started this book I had no idea, and was lead to some moments of confusion when ‘George’ is referred to as a ‘she’. George Sand, successful 18th century author of romantic novels, was the pseudonym for Aurore Dudevant, nee Dupin, an aristocratic woman who suffers throughout her life with the constraints placed on women during those years. Forced into marriage with a man she doesn’t love, Aurore is on a search for a love that is lasting and true and this leads her to men and one woman companion outside the ties of her marriage while she fights for a divorce and essentially, the right to just be.

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I Am Juliet

Author: Jackie French
Publisher: Harper Collins
Star Rating: 4.5/5
Date Read: June 14th to 15th, 2014
Read Count: 1
Review:
 Thank you to the publisher Harper Collins for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my review in any way.

I have loved Jackie French’s writing since primary school, and Shakespeare since my first time reading Romeo & Juliet in high school. I was that one kid that really got Shakespeare. I thought he was funny and witty, I could see it all as I read it. I went on from Romeo and Juliet to read a lot of Shakespeare plays (my favourite being Much Ado About Nothing), but its funny that the one play that got me into Shakespeare I had some issues with. Romeo was arrogant and rash, Juliet melodramatic. I saw it as a waste of young life. Jackie French’s I am Juliet made me rethink the story I thought I knew.

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Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Author: Tasha Alexander
Publisher: Harper
Star Rating: 2.5/5
Date Read: June 4th to 11th, 2014
Review:
A word of warning: you need to be careful when representing historic figures – and also when you’re reading them. It is easy to mistake a fictional account of real events for what really happened. But this is only how the author wanted Elizabeth and other figures to appear. While I’m sure she has done her research (I assume so anyway), there is no one alive today who really knows what Elizabeth was thinking or feeling. Just something to keep in the back of your mind when you’re reading this.

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After Darkness

Author: Christine Piper
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Star Rating: 4/5
Date Read: May 30th to June 1st, 2014
Review:
Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my review in any way.

Usually, when it comes to history, particularly war history, we are only really interested in what happened to us, our country, who we consider our people. We always look at things from the way they impacted us. After Darkness shows another side to the story, to the history, of World War II.

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A Little Bush Maid

Author: Mary Grant Bruce
Series: Billabong, Book 1
Publisher: Ward, Lock
Star Rating: 5/5
Date Read: September 20th to 22nd, 2013
Read Count: 1
Review:
I’d never heard of Mary Grant Bruce or the Billabong series until one day my grandmother started talking about the books she read as a child, some 70 years ago now. For all I knew she was making it all up because I had never heard or seen of it anywhere…until I stumbled across the first book A Little Bush Maid in a secondhand bookstore. I bought it immediately, and sat down to see what the fuss was about.

Of course, I loved it. How could I not? It’s Australia, it’s the bush, it’s history (though fiction I believe this portrays an accurate picture of rural Australia at the time), it’s a plucky little heroine who you can’t help but love and a whole other cast of characters. I can see why my grandmother loved this as a child and I only wish I, too, had discovered them at a younger age (being now about 10 years above the target age).

Many who read these books today may be shocked by some of the terms and behaviour used by even the children toward the Aboriginal stable boy. I think it is important to realise, while we should in no way encourage this behaviour, we also shouldn’t try to cover up that part of history. That was the way life was in the 1900s and is clearly very different to life in 2010s. Just to put my two cents in, I see no reason to politically correct any novels, including the Billabong series and also Enid Blyton books, which I believe have been ‘edited’. I think that adults shouldn’t be so shocked that those attitudes did once exist, and I also think that children who read the books should have an understanding of how life used to be different and why it’s not like that anymore.

But I digress! This book is wonderful and I look forward to scrounging around a few more secondhand bookstores to get my paws on the rest!