Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Bev's Best Books

I started this blog to have a place to post my reviews on the books I read, to write about things - running and healthy eating, and just life in general.

I am reading so much, that in order to try to find something you will like, you would need to trawl through my many and varied reviews, in a number of genres. Of course, I could gush over every single thing I read (in fact, members of my book club think I do that far too much) but that seems counter-productive – some have to be better than others, right?

So what I am going to do is post a regular summary page. It won’t go back too far – about three months at the most. I’ll limit the number I recommend at a time to no more than seven – the maximum number of books I could walk home from the library with as a girl, having stolen the whole family’s library cards (well, my mother's, my sister wouldn't let me).

I will sort by genre, and give a very quick summary of why you will like the book. If you are interested, click on the picture of the book to link through to my full review. (I know, I know, how clever am I? Don't tell my daughter how long it took me to get that right. Let's just say longer than it took to write this post. But the links work, I checked every one!) And don't forget to use the "back" button to come right back here when done. 

Oh, and no spoilers. Anywhere.

Chick Lit/ Women’s fiction – a huge genre, I know.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – this is an exceptional book, because it manages to be funny, shocking and clever, all at the same time. I looked for a quote to give you some of the essence:
Bonnie and her mum are both members of Amnesty International," said Abigail.
"Of course they are," murmured Madeline. This must be how Jennifer Aniston feels, thought Madeline, whenever she hears about Angelina and Brad adopting another orphan or two.”
A tale of murder and mystery set at a junior school, with heaps of laughter and craziness thrown in.  You can see their faces, hear their voices. It’s like they’re your neighbours. Oooh!

New favourite author – Belinda Bauer

Belinda Bauer is just fabulous (not just cos our names sound similar). She has written quite a few books, but I only discovered her recently. She grew up partly in SA, now lives in Wales. She never set out to be a crime writer, and was most surprised, when her publisher gave her a contract for a second book, the condition was to include a crime. (She wanted to write about an alien abduction.) Her books have murders, or crimes, she says, because those are the plots that best develop her characters, and she can explore all the relationships and human drama. It works. Think Jodi Piccoult with as much angst but more action.

Rubbernecker is about a doctor with a personality disorder, fascinated by death and it's  also about coma patients. It is (I know, because I talked to her when she was in SA recently) Belinda's favourite, and has been nominated for all sorts of awards.

The Shut Eye is my best - it's about a little boy who goes missing, the last trace of him being footprints in drying concrete. Go on, you know you want to.


Second Life by SJ Watson (the guy who wrote Before I go to Sleep  - a movie now starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth) was phenomenal. 

A sister is found dead in France, and Julia, the one left behind becomes fascinated with the mystery surrounding this. This draws her into a dark place, where she must confront her deepest issues. Intense, and a psychological thriller, this is not for the sensitive reader, but it will absorb you completely. A large box of addictive chocolates that you devour all by yourself.

Historical fiction - #1

The Whip by Karen Kondazian tells how Charley Parkhurst, one of the most famous stagecoach drivers for Wells Fargo in the 1800s, was discovered on his death to be a woman. It is a most beautiful, intriguing read, told with sensitivity by this talented new author. Look at that cover  on the left - it's gorgeous. The book will delight you with its poignancy and make you remember a time when the world for women was far worse than it is now. It's a dress you bought a month ago, hung in your wardrobe and forgot you had, and it's perfect for today!

Historical fiction - #2

Time and time again by Ben Elton. Don't ask why, just go and get it. Seriously, Ben Elton brought us Blackadder, The Thin Blue Line and the stage show We will Rock You. This dude can write. This is historical fiction, but it's more. An ex-army hero, Hugh Stanton (the name is even right) goes back in time to change history. If you could go back in time and change a single world event, what would you choose, where would you go? Bam. Gotcha.

The best for last - the surprise read – the one that no one gushed about, and I quietly read, and just LOVED....

The Last Road Trip by Gareth Crocker. You will read this in an afternoon, or a day at most. It’s delicious – warm, witty, and so familiar, but also just delightful. A story of a road trip through the Karoo. It’s a freshly baked lemon meringue pie that will go so well with your cup of tea this afternoon. 

That’s my seven. I really wanted to take The Girl on the Train, but I’ll have to bring one back first.

The next seven Book Club Books

Here's the link to all my reviews

And to what I need to read next


Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I loved Big Little Lies and Second I want to read the Belinda Bauer books! Thanks for sharing.

Bev Bouwer said...

So glad you will try Belinda Bauer, I've loved the ones I've read. Thanks for commenting - made my day.