Sunday, 15 October 2017

Ten of the Best #102

Hello everyone.

I know - it isn't Saturday morning, and you're not standing waiting for your park run to begin, or browsing the internet looking for news. But I've had so many things cross my timeline in the last few days, that were just so great, that I thought I had to do a Ten. So I'm breaking all the rules and publishing on a Sunday night - when no one is around, and if you are, you're not that interested. Right? For the newbies - these are the interesting things from my social media timelines. I used to do this weekly, now not so much. If you're having fun, click on the video link/picture to read the article, and come back to finish my list.

Trump was bitching and moaning about not getting any support from the stand up comedy shows that trash him, so Steven Colbert and Jon Stewart generously gave him equal time. Here's the hilarious result.

Trump's "Calm before the storm comments REALLY got Eminem going. But watch out - if you do watch that, it has loads of offensive language in it. Rather watch what James Corden said about the whole thing.

Meanwhile, Trevor Noah asks "When is the right time for black people to protest?"

Pink's powerful message to her daughter - I loved it.

This is so great - we need more of these.  This one's called Nude Foods. Haha.

Thoughts on Vegas, and why men keep doing things like Vegas - I thought this article was really good.

Tired of getting catcalled, this woman started taking selfies with the catcallers... the best news is its going to be illegal soon in her home country. Yours? Nah, mine neither...

The woman had her tubes tied at age 31, and it's not up for discussion. I think this is more prevalent than we think.

This story made me laugh - the story of the poo-throwing woman. Warning - it's a little revolting, but still very funny. Very.

I think I've shared this before - if you want to know why you should visit SA. Here's why.

The bonus post is a bit of a plug, but it's for such a good cause. There is an organ donor walk at the Zoo in Johannesburg upon Saturday 21st October at 08h00. We did it last year, and it was loads of fun. Come if you can.

Happy last few hours of the weekend. Hope it's been fun!

More Tens.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Friday Books - Sunday Morning Coming Down

For BookBeginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader and the Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice this week, I'm featuring...

(Click the cover for the Goodreads blurb)

Number 7 in the series by authors Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, in this one psychotherapist Dr Frieda Klein once again finds herself in the midst of a criminal investigation when the rotting body of an ex-policeman is found beneath the floorboards of her house.

Here's My Beginning..

Not that impressive a start, in my opinion. In fact, it took me more than the first 100 pages to really get into this - which is unusual for me. Give me a murder with a body, and I'm hooked. This had a slow and less than gripping start, but after that it moved well, and I enjoyed it.

My Page 56

I enjoyed all the cops conversations, they were well written. In this excerpt, they're having to go through Frieda's mail (who gets snail mail these days?), and sure enough, there's something there...not ticking but definitely linked to the murder...

I've just finished this, not a bad read, but I've read better - my review should be up soon.

What are you reading this weekend?

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham

Michael Robotham is master of the psychological thriller genre. There is a scene in the first book I read by him (Shatter) that will never fully leave my soul. He is dark, funny, twisted, insane - a little like the characters he writes.

A few years ago, he broke away from his (and my) Joseph Loughlin and Vincent Ruiz addiction to do a tale about a man who has one more day in jail, and breaks out - why? (Life or Death). It was also brilliant.

The Secrets She Keeps is another stand alone, and with all the characteristics of suspense that we have come to love.

Agatha is working at a grocery store, and clearly there is something strange about the way she watches (and is pretty consumed with) Meghan - who is everything she aspires to be. Meghan is married to Jack, with two children. Agatha is not married to Hayden - a sailor. Both women are pregnant. Ah, a bond...

Yes, and so many secrets, that you will keep the light on (because you probably won't want to read this book in the dark too much) and stay up all night to finish. A little more in the Girl on The Train style than the traditional "here's a body who the hell did it" style, in this book Michael Robotham does it again, in my opinion.

A page turning, full-of-suspense novel that delivers satisfaction right down to the last word.

I loved it.

4 stars

ISBN: 9781501170317

You may also like Close Your Eyes by Michael Robotham, or what about Here and Gone by Haylen Beck?

Some more favourites...


Tuesday, 3 October 2017

New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

Goodreads Blurb

"From the New York Times bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring comes the fifth installment in the Hogarth Shakespeare series, a modern retelling of Othello set in a suburban schoolyard

Arriving at his fifth school in as many years, a diplomat's son, Osei Kokote, knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day so he's lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can't stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players - teachers and pupils alike - will never be the same again. 

The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970's suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practice a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Peeking over the shoulders of four 11 year olds Osei, Dee, Ian, and his reluctant girlfriend Mimi, Tracy Chevalier's powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling."

I love Tracy Chevalier's writing. I don't just mean Girl with a Pearl, but also books like At The Edge of The Orchard. She is especially talented at telling big stories with so few words. I love that.

Here, she does it again. I picked this up, not because of the Shakespeare connection - that whole idea of rewriting Shakespeare into current-day novels has more appeal (I think) to the authors and publishers who are interested in selling more copies (and I don't begrudge them that) than it does to the fiction readers. We're not all that concerned about how closely the storylines follow; we miss most of the analogies, and to be honest, we don't really mind that we do. So whilst I appreciate and trust that in a literary sense, I have been Othello'ed, I read this more for the pure enjoyment of savouring the author's every word. And I did.

You can see the story in the blurb, but my comments are that I loved the characterization of Osei. I also thought the racism was nicely done - more shocking due to the casual normalcy with which it was written. I think that gave it an even greater impact.

My gripe is almost equivalent to my high praise for its brevity. Although I've mentioned already that I love the way Tracy Chevalier tells powerful tales in so few words, in this instance, I found myself rushing on through to get to the conclusion, and now I feel a re-read is in order, because I probably missed so much. I suppose, given the level of enjoyment the first time around, there's nothing wrong with that!

Loved this little book. And yes, you can read it, even if your Shakespeare - like mine - was limited to reading one play at school.

ISBN: 9780345809926

You may also enjoy The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.