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review 2017-03-07 06:45
The Rosie Effect: A Novel - Graeme Simsion

At first this book had me worried. There were problems presented that seemed insurmountable, and although I expected the usual disasters caused by Don's unique responses to social situations, the magnitude of one of them in particular, was a bit overwhelming. Also the tension rose and rose and rose in relation to the most crucial problem Don and Rosie faced but the resolution was slipped in in such a way it would have been easy to miss. Fortunately, the lead-up to the resolution was a good one and made it believable.
I was quite a bit more emotional in my response to this one than to the first. While hardly as socially inept as Don, we do have some similarities, and watching him struggle through the problems presented in The Rosie Effect was heartbreaking. I also appreciated, as I had in the first, the fact that Graeme Simsion can, through his skillful writing, demonstrate just how much Don cares about others even though he finds it difficult to relate to them on any emotional level. Well written and enjoyable.

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review 2017-03-01 09:31
The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion

When I began it, I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book or not, as the narration was heavy with lots of 'telling'. However, I quickly realised that that was an appropriate style for a character who is most likely Asperger's or leaning towards autism, with his heavy emphasis on routine, structure and over-analysis of everything, and his fear of emotional situations and inability to behave in a socially acceptable way. Don Tillman, the protagonist, quickly became sympathetic and his journey though the novel was endearing and at times extremely moving. A very enjoyable story.

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text 2017-01-27 23:09
Book haul for word nerds!
The Australian National Dictionary: Australian Words and Their Origins - 2 Volumes A-L and M-Z - Bruce Moore

I've been lusting after this 2 volume set since Oxford announced its scheduled publication and today MT gave it to me for my birthday!  It's so very, very beautiful.  I just keep staring at it.  It's 2 volumes of 16,000 Australian specific words, so MT is also hoping now I'll be able to understand him.  ;)

 

He also ordered a new timber bookcase for the 'library'... so expect some shelfies in a few weeks.  :)

 

 

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review 2017-01-23 18:30
Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett
Rush Oh! - Shirley Barrett

This is the second novel in a row I've read (after Enchanted Islands) that's written as a sort of memoir from the perspective of an older person looking back. I'm not overly fond of traditional memoirs and wonder if this may in part account for my less than enthusiastic reaction upon finishing.

 

What this book does have going for it is a charming, somewhat unreliable narrator. Her asides and style as a storyteller often delighted and amused me. Mary is a naive girl at the start, and as an adult seems not much wiser. As a reader you may arch your brow at the gaps in her knowledge or what lies beneath her personality quirks (e.g. as a woman in her 50s at the end, she has developed a kind of fetish for reverends, owing to her first love, explored throughout the book). Mary is so plucky (and often critical of others) that I assumed she was still a child when the story began (in fact, she's a young lady already).

 

Returning to what I'm describing as memoir-ish--and an author's note explains that Mary's father was a real person, if not the whole family--there's only so much narrative thrust to the story. The plot advances in short chapters interspersed with others that give some background to the characters and to whaling. Essentially, Mary relays an account of a particular whaling season in Australia, most significant for her because she meets her first (and only romantic) love.

 

The novel was pleasant enough to read, but I needed something more and was also left confused by the end. Why end on that moment?

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review 2017-01-07 05:34
Dye Hard
Cozy Mystery: Dye Hard (Australian Amateur Sleuth Book 3) - Morgana Best

See this and all of my reviews at Mystereity Reviews

Obnoxious ghost hunters descend on Cressida Upthorpe’s boarding house, convinced it must a source of paranormal activity given that three murders have occurred there in a short space of time.
After one of the ghost hunters is murdered with poisoned hair dye, Sibyl does her best to keep well away from the investigation, that is, until Cressida almost falls victim. With the bumbling detectives back in town and on the scene, Sibyl races to solve the murder before the body count rises.
-Via Goodreads

I really enjoyed this one, it was one of those books where I tried to read it slower to savor it, but it was so good I had to read it all the way through in one sitting. The great plot, involving another poisoning at Cressida's boarding house kept me guessing, and and I liked the just-a-wee-bit sardonic view of ghost hunter shows (which I love, but can't help but view sardonically.) There were so many misdirections and red herrings that I changed my opinion on whodunit several times, and the ending was very satisfying. I may have uttered a soft yaaay but I'll never admit to it publicly.

I love all the characters, but it's Mr. Buttons and his eccentricities that I love the most. I laughed out loud about the dog agility course, it was hilarious! And Cressida's paintings! I confess, I'd probably buy one, probably the shipwreck. Who wouldn't? Sibyl had a great idea there.

Overall, Dye Hard was fun and enjoyable, and a great addition to the series. I definitely recommend it for any cozy mystery fan.

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