October reading

Here are my reads in October.

Good Girl Bad Girl by Michael Robotham.

“One needs saving. The other needs justice.

Six years ago, Evie Cormac was discovered, filthy and half-starved, hiding in a secret room in the aftermath of a shocking crime. Now approaching adulthood, Evie is damaged, self-destructive and has never revealed her true identity.

Forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven, a man haunted by his own past, is investigating the death of champion figure-skater Jodie Sheehan. When Cyrus is called upon to assess Evie, she threatens to disrupt the case and destroy his ordered life. Because Evie has a unique and dangerous gift – she knows when someone is lying. And nobody is telling the truth.”

This is a crime/police-procedural story that introduces Cyrus Haven, a psychologist with a disturbing and heart-breaking past and the two cases that Cyrus is dealing with, come together in an explosive ending.

This one kept me guessing.  I would recommend this to fans of crime fiction that enjoy a gritty subplot.

The reat World by David Malouf  This is a Miles Franklin Award winner 1990

“Every city, town and village has its memorial to war. Nowhere are these more eloquent than in Australia, generations of whose young men have enlisted to fight other people’s battles – from Gallipoli and the Somme to Malaya and Vietnam. In The Great World, his finest novel yet, David Malouf gives a voice to that experience. But it is more than a novel of war. Ranging over seventy years of Australian life, from Sydney’s teeming King’s Cross to the tranquil backwaters of the Hawkesbury River, it is a remarkable novel of self-knowledge and lost innocence, of survival and witness.”

This book is probably not for everyone.  It was fairly slow-paced but the descriptive writing is beautiful.

The heart of the Ritz by Luke Devenish

“This WW2 saga, following the lives of some very colourful characters at the Ritz in Paris, during German occupation, was a long, complex but ultimately satisfying experience. Woven around the tale of young Australian orphan Polly, her three guardians’ convoluted story lines add drama and chaos to an already gripping read. The women of Paris won’t be squashed, the occupying forces will be humoured, but ultimately defeated, and the years will pass rapidly moving towards a final thrilling finale.”
Fans of historical fiction will devour this page turner with all the elements of romance, fashion, history, Paris, secrets, subterfuge, intrigue and wealth to capture the imagination.

Coco’s Secret by Niame Greene

“The story begins with the eponymous Coco at home and her mother in France, tragically being killed. It then jumps ahead 20 years to Coco as an adult and we pick up the story with her discovery of a Chanel bag, featured on the gorgeous cover and her hunt to reunite the bag (and it’s contents) with its opener. The wonderful thing about this book is that, whilst Coco is searching for the bag’s owner, and anyone connected with the bag, she actually discovers herself.”

A wonderful joyous read. This was a gripping story and yet a totally easy read.

Extraordinary People by Peter May

“This is the first book in a six-part series with Enzo MacLeod the main character. He grew up in Scotland, son of an Italian mother and a Scottish father and had a successful career as a Forensic Scientist with a wife and young daughter. A series of events led him to France where he was Professor of Biology in an institute in Cahors, near Paris.

Twenty years later, a wager throws him head first into a 10-year-old mystery involving the disappearance of a well-known, highly intelligent, and very popular man with connections in high places in government.”

Another book by Peter May, one of my favourite authors. This book is set entirely in France and I loved all the references and place names used in the storyline. The plot of this book reminded me a little of the Da Vinci Code in that there are lots of puzzles to solve in order to solve the mystery.

This book I borrowed from the library but I have managed to get my hands on the next two books in the series, one from the second-hand bookshop and the other on Kobo.

Devil’s Lair by Sarah Barrie

“After the violent death of her husband, Callie Jones retreats to a cottage in the grounds of an old mansion in Tasmania. The relative remoteness of the place and the wild beauty of the Tasmanian landscape are a balm to her shattered nerves and the locals seem friendly, particularly horseman Connor Atherton and his siblings at the nearby property, Calico Lodge.

But all is not well: the old mansion has a sinister past, one associated with witchcraft and murder. As Callie is threatened by odd events in the night and strange dreams overtake her sleep, she begins to doubt her own sanity. What’s really going on beneath the surface of this apparently peaceful town? Are her friends and neighbours really who they seem? As events escalate, Callie starts to realise that the mansion may hold the key to unlocking the mystery, but the truth might have as much power to destroy as it does to save.”

A gripping and suspenseful tale. It leaves you guessing until the very end, even when you think you have it all figured out she throws in a curve ball. I love that there is the romantic element in there too. A good read.

Interesting that this month three of my books had links to France and the one I am reading at the moment, The Critic by Peter May, is also set in France.


An interesting art exhibition

When I was in Melbourne recently I visited Federation Square as I wanted to go to the ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image).  Just my luck.

A bit too long to wait. My train departed the next day.

Luckily for me the Ian Potter Centre/NGV is also in Federation Square so I visited that while I was there. There was a very interesting exhibition taking place.

The exhibits were by McRae in collaboration with Bart Hess.

Experimenting for the perfect face.  You can click on the image to see more detail.

This next exhibit was on two video screens which were back to back.

Image 1

Image 2This explains the two images.

It was a fascinating exhibition with interactive exhibits forming part of the display.

Well worth a visit.




A Bike Chick bike ride

I cycle with a small group of women from Metung and Lakes Entrance.  There are five of us and when we ride there can sometimes only be two, it just depends on who is available to ride on the day.  We try to get at least one ride a week but that is not always possible. We also like to do a ride that is more challenging for us and we have for the last three years done Around the Bay in Melbourne which is a fund raising ride.  The first year we rode 50 km and also the second year but this year we upped our effort and rode 100km. It is a great opportunity for us to get away together for a girls’ weekend.  We really enjoy ourselves.

Last weekend was my last bike ride for a few weeks with the chicks as I will be in New Zealand for three weeks. While I was riding I was reminding myself how lucky I am to live where I live.  We only rode 24 km in the area around our village but we finished off with lunch at the local pub, The Metung Hotel.  Click the link as they have great drone footage of the pub. The hotel is on the edge of the Gippsland Lakes so you couldn’t ask for a better location.

Our previous week’s ride was around Lakes Entrance, Lake Bunga and finishing at Kalimna.  We usually finish at a place that can provide lunch! The ride was very windy and we were glad when we finished.

Lake Bunga is on the left and that is the ocean in the distance.

This is the Kalimna Hotel which is off the beaten track.  You really wouldn’t know there was a hotel there unless you had been told about it.  The view from in front of the hotel is spectacular.

We had a great meal there and I managed to persuade my husband to go for a dinner there the following week.

There was a lovely sunset that evening and we went home via the Kalimna Jetty.


Work in the citrus orchard

Our citrus orchard hasn’t had a renewed mulch cover for a few years and it was looking very sad.  It has been incredibly dry here for quite some time now so it was definitely time to remulch the orchard.  My husband got a load of eucalyptus fines in the back of the ute and we spent the afternoon unloading and spreading the mulch. (good exercise)

You can see how desperately it needed the new mulch.  We had enough in one load to cover about 2/3 of the orchard so we got another load the next day to finish it off and to use on some other beds in the garden.

The orchard looks much better now.


Another flannie.

I finally got around to finishing the second shirt for my granddaughter.  I do tend to get waylaid by things so it has taken a while to get this finished.  I quickly parceled it up and posted it without delay.  I parceled it up so quickly that I neglected to put the card inside.  Hopefully my granddaughter will get the shirts before it is too warm to wear them when she helps her dad working in the shed and on “Bluebell”.