More June reads

Much of my reading is crime fiction and Stuart MacBride is one of my favourite authors.  I tend to read quite a bit by Scottish authors.

A Song for the Dying is another novel in the Oldcastle series.

“He’s back …

Eight years ago, ‘The Inside Man’ murdered four women and left three more in critical condition – all of them with their stomachs slit open and a plastic doll stitched inside.

And then the killer just … disappeared.

Ash Henderson was a Detective Inspector on the initial investigation, but a lot can change in eight years. His family has been destroyed, his career is in tatters, and one of Oldcastle’s most vicious criminals is making sure he spends the rest of his life in prison.

Now a nurse has turned up dead on a patch of waste ground, a plastic doll buried beneath her skin, and it looks as if Ash might finally get a shot at redemption. At earning his freedom.

At revenge.”

Bye Bye Baby by Fiona McIntosh is one that I borrowed from the library.I have read many Fiona McIntosh novels but none of those has been crime fiction, perhaps The Pearl Thief could be classified as such but none of the others.

“It all began in Brighton. Now there is a killer on the loose. Scotland Yard′s brightest talent is chosen to head up the high-profile taskforce, a DCI who must confront his own past as the body count rises.

There are few leads and Jack Hawksworth can only fall back on instinct and decades-old cold cases for any clue to the killer′s motive … and identity.

With his most loyal team member threatening to betray him, a Chief Inspector pushing for results, a hungry British media clamouring for information, and a restless public eager for a conviction, the high-pressure operation can only end in a final shocking confrontation …

A searing story of brutal revenge.”

I loved this book and devoured it in one sitting. I couldn’t wait to read the first book,

so went out and bought it.  It didn’t disappoint.  I loved it too.  Apparently these books were originally published under the pseudonym of Lauren Crow, in 2007. They have now been re released under her own name and as there are so many followers of Fiona McIntosh’s books I am sure these will do equally as well.

“A calculating killer, who ′trophies′ the faces of his victims, is targeting Londoners.

Under enormous pressure from politicians and the public, DCI Jack Hawksworth and his team begin their investigation, which takes them into the murky world of human organ trading.

But when the murderer strikes closer to home than Jack could ever have imagined possible, the case becomes a personal crusade – and a race against time. Can the killer be brought to justice before Jack is removed from the operation?

From London′s backstreets to the dangerous frontiers of medicine, BEAUTIFUL DEATH will keep you reading late into the night.”

This is a fast paced read, perhaps a bit bloodthirsty for some.

I didn’t know this.

I must have been living under a rock as I was unaware that J.K.Rowling was the author Robert Galbraith.

I had borrowed Lethal White from the library and had started to read it when a friend told me that she had the first three books in the series.  I had been reading thinking it was a stand alone book, which indeed it could be.  Nevertheless I stopped reading it and borrowed two of the first books from my friend and the books are The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm.

The Cuckoo’s Calling was perfect as it introduced the characters of the book I had started to read and it futher expanded on what I had read in Lethal White.  I quickly read both of these books and couldn’t wait to borrow the third but in the meantime I continued reading Lethal White.

Cuckoo’s Calling

“When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.

Strike is a war veteran – wounded both physically and psychologically – and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get – and the closer he gets to terrible danger . . .

A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London – from the hushed streets of Mayfair to the backstreet pubs of the East End to the bustle of Soho.”

The Silkworm

“A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, The Silkworm is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant Robin Ellacott.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days – as he has done before – and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives – so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.

And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before…”

The books are now a TV series and you can view trailer for the series at the following link.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4276618/

 

What a bargain!

Those of you who have followed this blog over the years will know that my favourite illustrator is Robert Ingpen.  I have wirtten previous posts about him and this is another one.

I was lucky to find another hardback book in his series of illustrated classics.  I found this at the Op Shop at St John’s church in Bairnsdale.  What a treasure to find and the best part was it cost $4.

The end papers of the book are so fitting.I have so many happy memories related to this book.  I loved it as a child and I remember taking my elder daughter to see a stage production of this at the Canberra Theatre.  She was very young at the time and may not have the vivid memory that I have of that particular event.

It is a lovely story and I am happy to be able to add it to my collection of Ingpen illustrated classics.

Two of my June reads, too much cricket.

June has meant that I have been spending a great deal of time watching the World Cup Cricket so my reading has taken a back seat.  I have still managed to read a few books.

Another library book but one I wished I had bought as it would have been good to be able to pass it on to my reading group.

If you had to pick five people to sum up your life, who would they be? If you were to raise a glass to each of them, what would you say? And what would you learn about yourself, when all is said and done?

“‘I’m here to remember – all that I have been and all that I will never be again.’

At the bar of a grand hotel in a small Irish town sits 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan. He’s alone, as usual -though tonight is anything but. Pull up a stool and charge your glass, because Maurice is finally ready to tell his story.

Over the course of this evening, he will raise five toasts to the five people who have meant the most to him. Through these stories – of unspoken joy and regret, a secret tragedy kept hidden, a fierce love that never found its voice – the life of one man will be powerfully and poignantly laid bare.”

Nothing more to say.  A truly wonderful book, particularly for those of us in our senior years.

This book was lent to me from one of my book group friends.  It is what I would call a joyous book even though it is set in a harrowing time and place.

“In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.”

After finishing the book I thought it would make a wonderful movie, apparently others thought so too.

Period drama news and reviews, from the website Willow and Thatch, well worth a read of this article on A Gentleman in Moscow.

And a finish with this nifty little video.

The Shetland Textile Museum. . . .Tuesday Travels

I had read about the Shetland Textile Museum before we visited Shetland so it was one of the places on my list that I had to visit.  The bod is a restored fishing station and is the birthplace of Arthur Anderson who gifted Queen Victoria some stockings in fine Shetland lace.

Out front of the bod is this wonderful example of Shetland lace adapted for another purpose.

Outside were a couple of beautiful Fair Isle jumpers on display.

The lace work was magnificent and this is just a small sample.

So many examples of beautiful fair isle work.

The guernsey in this picture is similar to one I knitted for my grandson when he was younger.

The pattern I used was Debbie Bliss Denim Herringbone Sweater from the book Debbie Bliss Family Collection.

The bod had a wonderful display of all sorts of knitting and weaving and there were working displays too.  We also saw some taatit rugs which are a type of bedcovering.  You can read about them here.

Looking at these berets now I feel happy with the Sheeps Heid I made when I got back to Australia.

Little did we know that after visiting the textile museum we would be able to see even more examples of Shetland textiles when we visited the Shetland Museum and Archives.

The last of my May reads

These are two non-fiction reads this month.  Wake up was read in a sitting and it certainly shed light on many aspects of our use of digital technology.

“Your essential guide to the biggest revolution of the past century. David Fagan was at the forefront of this revolution as he helped take one of Australia’s largest media organisations from print to digital. In Wake Up, he explores the challenges and opportunities of the digital age from his position on the front line. He chronicles the rise of social media, online shopping, the Uber and Airbnb phenomena and the upending of traditional industries. Fagan observes the big emerging trends and examines the technologies leading this change, as the arrival of robots and artificial intelligence affects the way we live, work and play. If you haven’t been paying attention, now is the time to wake up.” (Goodreads)

This is a great read and it will be interesting to see if his predictions come to pass.

Screen Schooled I borrowed as I had recently read an article where a school in Melbourne had returned to using textbooks rather than texts online.

“As two veteran teachers who have taught thousands of students, Joe Clement and Matt Miles have seen firsthand how damaging technology overuse and misuse has been to our students. Rather than becoming better problem solvers, kids look to Google to answer their questions for them. Rather than deepening students’ intellectual curiosity, educational technology is too often cumbersome and distracting, causing needless frustration and greatly extending homework time. Rather than becoming the great equalizer, electronic devices are widening the achievement gap. On a mission to educate and empower parents, Clement and Miles provide many real-world examples and cite multiple studies showing how technology use has created a wide range of cognitive and social deficits in our young people. They lift the veil on what’s really going on at school: teachers who are powerless to curb cell phone distractions; zoned-out kids who act helpless and are unfocused, unprepared, and antisocial; administrators who are too-easily swayed by the pro-tech “science” sponsored by corporate technology purveyors. They provide action steps parents can take to demand change and make a compelling case for simpler, smarter, more effective forms of teaching and learning.” (Goodreads)

This is a book, which if given to a group of parents or teachers would certainly provide lively debate.  Well worth the read.

I liked this comment from Maya on Goodreads.

“Just as dropping off a child at a library doesn’t guarantee that child will learn to read, so too does giving a child technology not guarantee that child will know how to use it appropriately.”

I suggest you go to Goodreads and read the reviews there if you are unsure if it is a book you need to read, particularly if you have school aged children.

I have also just finished A Gentleman in Moscow, apparently a mega bestseller about to be made into a tv series.  I gave it five stars so it was definitely one I loved but I will write about it in my June reads.