Author: Diane

Hägring 38 (The Wednesday Club) by Kjell Westö, Finland, 2013

Hägring 38 (The Wednesday Club) by Kjell Westö, Finland, 2013

I loved this book, which is beautifully written, sad, thought-provoking, intelligent and, at all times immediate. At times I felt that the Finnish/Swedish-speaking Westö must have ‘been there’ and that he must have experienced everything about which he was writing, but the book, set in 1938, was actually written in 2013.   The central ‘character’ …

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Diane’s Newsletter 18th September 2018

Diane’s Newsletter 18th September 2018

“Politicians were subject to the whims of party leaders, contributors, pressure groups, and the media. As modern ‘celebrities’ they suffered all the moral and philosophical distortions of that class, too often taken with their own inflated personae on radio and television.” Martin Gross

Saga Land by Richard Fidler and Kári Gíslason, Australia, 2017

Saga Land by Richard Fidler and Kári Gíslason, Australia, 2017

This is a delightful book that combines a bit of everything: historical fact, personal biography and fantastic sagas or stories. Richard Fidler is an Australian radio commentator with the ABC while Kári Gíslason, who is part Icelandic, is a lecturer and a writer based in Brisbane, Australia. The two met when Richard interviewed Kári about …

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See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt, Australia, 2017

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt, Australia, 2017

Lizzie Borden took an axe And gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, She gave her father forty-one.   See What I Have Done is yet another story about the gruesome murders of Andrew and Abby Borden in Massachusetts in 1892. Andrew’s daughter Lizzie was charged and gaoled but was …

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The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent, France, 2014

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent, France, 2014

At barely 200 pages, this delightful book is more like a novella than a novel. The main character, Guylain Vignolles, whose name, unfortunately, can be easily linked to Vilain Guignol (ugly puppet), works at a recycling factory. His job is to manage the monstrous machine that beats, cuts and drowns second-hand books (and even new …

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Fearless by Fiona Higgins, Australia, 2016

Fearless by Fiona Higgins, Australia, 2016

Fearless, set in Bali, is an exciting story held together by many interesting pieces of information about Indonesia – an exotic and, at times, unusual background against which the characters, a mixture of Indonesians, Javanese, Australians, Europeans and one American, play out their designated parts.   Fearless itself is the name of a course run …

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The Man Without a Shadow by Joyce Carol Oates, USA, 2016

The Man Without a Shadow by Joyce Carol Oates, USA, 2016

This is a sad and, at times, frustrating book. At the centre is the man without a shadow – Elihu Hoopes (known as Eli) – who, after contracting a nasty viral infection while hiking on his own, has lost the ability to form new memories. The virus has damaged the hippocampus, and although Eli can …

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