Author: Diane

Holding, Graham Norton, Ireland, 2016

Holding, Graham Norton, Ireland, 2016

In Duneen, south of Cork, bones are discovered at a construction site. The local guard, Sergeant Patrick James Collins (aka PJ), finds himself propelled from the relatively boring, nothing-ever-happens policing of a small, insignificant Irish village into the world of plain-clothes detectives and forensics. Single, overweight PJ is somewhat daunted by the efficient Detective Superintendent …

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Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, USA, 2011

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, USA, 2011

This is a beautiful book: beautifully conceived and beautifully written. Set in New York in 1937 and 1938, it concentrates on a small group of people spearheaded by Katey Kontent, Tinker Grey and Evelyn Ross. From the moment the two working girls, Katey and Eve, meet the charming, rich Theodore (Tinker) at a jazz club, …

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Stoner, John Williams, USA, 1965

Stoner, John Williams, USA, 1965

William Stoner is an ordinary person. He begins life on a farm and is destined to follow in his father’s footsteps; however, he goes to school and, at the insistence of his teacher, continues on to university. He eventually falls in love, marries the wrong person, fathers a child, and becomes an important part of …

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The Plague, Albert Camus, France, 1947

The Plague, Albert Camus, France, 1947

An infestation of rats in the town of Oran on the Algerian coast quickly develops into bubonic plague. Although the men in charge initially refuse to acknowledge that which is blindingly obvious, as people begin to die they are left with no choice but to call the illness by its right name and close the …

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The Last Man in Europe, Dennis Glover, Australia, 2017

The Last Man in Europe, Dennis Glover, Australia, 2017

This is a brilliant book about George Orwell (or Eric Blair as he was actually called) and the creation of his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Not only beautifully written, it is meticulously researched, and it exhibits a deep understanding of a man who was both driven and physically tormented. It may be worth noting that the …

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Eucalyptus, Murray Bail, Australia, 1998

Eucalyptus, Murray Bail, Australia, 1998

An Australian fairytale, beautifully told, Eucalyptus does not follow a set template. Like many of the trees that play a major role in the book, it twists and turns both back on itself and away from itself, leading the reader into places he or she does not even anticipate. On the surface, Eucalyptus is the …

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Poison Murder Trials Down Under by Susan Hollingworth, Australia, 2019

Poison Murder Trials Down Under by Susan Hollingworth, Australia, 2019

Well researched, Poison Murder Trials Down Under is a resource for anyone wanting to know more about poison crime in Australia (1844 – 1953). The book may also be helpful for people trying to track down information about their forebears; although, of course, one can only hope that these family-tree researchers do not discover an …

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Elizabeth & Elizabeth, Sue Williams, Australia, 2021

Elizabeth & Elizabeth, Sue Williams, Australia, 2021

Set in Sydney and NSW at the beginning of the nineteenth century, Elizabeth & Elizabeth tells about the developing relationship between the wives of two important men, Governor Lachlan Macquarie and the sheep baron John Macarthur. The book is a work of fiction, but it is fiction based on fact, and for any fictional story …

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Project Hail Mary, Andy Weir, USA, 2021

Project Hail Mary, Andy Weir, USA, 2021

The year is a few decades into the future: the sun is fading fast, and Earth is looking at a catastrophe of immense proportions; within a couple of decades there will be no life left on the planet. Countries that would normally be enemies have anxiously banded together to find an answer. A probe sent …

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