Monday, 24 January 2011

Sins by Penny Jordan

This is what summer holiday reading is all about; something light, yet captivating, a good quick fictional read by well known romance writer Penny Jordan.

Sins is a racier work from Jordan, a story of four main female characters who journey through the decades from the 1950s discovering who they are, where they fit in the world and within their family. Whilst these characters are not always likeable, as a reader I enjoyed getting to know Emerald, Rose, Janey, Ella and discovering their strengths and foibles with them.

The family saga element of this title ensures the author introduces a range of supporting characters and family history, which keeps the story enticing. The publisher compares this work to Penny Vincenzi and Jilly Cooper, however, I found the style reminded me more of the Barbara Taylor Bradford series I've read in the past.

Sins is the second instalment in a three book family saga series, which can be read as an individual story. I started with Sins and was hooked, so will be reserving the next book in this family saga, Scandals due in the library soon.
Silk is the first book in the series and can be reserved for free via the Greater Dandenong Catalogue.


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Monday, 17 January 2011

Favourite Reads of 2010

At the end of last year I asked staff to nominate their favourite read of the year. The responses were many and varied - covering non fiction and fiction, adult and young adult titles and romance, thrillers, literary fiction and more. Here is a list of the staff's favourite reads of 2010

A sense of the World by Jason Roberts
Beastly by Alex Flinn
Distant Hours by Kate Morton
Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
Geography of Love by Glenda Burgess
Gould's Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pulman
Immortals After Dark (series) by Kresley Cole
Kings in Grass Castles by Mary Durack
Love and the Platypus by Nicholas Drayson
Maybe this Time by Jennifer Cruise
Millennium (series) by Steig Larssen
Mondo Desperado by Patrick McCabe
Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
Pigs at the Trough by Adam Schwab
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Secret River by Kate Grenville
Shakespeare, the Biography by Peter Ackroyd
Sticks and Stones by Ilsa Evans
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do
The House and the Mosque by Kader Abdolah
Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden
Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
You can Heal your Life by Louise Hay

What was your favourite read of last year?


Monday, 10 January 2011

Black Diamond by Martin Walker

Like many ardent thriller and suspense readers I have found it very difficult to become involved with any crime/thriller fiction since reading Steig Larsson's Millennium series. However Martin Walker's Black Diamond did hold my interest. I enjoyed the European setting and the quirky focus on truffles! The dialogue in this novel is good without the need to use bad language and Inspector Bruno Courreges adds to the flavour of investigating an interesting plot.

France's Perigord region is the home of the exquisite black truffle, and at five thousand euros a kilo, it's a treasured local asset. When reports come in that this unique delicacy is being adulterated with a cheaper Chinese version, Bruno is asked to investigate the scam. In St Denis market, a Vietnamese family runs a popular staff selling their country's dishes, until one day their stall is overturned and wrecked by attackers who look Chinese. Bruno wonders if these are the opening shots of a Viet-Chinese triad war. When brutal murder is added to the mix, Bruno has his work cut out to find the connection between present and long buried crimes that are linked to France's colonial past. Martin Walker spins an intriguing mystery leavened with charm and humour, informed by a deep love of French rural life and a broad knowledge of France, past and present. It is a combination that will win him many devoted readers.

Well worth reading if you like a crime novel that is well written with a European flavour.


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