Good Reading : December January 2010
16 goodreading ı DECEMBER 2009 / JANUAR readers' life Okay, I'll confess up front. I haven't started We Need to Talk About Kevin. I've been going through a difficult reading stage.You see, I read mostly in bed and I just keep falling asleep. But I'm making a concerted effort. So I'll have it read by next issue! This month we've selected The Verdict of Us All: New stories from the Detection Club. I love short stories and especially crime. It doesn't seem to be locally available, so we will be doing a bit of legwork to track it down. But I'm looking forward to reading it and sharing it around. Of course, after I've read We Need to Talk About Kevin! Sharon Barnes recommended The Verdict of Us All, so I'll be sending her a copy of The Shadow of the Wind. Please keep sharing with us your good reads. I know that other readers are discovering new good reads because of it. And remember to email or write to me if you'd like a book that's being assed around. Jenny Nicholls, Kulin WA Iwould like to recommend Water for Elephants by ara Gruen.This book was so nteresting, having just taken my own children to a small family circus. I can remember watching with wonder ment the big top go up at the park near my home as a small child! My second recommendation is The Messenger by Markus Zusak. His characters are so easy to relate to -- another great book by Markus! Lesley Needham, Kelso Qld Iloved A Friend Like Henry by Nuala Gardner. As a mother of three boys with autism I really related to this book but even people who aren't touched by autism can enjoy this book. Lisa Hamilton, North Lakes Qld Surprisingly, Dangerous Laughter: Thirteen stories by Steven Millhauser hasn't reached the status it deserves in my neighbourhood. He's a Pulitzer Prize- winning author and this book was on the New York Times bestseller list, but it wasn't even in my local library. Luckily, they bought it after my recommendation! r Mary McDougall, Mackay Qld Black Diamonds by Kim Kelly. Set in 1914 n the mining town of Lithgow, NSW, a couple rom opposite sides of he social milieu, Irish and Ger man, fall in love. I liked the novel chapter set-up, where Daniel and Francine tell their story alternately. The characters are lovable, lifelike, unpredictable, reaching out to others in both good and bad times. This first-time Australian author uses historical research well to infor m the evolving tumultuous time of our past. I look forward to Kim's next novel. Sharon Barnes, Gilgandra NSW The Verdict of Us All: New stories from the Detection Club to celebrate the 80th birthday of H R F Keating is edited by Peter Lovesey with a foreword by Dick Francis. This collection of 18 new stories from the members of The Detection Club is the best book of its kind that I have ever read. The Detection Club is made up of some of the world's best writers of crime novels, and you have to be nominated by a member before you can join. The authors found in this collection include P D James, Colin Dexter, Reginald Hill, and a rare short story by Len Deighton. I happened to come across this book as I was browsing at my wonderful local library and I couldn't put it down. I can't recommend it too highly. You won't regret tracking it down. Marg Duncombe, Tallai Qld Irecommend The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. Renee is the concierge of an expensive apartment building in Paris. She is well read and appreciates art and music but hides this from the rich tenants as she feels it is not how they expect a concierge to be. Palome, the 12-year-old daughter of a family upstairs, is extremely intelligent but hates the vacuous lives of her family and, because she fears becoming like them, has decided to commit suicide when she turns 13. Not always light reading, but fascinating and very moving. pass it on! Here are some more suggestions from readers: ■ Vicki Edmunds of Springwood NSW recommends Future Homemakers of America by Laurie Graham. This book died a quick death here in Australia but I really enjoyed the characters and the recipes interspersed. A sleeper! ■ Andreea Cameron of Kambah ACT recommends Goodnight Beautiful by Dorothy Koomson. It's such a wonderful emotional story of secrets, love and friendship. ■ Eriin Gould of Jabiru NT recommends Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz -- it is a scary, hor ror, sci-fi with an amazing love story -- I wept! ■ Amie Dole suggests Kisscut by Karin Slaughter. She is another fantastic writer. ■ Lisa Maddison of Miami, Qld recommends A Total Waste of Make-up by Kim Gruenenfelder. Really witty chick-lit. Hilarious and re-readable. ■ Gry Risla of Edmonton Qld recommends Mangoes on Fire by Tropical Writers. Another round of suggestions of underappreciated books from ROWENA CSEH and readers.