Thursday, July 12, 2012

About Read and Reviewed

Read and Reviewed is the site where I occasionally review books I've read and enjoyed. These are always books I read in the course of my everyday life. So please, please don't send me review requests.
On the bright side, you are most welcome to submit a guest review.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Bachelor Kisses by Nick Earls

I audio-read Nick Earls' Bachelor Kisses over a couple of weeks of walks with the dogs. Briefly, the story follows the 1980s activities of Jon, a young medic, as he deals with his odd housemates (Jen, who has men coming out her ears, and Rick, who would love to have women coming out his ears but whose tie collection and Porky Pig doona cover doom him to lonely nights), his attraction to the (female) nurse of the species, various patients, other doctors, Monte Carlo biscuits and a growing fascination with research into depression and a possible treatment. All this activity is conducted to the theme song of The Go-Betweens' Bachelor Kisses.
I enjoyed the story a lot, despite an occasional desire to kick Jon in the pants. It is funny in an ironic way... but less sweet-natured than Story of Butterfish. Recommended for anyone who enjoys a good romp with serious overtones and a hapless hero.

Disclaimer - the image is not of the audio book, but of a paperback edition from Penguin. Picture found on-line because my own paperback copy is down in my library shed among a couple of thousand other books. I love audio books which is why I chose to audio-read this one despite owning it in paperback.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Angel, My Light as Darkness Falls

My Angel, My Light as Darkness Falls by Linda Hays-Gibbs is a delightful mix of regency romance, paranormal thriller, humour and adventure. Pru is an orphan whose only close family member is her twin brother, Michael, the Earl of White. When Michael joins the army to fight Napoleon's troops, Pru's Scottish admirer promises to watch out for him, but nothing goes as planned. From a sparkling ballroom to the agony of a battlefield, an across the sea to a curiously lively deserted house, Pru despairs, gains independence, is hassled by an amorous ghost, reassured by an angel, guarded by a bereft dog and finally... well, if you're like me, you'll be smiling all over your face by the end. I heartily recommend My Angel for those jaded by the kind of story where nothing seems to happen. Lots and lots happens in My Angel and Pru is a charming heroine.

My Angelm My Light as Darkness Falls is published by Eternal Press. It is available from various on-line retailers or directly from the publisher's website at

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Moon Over Soho (Ben Aaronovitch)

I loved Moon Over Soho. It seemed better paced and was less bloody than Rivers of London. The characters consolidated and we learned more about Nightingale, Molly and about Peter himself. There are laugh out-loud funny bits and moments of pure pathos (Nightingale carving ALL those names...) and Toby the terrier is in fine form. When I first read reviews of Rivers of London I asked friends if it was at all DWJ-esque. The answer was "No", but *I* think it is. Like DWJ BA flinches not from the probable consequences of character action, and also excels in showing humanity, non-humanity and hybrids. The narrator does a wonderful job of the audio book. I'm hanging out for Book 3

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kid Logan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Matt Logan (aka "the kid") is a cowboy determined to save his town from ruin after robbers make off with much-needed funds. So far, so normal, but the kid is just seventeen. This gives him individuality and means he doesn't yet have the cynical shell of the older cowboy. On his quest, the kid meets a satisfyingly odd group of characters and even rescues a damsel. (This he does with typically kid-like verve and some amusing results.) His confrontation with the bad guy pulls no punches.

Matt might be a kid, but he functions as a man in a man's world. His story is equally enjoyable for YA readers who like a hero with more guts and humour than angst, and for diehard Western fans who would like something just a little different. It's also fun for readers like me who don't generally look for westerns.

Recommended as a light enjoyable story for just about anyone over twelve.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Guest Reviewer Brenton Cullen! The Giraffe in the Bath,

Today I welcome guest reviewer Brenton Cullen to Read and Reviewed. Brenton has reviewed A

Giraffe in the Bath, written by Mem Fox and Olivia Rawson, illustrated by Kerry Argent, and published by Penguin in 2010.

A Giraffe in the Bath was written by picture-book writing legend Mem Fox (Possum Magic, Where is the Green Sheep, Koala Lou) and a former student of hers at Flinders University, Olivia Rawson, with deliciously stunning illustrations by the amazing Kerry Argent of One Woolly Wombat.

Though "Giraffe" relies on mainly the illustrations (because the text is little) the words and actual written story of the book is so clever and humourously written that my five-year-old brother kept wanting me to read it out, and especially because of the rhyming and repetitiveness of the story. I would say that small children respond to the rhyming and hearing the same pattern over and over again.

I have always been a huge fan of Fox's and own 15 of her books, mostly from when I was younger, but also a few that I have bought recently for younger siblings. She is the Queen of Words, in my opinion, and definitely the MOST brilliant and talented picture-book writer I have ever come across. And I've read a lot of picture-books. Her astounding ability to draw children into her magical books, with her amazing talents of rhythm, repetitiveness, and just, in general, fascinating stories, is a Magical Wonder. And I am sure Australia is proud to say, "We own Mem Fox. We're her home country". I sure am.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ghostly Menage, by Alysha Ellis (Adults Only)

My guest reviewer today is Trent Kinsey, who has reviewed Alysha Ellis's Ghostly Menage, published by Eternal Press. Before you proceed, you should know this book and hence the review, is for adults only.

Trent says:

For those who don’t know me, I am a fan of horror and its likes, my favorite being the psychological horrors. The ones that dig deep in your head and nest for a while, always leaving you questioning your own sanity. With that said, for someone like me to pick up a book such as Ghostly Ménage by Alysha Ellis, you would probably think it’s because the word “ghost” appears in the title. You would be partially right. I will say I picked the book up without any preconceived ideas of what story I would be reading and there is no doubt in my mind I am truly happy that I read Alysha’s tale. First let me dispense with the background of the story so I can get to what really turned the gears in my head as I read page after page after page. Quick and dirty: Kelsie, under those circumstances we find ourselves in from time to time, is required to stay with her aunt for a couple of days. Maud, Kelsie’s aunt, believes the house she resides in is plagued with a poltergeist and contracts the services of an exorcist to rid the entity from her home. Her aunt will not stay in a house by herself with a man present and thus Kelsie arrives to hang around until after the exorcism for her aunt’s benefit. Staying with her aunt, Kelsie learns ghosts are real and…real fun to have around. When I said I read page after page, I spoke lightly. I devoured Alysha’s tale and am extremely excited to read her next book, “Giving Up the Ghosts,” which awaits me on my phone for when I take my breaks at work. Alysha’s use of dialogue brought the characters from the page and turned them into living, breathing people. I’ve known people like Kelsie’s aunt Maud and could feel Kelsie’s irritation at her aunt’s opinion of her. The imagery and sensations Alysha inspires in her prose made me feel as if I was in the room as the events unfolded. To say the least, I could not put it down because I had to know what would happen next. Is it a malevolent poltergeist or a playful ghost? Could Kelsie be in danger or was it all in good fun? Alysha kept me reading so I could find the answers and satisfy my own distorted curiosity. All in all, I can’t wait to partake in Kelsie’s next adventure and am looking forward to more works by Alysha. Kudos to you Alysha and may the words continue to flow on the page for your future works.