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Book review: <i>How To Live Life</i> by John Vorhaus


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Living, right? We all wonder, from time to time, if we could be doing it better, making more of it. Let John Vorhaus, who has successfully been living life for years, give you a few pointers.

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Book review: <i>The Lost Swimmer</i> by Ann Turner


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Rebecca Wilding has it all – a great job, a handsome husband, and two successfully grown up kids. Her husband, Stephen, has been acting a little odd, but hopefully their holiday to Europe will cure any small ills in the relationship. However, Rebecca's problems can't be written off as small ills, and by the time she figures out how deep they are it might be too late...

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Book review: <i>Faithful Place</i> by Tana French


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Frank Mackey runs undercover in Dublin, and runs it well. He’s firmly focussed on his present; his job, and his daughter. But his past is about to catch up with him.

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Book review: <i>In The Woods</i> by Tana French


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The body of a child is found on an archeological dig. Who steals a childhood, and why? The Dublin murder squad have to pool every resource, dig into their pasts, and try not to implode.

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Book review: <i>Straw Writes</i> by Christopher Shugrue


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While the US considers itself permanently at war, the devastating effects of conflict so close to home often go unremarked. Straw Writes is the brutal and fractured account of a veteran, haunted by what he has seen.

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Book review: <i>The Secret Place</i> by Tana French


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Four girls, an enduring friendship stronger and more real than anything they've ever experienced. But would one of them kill to keep it?

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Book review: <i>Truth</i> by Peter Temple


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A young girl is found naked and dead in one of Melbourne's newest, most secure residential buildings on top of a casino. The players are powerful, and nobody's talking. Three bodies are found tortured to death in a house in Oakleigh, there are no breaks in the case, or the the stifling Melbourne bushfire summer. For the head of homicide, it's a matter of keeping on.

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Book review: <i>Ripper</i> by Isabel Allende


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A serial-killer-thriller all twisted up in Allende's very distinctive style? How could I pass this reading opportunity up? Well, I couldn't.

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Book review: <i>Em And The Big Hoom</i> by Jerry Pinto


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Not your average love story.

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Book review: <i>Writing Is Easy</i> by Gert Loveday


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What maketh a writer? Critical acclamation? Sales? A drinking problem? A couple of dirty secrets? Breaking into the business is tough, but staying in it unscathed is even tougher.

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Book review: <i>The Hundred Year House</i> by Rebecca Makkai

Book review: The Hundred Year House by Rebecca Makkai


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Some houses have a history. People believe the Devohr mansion is haunted, but nobody knows the whole ghost story...

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Book review: <i>Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson</i> by Jann S. Wenner & Corey Seymour


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If this was a funeral, it would be the loudest, drunkest wake ever, followed by a beery blether about the old dead bastard til the sun comes up.

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Book review: <i>The Car Bomb</i> by T V LoCicero


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Love him or hate him, Frank DeFauw is with you every night at five and eleven, bringing you the news live to your TV. And everyone in town knows him. But will Frank go all the way in the pursuit of justice, even if it hurts his oldest and closest friends?

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Book review: <i>King Killer Chronicles, Day One</i> by Patrick Rothfuss


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From a distance, it's not too bad. The shadowed, hooded figure is suitably mysterious - there's no indication of a hero or villain, and he appears to be bleeding from the eyes. The foiled copper text is appropriately twiddly, but at least avoids cheesy medievalisation. Likewise, the image, though not surprising, lacks the standard "tiny-figures-'gainst-an-epic-panorama" that makes every fantasy book published since 1981 look exactly the same. Bring back the nude chicks with swords, I say, just before they throw me out of the pub. Pricks. Regardless, close inspection is a bit less favourable. The image is simply a crude collage - you could knock it up in Photoshop in an afternoon. The foliage framing the central image appears in different resolutions simultaneously, there's only one leaf repeated a dozen times, and, as we learn in the first 2 pages of the text, the blood is supposed to be hair. Red hair, yes, but accidentally making the cover look like more Stephen King than Tolkein is really not something an "artist" should do. Goodkind's last books were a bit like this, too. What's going on? Doesn't anyone want to pay painters for beautiful, ornate wrap-arounds any more? Curse you, Photoshop! How many lives must you ruin!!!!!?!!!?

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Book review: <i>Consider the Lobster</i> by David Foster Wallace


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Cover - A lot of white background, some slender sans, and a hint of stock-photo lobster. Inoffensive.

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Book review: <i>Children Of The Jacaranda Tree</i> by Sahar Delijani


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A haunting and beautiful weave of stories, tying two generations over twenty years to the tragic city of Tehran.

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Book review: <i>The Texas Twist</i> by John Vorhaus


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Radar Hoverlander is back in a fast paced, hilarious tale of double-triple-crosses, big cons, and just trying to get along with as much money as possible.

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Book review: <i>A Farewell To Legs</i> by Scott Fivelson, read by Mariel Hemingway


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Neo-colonialism, Nikes, and the meaning of life, death, and loss. Scott Fivelson knocks it out in four pages, and Mariel Hemingway adds dimensions with her glorious narrative.

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Book review: <i>And The Soft Wind Blows</i> by Lance Umenhofer


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Sometimes, just sometimes, you open up a book and start reading, and you're utterly hooked because you just have absolutely no idea where the story will go. In And The Soft Wind Blows, everything is where it's supposed to be, but there's an unpredictability over-riding everything. And it's the business.

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Book review: <i>One Step Behind</i> by Henning Mankell


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In a genre where there is so much pulp churned out all the time, it's easy to lose faith in crime fiction. But don't despair, because Henning Mankell is absolutely brilliant, and he rises above the masses effortlessly. Faith restored.

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