Sunday, February 16, 2014


Glenrowan, by Ian W Shaw, tells of the siege at Glenrowan, the final act in the tale of the KellyGang.

I found this book very interesting. I have read quite a bit about Ned Kelly over the years, and found this added a lot to my knowledge. The book goes into great detail about the siege at Glenrowan, and although there is a lot of detail it is never overwhelming. It is well-paced, and keeps track of quite a large cast of characters very clearly.

Ian Shaw has researched extensively, and lets us observe the action over the period of the siege, using the words of those who were there to make it live for the reader.  He presents the story in an unbiased way, which is quite a change from much of the Kelly literature.

Eclectic Reader Challenge, True Crime category

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Eclectic Reader Challenge

This challenge is designed to get people out of their normal comfort zones in reading.  My own comfort zones are crime fiction and fantasy, with some general fiction and the occasional non-fiction thrown in, so I'm looking forward to stretching my wings a little.

Here are this year's categories:

  1. Award Winning
  2. True Crime (Non Fiction)
  3. Romantic Comedy
  4. Alternate History Fiction
  5. Graphic Novel
  6. Cosy Mystery Fiction
  7. Gothic Fiction
  8. War/Military Fiction
  9. Anthology
  10. Medical Thriller Fiction
  11. Travel (Non Fiction)
  12. Published in 2014
I have a bit of a plan for most of them, but still have no real idea for the Alternate History Fiction, the Grpahic Novel and the Anthology.

I'll make a separate post to update my progress as I go along.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman

Winner of three ABIA awards for Best Literary Novel, Best Newcomer and Book of the Year
Winner of two Indie Awards for Best Debut and Book of the Year

The Blurb

This is a story of right and wrong, and how sometimes they look the same.

1926. Tom Sherbourne is a young lighthouse keeper on a remote island off Western Australia. The only inhabitants of Janus Rock, he and his wife Isabel live a quiet life, cocooned from the rest of the world. One April morning a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a crying infant - and the path of the couple's lives hits an unthinkable crossroads. Only years later do they discover the devastating consequences of the decision they make that day - as the baby's real story unfolds ...

My Review

I really loved this book, which is about the ethical dilemma this young couple face when the boat washes ashore with a dead man and a baby.  What should they do?  On the face of it, the answer is obvious - report the matter to the appropriate authorities and let them take over.  However, things are not so simple.  Isabel desperately wants a child, and Tom loves her very much.  What they do next has consequences that affect other people as well as themselves.  The book tells us what happens, not only to Tom and Isabel but also to others involved in the life of the little baby.

This is a story of people, and how a person's actions can carry through for many years.  As a study of the moral dilemma, I found it fascinating.  As I read about the other side of the coin, it became even more so.  I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about characters rather than a fast-moving action plot - it's definitely not that - but a most enjoyable read.

Monday, February 03, 2014

The Black Box

I finished The Black Box, by Michael Connelly.  His series about Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch is one of my favourite crime series, and the lastest book has not let me down at all.

Harry is a detective in Los Angeles, now working in the unsolved cases unit.  In 1992 he was working during the riots, and was called to the site of the death of a woman who had been shot in an alley.  Now, in 2012, Harry has the chance to solve the crime at last.  There is a personal backstory too, with Harry's daughter and his relationship with his new lady making progress.

I always these books very satisfying, and I like Harry.  He's a good character, and very well drawn by Michael Connelly.  The books are definitely best read in order, and some intersect with Mickey Haller, who turns out to be Harry's half brother.

Top marks.

And now for a complete change of pace, I have started The Light Between Oceans, by M L Stedman.  I'm about a quarter way through, and really liking this story.  More when I'm finished.