May Picks

Carol’s been reading:

Scott, Robert Falcon (2012) The last expedition; introduction by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Vintage. Captain Scott’s expedition pitted him and his team not only against the elements, but also against the Norwegian explorer, Amundsen. Ultimately, Scott was beaten by both. This title provides an account of his expedition to the South Pole in 1910-12.  A dramatic read in Scott’s own words about science, geology, astronomy, and pays attention to the spirit of the group. Very personal and positive.  Rating: 9/10.

Jan’s been reading:

O’Reilly, P.A. (2012) The fine colour of rust. Blue Door.  Single mother Loretta fantasies about dumping her two children in an orphanage and riding off on a Harley with her dream lover.  The reality is that she lives in a dusty town lost in the scrubby Australian bush. Loretta’s a self-dubbed ‘old scrag’, but she’s got a big heart and a strong sense of injustice. So when the government threatens to close down Gunapan’s primary school, and there’s a whiff of corruption wafting through the corridors of the local council, Loretta stirs into action.  Wryly amusing. life affirming novel. Rating: 8.5/10.

James, E.L  (2011) Fifty shades of Grey.  Vintage.  Dubbed “mommy porn” in the US for its unique brand of sadomasochistic erotica.  Anastasia Steele is shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as Grey’s hidden appetites. Sex in all its gory detail, written from the woman’s point of view. Troubling and intriguing.  Rating: 7/10.

Roz’s been reading:

Edmondson, Elizabeth (2009) The Villa in Italy.  Harper. Four strangers are summoned to a grand but neglected villa on the Italian coast. Each of them has been named in a will, but not one of them knows their benefactress –  Beatrice Malaspina. Who was she? While they wait to find out, the villa begins to work its seductive magic.  But the mysterious Beatrice has a devastating secret to reveal that will affect them all!  Charming, soft and gentle. Rating: 8/10.

Mckay, Michal (2011) Wanaka; Earth to heaven at Whare Kea. Godwit. Louise and Martyn Myer have been coming to Wanaka from Australia for 25 years, and they made a huge commitment to the district when they built their elegant Whare Kea Lodge there fifteen years ago. This lovely lodge makes it possible for overseas guests to immerse themselves in the Wanaka experience. With 65 recipes from the Whare Kea kitchen and outstanding photography,  this is a book not only about Wanaka but also about the people, the food , and the outdoors.  Stunning.  Rating: 9/10.

Jenny’s been reading:

Nesbo, Jo (2011) The Snowman.  Knopf. Internationally acclaimed crime writer Jo Nesbø’s antihero police investigator, Harry Hole, is back.  In November, in Oslo, the first snow has fallen. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Out his window, in the cold moonlight, he sees the snowman that inexplicably appeared in the yard earlier in the day. Around its neck is his mother’s pink scarf.  Hole suspects a link between a menacing letter he’s received and the disappearance of Jonas’s mother—and of perhaps a dozen other women. He becomes a pawn in an increasingly terrifying game whose rules are devised, and constantly revised, by the killer. Grilling; great plot.  Rating: 9/10.

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