December Picks

Willful princessHobb, Robin (2013) The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince.  Subterranean Press.  Felicity is the low-born companion of Princess Caution at Buckkeep.  Caution is the headstrong Queen-in-Waiting but when she gives birth to a bastard son who shares the piebald markings of his father’s horse, Felicity is the one who raises him.  As the prince comes to power, political intrigue sparks dangerous whispers about the Wit that will change the kingdom forever.  A prequel – this fateful fantasy novella penned as a fairy tale on the legitimacy of power takes us deep into the history behind the popular Farseer trilogy.  Rating: 8/10.

Vanity FareCaldwell, Megan (2013) Vanity Fare.  William Morrow.  In the midst of a personal and financial crisis Molly is offered a position as a freelance copywriter for a new bakery in proximity to the New York Public Library.  With literary analogies such as Middlestarch, Tender is the Bite, Lord of the Tea Rings, and Catch in the Rye Bread, she recovers her identity and finds romance.  A bit of fun – chick lit with recipes.   Rating: 8/10.

In praise of ageingEdgar, Patricia (2013) In praise of ageing.  Text.  Society is focusing on the burden of an ageing population rather than looking at the productive, rich, and varied lives older people lead.  Australian Patricia Edgar examines what she terms the myth of the aged-care burden and profiles the lives of some extraordinary older people – one of whom is still jumping out of planes at eighty-nine years of age.   A book that will reshape your thinking and convince you that fifty is now the start of the second half of life and not the beginning of the end.  Rating: 8.5/10.

Imposter SyndromeHillman, Harold (2013) The Imposter Syndrome: Becoming an authentic leader. Random House.  NZ-based Hillman maintains that the imposter syndrome is a common phenomenon and an inhibitor to leadership.  He seeks to demystify the condition by telling his own story and putting forward strategies and exercises to help normalise the syndrome to realise personal aspirations and become an authentic leader. Light-weight and advertorial. Rating: 7/10.

bridget-jones-mad-about-the-boyFielding, Helen (2013) Bridget Jones: Mad about the boy. Cape. The sad demise of romantic hero Mark Darcy did not bode well for this latest Bridget Jones tale, but in no time at all you are hooked into Bridget’s chaotic life of single-motherhood, tweeting, texting and toy-boys. Fun and frivolous.  A thoroughly enjoyable read. Rating: 8.5/10.

Devils CaveWalker, Martin (2012) The Devil’s Cave: An investigation by Bruno, Chief of Police.  Quercus.  A body is found showing signs of Satanism – so begins the fifth book in the Bruno, Chief of Police series, involving mystery, food, wine and a cast of local characters, set in the Perigord region in the Dordogne in southern France.  An enjoyable tale with a climactic showdown in the Gouffre de Colombac: the place locals call the Devil’s Cave. Rating: 8/10.

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