Monthly Review Round Up – February 2018

I can’t believe that we’re at the end of February already! Reading time is always an issue, but here are the February offerings:

**** “The Big Book of Rouges and Villains”, edited by Otto Penzler

*** “Travel Stories and Highlights: 2017 Edition”, edited by Robert Fear

***1/2 “Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation” by Ammon Shea

****1/2 “Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs

You can read the full reviews via the Book Reviews page here.


January Book Review Round Up

Choosing the January books is always a dilemma (a good one). Which of the Christmas presents do I read first? Should I look at some of the books in the pile? What about that new e-book?

Time is always an issue, but here are the January offerings:

****  “The Diary of a Bookseller” by Shaun Bythell

**** 1/2  “Marital Advice to my Grandson Joel: How to be a husband your wife won’t throw out of the window in the middle of the night” by Peter Davidson

**** “The Art of Aardman” by Aardman Animation Ltd

**** “Pickled, Potted and Canned: The story of food preserving” by Sue Shepard

**** “Precious and Grace: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” by Alexander McCall Smith

You can read the full reviews via the Book Reviews page here.







2017 Book Review List by Genre

Rating Scale:

  1. *****  Fantastic! You’ve gotta read this one!
  2. ****  Great. Well worth a look
  3. ***   OK. You may enjoy it.
  4. **    Not so great. Either dull, badly written, or just plain awful. Not recommended
  5. *     Unspeakably bad. Couldn’t finish it

FICTION: Chick Lit (inc. Romance)

**** ½ “The Starlight Tide” by Sarah Key

*** ½   “A Chance This Christmas” By Joanne Rock

FICTION: Crime/Mystery

***** “Dark Town” by Thomas Mullen

***** “Right Wrong Number” by Jim Nesbitt

**** ½ “The Drowning Pool” by Ross MacDonald

**** ½ “Finders Keepers” by Stephen King

**** ½ “Murder in Mr Martha” by Janice Simpson

**** “Ask the Parrot” by Richard Stark

**** “The Dry” by Jane Harper

**** “The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Cafe” by Alexander McCall Smith

**** “The Nakamura Letters” by Frankie Bow

**** “Mother’s Day” by Frankie Bow

**** “The Musubi Murder” by Frankie Bow

*** ½ “The Cocktail Waitress” by James M. Cain

FICTION: General/Literary Fiction

***** “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” by Horace McCoy

**** “Mr Love and Justice” by Colin MacInnes

**** PENNY: Hands I passed through…Things I saw…Stories I can tell” by Peter Davidson

** “Trumpeter Ville” By Dean Gessie

FICTION: Horror/Thriller

***** “Stephen King Goes to the Movies” by Stephen King

**** ½ “The Thing on the Doorstep and other short stories” by H.P. Lovecraft

FICTION: Science Fiction

**** ½ “Renascene” by Leigh Goodison

** ½ “Project Emergence” by Jamie Zakian

FICTION: YA/Children’s

***** “The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast” by Alan Aldridge

**** ½ “The Epiplectic Bicycle” by Edward Gorey

**** “Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find Them” by J.K.Rawling

**** “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs

**** “Taronga” by Victor Kelleher


NON-FICTION: Art/History/Music

**** ½ “Brave New World” – NGV

**** ½ “Homage New Orleans” by Leon Morris

**** “Bedlam: London and its Mad” by Catharine Arnold

*** ½ “Australia Remembers When” by Bob Byrne

*** “The History of British and American Author-Publishers” by Anna Faktorovich 

NON-FICTION: Biography/Autobiography

**** ½ “Role Model” by John Waters

**** ½ “Snowy Campbell: Australian Pioneer Investigator of the Brain” by Malcolm Macmillan

**** “Bury my heart in Bermondsey: Memoir of A Funeral Director” by Barry Albin Dyer

** ½ “Uncommon Character: Stories of Ordinary Men and Women Who Have Done the Extraordinary” by Douglas Feavel

NON-FICTION: Gardening

**** “There is no excuse for ugliness” by Clive Blazey

NON-FICTION: Humour/Gift Book

**** “A Bag of Roosters” by Michael Leunig

**** “Better Call Saul: The World According to Saul Goodman” by David Stubbs

**** “The Bumper Book of Debauchery For Girls and Boys” by Chis Grosz & James Cockington

**** “F in Spelling – The Funniest Test Paper Blunders” by Richard Benson

**** “Five Forget Mother’s Day” by Enid Blyton & Bruno Vincent

**** Make Trouble” by John Waters

**** “Man Caves” by Jasper White

**** “The Travelling Leunig” by Michael Leunig

*** ½  “Shakespeare’s Insults For the Office” by Wayne Hill & Cynthia Ottchen

*** “Your Cat’s Just Not That Into You” by Richard Smith

NON-FICTION: Self-Help/Instructional

*** ½ “The Doodle Revolution” by Sunni Brown

*** “French Women Don’t Get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano


**** ½ “The Best American Travel Writing 2016” edited by Bill Bryson

**** “The Road to Little Dribbling” by Bill Bryson

*** ½ “The Best Travel Writing, Volume 11: True Stories from Around the World” by James O’Reilly et al (ed)


*** “Savage Obsessions” by Glen McNamara

You can access a PDF of all the reviews via this link: 2017 Book Reviews by Sarah Jackson