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Redheadrambles

Redheadrambles

Joined April 2016

GoodReads : TrudieB
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Flames by Robbie Arnott
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Redheadrambles
The Force | Don Winslow
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️ 1/2

I thought initially I was going to rate this higher as the setup is strong and I was having flashbacks to one of my favourite TV series - The Wire. Unfortunately the middle third bogged down in complicated plotting and by the end pretty much every character was loathsome to me.
I will keep trying with Winslow and try The Cartel series next.

ClairesReads Oh bummer! 14h
Redheadrambles @ClairesReads I think I prefer my crime on film ? This book sidetracked me into watching The Godfather trilogy again and well it suffered by comparison! 12h
18 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Redheadrambles
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️

This probably deserves more than the 3-star rating I have given it. I came to view this as a quaint picturesque type endeavour, more artistic feeling than plot. Open any page and you will be well rewarded with some elegant and delicate prose, some lovely impression of 16th century Constantinople and the workings of Michelangelo but ( and here I lower my voice to a whisper ) it was just a teensy-weensy bit ... dull ?

21 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Redheadrambles
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Panpan

⭐️⭐️

It pains me to pan this one because McEwan is one of my favourite authors but this is a colossal hodgepodge of balderdash unfortunately. The least of its problems is the engorged robot shenanigans much more irksome to me was the poorly handled “moral dilemma” and the absolutely appalling characterisation.
Obviously, this one rankled me !

Redheadrambles #readharder2019 - Alternate history 1w
Redwritinghood Not surprised by this based on your updates! (edited) 1w
Redheadrambles @Redwritinghood yep - it is somehow much more disappointing when I usually love this author 1w
20 likes3 comments
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Redheadrambles
Lost Children Archive | Valeria Luiselli
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2

I think this is stunning. It is so many things - a story of child migrants but also of parenting, it‘s about a relationship in breakdown but also how we record history. It is a conversation between this book and other works fiction dealing with journeys. It‘s eclectic and digressive yet also “page-turning”. One of only a handful of novels that really capture this moment in time for me ( the other being the eminent Ali Smith)

ClairesReads I one hundred agree although I‘m not quite done 3w
mklong @ClairesReads @Redheadrambles Same here. It‘s the first Indiespensible book I‘ve gotten in a while that I am thrilled to have a signed copy of. 3w
Redheadrambles @mklong yes agree we have had a few so-so‘s recently but this makes up for it. 3w
13 likes5 comments
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Redheadrambles
The Sisters Brothers | Patrick DeWitt
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Panpan

⭐️⭐️

Nobody could have been more surprised than me to discover I was going to struggle mightily with this writing style. Right from the start words like wooden, blank, monotonous and yes pocourante crossed my mind. I tried to engage but frankly the entire enterprise bored me silly, minus a few grimly memorable acts of violence and bad luck.
Some kind of point beyond an arch subversion of the Western myth would also have been welcome.

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Redheadrambles
For The Good Times | David Keenan
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Well the good news is my reading was certainly more enjoyable than last month ! Six books and I mostly got something out of them all. The stand-out was my bookclub read - For The Good Times - that‘s a book that is hard to shake off and hard to recommend! Onwards into May !
#Aprilreads #Aprilstats #Monthlywrapup

ClairesReads A good month mate! Yass 4w
Redheadrambles @ClairesReads it was and I have some fun reads ahead - Spring/ Song of Solomon / the new McEwan hopefully... 4w
mklong Can‘t wait to hear what you make of the new McEwan! And of course, I‘m ready for Spring to take its place in the Hall of Fame. 4w
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ClairesReads @Redheadrambles yessss I am getting excited for Song of Solomon, and can‘t wait to discuss Spring with you! I am eyeing up the new McEwan too. So much to read. I‘m diving into The Lost Children Archive tonight. 4w
ClairesReads @mklong yasss Spring for Hall of Fame! 4w
Redheadrambles @mklong I just need to get out from under the worlds slowest Western and then these lovely exciting reads can be mine ! 4w
25 likes2 stack adds7 comments
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Redheadrambles
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was a pretty fun read in the end, once I found my groove with it. After the first few chapters I wasn't sure I had it in me to continue, it did feel like I was hurtling through the cosmos at light-speed dodging asteroids.

Much of what I liked about this book was the general scientific perspective on life, the notion that we are less important than we think we are in the greater scheme of things.

Redheadrambles #ReadHarder2019 - Book about space (edited) 1mo
21 likes1 comment
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Redheadrambles
Less: A Novel | Andrew Sean Greer
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I read this one almost entirely because the author is coming to the Auckland Writers Festival otherwise I might have skipped over it and that would have been a shame ! It is a delightful diversion. I fell for the bumbling charms of Arthur Less while not always sharing his humour. What I liked a lot were the astute musings on ageing and the complexities of relationships, plus all the travel was fun.

CarolynM I agree, I loved Arthur Less. There was a lovely article about Greer in the Good Weekend section of The Age on the weekend. It's on the website, if I knew how I'd link to it but I'm not that clever🙂 1mo
Redheadrambles @CarolynM thanks I will go check that out 1mo
Redwritinghood Glad you enjoyed it! It was a fun book. 1mo
25 likes3 comments
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Redheadrambles
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️

I appreciated the unique perspective this book gave into the authors experiences but I have to admit I struggle to embrace this writing style. Not that “enjoyment” here is a goal, this is a traumatic story. The first 50 or so pages were really great but then I found myself bogged down at times in a mystical spirituality which as an agnostic person of science is a struggle to read through. An impressive first novel but just not for me.

ClairesReads I totally get this- you are very right that the balance was out. Sorry it didn‘t fire for you! 1mo
mklong Uh oh, I am venturing into the bit that bogged down for you now. 1mo
Redheadrambles @mklong how are you going with it - I am so curious! 1mo
mklong Ach! I had to put it down to finish How to Be Both for book club tonight. I‘ll be back at it tomorrow though. 1mo
28 likes5 comments
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Redheadrambles
For The Good Times | David Keenan
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2

This book is a wild ride - violent, hallucinatory and elusive to define.
Keenan writes like his mind is on fire. Interweaving a story of violent thuggery, with Irish jokes, reverence for Perry Como, a comic book side-story and digressions into what is Art. Yet that hardly seems to describe the reading experience.

There is ALOT going on here and it is one that would benefit from multiple readings. I think it is brilliant.

Redwritinghood Sounds interesting. Great review. 1mo
Redheadrambles @Redwritinghood yes it is an interesting potentially polarising book 1mo
ClairesReads I see they have Severance up next! 1mo
Redheadrambles @ClairesReads I know ! Lucky for me as it gives me some breathing room to catch up on some Read Harder e.t.c 1mo
20 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Redheadrambles
Ghost Wall | Sarah Moss
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Well this was fine, I guess.

The title was cool, I was preparing for something a little more perturbing like say Fever Dream, something creepy with Bog people.

I place this book alongside The Water Cure and The Natural Way of Things in all three novels, women are repressed by tyrannical men and I struggled to admire them because they lacked nuance. However Sarah Moss is an engaging writer and I would try her again.

nomadreader I need to buckle down and finish this one, but my first impressions are in line with yours. 2mo
23 likes1 comment
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Redheadrambles
New Animals | Pip Adam
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Panpan

⭐️⭐️

I had been warned the last third of the book was a little different from the first part of the novel. However, I wasn't prepared for a perfectly ok story about Auckland hairdressers to just end with no resolution and a weird Waterworld inspired short story to appear in it's place. Did the author lose the entire last section of her novel in some unfortunate mishap ?
As a reader I was utterly at sea ( haha !).

Redheadrambles #readharder2019 - Woman Prize winner from 2018 (NZ Ockhams) (edited) 2mo
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Redheadrambles
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2

Really a tough book to both love and review. I certainly pushed hard against it to begin with. I didn‘t like the people, I didn‘t like the central premise, it seemed all a little “upper middle class problems” however.... the writing is very good, so much so I was making plenty of use of the Kindle highlighting function. In the end the writing sustained my interest rather than the plot.

Redwritinghood Glad you enjoyed it! 2mo
merelybookish Agree wholeheartedly! 2mo
ClairesReads Good and fair review 👌🏻 2mo
26 likes4 comments
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Redheadrambles
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I don‘t know what happened in March as only four books read seems like a very stately pace for me .... I do believe I started and DNF‘ed a few additional books. Without question Silence of the Girls and The Sellout were the standouts.
Better luck in April ??!

#Marchstats #Marchwrapup #Marchbooks

Redheadrambles @Redwritinghood tell me about it !! I feel trapped in a sort of insufferable dinner party 2mo
Redwritinghood Here‘s hoping! 🤞🏻🤞🏻 I feel, though, like I‘m never going to get through 2mo
BarbaraBB Wasn‘t Subutex Vernon 2 good? 2mo
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ClairesReads Aw- even if it wasn‘t a prolific reading month, at least you had a couple of awesome reads? I‘m enjoying The Hadley even though it‘s a bit slow 2mo
Redheadrambles @BarbaraBB I have to say it was only just ok for me. I still enjoyed it but no where near as much as the first novel:( 2mo
BarbaraBB That‘s a pity. I still need to read the first but I heard such good things about it and had high hopes for the series. 2mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Good job! 📖💖 2mo
21 likes7 comments
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Redheadrambles
Jokes for the Gunmen | Mazen Maarouf
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Panpan

⭐️

First book read from the 2019 International Booker Prize longlist and probably not the best option for me. A collection of absurdist short stories set in an unnamed war zone. It was an unpleasant, unsettling and luckily short read.

DGRachel I tried to read the Man Booker long list last year and only got through four titles - enough to decide that Booker titles are most likely not for me. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2mo
18 likes2 comments
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Redheadrambles
The Sellout: A Novel | Paul Beatty
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Catching up on some missing Booker winners this one from 2016, my signed copy languishing unread for far too long on my bookshelf. I had trepidation‘s about this one as I am just not great with satire generally but this one while dense reading was, quite brilliant. It‘s funny and brazen yet philosophical and whip smart, laden with historical and cultural references. It changes the paradigm on how a book about race can be presented.

21 likes1 comment
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Redheadrambles
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

All the stars for this one. I loved everything about it, but then I have always admired Pat Barkers style. She writes about the psychological effects of war with stunning clarity and unflinching honesty. This book was less about retelling a classic and more a woman‘s experience of slavery and war. Viewed through that lens I thought it was outstanding. I have not read many Woman‘s prize nominees yet but I hope this makes the shortlist.

Redheadrambles #womensprizeforfiction#readharder2019 - Myths (edited) 2mo
ClairesReads Yay so glad you finally got that five star read! 2mo
33 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Redheadrambles
Vernon Subutex Two | Virginie Despentes
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Volume 2 of the trilogy that introduced me to the awesome Vernon Subutex and the rambunctious punk style of French author Virginie Despentes. I enjoyed this but I didn‘t fall as hard for it as I hoped, this is not an uncommon experience for me with the middle books of trilogies however.

#readharder2019 - Book in translation

BookwormM Really enjoyed the first one must get this one 3mo
Redheadrambles @BookwormM yeah I was surprised there were no other reviews on here yet 3mo
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Redheadrambles
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Such an exciting longlist for the Woman‘s Prize for 2019 ! One of these books will be the April read for #indiebuddyreads . At the moment it‘s looking like Freshwater and @Redwritinghood we need your vote ! 😀😀

Redwritinghood Thanks Trudie. I just voted but I‘m not sure if it helped. Now we have a tie! I‘ve already read ‘Freshwater‘ so I voted for Praise Song. Who can be the tie-breaker? 3mo
Redheadrambles @Redwritinghood thanks Jerrie I think Susie has yet to vote, so it might be down to her now :) 3mo
25 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Redheadrambles
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Well, what can I say, two of my six reads were outstanding and two were a complete disaster ( which unfortunately were the books chosen for #indiebuddyreads this month !) the remaining two were interesting but flawed.
4 / 24 on Read Harder - steady as she goes we are on course :)

#monthlyroundup #monthlywrapup #Februaryreview

ClairesReads Your month was a total mixed bag like mine. Glad we could be grumps together! 3mo
ClairesReads Ps I bought Severance and The Ice Shelf yesterday on your recommendation! 3mo
Redheadrambles @ClairesReads yep it sure was and now I am in a mini slump 🥺. I hope you like both of those books Claire. 3mo
ClairesReads Thanks Trudie- I‘m sure I will! 3mo
ClairesReads @Redheadrambles ps I‘m reading a crime book now to try to get myself going again 3mo
18 likes5 comments
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Redheadrambles
The Italian Teacher | Tom Rachman
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Panpan

⭐️⭐️

This book takes a lovely photo and that might be one of the few positives I have for it, sadly.
All the characters in this were frustratingly two dimensional and the writing style was not one that brought me joy. I think I might have enjoyed it a little more if Rachman had continued with more of Natalie‘s perspective. 300 pages inside the head of “Pinch” was just too much for me.

#ToB19 #indiebuddyreads

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Redheadrambles
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2

I can't get enough of these “Millennial Malaise” novels at the moment. So much so, I really want to host a dinner party with Candace, Janice (The Ice Shelf) and the unnamed protagonist from My Year of Rest and Relaxation.

Is this the most laid back, hipster style apocalypse novel ever written ? This is a millennial era nightmare - folding Juicy Couture T shirts on repeat until someone puts you out of your misery.
Loved it.

Cinfhen Fabulous review 3mo
ClairesReads So keen to read this 3mo
Redheadrambles @Cinfhen thanks :) 3mo
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Redheadrambles @ClairesReads if only we had selected this one instead of The Italian Teacher! 3mo
ClairesReads @Redheadrambles oh to be honest I‘m scared to start it now! 3mo
ClairesReads The Hadley better be good! 3mo
Redheadrambles @ClairesReads it has to be right ? She is a serious author ... this one is ... I have sort of found a rhythm I guess and it reads fast. 3mo
29 likes7 comments
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Redheadrambles
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book has just been nominated to the Australian Stella Prize longlist for 2019. It deals with some of the events of the "Black Saturday" Victorian bushfires of February 2009. While the book starts with plenty of bushfire science and arson investigation it quickly becomes a portrait of how the system deals with suspects that are borderline mentally disabled. Not an easy read.

Redheadrambles Ok thanks ! 3mo
LeeRHarry Definitely not an easy read, necessary one though, still breaks my heart. 3mo
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Redheadrambles
A Ladder to the Sky | John Boyne
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book and I didn‘t really work out too well unfortunately. I know Boyne is a very popular author but I could not get past how much like a soap-opera this was ( especially that second section). There was some thought-provoking stuff on story appropriation and some skewering of the literary scene but in the end it was way too OTT for me.

WanderingBookaneer I hated the second part. 3mo
Redwritinghood @Redheadrambles I hope so. I loved Heart‘s Invisible Furies, so we‘ll see. I hope to start it tomorrow. 3mo
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Tamra I do think he has one foot in soap opera, only based on the few things I‘ve read so far. 3mo
Redheadrambles @Tamra I think he is fully in soap opera in this book - that second section was like a plot device from Dynasty or something similar... which is fine just not what I thought this book was going to be. 3mo
Tamra @Redheadrambles not my favorite genre - soap opera. 😐 3mo
ClairesReads I agree with all your points Trudie- I think I liked it even less than you! We can be the dissenters (with Lee) 👌🏻😂 3mo
Redheadrambles @ClairesReads I think that is true, unusually for us - you disliked it more but I think I just got done with it quicker and so now it seems relatively benign. If I look at the quotes Lee pulled out then it brings home how terrible it was. 3mo
ClairesReads @Redheadrambles yes! Lee picked out some stunners! 3mo
28 likes9 comments
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Redheadrambles
The Ice Shelf | Anne Kennedy
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2

I am hoping I have just read the NZ Ockham fiction prize winner for 2019. Yep, I realise the shortlist is not even out yet and I have read nothing else from the longlist but this one makes my heart sing. It‘s a little bit Otesssa Moshfegh but lighter, it‘s a great guide to walking around Wellington with a fridge and it is also not afraid to skewer the NZ literary scene ( which is maybe a reason it won‘t win ? ). Weirdly brilliant.

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Redheadrambles
The Ice Shelf | Anne Kennedy
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“I pick myself up and skip, as much as I am able while shouldering a hold-all and a laptop bag and pushing a fridge over the lawn in three-inch heels, towards the National Library.”

Fans of sarcasm, unreliable narrators black humour and the NZ literary scene are in for a treat with this book - I absolutely adore everything about it so far.

26 likes2 stack adds
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Redheadrambles
Bearskin: A Novel | James A. McLaughlin
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️ ⭐️

This should have been in my wheelhouse - I love a good man vs nature story ( or in this case nature AND Narcos ) but this book was so plodding in its setup and character development. The Narcos sub-story, told in flashbacks had potential but I still don‘t feel I have the full picture ( is a prequel being written? ).
There are some lovely passages of nature writing here that I thought it might have worked better without the bad guys ?

Tamra I really did too! 4mo
29 likes1 comment
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Redheadrambles
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I was surprised at the number of books I managed this month as it feels like I was reading Murakami for most of it ;) Really enjoyed the Galloway and Michael Lewis.

#januaryroundup #january19

Abailliekaras I have Flash Boys on my shelf - must read it soon! 4mo
Redheadrambles @Abailliekaras it‘s a good one but I really enjoy Michael Lewis and reading and pretending to grasp high finance :) 4mo
Abailliekaras @Redheadrambles ha ha I know what you mean! 4mo
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Redwritinghood A good month! I‘m interested in Boy Swallows Universe. Will have to check it out. 4mo
Redheadrambles @Redwritinghood thanks yes Boy Swallows Universe is fun - it is very Australian! 4mo
ClairesReads Yay for January- you‘ve just reminded me to do my round up too! 4mo
29 likes6 comments
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Redheadrambles
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Really Michael Lewis could write a book on corruption in the paper clip industry and I would read it. This was a page-turner for me as I love reading about the hijinxs of Wall Street. It is not quite as good as Money Ball or The Big Short, but for making the world of high frequency trading at least somewhat comprehensible it does a brilliant job. As usual it is the quirky character studies that make this so readable.

BarbaraTheBibliophage Love your review—the corruption in the paper clip industry is rampant!! 4mo
Redheadrambles @BarbaraTheBibliophage haha I have no doubt - it‘s a high stakes industry;) 4mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage How would we hold it together without it?? 4mo
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Redheadrambles
The Watcher's Test | Hamish Steele
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️

This one is all kinds of crazy. Demonic pugs, a Pollywood theme park as a portal to a multi- dimensional universe, what seems like a demon version of Dolly Parton ? Despite the nonsense plot it has such great heart, the characters are charmingly diverse and I had plenty of fun reading it, which is a feat as I am not a comic reader by nature.

#readharder2019

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Redheadrambles
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I had some trepidation about this one going into it but it is well worth your time. It is probably the closest I have come in fiction to feeling like I was in the brain of a depressed and grief-stricken woman. Despite this it is also funny and very smart. Don‘t expect to completely understand it all on a first read, it takes some work.
A lost gem from the late 80s and a classic of Scottish literature.

#indiebuddyreads

Redwritinghood Just started it today. It‘s a quick read despite the heavy subject matter. 4mo
Redheadrambles @Redwritinghood yes it is very fast especially with all the different fonts and little play-like conversations. It is a much more experimental/ poetic style than I had expected. 4mo
BarbaraBB I had a hard time reading it, I had high expectations and ended up a bit disappointed to be honest. Glad you liked it! 4mo
Redheadrambles @BarbaraBB it is very hard to untangle who everyone is especially the men but I feel like it is a realistic voyage into a fractured mind but I was ready to be done with it by the end. 4mo
BarbaraBB Exactly, That‘s how I felt too. I didn‘t mind that it was over despite the great premise. 4mo
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Redheadrambles
Killing Commendatore | Haruki Murakami
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Panpan

⭐️⭐️

I just don‘t think I will ever be a Murakami fan, this is the third book of his I have tried and I think it likely to be my last.
Very simply this needs editing, there is no reason this story needed to be 700 pages. Its excruciatingly tiresome in the final quarter and I am not even going to dwell on his rather irksome need to focus on breast size at every opportunity.... anyway the cover was a delight:)

britt_brooke 😆 I love and appreciate your honest review! I‘ve only read two Murakamis - one fiction (meh) and one nonfiction (enjoyed). I felt similarly about Norwegian Wood as you did about this, I think. 4mo
Redheadrambles @britt_brooke Norwegian Wood is one of the ones I read and I found it a much more worthwhile endeavour plotwise and lengthwise but it still didn‘t wow me ... 4mo
britt_brooke @Redheadrambles That‘s really good to know - thanks! I‘ll try his fiction again at some point probably but not anytime soon. 4mo
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ClairesReads I love your reviews- always so honest! Glad this is done for you! 4mo
Redheadrambles @ClairesReads so am I ! Keen to see what you make of it when you get to it ... 4mo
ClairesReads @Redheadrambles yes! I‘m hoping I‘ll like it more than you- which conceivably I might because I generally enjoy Murakami...I‘m intrigued 4mo
Redheadrambles @ClairesReads I sincerely hope so too as it‘s a fair investment in time. I did enter a nice sort of Murakami zone for the first 3/4 but then I lost it ;) 4mo
ClairesReads @Redheadrambles hope you‘re on to more exciting horizons now 😊 4mo
30 likes8 comments
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Redheadrambles
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Read Harder 2019 is off to a surprisingly good start - tackling Manga. This is actually a really fun and educational series and I learnt a terrific amount about Japanese food culture and philosophy. It‘s a little crazy at times and is more a series of lessons than a complete story but I am contemplating reading the entire series ! Another Read Harder success story.

#readharder2019

ClairesReads Winner! 4mo
26 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Redheadrambles
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2

First book for 2019.
This was a fun and frenetic novel that was a joy to read. It‘s is kind of messy and hyperactive but in a loveable way. This book might struggle to land with readers unfamiliar with Queensland as it feels like a quite a personal homage to the authors childhood there. A tighter edit and more clarity about what kind of novel it wanted to be would help. Also I wish the bad guys were not cartoonishly evil.

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Redheadrambles
Tenth of December: Stories | George Saunders
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Eeek, December was a pretty terrible reading month. I am fairly sure “The Bone People” sent me into a slump from which only George could get me out of !

#december18 #decemberwrapup

ClairesReads Aw! I hope January, TOB, Buddy Reads and new #readharder2019 get you out of it! Thanks for being such a great reading buddy! (edited) 5mo
Redwritinghood I‘m sure January will be better! 5mo
Redheadrambles @ClairesReads @Redwritinghood thanks ! Yes January is looking much more favourable I think. Thank you both for being great reading buddies as well 😊 (edited) 5mo
29 likes3 comments
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Redheadrambles
Preservation | Jock Serong
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️

A new Australian author for me and although this one is playing in the same space as one of my favourite novels of 2017 - “The North Water” it just didn‘t carry off the “evil man on a sailing ship” thing nearly as well. I did however learn plenty about Ye Olden Times in Sydney and the difficulty in locating Bass Strait. A serviceable beach read.

LeeRHarry Great review - I loved the North Water too 😊 5mo
19 likes1 comment
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Redheadrambles
Tenth of December: Stories | George Saunders
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2

Given how much I love “Lincoln in the Bardo” this was almost guaranteed to be a hit. It seems I am discovering Saunders work backwards, working my way slowly towards his debut short story collection.
His devilish sense of humour and deftness with language is all here. I can‘t fault this collection every story worked but I particularly enjoyed “Escape from Spiderhead” and “The Semplica Girl Diaries”.

However, more novels please :)

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Redheadrambles
Night | Elie Wiesel
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

One of those books everybody needs to read at some point. Harrowing but necessary.

And so ends my #readharder2018 tasks, so happy this is my third year completing the challenge.

Cinfhen Congrats 🎉🍾🎈 and I agree, absolutely should be required reading for humanity 5mo
ClairesReads Congrats friend! You are a champion! 5mo
Redheadrambles Thank you 🙏🏻 @Cinfhen and @ClairesReads 5mo
Redwritinghood Way to go! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 5mo
Redheadrambles @Redwritinghood thanks 🙏🏻 5mo
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Redheadrambles
Vernon Subutex Two | Virginie Despentes
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Rainy Sunday good for Read Harder planning, quite a few prompts I have books for already and others are going to need some research...

24 likes1 comment
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Redheadrambles
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Panpan

One of NZ literatures classic novels. Booker prize winner from 1984. It‘s a finely crafted beautifully written thing but I almost bailed at 200 pages because it‘s portrayal of child abuse just didn‘t sit well with me and seemed entirely dated in approach. The ending devolves into weird mysticism. Not my choice as a Booker winner nor does it feel like a book I would select to represent NZ particularly although she does landscape and language well.

Redwritinghood That‘s disappointing! 5mo
ClairesReads Definitely going to avoid this 5mo
Redheadrambles @ClairesReads despite all my ranting and raving it‘s probably worth it at some point .... 5mo
BarbaraBB I absolutely loved this one when I read it in 1989. I wonder what I‘d think if I‘d read it now. 5mo
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Redheadrambles
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#novemberreads #novemberwrapup

Multiple 5⭐️ reads this month - Blood Meridian, Born a Crime and Wind in the Willows ( yes that is quite a range ! ). Two very interesting debut novels as well.

23/24 on #readharder2018 - nearly done ✅

Redwritinghood Well done! 6mo
Redheadrambles @Redwritinghood thanks - it was a solid month 6mo
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Redheadrambles
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️

This a tough review to write because my feelings on this book are so mixed. On one hand I learned a terrific amount about the foundation story of Liberia. But it is certainly a novel of two parts, the first section I enjoyed much more than the second.
The magical realism had a tendency to drift into a super-hero caper in parts. A solid if not entirely successful debut.

Bring on more stories from Liberia !

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Redheadrambles
Devil in a Blue Dress | Walter Mosley
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Panpan

⭐️⭐️

This one didn‘t really jibe with me unfortunately. Perhaps I am not really into LA noir but also I thought the “Devil” was very badly written. Anyway, I can say I have at least tried this author.

#readharder2018 - Mystery

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Redheadrambles
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is the most violent book I have ever read.
It is a relentless, cruel, blood-soaked novel that I think is near impossible to describe. Probably the bleakest Western ever written but it is also one that transcends the genre into something Harold Bloom describes as - the major aesthetic achievement of any living American writer and I really can‘t disagree.
The language alone is astonishing. Tough going but worth it.

MrsMalaprop My husband loved this too. Ive not read it though; think it‘d be too much for me 😩. 6mo
Redheadrambles @MrsMalaprop it is ALOT but doable in small doses I think but you do need a high violence tolerance! 6mo
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intothehallofbooks I love Cormac McCarthy. Great review!!! 6mo
Becker The writing is astonishingly good. That book will cast a spell over you. So happy to hear when other people have read and appreciated it. 6mo
Smrloomis I read The Road and then All the Pretty Horses. The first scared the poop out of me and the second was so bleak I had to give up reading his trilogy as I‘d planned. Glad to hear what you thought because I doubt I‘m ever getting around to this one! 6mo
DGRachel I love Cormac McCarthy! This one is still TBR for me, but I love his work. 6mo
AceOnRoam Great review! 6mo
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Redheadrambles
Fruit of the Drunken Tree: A Novel | Ingrid Rojas Contreras
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Partly based on Contreras own experiences growing up in Colombia during the reign of Pablo Escobar. While not specifically a story of the Colombian drug war, almost everything that happens is a consequence of it.

This is an excellent exploration of the longterm effects of political unrest on children, the normalisation of violence and the physical and emotional toll it exacts.

Requires some patience but ultimately worthwhile.

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Redheadrambles
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Trevor Noah, a comedian and host of The Daily Show, focuses here on his childhood growing up in post- apartheid South Africa. It is an easy read in the sense that it is well honed, with a comics sense of finding the humour in some of the most troubling observations and emotionally devastating aspects.

This is also a mother-son love story. I could have read a book consisting entirely of the exchanges between Noah and his mother.

Redheadrambles #ReadHarder2018 Celebrity Memoir (edited) 7mo
ClairesReads A real winner! I‘ll have to read this one now! 7mo
Redheadrambles @ClairesReads oh for some reason I thought you were the one that recommended it to me ? You will love it I think 7mo
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lynneamch The audio was especially good. Trevor reads it himself and he is a master of voices. 7mo
ClairesReads @Redheadrambles not me- but from memory it was someone from #indiebuddyreads that floated it earlier this year? 7mo
Redheadrambles @ClairesReads yes must have been - someone put the idea in my head 7mo
31 likes4 stack adds6 comments
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Redheadrambles
The Wind in the Willows | Kenneth Grahame
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Not sure why I had never read this during childhood but I am catching up now. I love these Edwardian era children's stories set in a blissful English country idyll. Reading this is such a relaxing experience, it is all picnics on the riverbank and suppers around warm firesides.
It is such a warm hug of a book and I especially appreciated reading this beautiful Folio edition illustrated by Charles van Sandwykit.

Redheadrambles #readharder2018 Pre 80s Children‘s book 7mo
batsy This is one of my favourites and that Folio edition 😍 7mo
Redheadrambles @batsy I know it‘s just such a damn cute book ! 7mo
AceOnRoam Love this too ❤ time for another read soon. 6mo
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Redheadrambles
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#octoberwrapup

A big month for me - admittedly I snuck Snap in on the 1st of Nov but that finally allowed me to sign off on my #manbooker2018 reading! That was a long and somewhat painful project:) Slowly chipping away on #Readharder2018 with 5 books to go and two months to do it in.
Stand Out Reads - The Long Take and Milkman ( mainly because I thought I would hate both ...)

Emilymdxn Great selection! I agree that long take and milkman were breathtakingly good! 7mo
ClairesReads Awesome month for you. Would you believe that I ordered The Great Believers on the 16th and it only dispatched today! I‘m looking forward to catch up with you about that, and Crazy Rich Asians soon! 7mo
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Redheadrambles
Snap | Belinda Bauer
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Panpan

⭐️

Thee worst reading experience of the year and not just because it ended up on the Man Booker. Under any circumstances this is terrible. I can think of dozens of better plotted and well written crime. I found this oddly stilted and offensive in numerous ways

A most baffling experience

Redheadrambles And that completes my 13/13 #manbooker2018 extravaganza ( first time I have ever read them all and it may well be the last ! ) 7mo
Emilymdxn I totally agreed! Wtf was this book? I tried so hard to be open minded about it but it was just bizarre. ‘I‘m pregnant therefore stupid and don‘t want to make a fuss about this possible murderer‘. Not quite the worst book I‘ve read this year but close 7mo
Redheadrambles @Emilymdxn I totally agree - I know some people say they thought it was ok and that maybe I was judging it with my Booker hat on but anyway I looked at it it was truly terrible. The number of times she referred to this “ whale like pregnant woman” and how basically useless she was plus the female cop that was there to serve coffee - I tried thinking it was a spoof of a bad novel but I think it‘s just a bad novel 7mo
Emilymdxn I started it thinking I‘d enjoy it cause even if some people thought thrillers weren‘t Booker-y, I LIKE thrillers, but this was noooot Gone Girl. People just had no motivation for doing anything? The ending was so obvious. I was so in favour of more genres being included but this was just a terrible book 7mo
Redheadrambles @Emilymdxn yep ! Literally any big name recent crime novel I can think of would put this to same - Gone Girl / Girl on a Train / Girl in a window / Girl in a cabin ANYTHING. I honestly don‘t get the plotting here - someone likes expensive knives and Snaps ? That is what I got out of it anyway... I so wanted to hurl this out my window many times 😀 7mo
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Redheadrambles
The Great Believers | Rebecca Makkai
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Trying hard to catch up on posting my holiday reads before I forget them. This one ended up being my last book before heading home and it was engrossing. I am particularly partial to stories set in the 80s during the AIDS crisis- it was heartbreaking and made me chase up some documentaries and add some non-fiction to my TBR pile.
I wish we could have lost a few extraneous storyline‘s, it didn‘t all work but still a compelling book.

ClairesReads Desperate to catch up on this one 7mo
Redheadrambles @ClairesReads I think you might like it ! It‘s very readable. I need to write my proper review of it tomorrow- I feel I have been trying to catch up on reviews all week! 7mo
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ClairesReads @Redheadrambles it‘s exciting for us to read them all! 7mo
Redwritinghood I‘m a little stalled on this one but hope to catch up this weekend. 7mo
Redheadrambles @Redwritinghood I think everyone is stalled for various reasons but look forward to seeing how you place it in the NBA lineup 7mo
mklong Finally got this one from the library! I‘ll probably read it while ya‘ll are reading 7mo
mklong And if you are looking for some non-fiction, I hear this one is excellent 7mo
Redheadrambles @mklong Thanks Katie that one does look good. I hope you enjoy this book 7mo
26 likes9 comments