Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Review: While You Were Reading by Ali Berg & Michelle Kalus

The Book Ninja was just so brilliant (or fucking hilarious as I put it in my review last year,) that I was thrilled when I learned that the book's co-authors Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus had penned another novel. This one tells the story of Bea Babbage, a woman whose life is falling apart after she accidentally ruins her best friends wedding. Moving across the country to Melbourne, she attempts to pick up the pieces in her life, discovering a great cafe and a secondhand book that has all kinds of messages scribbled inside along the way. Intrigued by the book and its notes, she begins to search for the person who wrote the notes ... with some surprising results along the way.

This one was a fun and easy read that never takes itself too seriously. Bea was an easy character to like and spend time with, and the premise was a lot of fun. It was fun too, to see her grow and develop, despite the well, massive, obstacle that Cassandra threw in along the way. (Speaking of, I really wouldn't have minded if the authors had allowed Cassandra to be hit by a tram.) The love triangle between Bea, Zach and Dino plays out in an amusing way.

Overall, this one is an entertaining read, perfect for those days when you just want to kick back and have a little fun.


Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for my ARC.

This book was read as part of the Aussie Author Challenge 2019

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Review: It's Not About Me by Sally Hetherington

Like a lot of young people, Sally Hetherington wanted to make a difference. And so, at age 25, she bought a one-way ticket to Cambodia, a country that she had previously visited and loved, where she hoped that she could help the locals. What she soon learned, however, was that travelling overseas with good intentions, wasn't enough. Many of the local programmes suffered through disempowered staff and an extremely unhealthy white savour syndrome. And so, Sally found a way to make a real difference--by developing a community centre, The Human and Hope Association, with the locals that could be run by the local people. The goal was to make herself redundant to the programme. And after a few years, during which she got to know many of the local people and to understand the local politics and culture, she did exactly that. It's Not About Me tells the story of her time there. 

Reading this book was one heck of an education. I'd always been wary of programmes where Australians volunteer overseas for a brief time, though I had no idea why. Surely helping others is less fortunate is a good thing. This book explains exactly why volunteerism isn't a solution, and why those in third world countries need to be empowered to help themselves. I was also interested to read more about the politics and culture of Cambodia.

Overall, this is an excellent read. 

Postscript: Sally Heatherington was awarded an OAM on June 11 for her work with the Human and Hope Association.

If you would like to make a donation to the Human and Hope Association, you can do so here: http://www.humanandhopeassociation.org/donate/

Thank you to the author for my copy of It's Not About Me.

This book was read as part of the Aussie Author Challenge 2019

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Happy Birthday Garfield

It's an annual tradition on this blog to wish a certain orange badass cat a very happy birthday, so here we go for 2019, Happy Birthday Garfield. Hope there's lots of lasagne coming your way!

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Review: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now by Ryan North & Erica Henderson

Doreen Green, aka the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is back. Sort of. In her third graphic novel she has just been sent back in time ... to the 1960s. And while she is slowly trying to acclimatise to a world that has none of the technology that she is used to, her flatmate Nancy is desperately trying to search for her friend. Which isn't exactly easy, considering that Nancy is the only one from her era who can remember Doreen at all. In true Unbeatable Squirrel Girl style this all leads to a confrontation with an old foe ... but will Doreen be beaten this time? Or can she keep her title, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl?

This one was a lot of fun. As well as comprising of the comics that make up the time travel story arc, the volume also includes a crossover issue between Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and Howard the Duck. And, quite honestly, I was blown away by how well the two comics and characters worked together. I was quite skeptical that the styles and characters would be too different, but I was, thankfully, proven wrong.

Highly recommended.

Friday, 14 June 2019